What to do in Australia
One of the most unique countries in the world due to its status as an entire continent, and relative isolation from the Western/European world, Australia is home to a number of distinct phenomenon, whether natural, societal or architectural that can not be found in any other location on Earth. While attempting to provide answers to such a broad topic as What to do in Australia, there are a huge variety of activities, attractions, theme parks and more to consider as possible destinations.
Australia's huge geographical size lends to a huge variation of climates, social dynamics and landscape types which is why it has become such an international hotbed for tourists originating from nearly every country on the planet. Being what is essentially a giant island, the country's continuous coastline means that Australia has adopted a very aquatic-oriented culture throughout its history, and tourism and economic development has grown over time to become a gradual reflection of that fact as the vast majority of the country's population is located along coastal areas.
Coupled with the iconic imagery of the Australian outback from pioneers concentrated toward's the country's red centre, Australia is a land of contrasts and thus has opportunities for any visitor. Some of the places, people and events that are completely unique to Australia include:
- Ayer's Rock (Uluru) - Probably the greatest geographical symbol of Australia as a country is the giant red monolith of Ayer's Rock (or "Uluru" in its original Aboriginal tongue).
- The Great Barrier Reef - Listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the reef is one giant living, breathing organism that attracts tourists from places far and wide.
- Sydney Harbour and it's Opera House - The beautiful harbour and the Opera House's unique design make for one of the most picturesque waterways in the world.
- Kangaroos, Koalas, Wombats, Dingoes, Tasmanian Devils, and hundreds of other unique species of wildlife
- Stunning beaches - see our Top 10 Beaches in Australia guide for details
As a relatively "young" country in terms of European history, Australia has roots dating back thousands of years from the ancient Aboriginal societies which are native to the continent, and have been a big part of the influence of Australia's imagery throughout the modern world.
Likewise, Australia's European origins and its history of English colonisation and use as a colony for convicts can still be seen in the architecture of historical destinations such as Port Arthur, Hobart, Port Jackson and many other regional locations around the country. Tours are available to almost all these vintage areas and can be found with various side destinations and conditions included.
Australia is divided into eight distinct states and territories, each with their own individual personalities, geographies, climates and characteristics. One of the great things about traveling in Australia is that you can experience entirely different attractions, activities and cultures simply by moving from state to state rather than having to span multiple countries for the same level of variation. Australian seven states and territories are:
- New South Wales (NSW)
- Queensland (QLD)
- Victoria (VIC)
- South Australia (SA)
- Northern Territory (NT)
- Western Australia (WA)
- Tasmania (TAS)
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT - home of Australia's capital city, Canberra)
Clicking on any of the links above will take you to a detailed page about what activities, attractions, climate and things to do each state or territory has to offer.
A common misconception from those overseas is that Sydney is Australia's capital city, based on the fact that it has the largest overall population of any other metropolis in the country; however that honour goes to Canberra, where Australia's houses of Parliament are located and the central government operates from.
Your choice of what to do in Australia is completely up to the individual; certain airports may have direct flights between your state/country and your desired destination, cutting down on travel time and leading to a higher personal preference. Once you have chosen your destination city, you will be presented with a huge list of possibly activity options and while these are mostly state or region-dependent, some of the widest encompassing and most popular activities include:
- Theme Parks
- Whale Watching
- Water Sports, Cruises, Jet Boating and other Beach and marine-based activities
- Zoos and wildlife attractions
- Winery visits and tours
- Other, nearly-endless options!
Australians are a generally outgoing and friendly people, and due to our multicultural society are used to interacting with people from a variety of different ethnic and international backgrounds on a daily basis, and being based in an Oceanic region has granted us familiarity and a unique relationship with Asia and other Oceanic island nations. Regardless of your background, budget or interests, Australia has something for you to enjoy and remember forever.
When is the best time to visit Australia?
Australia is, on the whole, a fairly warm country, and is thus ideal for those people either from other states or countries who wish to escape their colder months and holiday somewhere warm; one huge benefit Australia's location in the world gives it is being in the Southern Hemisphere, with mirrored seasons to our Northern neighbours.
Live in the North half of the world and want to escape Winter? Simply jet down to Australia for a week or two and warm those chilled bones! Otherwise, there is no real "best time" to visit as most tourist attractions operate all-year-round. In addition, if you're unsure as to some of the best places to stay or looking to come here for the first time, check out our list of the best travel apps to download that will be a big help to you during your Aussie experience - you'll get unbiased hotel reviews, have the ability to book flights both to and within Australia (and NZ) and much more all in the palm of your hand!
Who should visit Australia?
Anyone who wants to visit a country with completely unique wildlife and geographic features, meet warm and accepting people, and has an open mind will find Australia a great holiday destination, although a working knowledge of the English language is important as the majority of Aussies do not speak a second, or multiple, languages. We look forward to seeing you here in the near future!