The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 75 Epic Experiences to Have Down Under

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Planning a trip Down Under? This epic Australia bucket list has tonnes of inspiration!

Australia is a country many people dream of visiting. It’s not surprising. The largest island in the world, Australia is home to huge swathes of desert, sandy white beaches, cuddly (and not-so-cuddly) animals, stunning rainforests and flora, world-renowned wine, and some of the coolest people in the world (wink).

So, with such a big country, how do you figure out what to do in Australia?

Well, I’m here to help! I’ve collected all the best adventures, activities and edible things and compiled it into a giant Australia bucket list to help you plan your own trip Down Under.

This list to inspire you to visit Australia – or, if you’re an Aussie, add some ideas to your local travel plans. I’ve broken it up by state and territory and included plenty of personal experiences for the things I’ve done – but still have so many more to tick off!

Two people - the author and her husband - smiling and posing in front of the large, iconic sign at the entrance of Kakadu National Park, with the text "Kakadu" prominently displayed in large, three-dimensional letters.

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Australian bucket list map

One thing to note: Australia is a BIG country and this bucket list is reeeaalllllly long, so I’ve put everything on a map to help you visualise and plan your own Australia bucket list.

Australia bucket list: Things to do in Victoria

1. Explore Melbourne

Vibrant street art covering the walls of an urban alley in Melbourne, Australia, with people walking and taking photos. This is Hosier Lane, one of Melbourne's most famous street art laneways.
Melbourne’s famous street art, on display in Hosier Lane

I’m starting off this Australia bucket list with my home city because it’s also one of the best cities in the world. I’m not the only one to think that – Melbourne is regularly ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Most visitors to Australia will struggle to choose between Melbourne and Sydney. If you have the time, do both, of course, but if you only have time for one, then Melbourne will always be my pick.

You can easily spend a few days or a week here, with plenty to fill your time. Eat your way around the world with Melbourne’s diverse food scene. Wander through our famous laneways in search of the best street art.

Sip coffee and gorge on amazing breakfasts in one of Melbourne’s hundreds of hip cafes. Catch a game of footy or a cricket match. Sip beer in one of the dozens of cool pubs that dot the city.

There are so many cool things to do in Melbourne – I recommend spending at least three days here.

Looking for more Melbourne inspiration? Check out my other blog, M is for Melbourne.

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2. Drive the Great Ocean Road

A woman - the author of this article - stands on a a wooden viewing platform looking at the Twelve Apostles limestone formations off the coast of Victoria, under a hazy sky. This is one of the iconic stops on the Great Ocean Road, a road trip for any Australia bucket list.
The famous 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

If you’ve got more than a few days in Melbourne, consider getting out of the city to drive the Great Ocean Road. It’s one of Australia’s most beautiful drives, and over almost 250 kilometres you’ll spot gorgeous sandy beaches, great surf breaks and wonderful little beach towns.

Make sure to also stop at the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone columns that sit just off the coast. Despite its name, there were never actually 12 columns, only ever eight, but today only seven remain.

In addition to the 12 Apostles, there are so many awesome things to do on the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road stretches between Torquay and Allansford and while you can drive it in a day, it’s better to take a few days (I’ve got a fab 3 days Great Ocean Road itinerary to help!) to experience it. It’s especially fun to do this drive in a campervan!

3. Or walk the Great Ocean Road!

A person - the author's husband - walking on a sandy beach towards a large rock formation in the sea, with towering cliffs in the background. This is the Gibson Steps, one of the stops on the famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

You can actually walk a section of the Great Ocean Road called the Great Ocean Walk. This 100-kilometre track hugs the coastline.

You can camp along the way (advance bookings required) or find a hotel or B&B close to the track.

4. Explore the country’s wine regions

Close-up of ripe, golden grapes in a vineyard, capturing the essence of Australia's wine country at harvest time. Australia boasts more than 60 wine regions around the country. Wine tasting in Australia is definitely one of the best things to do!

In a country as big as Australia, you can bet there’s wine.

A lot of wine, in fact: Australia boasts more than 60 wine regions. While every state in Australia makes wine in some form or fashion, but you’ll find most of it produced in the southern states.

The most popular wine regions in Australia to visit are the Yarra Valley (Victoria), the beautiful wineries in Margaret River (Western Australia), Barossa Valley (South Australia), Hunter Valley (New South Wales) and Coonawarra (South Australia).

There are more than 100 grape varietals in Australia, with our most popular exports being Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Most of our wine regions are also stuffed with cheesemakers, chocolateries, olive oil farms and small businesses making and selling delicious local produce, so you’ll be spoiled with both wine and food.

Book a Yarra Valley day trip to explore Victoria’s most famous wine region:

5. Watch an AFL game

Spectators at an Australian rules football game, watching intently from the stands with players in the background. AFL is a sport in Australia that's a must-watch when you visit the country.

Australians like to say that we’re sports mad, and while I don’t think we’re as crazy as some other nationalities, most Aussies do love a good sporting match.

One of the best things to do in Australia is watch an AFL match. Join the roaring crowd at the MCG, the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere. If you’re a first-timer to Australia, you’ll have no idea what’s going on, but it’ll be fun nonetheless.

If you’re in town in September, try to grab tickets to the AFL grand final or just find a few local friends and crash their BBQ.

6. Take a paddlesteamer ride

A traditional paddle steamer docked on the Murray River, surrounded by a flock of birds in flight and lush riverbanks. Echuca is a great place to visit in Australia. While it's a small town there's plenty to keep you busy, including taking a ride on one of the oldest operating paddlesteamers in the world.

Definitely not high on many people’s radar when they visit Australia is the small town of Echuca in northern Victoria. I grew up in Echuca so I’ll always have a soft spot for it, so I thought I’d include it here in this bucket list.

Sitting right on the Murray River (the third-largest navigable river in the world!), Echuca is a 2 ½ hour drive from Melbourne, making it great for a weekend away.

Even though it’s a small town, there are plenty of things to do in Echuca. The town is most famous for the Murray River and for having the world’s largest fleet of operating paddlesteamers. These beasts huff and toot their way down the river, entirely operated by steam. You can take a quick spin or combine a ride on a paddlesteamer with lunch at a local winery.

7. Take a dip in the Peninsula Hot Springs

Group of people enjoying a hot spring surrounded by native trees and shrubbery, with a rustic building in the background. The Peninsula Hot Springs is one of the best places to visit in Victoria.

Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, truly get away from it all and relax in the thermal waters of the Peninsula Hot Springs.

You can spend a whole day looking after yourself, with mineral pools, a Turkish hammam, saunas and massages.

Now, I say: book me in!

Top tip: The hot springs are busy on weekends and public holidays, so go during the week if you can.

8. Watch the penguins at Phillip Island

A group of little penguins on a sandy beach at night, with their silhouettes illuminated from behind. Watching penguins waddle out of the water and into their burrows is one of the cutest things to see in Australia!

One of the most popular things to do in Victoria is see the world-famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.

Every evening, dozens of penguins waddle out of the sea and head to their nesting burrows.

There is nothing cuter!

But beyond being cute, the work that is done out here to conserve penguins and other wildlife is impressive.

9. Hike in Gariwerd (Grampians National Park)

A solitary person sitting on the edge of a high cliff overlooking a vast wilderness at sunset. The Grampians is a beautiful place to visit in Australia, with plenty of hiking, wildlife spotting and panoramic views.

The Grampians (Gariwerd in one of the local Aboriginal languages) are a series of five sandstone ridges, the result of earth movements thousands of years ago.

You can hike through this national park, stopping at the panoramic viewpoints, taking a dip in one of the many waterfalls, looking for wallabies, koalas and emus, and exploring Aboriginal rock art paintings. Spring is a fantastic time to visit, when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

The Grampians are about 3 hours from Melbourne. You can even combine a trip to the Grampians with the Great Ocean Road if you have about a week to spare.

10. Hike through Wilsons Promontory

Scenic view of a pristine bay with turquoise waters, surrounded by rolling hills and a rugged coastline, under a sky dotted with fluffy clouds. This is Wilsons Promontory, one of the best places to visit in Victoria, Australia.

Victoria is a great state to get outdoors and Wilsons Promontory National Park (or Wilsons Prom, as we Aussies like to shorten everything!) is one of the state’s beautiful national parks.

It’s a 3-hour drive from Melbourne and once you’re there you’ll be in the heart of 505 square kilometres of forest and granite mountains.

The Prom actually has the best of both worlds – not only does it have these beautiful forested areas, but it also hugs the coast, so there’s kilometre after kilometre of beaches and stunning coastline.

11. Pan for gold

A hand holding a small nugget of gold, illustrating the prospecting and mining part of the Australian experience. You can pan for gold in Ballarat, Victoria - it's one of the best things to do in Australia with kids.

In the 1850s, people flocked to Ballarat in central Victoria in search of gold. The population grew rapidly and so did the country’s (which at that time was just a colony) wealth.

These days, visitors come to see the open-air museum that is Sovereign Hill.

Here, you can watch staff in period costumes re-enact the gold rush era, tour an underground mine, search for your own nugget, or even dress up yourself for some old-timey photos.

12. Road trip up the east coast

Beachgoers walking along a shoreline, with surfers carrying their boards and a rock island in the distance under a cloudy sky. A road trip up the east coast of Australia is one of the best road trips in Australia.

High on my personal Australia bucket list is a road trip up the east coast of Australia, from Melbourne all the way to the top of Queensland.

With Australia’s population focused on the east coast of the country, this road trip hits the capital cities of Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, but also includes small-town highlights like Cairns, Rockhampton, Byron Bay and Jervis Bay.

Keep an eye out for our “big” things: the Big Banana, the Big Pineapple and the Big Prawn! Check out the amazing Brisbane lookouts and eat delicious, fresh seafood.

Australia bucket list: Things to do in New South Wales

13. Catch some sun on Bondi Beach

Silhouette of a surfer holding a red board on a beach at sunset, with the ocean's horizon line and surfers in the water. Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Australia.

Bondi Beach is one of the most iconic things to do in Sydney. If it’s your first time to Sydney, don’t skip it.

Catch some sun, check out the lifeguards (they have their own TV show!), snack on some fish and chips, or learn how to surf on Australia’s most famous beach.

14. Walk from Bondi to Coogee

Bondi Icebergs ocean pool filled with swimmers, with waves crashing over the side on a sunny day.

One thing I always try to do when I visit Sydney is the stunning six-kilometre Bondi to Coogee walk.

Sure, everyone else is doing it (especially on the weekend), but it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while also seeing Sydney’s memorable coastline.

This oceanfront walk meanders though beaches, parks and rock pools, with every step offering gorgeous views. You won’t even remember you’re in a city of 4.6 million people.

15. Have a summer Christmas

I grew up watching American movies where people put up Christmas lights, built snowmen, went sledding on Christmas morning and sipped eggnog in the evening.

It seemed all very romantic and cosy, but truth be told, there’s nothing better than waking up on Christmas Day to sunshine and warmth. I love having Christmas outdoors.

In Australia, you can even spend Christmas on the beach! Bondi Beach is always packed on Christmas Day – so consider setting up a picnic here to enjoy the vibe.

16. Chill out in Byron Bay

A surfer walking along a stormy beach with waves rolling in, under a moody, overcast sky. Byron Bay is one of the best places to visit in Australia for its laid-back surf vibe.

This coastal town is famous for its surfers, laid-back beach vibes and hipster cafes and shops.

While Byron Bay has changed a lot in the past few years and it’s now more hipster than hippy, a trip to Byron Bay will certainly let you experience that Aussie beach vibe that we’re so famous for.

Grab a surfboard and hit the waves, or book a surfing lesson if you’re a newbie.

You can also skydive, go sea kayaking with dolphins, see whales, explore a cave to find glow worms, dive, snorkel with turtles, take a yoga class, or just cruise around the town dropping into hip cafes and shops.

17. Visit Lord Howe Island

Sunrise view from a tranquil bay looking out to a small island, with the sun peeking over the horizon. Only 400 people are allowed to stay on Lord Howe Island in Australia at any one time.

Only 400 visitors are allowed to stay on the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island at any time.

These strict regulations and control means that this small island – which is only a two-hour flight from Sydney – has retained 75 percent of its original natural vegetation. The beaches, coral reef and marine environment here are pristine.

Naturally, its beauty lends itself to plenty of outdoor pursuits: bird watching, fishing, diving, snorkelling, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, biking and hiking are just some of the activities that keep visitors busy.

18. Tour the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House silhouetted against a vibrant sunrise, with rich orange and purple hues reflecting on the water. The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia's most recognisable buildings and a tour of its interior is one of the best things to do in Sydney.

One of the most recognisable buildings in the world, the shark fin-like exterior houses incredible acoustics that have drawn opera performers from around the world.

But it’s not just opera that you can see at one of the most famous places in Australia – musicians, comedians, orchestras, dancers, performers and speakers have all been drawn to the stage inside the Sydney Opera House.

Even sporting competitions are held here – Arnold Schwarzenegger won his final Mr Olympia body-building title here.

Take a guided walking tour in and around the Sydney Opera House to learn more about this impressive building.

But you don’t even need to go inside to experience its majesty. Most people are happy to snap a picture outside.

19. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Historic The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge view, with a quaint red-brick building in the foreground. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic image of Sydney. You can walk it, bike it, drive a car across it or even climb to the top!

Another Australian landmark – Sydney’s got ‘em all packed into one space! – the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch frame bridge.

The bridge stretches across Sydney’s natural harbor for 1,149 metres, connecting the city to the suburbs.

It’s possible to cross the bridge by train, car, bike or foot, but for a really thrilling experience, climb the bridge for amazing views across Sydney. The climb takes 3.5 hours and the views from the top look pretty spectacular! It’s one of the most popular Australia tourist attractions.

I’m not a fan of heights, so I’m more than happy to admire the bridge down on solid ground, with a glass of bubbles in hand at the Opera Bar!

20. Ring in the new year in Sydney

Fireworks display illuminating Sydney Harbour Bridge, with spectators in silhouette watching the spectacle. If you're looking for a huge New Year's Eve party look no further than Sydney. It's one of the first cities in the world to ring in the new year.

No city does New Year’s Eve quite like Sydney – and it’s the one of the first cities in the world to ring in the new year.

The fireworks that shoot out from Sydney Harbour cap off one of the biggest parties in Australia.

You can join in the fun if you’re visiting Sydney over New Year’s Eve – there are plenty of free events as well as ticketed parties and activities. Check the website for details, including the best vantage points.

21. Party all night at the Sydney Mardi Gras

Two individuals wrapped in an Australian flag and pride flags, celebrating at an outdoor event. Mardi Gras is one of the biggest parties in Sydney, Australia.

Oh yeah, Sydney definitely knows how to party and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is second only behind New Year’s Eve.

Sydney’s Mardi Gras is one of the largest pride parades in the world, with hundreds of thousands of attendees and more than 12,000 participants. The event draws attention to and celebrates the LGBTQ community.

It looks like an absolute blast!

22. Escape to the Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains, with dramatic cloud formations above. The Blue Mountains are one of the most beautiful places in Australia and is a great weekend getaway from Sydney.

A visit to the Blue Mountains is a great weekend getaway from Sydney.

This UNESCO-listed national park covers almost 270,000 hectares and has more than 140 kilometres of walking trails and tracks. There’s nothing more rejuvenating than spending a few days in the Aussie bush, surrounded by nothing but trees and the sound of birds.

The most famous sight in the Blue Mountains is the Three Sisters, three sandstone peaks that tower more than 900 metres high. The viewpoint for this iconic sight is easily accessible from the cute town of Katoomba.

23. Climb Australia’s highest mountain

Golden light of sunset illuminating rolling hills with patches of snow, a serene highland landscape. Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia and can easily be climbed.

The highest peak in Australia is Mount Kosciuszko, topping out at 2,228 metres. You can climb to the top of the mountain for spectacular views over the country.

The good news is that the track starts at the top of the chairlift which takes you most of the way, but even then it’s still a 13-kilometre round trip that takes around 5-6 hours to complete. It’s still a fairly easy climb by most standards.

24. Go skiing

Snow-covered trees and icicles in a foggy winter landscape, giving a sense of serene isolation. Many people may be surprised to know that you can go skiing in Australia at one of a handful ski resorts in the south of the country.

When you think of Australia, I bet the Outback, beaches and the Great Barrier Reef are the first things that come to mind. So you may be surprised to learn that we also have some great skiing.

I’ve only ever been to the snow once, when I was a little kid, and I’ve seen snow in the USA, in Denver and Taos, so I’m by no means a snow bunny. But I’d love to experience a snow season in Australia, even if it’s just to throw a few snowballs around.

Thredbo, Perisher (both in NSW), Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek (the latter three in Victoria) are where you should head if you want to hit the slopes in Australia.

Depending on how the weather’s going, the season usually lasts from June to October.

Australia bucket list: Things to do in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

25. Explore hipster Canberra

View of the Australian Parliament House in Canberra at dusk, with illuminated roadways leading to the grand building and dark clouds overhead. Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is now one of the most up-and-coming places to visit in Australia with plenty of history, hip cafes and restaurants.

Did you know the capital city of Australia ISN’T Melbourne or Sydney? It’s unassuming Canberra.

Home to Parliament House, Canberra has traditionally drawn people who work in politics, government and media. This city used to be fairly sleepy, but it’s now a hipster hub, with cool bars, bakeries, restaurants and pubs. In the suburbs of New Acton and Braddon, in particular, you’ll find plenty of hip cafes, luxe clothing shops and funky bars pulling a younger crowd.

The capital is also home to some important Australian buildings and museums. Parliament House is one, and can be toured daily (or you can watch parliamentary proceedings from the gallery if that’s your thing).

26. Reflect on ANZAC Day

Hallway with a wall filled with bright red poppies next to metallic plaques with inscribed names, part of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

ANZAC Day, held on April 25 of each year, is Australia’s most moving ceremony. People rise before dawn to commemorate Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died in wars and conflicts around the world.

Even if you’re not an Aussie or Kiwi, if you’re in Australia on ANZAC Day, wake up early for the ceremony. The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a great place to experience a Dawn Service.

Afterwards, head to the pub and join a game of two-up (an Aussie gambling game that’s only legal to play on ANZAC Day), munch on some Anzac biscuits, and share a beer with some new mates.

If you can’t be in Canberra on ANZAC Day, visit the Australian War Memorial anyway to experience the moving Last Post Ceremony. It’s held daily at 4.30pm and each day the story of a lost soldier is shared.

28. Visit the National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra offers a deep dive into the fascinating world of Australian identity, culture and history through the lens of portraiture.

The gallery houses a vast collection of over 3,000 works, including paintings, sculptures and photographs of people, from politicians and celebrities to artists and activists to everyday people.

My friend Alana Holmberg’s award-winning portrait hung here for a while when she won the National Portrait Prize!

Australia bucket list: Things to do in Queensland

29. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

Aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef with a heart-shaped coral formation amidst the blue-green sea. The Great Barrier Reef is visible from outer space and one of the most incredible things to see in Australia - from above and below!

Visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It’s one of the top attractions to visit in Australia – more than 2 million people do so every year.

The numbers here are staggering: 1,625 species of fish, more than 600 types of corals, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, 30 whales and dolphins species, and 6 of 7 of the world’s species of marine turtle.

To see the Great Barrier Reef, you can fly above it, skydive over it, sail through it, or snorkel it.

Don’t miss Heart Reef, a formation of coral that from above is in the shape of a heart.

Never fear if water isn’t your thing, you can see what’s happening at the Great Barrier Reef with Google’s first underwater Street View.

30. Pat kangaroos, koalas and other furry creatures

A koala perched on a tree branch, looking directly at the camera with a background of green foliage. Australia is filled with plenty of furry creatures. Some of the best things to do in Australia are feed kangaroos, meet wallabies and cuddle koalas.

You can’t visit Australia without cuddling a kangaroo or koala, or at least trying to see them in the wild.

So where to go in Australia to spot our cute animals? To guarantee a sighting, head to a nature park like Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville or Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast where you can see and touch animals of all kinds: furry, scaly, slimy and feathered!

The late Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo is probably the most famous wildlife sanctuary in Australia. Here, you can watch crocodile shows, feed wildlife and take photos with the local critters.

If you’ve got your heart set on hugging a koala when you visit Australia, be aware that it’s actually illegal to hold a koala in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

Other animals you may see in the wild or at a nature reserve are wombats, echidnas, emus and platypus (although they’re notoriously hard to spot in the wild).

31. 4WD on K’gari (Fraser Island)

A four-wheel drive vehicle on a wide sandy beach with wet sand reflecting the sunlight, surrounded by a distant forest. K'gari (formerly called Fraser Island) is the world's largest sand island and one thing for your Australia bucket list is to go four-wheel driving on the sand!

People head to the largest sand island in the world (120 kilometres long and 23 kilometres wide) for nature spotting and four-wheel driving across the dunes.

The World Heritage-listed K’gari is home to clear, aqua waters that seep onto chalky white sands.

It’s actually too beautiful of a place – I’m sure that the technicolour sunsets each night must be doctored!!

32. Visit the Daintree Rainforest

A dense tropical rainforest with lush greenery leading up to a sandy beach with algae-covered rocks in the foreground. The Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest forests in the world - it's also the only place in the world where two World Heritage Listed sites meet.

The oldest tropical lowland rainforest on earth – it’s more than 135 millions years old! – the Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland is home to incredible bushwalking and bird-watching.

It’s also right next door to the Great Barrier Reef, making it the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet.

From cruising the Daintree River in search of saltwater crocodiles, to taking a Dreamtime Walk in Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal guide, to crossing the river into stunning Cape Tribulation, there’s a lot of beauty, history and culture packed into this 1200-square-kilometre rainforest.

33. Sail the Whitsundays

Beachgoers walking on a sandbar with clear turquoise water, boats nearby, and a forested island in the distance. The Whitsunday Islands are some of the most beautiful islands in Australia. Just off the coast of Queensland, you can visit them on a sailing trip.

This ultimate Australia bucket list wouldn’t be complete without some beaches. And with almost 37,000 kilometres of coastline, you can bet Australia has some of the world’s most amazing beaches and islands.

More than 10,000 beaches and 8,222 islands to be precise. And one of the best islands to visit in Australia is the Whitsunday Islands, a collection of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland.

This is one of the most beautiful places in Australia, with (cliché alert!) secluded, white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters fringed by tropical rainforest.

The best way to see the Whitsunday Islands is on a sailing trip. These multi-day trips cater to both backpacker budgets and those who like a little more luxury. Boats leave from Airlie Beach, which is about halfway between Brisbane and Cairns.

If you don’t have time, it’s possible to do a day trip to the Whitsunday Islands as well.

34. Cruise through the Noosa Everglades

If you’d told me that there are only two everglade systems on the planet and one of them is in Queensland, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But it’s true.

When you head off on a boat trip or in a kayak you’ll quickly see why they call the Noosa Everglades the River of Mirrors. The magnificent flora reflects off the smooth waters as you explore the narrow waterways of the area.

35. Hit up the Gold Coast theme parks

One of the best things to do in Australia with kids (or even with big kids) is to hit the theme parks on the Gold Coast.

I still remember our first big family holiday, where we drove all the way from Victoria to Queensland and spent a few days at Sea World, Warner Bros Movie World and Wet’n’Wild.

There are two more parks on the Gold Coast: Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, and these five parks are all close to each other.

36. Skydive

Two people tandem skydiving, the skydiver in the foreground - the author of this article - is screaming with excitement while the instructor behind is holding out arms, against a backdrop of clear blue sky and clouds. You can skydive at many places in Cairns, Australia (although don't expect to look good in photos doing it!).

If you’ve ever wanted to jump out of a plane and live to tell the tale, Cairns is the place to do it.

Every day, dozens of planes take to the skies over Cairns, filled with daredevils eager to skydive.

This is actually where I skydived, a birthday present from my husband! After the initial rush where my heart jumped into my mouth, the views from the air were beautiful, with patchwork farm fields stretching into the ocean.

It’s totally worth the adrenaline rush!

Australia bucket list: Things to do in the Northern Territory

There are so many amazing things to do in the Northern Territory, here are just a few of them.

37. Learn about Aboriginal Australian cultures

An indigenous guide pointing to ancient rock art on a sheltered stone wall at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park, displaying various traditional paintings.
Viewing ancient rock art in Kakadu National Park

I’m not sure how much visitors to Australia – or even Australians themselves – know or appreciate about Indigenous Australia cultures.

The oldest living culture in the entire world (the ENTIRE WORLD!!), there are so many ways that you can experience it – without even leaving Sydney or Melbourne.

But the best place to really learn more about Indigenous Australian history and beliefs is in the Northern Territory. Here you can learn about bush food and medicine, storytelling, ancient rock painting and spear fishing.

Continuing to learn more about my country’s beautiful history is something that’s very high on my personal Australia bucket list.

38. Experience sunrise or sunset at Uluru

A vast, arid landscape with sparse vegetation in the foreground and the iconic Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in the distance. The large sandstone formation stands prominently under a clear sky with a slight gradient from blue to pale orange.

There’s nothing more iconic Australia than Uluru. Australia’s most well-known landmark is also the world’s largest monolith. Sitting at 1141 feet high in Australia’s “Red Centre”, it is an incredibly sacred site to Indigenous Australians.

It’s best seen at sunrise and sunset, when Uluru glows in the changing light.

Uluru is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which is also home to Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas), a series of ochre-coloured rock domes. Just in case you though Uluru was the only rock out in the desert, it’s not!

There are so many things to do at Uluru. You can camp nearby to Uluru, dine under the stars with Uluru as a beautiful backdrop, or see her from the air in a helicopter.

Uluru is best visited on a Red Centre Way road trip, which will allow you to take in Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and Tjorita/West MacDonnell Ranges.

39. Ride the Ghan

The Australian Outback is alluring, and one of the best ways to see it is to take the Ghan, a 3,000-kilometre journey from Adelaide to Darwin (or vice versa).

Named after the Afghan camel drivers that wandered through the area after settlement, this 3-day train journey traverses the continent on an unforgettable ride.

It’s a luxury train trip, so as well as watching the incredible landscape slide by, you’ll dine on incredible dishes made from native ingredients and sip Australian wines.

40. Visit Kakadu National Park

A straight road leading towards distant rock formations, bordered by tropical savannah and a clear blue sky. The road leads to Burrungkuy, one of the most significant sites in Kakadu National Park.

You need to spend a few days in Kakadu to really experience this incredible national park. Covering more than 7,500 square miles, on a trip through Kakadu National Park you’ll spot crocodiles, birds, waterfalls, billabongs, native plants and flowers, and swimming holes.

Kakadu is also a fabulous place to learn more about Aboriginal Australians, who have occupied this land for at least 40,000 years. This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can view rock art from thousands of years ago or spot crocs.

I spent almost a week in Kakadu and even that didn’t feel like enough time to explore this vast wilderness.

While you can do a day trip to Kakadu from Darwin, don’t do this – it’s better to spend a few days here.

41. Marvel at Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles)

A large, balanced rock formation stands prominently in the foreground against a clear blue sky with soft clouds. The warm golden light of the setting or rising sun illuminates the red-orange surface of the rocks, highlighting their textures. In the background, more rock formations dot the landscape, interspersed with sparse vegetation and dry grasses. This is Karlu Karlu, or Devils Marbles, one of the must-see Stuart Highway attractions.

With an Outback as big as Australia’s, you’d expect to see plenty of strange sights. And one of the most unusual is Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles), huge rock formations that resemble giant marbles in the desert.

In local lore, the rocks are the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent, the creator god who plays a central role in Aboriginal art and storytelling.

Visit at sunrise or sunset – we were there for sunset and the colours of the boulders changed as the sun went down.

42. Discover Arnhem Land

Ancient rock art on the underside of a rock shelter in a dry Australian landscape with greenery in the background. Arnhem Land is an incredible place to visit in Australia to learn about Aboriginal Australia history.
Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Only 16,000 people inhabit Arnhem Land, an area of just under 100,000 square kilometres (roughly the size of Iceland). This remote area is rich with Aboriginal tradition and culture.

Not only is it a great place to experience Aboriginal customs, you’ll also spot saltwater crocodiles, turtles, dugong, empty beaches and mind-blowing sunsets.

You need a permit to enter Arnhem Land, so make sure to apply for one at least 10 days in advance, or join an organised tour.

43. Swim in Litchfield National Park

A man - the author's husband - swims in a natural pool at the base of Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park, surrounded by steep rock faces with vegetation.
The stunning Florence Falls at Litchfield National Park

The main reasons to head to Litchfield National Park, just south of Darwin, are bushwalking, waterfalls, swimming holes, eroded sandstone pillars known as the Lost City, and termite mounds that tower over the average human.

I’ve visited Litchfield twice now, and I was blown away by the height of the termite mounds, some of which stand up to two metres tall. They resemble leafless tree trunks.

The waterfalls and swimming holes at Litchfield are epic and the perfect way to cool off in the NT heat.

You can visit Litchfield National Park on a day trip from Darwin, but I recommend spending a few more days here to really explore the park.

Read my full guide to visiting Litchfield National Park for handy tips!

44. Watch the sun go down over the Timor Sea

A sunset at a beach with people swimming in the ocean. The sun is low in the sky, casting a golden glow over the water and the small clouds above. The light creates a pathway-like reflection on the water's surface. This is Nightcliff Beach in Darwin, where you can find one of the best sunsets in Darwin.
Sunset at Nightcliff Beach in Darwin

One of the most spectacular sunsets in Australia has to be in the Northern Territory, watching the sun sink into the horizon over the Timor Sea. It’s one of the best things to do in Darwin.

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, more like a big country town of easy-going, interesting characters.

The Mindil Beach Sunset Market, held every Thursday and Sunday from late April to October, is a great place to watch the sun go down. Palm trees are framed by the blazing orange sky.

Darwin is actually closer to Bali, Indonesia, than it is to Melbourne, so you’ll find a lot of delicious Asian food at the market.

45. Catch a boat to the Tiwi Islands

The focus is on the hands of a person painting intricate designs on a small rectangular canvas. The hands are dark and weathered, indicating a skilled artisan at work. The background is a blurred pattern of green and white fabric, which creates a contrast that highlights the detailed artwork and the concentration involved in the craft.
The Tiwi Islands are one of the best places to visit in the NT to understand the amazing Indigenous cultures of Australia (Image: Tourism NT/Helen Orr)

A short ferry ride from Darwin will take you to the Tiwi Islands, nicknamed the Island of Smiles.

The two islands that make up the Tiwis are known for their traditional art, strong Aboriginal identity and love of football (AFL) – not a sport here, it’s more of a religion.

You can take a day trip to the Tiwis and visit the art galleries, experience local culture and enjoy the beauty of the islands, or stay a little longer to go fishing and appreciate the islands’ beaches.

Book a day trip to the incredible Tiwi Islands with Tiwi By Design

46. Go way Outback in Alice Springs

A large red rock formation with the text "Welcome to Alice Springs" in white letters. The Australian flag waves above on a clear day with a blue sky.

One of my favourite Australian movies is The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. If you’ve not seen it, it gives a unique insight into the quirks of Outback Australia, and the characters end up in Alice Springs.

Alice Springs is in the heart of the desert. Really, it’s in the heart of Australia. This small but modern town of 34,000 people serves an area that’s roughly the size of Texas.

For a small town, there’s plenty to do in Alice Springs: visit the Alice Springs Desert Park, go on a sunset tour of the Kangaroo Sanctuary and explore the many art galleries.

Get out of town and hit up the many gorges and chasms through Tjorita/West MacDonnell Ranges – this one-week Central Australia road trip itinerary shows you how.

47. Swim with crocs

A saltwater crocodile with its mouth wide open, displaying its teeth, partially submerged in murky water. It's possible to see crocs jumping or even swim with crocs in Australia - an Australian activity that's for daredevils!

If cute and cuddly koalas and kangaroos aren’t your thing, then of course we have crocodiles.

There are two species of crocs in Australia: saltwater and freshwater species. Crocodiles can be found across the northern part of Australia and are a serious danger, with one or two people killed each year. Pay attention to signs and ask locals about crocodile sightings if you’re in any area where crocs are known to live.

You can see plenty of crocs on a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory. These tours operate out of Darwin.

But if you really want to get up close and personal to a croc, head to Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin. You can jump in the Cage of Death to dive with crocodiles – if you dare!

48. Sail in a beer can boat

If there’s one event to convince you that the Northern Territory is a quirky place filled with intriguing characters, it’s the annual Beer Can Regatta.

Every year since 1974, Mindil Beach has hosted this competition which sees people race against each other in boats made out of beer cans.

No joke.

This is something quirky for your Australia bucket list.

49. Paddle through Nitmiluk Gorge

A woman - the author of this article - floating on her stomach in a natural, calm pool with a backdrop of a rocky landscape and sparse vegetation under a clear blue sky. This swimming hole is Sweetwater Pool in Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Sweetwater Pool at Nitmiluk National Park

Over 23 million years, Nitmiluk National Park (previously called Katherine National Park) has been sculpted into a spectacular area made up of 13 separate gorges, falls and rapids.

The best way to see the gorge is from within, as you kayak down the gorge. Pay close attention to signage with crocodile warnings, although it’s possible to swim in two or three of the gorges depending on the time of year.

You can also see the expanse of the national park from the air in a helicopter ride, where it’s often possible to be put down for a quick swim in one of the harder to reach gorges.

My favourite part of the park is Leliyn (Edith Falls) where you can swim in crystal-clear waters under waterfalls.

I also highly recommend checking out all the things to do in Katherine, the closest town to Nitmiluk.

Australia bucket list: Things to do in Western Australia

50. Visit the Kimberley

Iconic Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, with beehive-striped rock formations under a bright blue sky.
The incredible Purnululu National Park

Spread over an area that’s three times larger than England, the Kimberley region is one of the world’s last wilderness frontiers.

You could spend weeks exploring the canyons, swimming holes and Outback stations, ending each night with one astonishing sunset after another.

The Gibb River Road is a 600-kilometre former stock route that cuts through the heart of the Kimberley. Spend a week driving this rough road (4WD required), stopping at remote waterfalls and swimming holes.

One of my favourite places to visit in the Kimberley is Purnululu National Park. This remote national park is home to the famous “Bungle Bungles” – huge orange- and black-striped, dome-shaped sandstone formations.

51. Go off the beaten path in Karijini National Park

A secluded natural pool at the bottom of a curved rock formation resembling an amphitheater, with water cascading from a small waterfall. This is the "Spa Pool" in Hamersley Gorge in Karijini National Park, one of Western Australia's most beautiful national parks.
The Spa Pool at Karijini’s Hamersley Gorge

One of the best places to visit in Australia is Karijini National Park. It’s a spectacular national park in Australia that can’t be missed – I’m constantly telling everyone they need to go here.

Imagine emerald swimming holes tucked into ochre-coloured rock formations that are covered with lush green foliage. Waterfalls that cascade off cliff ledges that have been formed over millions of years. Narrow canyons that lead to icy, crystal-clear pools.

This is one tough place to get to: by road, it’s a 15-hour drive from Perth. Access is also from the remote towns of Port Hedland and Karratha, which can be reached by plane from Perth.

Despite the difficulty, it’s worth the effort.

52. Wander through the Pinnacles Desert

Landscape of the Pinnacles Desert with numerous limestone formations rising from yellow sand under a clear blue sky.

A landscape of ancient limestone pillars makes up the Pinnacles Desert, 250 kilometres north of Perth. Some of these limestone formations reach up to 3.5 metres in height.

The Pinnacles Desert is located within the Nambung National Park, which eventually meets the Indian Ocean in a collision of secluded white beaches.

53. Take photos at a pink lake

A vast pink lake with a white salt rim under a blue sky with scattered clouds, separated by a thin strip of land in the distance. Several lakes in Australia are pink at times, believed to be because of the presence of a certain kind of algae.

The stuff of Instagram dreams, there are several pink lakes in Western Australia.

The one that no doubt has popped up in your Insta feed at least once or twice is Lake Hillier. This lake is 130 kilometres from Esperance (which is 714 kilometres southeast of Perth) and the bubblegum pink colour comes from algae (although scientists really aren’t sure).

Another pink lake in Western Australia is Hutt Lagoon, which is easier to access from Geraldton or Kalbarri.

The lakes aren’t always pink, however, so plan your trip accordingly if you’re heading there to get your next profile pic!

54. Snap a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island

A quokka looking up curiously, standing on a tarmac road with the shadow of a bicycle cast beside it. Quokkas are cute marsupials that are found primarily on Rottnest Island in Western Australia - they're friendly and may even stop to take a selfie with you!

What was once mistaken for a rat is now one of the cutest animals to take a selfie with.

Quokkas are small marsupials that are primarily found on Rottnest Island, a short ferry ride from Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.

Rottnest Island (“Rotto” to the locals) is a protected reserve. Hire a bike to get around (cars aren’t allowed) and explore the beaches and bushland on a lazy weekend away, or kayak, dive, snorkel or fish.

Whatever you do, don’t forget a camera just in case you have the chance for a selfie with a quokka!

55. Fall in love with Broome

Sunset view over a tranquil beach, with a silhouetted palm tree in the foreground and people scattered across the sand. This is the famous Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia, a bucket list destination for many.

Broome is one of the most popular places to visit in Australia.

The town’s pearling history has made it a melting pot, with pearls luring people from Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan and the Philippines in the late 1800s. That means you can get a wild variety of cuisines.

Pick up your own pearl souvenir, go hunting for dinosaur footprints or visit the Broome Museum.

56. See camels at Cable Beach

Silhouettes of a line of camels and riders walking along a beach at sunset, with the sun low on the horizon. The silhouetted camels on Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia is an iconic image of Australia.
Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Broome is also home to Cable Beach, recognisable from the images of camels walking along the beach at sunset that’s become so famously Australian.

At sunset, grab a seat on the beach and watch the camels become silhouettes as the sun sinks into the ocean.

You can ride the camels yourself, but I was happy to simply watch them go by when we visited!

Book a sunset camel ride in Broome

57. Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef

A whale shark swimming in the clear blue waters beneath the ocean's surface, with sunlight filtering through the water. Swimming with whale sharks is a dream for many people, and you can do it in Western Australia - add it to your Australia bucket list for a once in a lifetime experience.

From March to August, whale sharks – the world’s biggest fish – congregate along Ningaloo Reef, 1200 kilometres north of Perth.

It’s possible to snorkel or swim alongside these gentle giants. Day trips run from Exmouth, and people come from all around the world for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I had planned to do this on our Western Australia road trip, but we missed the whale season, so this is still on my Australia bucket list.

Definitely something to consider doing if you make it out west.

58. Make friends with dolphins at Monkey Mia

A dolphin close to shore accepting fish from a human hand in shallow clear waters. You can hand feed dolphins (under strict government regulations and supervision) in Monkey Mia in Western Australia.

Not content with just one amazing marine encounter, Western Australia also throws out the opportunity to hang out with dolphins.

At Monkey Mia, visitors can hand-feed the family of dolphins that regularly swim to shore.

Government regulations strictly control the feeding to ensure the survival and sustainability of the dolphins.

59. Go “surfing” at Wave Rock

Wave Rock, a large natural rock formation shaped like a tall breaking wave, with bushland around it. Wave Rock is an unusual rock formation in Western Australia that resembles a wave about to crash - add it to you Australia bucket list so you can tell your friends you went surfing in Australia!

I’d never even heard of Wave Rock until it started popping up around Instagram, even though it’s been around for millions of years.

This 15-metre-high rock gets its name from its unusual shape, which looks just like a wave that’s about to crash.

Just 4 hours east of Perth, you’ll be able to tell all your friends that you went “surfing” in Australia.

60. Sandboard at Lancelin

We had so much fun sliding down the sands at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico in the United States, so I was thrilled to see that you can go sandboarding in Australia as well.

North of Perth is the tiny town of Lancelin, where you can rent a board and slide your way down the beachside sand dunes.

61. Get up close with nature at Christmas Island

A high density of red crabs covering a rocky shoreline with the ocean and lush vegetation in the background. Every year, 45 million red crabs make their way down to the beach to breed on Christmas Island.

It’s the stuff of horror movies: more than 45 million crabs live on Christmas Island, an Australian territory 2,500 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia.

Every year, towards the end of the year, millions of red crabs make their way from the forest and head to the ocean to begin breeding. They swarm across roads and beaches, creating a sea of crimson crustaceans.

This only happens once a year, however, so the rest of the time you can safely explore Christmas Island (considered the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean) and its national park. Hike through the rainforest to waterfalls or head to the ocean for snorkelling and diving.

Australia bucket list: Things to do in South Australia

62. Drive across the Nullarbor

Road sign for the '90 Mile Straight,' which indicates it's Australia's longest straight road, set against a barren landscape with sparse vegetation. If you love driving, the Nullarbor should be on your Australian bucket list.

Love long, straight stretches of road? In the Australian Outback you’ll find the longest straight road in Australia: 90 miles (145.6 kilometres) of straight, straight road that makes up the Eyre Highway.

The Eyre Highway links Western Australia and South Australia, crossing the Nullarbor Plain, a flat, arid region.

It took us three days to cross the Nullarbor. The drive is pretty flat and boring, but there are some incredible stops along the way, such as the Great Bight and the chance to see whales during calving season.

If you’re a golf lover, you can even play the longest round of golf in the world – a 1,365-kilometre-long golf course! Play a hole or two at the golf courses of 18 towns (from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna) along the highway to make up the full course. Purchase a scorecard, get a stamp at each course, and you’ll receive a certificate once you’ve completed all 18 holes. Definitely one of the quirkiest things to see in Australia!

63. Go underground at Coober Pedy

A classic car mounted high on a mining tower structure as a quirky welcome sign to the town of Coober Pedy, with flat arid land stretching into the distance.

There are few towns more interesting in the world than Coober Pedy. Why so interesting? Because many of the houses, museums, hotels, shops and even churches here are built underground.

Coober Pedy is an opal-mining town, but in this part of the Outback, temperatures can soar to more than 40 degrees Celsius, so the solution that the intrepid miners found was to head underground where the temperatures are far more kind.

Located almost 900 kilometres north of Adelaide, some of the best Coober Pedy attractions include staying in an underground hotel, picking up your own opal souvenir and wandering through Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest.

64. Drive the length of the Stuart Highway

Driver's perspective of a long straight road - the Stuart Highway - stretching through sparse Australian outback with bushland on either side and a clear blue sky overhead.

One of the most iconic road trips in Australia, driving the length of the Stuart Highway will take you all the way through the heart of the Northern Territory, from South Australia and up to Darwin.

Spanning more than 3,000 kilometres, this highway is a great way to experience the vastness and beauty of the Australian Outback.

While the Stuart Highway technically starts in Port Augusta, South Australia, you should start your trip in the pretty capital city of Adelaide. Along the way, stop at remote towns, iconic Outback pubs and stunning national parks for a true taste of outback life.

Ideally you’ll have 10 days to 2 weeks to drive the entire length, but if you’re short on time you can tackle it in a week or less. We took almost 4 weeks to complete it, with several side trips and detours.

65. Relax on Kangaroo Island

Close-up of an Australian seal with a shiny coat and curious expression against a blurred sandy background. As well as kangaroos, you'll see seals and other wildlife on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia for a weekend.

Another of Australia’s gorgeous islands is Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia. Seven times the size of Singapore, its population is under 4,500 people.

On this island, you can bump into not only a few kangaroos, but sea lions, koalas, penguins, wallabies and other strange Aussie wildlife.

66. Bushwalk in Wilpena Pound

A panoramic view of Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges with layers of red rock. The foreground features a diverse array of greenery, from low bushes to taller trees under a partly cloudy sky.
The outer edge of Wilpena Pound in the stunning Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Located in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, this natural amphitheatre spans almost 8,000 hectares.

Wilpena Pound resembles a 17-kilometre-long by eight-kilometre-wide half-broken bowl. It covers an area eight times the size of Uluru.

But most Australians have never even heard of it!

The main reason to come to Wilpena Pound is to bushwalk – and be one of a small group of people who can say they’ve been there. I’ve just spent almost a week here and it is one of the most beautiful places in Australia.

67. Go cage diving with sharks

Australia is famous for its dangerous animals, and sharks are one of the most frightening. So why would anyone want to go swimming with them?

You can do it safely in Port Lincoln in South Australia, where cage diving trips take people underwater to look a great white in the eye.

It’s something I’m quite keen (but nervous) to do!

Australia bucket list: Things to do in Tasmania

68. Watch the Aurora Australis in amazement

The southern lights, or Aurora Australis, displaying green hues arcing across a starlit night sky. The best place to see the Aurora Australis is in Tasmania, Australia.

The incredible Aurora Australis is the lesser-known but just as awe-inspiring version of the Northern Lights. This natural phenomenon lights up the night sky with beautiful, dancing colours.

The best place to see the Aurora Australia – or so I’ve heard, I haven’t actually seen the Aurora Australis for myself yet! – is in Tasmania, in particular Coles Bay and Cockle Creek.

This is something any photographer should put on their Australia bucket list.

69. Hike through Wineglass Bay

Panoramic view of Wineglass Bay with turquoise waters surrounded by green hills under a blue sky. Wineglass Bay is just one of Tasmania's beautiful coastlines.

Tasmania, or Tassie as we like to call it, isn’t as visited as other states in Australia, but if you make the trip a little further south, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.

The Freycinet Peninsula is one such place, and it’s home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay. The views here are stunning, and there’s a great hike down to the beach.

This is one of my favourite parts of Tassie – I couldn’t believe the colour of the water.

70. Get weirded out at Mona

A large, darkened gallery wall displaying an array of colorful square images, with a lone person standing in the corner for scale. The Museum of Old and New Art is one of the most talked-about museums in Australia.
Joe McNally/Tourism Australia

Ever since it opened in 2011, Mona (the Museum of Old and New) has been starting conversations.

With thought-provoking and sometimes confronting exhibitions (such as Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca Professional, also known as the “poo machine”), this is a museum you’d expect to see in New York or London, not a small Tasmanian city.

While I’m not generally someone who enjoys exploring art museums, this one is thoroughly different.

71. Taste cheese in Tassie

A person holding a hefty wheel of cheese with an informational card on top, indicating a local Australian produce. Tasmania is known for its incredible cheeses - tasting local products is just one of the many things to do in Tasmania, Australia.
Courtesy of Tourism Australia

If you’re looking through the cheese section at a supermarket in Australia, chances are that many of them come from Tasmania.

While I enjoy eating these at home, there’s nothing better than going straight to the source. A great way to see the state is a road trip through Tasmania, stopping in at many of the large and small cheese makers that dot the island.

72. Learn about our convict history at Port Arthur

Historic ruins of a large brick-built penitentiary with multiple chimneys, grassy foreground, and a hill in the distance. One of the best things to do in Tasmania is learn about our colonial history at Port Arthur.

Chances are you’re familiar with Australia’s history as a convict settlement. You may have even made a joke or two about it.

In Tasmania, you can see one of these former convict settlements at Port Arthur, which housed some of the toughest criminals that crossed the seas to Australia.

On tours of Port Arthur you’ll hear stories about the former inmates and the conditions they were forced to live in. Port Arthur is one of the most interesting places in Australia.

Port Arthur also has a more recent tragic history. In 1996, 35 people were murdered in Australia’s worst mass murder in post-colonial history.

73. Hike the Three Capes Track

Cliffside view of the Tasman Sea meeting the dramatic coastline of Tasmania with sheer cliffs and dense greenery. The Three Capes Track is one of the best hikes in Australia.

In late 2015, a new 48-kilometre walking track opened in Tasmania. Over four days and three nights, walkers hug Tasmania’s rugged cliff-lined coast on the Three Capes Track. There’s a chance of spotting migratory whales and dolphins.

Only 48 walkers are allowed to start the walk each day, keeping the experience uncrowded and an opportunity to reflect. Along the way, walkers spend the night in shared cabins.

My husband and I did this hike at the start of 2022 and we highly recommend it. It’s a great multi-day hike where you don’t have to carry your own camping and cooking gear – but you still get a good challenge.

Australia bucket list: Things you need to eat

74. Eat our native animals

A group of emus gathered in a dusty Outback enclosure with sparse shrubs in the background. They are foraging on the ground, with some looking curiously towards the camera. Emus at the Erldunda Roadhouse in the Northern Territory - this is a good place to stay on the Red Centre Way.
Ever tried emu?

Australia may just be the only country in the world where we eat the animals that are on our coat of arms.

That’s right, in Australia you can eat kangaroo, emu, even crocodile, wallaby and buffalo.

I once even ate possum at award-winning restaurant Attica, something I never expected to do!

Kangaroo is actually high in protein and very lean. You can easily pick it up at a supermarket and cook it on the BBQ yourself, or stop in at a restaurant like Big Esso in Melbourne to taste fine Australian cuisine that uses native ingredients.

75. Try some of our other treats

A close-up of a traditional Australian pavlova dessert adorned with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries on top of whipped cream. Pavlova is a delicious dessert you can eat in Australia (although New Zealanders will claim that they created it first).
Delicious pavlova

Eating the beloved kangaroo may not be high on most people’s lists, but we do have some other treats that first-time visitors to Australia should try.

Lamingtons are soft sponge cakes, covered in chocolate and dipped in coconut. The best ones have a sweet raspberry jam in the middle.

While Aussies continually fight with Kiwis over the origin of pavlova, you’ll still find this dessert on many Australian tables at Christmas or special occasions. A chewy meringue base is topped with thick whipped cream and fruits and shaved chocolate.

Tim Tams are now one of our most famous exports, and I could actually easily find them when we lived in the United States. These chocolate biscuits are very more-ish – I can’t have them in the house anymore!

And no doubt most people have heard about Vegemite. This salty, yeast-rich spread is certainly an acquired taste. It’s black colour does nothing to entice people! If you do want to try it, make sure your first time is with an Australian, who’ll show you the correct way to eat it (on toast, with lots of butter and only a very thin layer!).

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So, when are you coming Down Under to tick off this Australia bucket list??

Related posts

Before you go… you might like these Australia travel articles:


  • Book your flight to Australia online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in Australia. Check prices on and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout Australia on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Australia will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.
  • Pack sunscreen (look for SPF50 or higher), a hat and sunglasses because the sun is hot!


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I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 75 Epic Experiences to Have Down Under”

  1. The Great Ocean Road is not just one of Australia’s best drives, we think it’s one of the best in the world! One of the lesser-known destinations along the Great Ocean Road is Aireys Inlet. This hidden gem has GREAT restaurants and some really interesting sights.


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