Australia has got it all. With coastlines that stretch for miles, coral reefs seen from space, deserts full of history and culture, tropical jungles and some of the world’s most livable cities – there’s just too much to see! Luckily, that’s where we come in. We’ve managed to narrow down 6 ultimate Australian experiences to get you pumped for your trip Down Under. But are you going to stop at 6?
Let’s start off with these for now…
Now that’s a big one! Whale sharks are the world’s largest species of fish – don’t ask us why on earth they’re called sharks. And if you’re feeling brave you can actually swim with these beauties and the best place for it has to be the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with these gentle giants in the crystal clear water of Coral Bay. However, if you want to keep a bit of a distance between yourself and these massive fish then take an Ecotour on a glass-bottomed boat and spot everything from turtles to coral life. Dreamy.
Uluru is the one of the most breathtaking places on the planet. It’s a gateway into the world’s oldest continuous culture, the Aborigines. Spend the day learning about the Anangu Aborginal culture, tasting the best bush tucker and giving dot painting a go – an integral part to indigenous culture, paintings are created with a small, distinct dots of color, and they often represent ancient stories (it’s not as easy as it looks). After a long day exploring Uluru, fall asleep under the stars in a swag and wake up to one of the most spectacular views in the whole of Australia. Life doesn’t get much better.
Shimmering turquoise waters, pure white sandy beaches (the sand is so pure it actually squeaks) and an abundance of marine life – welcome to the picturesque Whitsundays. The most ideal way to explore these little paradise islands is aboard a sailing boat. The majority of the sailing trips depart from the backpacker hub of Airlie beach, most trips are overnight so you can actually say you’ve spent the night on the Great Barrier Reef under the stars! Lots of trips include snorkeling or diving excursions, tasty meals cooked on board, boat parties, relaxing massages and even helicopter rides! Best part, you can sing at the top of your lungs “I’M ON A BOAT”.
One of the most buzzing backpacker hotspots in Sydney is Darling Harbor, jam-packed with quirky cafes, unique restaurants and some of the coolest bars. Check out ‘The Ternary’ it’s yum and head to ‘Andersen’s’ for the best ice cream you’ll ever eat – trust us. But it doesn’t stop there, every Friday and Saturday the harbor is lit up by a fireworks display and the atmosphere is electric. Without sounding cheesy, the fireworks create the perfect backdrop for some rooftop cocktails – that sounded cheesy right? Well cheesy or not, it’s definitely a must do.
About a 3 hour drive from Adelaide and a short hop (no pun intended) on the ferry, Kangaroo Island is known as ‘the zoo without fences’ – it’s not just the ‘roos on the island you should be excited about! This little gem off the coast of South Australia is mostly national park; I mean there’s more koalas than people for goodness sake and there’s over 600 hundred species of sea lions at Seal Bay. Kangaroo Island has a completely unspoiled environment so therefore produces some of Australia’s finest gourmet foods. The seafood is incredible and there are loads of exciting wines to try. The restaurant culture is exceptional. A little bit off the classic Aussie trail, but well worth it.
It’s the world’s largest sand island, yes it’s record-breaking. Fraser Island spans over 166,000 hectares, with rainforests, over 100 freshwater lakes and a 120km beach highway to explore. The best way to see the island rent your own 4×4, cruise across the dunes and then to camp out under the stars. Plus, the campsites are renowned for having the best parties in comparison to the hostels on the island and keep your eyes peeled for dingoes roaming around the island. Along with dingoes, there’s the most incredible shipwreck over 75 years old which makes for an awesome Instagram snap. After spending the day exploring, chill out by one of the freshwater lakes and go for a well-earned dip or float down the original lazy river ride! No wonder the Aborigines call this place K’Gari – paradise.
Avery is a senior at Vanderbilt University and a Student Ambassador here at STA Travel. She is passionate about all…
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