When I saw a competition recently to win a dream trip to Australia it really got my imagination going. There are so many places I’d love to visit but Australia, I think, would prove wonderfully different from anywhere I’ve been before. It’s a huge country so how do you decide where to go? I’ve picked out my top five things to do, one place to visit from each territory, that would be on my Australia wish list.
The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Certainly this is one of the first things that spring to my mind, when I think of Australia. You don’t need to be an expert scuba diver to enjoy it, anyone who can swim, can snorkel and there is plenty to see while floating on the surface looking down.
This is the world’s largest and most famous coral reef and the only living organism that can be seen from outer space. If you are lucky enough to visit, please do pick a responsible tour operator as the coral gets so easily damaged if touched, a particular problem at points where people enter the sea over the reef. I was horrified when I went snorkeling in the Red Sea last year to see someone actually taking coral. That was the first time I had been snorkeling in a while. I’d almost forgotten how wonderful snorkeling is; you can really lose yourself in another world and I’m sure snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef would be an experience I’d never forget.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
As the name suggests, this is a fantastic place to see kangaroos in what is known as a zoo without fences. Just south of Adelaide you’ll find this undeveloped green island paradise where seals, various birds, dolphins and, of course, kangaroos abound – a real haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Spending sometime on the island would be a wonderful way to relax and unwind while enjoying its natural beauty and the plants and animals that live here.
The bright city lights in New South Wales
Australia’s best known city, Sydney, may seem a bit of an obvious choice but I wouldn’t want a friend to visit England for the first time and not see London. Sydney has many world renowned attractions such as Sydney Opera House and some fabulous beaches but it is also steeped in pioneering history and holds great festivals all year round. After all that swimming and relaxing it would be just the right time for the excitement that comes with exploring a new city.
An outback road trip in Western Australia
While I’m not keen on driving in unfamiliar places (I’d sooner been the navigator) this would certainly be a great way to see a completely different side of the country. I’d head to Western Australia and the renowned outback highway, Gibb River Road, that takes you over 400 miles from Derby to Kununurra through wide open dusty, red plains, passing spectacular gorges and waterfalls along the way. A drive like that is not something I’d undertake lightly though, definitely one to do your homework on.
Kakadu National Park, The Northern Territory
If I could visit just one place though, I think it would be here. This stunning national park includes the traditional lands of a number of indigenous tribes and is a unique ethnological and archaeological reserve including over 5,000 rock painting sites. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its natural and its cultural importance. There are many rare and endangered animals here and the scenery is awe-inspiring ranging from flood plains and billabongs to the dramatic stone country to savanna woodlands and monsoon forests to the southern hills. Just take a look at Kakadu‘s website and you’ll soon see why this is the one place I really don’t want to miss.
Photography courtesy of Australia.com.
Please note that the competition referred to in the opening paragraph is now closed.
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Great list! As an Aussie I have done all but Kakadu. If we ever go back ‘home’ then I will explore our backyard a lot more!
Phew! It’s always slightly disconcerting when a ‘local’ reads what you’ve written. I’m in the same boat though and really do need to explore more of England, let alone the rest of the UK.
Driving Great Ocean Road is one of the best experience in Australia.
So many wonderful things to do, I think I could do with visiting for a whole year! Ah, if only! 🙂
Dropping by for the first time:)
Have been to Sydney and Gold coast years ago, did some surfing at surfer paradise and wanted to try snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef but not able to do so due to timing. Hope to visit Australia again in the near future, nice country.
Thanks for popping by. Hope it’s the first of many visits 🙂 and hope you get to see the Great Barrier Reef before too long.
And can you take us too please? We’d luv to cruise along the wild Kimberley coast. Some of those dream islands off Queensland look inviting too…
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all go! 🙂
I would add The Kimberley to this list. One of the best things I have ever done is to take a boat from Darwin to Broome across the Kimberley Coast. It is truly one of the most magnificent areas I have ever seen.
Good luck! I would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! I entered a similar contest a few months ago to travel to Queensland. Sadly I did not win. I hope you have much better luck than I!
Thanks Katherine 🙂
Snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef would really be a dream come true for me! It’s such an amazing out-of-the-world place. Did a road trip along Great Ocean Road a few years back and it was so gorgeous, would love to do an outback road trip as well!
I certainly hope to snorkel over the Great Barrier Reef one day. Just bought a new underwater camera and longing to try it out but I think it will be somewhere a little less exotic first.
These would all be on my list, too! Especially Kangaroo Island. How amazing does that sound?!
I know! It all sounds wonderful to me 🙂
I live in Australia but have only managed 2 out of the 5 places you mention. But I would add the Bungle Bungles in the Kimberley area of Western Australia to your list. 🙂
That is often the way. There are so many wonderful parts of England let alone the UK as a whole that I haven’t seen yet. Mind you, you have the excuse that Australia is a very big country. Isn’t something like 60 times bigger than the UK?
I can feel a part two coming on from readers suggestions! Keep them coming everyone.
Haven’t been to WA, but can recommend the rest. Also, don’t miss Uluru … it may be thought a little clichéd, but all the photos and video in the world can’t compare with actually seeing it.
It does look like no more than a rather interesting red rock but it very nearly made the list as, from what people say, it is a very special place that can only be appreciated by actually being there.
Australia does sound like a really fascinating country to visit for so many reasons.
Sounds amazing but not sure I could afford this prize! Am I reading the T& C’s right? No accommodation included? A x
As I understand it accommodation is included but the T&Cs are rather confusing. I’ve asked them to clarify this and a couple of other points to.
I’ve heard back and they apologise for a couple of mistakes in the T&Cs.
Parking and accommodation are included in the prize and the winner will have to book their travel by 31 October 2014 (and not 2013 as I also noticed it said!)
I’m assured that the T&Cs will be amended ASAP.
Thanks for raising this and I’m sorry I didn’t notice it myself.
all the best, K x
Australia and NZ are places I dream of visiting one day – you’ve just whetted my appetite even more!
I know! There are so many places I’d like to go. I think I need to write a proper bucket list to help me prioritise! Was thinking of writing one in memory of Anita.Still can’t believe it.