15 January 2018
The land down under is a popular tourist spot, with sites like the Sydney Opera House and Ayers Rock appearing on many bucket lists. But this fascinating country has many hidden layers and there’s so much more to learn, so here’s our top 11 unique sights and attractions in Australia…
One attraction worth seeing is the remote Byron Bay Lighthouse. This humble structure is located on Cape Byron, the most easterly point on the Australian mainland and is the southern hemisphere’s most powerful lighthouse. It also serves as a popular whale watching spot for locals.
Ayer’s Rock features on most Australian itineraries, as this sacred site is spectacular to behold, especially at sunrise. Make the most of your time here with the unique ‘Longitude 131’ camping experience where you can sleep under clear skies and find out more about local Anangu culture.
Connect with nature at Kakadu National Park, located in Darwin. This is a prime crocodile watching spot for locals, while you can also view breathtaking sites like Waterfall Creek Falls and sandstone formation Nourlangie Rock. You can also connect with the oldest living culture on earth here, the Manilakarr Clan, but note that the park is closed during the wet season (December – April).
See all of Sydney illuminated at the Vivid Light Festival, which takes place every May and June. Watch as multi-coloured streaks of light play over iconic attractions such as the Opera House, while local musicians perform and artists create outdoor ‘galleries’ of extraordinary light sculptures.
Architecture lovers should stay in Melbourne, famous for its arcade-like laneways. Tour these routes and take in architectural marvels including ornate heritage shopping site the Block Arcade, the graffiti-covered Hosier Lane cobbled street and art deco gem the Manchester Unity Lobby café.
Treat your kids to a day out at UNESCO World Heritage Site Fraser Island. This is the world’s largest sand island with a 75-mile beach, and is the home of the dingo, a creature which you can spot around this unspoilt paradise. You can also try fishing here with species like dart, tailor and whiting fish found in the nearby waters.
There’s so many distinct creatures for you to meet in Australia. Head to Alice Springs to see one of Australia’s largest wallaby populations, travel to Rottnest Island to glimpse cute quokkas or if you’re feeling bold go to Mission Beach in north Queensland to view the dangerous cassowary. If the locals tell you about ‘drop bears’ ignore them, they’re just trying to scare you – these animals don’t exist!
North of Perth you’ll find the staggeringly beautiful Ningaloo Reef. Unsurprisingly this is a top scuba diving spot and it’s home to 10% of the world’s endangered ‘dugong’ sea sharks, a gentle species that your kids will get a chance to swim with! With vivid coral and tropical fish as well, this is a must for your itinerary!
There’s nowhere cooler to grab a drink than Melbourne. You can enjoy cocktails on the rooftop of an old opium den at the Shanghai-style Golden Monkey Bar, or for intimacy go to the exclusive Bar Americano; one of the city’s iconic ‘laneway bars’ that can only house up to ten patrons!
Travel to the Great Barrier Reef and you can see 1,500 fish species, 350 types of coral and 10,000 kinds of sponge. There are so many ways to enjoy this unique attraction; head by boat from Cairns to Green Island where you can sleep on the reef, or take a heli tour and view it from above!
For a great family day out take your kids to the Rainforestation Nature Park in north Queensland. Amid this tropical paradise they can learn more about traditional Australian culture with boomerang and spear throwing demonstrations, while they can also buy boomerangs here!