100 Experiences that make Australia…. Australia
I have been living in Australia for a bit more than a year and a half. When I left Australia back in June, I was quite sad. (Let’s be honest; I was also very excited about the adventure to come in Southeast Asia!) I thought I was leaving this part of the world for good… Surprise; 4 months later I was already on my way back here.
Travelling across Australia is an experience itself… Juggling with the shortcuts (#AussieSlang), getting baked by the sun and handling the hairy locals (#TooManySpiders) can be part of your daily life.
So, if you are wondering what you should do, here are the most epic and unique things to do in Australia.
- Live in a van. Or in a car. Australia is road trip heaven as the country is huge! The freedom of driving allows you to enjoy every discoverable corner. Read more about my road trip stories.
- Camp EVERYWHERE. Australia is also a camping friendly place! If you could improvise your own camping spot pretty much anywhere (as long as you are far enough from a city), you could also happily follow the recommendations of other travellers on Wiki-Camp App.
- Hit the red centre. Be a warrior, pack your car and get ready for the ultimate road trip across the Outback. Let’s get that car covered in red dust!
- Check out the Great Ocean Road. This road is probably one of the most popular routes in Australia. Quite busy, but still a must-see, you can now admire the 12 apostles.
- Try the Great Ocean Drive around Esperance too. A lot less popular, this cute (and short) coastal route will steal your heart right away with its 50 shades of blue.
- Drive a 4X4 in Cape Tribulation. The Daintree forest is a beautiful spot in the North of Queensland well known for its old rain-forests. Soon enough, you’ll be crossing rivers and you might even manage to spot the secret lagoons.
- Survive the Nullabor. As you are crossing the country, you might end up in South Australia. The Nullabor(-ing) might seem like a crazy “flat” idea, but you’ll get there. The lucky ones will surely manage to spot wildlife on the way.
- And the longest straight road of Australia. If you’re driving west and you already survived the Nullabor, you might be shocked by the next sign on the road; the longest straight road of Australia.
- Install a Bull-bar (Roo-bar) on your car. That moment when you have to think safely and you proudly install that Bull-bar on the front of your car. Better be safe than sorry.
- Enjoy a sunset while driving west. When the sun sets… park your car and admire the view (because you won’t be able to see the road anyway). What feels like a few seconds might be the best sunset you’ll ever see.
- Watch out for the crazy signs. Driving across Australia also means you will spot a lot of different signs on the road.
- Play Trivia. There are a few places in Australia where signs will make sure to keep you awake on the boring roads.
- Avoid cows. Or make sure your bull-bar is a cow-bar.
SPOT THE WILDLIFE.
- Spot a Cassowary. You might need to google what a Cassowary is. It’s okay; I’ll wait for you. You will find them around the coastal areas of Far North Queensland, enjoy from the comfort of your car. Google will tell you how dangerous they can be, and did I mention they can be 2 meters tall?
- Find a Kangaroo and its joey. Isn’t this the dream? If you manage to spot a family, enjoy this unique moment as it might not happen again!
- Look out for Koalas in the trees. Sad truth; you won’t find them everywhere… so keep looking up especially if you manage to spot a few tourists with a camera stalking a few tall trees.
- Or for Tree-Kangaroos. What if a kangaroo was living in a tree? This is real. You can spot them in the Tableland region in the North of Queensland. If you go to the visitor centre close to Malanda, the staff can show you where they have been seen that day.
- Find a Platypus. Wake up early enough and head to Tarzali to meet your first platypus. While you’re in the area, you should also chase waterfalls in Millaa Millaa.
- Hang out with the Penguins. In the South of Victoria, there is Phillip Island. This is also where you can see the daily penguin parade.
- Swim with the Whale Sharks. This is another reason why you should head to Western Australia. Exmouth is the place where you can book the trip of your life! Swimming with the biggest fish should be on your bucket list!
- Get a tan with the Kangaroos of Lucky Bay. Have you seen that famous picture of a kangaroo on a white sand beach? This place exists and it’s in Western Australia. Hang out with the friendly kangaroos in the most beautiful bay of Australia.
- See 500 Kangaroos in one day. If you drive in-land in Queensland, you will reach the remoteness and the Outback’s backyard. If you’re lucky enough, you will find out where all “living” kangaroos like to relax. (Sceptical? Been there, done that!)
- Spot a Wombat. Many Emus. Or an Echidna. Camping lovers, driving warriors; I can guarantee you will be sure to meet them at some point.
- Feed the Crocodiles. Or spot them from the comfort of your cruise boat. You can check out the crocodiles in Cape Tribulation or around Darwin.
- Be surprised by a Goanna. What seems to be a snake tail is also completed by a full (and big) lizard body. Easily found in the Outback or any dry climate, who knows if one of them lives under your house, or your van!
- Help out the Turtle community. In Bundaberg, you can be a part of the miracle and help look after turtles and their nests. Read more about this special moment with wild baby sea turtles.
- Sing with the birds. Australia has so many different colorful birds. You can go bird watching nearly everywhere in the country. I’d recommend you head to the North of Queensland (rain forests) as there are many unique birds that can only be found up there.
- Watch the Whales at Cape Naturaliste. Keep an eye out for splashes. Get a tan and spot the whales. The best time to see them is between September and December. There are many places you can see them, so make sure you get your timing right and find the right spot!
- Meet the Stingrays at Hamelin Bay. This little cute and busy bay is also the perfect base to spot stingrays. You’re going to need a bit of luck, although, the perfect time is high tide to be able to spot them as they swim around the boat ramp.
- Play with Sea Lions at Kangaroo Island. Head to Seal Bay National Park and you should be able to see one of the 1000 Australian sea lions that live around the area.
- Happily spot a snake from the comfort of your car. As you don’t want to meet a snake when you are picking bananas, you might simply prefer to see a few of them on one of those remote roads.
- Avoid sharks. Because they can get pretty angry. Or meet sharks from the comfort of your very own cage in South Australia.
- Survive in Australia. You should know that most Australians manage to survive around all the dangerous animals or whatever they are… regardless of their size. Warning: this doesn’t apply to drop bears.
DISCOVER THE INSANE.
- Watch the stars from Parkes, NSW. Find a quiet spot to park your car and look up to the shiniest stars you will ever see.
- When the land meets the Ocean; the perfect cliffs. Take a break along the Nullabor road to check out one of those many lookouts. You might fall in love with Australia. #JustSaying
- Find a pink lake. Depending on the seasons, it’s not always possible to see a pink lake. But, you should still give it a go!
- Or a dry one. If you’re still wondering where the lake is, then you might have to come back during the winter. Instead, enjoy the dry salt lake and create an interesting perspective shot.
- Fight the flies in a yellow desert. The Pinnacles will surprise you with its 100 shades of yellow. During the summer, you might have to get a fly net if you can’t handle your new flying friends.
- Feel the magic in Uluru. What some people dare to call “just a big rock” should have bought a fly net. Spectacular Uluru was one of my highlights in Australia.
- Find heaven in Lucky Bay. You’re not dead. You are alive. And please, enjoy your happy life while you are there!
- Run through Lancelin Sand Dunes. Hidden behind a little town, the white sand dunes are waiting for you.
- Chase waterfalls. There are many great waterfalls across Australia. Some of the best are on the East Coast.
- Think you’re dead for a second time in Whitsunday Islands. Hop on a boat, snorkel around and enjoy the best beaches of Australia.
- Lose your head at Fingal Head. In the very North of New South Wales is a very quiet and cute spot called Fingal Head. You should create a new obsession with the trees over there.
- Enjoy the view at Mundi Mundi Plains. Enjoy the view as you can now see further than you can even imagine.
- Chill out with donkeys in Silverton. This area is the perfect Australian spot for filming movies. Mad Max was filmed over there. You will find a few donkeys hanging around too.
- Walk on the longest Jetty in Busselton. Not too far from Margaret River (a very popular tourist town), you will find a 1.8 kilometre jetty.
- Find the best views along Meelup Beach. On your way to Cape Naturaliste, you should stop at Meelup Beach where you can enjoy different points of views. The scene is perfectly stunning and you can also spot whales.
- Find the point where two oceans meet in Augusta. Augusta also has the most southern point of Australia. The great part about it is related to the meeting of two oceans; Indian and Southern.
- Walk Bondi to Coogee costal walk. A pretty 6 kilometre walk along the coast will make you believe in heaven! Bring your camera and get ready for a long photo-shoot.
- Sleep underground in Coober Pedy. This little town rhymes with mining and living underground! Yes, you read it right; you can sleep in a cave!
- Play with rocks at Devils Marbles. As you are driving across the Red Centre, you will spot weird massive rocky formations. Have a walk around and enjoy the craziness of the scene.
- Pick a beach at Rottnest Island. What if you could pick between 63 beaches and bays? Surreal? It sounds like the perfect plan!
FLIRT WITH AUSTRALIAN ICONS.
- Take a shot of Sydney’s skyline. Appreciate the greatness of Sydney while enjoying it during the day and at night! Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge make the view even prettier.
- Swim while enjoying the Great Barrier Reef. Discover the underwater world while ticking off your ultimate bucket list. You could also consider the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, the only place where the coral meets the coast.
- Catch a sunrise and/or a sunset in Uluru. If you came all the way to the Red Centre, you should stick around long enough to enjoy its colours. When the sun hits Uluru, you can feel the magic happen.
- Enjoy the cuteness of Byron Bay. There is something about Byron Bay. This little touristy town has a different atmosphere and the vibes are certainly good!
- Watch the fireworks in Sydney. The New Year’s Eve fireworks are obviously pretty popular. Make sure to stay in Sydney until Jan, 26th as this is Australia Day and the fireworks at Darling Harbour Bridge are absolutely amazing.
- Live in Sydney. Perhaps, you should just consider living in Sydney for a while. You may happily enjoy beach bumming and an easygoing lifestyle.
- Move to Melbourne. Street art lovers, coffee addicts and free spirits will just love Melbourne.
- Get your kangaroo selfie. We all impatiently wait for this moment when we will finally see our first kangaroo (alive). And we all have that selfie. We are waiting for you.
- Go to the Blue Mountains. Not too far from Sydney, you will have the chance to connect with nature and escape the city for a day or two!
- Visit Fraser Island. Adventure seekers will find peace in Fraser Island as the place is simply stunning and awaiting you. Hire a 4×4 (or take your own), drive along amazing beaches and rummage around shipwrecks.
- Take a surf lesson. Australia and its surfers. Learn how to surf on the East Coast by joining a surf camp. Not a fan of big waves? You can always look out for the hottest surfers around.
- Skydive on the East Coast. It’s quite common to see skydivers jumping out of a plane above Mission Beach as it gives you the perfect view of the ocean.
- Or jump! Who said that bungee jumping was reserved to New Zealand? You can definitely jump (or swing) in Cairns too. Enjoy the jungle while you’re there!
- Go kayaking with the dolphins. Did you know you can go sea kayaking around Byron Bay? You’ll be pleased to know you might also spot dolphins, turtles and whales.
- Ride a horse in Cape Tribulation. One of the popular activities in Cape Tribulation is to enjoy the jungle and the beach while you are horse-riding.
- Ride a camel in Broome. (You can also ride a camel in the Outback.) Broome is a popular destination for sunset lovers and is well known because of Cable Beach which is simply amazing.
- Check out the glow worms at night. Turn on your head lamp and go for a walk at night. Your goal is to reach the cave so you can spot the glow worms. The area (Gold Coast surroundings) is also stunning during the day.
- Jump off a cliff in Sydney. It is possible to go cliff jumping around Sydney. There are a few spots. A lot of locals are going to Shark Bay.
- Buy a car. (Or rent one)… Pack the car and hit the road.
- Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you need a dose of adrenaline, you should consider climbing the Sydney icon.
- Flirt with the winter in Victoria. You could even play with snow or go skiing around the Snowy Mountains. It is the main spot to feel the winter vibes (unless you are already in Tasmania).
- Kayak through the Everglades. Located in Noosa, the Great Sandy National Park is paddling heaven. It’s a great way to observe the unique diversity of the eco-system.
- Drive in-land instead of staying on the coast. Avoid the coastal highways and go in-land. You could find the cutest little towns, meet up with locals and experience the real Australia.
- Find a remote job. You could end up in a pub, a roadhouse, a farm or even a cattle station. The remoteness of it all could allow you to save money but also experience a complete different lifestyle.
- Take a selfie at the Northern Territory border. This is a big milestone when you decide to drive across Australia. That proud moment where you realize your car also survived the drive.
- Make it to Western Australia. … Where it’s all about national parks, nature and peaceful scenes. The state is huge but is also a complete experience to go through tons of different landscapes.
- Enjoy the cold of Tasmania… and its nature. The perfect spot to enjoy the great outdoors, the natural beauty and to wear a beanie.
ENJOY THE GREAT LIFE.
- Spend Christmas on the beach. Fair enough, it might seem wrong at first, but you can still enjoy wearing a Christmas hat (and your swimsuit) on the beach. Have a BBQ and make your friends jealous of the sunny weather.
- Get into cricket. I guess.
- Walk barefoot. If you hang out with locals, you will be amazed how quickly they put their thongs(flip flops) into their back pocket and enjoy their sunny Aussie walk.
- Be a beach bum. Bonus; you have way too many to pick from. Don’t be surprised if you have the beach to yourself.
- Over-eat Tim-Tams. Because you won’t find them anywhere else. Apparently it’s a great way to survive hibernation.
- Don’t waste your time with Vegemite. Unless you are craving it.
- Follow Home and Away. The typical Australian TV soap; if you get into it, you won’t be able to stop.
- Be the BBQ chef. What if you could cook anywhere in Australia? Okay, perhaps, you might not be able to find a BBQ everywhere, but most cities and many rest stops provide a BBQ for hungry backpackers.
- Try to find a decent hostel at a decent price. Is this a challenge? Slap in your face; you just landed in Australia. This is going to be your first welcome expensive gift.
- Share your flat with too many backpackers. Once you get fed up with hostels, you can share your life with other travellers and International students. Quickly, you enjoy having a family again.
- Save lots of money. Okay, if Australian prices scared you away, you’ll be pleased with the Australian wage. Perhaps, you won’t be super happy about the new backpacker’s tax… but that would be another story.
- Book a cheap flight to New Zealand. Or Bali. Or Southeast Asia. Australia is an open door to a different neighbourhood, you should consider backpacking around. You’re nearly rich, aren’t you?
- Be worry-free. No worries mate! Leave your problems at home and discover the easygoing Australian lifestyle.
- Watch a movie at the outdoor cinema. Because the weather makes it possible.
- Eat the best Fish ‘N’ Chips in Palm Cove. The best (and quite pricy) Fish ‘N’ Chips will transport you to the UK.
WORK AND TRAVEL.
- Find a job through a Facebook group. Being part of a huge community on Facebook is truly possible in Australia. Swap your job, get a car, meet your new travel buddies and enjoy the kindness and the help coming from the groups.
- Be a fundraiser. Or work in a call centre. Isn’t this the first job we all get here?
- Survive 88 days of regional work. Experience the hard work out there. Save some money. And make it until the end. How did I survive myself?
- Get your second year visa. Because you can’t have enough of it, you might want to stick around a bit longer. Sorry Mum. On a working-holiday visa? Check out my ultimate guide!
- Or get a sponsorship. Sorry mates. A bit longer wasn’t enough.
Did I forget anything? I surely did. Australia is way too big to be able to cover it all! Here’s why I’m now counting on you to add your recommendations to the comments!