The biggest of Australia’s six states, Western Australia is home to everything that makes Oz great.
It boasts a cosmopolitan capital city, stunning coral reef, an adventurous outback and great surf. But being on the other side of the country from the iconic Sydney or bustling Melbourne, it has a smaller tourist crowd and everything is a lot cheaper. Some travellers argue that Western Australia is the ‘real’ Australia.
Ready to explore this goldmine of adventure and exploration? Here’s some key information to get you started.
Where to Go
Western Australia boasts a massive and diverse landscape, and we can’t possibly list everything (that’s a blog for another day!). But below we have rounded up five key places of interest that you should definitely consider.
The capital city of Western Australia and your first port of call if you’re flying in from international shores. It has everything you would expect from a large capital city, but still has a low-key atmosphere about it. Start your day slowly with a stroll through King’s Park – one of the largest inner city parks in the world (even NYC’s Central Park doesn’t beat it). Then finish your day by hopping on the ferry to South Perth and watching the sunset over the spectacular skyline.
Australia is recognised internationally for its delicious wines and surfing waves. Margaret River is the perfect place for both. With 100 wineries it’s no surprise that it produces 15% of the country’s premium wines. Then along the coast you’ll find 40 surf sports, ranging from powerful reef breaks to fun beach waves.
Part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site, this little bay is so lovely even dolphins like to swim into shore to check it out. Every day specially trained rangers are on hand to provide insight into the dolphins who have made this bay their home. The perfect chance to learn more about these playful creatures in their natural habitat.
The Great Barrier Reef might receive most of the attention, but the Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing coral reef. If you’re wondering what fringing coral means – it’s a coral reef that is only moments from the shore. Yep, you don’t need a boat trip to see this reef; a few strokes and you’ll be snorkelling over it.
The North West
The places we’ve mentioned already are tucked into the South West corner of Australia. But if you want adventure we recommend heading north to Broom and Kimberley. Here you’ll experience the Australian outback. Wander through the ancient gorges of Karijini National Park, witness Australia’s highest waterfall (King George Waterfalls) and admire some of the oldest aboriginal artworks on earth.
How to Get There
Perth is the transport hub for the region. Here you’ll be able to catch an international flight or a plane to another beautiful area of Australia. Like any other trip Down Under, it is the perfect opportunity to stop over somewhere exotic on the way. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are both popular options.
Western Australia is vast and if you want to explore corner to corner, we’d recommend a hire car. Word of warning though: fill up your tank as these roads are remote! Also remember to hire a 4x4 as the roads can get very rocky.
If however, you’re planning on staying in the populated Perth and South West region, you can get by on train and coach. There are plenty of hop on and hop off tickets available.
Weather and Climate
The weather is always diverse when we’re talking about somewhere the size of Western Australia. But as a general rule, the south is similar to the Mediterranean, the east is desert and north is tropical. If you’re planning to travel across the state, make sure you take a variety of clothing options (and take plenty of sunscreen).
Final tips and recommendations:
The currency here is Australian Dollars
Perth is cheaper than Sydney and Melbourne
The time zone is Western Standard Time (AWST) is GMT + 8:00.
The legal drinking age is 18
The school holidays work differently in Western Australia and the children have their long summer break during December and January.
When it comes to bucket list experiences, Australia does not disappoint.
The country is a gold mine for adventure. Blessed with a variety of landscapes ranging from lively cosmopolitan hubs through to desert plains and the colourful ocean life minutes from its shores. Whether you’re a city lover, scuba diver, wildlife-seeker, sports enthusiast or adrenaline junkie, Australia has a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you.
So grab your bucket list, we’re about to tick a few things off it.
Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Definitely one of Mother Nature’s proudest achievements, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral ecosystem. There are several ways to admire the reef, whether it’s scuba diving or from above on a boat trip. Either way, this is a bucket list experience that everyone must do once in their life.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
For the best views of this famous city, book yourself a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. It’s not for the faint hearted but it offers unbeatable views (especially at night) and is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping.
Meet dolphins in the wild
Dolphins are friendly creatures, but usually you need to take a boat trip to see them. Their usual home is along the shores of Monkey Mia in Western Australia, however, they regularly swim into shallow waters to mingle with humans. Organised tours are operated by locals who know the best spots and have their own personal stories.
Travel through the outback on board The Ghan
Considered one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan Railway reaches areas of Australia that are otherwise inaccessible. Crossing the states of Southern Australia and Northern Territories, the train will stop off at Alice Springs, Katherine, and Coober Pedy (the end points are Adelaide and Darwin).
Drive the Ocean Road
Over in the southern state of Victoria, lies Australia’s most scenic road trip. The Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial (it was built to commemorate WW1 veterans) and runs by several prominent landmarks. The most famous of these landmarks is the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations.
Soak up the atmosphere of Melbourne
Melbourne definitely takes the top spot as Australia’s coolest city. It’s the perfect place to view colourful street art, shop in stylish second-hand stores, enjoy international fusion cuisine and drink cool cocktails into the early hours. Remember to also take a day to relax, embrace the city’s café culture and soak up the atmosphere – in a city as interesting as Melbourne, this is sometimes all you need to do.
Cage Dive with Great White Sharks
If you’re an experienced diver, head to South Australia and come face-to-face with one of the ocean’s greatest creatures. Most tours have to be booked in advance and many operators request that you already know how to work scuba equipment. There’s also the option of watching from the boat though.
Witness the Aurora Australis
The northern lights might get more attention, but the lesser known southern lights are just as spectacular. They are a lot more elusive (and your timing needs to be impeccable) but it is undeniably worth it. The best time to see them is September with secluded Tasmania topping the list of locations.
Watch the sunset over Uluru Rock
Complete your Australian adventure with this fiery sunset. While the drive to Uluru rock is far (and bumpy!) the red glow from the rock in the later hours is one nature’s best tricks.
What’s your top Australia bucket list experience? How many have you ticked off?
Melbourne is a colourful and vibrant city – literally. Its sidewalks and buildings are adorned with vivid and interesting street art, giving a nod to its accolade of being Australia’s cultural capital and a hub for the country’s creative community. Across the city you’ll find little clusters of walls and buildings proudly decorated by local artists, most of which are included in the many Street Art Walking Tours (this is a thing) but if you fancy a DIY meander then these are the pathways and lanes where you’ll find the best street art the city has to offer.
Arguably the central point for Melbourne’s street art scene, Hosier Lane can be found opposite Federation Square. The quality of the street art found here is highly acclaimed, and has become a popular backdrop for photographers and bloggers. The lane is also known for its upmarket cocktail bars.
Along the city centre’s Bourke Street Mall, you’ll find the small opening to this 550-metre long pathway. An otherwise quiet street with no bars or cafes, this secluded lane’s sole attraction is the miss-match of street art that covers almost every inch of its walls.
Degraves Street in the Central Business District of Melbourne brings together two important aspects of Melbourne life: coffee culture and street art. The art deco atmosphere and alfresco dining gives off a Parisian appearance, but the down-to-earth street art and buskers help remind passer-by’s that they are among the streets of sunny and relaxed Melbourne.
Centre Place might look familiar as it regularly features in many tourism campaigns for the city. Not only does it showcase some of the city’s best street art, but specifically it is home to some of Melbourne’s best examples of stencil graffiti. You’ll also find a great selection of vibrant bars, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, sushi bars and shops.
Know of any hidden lanes that also showcase Melbourne’s famous street art scene? Let us know in the comments.
The Gold Coast is a vibrant city in Queensland, just one hour south of Brisbane and offers just the right balance of laid back beach resort and cosmopolitan playground - and is a paradise for surfers, sun worshippers, families and party goers. It’s one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations for both Aussies and international visitors, with something for everyone and guaranteed sunshine most of the year.
The Gold Coast has so much more to offer than just the nightlife that it is often best known for and here are just five reasons why you should add the Gold Coast to your list of places to visit.
Perhaps the most obvious attraction of the Gold Coast are the stunning beaches that span the coast as far as the eye can see. With the coastline stretching more than 70km, you can find a secluded private spot or experience the buzz at a livelier beach like Surfers Paradise.
The coastline is accompanied by a string of different neighbourhoods each with a distinct character. From the bustling shops and bars in Surfers Paradise, to the coastal chic vibes in Broadbeach you can find the perfect spot for surfing, sunbathing, barbequing or whatever else might take your fancy!
The Gold Coast is home to all of Australia’s theme parks making it a perfect get away for thrill seekers. With two water parks and three theme parks, you can take your pick of hair-raising rides, or if rollercoasters aren’t for you, then opt to relax in the lazy river or take in a show.
The variety of theme parks makes the Gold Coast a perfect family getaway, and offers fun for all ages. The parks are conveniently located close to one another so you can easily hop from one to the next one.
Lamington National Park
Just a forty-five minute drive from the Gold Coast is Lamington National Park, the world’s most extensive subtropical rainforest. Take a stroll through the picturesque walking trails and don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning natural waterfalls.
The area boasts an impressive treetop walkway through the rainforest, or if you enjoy hiking you can join one of the 160km worth of walking trails. The National Park also hosts a boutique vineyard where you can dine a la carte, enjoy a casual picnic and taste some fine wine.
As the name suggests, Surfers Paradise is one of the best places to learn to surf in Australia. The average temperatures, mild water and relaxed coastal vibes are the main reason that copious numbers of people flock to the Gold Coast and try their hand at surfing. Beaches are watched over by lifeguards all year round and the different conditions make it suitable for any level of surfer. Surf rental shops can be found across the Gold Coast so you also won’t need to bring you own.
The variety of quirky and distinctive neighbourhoods nestled amongst the Gold Coast means that there is a vast number of cafes and restaurants on offer. Try out the trendy Burleigh Heads area and take your pick of al fresco cafes serving up impressive coffees and brunches. There is also plenty of street food available from local vendors along the beachside resorts and at the local markets.
No trip to Australia would be complete without snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, or visiting the iconic Sydney Harbour, which is why visitors often flock to the country’s East Coast. This can leave Western Australia overlooked, and we are here to tell you why it is definitely worth a trip.
Being Australia’s largest state there is plenty to see and do. Get off the beaten track on an epic road trip to discover some of Australia’s best kept secrets, and stumble upon the idyllic white beaches. Of course there are so many places to visit that we couldn’t possibly cover them all, but here are some great destinations to get you started.
Enjoy the best of both worlds in Perth, a vibrant city with an equal amount of natural beauty. Explore the compact but cosmopolitan city on foot, with a stroll along the Swan River before relaxing in Kings Park. Just thirty minutes outside of Perth, you will find the trendy port town of Freemantle. Enjoy a coffee in one of the many bustling cafes and take a tour of the historical area.
There are very few places in Australia where you can watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean and Perth is one of them. We recommend making the twenty minute journey out of the city to Cottesloe Beach for one of the best sunsets in Perth and watch the sky change some unforgettable colours.
We recommend catching a ferry to Rottnest Island for a unique day trip. The island itself is only 11km long and with no transport on the island you can hire a bike to get around. It is the perfect place for snorkelling in the crystal clear water & spotting wildlife in their natural habitat and is hugely popular with families. Here you will find the native animal, the quokka, which is part of the kangaroo and wallaby family. Known for being super friendly and posing in selfies, the Quokka was recently named “the world’s happiest animal”!
Located three hours south of Perth, the Margaret River area is one of best food and premium wine regions in Western Australia. Home to boutique breweries, world renowned wineries and gourmet restaurants, it is a must visit for any culinary enthusiast. Some of Australia’s finest Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon is produced here, so be sure to visit a local vineyard and indulge in some samples. The town hosts impressive markets, selling local produce and a variety of arts and crafts. Not just for foodies, Margaret River has stunning beaches and offers some amazing surf spots.
Shark Bay World Heritage Site
Heading further up the West Coast you will reach the Shark Bay World Heritage area, which spans an incredible 10,000km and is best known for Shark Bay itself and Monkey Mia. Home to the largest marine embayment in Australia, it is a wildlife lover’s paradise. This spot is famed for its daily dolphin visits and is the place to go for a chance to feed and interact with dolphins in their daily habitat.
Even further north you will find Broome, the gateway to the sparse and vastly diverse Kimberley Region. Broome is home to the pristine Cable Beach which is ranked amongst the world’s best beaches and is one of Western Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. Take a camel ride across the white sands of Cable Beach, or enjoy watching the incredible sunsets from one of the luxury resorts.
Sydney is undoubtedly Australia’s most iconic city. It is hugely versatile with many natural beauties in addition to the man-made attractions in and around the city. It is the perfect place to relax, explore and enjoy. Here are some of our top recommendations for your visit to Sydney.
The Sydney Opera House
Beginning with the obvious, the Sydney Opera House should definitely be on your list of places to visit. Take a walk around Circular Quay to admire it, or book one of the many tours available to explore from the inside.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Staying within Circular Quay, you can view this incredible structure that spans the length of the Sydney Harbour. You can walk and cycle across the bridge, or for the more adventurous, you can take a tour and climb to the top. This makes for an amazing photo opportunity and you have the option to climb during the day, evening or at twilight to watch the sun set.
No trip to Sydney would be complete without a visit to Bondi Beach. A great place to watch the world go by in the many bars and cafes, or even try your hand at surfing. After relaxing on the beach, continue on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk to truly appreciate the beaches in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Sail Sydney Harbour
The ultimate way to view the sights of Sydney is from the water. There are plenty of options to cater for everyone’s taste. Take a scenic cruise with dinner in the evening, or opt to take a ferry to nearby Manly or Watsons Bay for great views and the chance to explore another one of Sydney’s suburbs.
Explore the Rocks
A historical area of Sydney, the Rocks are home to many bars and restaurants, hidden amongst the quaintly cobbled lane ways. We recommend taking a walking tour of the area to learn more about its history. It is also a great place to shop and hosts a variety of weekly markets ranging from fresh food markets to art, jewellery and souvenir stalls.
Visit Darling Harbour
Not Sydney’s most famous harbour, but definitely worth a visit. Darling Harbour has so much to offer and is a brilliant place to unwind in the heart of the city. It is a hub of entertainment with many tourist attractions, waterfront restaurants and trendy bars just a short stroll from the CBD.
Sydney has breakfast down to a tee and the city offers plenty of popular brunch spots. With a huge coffee culture and a love of eggs and avocado, the Aussie’s know how to brunch.
Want to visit Australia? Join the party. Australia is a popular destination year after year with holidaymakers seeking sun, adventure and iconic sights. However, the sun-drenched mega-island clocks in at over 7 million square kilometres so travellers are usually forced to narrow down their choices.
But no matter which part of Australia you choose to visit, getting there will be easy. There’s no better way to start your Australian adventure than with Etihad Airways, voted the World’s Leading Airline for eight consecutive years at the World Travel Awards. Etihad offers three daily departures from London Heathrow, twice daily from Manchester and five departures a week from Edinburgh with fast connections to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth via their hub Abu Dhabi. Explore even more of Australia with the Australia Skypass with Etihad’s codeshare partner Virgin Australia offering internal connections to over 45 destinations across Australia and New Zealand. On board, guests in all cabins experience unrivalled service with hundreds of hours of entertainment including the latest films and seven live TV channels plus Wi-Fi to stay connected. Below we’ve rounded-up some of Australia’s key urban hubs to make sure you pick the right one for your perfect Australian getaway.
Sydney is one of those cities where there isn’t anyone it’s not for. Amazing art scene with a famous opera house? Check. A sky-touching tower where you can view the cityscape from above? Yes. Its own Chinatown? Of course. Sandy beaches? This is Australia after all. Beautiful natural wonders on the outskirts? The Blue Mountains are a one hour train drive from the centre.
Sydney has become an iconic city for many reasons, and we can’t pinpoint any one type of traveller it is for. It’s multi-faceted and we recommend everyone stops off in Sydney once in their lifetime.
Who’s it for? Everyone can find their ideal holiday in Sydney.
If the Australian cities were siblings, Melbourne would grow up to be the effortless hip one who made a successful living as an artist. The streets here are lined with intricate and creative graffiti art, which is the storefront for numerous quirky boutiques, basement restaurants, and rooftop bars.
Very few places in the world can compete with how trendy Melbourne is. This is a place where coffee, brunch and faux-speakeasy bars weren’t built to be part of the global trend – they have been woven into the fabric of Melbourne for years. The city is also home to multiple suburbs and neighbourhoods that infuse the city with their own brand of culture – whether you’re looking for 5-star dining, hipster brunch, tasty Vietnamese or old-school Italian, you’ll find it within these stylish streets.
Who’s it for? Artistic and cultured travellers.
Perth can sometimes get left out in the cold when people think about Australian cities (and by cold, we mean 30 °C). But this city is the perfect base for exploring the wonders of Western Australia. Whether that be the towns of Monkey Mia or Margaret River, or heading north into Kimberley to inspect the ancient Aboriginal rock art.
The city itself, however, is the proof that cosmopolitan sophistication and laid-back Australian cool can co-exist. It boasts tall skyscrapers that look out onto the sapphire currents of the Indian Ocean. There’s prosperous city-centre nightlife combined with 40km of beaches. And then we have the expansive urban park where you can find yourself aimlessly wandering for hours a time, with the sound of the city behind you.
Who’s it for? Those who want to combine relaxation and adventure with city life.
Anyone who has travelled north to explore the magnificent natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, will have passed through Brisbane. While Cairns takes the limelight as the reefs nearest city, many people fly to Brisbane to have easy access to this natural wonder while having the chance to explore Queensland’s capital.
Like all great capital cities, Brisbane combines everything that makes the region what it is. In the centre is the quintessential flourishing restaurant, bar and cultural scene. While at the edges lies turquoise waves home to whales and dolphins. To the east is Moreton Bay, home to sandy isles dotting the coast, while to the south is the vineyard-laced Granite Belt.
Who’s it for? Anyone with the Great Barrier Reef on their to-visit list, who also loves a small city-break.
Found along the coast of South Australia, the city of Adelaide is winning the competition of laid-back cool. This cultural hub hosts the biggest Fringe festival in Australia (and the second biggest in the world) and is proud of the multiple festivals it hosts every year. Being a city of smaller magnitude allows for an inclusive community vibe, where the well-known image of a laid-back Australian is left and centre. Every day you can find locals and visitors treating themselves to the prominent café culture over some tasty brunch.
Who’s it for? Travellers seeking a laid-back city that not that many people can say they’ve been to.
Australia: the land of kangaroos, koalas, surfing, barbeques and stunning locations. It’s a country with a lot to offer – so much that choosing just one destination can be a bit of a challenge. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and because it’s located on the other side of the world you want to make sure you see as much of it before it’s time to fly home.
That’s why we recommend a touring holiday that covers as much of Australia as possible. Here’s just a taster of possible itineraries that encompass everything that makes Australia a must-visit holiday destination.
1. Sydney, Rock & Reef
This two week itinerary takes you on a three-stop tour of Australia’s most famous landmarks: Sydney, Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy three nights in the famous city of Sydney, where tours include a Sydney Bridge Climb, wine tasting in the Hunter Valley and a day tour of the Blue Mountains.
Then leave the city for the outback at Alice Springs, where The Olgas and Ayers Rock await you. Afterwards head back to the coast and discover one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef.
2. West to East
Just because Australia is vast, doesn’t mean you have to choose between east and west. Start off in the western city of Perth, before jetting over to the east coast to explore Sydney.
While in Western Australia enjoy the wildlife at Rottnest Island and the Nambung National Park and the fascinating Pinnacles Desert. Also enjoy a few nights stay at Margaret River – where you can drink in some of Australia’s best wineries and hit the surf on some of the world’s best waves.
3. City & Coast
Drive along the Gold Coast of Australia and admire its sandy beaches, metropolitan cities and impressive waves. On this self-drive tour you’ll move along the coast from Brisbane to Noosa & Fraser Island, before flying onto Melbourne. Here, your tour will include the Yarra Valley Wine Experience and the Mornington Hot Springs.
4. Wine & Wildlife
Two things Australia is famed for: delicious wines and breath-taking wildlife. Start off on the Great Ocean Road and experience one of the world’s most scenic drives with a hire car. Along the way look out for the staggering Twelve Apostles, cloudy waterfalls and small surf towns.
Fly onwards to the rugged island of Tasmania off Australia’s southern coast. With a hire car that you’ll pick up when you arrive, the natural wonders of the island are yours to explore. After three nights you’ll return to the mainland, but this time your adventure will take you to Adelaide. Included is a trip to Kangaroo Island and a hire car to drive through the Flinders Ranges National Park.
5. Cross country by rail
Australia has a modern railway system with an impressive network of connections. Travel along the iconic Ghan route, starting in Adelaide and ending in Darwin. This cross-country journey takes passengers through the very heart of the Australian outback, and offers unprecedented views from a luxury carriage. In Darwin, cruise the Adelaide River which is home to 1,600, before deciding which national park to visit first.
6. Broome, Bungle Bungles Range & the Kimberley
If you’re looking to explore Australia without the tourist crowds, head to Kimberley. This region in the north-west of the country is sparsely settled and home to vast wilderness decorated with rugged ranges, dramatic gorges, semi-arid savanna and secluded coastline.
On this itinerary you’ll learn about Aboriginal culture, and the geology of Australia’s landscape. In the city of Broome, you can explore traditional markets before watching the sun set into the Indian Ocean.
7. Australian Icons
Read the details of the above tours, and still can’t narrow it down? This final tour encompasses everything you would want to see in one Australian trip. Sydney? Check. Ayers Rock? Yes. Great Ocean Road? Definitely. Melbourne? It hasn’t been forgotten. Great Barrier Reef? It’s there. In order to make sure you get round as much of Australia as possible, this bus and plane tour is just what the travel doctor ordered.
When it comes to Australian tourist destinations, the eastern coastline sometimes snaps up all the attention. Certainly not undeserved, the eastern shore is home to a major international city, beautiful beaches, sunny weather and a famous coral reef. But it can feel as though the rest of Australia is left out in the cold (albeit, the exotic Australian definition of cold).
Western Australia is an Aussie territory that certainly should never get overlooked as a potential holiday destination. The largest state by nearly 1 million square kilometres, there's plenty of reasons to visit this super-territory. Not indifferent from its eastern counterparts, there's also a metropolitan capital, pristine beaches, world-famous surfing spots and record-breaking landscapes, as well as its own coral reef.
Still not convinced? Here are six reasons why Western Australia needs to be on your bucket list.
Catch some world-famous waves
For surfers after a big wave or pipeline, Margaret River ranks up there with Hawaii as one of the world's top bays. This coastal town is home to Surfers Point, the world-famous break sifting through waters that carry consistent but humble waves. Technically there's two waves (Mainbreak and Southsides) that make up Surfers Point, but if neither of them appeal (or they're busy) other waves in the bay include the Margaret River Bombie, The Box, and Rivermouth.
Visit the world's biggest rock
When you think of massive rocks in Australia, you probably conjure up an image of Uluru Rock in the Northern Territory. Despite being more widely known, it's not actually the biggest: that title goes to Mount Augustus in the outback of Western Australia.
Mount Augustus, or Burringurrah as it is known to the Aboriginals, is twice the size of Uluru and dominates the skyline at 715m. Definitely one for the adventurous traveller, the only way to reach it (aside a small aircraft) is via road – a rather off-beat and bumpy road. But travellers who take the journey won't regret the decision to view its dusty crimson hue in person.
Walk through one of the world's largest inner city parks
If you thought NYC or London were the only cities with an impressive inner-city park, you owe Perth an apology. Western Australia's capital city boasts 1,003-acre of greenery with 324 native plant varieties, 215 known indigenous fungi species and 80 types of bird.
Aside from its grassy landscape, it is also home to the Royal Kings Park Tennis club, a Botanic Garden, an Aboriginal Art Gallery, two children's play-parks (one with life-sized dinosaurs) and several memorials. The State War Memorial Precinct overlooks the Perth Water and pays respects to Western Australians who lost their life at war. Throughout the park you'll also find eucalyptus trees fronted by plaques to commemorate personnel who died during the two World Wars.
Snorkel not far from land in a large coral reef
If you've ever wanted to snorkel in a beautiful underwater coral reef, but don't feel comfortable swimming too far from shore, Western Australia is home to the world's only large coral reef located close to land. The Ningaloo Reef encompasses 1,742,130-acres of coral reef, and can be found 750 miles north of Perth in the East Indian Ocean.
The Nigaloo Reef is mostly famed for its whale sharks, while the beaches are breeding ground for loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. Dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales are also spotted in the waters while migrating during winter, along with 500 species of fish and 300 types of coral.
Swim with dolphins in the wild
For the chance to see bottle-nosed dolphins in the wild without going out to sea with a pair of binoculars, head to Monkey Mia. For fifty years bottle-nosed dolphins have been swimming into land to meet locals and travellers alike at shores within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
Walk along the tranquil beaches of the west coast
The east coast has some of the best-known beaches in Australia, however the west coast is home to beaches just as scenic and lustrous but with smaller crowds. Dip your toes into the Indian Ocean at some of Western Australia's most shimmering beaches such as Cable Beach, Lucky Bay, Elephant Cove and Shell Beach.
Sydney is a city that has it all. Lively metropolitan streets, a thriving cultural scene (including the world's most recognisable opera house), spectacular shopping, glimmering beaches, a plethora of sunshine and beautiful natural scenery framing the city's edges. There are not many cities that can boast the same amount of diversity as Sydney can, which is why our bucket list ideas for Sydney are just as impressive – here are 37 items to start you off on your adventure in Australia's largest city.
1. Enjoy a show at the Sydney Opera House
2. Stroll along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and enjoy spectacular coastal views
3. Take in wide-angle views of the city at the top of Sydney Tower Eye
4. Purchase some stylish clothes from Australia's most renowned designers at The Intersection
5. Watch a movie at the world's biggest IMAX Theatre in Darling Harbour
6. Attach your harness and climb across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
7. Peruse the 400 stores in Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre
8. Explore historical ships at the Australian National Maritime Museum
9. Take a selfie with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds
10. Explore Sydney Olympic Park, the host of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games
11. Enjoy views of Sydney Harbour from a ferry tour
12. Picnic in Barangaroo Reserve
13. Delve into Sydney's art scene at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
14. Ride a ferry out to one of Sydney's Islands
15. Go for a dip in one of Sydney's outdoor pools, such as Icebergs in Bondi or the Bronte Baths
16. Eat some delicious handmade Chinese noodles in Chinatown
17. Hike along the North Shore from Spit Bridge to Manly
18. Soak up some culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art
19. Enjoy a drink at the Opera Bar while overlooking one of the world's largest natural harbours
20. Watch the Saturday night fireworks display at Darling Harbour
21. Snorkel in Gordon's Bay
22. Ride the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park
23. Explore the city's history at the Museum of Sydney
24. Visit the Koala Sanctuary at Featherdale Wildlife Park
25. Star gaze at the Sydney Observatory
26. Wonder through Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden, all 75 acres of it
27. Watch the sunset from one of Sydney's rooftop bars
28. Ride the Sydney SkyCoaster at Wet'n'Wild
29. Join the surf or enjoy the sun at Bondi Beach, one of Australia's most famous beaches
30. Have a go on the TreeTop Crazy Rider at TreeTop Adventure Parks
31. Learn more about the land down under at the Australian Museum
32. Admire the architecture of the Queen Victoria Building
33. Spot sea creatures in their natural habitat at Shelly Beach
34. Do a spot of shopping at one of Sydney's renowned weekend markets (Eveleigh Market and Paddington Markets are two to definitely check out)
35. Delve further into Sydney's art scene at the White Rabbit Gallery, a intimate gallery dedicated to Chinese art
36. Get lost in the second-oldest national park in the world, the Royal National Park
37. Catch the double-decker train to the dramatic Blue Mountains just west of Sydney