An Australian Best Of

As a travel writer I often get asked to list the best things to do. here’s some my top 10 about Australia.

1.The best departure point for those looking to snorkel and dive the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a popular point to catch a cruise to the reef. There are heaps of operators that offer a wide variety of different kinds of tours to the Great Barrier Reef. You may choose between day-trips or overnight tours, which range widely in cost.If you arent yet qualified to dive, but cant think of a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef without doing so, you can easily pick up your dive ticket in a few days at Cairns Dive Centre. They offer a 5-day scuba course, which gives you your SSI qualification and gives you the opportunity for several open-water dives out on the reef. Almost all boats now days have an ecotourism rating, which means you dont have to worry about damaging all the beautiful underwater scenery while you are checking it out.

2.Considered the Hot Air Ballooning capital of the country, Mareeba is just a short drive from Cairns. Raging Thunder has a ballooning package that incorporates a 5 am pickup from your hotel, a buffet breakfast and champers for about 0 . Enjoy the awe inspiring countryside at dawn, enjoy half an hour flying in your hot air balloon, and is concluded with breakfast and champagne in a local resort. Checking out the gorgeous scenery from high in a balloon makes this balloon tour a worthwhile activity.

3.An hour or so south of Cairns, Mission Beach is the closest mainland point to the Great Barrier Reef. The beach is a 14 km long, pristine sandy beach, with awesome views of Bedarra and a couple of other islands just within sight. There is a quaint town there, where you can learn more about activities like snorkelling or scuba diving, though some would be perfectly content soaking up the sun and swimming in the crystal clear water.You can stay in local accommodation, though most will be coming from Cairns. If you did not rent a car or motorhome for your [holiday|vacation|trip}, there is a bus service called Mission Beach Dunk Island Coaches, which takes the scenic road between Port Douglas, Cairns, and Mission Beach.

4.Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival and is held early in February each year in Sydney’s Domain. Tropfest also screens nationally in Australia’s capital cities. The aim is to ‘showcase the work of young filmmakers and to give them the opportunity to show their movies for their peers in a festive environment’. For everyone else it’s a chance to watch free films while drinking wine on a warm summer’s evening. Each film has to contain a ‘signature item’, something inanimate the organisers decided months previously to ensure the film was made for Tropfest. The event began in 1993 when a local actor/director John Polson screened one of his own short films at the Tropicana Caf in Darlinghurst. 200 people crammed the caf. The next year 2000 showed up and chaos reigned on the caf strip. Last year it’s estimated 100,000 watched the festival in The Domain, while capacity audiences filled the interstate venues.

5.Try to play Didgeridoo and learn something about Aboriginal Culture. You will find out that blowing into the carved tree is not as easy as you would think (but you may have lot of fun, you or the guy selling it). Cultural centres of aborginal art and history are everywhere. You will learn stories about the Dreamtime and learn a lot of how people lived in the past and what were their values. It may change your perception of the locals you may meet at some places.

6.The thing to do at Uluru – climb to the top of it. Located near Alice Springs aka the Outback, Uluru, one of the World’s Heritage Sites, is a large sandstone formation standing over 1100 feet in height and turns different shades of bright red during the day, particularly so during sunrise and sunset. More importantly, Uluru is a sacred site to the Aboriginal people who also believe that a curse is placed on anyone who takes rocks away with them. In the tourist information center, there is a exhibition of rocks that have been posted back from tourists who took them home. There is a long chain extending along the side of the trail that acts as a handrail for the climb up and the views from atop this magnificent site are simply breathtaking. The local Indigenous people do not like tourists climbing Uluru, however this decision is your choice.

7.The largest continuous area of rainforest in the country, the Daintree National Park is a protected area of unbelievable rainforest two hours north of Cairns. The park, which encompasses around 1200 square kilometers, is not only World Heritage listed, but is also home to a large variety of plant and animal lifeincluding marsupials, frogs, birds and the endangered tree kangaroo. Generally thought to be the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree forest is over 145 million years old and has more than 430 different species of bird, including 25 species that are found nowhere else in the world. There are some day treks that allow adventurers to [see|experience|explore} sections of this giant rainforest by themselves, in addition to guided tours that can help teach you about the ecology on your way.

8.Whitehaven Beach is located amongst the Whitsunday Islands along the Central Queensland coast and can be reached by sea or air. I have been to many beaches in my life and this is undoubtedly the most amazing, most incredible stretch of sand I have ever witnessed. If you can think of the most perfect, whitest, cleanest sand, the clearest, lightest, bluest water that’s Whitehaven Beach. Airlie Beach is most often used as the base point to get to the Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach. A popular way to see Whitehaven is a sailboat liveaboard tour. There are lots of sailing companies in Airlie Beach that take you there. There are also day trips to just Whitehave or including a visit to another island such as Daydream Island.

9.Experience the amazing view of the Sydney Opera House with the unmistakable Harbour Bridge in the foreground .The Sydney Opera House is widely recognized as the symbol of Australia, as well as being one of the most well known performing arts centres anywhere. The main attraction is off course the unique design. On major celebrations in Sydney history, like New Years Eve and the Sydney Olympic games, the bridge has always been the focal point. For the adventurous, it’s also possible to climb the bridge.

10.Coober Pedy is most famous for the unusual living quarters of a significant portion of it’s local residents who live in converted mines. This practice came about when local resident sought escape from the intense heat before the days of modern air conditioning. Also famous as the the Black Opal Capital of the World, Coober Pedy was first established as an opal mine in the eaerly 20th century. Today tourists can visit the old opal mines, visit underground churches, and lodge underground in a hotel. The local golf course, with sand instead of grass, is played at night with glowing golf balls. The area served as the backdrop for the post-nuclear apocalypse film titled Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome starring Australian son Mel Gibson. Find a Underground hotel and experience this must see landmark.

I hope these help any future holiday makers to Australia.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment