Any experienced globe trotter can attest to Australia’s never-ending ability to take your breath away.
The vast beauty of this island-continent lies in its unique blend of surreal natural landscapes, man-made marvels, cultural heritage of its warm-hearted people, and the diversity of sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
Still, most visitors who arrive in the Land Down Under are often tied to major urban centers and miss out on amazing experiences nearby.
To help you discover the best of Australia, here are the most memorable locations that won’t take up too much of your trip, but are definitely worth exploring.
1. A Colorful Journey – Geraldton, Western Australia
Every year, between June and September, Australia’s west coast bursts with color near Geraldton. This is the time of the year when over 10,000 different wildflower species cover this stretch of Western Australia, and the entire region comes alive.
What makes this quiet little town such an appealing place to experience this natural marvel is the ArtDrive Tour.
The tour is created to use the color of the wildflower fields and infuse them with contemporary art installations, performances, and festivals, creating truly unique experiences. Only a couple of hours drive from Perth, it can be an once-in-a-lifetime day trip.
2. The Ultimate Winning and Dinning Getaway – McLaren’s Vale, Southern Australia
Finding yourself near St Vincent Gulf and the glorious city-port of Adelaide brings you close to Australia’s premier wining and dining experience at McLaren’s Vale. McLaren’s Vale is a historic little town, home to some of the world’s oldest grape wines, planted as far back as 1838.
This gives its 65 wineries an edge when producing their renowned Shiraz or quality Chardonnay. Great wine is always accompanied by even better food, and the Vale has no shortage of amazing dining experiences.
Some of these, like D’Array’s Verandah, have been listed among the top restaurants in Southern Australia, and are definitely worth the half-hour drive.
3. Cultural Escape – Sydney Harbor, New South Wales
As one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world, Sydney Harbor is the ultimate must-see when visiting Australia’s largest city.
Once Sydney’s waterway to the world, since then it has become a vibrant playground to experience the best of Australian culture.
When planning to visit Sydney Harbor, make sure you go to the Harbor and see the Sydney Theatre Company, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the State Theatre.
Of course, you should also take a walk down Circular Quay and see for yourself why Sydney Opera House is famous around the world.
If you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing, you can think about getting a car rental in Sydney to make sure you see every destination this city has to offer.
4. A Deep-Sea Adventure – Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Although lights at Brisbane and the Gold Coast might be more alluring when coming to Queensland make sure to make a trip north to Cairns or Port Douglas. These two smaller towns have are surrounded by Mount Lewis and Mowbray National Parks, however, their greatest appeal is their proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.
There are numerous reasons why you should visit the Great Barrier Reef, but, without a doubt, it’s the sheer beauty of its crystal blue waters and the array of technicolor life that will blow your mind once you dive into this once-of-a-kind day-trip adventure.
5. A Dreamtime Trip – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Wherever you might find yourself in Australia, you should try and book an overnight visit to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The most sacred spot in the entire continent, the park is home to the iconic Uluru or Ayer’s Rock.
Once there, you can bask in the glory of this geological wonder, and listen to the Dreamtime stories as you pass ancient pictographs on caves, created by ancient Aboriginal tribes ages ago.
On the other side of the park, the strange domes of Kata Tjuta tower over the barren Outback. Once you have seen the sunset over Uluru, the nearby town of Yulara is where you can spend the night, and prepare for your next discovery.
Wherever you might find yourself on the continent, the uniqueness of Australia and the diversity of its tourist hotspots makes going on spectacular day trips seem like a breeze.
Whether it’s a marvelous sight, a delicious taste, or a soothing sound, memorable locations and experiences are never far away in Australia.