There are a million amazing experiences that you can enjoy in Australia, but to make things easier for you, we've narrowed it down a bit. Check out some of the best of what's up down under, and discover for yourself why there truly is nothing like the Land Down Under.
Paint Your Own History
The oldest living culture on earth has called the Red Centre home for over 40,000 years. Perhaps it’s this sacred spirit that always leave travelers revived after a visit to Uluru. During an art lesson, listen in as traditional stewards, the Anangu, share the stories of their ancestors and the Dreamtime. Art techniques have been passed down through generations, so leave having taken part in a living tradition of human history.
Sail the Reef, Trek the Rainforest
Stretching a length comparable to the entire western coast of the US, The Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism that can be seen from space. To sample the best of this coral ecosystem, explore the reef from both above and below in the Whitsundays. Seaplanes deliver visitors over romantically shaped heart reef or Whitehaven Beach where sand is so pure it was used to make the lens for the Hubble telescope. Neighboring the reef, find the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree, which is also the most luxurious. Base yourself at a beachside hideaway or rainforest retreat for a uniquely Australian experience.
Stay Cool in Melbourne
Free circle trams, an easily navigable grid system, and world class hotels within walking distance, upon first glance, Melbourne sounds like any average city. That is, until you discover its hidden laneways. Tucked in the alleys between high rises, Melbourne’s true spirit comes alive off the grid. Order a flat white in a local café, browse the boutiques, admire the vibrant street art, and get lost in the laneways like a local.
Meet a Tassie Devil
When European settlers first landed in Tasmania, the scavenging screeches of a strange local animal frightened the kerosene lanterns right out of their trembling little hands. Today, the aptly named Tasmanian Devil is an icon of Australia’s largest island. On a trip to Tasmania, these marsupial carnivores can still be spotted on walks in Tasmania’s world heritage wilderness. Along the way, look out for wombats and the elusive platypus. You can get close to Tasmania’s wild wildlife at Bonorong Wilderness Sanctuary during feeding time.
Hang Out with ‘Roo at the Beach
Normally, a relaxing beach picnic would at worst involve shoo-ing seagulls, and at best spotting dolphins. Meanwhile, Esperance, on Western Australia’s southern coast, has everyone beat. Here, white sands and clear waters aren’t just for humans -- kangaroos need to cool off too. There’s nothing like Australia’s coastal lifestyle: especially when a ‘roo comes bouncing through your postcard-worthy ocean view for a photo bomb.
See Sydney from a Different Angle
Everyone knows the Opera House and Harbour Bridge are symbolic of Sydney. Bust the cliché, though, and see the famous harbor from a new angle. You can actually climb the bridge to get a bird’s eye view or rent a kayak and paddle through the coves and islands. Don’t feel like driving on vacation? Take a sailboat around the harbor instead. It's the local's favorite form of transportation!
Eat Like a Local
Behold the most loved staple of Australia’s native diet: the meat pie. Whether the footy game is on or the Aussies are just hungry for lunch, these protein filled, pastry covered snacks come in countless varieties. At Harry’s Café de Wheels in Sydney, try the signature Tiger Pie: lean beef, mashed potatoes, and mushy peas atop a pastry shell for the base. Or start slow and just order the traditional pie with sauce.
Wildlife Spotting, Aussie Style
Known as Australia’s Galapagos, Kangaroo Island is an animal lover’s paradise. Where else on earth can you spot koalas, wallabies, echidnas, and little penguins amongst some of Australia’s most stunning coastal landscapes? Make sure to stop by the seal colonies at Flinders Chase National Park and explore the island’s explosive culinary scene.
Cruise the Kimberly
The sheer canyons and thundering waterfalls of the Kimberly are sights very few visitors have the pleasure to witness. Sail off the beaten path aboard a cruise to explore the inner workings of this national landscape. Stick to the land on the partially unsealed Gibb River Road to discover hidden billabongs, and jaw dropping escarpments on a Four Wheel Drive adventure. You can stay overnight at the ranger station for a truly authentic experience on Australia’s last frontier.
Parade with Penguins
Visitors aren’t the only ones who flock to Phillip Island for coastal scenery and charming heritage. Every night, hundreds of penguins waddle home from a busy day of fishing to their beachside dens. Grab a seat at dusk and watch these friendly critters march up the beach and through the coastal brush. Not to worry, there’s plenty to occupy visitors while the penguins are at work: the island is also home to a fur seal colony, a koala conservation center, and treetop boardwalks so eco lovers, you'll be in heaven.