I’m a little embarrassed to say having lived in Australia my whole life I’ve only ticked half of these experiences off the list! To be fair, Australia is an enormous country so there’s no shortage of must-do’s when you visit. From camel riding on cable beach, to drinking milo through a Tim Tam & taking a selfie with the happiest animal in the world, here’s your ultimate Australian bucket list.
1. Hug a koala. One of the best parts of visiting Australia is the chance to snuggle up with some of the unique – and incredibly adorable – wildlife.
2. Catch the sunset or sunrise in Uluru. Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre desert. It’s sacred to indigenous Australians and believed to be about 700 million years old.
3. Feed a kangaroo. There are many places to hand-feed kangaroos around Australia. Just make sure you do your research first.
4. Go snorkeling in the Great Barrief Reef. The iconic Great Barrier Reef is blessed ith the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. Apart from snorkeling, you can also choose to scuba dive, take a scenic flight over the reef or all three!
5. Discover Melbourne’s laneways. It’s the heart of the city.
6. Swim + sail the Whitsundays. Even the name itself sounds heavenly. Don’t forget to stop off at Whitehaven Beach, which many claim to be the finest beach in the world, and most definitely Australia. It stands out due to its pure white silica sand and crystal aqua waters.
7. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The best view in town!
8. Swim with whale sharks in Western Australia. Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef is the experience of a lifetime. Read more about it here.
9. Go crocodile diving. Get up close and personal with the largest Saltwater crocs on the planet in the ‘Cage of Death’. I’m still unsure whether I want to tick this one off my list.
10. Roadtrip down the Great Ocean Road. Witness the many stunning rock formations, surf breaks, little beach towns and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on this iconic road trip.
11. Ride a camel on Cable Beach. With views across to Gantheaume Point, as well as being able to be up high as you take in the glorious bay, this is something everyone will enjoy. They offer morning rides, pre-sunset and sunset rides.
12. Witness the Aurora Australis in Tasmania. Similar to the Northern lights, the Aurora Australis is a natural light phenomena native to Australia is a shimmering, shifting light show. It’s caused by electrically charged protons being diverted harmlessly by Earth’s magnetic field.
13. Have an authentic Aussie BBQ. Summer, sun + drinks.
14. Eat vegemite toast. Yes, I am most certainly a fan for any of you wondering. Just take note, this is how you’re supposed to eat it.
15. Meet a Quokka on Rottsnest Island. I’m thinking Quokkas might just be the most adorable animal in the world? And not to mention the happiest. But seriously, anytime you’re feeling sad, just google “Quokka.” They have no fear of humans and it is common for it to approach them closely. My life is not complete until I get a selfie with a Quokka.
16. Swim with sea lions in Bairds Bay. Also known as the “puppy dogs of the ocean.” HOW ADORABLE. It’s also not uncommon to see them all laying out on the beach in the sun as well.
17. Go on the worlds fastest jungle swing. The only multi-person Jungle Swing, the Minjin Swing, swoops through the rainforest from 45 metres down to 1 metre in 3.5 seconds, reaching speeds up to 120km/h.
18. Go sandboarding in Lancelin or Port Stephens. Sand boarding is popular and so much fun, you can hire a board or buy a board. A spectacular sight at sunrise or sunset.
19. Celebrate Christmas on the beach. If you’re in Australia during Christmas, there’s no better place to be than celebrating and cooling down on a local beach.
20. Visit Arnhem Land. Spot saltwater crocodiles, buffalo, dugong and nesting turtles in this Top End wilderness area, populated mostly by indigenous Australians, who will happily share their culture
21. Drink wine in the Yarra Valley. Take a hot air balloon too if you’re up for the 4am wake up (promise it’s worth it!)
22. Perform a Tim Tam Slam. Okay so I totally didn’t know this was a thing up until a week ago but it’s essentially drinking Milo through a Tim Tam, would you believe. Here’s a step-by-step guide. While you’re at it, you may as well try to indulge in every flavour of Tim Tam. Caramel all the way!
23. Go surfing in Torquay. Dose up on surf culture at Torquay, the home of Bells Beach and birthplace of iconic brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver.
24. Visit the world’s largest sand island. Fraser Island, that is.
25. Discover the Blue Mountains. Less than two hours from Sydney by car or train, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is one of Australia’s most spectacular natural parks. Don’t forget to snap a photo on Hanging Rock near the Baltzer Lookout!
26. Eat Fish n Chips at the beach. Although technically this originates in England, it has since become a great Australian dish for balmy, summer nights at the beach.
27. Catch a footy game at the MCG in Melbourne. Australians are big sports fans, with the football or ‘footy’ codes securing plenty of attention during the winter months.
28. Watch the penguin parade at Philip Island. Every day at sunset, visitors from around the world gather at Summerland Beach to see hundreds of little penguins return to their burrows after a day’s fishing. The island is home to more than 30,000 of the world’s smallest penguin species.
29. Climb Mount Kosciuszko. It’s Australia’s tallest mountain! Don’t worry, there’s a chair lift too.
30. Hang out at Bondi Beach. Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach has something for everyone: surf and sand, glitzy bars and cafes, a farmers market, and boutique street stalls.
31. Visit the Pink Lake. Western Australia is home to a number of extraordinary pink lakes.
32. Margaret River in Western Australia. Margaret River is a small town south of Perth in western Australia, known for its wine, numerous breweries, incredible beaches, gourmet food, coffee houses, chocolate makers, caves and forests!
33. Freycinet National Park in Tasmania. Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and abundant birdlife.
34. Explore Daintree Rainforest. At 110 million years old, Daintree Rainforest in Queensland could possibly be the oldest existing in the world!
35. Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The perfect escape from city life. There’s wildlife parks and sanctuaries, numerous beaches, bays and coves!
36. Glamp in the outback. For a camping experience a little more luxurious, read about my glamping experience.
37. Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Why not explore the Cairns rainforest from above?
38. Indulge in a freakshake. The home to freakshakes is Pâtissez in Canberra (and yes, you can expect a line out the door) but they’re now found all over the country. YES.
39. Hike the Three Capes Walking Track. This new track is a 46km wilderness journey through Tasmania’s rugged southeast. With a limit of 48 walkers a day, trekkers will stay in eco-friendly cabins and sleeping quarters with shared dining areas for the three nights they are on the track.
40. Visit Christmas Island. Nature lovers embrace this UNESCO World Heritage-listed island, 2600km northwest of Perth, for its incredible scuba diving, snorkelling and birdwatching. It is considered the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean.
41. Ride the Gahn. Take the scenic train ride across the Outback from Adelaide to Darwin and vice versa.
42. Extreme Portaledge Cliff Camping. Calling all adrenaline junkies here, this one is for you! This unique experience includes a thrilling overnight stay on a portaledge suspended on a vertical cliff face hundreds of metres above the ground in the stunning Mt Buffalo gorge.
43. visit the Wilpena Pound in South Australia. The main activity that tourists indulge in when they go to Wilpena Pound is bushwalking. Visitors can also climb to St. Mary Park or go for camping. Scenic flights are obtainable from this place for tourists to admire the beautiful view.
44. Drink all the coffee in Melbourne. Melbourne is quite renowned for it’s coffee culture. It’s an incredibly important part of the city and it was even voted the best in the world. So where can you find the best coffee in Melbourne? My suggestions are Brother Baba Budan & Market Lane Coffee.