If you’ve picked Australia as the location for your next adventure, vacation, or exploration abroad, then you’ve done something right today. You are about to embark on a journey you won’t soon forget! Here are eight of the hundreds of activities you can enjoy in the Sunburnt Country.
The Sydney Opera House
Seeing as how the Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic images of Australia, it’s appropriate to head off the list with this landmark. Tour the opera house, catch an opera, or enjoy tea time under the sails on the unique building.
Worried your kids won’t want to spend an afternoon walking around a giant, sharp-looking building? Remind them the city is the same one Dory and Merlin are looking for in the popular Pixar film Finding Nemo: “P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.”
Sydney Harbor Bridge
While you are in Sydney, stop by the Sydney Harbor, more specifically the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge. You can actually climb the bridge, which takes about 3.5 hours. If you’d rather get up-close and personal with the water, bays, coves, beaches, and promontories, go for a Sydney Harbor Cruise. If you’d rather keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can enjoy the famous landmarks, historical buildings, and shops onshore.
Great Barrier Reef
If you want to check one of the Seven Wonders of the World off your bucket list, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia will help you out. The large coral formation (the largest in the world) is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs. It spans an area of 344,400 sq kilometers (approx. 133,000 sq mi) and is home to over 1500 different species of fish including angel fish, clown fish, and butterfly fish. Go by boat, by helicopter, by scuba suit, or by snorkel.
The Australian Open
As far as sporting events go, Australia is full of cricket, rugby, soccer, and other matches. If you’ve always dreamed of attending one of the four Grand Slam tennis events, get tickets to the Australian Open in Melbourne. Pro tip: find an agency that offers Australian Open travel packages, and you won’t have to wait in any entrance lines!
Another great region you don’t want to miss is Western Australia and the Recherche Archipelago, home to Lake Hillier. The lake is different from any lake you’ve ever seen—unless lakes the color of Pepto-Bismol are common in your home town. Scientists have a few different hypothesis to explain the abnormal color, but one thing is for sure—it’s not a trick of the light. If you scoop up a container of the strange water, it’s still pink!
Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)
Another iconic image of Australia is Ayer’s Rock, also called Uluru. The formation is a monolith located in the middle of the Australian Outback. Venturing into the vast desert land is not for the faint-of-heart (or for anyone who hates flies), but it’s perfectly safe if you listen to your tour guide, use common sense, and protect yourself from the blazing sun.
If you’d rather get to know the wildlife of Australia without venturing into a several-thousand-kilometer-wide, sparsely populated desert, the Mansfield Zoo is for you. See some of the animals that are unique to Australia, such as the platypus or the kangaroo, and others that come from exotic parts of the world. Find out what a Galah looks like, then enjoy some food from the animal-themed café.
About 37% of Tasmania is made up of national parks, reserves, and World Heritage Sites (areas recognized as being of international importance). If you didn’t get enough of the wildlife at Mansfield Zoo, Tasmania has its own zoo for you to visit. Or you can stop by the Platypus House, the Seahorse World, or the sanctuary for Tasmanian Devils—the unique carnivorous marsupials that give the state its name. If animals aren’t your cup of tea, book a tour of the Nant Distillery, or the Goaty Hill Wines.
Whether you want to explore the land or the sea (or both!), a trip to Australia will keep you busy and introduce you to sights you will never forget.