Travelling around Australia is like no other experience in the world. Nowhere else will you find people, sights and even wildlife with such a variety as in the different regions, or states, of Australia. The accents even vary, though you may need a savvy local to point out exactly why this is and where the distinction lies. To the undiscerning eyes and ears, each city may look the same, but they all have unique sights and sounds and even feel to them, which make them all incredibly fun to visit.
One of the things I loved about Australia was how many activities I could get involved in that were outdoors or adventurous. Of course, Australia is known for it’s surfing, and I actually got to watch some of the Quicksilver Pro surfing while I was on the Gold Coast, but there are so many fun water based activities that are up for grabs in Australia, like paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing.
Another growing water sport is kitesurfing, where you can carve waves apart while performing daring aerial jumps and somersaults. For teens and young adults, I would recommend Scarborough Beach, where you can kitesurf during the day, and then hit up some bumping clubs and pubs at night.
Sure, you can do a lot of these activities on your local river or lake, but how often in life can you say that you’ve kayaked through a dolphin sanctuary, a mandrake grove and around shipwrecks? Personally, that was a once in a lifetime opportunity, thank you Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary.
Speaking of once in a lifetime, Australia is also home to some pretty amazing animals, including wallabies, koalas and kangaroos. A lot of the sanctuaries and zoos are very good about not only educating visitors on the various animals, but setting up ways for the visitors to interact with the animals.
One such place where you can interact with the wildlife is the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney where you can have amazingly up-close and personal encounters with kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, emu and many other animals that are indigenous to Australia. The animals here are very friendly and a delight to interact with! While here, I was like enough to get to feed some of the animals!
I would also recommend the Australia Zoo in Queensland where you can feel the presence of Steve Irwin’s adventurous spirit. The talks here are informative, and you’ll get to experience and interact with much of the wildlife that Australia has to offer. While here, I got to feed the elephants as well as pet different types of wombats.
Totally unforgettable experiences at both places with animals that I never in my life thought I’d be able to get up close and pet, never mind feed.
Australia is home to killer surf, killer insects and some killer accents. But tourists will also notice upon arrival Down Under that the Aussies love their alternative methods of transportation, most importantly the bicycle. Every major city has bike lanes, bike racks and bike tours and are generally making the effort to become bike friendly.
In Melbourne especially, the city is campaigning to have more people use their bikes to navigate their city, to cut down on traffic and pollution and ramp up on the health benefits of daily exercise. In cities like Brisbane, they have bikes for rent, where you can swipe your credit/debit card and jump on; just make sure you drop it back off at a designated rack around the city. Perfect for a city full of tourists and college students! And in Australia, bikes are not just for the spandex clad fitness enthusiasts. They are for the leisure seekers, the beach goers, the first-date adventurers and the tourists looking for a different view of the city.
For adventure seekers, try cycling in Tasmania, an island that’s diverse in world heritage wilderness. It’s also a fantastic place to taste some delicious local gourmet food and world-class wine.
Those that are looking for a bit more leisure during their cycling should head to Byron Bay which is a laid-back tourist mecca. It’s a wonderful spot to indulge in some beach relaxation while enjoying some cultural intrigue area as Byron is seen as the spiritual home of Australia’s hippy movement.
Assuming that you’re of legal age for drinking, then no trip to Australia would be complete without visiting a winery. Australia has over 60 designated wine regions across the entire country and is well known for the award-winning wines that the various regions produce. Pretty much every region that produces wine has an annual festival where one can sample the local wine, food and culture.
There’s much to see and do while visiting Australia – so much so that it’s impossible to cover all the amazing places and activities to try while Down Under, but hopefully you’ve gotten a taste of some of the great activities that are available for your next trip to the land of Oz.