Australia’s an awesome place to spend a gap year or mid-career radical sabbatical — it’s got world-beating weather, culture and natural attractions.
So if you’re planning an Aussie adventure and don’t know where to start, here are 10 essential tips for an adventure Down Under.
Visiting iconic Uluru is top of many tourists’ Australian to-do list. This rugged red monolith in the Northern Territory is sacred to local Aboriginal people, the Anangu — by hiking around its base rather than climbing up it, you’ll be paying them their proper respect.
Tasmania’s a terrific place to visit — its unique wilderness and five of its former convict sites have been granted world heritage status and its wonderful wildlife includes the wombat, Tasmanian Devil, pademelon and platypus.
- Bondi Beach
There are beaches aplenty Down Under, but Bondi must be one of the best. This famous strip of sand near Sydney is the ideal spot to surf and sunbathe, but you can also catch a play at the Bondi Pavillion, pick up cool craftwork at the markets and browse books at the Gertrude and Alice store.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the modern wonders of the world and as well as gazing admiringly at its engineering excellence, you can climb over the top of it on a tour organized by bridgeclimb.com — an excellent experience that’s not for the faint-hearted.
Attending the Paartjima festival held each April in Alice Springs will introduce you to the authentic arts, history and oral culture of the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Islander people. There are light shows which illuminate the natural scenery of the MacDonnell Ranges, live music gigs and interactive workshops, films and talks that provide valuable insights.
There are 74 Whitsunday Islands in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef area and, although most are uninhabited, four offer outstanding accommodation. Hamilton Island has first-rate restaurants, bars and holiday homes, as well as a highly rated golf course — well worth a visit.
- Great Barrier Reef boat trips
If you’ve got your sea legs and prefer adrenalin-fuelled fun to lounging in land-based luxury, a liveaboard cruise around the Great Barrier Reef might float your boat. You’ll snorkel, scuba dive and enjoy comfy cabins and fab food.
- Working Holiday Visa
When you’re aged between 18 to 30 or are an Irish or Canadian citizen aged up to 35, an Australian Working Holiday Visa allows you to take up paid employment for up to one year. Find out how to apply at immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.
- Buying a car
Purchasing a cheap but reliable car can be a great way of seeing as much of this diverse nation as possible — chip in with friends and find something suitable at drive.com.au.
- Domestic flights
Distances are vast, so sometimes taking a domestic flight is the most convenient way to get from one city to another. And whether you’re departing from Sydney or anywhere else in Australia, finding airport parking at Looking4.com facilitates a hassle-free pre-flight experience.
That’s our list! Share your own Aussie travel tips in the comments section.