Australia, a land of dazzling contrasts and breathtaking beauty, invites you to embark on a journey of discovery. From its sun-kissed beaches to the remote wilderness, this vast continent offers an endless array of experiences, each more captivating than the last.

Here we’ll dive into the heart of this magnificent country, uncovering the top 20 adventures that promise to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Whether you’re drawn to the cultural vibrancy of its cities, the natural splendor of its landscapes, or the unique wildlife that calls it home, Australia has something for everyone. Our guide takes you from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the untamed beauty of the Kimberley, with stops at world-renowned beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning alpine regions.

Join us on this exhilarating journey, where each destination offers its own unique blend of excitement, adventure, and awe-inspiring beauty. Prepare to be captivated by the spirit of Australia, a place where adventure awaits around every corner.

Discovering the Down Under: 20 Best Things To Do in Australia

1. Sydney Opera House: Behind the Scenes Tour

Dive into the heart of Australia’s cultural landscape with a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House. This architectural marvel isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a hub of artistic history and innovation.

As you traverse its unique design, the walls whisper tales of legendary performances. Don’t miss the chance to see a live show, where the blend of exceptional acoustics and artistic talent will leave you awe-inspired.

Sydney Opera House - The 20 Best Things To Do In Australia
Sydney Opera House | @bazfromscotland

2. Great Barrier Reef: Snorkeling and Diving

Plunge into the vibrant world beneath the waves at the Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s largest and most spectacular coral reef system. This underwater paradise is a kaleidoscope of color, teeming with diverse marine life.

Whether snorkeling or diving, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate coral formations and the myriads of exotic fish, turtles, and perhaps even the gentle whale shark. It’s not just an adventure; it’s an unforgettable connection with nature.

3. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: Sunset Viewing and Cultural Tours

Experience the spiritual heart of Australia at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The sight of Uluru (Ayers Rock) changing colors at sunset is truly a spectacle to behold.

Explore the cultural significance of this sacred site through guided tours by the indigenous Anangu people. Their stories and art offer a profound understanding of the land and its ancient heritage.

Baby Kangaroo, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - The 20 Best Things To Do In Australia
Baby Kangaroo at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | @byaltair

4. Melbourne’s Laneways: Urban Art and Café Culture

Melbourne’s laneways are a canvas for urban artists and a haven for café lovers. Wander through alleys adorned with vibrant street art, each turn revealing a new masterpiece.

This is where the city’s creative heart beats loudest, pulsating with galleries, boutiques, and eateries. Stop by a quirky café for a taste of Melbourne’s renowned coffee culture, and soak in the ambiance of this artistic metropolis.

5. Gold Coast: Surfing and Beach Hopping

The Gold Coast is Australia’s slice of surfers’ paradise. With its golden beaches and perfect waves, it’s a haven for surf enthusiasts and beachgoers alike.

Whether you’re riding your first wave or just soaking up the sun, the Gold Coast offers a laid-back beach culture unlike any other. The vibrant nightlife and theme parks nearby ensure the adventure doesn’t stop at sunset.

6. Kangaroo Island: Wildlife Adventure

Kangaroo Island is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream. This untouched paradise is home to a diverse array of Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species.

Embark on a guided tour to witness these animals in their natural habitat. The island’s rugged coastline and pristine beaches add to its allure, making it a perfect escape for nature lovers.

7. Tasmanian Wilderness: Hiking and Eco-Tours

Tasmania’s wilderness is a pristine and untouched wonder, offering some of the most breathtaking hiking trails in Australia. From the rugged peaks of Cradle Mountain to the lush rainforests of the Tarkine, the natural beauty is unparalleled.

Eco-tours provide insight into the island’s unique flora and fauna, making it a must-visit for those seeking a genuine connection with nature.

8. The Kimberley: Cruise and Indigenous Heritage

Embark on a journey through The Kimberley, one of Australia’s most remote and stunning regions. A cruise along its dramatic coastline reveals ancient rock formations, thundering waterfalls, and secluded beaches.

Engage with the rich Indigenous heritage through rock art sites and cultural tours, offering a glimpse into the land’s ancient past.

Mitchell Falls
Mitchell Falls | @australia

9. Barossa Valley: Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tours

Indulge in the flavors of Australia’s premier wine region, the Barossa Valley. Known for its world-class Shiraz, the valley’s vineyards and boutique wineries offer tastings and tours for all palates.

The scenic landscapes, coupled with the region’s rich culinary scene, make it a delightful journey for both wine aficionados and foodies.

10. Daintree Rainforest: Guided Jungle Walks

Step into the ancient world of the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest rainforests on Earth. Guided walks lead you through lush greenery, where every step uncovers unique plant and animal life.

The rainforest, a part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a living museum, offering a rare glimpse into the complex ecosystems that have survived for millions of years.

Daintree Rainforest - The 20 Best Things To Do In Australia
Daintree Rainforest | @australia

11. Perth and Fremantle: Coastal Charm and History

Discover the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere of Perth, where stunning beaches meet a bustling city life. Just a short drive away, Fremantle charms with its maritime history and Victorian architecture.

Indulge in fresh seafood at a harborside restaurant or explore the artsy markets. The blend of culture, history, and beach lifestyle makes this region a captivating part of your Australian journey.

12. Australian Alps: Skiing and Snowboarding

Australia isn’t just about beaches; the Australian Alps offer thrilling skiing and snowboarding experiences. With well-groomed slopes suitable for all levels, the Alps are a winter wonderland.

Off the slopes, cozy alpine villages provide the perfect setting for après-ski relaxation. Here, you’ll find a different kind of Australian adventure, one that’s wrapped in a blanket of snow and exhilaration.

13. Fraser Island: 4WD Adventure and Lake McKenzie

Fraser Island is an adventure lover’s paradise, best explored in a 4WD. Navigate the sandy tracks to discover the island’s unique ecosystems, from rainforests growing on sand dunes to crystal-clear freshwater lakes.

Lake McKenzie, with its pure silica sands and turquoise waters, is a heavenly spot for a refreshing swim. This World Heritage-listed island promises an unforgettable blend of adventure and natural beauty.

14. Adelaide’s Central Market: Culinary Delights

Adelaide’s Central Market is a feast for the senses. This bustling marketplace is brimming with fresh produce, artisan cheeses, and mouth-watering delicacies.

It’s a place where food lovers unite, offering a taste of South Australia’s rich culinary heritage. Join a guided tour or simply wander through the stalls; either way, your taste buds are in for a treat.

15. The Ghan: A Luxury Train Journey Through the Heart of Australia

Step aboard The Ghan for an epic train journey across the Australian continent. This luxury train ride offers a unique perspective of Australia’s vast landscapes, from the lush Top End to the arid Red Centre.

With elegant cabins and fine dining, The Ghan is more than just transportation; it’s an unforgettable travel experience, rich in comfort and romance.

Coral bay, Western Australia
Coral bay, Western Australia | @australia

16. Brisbane River: Kayaking and City Views

Kayaking along the Brisbane River offers a unique vantage point of the city. Glide past Brisbane’s skyline, discovering hidden gems along the riverbanks.

This leisurely activity combines adventure with urban exploration, suitable for all skill levels. It’s a refreshing way to experience the city, offering both tranquility and a touch of excitement.

17. Great Ocean Road: Scenic Drives and Coastal Wonders

The Great Ocean Road is a journey through scenic wonders and coastal majesty. This iconic drive takes you past dramatic cliffs, serene beaches, and lush rainforests.

Landmarks like the Twelve Apostles stand as natural sentinels over the Southern Ocean. The road is more than a route; it’s a journey through some of Australia’s most breathtaking landscapes, promising awe at every turn.

Great Oatway National Park
Great Oatway National Park | @australia

18. Canberra: National Museums and Galleries

In Canberra, delve into Australia’s cultural and political heritage. The city’s national museums and galleries offer insightful exhibitions into the nation’s history, art, and indigenous cultures.

The Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia are just a couple of the must-visit institutions that offer both educational and emotional experiences.

19. The Whitsundays: Sailing and Island Exploration

Set sail in the Whitsundays, an archipelago of 74 tropical islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. This is a sailor’s paradise, where crystal-clear waters and secluded beaches await.

Whether aboard a luxury yacht or a bareboat charter, the Whitsundays offer a blissful escape into a world of island beauty and serenity.

Candlagan Creek
Candlagan Creek | @australia

20. Blue Mountains: Bushwalking and Panoramic Vistas

The Blue Mountains are a hiker’s haven with trails leading through eucalyptus forests and alongside dramatic cliffs. The region is named for its distinctive blue haze, a natural phenomenon that adds to its mystique.

Highlights include the Three Sisters rock formation and the Jenolan Caves. It’s a place where natural wonders are abundant, offering a tranquil retreat from the urban hustle.

Practical Tips for Visiting Australia

1. Visa Requirements: Before planning your trip, check the latest visa requirements. Most visitors need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

2. Best Time to Visit: Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. For milder weather, consider visiting during the spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May).

3. Sun Protection: The Australian sun is intense. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, especially during outdoor activities.

4. Stay Hydrated: Keep hydrated, especially when exploring outdoor attractions like the Outback or the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Currency and Payments: The Australian Dollar (AUD) is the local currency. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it’s good to have some cash for smaller shops and rural areas.

6. Transportation: Australia is vast, and distances between attractions can be significant. Plan your transportation accordingly – consider domestic flights for long distances and car rentals for scenic drives like the Great Ocean Road.

7. Mobile Connectivity: Get a local SIM card for better coverage and rates. Australia has good mobile network coverage, especially in urban areas.

8. Safety First: When swimming, always swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags. Be aware of wildlife and follow local guidelines, especially in national parks and rural areas.

9. Time Zones: Australia has multiple time zones. Check the local time for each destination you’re visiting.

10. Local Etiquette: Australians are generally informal but polite. A friendly “hello” or “thanks” goes a long way. Tipping is appreciated but not customary.

11. Pack for the Climate: Weather can vary greatly. Pack layers, including a waterproof jacket, regardless of the season.

12. Eco-Friendly Practices: Be mindful of your environmental impact. Dispose of waste properly and respect wildlife habitats.

13. Indigenous Cultures: Show respect for Indigenous cultures and heritage sites. Engage with local guides to learn about traditional customs and history.

14. Healthcare and Insurance: Travel insurance, including health coverage, is highly recommended. Australia has excellent healthcare, but it can be expensive for tourists without coverage.

15. Emergency Services: In case of emergency, dial 000 for police, fire, or ambulance. It’s a free call from any phone in Australia.

16. Adapt to the Lifestyle: Embrace the laid-back Australian lifestyle. Be open to meeting locals and trying new experiences.

17. Culinary Adventures: Australian cuisine is diverse. Don’t miss out on local dishes and fresh seafood. Be sure to try a classic Australian BBQ!

18. Water Safety: When exploring the ocean or rivers, be cautious of currents and marine life. Always follow safety signs and lifeguard advice.

19. Respect the Environment: When visiting natural attractions, stick to marked trails and avoid disturbing wildlife. Leave no trace to preserve these spaces for future visitors.

20. Stay Informed: Keep up with local news and weather forecasts, especially if traveling to remote areas or during bushfire season.

By following these practical tips, your Australian adventure will not only be enriching but also comfortable and safe. Happy travels!