A truly unique experience awaits you on a trip to Australia. It would help if you visited Australia for its cultural diversity, laid-back atmosphere, and opportunities to explore nature in a pristine state at Australia’s numerous rolling beaches, rainforests, and cliffs. Vacations and trips away from home are taken to experience fresh environments, do new things and most of all, relax. Australia is a place offering all these and more with cultural attractions from the aboriginal roots of the country, food experiences like never before, and luxury accommodations.
Adventure in the rugged Outback of Australia, camp out and trek; relax at the most beautiful beaches including Bondi Beach and Whitehaven, and go out for a swim or surf. Experience marine life in the top snorkeling spots and pet koalas and kangaroos up close in sanctuaries. Take a walking tour of the Sydney Opera House and spend an evening at a museum or brewery tasting. Australia is the destination for a tourist and there’s no other place with a friendlier guide to take you on a wholesome vacation with our Australia Tour Packages.
Here are the top 33 things to do in Australia:
Tourists from around the world have a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef, on their bucket list. Located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea, the reef is home to 1600 species of fish, not to mention the “Great Eight”–manta rays, whales, turtles, giant clams, Maori wrasse, clownfish, potato cod, and sharks.
Take a liveaboard dive trip to explore the pristine reef or a glass-bottom boat ride to the iconic Heart Reef. The reef will leave you awestruck with its rich marine biodiversity, the beautiful colors of the corals making up the largest living structure in the world, and the variety of fun water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, or landing a pontoon to enjoy a family trip and relax.
The most popular jumping-off points to the GBR are tropical Cairns and Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays region. The towns are famous for their own natural covers. Take a helicopter ride over Cairns to see the Daintree or Kuranda’s rainforests. Hot air balloon Cairns over Atherton Tablelands is another top thing to do in the tropical town. If you visit the coastal town of Airlie Beach, be sure to try ocean rafting and take a tour of Whitehaven Beach to get yourself hyped.
The reef's southern end has its own charm as idyllic islands dot the area and offer amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities. You will get to swim with giant manta rays from Lady Eliot Island and can see turtles nesting on Heron Island or hatchlings making their way to the beach on Mon Repos Beach. Discover the beaches and waterfalls of Hinchinbrook Island on multi-day hiking tours.
Experiencing even a little of the Great Barrier Reef will surely be a memorable part of your vacation.
In the dark of the night, a glimpse of the Aurora Australis will light up your vacation only on Australia's island state, Tasmania. Tasmania being 240 km to the south of Australia’s mainland forms the southernmost area of Australia, and offers the best spots for catching the elusive Southern Lights and wondrous stargazing as the area lacks light pollution.
Taking a trip during the day will introduce you to the famed Tasmanian Devils, wombats, wallabies, and other unique Tasman fauna. More than 40% of the island is protected as national parks, reserves, or UNESCO World Heritage areas. Maria Island is a popular national park where you can explore Tasman wildlife and visit the Fossil Cliffs (containing preserved prehistoric fossils) and the Painted Cliffs (of colored sandstones).
The rugged beauty of Tasmania is also made up of multiple rock structures mainly found in the Tasman National Park, the Mars Bluff in the sandy beaches of Bruny Island, and sea cliffs like Three Capes Track. Take a cruise in the Derwent River in Hobart or Gordon River in Strahan or a tour of Hobart, Bruny Island, or Port Arthur with a look at the history of convict life and the cultural icons shaping these places. A number of boat tours and sailing opportunities exist here, given Tasmania’s rich maritime culture.
If you’re looking for more natural beauty, the Blue Mountains of Australia will not disappoint. Lying to the west of Sydney in New South Wales, this mountainous region of plateaus, deep gorges, cliffs, and hills is also a container for rich rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and large eucalypt forests. The mountains do look blue from a distance because of the oils released by those eucalyptus trees.
The best way to experience the Blue Mountains is to start at Katoomba with the Three Sisters Walk which offers spectacular views of the Blue Mountains, the famous Three Sisters, and awing rock formations. Nearby, the Giant Stairway is a popular walking track descending from Echo Point (stunning lookout to Jamison Valley) to Honeymoon Bridge (connecting to the first sister). You can also check out Katoomba Scenic Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world as entered in the Guinness Book of World Records, with trains running at 52° inclination in open terrain with different seat inclinations (20°, 52°, and 64°).
The Jenolan Caves, Wentworth, and Bridal Veil Falls are also popular destinations. Cave Tours are operated to explore the world’s oldest caves, the Jenolan Caves, including relaxation and refreshments at Chisolm’s Restaurant and accommodation in the Blue Mountains.
Lord Howe Island sits in the Tasman east sea and is a small piece of paradise for vacationers who want an ultimate peaceful getaway. Accommodating up to 400 visitors only, the island offers exclusive natural attractions and is famous for fishing. A premier bird-watching destination, Lord Howe Island has multiple seabird colonies and seasonal migrations allow for birding throughout the year. Hiking and day walking through the island (the entire place is under a Permanent Park Reserve) and snorkeling or diving from the island’s Ned Beach are other top things to do here.
A range of massages and relaxation activities for your well-being is also available on the island. Bike riding through the scenic forested areas of the island is a must-do on Lord Howe as it offers over 13 km of tracks and roads for cycling. Other almost exclusive activities on Lord Howe include golf, lawn bowls, tennis, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking.
Thousands of national parks and conservation reserves protect Australia’s densest forests and rich biodiversity. The state and territory agencies manage these national parks and provide multiple opportunities for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, walking, scenic driving, swimming, diving and snorkeling, fishing, and canoeing.
Queensland’s camping stays at Bunya Mountains or Cape Palmerston are perfect for families and children while Victoria’s Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve is a great choice for picnics and birding. Angler’s Paradise in the capital, Canberra, is the perfect place for recreational fishers. Take a stroll through the magnificent botanical gardens of Melbourne any time of the year with flora that changes through the seasons or visit Jawbone Marine Sanctuary sitting within an Aboriginal cultural landscape in Port Phillip.
The Outback describes the arid interior of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Southern Australia with its desert-like flora, low shrubs, and wild. The most famous region of these, is the Kimberley in Western Australia, having the most rugged Outback and considered the last frontier of Australia. The geography of the Kimberley is very diverse from gorges and waterfalls to canyons and coastlines.
To adventure in the Kimberley must be in your itinerary; you can see the Kimberley from above using a helicopter tour, or take an Adventure Wild tour of the best spots in the area for 12 days. Multiple cruises operated by The Great Escape charter company on the Kimberley coastline give you an experience of fishing, waterfall safaris, aboriginal rock art, and more. You can also take a four-wheel drive (4WD) in the offbeat, unsealed tracks of the Kimberley to explore the area on your own or join a driving tour with Kimberley Dreaming.
On the east of the Kimberley lies the agricultural town of Kununurra (experience station life by staying a few days here). Be sure to visit the Purnululu National Park with its main feature, the beehive-shaped sandstone formations—the Bungle Bungle Range. Taking a cruise from Lake Kununurra to Lake Argyle introduces you to the scenic beauty of wetlands. Kununurra is also famous for the sculpted rock formations of Mirima national park, the oldest living culture of Miriwoong (take a guided tour of the aboriginal-owned arts center in Kununurra) as well as boutiques of pink diamonds. The El Questro Homestead in Kununurra is a popular luxury accommodation for your relaxation.
To the west of the Kimberley is another popular tourist destination, Broome. The South Sea Pearl is mined here and you can tour a pearl farm in Willie Creek or Cygnet Bay or visit Chinatown to learn the history of Broome and the culture of pearls. A shallow boat ride to see at least 20 different types of dinosaur footprint tracks around Broome is another top attraction. If you’d like to relax on your trip, Broome’s Cable beach offers umbrellas on rent for sun lounging on the sands.
You could also take a camel ride on the beach. If you visit Broome between March and October, be sure to catch the phenomenon of Staircase to the Moon on Roebuck Bay when a full moon rises over the sea, with live entertainment at The Mangrove Hotel Resort and night markets on the 2-3 days the event occurs. Broome is home to a wide group of cultures (at least 5 different from Aboriginal to Malay and Chinese) and taking a tour of the town (Broome Trike Tours or day trips) is the best way to experience these.
The Outback in the South, especially the Flinders Range (located about 5 hours from Adelaide) is perfect for an outdoor adventure. You can go on a bike trip or 4WD through the backroads or get an aerial view of the ranges to appreciate the scenic beauty. Hike into the bowl or skirt the rim of the Wilpena Pound, the world’s largest natural amphitheater here in Flinders Range (and stay a few days at the Wilpena Pound Resort). The Ranges are also home to many thermal hot springs where you can soak and relax. Flinders Ranges offers the best hiking and cycling opportunities with accommodation (Skytrek Willow Springs Station).
In South Australia’s outback lies a place with a unique way of life underground. The people of the opal mining town of Coober Pedy beat the summer heat by living in houses, cafes, and churches all carved into the earth. The Desert Cave Hotel is on the main street of town, carved into the sandstone hillside, where you can experience the absolute quiet and peace of sleeping underground. Other underground hotels like The Underground Motel, inns (Comfort Inn), as well as outback resorts (BIG4 Stuart Range Outback resort), will be a new experience for visitors.
At the very centre of Australia lies the red sandstone formation of Uluru. Camping and touring the areas near Uluru-Kaja Tjuta National Park (generally from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon) are among the top attractions in the Outback. The Red Centre (aka Alice Springs) sunset and sunrise at Uluru is glorious to see. Walk with an aboriginal guide through the outback in Uluru listening about the rich history of the place. At twilight, check out the Field of Light exhibition only in Uluru.
Sydney overflows with iconic landmarks and top tourist attractions starting from the Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Arts to the rolling golden sands of Bondi Beach on the coastline. Tour and dine on inside the Sydney Opera House and learn what makes up the white-sailed icon of Sydney. Book a seat and watch the spectacular shows hosted at the Sydney Opera House from theatre to dance and operas. The Bangarra Dance Theatre is an acclaimed indigenous dance company at Walsh Bay. If you’d like to explore the history of Sydney, The Rocks district is a great choice for looking into the historic grain buildings and convict life of the past.
The Rocks are also famous for its art center, the Museum of Contemporary Arts (open throughout the week except for Tuesdays and perfect for an art lover). The Sydney Museum and Vaucluse House are living museums you must visit to get to know the colonial history of Sydney. Food districts of Cabramatta, Auburn, or Haymarket host ethnic food tours for you to enjoy local food and drink. Sailing, surfing, and lounging on Sydney’s beaches is a must-do for those visiting. The most famous beaches operating coastal walks and tours as well as having a variety of boutiques on the side for a souvenir are Palm Beach and Manly in the north, and Coogee and Bondi beach in the south. The unique art galleries and cultural attractions of each destination in Sydney make it possible for you to experience local heritage in any spot you choose to visit.
Along Melbourne’s coast lies one of the most scenic drives in the world on Great Ocean road. Hire a car and be sure to go for a memorable drive. Epic surf spots, native wildlife, and hiking and biking trails are all around the Great Ocean Road. Experience the stunning rock formations of the 12 Apostles by hiking the 12 Apostles Lodge Walk. Among the most popular stops on Great Ocean road is Loch Ard Gorge, famous for the stunning views of crumbling cliffs. Trek along one of the walking tracks around the jagged cliff tops and immerse yourself completely in the setting of the picturesque gorge. Sherbrook River is a short walk from Thunder Cave in Loch Ard and offers a stunning beach walk experience as the river almost meets the ocean on the Great Ocean Road. You can admire and experience the rugged coastline and waves and also walk to Mutton Bird Island in Port Campbell National Park.
The Djiriba Waagura Tour in NSW South coast brings stories of the ancient landscape of the Shoalhaven area and takes you to Indigenous sites like sandstone caves with Aboriginal rock-art and ancient fish traps. The experience is captivating and fosters connection to the community and land.
Illi-Langi (meaning homeland) / The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour is operated by Dreamtime Southern X and shows contemporary Aboriginal society in The Rocks district, their spiritual connection to Sydney Harbour and the saltwater heritage of the city. The tour is tailored for local or overseas visitors and school children.
The Wunyami Cultural Walking Tour of Green Island (aka Wunyami) is a 1-hour tour that takes you through the story of how the island was formed and is still protected by the GuruGulu Gungganji people (of Yarrabah) and the Gimuy Yidinji people (of Cairns). Legends and stories surrounding Green Island and more broadly, the Great Barrier Reef also add to your cultural learnings. The tour offers opportunities to meet with elders of the community to share their unique experiences.
Indigenous artists from different communities host tours and art fairs offering a chance for visitors to take part in painting or wood carving. The events promote local artists sometimes from remote communities with unique art techniques.
The annual Darwin Aboriginal Arts Fair (DAAF) in Darwin Convention center, Larraikia country has become a hub for established or emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists from all over the country. The fair is free to attend, held during August for a few days and visitors can directly purchase artwork from the artists. The fair also features a Public Program on the side with cultural performances, artist talks, and children’s activities. In 2023’s program, the DAAF features National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) for innovation in fashion and fabric design by Indigenous artists.
Desert Mob at the Arluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs draws artists from across the Outback Aboriginal communities and is held during September and October. An art marketplace along with artist talks and a day-long symposium are some of the events taking place.
Pop-up picnics are now big with restaurants arranging plates, food and drinks for you in almost any location from To Dine For (Sydney), Picnic Packages (Gold Coast), Honour with Fete (Melbourne), Let’s Picnic (Adelaide), Social Picnic Co. (Brisbane) to Platters by Paige (Norfolk Island).
Many eateries are providing Al Fresco dining and some of these are the perfect choice for a dreamy dinner date or a charming spot to dine on laneways. The House Bar Lawn at Barangaroo House is a street-level outside dining area in Barangaroo, NSW. Brisbane’s Riverbar and Kitchen has opened Chandon Garden offering waterfront dining by the river with drinks and light snacks.
Australia’s sandwich-making is an art and a must-try for foodies visiting local spots. Sydney’s Tiny’s Sandwich Bar delivers massively flavorful and carefully crafted sandwiches alongside a great collection of cocktails, wines and drinks. Brisbane’s Melt Brothers is a perfect gourmet sandwich spot while St. J’s Deli is a great option in Hobart, Tasmania offering sliders and specials at affordable rates.
Australia is home to over 65 wine regions from Margeret River in Western Australia to Mount Cotton in Queensland growing around 100 different grape varieties. Among these, Yarra Valley in Victoria is a top wine region to try wines of Italian (De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate) and French (Dominique Portet) heritage.
Taking a tour of a wine estate and having a private tasting should be on your itinerary. Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia takes you behind-the-scenes of a wine’s making, offers food and wine pairings as well as wine blending and cooking classes.
Brisbane’s Lamington cakes are famous and an unmistakable part of Australian heritage. The delicious combination of vanilla cake, chocolate, and coconut was originally put together in 1900 by the personal chef of Lord and Lady Lamington in Brisbane and eventually became so popular that the chef named it after his employer.
Australia is home to some of the biggest music festivals. The culture of music is well-loved and ingrained in the land. Tamworth Country Music Festival is the oldest music festival in Australia hosted in Tamworth and a must-see event for tourists. The fest has something for everyone from free shows every night in the park, to buskers, stalls, kids' activities, and street performers. You can choose from multiple free or ticketed events through 10 days in January.
Splendour in the Grass alt-rock fest and perhaps the biggest such festival in Australia drawing comparisons to Lollapalooza and Coachella with about 30000 people attending the fest that’s generally hosted in July at the stunning location of North Byron Bay Parklands NSW. The fest always is known to give an incredible production, and fantastic camping facilities, and features local arts and crafts and delicious cuisine. 2023 will be the 21st anniversary of the event between 21st and 23rd July. Other music festivals to check out are the Ultra Festival (Sydney and Melbourne in April), Wide Open Space (Central Australia), and Lost Paradise Festival (New Year’s eve fest between 28th December 2023 and 1st January 2024 in Glenworth Valley NSW).
From gifts and homeware to books and art, Victoria Market is the place for it all. Shop in the open-air sheds or visit unique small businesses to bag a bargain. Start your day with a morning coffee at Market Espresso, lunch at various small eateries serving up Italian, Spanish or Vietnamese delicacies and check out the grocery stores having some of the freshest produce. Be sure to try American Doughnut Kitchen van’s famous hot jam doughnuts for an evening snack. Victoria Market is one of the best ways to experience Melbourne’s everyday life with its laid-back and quaint atmosphere.
At every turn of Melbourne’s lanes are hidden boutiques, famed restaurants sitting humbly or quirky bars. Be sure to explore Melbourne on an evening out to find piano bars or the old school on Meyers Place laneway, Italian Waiters Restaurant. The laneways now show modern flavours with contemporary Indian from Tonka, flavoursome Mexican at Tres a Cinco, rooftop Thai at BKK and opulent South-East Asian fare at Gingerboy. Outdoor street art and murals have been a part of lanes showing ever-changing times and creative displays. Be sure to catch a photo in the picturesque lanes!
The capital of Queensland is a tourist destination everyone wishes to visit being famous as a major cultural heritage hub. Take a tour of the Museum of Brisbane in the city’s center to learn of the evolution of the city or Brisbane’s Powerhouse showing the industrial heritage with its walls of heritage-listed graffiti art. Another must-visit Brisbane destination is the QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art) holding about 19000 pieces of art from around the world.
Collections include a variety of exhibits that feature Indigenous Art, works by Picasso, and several experiences aimed at kids. If you’d like to learn about the maritime history of Queensland, the Queensland Maritime Museum is the place to go with its Lighthouse exhibition, interactive displays, rare ships, and the opportunity to step aboard historic vessels.
Surfing forms a part of life in Australia. Queensland’s Gold Coast has some of the best beaches and spots for surfing from Rainbow Bay to Surfers Paradise. Sydney’s most famous beaches also offer surfing culture. Manly Beach (Sydney) is known for its laid-back surfing culture and the scenic atmosphere of the beach lined with pine trees adds to the aesthetic pleasure of surfing here.
If you are new to surfing, visiting Byron Bay or Bondi Beach to join beginner surf lessons by Lets Go Surfing is a perfect choice. They offer three or five-class packages and also private lessons with expert instructors who will fit you with surfboards, coach you on basic paddling in and out, and also help you catch the waves. Surfing’s known to relax muscles and help destress so be sure to try it out only in the finest of surfing destinations, in Australia.
Island hopping and sailing are among the top things to do in the Whitsunday region. The region is off the east coast from Airlie Beach and the best way to explore the islands is via sailing. Take a multi-day sailing cruise, generally for three days and two nights. The sailing cruise may also offer snorkeling or scuba diving opportunities. Next, visit Whitehaven beach on the trip. Whitehaven beach, is famous for its powdery, white sand and a relaxing location to stop and take a swim. The beach itself is beautiful offering an atmosphere for disconnecting and absolute peace. You can also go on to take a tour of the Great Barrier Reef on the side of the Whitsunday region and snorkel.
Exmouth is a gateway to the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, home to a similar group of thriving marine life like the Great Barrier Reef. Exmouth Dive and Whale Sharks operate two deluxe tours for a whale shark swim and were original pioneers of the same with guaranteed safety and expert handling. The tours are adventure snorkeling with gentle giant Whale Sharks run between March and early August and provide an unforgettable experience to add to your memorable trip. The tour operators also offer humpback whale watching (at close range from a boat) or swimming (where visitors can enter the water after the whales have calmed and view them underwater in the closest range) tours.
The first world whale Heritage site and known as the whale watching capital of the world, Hervey Bay is the best place to view humpback whales from as the whales chill and play around, staying for a long time near the watching vessels. Multiple tours are operated by Queensland Bookings departing from Hervey Bay or Fraser Island varying in duration from the entire day to three hour cruises.
A must-do activity is a wildlife touring the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park and getting a chance to pet kangaroos and hand-hold koalas. Goannas, koalas, eagles, kangaroos and echidnas are regularly spotted in the park. Take a walk on the beach through Seal Bay Conservative Park and get to see sea lions. A walking tour of the island will let you see koalas among the trees, the famed marsupials after whom the island gets its name, wallabies, and echidna as well as a chance to swim with dolphins. On a nocturnal tour you can see paragliding penguins. A variety of bird life can be seen on Kangaroo island including a special visit to Raptor Domain where local birds of prey including falcons and eagles are on display.
Sydney is home to some postcard-picture beaches, one of which is Bondi Beach where surfing, swimming, and lounging on the soft, white sands are among the top activities to do. Bondi is a short bus ride away from Sydney making hop-on-hop-off tours between the places very common. You can also take a walking tour of Bondi Beach, getting to know about the beach and other local tips. The coastline connects to the nearby beaches of Coogee and Bronte. The walk also gives opportunities to see Aboriginal rock art and the shooting sites and lifesavers of the reality TV show Bondi Rescue. You can also join Bondi’s Icebergs swimming club with many benefits or go on an inside tour of the club.
Experience an exhilarating adventure on rafting tours of Cairns or rafting in some of the best rapids in Barron and Tully Rivers. The Tully river rapids are grade 4 or 5, making it a must-raft river packing a punch on the ride, while Barron’s are grades 2 or 3 making it slightly easier to raft on and a perfect choice for families. Both rivers remain warm throughout the year and border the wet tropics of Queensland cutting through deep gorges and ravines. Raging Thunder operates the best white water rafting tours in Cairns (tours have been offered since 1984). Afternoon tours on the Barron river introduce you to rafting and the thrill of conquering the rapids.
The charm of the capital, Canberra is captured overhead when you take a mesmerizing hot air balloon ride and get to appreciate the stunning beauty of the city. Balloon Aloft Canberra offers Sunrise Balloon Flight, a commercial ballooning venture with guaranteed safety, and the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, an event where balloonists from across the country take to the skies every morning from the Parliamentary triangle.
A train ride across the Outback is the ultimate journey to view the scenic beauty of the beautiful sandstone formations, all in the most luxurious settings inside. The top three luxurious trains in Australia are The Ghan, the Indian Pacific, and the Great Southern.
The Ghan takes you through the Northern Territory to the Red Centre and the tropical Top End. With spectacular views and offering 3 levels of services differing in the cabin arrangements and luxury provided for your comfort, the Ghan running between Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs or the return is the ultimate exploration partner for enjoying the Outback in the Northern Territory without having to step out in the sun.
One of the greatest train journeys spanning almost the entire continent in three days and three nights, is the Indian Pacific running between Sydney and Perth via Adelaide. The rides are spaced such that you get plenty of time to step out and view each area’s highlights before moving on. The trains are operated twice a week. The Indian Pacific is named after the two oceans the ride connects.
The Great Southern offers the ultimate relaxing experience while taking you from Adelaide to Brisbane, with a taste of the rugged coastline, sun-kissed beaches, forested peaks, and exhilarating capital cities. The operators also provide off-train experiences like excursions to historic lighthouses, and beaches as well as river cruising and cultural events.
Free and ticketed events are hosted in the Blue Mountains as a celebration of the equinox from March to April. From a masquerade ball, varied culinary experiences, magic shows, live music shows, and small businesses setting up shop to fireside storytelling, stargazing, Indigenous workshops, and guided tours, the Equinox is the ultimate fest celebrating the Autumn Equinox in Australia.
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