There’s a reason Australia is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. While there may be many island countries that you have been to, from Cuba to Singapore to Iceland to the United Kingdom, Australia is the only island which is also a country and a continent in itself. Apart from being the go-to place for backpackers, campers and divers, the country also boasts of more than a fair share of adventure parks and scenic beauty. From Uluru to the famous Outback, to picture-perfect beaches and dense rainforests, Australia is amazing in its diversity, both culturally and geologically.
Majority of Australia’s population lives within 50 miles of the coastline, and considering the island nation’s coastline spans almost thirty-six thousand kilometres, who wouldn’t? The legendary outback makes up the centre part of the island and the remaining areas consist of breath taking canyons, mountains, and rainforests. This giant island is a wonderful amalgamation of modern cosmopolitan culture and historic Aboriginal traditions. On one hand, the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are considered some of the most desirable places to live in, and are one of the most developed cities in the world that offer world class entertainment as well as scenic views. On the other hand, you have one of the world’s most ancient indigenous cultures that goes back 40,000 years.
Read on to find out the things you can and cannot do in the Land Down Under.
20 (DON'T) Travel Without Travel Insurance
A fact often underestimated by international travellers is that it does not matter what plans you’ve made before coming here, travelling to Australia means you need to make sure your unpredicted expenditures like medical coverage and booking cancellations are covered.
Don’t let the dollar sign fool you; Australia is an expensive country. In the event that you ever need to cancel your vacation for a vital reason like illness or family emergency, a great insurance policy will cover this cost as well. Medical costs can rise up to thousands of dollars in Australia without travel insurance.
Oz also has a major market for used vehicles that go between budget explorers on a long vacation in the country. It's one of the more sparing approaches to cross the mainland. Moreover, it’s quite easy to locate a cheap arrangement of wheels in the beginning of your travel and then resell it before you leave, minus a sensible sum for wear and tear. If this is something you're considering, then travel insurance is essential!
19 Hike to the Blue Mountains (DO IT!)
Located in New South Wales, the lovely Blue Mountains region borders the Sydney metropolitan zone, and offers local people and guests a perfect escape from the city. The area contains wonderful scenes dabbed with beguiling residential areas and towns and the opportunity to appreciate a wide assortment of outdoor interests, including horseback riding, scenic drives, cycling and trekking, and adventure sports like canyoning and abseiling. Additionally, there is an amazingly high cable ride and railway track that are simply beautiful and scenic to appreciate. The hop-on-hop-off Blue Mountains Trolley Tour will help you discover 29 of the regions’ attractions.
Blue Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is named for the blue haze exuding from the numerous Eucalyptus trees that have found their home here. The most celebrated attractions in the park are the transcending sandstone rock developments called the Three Sisters, that are an absolute must-see for each and every traveller. Alternatively, you can also take a private self-drive. Notwithstanding all the above attractions, there are unwinding spa experiences, collectibles and specialties to be revealed, and caves to be explored.
18 (DON'T) Visit Gold Coast During holidays
Queensland's Gold Coast is a prominent place to visit for nearby and universal sightseers alike. It is famous for its sun-kissed shorelines, surfing activity, happening night life, great shopping, amusement parks, casinos and that's just the beginning. However, the very popularity is probably its ruin, as during specific times of the year it can be too swarmed to be considered charming.
Schoolies Week is one of those circumstances, when graduating high-schoolers rush to places like Surfer's Paradise amid a seven day stretch in November to holiday with a considerable amount of drink-filled, hormone-energized enjoyment. In the event that that is what you're after, by all methods join the crowd. But if it's not, keep away from it at all costs during this adolescent bazaar.
But beyond the Surfer’s Paradise during Schoolies week, Gold Coast is also a place of adventure and excitement for all ages. All of Australia’s theme parks are situated on the Gold Coast; Movie World, Dream World, Wet and Wild, and Sea World. And then there’s jet boating on the Broadwater, quad biking in the Hinterlands, surfing lessons on world class surfing beaches, high-ropes challenges, the world’s fastest elevator, Schoolies week, cruises and pub crawls. The adventure trails go on and on.
17 Explore the Daintree Rainforest (DO IT!)
Situated 100 kilometres northwest of Cairns on the east coast of Australia, the Daintree Rainforest boasts of pristine nature, untouched by artificial structures and real time wildlife sightings. It is named after Richard Daintree, a photographer and geologist born in 1832. The rainforest is the world’s oldest surviving rainforest, and among the most ancient ecosystems on Earth.
This perfect and completely natural rainforest is an exclusive property whose conservation initiate is run by Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, its long-term inhabitants who are committed to imparting their insight and their rainforest to nature lovers. Many of Daintree Forest’s natural features hold great spiritual significance for them.
The park has two fundamental segments: Mossman Gorge, where perfectly clear waters spout over stone rocks, and Cape Tribulation, a standout amongst the most wonderful spots to visit in Australia, where rainforest meets reef along the white sandy shorelines of the Coral Sea. This staggering stretch is one of the only handful of spots on the planet that is a meeting point for two of the world’s wealthiest ecosystems. Daintree Forest’s bewildering biodiversity incorporates over 18,000 plant species and a huge swath of creature species, including the mysterious Bennett's tree kangaroo, cassowaries, crocodiles, and giant blue Ulysses butterfly. There are quite a few guided tours ranging from 2 to 5 hours, some of which incorporate a voyage through the mangrove marshes, lunch, and evening tea.
16 (DON'T) Feed Kangaroos To Get Selfies
Although a very popular trend a few years back, feeding kangaroos has become close to a nuisance for unsuspecting locals and visitors. A lot of travellers have taken to clicking selfies with these hopping mammals, and as a result, feed them carrots, chips, bread and other packed food to make them more amiable for a selfie.
However, the constant feeding by tourists have caused the animals to lose their fear of people, which is a very dangerous thing. Irrespective of how cute and cuddly they look, kangaroos are still wild animals, and as a result, they may become aggressive towards people in search of human food.
According to Washington Post, tourists in New South Wales, Australia were recently attacked by kangaroos who came onto them looking for food. Australian MP (Member of Parliament) Greg Piper, who represents Lake Macquarie, said on his YouTube channel:
“Be aware that due to the feeding that has occurred, these kangaroos are not just desensitized, they will literally come to you looking for food,” Piper said. “What many tourists seem to overlook is that these are wild animals and they are equipped with long, sharp claws and they do actually injure people from time to time. We’re not wanting to overstate the risk here but people have been attacked.”
So the next time you want to take a selfie with a wild kangaroo, remember this warning and simply admire them from a distance. And if you really want to get up and personal with Australia’s national animal, just head over to Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, where there’s a beautiful Kangaroo Sanctuary; which brings me to my next point.
15 Go off the beaten track, like Alice Springs (DO IT!)
Think Outback, and most people think Uluru. And while Alice Springs only serves as a pitstop for this beautiful monolith, the city has so much more to offer. Located right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs is the third largest city of Northern Territory. Also known as “Alice” or “The Alice”, a holiday in this city will show you the famed Australian outback to perfection. The cavernous gorges, boundless desert landscapes, remote aboriginal communities and a proud history of Australian nation building, all of which make an Alice Springs holiday very memorable.
Take Alice Springs holiday packages and get a chance to explore this outback city that also serves as a getaway to the Uluru Mountain or the Ayers Rock as well as Kata Tjuta aka the Olgas. “Mparntwe”, as the locals like to call their beloved city, is an Alice Springs holiday an easy destination as the city is equidistance from both, Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south.
Since Alice Springs is a part of Central Australia, it is best to holiday here between May and September when the average temperature is around 23 degrees. The city has a desert climate with very arid weather and very limited rainfall. The summer months from January to April and October to December see the average temperature soaring above 40 degrees – a very uncomfortable weather, even for a desert holiday.
This arid city was extensively developed as a major military base during the Second World War, and parts of this history can still be admired by visiting the derelict railway stations, old telegraph stations and other heritage buildings. There are end number of things for you to do on your Alice Spring holiday. Admire the Adelaide House, the first stone building in Alice and visit the Old Timer’s Museum which offers a glimpse into the first European settlers and their explorations in the vast outback. Spend a day in Olive Pink Botanical Garden which is a desert garden and check out the Reptile Centre famous for various reptiles of the region, and check out The Residency, a 1927 building which served as the house of the Government Representative to Central Australia. Make a stopover at the National Pioneer Womens Hall of Fame to learn all about the contributions made by hundreds of women in Australia’s culture and heritage. And pay a visit to the city’s first telegraph station as well as the Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve to explore its 12 craters when a meteor hit the surface some 4700 years ago.
Being the heart of Australia’s Aboriginal people, Alice Springs is also an ideal place to hunt and shop for local artifacts, musical instruments, paintings and other native souvenirs. Places like Gallery Gondwana, Muk Muk, Iranti, Gallery Kuruwarri and Leaping Lizards Gallery have a huge variety of aboriginal art. Even Todd Mall is a must visit as here you can see local natives in action as they make beautiful paintings, handicrafts and artifacts. You can easily buy quality and authentic artwork from any of these places.
14 (DON'T) climb Uluru – out of respect
A popular tourist destination, Uluru is as beautiful to look at, as it is to climb. Rising out of the Central Australian desert, this spectacular rock dominate the surreal landscape. Did you know that Uluru and Kata Tjuta are over a millions years old? Uluru is also considered very sacred by the Aboriginal people, a fact that has been largely ignored by tourists who climb it, despite a big sign that requests them not to. Over seven million tourists visit Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park every year, and despite warnings and requests by the Anangu people many climbers still happily climb the holy monolith for a ‘cultural experience’.
Kunmanara, the traditional owners of Ulluru, have this to say about their sacred place:
“That's a really important sacred thing that you are climbing... You shouldn't climb. It's not the real thing about this place. And maybe that makes you a bit sad. But anyway that's what we have to say. We are obliged by Tjukurpa to say. And all the tourists will brighten up and say, 'Oh I see. This is the right way. This is the thing that's right. This is the proper way: no climbing."
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management recently announced that as of October 26 2019, the climb to the top of Uluru will be permanently closed for all visitors. Sammy Wilson , the traditional owner and park chairman, said in a statement: "The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let's come together; let's close it together."
13 Spend a day in Bondi Beach (DO IT!)
The protected waters of the bay are great for surfing and beginners can take lessons. If ocean bathing is not quite your thing, you can swim in two wonderful surf-side pools or enjoy walking along the 2.5-mile Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, which meanders along the cliff tops overlooking the beach. The entire Bondi Beach area is packed with excellent restaurants and shopping, and the Saturday Bondi Farmer’s Market should not be missed.
Everybody has known about Australia's cherished Bondi Beach, which invites more than one million guests every year. The iconic beach frames a brilliant bow of delicate sand surrounding the turquoise blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect place to spend a swimming-under-the-sun adventure. The calm waters of the narrows are ideal for surfing and novices can take beginner lessons easily. The whole Bondi Beach region is stuffed with brilliant cafes, restaurants and shops, and the Saturday Bondi Farmer's Market is a must-visit experience.
12 (DON'T) take Aussie beaches for granted
Australia is known for its picturesque, sunny beaches, but they’re also home to a wide array of wildlife and strong water currents. And while most beaches are safe and swimmer friendly, a few have warning signs about sharks, crocodiles, jellyfish and other imminent dangers on the beach. Every year people ignore the warnings, and end up being injured at the beach, some fatally.
Also, you may be a competent swimmer, but waters have a way of being unpredictable in Australia, the signs showing strong currents shouldn’t be ignored at all. Swim between the flags they have put up, and be on the lookout for surf life-savers, and you should be good to go. Remember, you can't take on mother nature.
11 Visit the Great Barrier Reef (DO IT!)
The acclaimed Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction and inhabits the highest point in most guests' must-see list.
The astounding reef (the biggest on the planet) is comprised of more than 3,000 separate reef ecosystems and many wonderful, welcoming tropical islands encompassed by sky blue waters that are abounding with marine life. You can get to this wonderland from a few seaside urban areas, including Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton, and Mackay.
Adventures at the Great Barrier Reef are for the most part fixated on the astonishing marine life, which draws swimmers and scuba divers from all over the world. But if you prefer to be on the land, you can join a glass-bottomed boat tour instead. Cruising, picturesque helicopter flights, and just unwinding on the shore are some of the other activities to do here.
The World Heritage site of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the biggest living structures on the planet, and is unmistakable from space. In 1975, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was set up to safeguard its delicate ecosystems. One of the seven marvels of the natural world, it stretches for 2,300 kilometres along the coast of the state of Queensland. Snorkelling and swimming are stupendous here. The astonishing cluster of marine life incorporates its rich fauna, boasting of over 1,600 types of tropical fish, dolphins, dugongs, sharks, turtles, giant clams and rays.
10 (DON'T) underestimate the sun!
Make sure you always carry your sunscreen while travelling in Australia. The sun can be vicious in this part of the world, thanks to the ozone hole here. Spend ten minutes in the Aussie sun in the summer without sunscreen, and you’ll be fried with third degree burns!
Staying hydrated is just as important as lathering up with sunscreen, especially if you’re travelling in the hot months. If you’re going into the bush or spending any time outdoors, it would be advisable to take an insect repellent spray along with you, especially for the mosquitos. Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus are some mosquito-borne illnesses to be mindful of.
9 Roam around the streets of Melbourne (DO IT!)
Australia's second biggest city, Melbourne, is a mainstream stop on numerous Australian trips - particularly for culture sharks. Theatres, shopping strips, galleries, and its unmistakably European feel are the primary draws of this beautiful city on the Yarra River. It is additionally a green city, with gardens, parks, and open spaces possessing one third of its area.
Important features of the city include the Federation Square, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the National Gallery of Victoria. Toward the east, the excellent Dandenong Ranges surround the greater Melbourne area, and in the south the Mornington Peninsula offers the residents quick escape for day trips and ocean excursions. Melbourne boasts the title of being the world's most livable city and is therefore certainly worth a visit.
8 (DON'T) stay away from public transport
It may seem like a small country on the map because of its isolation, but be ensured, Australia is still huge! It is the sixth largest country in the world, and many travellers disregard the actual size of Australia and it’s landscape until they arrive, and end up regretting the choices they made in the planning stage. Considering the country is so vast, you cannot expect a road trip from one tip to another to be an easy weekend trip. It’s important that you plan your mode of transport in advance, because you’re sure to hit a few roadblocks in mainland desert, with travel facilities few and far between.
Even if you’re living in the city, make sure you don’t choose the suburbs if you do not have our own transport. You’ll feel isolated soon enough. If you choose public transport, stay near a train, bus or tram line for reliability and convenience of getting from point a to point b.
7 Keep your budget in mind (DO IT!)
Like said before, Australia is not cheap. It is difficult to discover decent, value for money accommodation in Australia. If you’re open to experimenting something else, it's a good idea to research private stays, hostels, and homestays. These are, for the most part, extraordinary methods for saving money in Australia without sacrificing comfort. Also, eating out in Australia can be a costly affair if you don't know where to look.
Why not try out street food, and explore fresh markets for an authentic Aussie holiday. Favor cooking your own dinners instead of eating out every day, and shop at the nearby farmers markets. You will be astonished by the exceptional quality of food in Australia. Alternatively, you can also opt for BYO (bring you own) restaurants, which are very common all over Australia to bring along your own bottle of red or white.
6 (DON'T) hike in the Outback alone
Our rough scene may look engaging for a few long days of outdoors and climbing, however you're definitely safer travelling in the outback with a small group.
There are such a large number of variables to consider in the Australian Outback – hazardous climate, toxic snakes and creepy crawlies, in addition to severe drying out conditions. Simply take no chances and don't complete a climb alone!
Going off the beaten track is loaded with danger anywhere you go, yet especially so in an unforgiving zone like Australia. There are simply such a significant number of things that could turn out badly out there, including dangerous wildlife, dense flora or the scarcity of it thereof, extreme temperatures and dehydration, or simply the sheer tremendousness of the continent. The best and safest method is to never stray alone. Keep someone in the loop about where your gathering is going so they can alarm the experts on the off chance that you don't return. Bring sufficient water, food, matches and a torch with you to enable you to survive in case you get stuck in an unfortunate situation while in the outback.
5 Go for local drinks (DO IT!)
When choosing drinks for the night, go local. Australia has a ton of great local brands and plenty of micro-breweries that are worth trying while you are here. Just please don’t ask for a pint of Fosters. If you want to go mainstream, try XXXX Gold, Coopers, VB, Carlton Draught, Boags, Hahn, or James Squire instead. You can even visit a number of large, or micro- breweries dotted all over Australia.
While picking drinks for the night, choose local ones. Australia has a huge amount of awesome local brands and a lot of small-scaled breweries that’ll give you a good buzz and make you remember them long after you’ve left. Cider is likewise extremely well-liked among Australians. Do not request Fosters, because locals don’t really drink that all the time, contrary to the stereotype!
4 (DON'T) Go to Fraser Island with an Inexperienced Driver
Located off Australia’s east coast between Bundaberg and Brisbane, Fraser Island is on the World Heritage-list for being the largest sand island in the world. It’s one of Australia's best outdoor adventures - particularly for fans of the four-wheel drive.
Along the isolated Seventy Five Mile Beach, you’ll come across the shaded sandstone precipices of The Cathedrals, rusted shipwrecks, and bubbly rock pools famously called Champagne Pools. Perfectly clear freshwater streams and lakes, old rainforests loaded with an astounding decent variety of plants and creatures are some highlights you’ll find inland. Whales, shark and dolphins dominate the waters, while dingoes, bats, wild horses and sugar gliders, along with over 300 types of birds incorporate the island’s fauna. Access to Fraser Island is by ship from Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. Four-wheel drive vehicles are fundamental as the island has no fixed streets. It’s imperative that you have an skilled 4WD driver with you who knows the area and can easily manage sandy stretches, creeks, dirt paths, and other extreme conditions. Pick your Fraser Island traveling friends sensibly.
3 Go off the grid (DO IT!)
Internet in Australia is average and costly. You may get Wifi in inns and a few bistros all throughout your travels, but almost certainly the signal will be awful.
One of the best ways to stay connected on the road is to unlock your mobile phone before you leave home and pick up a Telstra Pay As You Go Sim card. Telstra has the best coverage across the country, so you’ll be able to stay connected even in the remote areas. It’ll set you back by $30-50/month, depending on how much data you want to have, but it might be well worth it in the end. Another option is to invest in a Wifi Hotspot device that gives you unlimited Wifi throughout the stay.
2 (DON'T) assume everyone speaks the same English you do, get to know the local slang.
Australian English is quite different from American, Canadian or British English. Learning the local language will give you a better chance at making new ‘mates’ (friends) there. For example, thongs are flip flops, and peppers are capsicums in Australia. A bonnet means the hood of a car, and gas is petrol. A Ute is a pickup truck, and lollies are candies. Also, city centres are called CBD (Central Business District) in Australia.
And finally, be ready to get toasted by your good-natured Aussie friends with their wacky sense of humous, and don’t take their sarcasm to heart!
"G'day Mate, let's rock the bottle-o for some bevvies before the footy and head over to pop's for a barbie in the arvo. There's snags and avo and there'll be heaps of blokes and sheilas rocking up."
Translated, that says: "Hello, let's get some beverages from the convenience store before the football match and then go to dad's for a BBQ this afternoon. There's sausages and avocado. Lots of guys and girls will be there.
1 Fall in love with Sydney (DO IT!)
Known as the Harbor City, Sydney is the biggest, most established and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with a lucky notoriety as one of the world's most lovely and liveable urban cities. Overflowing with history, nature, culture, food, and architecture, Sydney is set along miles of sea coastline and white sandy beaches. The city is additionally home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most notable structures in the world.
Unmistakably Australia's most historic landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge can be seen from numerous spots all through the city. However, you simply have to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge for the best view. BridgeClimb Sydney gives you various climbing options including a sampler climb, sundown climb and even a night climb. The most sought after experience is the day climb which will see you stroll up 1,332 steps to the highest point of the extension from where you can appreciate 360-degree views of Sydney before going down once more. The day climb takes around three and a half hours in total.