101 Things To See And Do In Australia by:John Morrad
This is a list of my top 101 things to see and do in Australia.
It is of course, subjective and open to discussion, and it is possible that some things have been left out but it is a good starting point for those travelling to Australia.
As you're probably aware, when you're travelling it's often the unexpected detours that provide us with the best experiences.
Some of the wonderful coral of The Great Barrier Reef.
So here's my list of 101 things to see and do, compiled in no particular order.
- Kakadu: Situated in the Northern Territory Kakadu National park is the size of a small country and because of its remoteness in the far north of Australia the wilderness has been preserved.
- Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world which stretches most of the coast line of Queensland. This is a diver's paradise.
- Ningaloo: Situated in Western Australia this is where you can swim with the largest fish the whale shark.
- Ularu - (Ayres Rock to those who don't speak the language) a massive monolith in the middle of central Australia. One of the icons of Australia.
- Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays in Queensland, has the whitest sand in the world.
- The Stockman's Hall of Fame situated in Longreach, central Queensland, outlines the history of the Australian Bushman.
- Luna Park is a historical amusement park, in Sydney, New South Wales.
Surfing at Surfers Paradise.- Surf at Surfers Paradise: Surfers Paradise is a highly commercialised strip along the southern coast of Queensland just about an hour south of Brisbane. Catch a wave on the beach breaks. Not the best surf in the world but a great place to visit.
- Gold Coast Theme Parks: There is SeaWorld, DreamWorld, Warner Brothers Movie World, Wet and Wild water park and Whitewater World. More than a weeks worth of adventure.
- Cape Schanck on the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. An extensive boardwalk to the cliffs and a lighthouse.
- Phillip Island - Home of the Moto GP and fairy penguins. Take a night tour of the penguins returning to the beach nests after being out hunting all day.
- Sydney Opera House, an icon of Australia which is visited by millions each year, situated on Sydney Harbour.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge - Crossing Sydney Harbour and can be climbed by the intrepid traveller with tour guides.
- Melbourne Shopping, visit Melbourne and some of the lesser known shopping spots by exploring the alleys and lane ways throughout the city.
- Great Ocean Road: Drive the length of the Great ocean road which stretches from Torquay towards the South Australian Border.
The Ghan, an Australian rail legend.- Ride the Gahn, a train ride that travels the length of Australia through the Australian red centre from Adelaide to Darwin.
- Indian-Pacific, an even longer train ride stretching the breadth of the country from Perth to Sydney 3 days and nights and 4352 km, the worlds longest train journey.
- 12 Apostles, well not 12 any more, more like 8, located along the Great Ocean Road Victoria where columns of rock protrude from the sea along the cliffs.
- Devils Marbles, (or Karlu Karlu in the local Aboriginal language). Rounded Rock formations thousands of years old in central Australia, 114 km from Tennant Creek, Northern Territory.
- Daintree Rain Forest: A Large rain forest in Far North Queensland, known for its untouched beauty.
- Cradle Mountain, Tasmania: A brilliant walking destination and scenic escarpment shaped somewhat like a cradle.
- Wave Rock: 330km east of Perth a naturally sculpted rock from wind and rain that is 15m high and 110 meters long forming a massive "wave."
- Rialto Tower Observation Deck, in the heart of Melbourne's CBD is the Rialto with a 360 degree observation deck at 235 metres.
The view from the top is unbelievable.- Sydney Tower: For unrivalled views of Sydney city and a thrill on the Sky walk 260 metres above the harbour.
- Whale Watching - Popular along the east coast particularly Hervey Bay Queensland during the migrating season.
- The Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways are 120km southwest of Winton in Central Queensland where dinosaur footprints have been uncovered. Up to 150 dinosaurs were gathered and than scattered by a larger predator. Up to 3000 foot prints have been preserved in the rock.
- Historic Port Arthur the convict settlement in Tasmania.
- Christmas Island red crab migration where up to 120 million red crabs emerge from the forest to mate and lay eggs in the ocean each November/December.
- Whale World in Albany Western Australia where commercial whaling killed up to 850 whales each season. The whaling stopped in 1978 and the facilities became a museum 2 years later.
- Puffing Billy: 40 km east of Melbourne in the Dandenong ranges a steam train named Puffing Billy resides.
- Rodeo: Experience bull riding at its finest in Rockhampton the beef capital of Australia. Rodeos can be seen at the indoor area at the Great Western Hotel.
The Salamanca Markets, a must do.- Hobart: See the colonial architecture of the city and walk in the snow (in winter) at the top of Mt Wellington. Visit the Salamanca Markets
- Fossick for Gems in the towns of Rubyvale and Emerald in Central Queensland.
- Lake Ayre, the largest lake in Australia (when there's water in it) is situated in the desert of central Australia 700km north of Adelaide, South Australia.
- The Henley-on-Todd Regatta (August) sees grown men and women running, carrying the hulls of boats along the dry, sandy Todd River situated near Tennant Creek.
- Catch a game of cricket or Aussie rules football at the MCG in Melbourne.
- Sail the tropical waters of the Whitsundays exploring inhabited and uninhabited islands and beaches with calm azure waters to frolic in.
- Mungo National Park is located in southwest NSW, 980km west of Sydney the rock has been eroded by thousands of years of wind and rain leaving a landscape described as "Lunar" the most prominent eroded rock is dubbed The Walls of China.
- Cape Byron, in northern NSW. Byron Bay, is the most easterly point on Australia's mainland so be the first in Australia to see the sunrise.
- Steep Point in Western Australia is the most westerly point so you can be the last person to watch the sun set over Australia.
- The Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington Race track is "the race that stops a Nation" on the first Tuesday in November at 3pm (EST). No need to get into the track the car park is where it all happens.
- The Big Banana is, just as the name suggests, a big banana. This giant structure located just north of Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway, 565 kilometres north of Sydney and 450 kilometres south of Brisbane is probably the most well known "Big Thing" in Australia. Of course there are heaps of big things, the big crab, prawn, pineapple! Need I go on!
- Surf the Barrier Reef, well kind of. The reef starts at around Bundaberg but is some distance from the shore. The town of 1770, and only town in Australia with a numerical name, is north of Bundaberg and has waves that are surfable.
- Balls Pyramid, a triangular chunk of rock sticking 550m out of the ocean 23km off the coast of Lord Howe Island, is officially the tallest sea stack in the world.
- Birdsville Races held in the first week of September in the outback town of Birdsville in south western Queensland.
- Tamworth Country Music Festival held in January and set in Country New South Wales is the largest Country and Western shindig there is.
The beautiful Barossa Valley.- Wine tasting in the Barossa Valley.
- Australia Zoo: A wildlife zoo made famous by the late Steve Irwin, "the Crocodile Hunter". See crocodile shows and interact with Australian wildlife.
- Surf with dolphins Byron Bay Queensland.
- Pat Koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Queensland.
- Cruise the Franklin River Tasmania a World Heritage listed picturesque river that was saved from being dammed in the 1980's.
- Qantas Museum, home of the first Qantas aeroplane and now home to the Museum at Longreach in Queensland.
- Jondaryan Wool Shed near Toowoomba the history of sheep and sheep farming.
- Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo offers an authentic African experience at bargain prices.
- Noosa National park is located 160km north of Brisbane in Queensland and boasts spectacular coastal scenery and a refuge for Australian native animals.
- Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches. It is about 1 km long and hosts thousands of people through the summer months.
- Parkes Observatory 64-metre Telescope used for Radio Astronomy. It is located about 20 kilometres North of Parkes along the Newell Highway, which is approximately 380 kilometres West of Sydney.
- Monkey Mia feed the wild dolphins from the shore.
He's just starting out...- Turtles at Bargara see the turtle hatchery on the beach where baby turtles make a dash for the ocean. Hatching season is between November and March.
- Frazer Island, stretching over 123 kilometres along the southern coast of Queensland, Fraser Island with an area of 184 000 hectares is the largest sand island in the world. Watch out for the native dingoes.
- Rainbow Beach is located approximately 265Km north of Brisbane, 76Km from Gympie and 700 Metres west of Fraser Island on the Cooloola Coast, Queensland. 74 different shades of coloured sand can be found on Rainbow Beach.
- The Kimberly, wild, rugged and remote in Northern Western Australia.
- Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race held each year starting on Boxing day. Participate as crew or just head to the wharf at Hobart for the finish.
- Snow Skiing at Threadbo, Perisher, Mt Buller only during winter as Australia's peaks are on the small side.
- Darwin night time markets, an institution in Darwin, operate every Thursday 5pm - 10pm and every Sunday 4pm - 9pm. April to October.
- Wine tasting Margaret River the largest wine region in Australia.
- Kangaroo Island off South Australia is an unspoilt refuge for native animals.
Cable beach, some say it;s the best beach in the World.- Cable Beach on the Northern Western Australian coast camel Rides at sunset.
- Coober Pedy a mining town where the locals live underground and the landscape is somewhat similar to the moon.
- Olsens Caves just north of Rockhampton has a series of caves with bats and a natural underground cathedral.
- Swimming Kangaroos at Pebbly Beach, in Murramarang National Park between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast. This is apparently the only place in Australia that this happens.
- Canberra's War Memorial (Australian Capital Territory) a monument to fallen soldiers from past conflicts.
- Glass House Mountains on the Sunshine Coast Queensland. About 70km or one hour's drive north of Brisbane. Craggy volcanic peaks tower above pine plantations, eucalypt forests and open fields. Walking tracks ranging from easy to very challenging, lead to peaks and lookouts offering panoramic views.
- Surf Bells Beach, arguably the most famous surfing spot in Australia, located in Torquay, 100 km South west of Melbourne, Victoria. Home of the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition and featured in the movie Point Break.
- Mt Isa Mine Tour - The Isa is a mining town producing copper, silver, lead and zinc. Mine tours are available for surface and underground mines.
- Pinnacles in WA's Nambung National Park. Thousands of eerie limestone pillars, up to 4m tall form the Pinnacles Desert. Just 245km or three hours drive from the center of Perth.
- Dog on the Tucker Box is an Australian historical monument and tourist attraction, located at Snake Gully, 8 km from Gundagai, New South Wales. The monument is a tribute to the pioneers was inspired by the poem Bullocky Bill who loyally guarded a mans tucker box until death.
- Sovereign Hill near Ballarat Victoria - is a replica of an 1850s goldfields town.
- Katherine Gorge 317 kilometres south-east of Darwin cruise the Gorge and see aboriginal rock art.
- The Rocks is Sydney's oldest preserved colonial district so the main emphasis is on the historical importance of the area.
- Southern most point of the Australian mainland, Wilson's Promontory in Victoria, feed the parrots by hand.
- Cape York, the northern most tip of Australia. A popular destination from May to October for 4WD enthusiasts who come to test their driving skills and their vehicles on the remaining sections of the Overland Telegraph Track.
- Catch a Barra at lake Awoonga a stocked lake just outside of Gladstone in central Queensland. Barramundi are renowned fighting fish and taste good as well.
- Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. An untamed wilderness, home to aboriginal culture and art. Permits are required from the Northern Land Council when travelling on Aboriginal Land.
- Kings Canyon Northern Territory has an easy 1.5km Creek Walk up the centre of the canyon to a lookout point or the Canyon Walk which is more challenging as the first 300-400m are straight up a steep incline at the canyon edge. The reward at the end is worth it.
A fine example of ancient Aboriginal art.- The Burrup Peninsula, a unique ecological and archaeological area on the north western coast of Western Australia in the Pilbara region. It has what is said to be the oldest rock art / engravings on the planet, dated 50,000+ years.
- Eungalla National Park near Mackay in Queensland will almost guarantee you a sighting of one of the most elusive mammals in Australia, the platypus. Apart from that the lush tropical forest is inspiring.
- Wine Glass Bay on Tasmania's East coast, take in the view of the bay from atop of Mt Amos, a very strenuous 1 hour walk (one way).
- The Cadbury Factory in Claremont near Hobart in Tasmania. Take a guided tour of the factory and sample the delicious chocolate.
- Natural Hot Mineral Springs on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula at Rye. Relax in 50 degree spring water.
- Fourex (XXXX) brewery tour Brisbane Queensland. Taste the nectar of the Gods. Well kind of
- Drive the Nullarbor: Travel the Eyre Highway for 1200km virtually in a straight line from Ceduna in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. It is flat and desolate.
- Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras the first Saturday in March, Sydney stops for a spectacular in costume and parade.
- Moomba Waterfest is Australia's largest community festival and has remained one of Melbourne's favourite annual celebrations for over 50 years. It is held over the four days of the Labour Day weekend in March.
- Take a paddle steamer from Echuca along the mighty Murray River.
- Ride the rapids of the Tully river near Cairns, Queensland.
- Kuranda Scenic Skylift just outside Cairns in Queensland.
- Botany Bay, Sydney, the spot where Captain Cook arrived in 1770 to lay claim to Australia for England.
- Victoria Markets in Melbourne CBD. Pick up a bargain
- Glenrowan is a thriving tourist town, catering for those wishing to see the place where Ned Kelly made his famous 'Last Stand'.
- Mount Kosciusko, located in the Snowy Mountains, in Kosciusko National Park, is the highest mountain in Australia.
There you have it...enjoy,
About the author
John morrad is the author of The Discount Travel Guide.com and has lived, worked and travelled the length and breadth of Australia since arriving from England as an immigrant in 1974.
His website, www.the-discount-travel-guide.com is his contrbution to those who visit Australia on holiday or those who are just interested in the country and it's people.