Australia is a huge country with so many interesting things to do and to see. Located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia is the world´s largest island and its smallest continent. In Down Under you have the choice whether to explore the traditional lifestyle of the nations’ Aboriginal people, to relax on one of the greatest beaches worldwide or to discover one of the big popular cities. Here you find and overview of the most awesome and magical places to see when you visit Australia:
1) The mystic Ayers Rock also known as ‘Uluru’ and the beautiful Kings Canyon
Ayers Rock is also known by its Aboriginal name ‘Uluru’. It is a sacred part of Aboriginal creation mythology. Uluru is considered one of the great wonders of the world and one of Australia’s most recognizable natural icons. For the Australian natives, the Aboriginals this Rock is holy and mystic.
Pro tip: To get a perfect photo of the Ayers Rock, snap it at sunset. When the sun is going down and shining on the rock you can see the amazing red-orange colours illuminated by the sun, while you can listen to the silence and admire the endless desert landscape, feel the freedom and connection with nature. If you are a tough person, not scared of wild animals and love nature try to sleep in a „swag“, Australian word for a sleeping bag in one of the camping stations in the surroundings, where you will enjoy millions of shining and sparkling stars at night. It might be a bit fresh in the desert during the night but when you are lucky you can even see the Milky Way, but be aware that the view is so stunning that it makes you dizzy to watch for too long.
To see the Kings Canyon you should book a tour and go together with a group and a guide. It takes you around 3 hours to walk up the mountain through the main hotspots and 3 hours to get back again. You are going to be rewarded by astonishing views and unforgettable pictures which can be taken from above of the mountain. A very tough and exhausting climb but it is absolutely worth it.
2) The fantastic city Melbourne and the spectacular Great Ocean Road
The capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is Australia´s second most populated city. Located in the south east, Melbourne is considered the nation’s cultural capital as well as an important port. Melbourne is ideal for shopping, visiting fine restaurants and sports events. The city is the perfect destination for Backpackers as well as for tourists who appreciate the good life. If you want to take a nice and relaxing walk, then you should visit the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is a wonderful escape from the big and crowded city.
Then there is the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most celebrated drives. Travel from Melbourne city center by minibus for example for a more personalized service. The coast looks spectacular regardless of whether the sun is bright or the skies are overcast and there is plenty to keep you amused along the road trip from numerous scenic lookout points, to quaint coastal villages and, of course the twelve apostles. See wide beaches with amazing views and the lush rainforest of the Otway Ranges. Look out for native wildlife, such as koalas, kookaburras, possums and wallabies in their natural habitats.
3) The Metropolis Sydney and the fascinating Blue Mountains National Park
Located on Australia’s southeastern coast, Sydney is the capital of New South Wales. It´s a modern, huge and busy city with a long history, defined by its scenic harbour. Today, ferries take visitors for cruises under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the iconic Sydney Opera House. Don’t miss out on a walk through the famous Botanical Gardens of the town. It is a great and relaxing place with palm trees, colourful tropical flowers a thousands of old tropical trees. If you are lucky you can watch some people feeding cockatoos in the park, which live in the Botanical Garden. They can be really tame and trying to sit on your arm or even head and you should not provoke them, because then it might be difficult to get rid of them again.
Take a bus from Sydney which takes you in around 2 hours directly to Katoomba. From there take a walk more or less 30 minutes to the Blue Mountains National Park. Don’t miss the Echo Point lookout where you will have an amazing view over the famous rocks called “Three Sisters”. An awesome adventure for people who like to hike in the nature and discover the beautiful landscape and the stunning view, when arriving in one of the many look-out.
4) The Hippie Town Byron Bay
This small village, situated 150 km from Brisbane became a new tourist hotspot during the last 60 years. It is the perfect place for young backpackers, surfers and hippies. If you walk along the streets in the town you will find many nice bars and pubs in the style of the 70s and lots of colourful small shops, where you can buy the typical hippie rainbow coloured fashion clothes. The temperature is perfect the whole year and it is always warm and pleasant. Take a nice walk along the Cape Byron State Conversation park up to the Captain Cook Lookout, where there is a huge white lighthouse that attracts many visitors.
If you are lucky, on your way you will meet the brush turkeys and wallabies, which live there in the rainforest. Arriving at the Captain Cook Lookout you will have the chance to admire the beautiful view over the endless deep blue Ocean and maybe you can even see dolphins or a ray. It is also a great place to take a rest and enjoy your picnic in the beautiful nature while inhaling the fresh air after hiking the 4 km along the Cape Byron walking track.
5) The stunning Fraser Island
Fraser Island is about 300 km in the north of Brisbane. It is one of the largest sand islands in the world – 123 km long and 22 km wide – but it´s the only place on Earth where tall rainforests grow on sand dunes at elevations of more than 200 metres.
It’s the home of the wild dogs called “dingoes” in Australian and if you are lucky you can watch humpback whales in the ocean as well. How to get there? You can book a Jeep guided tour at Rainbow Beach. They will pick you up by Jeep and take you to the northern end of Rainbow Beach and then by ferry. In around 1 hour you will arrive to the island. An insider tip is the breathtaking Lake McKanzie, a perched lake fed only by rainwater. It belongs to the protected landscape and is one of the most beautiful lakes on Fraser Island.
Take a refreshing swim and a sunbath afterwards while lying and relaxing on the white and pure sand. Get wet and go wild in the Ely Creek. You can walk along its boardwalk then float with the current all the way to the beach. It is a freshwater creek and another highlight of Fraser Island which you cannot miss! One thing you must know is that the Aboriginals believe that on Fraser Island there are the spirits of the dead Aboriginals natives still live there and you should not try to whistle as long as you are on the island in order not to wake up the evil spirits.
6) The Whitsundays – explore the ultimate beauty
The Whitsundays lie just off the Queensland coast, next to the Great Barrier Reef. Tourists from all over the world travel to see the stunning white beach of the Whitehaven Beach and the turquoise water.
It is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, sailing and relaxing on the secluded beaches. The easiest way to get there is to take a ferry from Airlie Beach. Most of the Whitsundays Islands are uninhabited and several offer back-to-nature beach camping and bush walking. Whether relaxing on the pure white sand on the beach and take a nice swim in the turquoise water or enjoying a bush walking, the Whitsundays are definitely worth for a visit!
7) The Unforgettable Great Barrier Reef
One of the top destinations for underwater explorers and scuba divers, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest barrier reef system. Located in the Coral Sea of the coast of Australia’s state of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef encompasses a huge area of more than 2,900 coral reefs and hundreds of islands and cays. The Reef is now one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and one of the best places to visit Australia. You can book one of the boat tours and go for a one day trip for snorkeling or diving or you book for example a helicopter tour for around 80 Dollars from Cairns and go for an adventurous trip to see the beautiful heart of the Coral Reef and the stunning turquoise colour of the deep sea.
Last but not least, be sure to remember the typical Australian slogan: “no worries”, means no matter what may happen, take it easy and make the best of it!