Australia, once you have been to this magnificent country you will not want to leave. It has it all. From shiny white beaches, rough outback terrain, hustling and bustling cities and never-ending breathtaking scenery.
The country, however, is a whole lot bigger then most people think, and there is no way you can see everything in one trip. I have been here for 5 years and I haven’t seen everything yet (not even close). So I thought I would compile a list of the things that I still need to see and what you should see when you come Down Under.
Be prepared to have your mind blown by spell-binding pictures.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Yes, shame on me, I haven’t snorkeled yet at the Great Barrier Reef.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site lies off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia and is the largest living thing on Earth. It is even visible from outer space.
This amazing ecosystem is over 2,300 kilometers long and comprises off thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral.
It’s also home to countless species of colorful fish, mollusks, and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins, and sharks.
Your ultimate snorkel or dive experience.
The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to October.
The Kimberley is a vast yet unknown corner of Western Australia, this area is so fast that it is larger than 75% of the world’s countries!
This isolated corner of Australia is home to rugged gorges, vast desert, and amazing waterfalls.
For me, an absolute must see!
Many visitors choose to travel to the Kimberley Region between the months of June and August, as they find the local weather most comfortable during this time of the year. The summer period tends to be too hot for this part of the country.
The Whitsundays comprises of 74 islands in the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life.
Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails, and sensational white sand beaches.
The winter months of June, July, and August offer visitors comfortable temperatures, but the water can be chilly. September (early spring) is the ideal time of year to visit the islands.
Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, is known for its vast, rugged wilderness areas, largely protected within parks and reserves.
The summer months of December, January and February is the best time to go.
EXMOUTH/SNORKELLING WITH WHALE SHARKS
This has been a dream of mine for years and is super high on my to-do list. To go swimming with whale sharks.
The whale shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 meters. Because they are slow-moving and its diet consist of mostly plankton it is safe for people to swim with them without too much danger.
The only time you can go is between March and September. So if this is on your wish list as well make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
Places I’ve been to and loved that you might like to add to your Aussie bucket list
(Large blog posts planned on all these destinations, when ready they will be linked)
Ahh, Sydney, my home away from home for the last few years.
Sydney is one of Australia’s largest cities and it is best known for its harbourfront Opera House and the harbor bridge. The city is also home to some of the finest and most famous beaches in the world. (Think Bondi beach and Manly beach) There are well over 100 beaches in the city, ranging in size from a few feet to several kilometers, located along the city’s Pacific Ocean coastline and its harbors, bays, and rivers.
Check out my extensive city guided HERE
I lived in this vibrant city for 6 months when I first came to Australia. Melbourne is Sydney’s smaller cousin but has a completely different vibe.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s center are the modern Federation Square development, the Yarra River and many art centers, cool cafes and unique graffiti.
The city was named the world’s most livable city by the Economist Group, publishers of “The Economist” magazine in 2017.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, The Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It takes you from Torquay and travels 244 kilometers westward to finish at Allansford.
See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife (kangaroos, Koalas, lorikeets Dolfines), and take in iconic surf breaks, lush rainforests, and spectacular waterfalls as you go. This is one a must see when visiting Australia.
Airlie Beach, an Australian resort town on Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast, and is a gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
Check out my extensive post on Airlie beach HERE.
Magnetic Island is an island 8 kilometers offshore from the city of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. The small island offers quiet, secluded beaches, rugged nature, and an abundant of Australian wildlife.
Perth, capital of Western Australia, sits where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. Sandy beaches line its suburbs. The riverside Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Mount Eliza offer sweeping views of the city.
Perth is also the gateway to Rotness Island.
Rottnest Island sits just offshore from the city of Perth and is a protected nature reserve. It’s home to the quokka, a small wallaby-like marsupial who always has a smile on its face. The island has white-sand beaches, secluded coves, and some great snorkeling spots.
JERVIS BAY NATIONAL PARK AND HYAMS BEACH
Jervis Bay National Park is located a 3-hour drive from Sydney and is home to Hyams Beach. According to Guinness World Records, Hyams Beach has the whitest sand in the world. And blimey it is very white.
The national park is home to some amazing beaches, nature walks, and native wildlife.
The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. It is easily accessible by car or train (About 2 hours from Sydney CBD)
Known for its sensational scenery, it encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and quaint villages.
The Blue Mountains are densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. These give off a blue haze, making the mountains look blue.
RED CENTER / ULURU (CENTRAL AUSTRALIA)
Central Australia is a relentless outback region in the Northern Territory. Also known as the Red Centre, its vast terrain consists of dusty red desert, mountain ranges and canyon gorges home, to Cockatoos and Kangaroos.
The red center is known for Uluru (Ayers Rock), a massive rock monolith and sacred Aboriginal site. Close by is Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas, a group of 36 ochre rock domes.
Have you been to Australia? What was your favorite place? Let me know in the comments below.