There's something about going back to work that suddenly makes you realise summer will soon be over and, if you're like me, you’re keen to make the most of the last of the good weather. It also makes you think about when you're next holiday is going to be and where....and 'how long away is that exactly?!' But instead of jetting off abroad this year, why not explore our very own ‘land down under?' There’s no denying that we live in a beautiful place in the world, and there are tonnes of things to do that you’ve probably never made the time for, even if you’ve lived here your whole life. #guilty.
Whether you’re looking to cut costs from a big overseas trip, make the most of what’s left of the summer, or just do more in 2018, here are some ideas for places you can visit and things to see and do in Australia!
As the world’s biggest ‘sand island,’ Fraser Island is made up of over a hundred kilometers of rainforests, mangrove forests, coastal heaths and sand dunes. If you want to get away from it all and really relax, there's fishing, diving, swimming, self drive tours, hiking, bird watching, whale watching and more. The various eco-tours in the area allow you to see all kinds of wild animals, plus scenery including the Red Canyon and Rainbow Beach to name a few. There’s plenty to see and do, and it allows you to experience an area of Australia that’s remote and largely untouched, giving you some incredible views and photo opportunities. Otherwise you could lie in a hammock and drink cocktails on the beach and soak up some sun. Plus there are all kinds of retreats and resort accommodation options, meaning you get the experience of remote Australia but with all modern conveniences at arms reach. What could be better?!
If you’re after something challenging, or you want to ‘switch off’ from society for a while and go somewhere remote, there’s nowhere better than the Aussie outback. Many travelers have claimed that they have ‘found themselves’ spiritually on these kinds of adventures, so if you want something different to another beach holiday then this could be it. You could go on a camel trek for anywhere between two and ten days, camping out under the stars and viewing fascinating flora and fauna. You could go adventuring in the Flinders Ranges, the largest mountain range in South Australia. You could discover some of the quaint, remote towns from Broome with it’s pearl industry and white sandy beaches, to ‘The Alice’ which is a remote town that acts as a gateway for exploring Australia’s interior desert region. You could ride 4x4s, hike trails, go sailing or much more. There are a whole host of National Parks in the Outback that are well worth a visit, from ‘The Bungles’ (real name Purnululu National Park) to Mungo, Sturt and Yanga National Parks. Each have different things to see on offer, although in just about any you will be able to hike, bike, boat, bird-watch, go camping and more. But whether you’re backpacking or going on a road trip, it’s worth remembering that many places in the Outback are not for beginners, you need to know what you’re doing or you should stay close to the towns or book a tour group. Many people have got lost and unfortuntaley perished so be sure to prepare properly and know what you’re up against before trying to conquer the terrain.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth, it’s so colossal it can even be seen from space. As Australians we have one of the seven wonders of the natural world right on our doorstep, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of this? You can go diving, fishing, even whale watching. You can snorkel and explore the waters, book a cruise, or hire a private yacht and sail yourself in luxury! If you really want to push the boat out, then this is a great way to do it. Another option would be to book a helicopter tour, and get a spectacular birds eye view. If you’re planning on visiting Queensland this year, definitely add the Great Barrier Reef to your itinerary. People from all over the world have this on their bucket list - I have English friends prepared to fly on a plane for a full twenty four hours, and even those in the US have to fly for around fifteen hours to get here and experience this beauty before it's gone. For most people in Australia you can get to this incredible natural wonder in just a couple of hours on a plane and the surrounding towns and cities offer a smorgasbord of sunny activities for the whole family. Make the most of it, and go and see some of the most fascinating wildlife and plant life that exists in the world.
Perth is a good option especially if you’re from eastern Australia, since it’s far enough away that it feels like you’re on vacation, but not so far that you need to mess around with visas or very expensive flights like you would elsewhere in the world. You could even go on a road trip! There’s loads to do, from vibrant festivals, to cool nightlife and captivating culture, it gives you the best combination of a trendy urban atmosphere and fantastic natural landscape.
Grab some tasty food with cafes, restaurants and eateries at all price points. From casual bakeries like Corica Pastries to five star restaurants like Friends Restaurant or Blackbird Restaurant which offer fine dining. There are all kinds of cuisines so no matter what you like and how much you want to spend there will be something for you. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, now could be the perfect time to book a mini break and treat your other half to a nice romantic meal.
To get outside and enjoy the glorious WA weather you could visit Kings Park which is one of the biggest inner city parks in the world for views of the city skyline, or you could do the same thing but by taking a boat trip on Swan River. If you like to stay active on holiday, how about going on a walking tour and do some sightseeing, there are plenty of things to see as well as tourists attractions. From museums to galleries to Perth’s famous zoo and aquarium, there is also Adventure World theme park if you’re seeking thrills.
If shopping is your thing, you could head out on the Fremantle train line which starts in Perth City and heads to Subiaco, Claremont, Cottesloe and finally Fremantle. These all fantastic shopping hotspots so would be perfect if you need a fix of retail therapy. Regardless of which city you live in, visiting another city will provide you with plenty of fun and things to do and see.
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."
– Henry Miller
From bustling cities to paradise beaches to the wilderness of the outback, there’s so much to experience when it comes to Australia. People all across the world fly for hours to visit our gorgeous country, so as residents it makes sense that we would experience all it has to offer. It’s less expensive than travelling abroad, and in all honesty we have just about everything here that you’d want in a vacation. Tropical weather? Sandy beaches? Shopping? Incredible wildlife and scenery? Check. We have it all right here. So when you’re deciding on what to do for your annual trip this year, take a look at the country right under your feet. No matter how old you are, it’s unlikely you’ll have experienced it all so do some research and come up with a plan of action to get the most from your time. Whether you go on a road trip, backpacking, camping or a luxury getaway it’s worth seeing Australia and all it has to offer. As a last minute getaway it’s ideal as in many cases you won’t even need to book plane tickets.
What activities, events and sights do you think every Aussie needs to see in their lifetime?
Share your best down under must do's below.