The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 95 Things to do in Australia

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The Obscure

There are plenty of less well-known corners of Australia just begging to be explored, so I’ve put together 32 of them for those begging to see the stuff other tourists don’t.

Rather than being one of those people who says Australia is overrated while only doing the backpacker schtick, why not try a few of the below?

lord howe island
Image courtesy of Percita.

69. Visit Lord Howe Island (NSW)

The tiny Pacific island’s website boasts that it is widely regarded as the most beautiful island in the Pacific, but I take Gary from Everything Everywhere‘s desire to visit the place as a truly ringing endorsement. I mean, where hasn’t the guy been?

Just two hours’ flight from Sydney or Brisbane, Lord Howe Island is one of the few island chains in the world recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it doesn’t take long to figure out why.

Bordered by the southernmost reef in the world and home to some truly stunning national parkland, Lord Howe Island is an unspoiled playground for hikers, animal enthusiasts, scuba divers, snorkelers, and virtually anybody who can appreciate one of the world’s few remaining paradises.

While the entire place is recognized as a national park, you’re not completely isolated from civilization. A number of properties on the island operate to provide accommodation and dining options, and the island is serviced by the usual amenities such as grocery stores, hospitals, and pay phones. There’s no mobile phone coverage out here, folks.

Lord Howe Island really is one of the last frontiers for Aussie tourism. While it’s perhaps well known amongst the locals, I hear precious little said of the place by backpacking friends. It’s a crying shame. It’s well worth a look.

Where: Lord Howe Island can be reached by flights from Sydney or Brisbane.

Cost: Visitins is free, but accommodation and tr

ansport are pricey.

70. Scuba Dive the Yongala (QLD)

One of Australia’s most beautiful scuba dives, the wreck of the Yongala has enchanted divers for almost a century.

The sunken luxury steamship went to its watery grave in 1911, taking all of its crew and passengers along with it. These days, it stands out as one of Australia’s most intact wrecks and is a dream dive for underwater enthusiasts from around the world.

An advanced dive due to the strong currents and isolated dive location, the Yongala is nonetheless a popular destination with divers wanting to take a step back in time and marvel at the way the sea has so completely claimed the once luxurious passenger vessel.

Where: Dives can be arranged from Townsville or Ayr in Queensland.

Cost: Two-dive packages start at $242.

desert flowers western australia
Image courtesy of Adrian Makarov

71. See desert wildflowers in bloom (WA)

The deserts of Australia are undeniably breathtaking. There’s a stark beauty to the red earth, twisted gum trees, and alien rock formations that has enchanted men and women since the dawn of time.

However, the beauty of the Outback is not limited to its harsh environment or the absence of life. The deserts of Western Australia, in particular, offer up something a little different: a startling array of wildflowers.

Wildflower Hunting in Western Australia

While heavy rainfall has been known to coax forth colourful wildflowers from the harsh deserts in Queensland and New South Wales, it is Western Australia that draws wildflower enthusiasts to make the long journey out into the red centre.

“Wildflower enthusiasts” sounds like a pretty small niche, but even a botanical noob such as myself can see the appeal in seeing these beautiful and often alien plants up close. In fact, Western Australia is home to the largest variety of wildflowers on earth. That’s right: more than 12,000 unique species grow in Australia’s largest state!

From June through November each year, the state undergoes a vibrant transformation that needs to be seen to be believed.

Where: The width and breadth of Western Australia as shown here.

Cost: Free!

wave rock australia
Image courtesy of Eduardo Campinez

72. Visit Wave Rock (WA)

Australia has no shortage of unique rock formations. Uluru may be the most famous, but Wave Rock has a claim to being one of the most visually distinctive.

Like a primordial, unbreaking wave, the aptly named Wave Rock seems to surge up out of the surrounding farmland and form a crest that has stood for millennia. Its streaked stone is especially eye-catching at sunrise and sunset when it takes on the appearance of a volcanic tsunami of terrible beauty.

Visiting Wave Rock

Located in the sleepy little town of Hyden, Wave Rock might not seem like enough to justify the eight-hour round trip necessary to get there from Perth.

Like any small town with a tourist attraction, Hyden has been smart enough to broaden their offerings beyond the iconic rock formation. There’s a pioneer museum, a wildlife refuge, a miniature soldier museum, aboriginal historic sites, and farm stays on offer to ensure you’re not just coming to see a rock and head straight back.

Where: Wave Rock is located in Hyden, WA. It is a four-hour drive from Perth.

Cost: There is a $12 entry fee to visit Wave Rock. This is per vehicle.

cable beach camel sunset
Image courtesy of Josh Janssen

73. Ride a Camel Along Cable Beach (WA)

White sand, azure waters, perfect weather… what could be better?

The city of Broome in northwestern Australia came up with a novel answer: add camels.

While camels are not native to Australia, the humble beast of burden has made itself quite at home in Australia’s arid desert climate and now forms a major part of Broome’s tourism. After all, everybody has a beach sunset selfie – but how many of them have a beach sunset selfie with a camel in it?

The Allure of Cable Beach

Look, Cable Beach would be a drawcard on its own. It’s 22km of pristine beach away from the tourist crowds that tend to detract from the beauty of Bondi and Torquay.

Bordered by towering dunes and even taller cliffs the colour of rust, Cable Beach offers up the usual beach pastimes of sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, and surfing.

Where it stands out, however, is its ability to offer the unique experience of witnessing a stunning sunset from atop a camel. There’s something strangle serene about the back and forth swaying of a camel as it makes its way along the beach, and it’s drawn thousands of tourists to Broome over the years.

Where: The easiest way to reach Broome is via plane, but you can also make the 23-hour drive as part of an extended WA road trip.

Cost: Sunset camel rides start at around $90 for an hour-long ride.

74. Visit the Mudgee Wine Region (NSW)

If you’ve got a love for all things grape, you’ll likely have already included the Hunter Valley and Barossa Valley on your itinerary.

If your love for viticulture runs deep, you might want to experience a different side of Australia’s world-class wine scene with a visit to the chillier climate of the oft-overlooked Mudgee wine region. With more than 35 cellar doors to visit, it’s the perfect spot to go if you’re a lover of red wines. The cooler climate is at odds with the Mediterranean climates in Australia’s more famous wine regions.

More Than Just Wine

Of course, it’s not just about the fantastic wines. The towns of Mudgee and Gulgong are awash with heritage architecture, cute boutiques and eateries, and rural Australian charm. I should know – I lived in the region for four years as a kid!

It’s also a great place for a little romance, with B&Bs out amidst the vineyards the perfect place to snuggle on a chilly evening over a glass of decadent red.

Where: You can fly to Mudgee or make the 3.5-hour drive from Sydney.

Cost: Free to visit, but accommodation will cost you.

arnhem land
Image courtesy of Roderick Elme

75. Explore Arnhem Land (NT)

About as far removed from civilization as you can get without giving up all of your conveniences, Arnhem Land is described as one of Australia’s last true wildernesses.

Arnhem Land – both east and west – is one of the best places to familiarize yourself with Australian Aboriginal culture and history. Here you can see ancient rock art that predates some of the oldest cultures in the world, as well as having the opportunity to have a more hands-on experience with Aboriginal culture with cultural tours, demonstrations, and an opportunity to witness traditional Aboriginal festivals and celebrations.

Entry in Arnhem Land requires a permit from the Northern Territory government, so be prepared to plan ahead if you want to visit this rugged and truly wild region.

Where: It’s a long and bumpy drive, so the best option is to fly to Gove Airport.

Cost: Permits to enter Aboriginal land do not cost money but must be applied for ahead of time.

76. Dive with Saltwater Crocodiles (NT)

Is cage-diving with great white sharks a little time for you?

How about you try your luck diving with a primeval relative to the dinosaurs that makes even Bob Katter frightened?

At Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, you can participate in the uniquely terrifying experience of lowering yourself into crocodile-infested waters for some face time with the most deadly predator in Australia.

Of course, it’s not as dangerous as it sounds, with the company running eleven tours a day and boasting an excellent safety record. After all, it’s not like the crocodiles will break through the cage and tear you limb from limb, right?

Right??

Where: Crocosaurus Cove is located in Darwin.

Cost: $170 per person including full access to the rest of Crocosaurus Cove.

katherine gorge kayaking
Image courtesy of Amy Berlew

77. Kayak the Katherine Gorges (NT)

It goes without saying that the Northern Territory is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks.

We’ve touched on Uluru and Kakadu earlier in this bucket list, but Nitmiluk National Park is also a stunning wilderness that thoroughly deserves your attention. Centered around an awe-inspiring series of gorges, Nitmiluk is steeped in the history of the Jawoyn people who have called the land home since time imemmorial.

The main attraction in the region are undoubtedly these gorges, with boat tours and self-guided kayaking a great way to explore the region and soak in its beauty.

There are also the usual hiking trails, camping opportunities, wildlife spotting, and fishing to be had.

Kayaking the Gorges

It’s possible to kayak your way through several of Nitmiluk’s gorges, with both day-trips and multiple day excursions on offer with local tour operators.

While boat tours can only enter a fraction of the many gorges in the park, a kayak gives you the freedom to see the stuff the lazier tourist set are going to miss out on. Why rush and vie with screaming tourists for your view when you can take your time and soak in all of that natural splendour?

Plus, if it gets too bloody hot, you can jump in the water for a wee dip!

Where: Nitmiluk National Park is a 40-minute drive from Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Cost: Entering the park is free, while kayak hire starts at around $70 for the day.

aurora australis southern lights
Image courtesy of Tim Cooper

78. See the Southern Lights (Tasmania)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since your birth, you’ve probably heard of the famous Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Visible from parts of Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Greenland, and Scotland – the Northern Lights are an impressive light show that enchants tens of thousands of tourists a year.

But you don’t need to trek to Europe or the frozen wastelands of Northern Canada to see the show – as the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) can be seen from Tasmania.

Conditions obviously play a big part in visibility, so I wouldn’t go planning your entire trip around spotting the Southern Lights, but it’s worth keeping an eye peeled if you’re in Cockle Creek or even standing atop Hobart’s Mt. Wellington at the right time.

Where: The Southern Lights are visible from multiple points in Tasmania, but Cockle Creek is the best spot. Cockle Creek is a two-hour drive from the Tasmanian capital.

Cost: Free!

79. Ride the Ghan through the heart of Australia (SA/NT)

There’s something to be said for the convenience of air travel and the freedom that an old-fashioned road trip offers, but for sheer romance, it’s hard to beat the humble train.

Reclining in a comfortable chair, sipping a cold beer, and watching the world roll by just seems right.

And few train journeys can live up to the romance of taking the legendary Ghan through the heart of Australia. Stretching for almost 3,000km between Adelaide and Darwin, this is a truly mammoth train journey that takes you through some of the least visited and most stunning areas of Australia’s red centre.

Far more than just a means to cross the desert, the Ghan experience is a tour in its own right, with multiple activities and stops along the way to break up the long journey.

A Luxury Experience

The Ghan offers more than a simple transfer between two Australian capitals. It’s a luxurious sleeper cabin, meals in an old-time meal car, and soaking in the scenery in comfort.

Passengers can book off-train excursions including kayaking in Katherine Gorge, exploring Uluru, heading to an outback cattle station, or even taking a helicopter flight above it all.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime style journey with a price tag to match, but it’s well worth the premium pricing if you’re eager to see Australia’s interior without having to do a mountain of driving.

The Indian-Pacific

It’s also worth noting that the Ghan isn’t the sole luxury rail experience in Australia, with the Indian-Pacific from Sydney to Perth offering the same standard of service as you travel from east to west (or west to east).

Off-train excursions on this particular route include stops in Broken Hill, Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, and tours upon arrival in Perth or Sydney.

Where: The Ghan has departures from Adelaide and Darwin. You can view a timetable here.

Cost: Fares on the Ghan start at $2,729 including food, drinks, and excursions. The Indian Pacific starts at $2,839 for the same.

80. Explore the Australian New England (NSW)

I’m biased here, as I’ve spent the lion’s share of my life growing up in the beautiful, oft-overlooked New England region of NSW. Hell, this isn’t even the first time I’ve shamelessly encouraged people to visit and discover all of the things to do in the Australian New England.

It’s a land of fog-shrouded mountain valleys, massive farms, colonial architecture, and old-fashioned country hospitality that can be explored on any budget.

It seems like everybody wants to find the ‘real Australia’ when they’re visiting, but so few venture away from the East Coast in search of it.

Now, I’m not making the claim that Australia’s New England is the ‘real Australia’, but it’s certainly representative of a facet of Australian life that you won’t find in Sydney or on the Gold Coast.

The Towns of New England

New England’s towns and villages are as diverse as the heritages of the people who call the region home.

From cosmopolitan Armidale to Celtic Glen Innes to cowboy-friendly Tamworth to beautiful Tenterfield, each town has a unique personality. Far from being rural backwaters, these are bustling communities with their own unique festivals such as the Australian Celtic Festival and the Country Music Festival (see below).

Whether you’re backpacking, caravaning, or traveling in style – there are accommodation options, local restaurants, and locally run tours to keep you entertained. Just check out the New England High Country website to learn more.

The Natural Beauty of New England

Large swathes of Australia don’t really ‘do’ the four seasons thing. It’s either hot as fuck or slightly cooler.

The New England derives its name from the fact it more closely emulates the English seasons. You get a bitterly cold winter, a hot and dry summer, a gorgeous spring, and a colourful autumn.

Regardless of the time of year you visit, you’ll find the clean air, green fields, and national parks to be bursting with possibilities.

New England National Park, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Cathedral Rock National Park, Gibraltar Ranges National Park, and Kwiambal National Park are just a selection of the diverse parks in the region.

Where: The New England can be reached with flights to Tamworth or Armidale, by train, or with a six-hour drive from Sydney.

Cost: Free to visit.

henley on todd regatta
Image courtesy of Alli Polin

81. Attend the Beer Can Regatta or Henley on Todd Regatta (NT)

Australians don’t let a little thing like ‘a lack of water’ or ‘a lack of proper building materials’ stop them from enjoying a boat race, as evidenced by these two unique Aussie celebrations of ingenuity.

Both the Beer Can Regatta (Darwin) and the Henley on Todd Regatta (Alice Springs) offer up a unique twist on a conventional boat race, as one is done without any water and one is done using boats made entirely of (you guessed it) beer cans!

If you ever wanted to witness the sheer lunacy of the Australian condition, these two Northern Territory festivals might just do the trick.

The Beer Can Regatta in Darwin

Started in the mid-70s, the Beer Can Regatta sees locals and aspiring boatmakers from across Australia congregating on Darwin’s Mindil Beach to see whose beer can boat fares the best. Of course, the ones that break apart on entry are often the most popular!

A truly Aussie festival, other events on the day include a thong-throwing contest (the shoe, not the underwear), live entertainment, and more.

The Henley-on-Todd Regatta in Alice Springs

You probably can’t picture a boat race taking place in the big dry that surrounds Alice Springs, but that didn’t stop the locals from starting a boat race back in the 60s. The nearest body of water might be 1,500kms away, but who needs water when you have legs?

Making fun of stuffy British regatta and festivals, this irreverent race sees locals racing through sand dunes and along dusty roads carrying their makeshift boats with them. Coupled with the requisite festival ambiance, it’s a fun day out in the blistering winter heat.

Where: The Beer Can Regatta takes place in Darwin every July, while the Henley-on-Todd Regatta takes place in Alice Springs in August.

Cost: The Beer Can Regatta is free to attend, while the Henley on Todd Regatta sells tickets both online and in person. 2019 costs have not yet been released.

82. Attend the Tamworth Country Music Festival (NSW)

Country music is perhaps more commonly associated with the USA, but Australia’s rich rural history has meant the musical style has found its own unique voice out beyond the Blue Mountains.

Tamworth in the New England has become the capital of Australia’s country music scene and the city comes alive in the late January every year as local and international acts descend on the dusty country town for the Country Music Festival.

A city-spanning festival, the TCMF sees dozens of venues with live music, buskers out in full force, and a variety of other attractions to entertain even those who are indifferent to the genre.

Where: The Tamworth Country Music Festival takes place in late January in Tamworth, which can be reached from Sydney by train, plane, or car.

Cost: The festival is free to enter, but accommodation often sells out months in advance. Tickets for individual performances vary in cost.

port arthur
Image courtesy of Tom Fassbender

83. Pay Your Respects at Port Arthur (Tasmania)

Formerly one of Australia’s most notorious prisons, Port Arthur has been a popular tourist destination for decades due to its architecture, its beautiful setting, and its purportedly haunted past.

The landmark took on new meaning when in 1996, Australia experienced its worst-ever mass shooting. Twenty-three people were gunned down at the popular tourist site, prompting Australia’s decision to make huge changes to their gun laws.

Visitors to the historic site can pay their respects at a memorial garden on site, but the focus of the attraction is still very much on its role in Australia’s colonial history. Tours include ghost tours and boat tours, giving a variety of perspectives on the former prison.

Where: Port Arthur is a ninety-minute drive from Hobart.

Cost: Tickets are $39 for adults and $17 for children, but last for two days and include a walking tour and cruise.

84. Drive the Eyre Highway Across the Nullabor (SA/WA)

For the true masochist and road trip lover, the long, dustry drive across the inhospitable Nullarbor Plains might just be what you’re looking for.

Stretching from Adelaide to Perth, this is Australia’s longest and flattest stretch of road and the only real road connecting South Australia and Western Australia. Australia.com recommends this six-day itinerary to ensure your time isn’t just driving through the featureless wasteland that lies at Australia’s heart.

It’s a bloody long drive, but not one without its charms. Wind-swept cliffs, Mad-Max esque outback towns, powdery white sand dunes, and gorgeous beaches lie along the route.

Where: The Eyre Highway technically stretches from Norseman in Western Australia to Port Augusta in South Australia, but I’d recommend extending to Adelaide and Perth.

Cost: Free to drive, but you’ll need a car and somewhere to sleep!

85. Go Sandboarding in Lancelin (WA)

A short drive from Perth lies Australia’s premier sandboarding destination. Its towering dunes of white sand can reach as high as three stories, making them ideal for thrillseekers looking for a city break.

If you’ve never been sandboarding before, it combines the thrill of snowboarding without the need to find snow in a hot, dry continent. Whether you tackle it standing or feel more comfortable going down on your butt or belly, it’s a thrilling and family-friendly activity that won’t break the bank.

Where: Lancelin is located ninety-minutes’ drive from Perth.

Cost: Entry to the dunes is free, but you may need to rent a sandboard. Prices start at $12.

86. Fossick for opals at Lightning Ridge (NSW)

The black opal is a uniquely Australian gemstone valued around the world for its dark beauty. While it is sometimes known as the ‘Coober Pedy Opal’, black opal is actually found most often in the NSW mining town of Lightning Ridge.

If you’re enjoying an extended road trip around Australia, ‘the Ridge’ is a great opportunity to get a small taste of outback Australian life and try your luck fossicking for opals.

While opals are undeniably the main attraction in Lightning Ridge, there’s more to see than pretty stones. Artesian baths, a replica Egyptian tomb, mine tours, and more are on offer for those wanting to extend their stay beyond a quick fossick.

Where: Lightning Ridge is a nine-hour drive from Sydney and an eight-hour drive from Brisbane.

Cost: Free to visit. Fossicking tours start at $60 for adults and $20 for children.

87. Visit Christmas Island (External Territory)

Closer to Indonesia than Australia, Christmas Island is something unique that you can’t find anywhere on the Australian mainland.

A tropical island of unsurpassed beauty, it’s transformed into something vaguely nightmarish every year during the crab migration. If thousands of skittering, hard-shelled sea spiders don’t scare the shit out of you, you’re a better man than me.

Of course, when the fiery red crabs aren’t on the move, the island is a tranquil island paradise perfect for beach escapes, fishing, scuba diving, and the usual relaxing beach escapes.

The Red Crab Migration

Jokes aside, witnessing the red crab migration is a pretty unique experience. It may not have the scale of the Wildebeest Migration, but there’s something impressive about thousands of crabs descending onto the beaches for their annual orgy breading season.

Where: Christmas Island is an Australain external territory close to Indonesia. You can fly there from Perth, Jakarta, or Kuala Lumpur.

Cost: Free to visit, but expensive to reach.

88. Tackle the Overland Track (Tasmania)

There’s something romantic about a long hike through the wilderness. Away from the trappings of civilization, you’re able to better commune with both the natural world and yourself.

It’s a transformative experience, as I found when I hiked Japan’s Kumano Kodo Iseji in 2017.

For those with an adventurous spirit and a little extra time, tackling Tasmania’s Overland Track is a must.

It’s not an easy hike. You’ll be carrying and pitching your own tent. You’ll be cooking your own meals with ingredients you bring along. 63 kilometres might not sound like a lot on paper, but you’ll be trekking through rolling hills and alpine forest with a hefty pack on your back.

It’s not an undertaking to be taken lightly but damned if it isn’t one of the things I’m most excited to check off this list.

Where: The Overland Track starts from Cradle Mountain in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, about 4-hours drive from Hobart.

Cost: Permits during the October to May peak season are $200 for adults and $160 for children.

89. Drive the Savannah Way (QLD/NT/WA)

A road trip for adventurous drivers with a lot of time, the Savannah Way stretches from Cairns in tropical North Queensland all the way to Broome on Australia’s West Coast.

Along the way, you’ll pass by fifteen national parks, five World Heritage-listed areas, and through some of Australia’s most diverse and isolated landscapes.

It’s obviously a massive undertaking to tackle a drive of this distance, especially taking into account the isolation and rough road conditions. Like the Overland Track, this one is all about preparation. Be sure to read the guide linked above!

Where: The Savannah Way starts in Cairns and ends in Broome (or vice versa). Both are serviced by airports.

Cost: Free to drive, but you’ll need a car, accommodation, and money for food, petrol, and activities along the way.

90. Ride the Rail Trails of the Victorian Highlands (Victoria)

My first experience riding a rail trail was on the Route of the Hiawatha way back in 2009. Riding through (and often above) gorgeous pine forest in northern Idaho was a really lovely experience, and I’ve been following the New England rail-trail debate in recent years.

While my own region wrestles with the subject of what to do with their own closed rail corridor, other areas in Australia have transformed old railway lines into thriving tourism attractions.

Choosing a Rail Trail

Cycling through idyllic farmland, picturesque vineyards, and quiet country towns sounds like the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle if you ask me.

The Great Victorian Rail Trail is Australia’s longest rail trail, with 134 kilometres of trail to be explored. You’ll ride through country towns, descend into pitch-black tunnels, and tackle mountain passes along the way.

At 117km, the Murray to Mountains is one of the longest rail trails in Australia and offers visitors a chance to experience rural Victoria at a much more sedate pace. This one is lined with wineries and breweries, so it’s great for a social group.

Less ambitious? The shorter High Country Rail Trail is less than 50km and takes you along the shores of gorgeous Lake Hume.

You can read about all of these trails and their various highlights on the Ride High Country website.

Where: The Victorian Highlands are a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne.

Cost: There is no cost to use a rail trail.

91. See the alien landscape of The Pinnacles (WA)

Another of Australia’s stunning desert landscapes, The Pinnacles might just put you in mind of a Martian landscape out of science fiction rather than a place on earth.

Like the claws of some buried beast, the pinnacles rise out of the shifting sands to create a truly eerie display, all on the very shores of the sparkling Indian Ocean!

As if that weren’t enough to sate your appetite for the weird, The Pinnacles lie a short drive from Lake Thetis. This salt lake might not seem like much to look at, but it’s actually home to some of the oldest living organisms in the entire world: thrombolites.

Couple that with the fact that the Pinnacles lay along the same stretch of picturesque driving that connect Perth, Lancelin, and Ningaloo Reef and you’ve got a perfect pit-stop!

Where: The Pinnacles lie 2.5 hours’ drive from Perth.

Cost: Free.

92. Go whitewater rafting on the Franklin River (Tasmania)

You can go whitewater rafting all over Australia and all around the world, but Tasmania’s Franklin River is widely regarded as one of the best whitewater rafting locations on earth.

If that doesn’t get your freak juice flowing, I don’t know what will.

What makes rafting on the Franklin River such a unique experience, however, is the fact that it can be extended into a week-long adventure through some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery. In fact, the region you’ll be rafting through is the World Heritage-Listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

Much like the Overland Track or the Savannah Way, this is a major undertaking that will see you out in the wilderness for anywhere between 7 and 10 days.

Where: Trips to the Franklin River start from Hobart.

Cost: Tours start at around $3,000 including accommodation and food.

93. Explore the Coffs Coast (NSW)

Perfectly located on the long, scenic drive between Sydney and the Queensland coast, the Coffs Coast is a fantastic combination of subtropical mountain jungles, gorgeous beaches, and laid back hippie charm.

Not only did I have the pleasure of studying here, but it’s where Adventures Around Asia and I will be tying the knot in October 2019!

The Gorgeous National Parks

The national parks and dense forests around the aptly named Waterfall Way make for a fantastic day trip from the coast, with unspoiled wilderness a stone’s throw from beaches, shopping, and the Coffs Harbour transport hub.

In Dorrigo National Park, the region is home to World Heritage-Listed rainforest, breathtaking waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, while you also have access to Bindarri National Park, Ulidarra National Park, and Bongil Bongil National Park for bushwalking and cultural discovery.

Bellingen’s Hippie Charm

The place where we’ll be saying “I do” in a year’s time, Bellingen is a charming little hippie town full of good beer, good food, and good vibes.

Sandwiched between the coast and the aforementioned rainforests, Bellingen is also home to a pretty happening monthly community market, which is a perfect place to grab some Aussie produce and souvenirs to take home.

The town is also your doorway to the scenic Waterfall Way and the serene Promised Lands.

Oh, and give our wedding venue some love and check out Cedar Bar!

Coffs Harbour and Surrounds

A modestly sized city most famous for its beaches and the presence of the Big Banana, Coffs Harbour is a laid-back beach town that has plenty of personality.

I not only went to university here (albeit briefly), I’ve also had several memorable holidays in and around the region. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to try its craft beer, get sunburned on its beaches, hang out on Muttonbird Island, and explore the surrounding towns, rivers, and forests.

If your trip is taking you through the area, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to skip the Coffs coast.

Where: Coffs Harbour is serviced by trains and an airport. It is a six-hour drive from Sydney and a four and a half hour drive from Brisbane.

Cost: Free to visit.

94. Stay on an Outback Cattle Station (WA/NT/SA)

Audiences around the world fell in love with the romance of staying in the Australian Outback when Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman fell in love in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia.

While the reality of life in the Outback is often harsh, lonely, and dusty – tourists from around the world seek to experience a small taste of that Outback romance when they visit Australia.

Where to Stay on a Cattle Station

Despite most of Australia’s states being connected to the nation’s dry and dusty interior, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory seem to boast the lion’s share of homestay opportunities.

Check out this article from Australian Geographic for some ideas on the best outback farm stays in Australia.

Where: These cattle stations are scattered all over Outback Australia, so you’ll need to do some research to find the right fit for you.

Cost: Accommodation starts from as little as $80 per night.

95. Visit the Hutt River Principality (WA)

It’s often said that Australia is the only country that spans an entire continent, but what if that weren’t true? What if some ingenious little devil plopped his own country in the middle of Australia?

The Hutt River Principality in Western Australia is what is known as a micronation, and comes complete with its own passport stamps, royal family, and all of the trimmings. Not a true country (despite what its self-appointed king might tell you), the HRP is nonetheless an intriguing look at Australia’s more irreverant side.

Where: This country has no airport, so you’ll need to drive the nearly six hours from Perth.

Cost: Visas are $4 and can be obtained upon arrival.

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As you can see, there’s so much more to Australia than just beaches and a few well-known cities.

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9 comments

  1. The Southern Lights sound epic! I didn’t know you could see them down in Tassie. I’ve always had that on my NZ bucket list. Looks like I gotta plan a trip down there to see it for myself.

    • I wasn’t aware they were visible from Oz until I started putting this post together and found it on a few other lists. My friend on the Central Coast even managed to snap a photo of the Southern Lights leading up to Christmas! 😮

  2. Looks like a fun list! I know one of my favorites will be listening to the Australian accent- it is very hot!:) I’d also love to hug a koala and kangaroo!

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