Welcome to Australia!
Are you willing to escape the concrete jungle to come and see the real thing? Amid the crossing of the Nullarbor Plain, you can bear witness to some of the most unique and native aspects of Australia. Everything you will see and do in my home country can’t be replicated in museums, observatories or in nature anywhere else in the world. The only way to see Australia is to come and see it for yourself.
Once you made the trek on our Kangaroo labeled airline (Qantas), you will begin a journey that will have you returning home in awe and disbelief that a country as marvelous as Australia exists. The curse of Australia is that, once you have been there, you ‘try’ to compare it with everywhere else in the world. Doing so is futile.
With Australia being one of the biggest countries in the world, it can be an insane idea trying to see and do everything. Even a lifetime of exploring will not hit the scope of what there is to offer; however, here are a few things that everyone must do at least once in their lifetime.
Come & See The Real Thing, The Outback
Image Source: Wild Junket
Nothing says Australia quite like our Outback. The open spaces that seem to stretch on forever tell the story of the exploration and development of our wide brown land. The Outback reflects Australia’s pioneering spirit and the unique identity of the indigenous Australians. But where to begin your adventure?
Head to the Northern Territory to swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot Rock-wallabies at Simpsons gap, both of which are located in the West MacDonnell ranges. Here you can listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of “Gosse Bluff”, as you observe one of the brightest star spectacles in the world. Begin with a dawn camel trek around Uluru, wandering between steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuta and end with swimming in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Once you heard the stories of our ancestors and bore witness to their lands, you are now ready to explore Ayres Rock, the biggest rock in the world.
Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
Image Source: Budget Australia
On the Eastern coast of Australia, in Queensland, lays a town called Port Douglas, home to one of the wonders of the world and the best place to snorkel. The Great Barrier Reef stretches 1,430 miles and it is roughly the size of Germany, with the largest living ecosystem on Earth. Home to 600 types of corals, 100 species of jellyfish, 3,000 varieties of mollusk, 500 species of worms, 1,625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and, of course, 30 species of whales and dolphins, this is a spectacle you will never forget.
Image Source: Whitsunday Australia
Home to some of the world’s greatest beaches, this region is not to be missed. There are 74 islands in the Whitsunday group, with the most notable being Dent, Hamilton, Hayman, Hook, Long and Lindeman. Explore the spectacular diversity of the sea and islands from the bow of a sailboat, and cruise through the islands with dropping anchors for a quick snorkel surrounded by sea turtles. Spend your days splashing in the clear shallow water of the world famous Whitehaven beach and play in a pick-up game of beach cricket. If you want to explore the hillsides, then head to the national park trail on foot, or just mountain bike your way through these islands.
Road Trip Down The East Coast
Image Source: Deography
With a plethora of hostels that line the east coast of Australia, you can venture into the small beach towns of Noosa, Mooloolaba, Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay. Learn how to surf like Australians here, with some of the best beaches in the world for surfing. Each of these cities has its own unique identity. In my humble opinion, Byron Bay is the best town in Australia, mate. It represents our laid back culture, our arts, music and, of course, it lies next to one of the greatest beaches in the country.
In general, each city buzzes with fellow travelers and Australian residents that will welcome you with open hearts.
The Blue Mountain Range
The three sisters- Image Source: Wikimedia
This Mountain range is a rugged region west of Sydney in New South Wales. Known for its dramatic scenery, the Blue Mountain Range encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries and gardens. Katoomba, a major town in the area, borders Blue Mountain’s National Park and the bushwalking trails where the mountain range resides. The Echo Point lookout offers the view of the “Three Sisters” sandstone rock formation. This is one of the most magical and iconic experiences this land has to offer and ideal for a romantic getaway.
Sydney’s Must Do Activities
Image Source: Wise Monkeys Abroad
Sydney has the most picturesque views in the country, as it is home to the Harbor Bridge, the Opera House & Bondi Beach. You can wake up at dawn and climb this spectacular bridge. On the climb, you will be entertained with the heritage stories of the bridge, from its construction to the opening in 1932. Moreover, you can bear witness to the best view of Sydney from the top. Here you can see the Sydney Opera House, which was built in 1973 and housed some of the most iconic performances in Australia.
After you finished your trek of the bridge and the tour of the opera house, you will need some rest. Head straight to Bondi Beach that entails surfing, relaxation, amusement and some of the best cafes Sydney has to offer. Our recommendation would be to immerse yourself in the Bondi Icebergs, eat Messina ice cream and just dig your shoes into the sand on a bright and sunny day.
Visit the Australian War Memorial in Canberra
Image Source: Come to Australia
Venture through Canberra, which is the capital of Australia, and head to some of our nation’s best memorials. Opened in 1941, The Australian War Memorial consists of three parts, The Commemorative area (shrine), the Memorial galleries (Museum) and the Research center (records) that will give you a history of the Australian involvement in World War I and II.
Australian Football at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground)
Image Source: Leafa Spirit
The Melbourne Cricket Ground was built in 1853 and now holds a capacity of 100 thousand people. During the week, you can head there and visit the National Sports Museum, to learn about the heritage and sporting events that took place in this historic landmark.
From March to September, you can also watch one of the greatest games in the world, Aussie Rules, “a sport played between two teams of eighteen players on the field of either an Australian football ground, a modified cricket field, or a similarly sized sports venue”. See players like Cyril Rioli tear up the ground with his lightning speed or Jeremy Howe’s ‘spekkies’ – a term used when a player jumps on another to mark the ball. With a plethora of food vendors and thrilling bars in the stadium, the Aussie Rules is more than just an event but a groundbreaking life experience.
Melbourne’s Cultural Wealth
Image Source: Russell Charters
Unlike any other city in Australia, Melbourne displays a greater diversity in the fields of the arts, music and food. Home to some of the greatest coffee in the world, you can venture through the laneways in the city, and admire the street art that lines our walls while sipping a cup of “Magic”.
Let me explain, a ‘Magic’ is steamed milk poured over a double ristretto (espresso with half the amount of water). The Magic is served in a smaller 160 ml cup, giving it the optimum coffee to milk ratio. Some of the coffee shops I can personally recommend would be , and Hammer & Tong.
Australia’s Bush Doof
Image Source: Pixhder
If you love outdoor music, then Australia offers our iconic ‘Bush Doof’ (slang for outdoor dance party). The best one is the , which is a 4-day international music, arts and lifestyle festival held each January in Western Victoria. While camping in the Australian outback and fighting for refuge among the mosquitoes with 20,000 others, you can have some of the most majestic moments of your life. This festival has grown from a small intimate party to a life changing experience.
MONA in Tasmania
Image Source: Matthew Hindson
The MONA (Museum of Old and New Arts) is located in Moorilla, Tasmania. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia, and it has ongoing exhibitions all year round. Known for having exquisite pieces of art and antiquities, the MONA attracts lots of people to this small town. The museum also presents modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh Collection.
Play with Kangaroos at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Image Source: Tasmania i-drive
Located in Tasmania, Bonorong is a for injured and endangered animals like the Tasmanian Devil. This sanctuary opens every single day, and it is quite a fantastic place to pat a wombat, take photos with a koala and hand feed beautiful kangaroos, wallabies and joeys. The Bonorong sanctuary provides appropriate food pellets for their wildlife. By attending this sanctuary, you will also help fund their rescue and rehabilitation programs, focused on saving endangered species.
Wine Tasting in Leeuwin Estate
Image Source: Wine Spectator
Home to some of the greatest wine in the world, the Leeuwin Estate provides a unique experience to indulge your senses. Leeuwin is situated at the most southwesterly mainland point of Australia, in the state of Western Australia. Leeuwin is one of the great vineyards in the Margaret River region. Its 2011 Chardonnay, rated fifth in the world, is still available for tasting in the cellar room and for purchase at the vineyard. “Leeuwin Estate produces around 60,000 cases of wine each vintage and owns 121 acres of vineyards”, all of which you can explore and taste.
Now Quickly Watch this Clip of Chris Hemsworth:
Image Source: The Inspiration Room
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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences of ex-patriots living in The United States.
XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geo politics and the day to day on-goings of this proud and powerful nation.