Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. When you visit, it is tempting to do the run-of-the-mill things.
But, as I often tell friends and acquaintances planning to visit Australia, there is more to Australia than cuddling a koala. Although I have to admit cuddling a koala is a special experience.
Let me share my 10 favourite places in Australia that you simply must visit.
1 Whitsunday Islands Queensland
On our second visit to Australia, my husband Jack and I had more time to spare.
Our first visit was more of a “rush job.” At the time, my husband was serving in the UK Army. But, at least we got the opportunity to make a list of places we wanted to explore on our next visit.
The Whitsunday Islands were on top of the agenda. This is very much the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. We are both water sports lovers. We knew any visit to Australia without exploring the Great Barrier Reef would be incomplete.
Both of us are qualified divers so we made the most of our visit to the Whitsunday Islands. But, don’t worry, you don’t need to be a qualified diver to enjoy a visit to this unique place. You can have plenty of fun in the sea and on the sea without having to dive under its surface.
I would recommend you fit in a charter yacht experience for a couple of days. This part of Australia is best explored from the ocean. The skippers are fantastic and take you to the best sites both under and above the water. If you don’t fancy diving, snorkelling is just as much of a rewarding experience.
2 Kakadu National Park
Australia has the most national parks in the world. There are many parks worth exploring.
We like to get our boots on and go hiking. If you are visiting the Darwin area, you simply have to visit Kakadu National Park
This is a great place to see native Aborgine rock art and explore all of the best nature has to offer. The landscape is dramatic. Once we laid our eyes on Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls, we felt like we were visiting a land time had forgotten.
Kakadu National Park is one of the most stunning natural locations I have visited in my life.
Tasmania is home to some interesting wildlife. If you are lucky, you may even have an encounter with a Tasmanian devil or two.
The air is wonderfully clean, it almost feels like you are breathing fresh oxygen.
The island of Tasmania is on many visitors’ bucket lists. Everyone we spoke to wanted to see its unique wildlife.
But there is another reason you should visit Tasmania – the food. We have always enjoyed seafood, but Tasmanian rock lobster takes it to the next level.
If you are a foody. Tasmania is a must-visit location in Australia.
4 Bondi to Coogee Walk
We are not really townies, but we do love Sydney. Once you have seen the Opera House, you may want to explore more of the area.
The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of the best ways to get a feel for Sydney’s coastline. Even if you are not an experienced walker, you can easily take on this beautiful 6km walk.
This is an easy walk with beautiful views and great places to stop en route.
5 Great Ocean Walk
You have probably figured out by now that we love the great outdoors.
If you are as serious about walking as we are, you may just feel like taking on the 100km Great Ocean Walk.
And no, you don’t have to do what we did. We did it all as a complete stretch and then walked back to our rented car again. Yes, you read that right.
If you would like to do what we did, there are plenty of accommodation options. More than anything, the Great Ocean Walk is one of the most stunning walks in the world.
And that is coming from two people who have walked all over the world.
6 Melbourne City
Melbourne is one of our favourite cities in the world. Compared to many others, Melbourne feels really manageable and safe.
I love Melbourne and I don’t mind shouting declaring my love for this historic city.
When you get to Melbourne, leave your car and use the public transport services. The city is super easy to get around by tram, bus, train or boat. A great place to get stuck into some pedal power and rent a bike.
7 Brunetti Oro
As someone with mixed Italian-Swedish heritage, I am drawn to places that offer me a little bit of what I like to call “my culture.”
Wandering around Melbourne one day, Jack and I came across Brunetti Oro. This is an Italian cafe located in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
If you like nice cakes and amazing coffee, this place is a must. Delicious Italian classic pastry delights and amazing coffee – what else can I say?
When you fancy a sweet treat in a relaxed atmosphere, Brunetti’s is a great place to come.
8 China Town Melbourne
I don’t know what it is, but when we travel, we always end up visiting “Chinatowns.” It probably has something to do with the fact my husband bought his first flat near Chinatown, London.
Many Chinatowns we visited are over-commercialised. However, when you rock up in Chinatown, Melbourne, you are in for a more genuine experience.
There is little wonder why, Melbourne’s Chinatown is the longest continuously inhabited Chinese settlement in what we like to call the Western World. If you are looking for a genuine experience, this is the place to come.
Great food and you know there is always something going on in Chinatown Melbourne.
9 Jawbone Reserve
This is a Melbourne location that has to be seen to be believed. If you like birds, this is one of the best places to visit in Australia.
To us, it was hard to believe you could find a wilderness area so close to a major city.
In Jawbone, you can enjoy a little bit of everything including mangroves, a salt marsh and grassland areas. A visit is both educational and relaxing.
Next time we head to Australia, one of the first places we are going back to is the Jawbone Natural Reserve. A great example of environmentalism in action.
10 Boat Rides In Melbourne
One of the best ways to explore a coastal city is from the sea. Especially a place like Melbourne which has so much maritime history.
When we have the chance, we love nothing better than taking a boat or a ferry ride. Fortunately, for us, we got the opportunity to hang out in Melbourne for an extended period of time.
From the Melbourne harbour area, there are numerous tours and ferry rides that you can enjoy. There are everything from sunset cruises to private charters that you can take on your own or share with others.
Australia is a great place to visit. This a country with so much to offer. Exploring all of Australia in one visit is impossible.
Make yourself a list and don’t forget to drop by some of the out-of-the-way places. Not everything which is great about Australia is on the tourist trail.
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