Australia is a hot BUCKiTLIST item on the Dream app. There are countless items to cross off your list such as traversing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, going to Uluru, scuba diving the reefs, or catching a sporting event. There is no shortage of things to do in Oz, and here is our list of Down Under adventures.
1. Sydney Harbour-
Decidedly the most gorgeous harbour in the world, Sydney Harbour can’t be missed. It houses the renowned Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, CBD, Darling Harbour, and many fascinating islands. Make sure to save plenty of time to explore all aspects of the Sydney Harbour.
2. Sydney’s George Street-
At one end of George Street is the oldest and most historical part of modern Australia, it is called The Rocks. There are many heritage listed sandstone buildings and historical houses. You will find several places that all claim to be the oldest pub in Australia and an array of food options. Insider Tip- There is a great outdoor market set up in The Rocks every weekend 10-5 where you can find finely made artisanal craft and food products. George Street is also a hotspot for acclaimed international stores, local pop-up markets, and the best restaurants and bars.
3. Blue Mountains-
Take the train from Sydney for 90 minutes west and you will find The Blue Mountains. The area is filled with worthwhile places to see such as the Three Sisters, Genolan Caves, Megalong Valley, The Scenic Railway, and the Scenic Cableway. Make sure to take a long hike down into the valley, and breathe in the the most pristine air on the planet.
4. Melbourne Laneways-
Melbourne locals will tell anyone who is willing to listen about how much better their city is compared to Sydney. This friendly rivalry is like comparing apples and oranges though. What Sydney lacks on general infrastructure, nightlife, friendliness, and “vibe,” can be found in Melbourne and a constant reminder of their grasp on cool, is the pride they have for their graffiti scene. It has gotten so big that famous street artist from around the world want their work to be seen in Melbourne and street art fans from all over flock there to see it.
5. Aussie Sporting Event-
Australia is sporting mad and if you really want to have an authentic Aussie experience, you should attend on of their many unique sporting events. With historic cricket grounds in the major cities, Melbourne’s Cricket Grounds were founded in 1853 and still regularly hosts games with attendance over 100,000. It is where Australian Football League (AFL or Aussie Rules) was first played, where test cricket was first played, and one day international cricket. In Sydney you will find the sporting flavour is all about rugby, with 9 out of the 16 professional National Rugby League teams located in Sydney. Other popular Aussie sporting events include the Australian Tennis Open grand slam, the Australian Open golf tournament, Melbourne Cup horse race, many ‘Association of Surfing Professionals’ events, competitive surf live savers events, and Ironman events.
6. Gold Coast Beaches-
Also known as Surfers Paradise or the Golden Mile, The Gold Coast is where Australians and international travellers like to go to party with friends or relax with family. Gold Coast is nicely situated next to Brisbane, 25 miles (43 km), and very close to Australia’s traditional “hippy hotspot,” Byron Bay. There are many great surf spots, some of the best in Australia, and an endless stretch of golden sand where you will always be able to find your own spot in the sun and waves.
7. Gold Coast Theme Parks-
Another big attraction on the Gold Coast is all the theme parks. They are all conveniently located in the same area and they have passes that are applicable for all of them. So if you are travelling with kids, or you enjoy theme parks and roller coasters, make sure to put the Gold Coast on your itinerary. There is Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Dreamworld (we like the sound of that one!), White Water World, Australia Outback Spectacular, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Magic Mountain, and Sea World.
8. Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef-
One of Australia’s most stunning natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef with over 3000 individual reef systems, coral cays, and hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with sun-kissed beaches. Visitor’s to the Great Barrier Reef can enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, helicopter tours, glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles, cruise ship tours, whale watching and swimming with countless species of colourful fish, molluscs, starfish, turtles, dolphins, sharks, and whales. The main way to get to the reef is by way of Port Douglas in north Queensland.
9. Port Douglas, Daintree River-
While you are in Port Douglas exploring the Great Barrier Reef, make sure to also book a day trip to take a river tour on the Daintree. The Daintree River snakes and oxbows through the ancient Daintree Rainforest and is home to lots of unique wildlife, including the iconic big saltwater crocodile. The river cruises are usually an hour or 2 long and are great for seeing native birds, tree snakes, and of course the show stopper, large crocs. There is nothing like seeing Aussie wildlife in natural settings!
10. Ningaloo Reef-
The Ningaloo Reef off Western Australia isn’t as renown as the Great barrier Reef, but is known to have a high marine species diversity and abundance. What makes exploring the Ningaloo Coast very unique is that small groups of snorkelers can swim alongside a whale shark for a minute or two. I personally can attest that swimming alongside the biggest fish in the ocean is a once in a lifetime dream experience that replays itself in your mind everyday afterwards.
11. Arnhem Land-
Arnhem Land, near Darwin, is a vast wilderness area in the northeast corner of Australia’s Northern Territory. Defined by rocky escarpments, gorges, rivers and waterfalls, it is home to the traditional landowners, the Yolngu people, and permits are required to visit. This area which is rich in Aboriginal history and culture, has been occupied by Indigenous people for over 60,000 years. Arnhem Land is a great place to visit to see ancient rock art, bark paintings, didgeridoo design, and is also considered one of the best fishing spots in the world.
12. Kakadu National Park-
A trip to Kakadu National Park is like stepping back to a time before humans populated the planet. The enormous wildlife preserve is rich with biodiversity. The terrain encompasses wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, and is home to hundreds of bird species, turtles, crocodiles, and over 2,000 species of plants. Ancient Aboriginal rock paintings can be viewed in different location around the park too.
The Pilbara region in Western Australia has some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes, dating back two billion years and stretching over 400,000 square kilometres. With over 700 historic Indigenous archaeological sites and 10,000 rock engravings, many dating back some 30,000 years, the Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara is now heritage listed. It’s the perfect place to discover the unique art, history and culture of the Indigenous peoples of the Pilbara.
14. Bare Foot Bowls-
Relax like the Aussies do. This once formal sport that was very popular with the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, was under threat of completely going defunct in Australia. As the people that played and followed it became older, many clubs were forced to shut down and in order to save the local bowls clubs all around Australia, they altered the sport into a fun, casual afternoon with mates and a few beers. You will now find people of all generations enjoying a bare foot bowl on the nice manicured grass with a pint in hand and mates laughing and cheering. It doesn’t take but a couple of throws to understand the dynamics of the sport, but can take years to truely master.
Temporarily named Ayers Rock, but retitled with its original name Uluru, is the second biggest monolith in the world and is located in Australia’s Red Centre desert. The closest town, Alice Springs, is 280 miles (450 km) away, but there are plenty of places to stay close to Uluru, including glamping (glamorous camping) options and outdoor dining options that provide the opportunity to watch as the sunset slowly paints the rock with many colours and hues. There are several ways to experience the grandeur of Uluru and the desert landscape. Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about their traditions and stories from the Dreamtime. Or you can ride across the desert on a motorcycle or on the back of a camel!
I hope you enjoyed our list of top 15 BUCKiTLIST destinations to put on your Australian itinerary. Make sure to write down your Australian BUCKiTLIST items on the dream app: www.buckitdream.com and Dream Bold, Dream Big!