Australia is a vast country containing eight climate zones and many more beautifully unique landscapes. While it might be tempting to escape overseas, there’s so much to see here you’ll never get it all done in a lifetime. Here’s 101 Aussie holiday ideas to keep you closer to home.
Holiday in Australia like a tourist: Each year, millions of people from across the globe make the trip Down Under to explore destinations and experiences that some only dream of. And it’s all in our own backyard just waiting to be explored. If you’ve grown up in Australia but every time you talk with a tourist it feels like they’ve seen more of the country, it’s time you holiday like a tourist! Whether it’s a staycation, a walking tour, spotting only-in-Australia wildlife or hearing ancient stories from the world’s oldest living culture, every travel experience you could ever want can be found right here at home.
Walk the coastline: With 35,877 kilometres (22,292 miles) of coastline, no matter where you find yourself in Australia you’re sure to find a coastal walk complete with stunning views of white sandy beaches, lush rainforests or striking cliff faces. Australia’s great coastal walks can range from easy to challenging, and short to multi-day.
Take a solo trip: With friendly locals, epic adventure and endless activities in store, Australia is a great destination for solo travellers. Join a tour or add a class to your itinerary and make new mates along the way, or go at it entirely alone! Take advantage of Australia’s vastness and on the road less travelled find pure isolation on many beaches, lookouts and walking tracks.
Go on an epic road trip: From expansive outback drives to roads that hug dramatic coastlines and routes that weave through lush landscapes, there’s no better place to traverse on wheels than Australia. You could either be spontaneous and see where the vast roads take you, or get started on planning here. Make sure you stop into local visitor centres to get the best tips on hidden gems, picnic spots and incredible lookouts.
Island hop by boat: Australia is an island surrounded by 8222 fringing islands. Ranging in size from small rocks which are not covered by water at high tide, to some that are bigger than the ACT. Whether it’s a tiny fishing boat or a luxury superyacht, paradise seekers can island hop to Australia’s shores to find seemingly endless beaches and colourful reefs for snorkelling stops.
Or, by board or kayak: Paddle boarding and kayaking are great ways to explore Australia’s many rivers, reefs and harbours. Plenty of places across Australia offer guided tours or board hire so you can wander to where the fish are. It’s also a great way to keep fit and active on your travels.
Explore on a camel’s back: While camels aren’t normally associated with Australia, camels are intrinsically entwined in the history of the Australian outback. Traverse the road less trodden in many parts of Australia’s outback with day tours or multi-day treks, or head to the coastline in places like Broome and Port Stephens and catch the sun set atop a camel’s back.
Hike in a national park: Parks Australia looks after Australia’s natural treasures – including six national parks, 58 marine parks and the Australian National Botanic Gardens, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Australia’s other parks which are managed by the states and territories. Combined there are thousands of parks, nature reserves, conservation zones, Indigenous protected areas and marine parks. Ranging from rugged to remarkable, there are countless parks with jaw-dropping gorges, ancient mountains, Aboriginal rock art and wildlife just waiting to be explored.
Explore snowy landscapes: A common misconception about Australia, but it does snow down under and better yet, there are plenty of places to enjoy the snow season (June to August). Australia’s ski resorts receive their fair share of skiers and snowboarders each winter season, but there is also plenty more to do on our slopes than a scenic chairlift ride. Try your hand at snowmobiling, dog sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, fat biking or tubing. There’s also plenty to do in the off-season, with a number of great outdoor experiences on offer, from hikes to mountain bike riding to kayaking.
Go off-road with a 4WD safari: Think road trips are all the same? With untamed beaches, giant sand dunes and freshwater lakes, 4WD tours offer a chance to journey into some of Australia’s most remote and challenging landscapes. Leave everything up to the professionals and arrange a private trip, or choose from various 4WD safari tours.
Soar the skies in a hot air balloon: Did you know Canberra is the only city in the world where you will find yourself drifting over a nation’s Parliament House? For the best views of Canberra, and many other places across Australia, a hot air balloon tour allows you to experience uninterrupted birds-eye views of many showstopping destinations. If heights aren’t your thing, there are a handful of hot air-ballooning festivals across Australia each year – so you can appreciate the magic from firmly on the ground.
Live like a local and take the ferry: Sydney Harbour’s ferry rides are consistently rated as one the top things to do when visiting Sydney and for good reason. Not only are they a great way to see the city’s skylines and harbours, but every so often riders are treated to wildlife shows of splashing dolphins, seals and even whales. Outside of Sydney, there are hundreds more ferry rides you can travel on to nearby islands and docks. Many are even part of people’s daily commute.
Join a city walking tour: See your own city (or a new city) in a new light with a guided walking tour. They often uncover the not so obvious history and culture of the city – who knows, you might learn a new thing or two! There are also a huge range of different tours that explore different passion points, including Aboriginal heritage, hidden bars, food culture, street art and more.
On two wheels: Those who prefer two wheels can take advantage of Australia’s vast network of well-maintained roads, which are perfect for a motorbike trip. Grab your helmet, fill up the tank and set off on a city escape or head off on one of the most beautiful road trips in the world.
Surf the waves: With waves for beginners as well as seasoned surfers, Australia boasts some of the world’s best surfing spots. Still a beginner? Book into a surfing lesson and become a pro in no time.
Fall in love with train travel: There’s a certain nostalgia associated with train travel; the long journeys, the echoing sound of the whistle in the wilderness, the soft humming of the engine, the ever-changing landscapes, the cabin being bathed in the golden hues of the sunset and sunrise. Fall in love with this unique way of exploring with Australia’s iconic train lines which stretch across borders and connect iconic cities.
Pitch a tent: Spend a few nights under the stars to soak up all that Australia’s great outdoors has to offer. Even if you don’t know how to pitch a tent, there’s a camping experience that’s perfect for you somewhere in Australia with plenty of glamping, caravanning and tiny-home options to choose from.
Jump aboard a river cruise: Australia has some mighty rivers, some even stretching up to 2,500km in length. Sit back with a drink in hand and discover rich riverside nature, spot wildlife, and hear the tales of ancient Aboriginal culture as you float along one of the many river cruises across Australia.
Connect with Australia’s First peoples: No Australian adventure is complete without an opportunity to learn about and connect with the vast history of Australia’s First Peoples. The oldest living culture on Earth, Australia’s Aboriginal culture is multifaceted, with a deep connection to land, sea and spirit at its core. The Discover Aboriginal Experiences collective offers an extraordinary suite of authentic and meaningful journeys, from one-hour tours to multi-day odysseys, which provide a window of insight into this ancient community. Perhaps the richest of all travel experiences available in Australia, adding an Indigenous experience to any itinerary will leave any traveller with a newfound appreciation and connection to Australia’s ancient natural environment and cultures.
Fill your esky on a recovery road trip: There are many ways to support Australia’s recovery effort from the summer bushfires. Plan a recovery road trip and plan your stops around local businesses and communities that are now ready to welcome back visitors with open arms. By spending money with local businesses, you will be helping communities which have been both directly and indirectly impacted to thrive.
Put the pedal to the metal: For an eco-friendly and active day trip, jump on a bike and head out on one of the old rail trails or scenic cycleways snaking across the country. Mountain bikers will also find plenty of tracks that offer extreme riding adventures through diverse alpine, rainforest and coastal scenery. Cycling can be quite the workout, so make sure you top every trip off with a stop at the local pub for some food and a refreshing beer.
Go ‘off-the-grid’: Vast and open, Australia is the world’s sixth largest country – making it the perfect destination to go off-grid and enjoy isolation. From off-grid glamping and solar powered eco-resorts, to luxury lodges in the wilderness, recharge your batteries by bathing in Australia’s natural landscapes. If you want to get a taste of off-the-grid living without traveling too far from the big cities, there are also a number of luxury off-grid accommodation options available. Or, hot tip, turn any holiday into an off-grid experience by leaving your phone at home!
Breathe in the fresh air on a farm stay: Learn about generations of agriculture and indulge in the country lifestyle with a traditional farm stay. Or foodies will find a range of new and exceptional eat-and-stay accommodation options dotted across Australia, where chefs utilise on-site farmland to grow the produce to cook in their kitchen.
Walk into wellness: The Great Walks of Australia are multi-day guided walks that offer a restorative connection to nature while traversing some of the continent’s most breathtaking landscapes. Each walk is done with a dash of eco-luxury comfort – so you can rest easy knowing you’re in the safe hands of the experienced guides who will help you to make the most of your time in nature.
Find where luxury meets sustainable travel: Commit to sustainability whilst also staying in some of the most luxurious corners of the country with Australia’s Luxury Lodges collective. Each independent lodge champions a diverse range of sustainable practices, and so guests can rest easy knowing that their experience will support and enrich local communities and cultures. Many also offer a chance for guests to help contribute to local environmental preservation and regeneration efforts.
Charter a superyacht: Offering luxury, freedom and a totally customised experience, chartering a superyacht is possibly the ultimate way to discover Australia. On a superyacht, you will have access to some of the world’s most pristine waters, stunning natural environments and unforgettable onshore experiences, as well as impeccable service and world-class food and wine. Your route, and onshore and offshore experiences and activities, are completely customisable and is set in pre-charter planning sessions with your agent.
Stay in insta-worthy accommodation: For those who have camped and glamped and are looking for something new, there are a number of epic one-of-a-kind accommodation offerings popping up all over Australia. Whether it’s a bubble tent, adult-sized treehouse or a tiny house, there’s something for every insta-feed.
Stay in Aboriginal-owned accommodation: If you want to immerse yourself fully in Australia’s remarkable and remote landscapes, unique Aboriginal-owned stays, including island wilderness retreats, safari tents, architecturally designed huts, make your experience all the more special.
Chase the pink lake wonders: Australia is home to many mesmerising natural attractions, but its extraordinary pink lakes have to be seen to be believed – take your pick of pink from the outback of South Australia to the coast of Western Australia. These ‘strawberry-milk’ lakes look good enough to take a sip, but are actually some of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.
Wave at a whale: The Australian coastline provides bountiful opportunities to see a number of whale species on their annual migration. Both the east and west coasts have their own whale shows, as the mammals travel to and from Antarctica. Between May and November, you can spot southern right whales journeying to the temperate breeding waters off South Australia and Victoria, while energetic humpback whales continue north to the Great Barrier Reef and the Kimberley and orcas congregate off the southern coast of the state of Western Australia.
Swim with gentle giants: Swimming with whale sharks is one of life’s most breathtaking experiences. Ningaloo Marine Park is the only place on the planet where large numbers visit every year from April to July, so close to land. Join a tour in Exmouth or Coral Bay and pick a boat with its own spotter plane for best results.
Explore the tropics: From reef to outback, through rainforest and grasslands, driving through North Queensland is an unforgettable travel experience. Take a journey on the Waterfall Circuit from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands to see some incredible lookouts, historic towns, the Daintree Rainforest and waterfalls.
Chase waterfalls: Formed over millions of years, Australia’s ancient land boasts magical waterfalls and waterholes to marvel in. There are numerous significant waterfalls throughout Australia, from the west coast to the eastern seaboard and from the top of the Territory right down to Tasmania’s wild coastline. Many escarpments around Australia’s coastline have also created a variety of falls which range from crashing cascades to shallow rock pools.
Dip in an ocean pool: Open to the public all year round and replenished naturally by the ocean waves, join the locals and swim laps in an ocean pool overlooking stunning views. Most can be found in New South Wales with about 100 along the coastline from Yamba in the north to Bermagui in the south. Sydney alone has 35!
Snap the perfect #QuokkaSelfie: Australia is known as the home to some of the world’s cutest animals. But none are more photogenic than the quokka. Quokkas are naturally curious, so you do not need to approach them or offer them food to get close enough for a photograph. Simply get down to their level and wait for them to come to you. You’ll want a selfie stick for this one!
Soak in nature’s spa baths: Travellers looking to soak in a spa bath will be pleased to know that a spectacular range of natural spas, hot springs and fresh watering holes can be found all over Australia – and most won’t cost you a cent! Hot springs are great for revitalising the soul while turtles can be spotted in many fresh watering holes.
Swim with sea lions: Make new mates with inquisitive sea lions in their natural environment! These friendly ‘puppies of the sea’ are incredibly playful, and naturally inquisitive, and will often swim right up to humans nearby. They can be found in the waters off the West Australian coast, Victoria, and South Australia.
Revel at the stars above: Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples learned how to navigate by understanding astronomy and the movement of the stars. Pitch a tent in a ‘dark park’, or visit an observatory to learn about how the constellation of the Pleiades represents the trans-continental journey of the Seven Sisters whose story is shared by many cultural groups across mainland Australia.
Go underground: From cenotes to caves, some of Australia’s most marvellous natural attractions are below land. Explore Australia’s only underground town, sunken gardens or glow worm tunnels. Adventurous travellers prepared to take the plunge can dive the underwater cenotes world of Mount Gambier, which has earned its title as the cave-diving capital of Australia.
Visit a wildlife sanctuary: Australia’s wildlife parks and sanctuaries play a vital role in conservation efforts for Australia’s native animals, meaning adding a wildlife experience onto your next trip can help to support these incredible creatures. See wildlife and learn about the amazing work sanctuaries do to rehabilitate injured or vulnerable animals.
Catch a sunrise or sunset: If this year has taught us anything, it is to time to appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Australia has some of the most impressive lookouts, landscapes and leisurely walks to take in the beginning or end of the day as mother nature does her thing. If the timing is right, travellers to Broome can also catch a glimpse of natural phenomena that is the ‘Staircase to the Moon’. This only happens 2 to 3 days a month between March and October, as the full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay.
Cage dive (or not) with sharks: Australia is home to some of the world’s largest great white sharks, with a handful of local cage diving operators offering the chance to safely meet them face-to-face. If the thought of diving doesn’t appeal, South Australia offers the world’s first Aqua sub meaning travellers can still see sharks up close underwater without getting wet. The best bit, they use the animal-friendly technique of underwater music to attract the sharks, allowing guests the unique opportunity to rock out to AC/DC (the sharks preference) whilst in the cage.
Smile at a crocodile: Few animals fascinate visitors as much as these prehistoric creatures. Both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles can be found in Australia, but it is the larger species, the saltwater crocodile, that captures the imagination. They grow up to seven metres (23 feet) long and resemble dinosaurs more than any other modern-day animal. There are several places to see crocs in the Northern Territory, including a crocodile swimming experience in which you are lowered into the crocodiles’ water in a perspex enclosure.
Snorkel through colourful reefs: No doubt you’re familiar with the Great Barrier Reef, but what about all of Australia’s other incredible reef systems? The country’s northern, western and south eastern coastlines are also underwater playgrounds with their own unique ecosystems waiting to be explored. Once you’ve picked your spot, it’s as easy as jumping into the water with your snorkel and a pair of flippers – where you’ll have the chase to meet manta rays and sea turtles.
Witness a natural phenomenon: Australia is home to some of the most unique landscapes and incredible natural wonders in the world. From our peculiar wildlife to our very own southern light show, aim to tick off as many of these stunning natural wonders as you can.
Contribute to the management of Great Barrier Reef: One of the best marine wildlife encounters in the world, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coastline. With approximately 1,625 species of fish and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, there are hundreds of experiences available to explore this underwater world – and with each experience ticket sold, you’ll be helping to protect the long-term outlook of the reef with an ‘Environmental Management Charge’ built into your ticket price.
See tiny turtles hatch: Watching baby turtles hatch, then make their disorientated run into the sea, is a very special bucket list experience. Queensland is a turtle haven in particular, with six out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species calling it home. Each year (between January and March) some Queensland beaches are swarmed by thousands of baby turtles marching their way to the sea, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service run ranger-guided night-time turtle encounters.
March with tiny penguins: Phillip Island’s iconic Penguin Parade allows visitors to catch a glimpse of the island’s native little penguins as they come back ashore after a day of fishing. Head to Summerland Beach for a 180-degree viewing of the parade on their tiered seating. There are also several VIP and guided tours on offer for up-close viewing and ranger commentary. With over 32,000 little penguins living on the island, you’ve got a good chance of spotting a few.
Play with a platypus: Queensland’s Mackay region is known for its waterfalls, rainforests and ancient volcanic soils – but you can also dive with the notoriously shy platypus. Dives take place at dawn and dusk, when these beautiful animals are most active. Slip underwater and look out for turtles, fish and other fascinating marine life, too. If you’d rather not get wet, then head to the Healesville Sanctuary.
Meet a Tassie devil: If you’re driving around Tasmania, it’s possible to glimpse Tasmanian devils scampering near the roads. But, for a guaranteed encounter, head to a wildlife sanctuary where you can observe these endangered animals up close.
Schedule a beach day with a Kangaroo: Sure, we’ve all spotted a kangaroo in our time, but have you ever soaked up the sun with a beach-going kangaroo? It’s an unusual sight, and one you’re not likely to forget. Eastern grey kangaroos at Pebbly Beach in New South Wales, love to relax on the beach and don’t mind posing for photographs either. In Western Australia, head to Lucky Bay to see them lounging on the white sands, while in Queensland you’re guaranteed to spot them on the beach at Cape Hillsborough.
Spot a sleeping koala: Koala’s can be found across Australia but often can be hard to spot. To guarantee a glimpse, head to one of the many wildlife parks across Australia that allow you to get up close with koalas as they rest in their habitats. To see them in the wild, Australian Wildlife Journeys and Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours offer one-day and multi-day trips in Gippsland and along the Great Ocean Road, with guaranteed sightings of koalas.
Watch wildflowers bloom: In spring, many parts of Australia overflow with wildflower blooms: daisies turn meadows into carpets of colour, delicate orchids pop up beside forest paths, and desert peas emerge from the driest of landscapes. Wildflowers can be seen in almost every state in Australia, but highlights include the town of Maree in South Australia, the Grampians and several locations in Western Australia, which is home to more than 12,000 flower species.
Cast a line for fishing riches: Any way you look at it, Australia is an angler’s paradise. Boasting nearly 4,000 marine species, of which many are only found in Australia’s waters, the richness and diversity of Australia’s fish life’s world-class. With a catalogue of fishing riches including chrome-silver barramundi, massive Murray cod, the world’s greatest seasonal concentration of black marlin, record-breaking trevally, succulent snapper, lip-smacking whiting and some of the finest trout fishing to be found anywhere south of the equator, you won’t need to travel far for fishing bliss.
Golf Australia’s great courses: Golfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to world-class courses in Australia. Whether you spend the day on spectacular coastal links, stunning parkland courses or a championship course, a day on the green is sure to be a hole in one. Keen golfers can also get exclusive access to some of the most impressive private-member courses in the country with the Great Golf Courses of Australia collective, a number of which regularly place in world top 100 listings.
Sandboard down the dunes: Whether it’s at Anna Bay in New South Wales, North Stradbroke Island in Queensland or elsewhere, there are plenty of locations around Australia where you can hit the sand dunes with a sandboard. Only question, whether you want to sit down or stand up!
Go heli-fishing: One of the most spectacular fishing adventures available to keen anglers is heli-fishing in remote landscapes. There are a range of heli-fishing adventures to be had in Australia which can last from five hours to three days, and once onboard your pilot will whisk you off to fishing hotspots spots most people can only dream about.
Take a scenic flight: Book in a scenic flight and soar over Australia’s icons. Whether it’s naturally occurring or man-made, a scenic flight is guaranteed to give you a new perspective on any destination and leave you feeling on top of the world. Choose your flight of fancy from a range of short, day-long and sunset tours or book a charter flight.
Get the heart pumping with a skydive: Experience the ultimate thrill of freefall at over 200km/hr, and then float under a canopy while soaking up spectacular views of Australia with once-in-a-lifetime skydiving experience. Tandem dives take place in some of Australia’s most spectacular beaches, cities and bushland.
Deep dive into shipwrecks: From our spectacular coral reefs to purposely sunken ships, Australia is filled with amazing dive spots. There are over 8,000 shipwrecks in Australia’s oceans with numerous local operators who can guide you beneath the twisted hulls to reveal the stories of these ill-fated voyages. Many also open the opportunity to catch glimpses of marine life such as rays and turtles.
Head to a theme park: Whilst the Gold Coast is the most famous home for theme parks in Australia, there are countless other fun parks located throughout each state and territory. A great day out for kids, adults and big kids will also get a kick out of letting their hair down.
Abseil off a cliff: If you’re feeling particularly brave, Australia offers a number of commercial abseiling locations where you can really get your adrenaline pumping. For a unique and breathtaking descent, take on the world’s highest commercial abseil down the Gordon Dam wall in Tasmania.
Raft through rainforests: There aren’t many better ways to experience the rainforest than by rafting right through the heart of it! With a number of beginner and more untamed rivers on offer, you can be drifting in tranquil pools one moment and navigating exhilarating rapids the next.
Have a bareboating adventure: For those with sailing experience and reliable friends or family to act as crew, renting a yacht and committing to skippering it yourself is the ultimate way to explore one of Australia’s many beautiful sailing destinations.
Walk among the treetops: For a birds eye view of the forest, try one of Australia’s impressive treetop walkways which take you through the canopy. A true bucket list experience is walking across the Valley of the Giants in Western Australia. The area is world famous for its Tree Top Walk which is suspended 40 metres high in the canopy of the ancient tingle forest. The largest tree here measures 22 metres (70 feet) around the trunk with some living for some 400 years.
Rock climb a cliff face: For the daring, there are cliff faces and large boulders all across Australia where you can put your rock climbing abilities to the test. Climbers are spoilt for choice with granite slabs, Dolerite ridges, red sandstone sports routes and long, coastal trad climbs – there’s almost nothing in the world of climbing that you can’t experience somewhere in Australia.
Find Australia’s most Instagrammable shots: It’s no secret that Australia is one of the most ‘instagrammable’ destinations on earth. With its aqua blue waters, white sandy beaches and red desert landscapes, Australia’s diverse colour palette is no stranger to a like, share or geo-tag. Whether you are looking to build the perfect online aesthetic or seeking bragging rights, your next thumb-stopping photo op is sure to be found hidden in Australia’s vast landscape. So, grab your phone, a friend (or selfie stick) and head out to find your next Insta pic.
Do the “Big Lap”: Something that should be on every Australians bucket list is the “Big Lap”. Pack up the car and head either north or south, and just keep driving right around the country until you end up back where you started. Note: this no easy feat. Planning is a must and if you’ve never been outback or off-road before, sign up for a 4WD training course.
See where champions are made: Budding sports stars will love getting a behind the scene peek into some of Australia’s premier elite sports precincts. In Canberra, the Australian Institute of Sport offers guided-tours (resuming 2021), and in Sydney you can try your hand at white-water rafting at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, which was the competition venue for the canoe and kayak events during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Stadiums across Australia also offer tours and experiences for sport-enthusiasts.
See the oldest Australian art: Australian Aboriginal art is the oldest living art tradition in the world with rock paintings across the country. Book in with a local Aboriginal guide to visit sacred sites and get profound insights into Dreamtime stories or take part in artist-led workshops in contemporary art practice, helping you understand the fundamental role of art in the transmission of culture.
Experience urban Aboriginal cultures: Aboriginal culture is alive and well in Australia’s urban centres, with easily accessible walking tours as well as museums, galleries, and cultural centres to explore. Book into a local tour with an Aboriginal guide hear first-hand creation stories and participate in cultural practices that have been passed down for hundreds of generations.
Visit an art gallery: Block out your day to wander through the diverse art galleries throughout the major cities and regional towns. Australia hosts a significant body of work – from traditional to modern – by Australian and international artists, as well as galleries dedicated to Aboriginal art.
Uncover street art: Art doesn’t stop when you walk out the museum doors. Hit the streets and wander through hidden streets and laneways to discover the vibrant artistic spaces that delight all who walk past. Australia’s street art has ventured out past the cities so jump in the car and explore the creativity of regional towns that feature towering artworks and unique exhibitions.
Road trip Australia’s biggest outdoor gallery: In rural communities across Australia you can find painted solos and water towers. What started as the PUBLIC Silo Trail of Western Australia, has now spread across four other states to also include South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. There are now 70 silo artworks documented as part of the Australian Silo Art Trail.
Find a farmer’s market: The best way to meet the farmers, makers and growers and fill your basket with the freshest local produce you can get is to visit a local farmers market. Scattered across the country, wander through the stalls of any Australian market to explore the diverse and extensive offering from local producers, artisans and bakers.
Tour your favourite sporting ground: Whether you’re a footy fanatic, cricket obsessed or a racing enthusiast, pop by the local sport stadium for a tour and deep dive into Australia’s sporting heritage. Make sure you snap a selfie from the stand.
Relish in Australia’s quirks: Whether it’s checking out Australia’s ‘Big Things’ or learning about the UFO capital of Australia, there really is something for everyone… including a melon skiing at a festival and the biggest tribute festival to Elvis Presley in the Southern Hemisphere.
Shop Australian designers: Australia’s cosmopolitan cities are at the forefront of this country’s love for fashion-forward shopping with streets filled with boutique shops playing host to edgy start-up labels and young, experimental designers.
Go to the theatre: Australia is home to a thriving performing arts scene – while most things are currently closed as part of Covid19 restrictions, look ahead at 2021 and plan to check out international and local acts at iconic venues or support the local performing groups across comedy, dance and theatre.
Relax with a spa day: Treat yourself to a staycation and indulge in a pampering session for rejuvenation and tranquillity. You can also revive at health-minded restaurants, relax at a wellness retreat or start the day with the sand between your toes as you salute to the sun with a sunrise yoga session on the beach. Choose a secluded section of the beach or book in to a class.
Pan for gold: Channel your inner fortune seeker and visit an old mining site. Pan for gold and tour the old sites to understand what life was like for the early colonial settlers.
Neighbourhood-hop: Australia’s diverse culture permeates through the different districts and suburbs in every state. Whether you’re looking for vintage shops, cool underground bars or leafy shopping streets – jump on local transportation to find yourself in a new world.
Visit a moment in time: Step back in time and visit a historic site to learn about Australia’s convict and colonial history. Relive Australia’s gold-rush era at Sovereign Hill in the town of Ballarat in Victoria. Or explore the country’s origins as a convict settlement at the extensive Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, or at the imposing convict-built Fremantle Prison in Perth.
Find the perfect cup of coffee: While we Australians might be a relaxed bunch, we do have high expectations when it comes to coffee. And with more than 90 per cent of Australia’s coffee shops and cafés independently owned, each brew is as unique as the next. Cafe-hop across the country and meet local artisan brewers and baristas, and test whose brew is best.
Wander through vines to cellar doors: Australia is home to some of the world’s great wine regions. The country boasts big names in the wine industry but be sure to also check out emerging boutique and artisan winemakers producing the next generation of Australian wines. For budding wine connoisseurs, the Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia offers a collection of high-end, award-winning wineries offering behind-the-scenes wine, food and adventure experiences including barrel, private and structured tastings, food and wine matching, wine blending and cooking classes.
Try traditional Aboriginal delicacies: Experience Aboriginal cooking practices that date back tens of thousands of years. Guided bush tucker walks reveal the surprising fecundity of the Australian landscape, while outback dining, infused with the unique flavours of the Australian bush, offers a deliciously immersive experience. Alternatively, try your hand at traditional hunting.
Shuck oysters straight from the ocean: Wade out into the waters for a hands-on shucking lesson and the taste of fresh Pacific and native Angasi oysters straight from the clear, rippling waters of South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. For something different, RegionX on the south coast of New South Wales offers kayak tours where participants spend the day paddling in and out of working oyster farms before being treated to fresh oysters as you pull into the pier outside Oyster Shed on Wray Street – you don’t even have to leave your kayak.
Find Australia’s ‘best pie’: The humble meat pie is an Aussie treasure. From major cities to outback country towns, local bakeries can be found in almost every neighbourhood across Australia selling everything from the classic beef pie to more modern varieties including the creamy scallop pie, the innovative eggs benedict pie and even tasty morsels that include emu and kangaroo. Set out on a pie trail to find which local baker has perfected their pastry.
Take your pick at a cuisine: Australia is a melting pot of cultural cuisines, which has led to world-class fusion dining. From hawker-style eats to fine dining restaurants, “overwhelmed taste buds” will be an understatement.
Try a tipple at one of Australia’s emerging distilleries: With crisp fresh air and water, you can get a taste of some of Australia’s best spirits in the burgeoning distillery industry. Join a tour and taste the full range of gin, whisky and vodka as well as unreleased bottles.
Grill over an open fire: In Australia we have been cooking over fire with native ingredients for over sixty thousand years. From world-class restaurants to farmgate fireside experiences and Aboriginal food tours, there are hundreds of ways to experience Australian barbecue around the country. For something different, get outside and cook up some local produce over an outdoor barbecue. During summer, just be sure to check local bushfire restrictions and always follow the advice of authorities.
Forage for native ingredients: Learn how to use traditional Aboriginal methods to gather and prepare food, as well as identify seasonal bush foods and taste bush food-inspired recipes. Experience an immersive food foraging experience without leaving the city on a guided tour.
Go for a pub feed: Stop in to your local pub with your mates for a classic chicken parmi or a Sunday roast – with a side of chips, of course. A great Australian pastime, that will also help to support the hospitality get back on its feet – need we say more?
Pick the fruit of the season: Celebrate the beginning of the new season and set out to visit orchards and farms to pick your own fruits. If you want to get out on the road for a prolonged period, you can make an income on the road by following the harvest seasons and picking fruit along the way. Check out the Harvest Trail’s interactive map to see when and where different crops are harvested.
Visit the seafood markets: An experience in itself, visit a seafood market and meet local fishermen and fish mongers who spend their life bringing you fresh, world-class seafood. If you can’t wait until you get home to tuck into the freshly caught seafood, you’ll often find cafe-style spots within the markets serving up quick bites such as lobster rolls and BBQ prawns.
Find a speakeasy: Across Australia there are basement spaces and old shops that have been turned into hard-to-find speakeasies. Find secret bars behind hidden doors where clever bartenders serve up an array of cocktails with creative twists.
Follow a food trail: Pack your appetite and get ready to drive through Australia’s best foodie regions. There are plenty of food trails across Australia, and better yet they all support the farmers, producers, distillers and winemakers that make Australia’s dining scene one of the best in the world.
Indulge in a hatted restaurant: Feel fancy and indulge in fine dining restaurants that have received the coveted ‘hat’ award. Outside of the cities, recent rumblings in regional Australia have put the spotlight on a new wave of restaurants rivalling their big city siblings. These restaurants are dotted across the countryside and take advantage of the world-class produce of their regions.
Join a cooking class: Learn how to recreate some of your favourite dishes using local produce and expert tricks. You’ll often get to meet the makers, giving you a further appreciation of all the hard work that goes into growing Australia’s produce and creating local products.
Learn about paddock-to-plate: Feast on a meal that’s been entirely and sustainably sourced from the paddock! Suppliers are often local farmers and producers with menus designed around what’s in season, making sure you’ll be served beautiful food that hasn’t travelled far to reach your plate.
Enjoy a cold beer: The craft beer scene in Australia has been growing steadily in recent years, and as breweries perfect their craft it’s no wonder we’re seeing a rise in unique offerings pop up all over the country. From sour and nitro beers to vegan brews to more traditional Aussie lagers, there’s a brewery and a drop out there for everyone.
This list was compiled by the team at Tourism Australia and republished with permission.