Australia is a country as varied and interesting as its people, from the bush to the beach and the barrier reef. To narrow down the best this country has to offer is definitely a difficult task. To this end I have whittled it down to four quintessential ‘Aussie’ experiences and the best places to have them.
The best place to start your journey to the center of ‘OZ’ would be Darwin or as the locals call it ‘The Top End’. The capital city of the northern territory is your starting point for all the outback has to offer, with many international tourists passing through this small but increasingly cosmopolitan city on the way to Uluru. Uluru (Formerly Ayers Rock) is one of the must see natural attractions in Australia, over 700 million years old and sacred to the original native inhabitants of Australia, Uluru is a magnificent sight indeed. While Uluru is the number one spot to see there are also a myriad of natural wonders to visit like Kakadu national park or Kata Tjuta (Which you can even tour by camelback!). Many of these marvels have tours led by original landowners providing you with a rich history and understanding of the oldest continent on earth.
The Reef and the Rainforest
Cairns in Far North Queensland is a picturesque beachside town on the door steps of one the greatest natural wonders in the world, The Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the reason many tourists come to visit Australia in the first place, covering 2300 kilometers and home to some of the world’s most colorful fish and vibrant coral ecosystems is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots in the world with some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving on offer. But the fun doesn’t just happen in the water; this part of Australia is also home the Daintree, 1200 kilometers of pristine rainforest. If trekking through the forest is not your cup of tea, alternatively you view the majesty of the rainforest from the confines of the skyrail cable car before you head down to the esplanade and grab a cool beverage in cairns’ burgeoning bar scene.
The Glitz and Glamour
The Gold Coast is the place to be to just let loose and have some fun. With four major theme parks already (and more rumored to be on the way), you could spend your time on the coast just buckled in to roller coasters or racing down waterslides! The Gold Cast is also home to some of the best beaches in the world stretching the length of the city, so when you need a break, beautiful sandy beaches are never far away. The Gold Coast is also well known for the events it holds from major sporting events such as the GC600, Magic Millions, and pro surfing tournaments, to Blues Fest and Cooly on the Rocks. When you have spent all day having fun on the Coast it doesn’t stop there, as the night time precincts of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise turn on their lights and the infamous Gold Coast party scene begins with glamorous lads and ladies dancing the night away.
The Culture and Cuisine
When you want to see the best Australia has to offer in terms of quality cuisines and culture Melbourne is the place to go. Its independent arts scene boasts exhibitions such as Bus Projects, Kings and West Space showing off the best established Australian artists and its newest rising stars. If you want to mix your art viewing with a sumptuous feast then go exploring the many laneways and arcades of Melbourne’s CBD. Rife with pop-up cafes and hole in the wall bars and restaurants these alleyways are also plastered with a myriad of eye-popping works of street art. Not content with being the heart of Australian culture Melbourne is also the Capital of Australian sport. It hosts events for the Formula One the MotoGP, Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and the AFL Grand Final. So whatever kind of spectacle you care to watch and whatever type of meal you’re hungering for Melbourne is the place to go!