We don’t think that anyone needs to be told that the last year has placed a giant “hold” on the planets’ travel plans, and nowhere is this more true than in the Commonwealth of Australia. From the coast of New South Wales to Western Australia, there has been lockdown after lockdown and successive moves by local governments to seemingly curb the way that Australian businesses do, business.
Australia remains one of the most prolific markets for American tourists – and vice versa, so if you’re thinking about traveling to Australia in the future, we’ve unpacked some of the most quintessential destinations and experiences that you have to do and this applies if you’re traveling from abroad or you’re already in Australia, get ready because she’s opening soon. G’day!
RIVER RED GUM NATIONAL PARK, NEW SOUTH WALES
If there is anything more quintessentially Australian than Kangaroos and Koala’s roaming around freely, in a gorgeous, natural habitat then we want to know what it is. At River Red Gum National Park, you’ll find this and so much more. You’ll also get to hike around exploring some indigenous plants and trees native to Australia in a beautiful setting.
There are over 150 native Australian birds that fly and swoop all around you and for an added experience, the Murray River is not too far away either and you’ll find dozens of attractions and activities for the whole family to keep you occupied and immersed in that wonderful Australian hospitality.
GIBB RIVER ROAD, THE KIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Just one part of the altogether epic “Svanah way” road trip, if you have some time to spare then this 12 day journey across one of Australia’s great 4WD adventures is going to leave with you lasting memories and an experience quite unlike any other. You’ll journey through some of the most amazingly stunning scenes under endless blue Aussie skies, experience the quaint waterfall on the Gibb River Road and you’ll get to explore one of the most gorgeous coastlines on the Indian Ocean side of Australia.
You can camp for free all along the drive and explore hidden waterfalls, waterholes and not see another soul for days. Many intrepid adventurers make this trip alone and there is something to be said about the solace of Australia, but if you’re not solidly experienced in this sort of travel, then it’s best not take it on.
The same reason these wide-open spaces are so attractive is also the reason you could be stuck out there a long time before someone comes for help if you should need it.
This island to the South of Australia offers outstanding natural beauty super friendly locals and tons of activities for the busy family, but if you’re more of the “sit back and do nothing” type, well you’ll find plenty of excuses for that too. Wineglass Bay offers amazing views, fabulous hikes and you can score a scenic flight for as little as $175.
Hobart is one of Australia’s oldest cities and it’s buzzing with great restaurants that carry amazing Australian wines and will serve up some of the freshest seafood and mouthwatering steaks on the planet.
If you happen to find yourself here at the beginning of the year, then you’ll be easily seduced by the Lavender Fields at Bridestowe Estate, perfect for a run that will leave you endlessly inspired. Whatever you choose to do in “Tassie”, you’re going to be solidly spoiled for choice.
NINGALOO REEF, EXMOUTH
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most pristine and beautiful locations and certainly on your “must do” list when you visit Australia. Even if you’re not an overly keen diver, you can still enjoy the reef snorkeling or taking boat trips out to experience it but whatever way you see it, we can guarantee that it’s going to leave a lifelong impression on you.
You might have seen the reef in movies or travel guides, but the impact on you when you physically encounter the reef, for the first time, is an experience that will leave you changed in ways one cannot quite explain.
You can take guided kayaking and snorkeling tours, you can swim with the world’s biggest fish and you can take a tour on a glass-bottom boat, something the kids will adore, making it the perfect family outing.
COOBER PEDY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Located in the desert, this quirky and utterly unique underground town offers its residents and visitors a way of life that is unrivaled anywhere else on the planet. This is the heart of “Opal” country and while you explore the sun-baked lunar landscape of this “out of this world” town, you’ll need to take in a mining experience while you’re there.
This is also one the best places in the Outback to experience the legendary sunsets of Australia and the experience will take your breath away.
The entire landscape changes color around you and you’ll feel as if the horizon is a million miles away, yet within an arm’s length. You’ll want to stay in the “underground motel” to ramp up an already, unique experience.
Coober Pedy is quite simply an addition to your Australian itinerary that you don’t want to miss.
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES
OK, this one is cheating a little bit but there is no way that you can journey all the way to Australia and not experience one of the most vibrant, exciting, and pulsing cities in the world.
Sydney offers visitors unrivaled experiences and activities for the whole family. Take in a show at that iconic opera house, climb the harbor bridge, visit the Syndey zoo and spend a day sunbathing along Bondi beaches stunning beachfront. There are hundreds of world-class restaurants and buzzing nightlife.
Even though Covid has largely locked Australia away, for the time being, this isn’t going to last forever and as soon as borders open again, make Sydney your starting base. It’s the best possible welcome to this extraordinary country.
Here is a guide to some of the best activities and attractions in Sydney.
PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA
As far as off-the-beaten-track-type adventures go, Phillip Island ranks at the top. This car-free island draws visitors from the world over to play with the super-cute penguins, but you’ll also love exploring sleepy little towns and villages, stunning coastal scenery, wild surf, and the wetlands.
Panny’s Island chocolate factory and the “Maze n Things” theme park will leave the kids delighted. (It’s OK you can blame the chocolate factory on the kids).
MARVELOUS MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
Australia’s “city of culture”, Melbourne is the mothership for artists, actors, musicians, performers, and anyone else involved in the theater and entertainment industries. Restaurants from the world over, serve up tantalizing cuisine and of course, no trip to Melbourne is complete without tasting the best coffee in the world and according to the ”Yelp”, the best coffee in Melbourne (and by extension anywhere else in the world), can be found at Patricia Coffee.
Explore the cities street art, wander along alleys and lanes and visit Flinders Street Station and Federation Square and of course, don’t miss the opportunity to take a show at one of the many theaters.
If you’re the city crawler type, then Australia offers amazing cities with malls, shopping centers, and boutiques that carry homegrown Aussie brands through to the best, luxurious brands on the planet. Remember to pick up some souvenirs and a “Wallaby” rugby shirt to ensure that everyone at home is suitably jealous and these indigenous theme masks, make the perfect holiday gift.
Even if you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting, you’re going to love Australia. Remember to say safe while traveling abroad and (yes) make sure that you’ve checked and then doublechecked all things Covid, before making plans.