When most people think of Australia, they probably think of kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef. That’s all fine and well, but really the first thing that you need to know is that Australia is incredibly diverse and pretty huge.
How huge, you ask? Australia spans over 2.9 million square miles and comprises of 6 time zones. You’re probably not going to be able to explore those 2.9 million square miles in one lifetime, so we’ve decided to help you out.
Here are our top 10 reasons why you need to visit Australia as a matter of urgency.
- Marvel at Australia’s Sydney Opera House
A marvel of architectural design, the Sydney Opera House is widely recognised as a world class performance Centre. Inspired by yacht sails and surrounded by water, the majestic curves dominate Sydney Harbour and look impressive from all angles. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can enjoy a performance here, dine at one of the restaurants or take a stroll around the base of the structure.
- Watch turtles hatch in Queensland
Watching tiny turtles emerge from their eggs and scamper into the sea has got to be one of the best experiences to add to your bucket list. There are few places where you can witness this happen; Heron Island is a National Marine Park. If you visit throughout October to March each year, you can witness these beautiful creatures come ashore to lay their nest. To minimize disturbance there are guidelines in place for viewing of hatching turtles: no handling of the turtles, remain still and low and no lights.
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of seven natural wonders of the world
Did you know this natural wonder is one of the largest living structures on the planet? It is so vast, you can see it from outer space. This bucket list destination is perfect for diving, surfing, snorkeling and fishing. Visitors have many options for visiting the turquoise waters; cruise around the islands, hop aboard a sightseeing flight or snorkel and dive the reefs. Explore the natural beauty that Queensland has to offer.
- Drive the Great Ocean Road
Located in Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic and best-driven roads in the world. Perfect for a self-drive adventure, the road stretches for more than 300 kilometres between Torquay to Allansford along the rugged south-west coastline. Experience the Twelve Apostles rock formations rising majestically from the ocean, chiselled out of limestone over 10 million years ago. You can tackle the Great Ocean Road in one day, taking just less than 6 hours, or break the journey up over a couple of days, which is what we suggest doing.
- Discover Uluru, the heart of the Red Centre
Deep in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith that is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, forms the centrepiece of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, standing at 348 metres. Considered the spiritual heart of the country and is a sacred site. Take an Aboriginal guided tour to learn more about the traditional way of life. Sunset and sunrise at Uluru are magical moments you cannot miss out on when visiting Australia.
- Swim with unique marine life
Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, feed manta rays at Lady Elliot Island or snorkel with sea lions off Port Lincoln. Experiencing Australia’s marine life is a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you enjoy diving, swimming, or snorkeling, there are plenty of options for you. Get up close and personal in Australian waters with these majestic creatures.
- Take a ferry to Rottnest Island, home of the friendly Quokkas
The natural beauty of Rottnest Island is second to none, experience stunning landscapes and unique wildlife during your stay in Australia. Situated only 19km off the coast of Perth, the island offers visitors picturesque scenery and a rich cultural heritage to discover on a day trip or extended stay. The Quokkas can only be found on Rottnest Island, and as they are nocturnal the best time of day to see the smiley animal is in the evenings.
- Embark on an Australian motorhome holiday
Explore the Sunshine State in all its glory by witnessing some of the world’s most stunning views such as the stunning coral garden that is The Great Barrier Reef, the lusciousness of the Daintree Rainforest and the crystal blue waters of the Arlie Beach. On your Australia campervan holiday, you can also immerse yourself in the beauty of Fraser Island – a heritage site and the world’s largest sand island stretching over 120km with amazing panoramic scenery. See our Beaches, Reefs & Rainforest itinerary where you will explore the Sunshine State’s glorious beaches, stunning reefs and amazing rainforest on this self-driving tour of Australia from Brisbane to Port Douglas.
- Island Hop in the Whitsundays
The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland are comprised of 74 islands with beautiful scenery, each boasting endless white beaches and crystal-clear. From adrenalin-inducing water sports to romantic sunsets, Hamilton Island offers something for everyone. Slow down and enjoy the island vibe or take a helicopter ride, exploring the iconic Heart Reef from the air. Dent Island is the place to be if you’re an avid golfer, start the day with sunrise yoga in this blissful destination.
- Explore a nature’s playground in Kangaroo Island
13 kilometres off the coast of South Australia and 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide, you will find Kangaroo Island, which boasts an array of native wildlife, some of which aren’t found anywhere else. Known as nature’s playground, Kangaroo Island is one of the world’s most peaceful retreats. More than a third of the island is protected by conservation areas and national parks, wildlife encounters are pretty much a given here. Kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, echidnas, wallabies, goannas and marine mammals are plentiful, along with many species of birdlife. If you are after wildlife, then Kangaroo Island won’t disappoint.