27 Unique Experiences You Can Only Have in Australia

UIuru at sunset

An Australian travel bucket list to give you serious wanderlust

Words: Emily Russ

Australia is like one big playground of cultural festivals, food odysseys and wildlife wonders. The scenery’s not too shabby, either. Get amongst it all and make your very own Australian travel adventure with these 27 incredible experiences – things you can only do and see in Australia.

1. Turtle hatching at Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Queensland

Courtesy Queensland Tourism & Events

Time it right (between November and late March), and you just might see one of the most heartwarming sights ever: the hatching of endangered loggerhead turtles. Book ahead and join one of MRTC’s rangers to witness a real miracle and guide the adorable babies towards the water.

2. Discover Tasmania’s Whisky Trail, Tasmania

Whiskey Tasting Lark Distillery - Dale Baldwin
Whiskey Tasting Lark Distillery – Dale Baldwin

The new kid on the block in the whisky world, Tasmania is producing some seriously good stuff lately. Book a tour and taste your way through the state’s Whisky Trail, and meet the passionate people behind distilleries like Southern Wild Distillery and Sullivans Cove Distillery. 

3. Swim in the Herring Pools on Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Herring Pool Norfolk Island

Make your way to Old Gulch Beach in the Island’s North Bay and hop from rock to rock to find a secret treasure revealed at low tide: the Herring Pools. Filled with turquoise waters and tiny colourful fish, they’re like little natural aquariums you can swim in. For free. 

 4. Binge out on sweets at Bistro Morgan, Victoria

A hip Melbourne hangout with OTT doughnuts, pimped-up milkshakes and über-indulgent ice-cream sandwiches, Bistro Morgan has a rotating menu that you seriously need to try. Nutella and raspberry doughnut, anyone?

You might also enjoy this article: 25 Australian Landmarks Everybody Needs To See At Least Once …

5. Go on on a sunset camel safari in Broome, Western Australia

Watch the sun disappear over the waters of Broome’s Cable Beach from the back of a camel for a real pinch-me-now experience. Your photos will be amazing, so don’t forget to bring your phone or camera!

6. Hike the Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

A world-renowned 223 km trail made up of towering mountains, serene waterholes and deep gorges, the Larapinta Trail is a challenge, but a rewarding one. There are plenty of campsites and facilities along the way so join a tour group, take your time and explore one of Australia’s greatest trails (best times for hiking are between May and August), beginning at nearby Alice Springs.

7. Fly over Lake Eyre, South Australia

Lake Eyre National Park

Stretching across a mind-staggering one million square kilometres, Lake Eyre is an Australian icon best seen from the air. The beauty of this lake is always breathtaking. However, every few years, it is flooded with water, which brings flourishing greenery, flocks of birds, and turns the lake into dreamy shades of pink and orange. There are a number of tour operators in the area, so book ahead and get ready for sights worthy of a nature documentary.

Related: Discover South Australia’s Spectacular Pink Lakes

8. Go river-drift snorkelling in the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

Photo courtesy Back Country Bliss

Book a tour with Back Country Bliss and drift along calm, shallow waters, surrounded by ancient rainforest for an utterly relaxing moment of, um, bliss. Keep an eye out for fish and the occasional turtle.

9. All aboard the Blues Train woo woo , Victoria

Photo Courtesy Blues Train

When you board the Blues Train running weekly you’ll be transported back in time to when the old blues masters jammed on the Mississippi freight trains. Starting and finishing in Queenscliff, the music-filled journey is like one, long jam session with some of Australia’s best blues acts, complete with drinks and dinner.

Related: Don’t Miss These Incredible Iconic Landmarks in Australia!

10. See Australia’s Southern Lights, Tasmania

Aurora Australis over-Cradle Mountain Pierre-Destribats
Aurora Australis over Cradle Mountain Pierre-Destribats

Everyone knows the Northern Lights, but Australia has its own colourful displays in Tasmania that demand to be seen. Great spots for viewing include South Arm Peninsula, Dodges Ferry and Cockle Creek in the winter months.

11. Make-Your-Own-Blend workshop at Penfolds Winery, South Australia

Make your own wine at Penfolds Winery

One for the wine lovers – at the Barossa Valley’s Penfolds Winery you can blend your own signature wine from grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre in a very special workshop. Bookings are essential. <penfolds.com

12. Take a selfie with a quokka at Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Quokka Australia

With such sweet faces, these guys are quite possibly more photogenic than Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen combined. Tiny marsupials that look like a cross between wombats and wallabies, quokkas seem to be perpetually smiling and Rottnest Island (just off the coast of Perth) is one of the only places in the world where you can see quokkas up close. Use a selfie stick to nail the ultimate holiday snap while respecting the wildlife.

13. Be mystified by Field of Light Uluru, Northern Territory

Field of Light Uluru Courtesy Tourism NT

A colourful display of more than 50,000 tiny lights, the installation by acclaimed artist Bruce Munro illuminates the base of Uluru at night., it’s a dazzling sight in one of Australia’s most majestic destinations. Field of Light at Uluru has been extended indefinitely.

14. Feel on top of the world on the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Western Australia

Valley of the giants

Suspended 40 metres above dense bushland and forest, The Valley of the Giants Walk is a wheelchair-friendly walk that akes you high into the canopies of the Walpole Wilderness. Join a free guided tour or meander along at your own pace.

15. ReefSleep in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Reefsleep Whitsundays

Join Cruise Whitsundays for a two day, one-night adventure where you’ll cruise to a moored pontoon right by the world-famous Reef, go diving and snorkelling, and sleep under the stars. All food is included, and there are even massages and night-diving experiences to make your stay truly memorable.

16. Go wildlife-spotting with Wetland Cruises, Northern Territory

Amazing things to do in Australia Wetlands-Northern-Territory

Home to the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world, the Mary River Wetlands is a beautifully dramatic setting for a sunset cruise (between April and November). Pack a camera and prepare for ah-mazing sights. wetlandcruises.com.au

17. Travel from Victor Harbor to Granite Island by horse-drawn tram, South Australia

Victor Habour Horse Tram
Photo courtesy: Duncan McKenzie

The only horse-drawn one of its kind in Australia, Victor Harbor Tramway is an enchanting way to travel to the scenic Granite Island Nature Reserve. Who could go past those gorgeous Clydesdales?

18. Explore the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk with Tasmanian Walking Co, Tasmania

TAS Cradle Mountain Huts Walk photo Tourism Australia
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk photo Tourism Australia

Over six days, you’ll see the rare diversity and beauty of the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, while enjoying barefoot luxury when you stay in a private eco-friendly hut. If you’re lucky, you just might see echidnas roaming about outside. taswalkingco.com.au

Related Article: 25 Amazing Things to Do in Hobart

19. Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Swim Reef Shark Ningaloo Reef

Swimming alongside these (incredibly graceful) gentle giants is both overwhelmingly calming and exhilarating. Check out the range of tour operators in the area for an experience you’ll never forget. Like, ever.

Related: Amazing Things to Do & See At Exmouth (gateway to Ningaloo Reef)

20. Frock up for Broken Heel Festival, New South Wales

See some of Australia’s most glamorous drag queens at Broken Heel, a three-day birthday bash celebrating The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. You can even visit some of the locations featured in the movie and meet members the cast and crew, including the sassy barfly, Shirl.

21. Explore the Glow Worm Caves in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

glow Worm caves

Filled with thousands of glittering glow worms, the Glow Worm Caves at Mt Tamborine’s Cedar Creek Estate are a magical sight you’ll treasure.  

22. Be spellbound by the Staircase to the Moon, Western Australia

Staircase to the Moon

A natural phenomenon occurring between March and October each year, Staircase to the Moon is when the full moon rises over exposed mudflats and creates an optical illusion of stairs ascending to the moon. Head to Broome’s Roebuck Bay for prime viewing locations.

23. Do your best ‘Jack, I’m flying’ impression on the Tahune Airwalk, Tasmania

Tahune Airwalk, Tasmania

Cross swinging bridges and walk 30 metres above the forests of the Huon Valley, and at the end you’ll find a cantilever with unbelievable views of the gushing river 50 metres below. For daredevils, Tahhune Airwalk also offers the Eagle Hang Gliding adventure, where you’ll feel the wind beneath your wings as you glide smoothly through tall forests and across the Huon River.

24. Have a picnic in the Umpherston Sinkhole, South Australia


A sinkhole doesn’t exactly sound like the nicest of places for a picnic, but this Mount Gambier attraction has been turned into a beautifully manicured, sunshine-drenched sunken garden. Adorned with tree-ferns and hydrangeas, the picturesque spot is free to visit and is where you’ll see hundreds of possums feeding at sunset.

25. Climb Mount Coolum and watch the sunrise over the ocean, Queensland

View along Yaroomba Beach with Mt Coolum in background.

A bit of an Insta favourite for Sunshine Coast visitors, the view from the peak of Mount Coolum 208 metres above ground stretches out over the nearby coast and will make you weak at the knees at sunrise.

26. Cruise Sydney Harbour on Seadeck, New South Wales


Okay, we know Sydney Harbour cruises are a bit of an obvious go-to, but on the European hand-crafted Seadeck it’s a whole other experience. Reminiscent of the glamorous vessels of the 1920s and ’40s, the boat has three spacious decks, 360- degree views of the Harbour and a pretty schmick bar. 

Related: Here’s how to do a romantic short break in Sydney…

27. Surf the sand dunes on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Sand Dune Surfing in Kangaroo Island is a unique experience for visitors to Australia

For the adventurous kid in all of us – sand-dune surfing is a mandatory experience when on Kangaroo Island. Located in Vivonne Bay, South Australia, these coastal dunes have been shaped by nature over thousands of years. Spanning about two square kilometres, they provide the perfect playground for an exhilarating experience as you slide down the sandy slopes.

If you’re feeling inspired by all the unique experiences Australia has to offer, this 14-day travel itinerary will help you explore the wonders of the land down under.

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