Raksha in Melbourne

Discover Down Under: The Ultimate Guide to the Top 10 Things to Do in Australia (2024)

I often get asked the same question: ‘What are your favorite and top 10 things to do in Australia?’ Fellow travelers seek advice for their upcoming trips and bucket list ideas Australia, while others inquire out of sheer curiosity. Regardless of the motive, the question remains constant, and everyone is eager to know.

In my opinion, Australia extends far beyond the renowned Great Barrier Reef and the Great Ocean Road. While these destinations are undeniably stunning and worth a visit, I believe that Australia offers so much more. That’s why I have put together a list of my top 10 things to do in Australia. Each experience on the list is something I have personally undertaken and thoroughly enjoyed, showcasing the diverse and enriching offerings this country has beyond its well-known landmarks.

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Top 10 things to do in Australia
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Top 10 Things to do in Australia / Bucket List Ideas Australia

This Top 10 Things to do in Australia is my personal collection of bucket list ideas Australia, born from my love affair with this extraordinary continent. Beyond the renowned wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, this list uncovers the hidden treasures, cultural marvels, and adrenaline-pumping adventures.

From traversing the iconic landscapes to indulging in unique experiences, each recommendation reflects moments I have cherished personally. Whether you are an avid explorer crafting your ultimate Australian bucket list or a curious soul seeking authentic Aussie encounters, let this be your guide to uncovering the heart and soul of Australia, where every entry is a chapter in my own journey, waiting to become yours.

Seeing the Heart Reef

At the pinnacle of my list and holding a special place in my heart is the enchanting view of the Heart Reef from a seaplane. Nestled within Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, this natural wonder takes the form of a heart, a sight exclusive to aerial exploration. To witness its beauty, opt for a scenic journey via seaplane or helicopter, as the reef unveils its romantic allure from the skies.

  • City and State: Airlie Beach, Queensland.
  • Approximate cost: AUD 219 (approx. USD 175) (only for the seaplane).

This unique gem is a testament to the breathtaking diversity of the Great Barrier Reef, making it an absolute must-visit. I wholeheartedly recommend experiencing this aerial marvel for an unforgettable encounter with nature’s artistry.

Heart Reef Queensland
Heart Reef seen from a seaplane

Summitting Mount Kosciuszko

The apex of Australia’s elevation is marked by Mount Kosciuszko, reaching a majestic height of 2228 meters. Ranking second on my list of adventures is the ascent of this remarkable peak. Having conquered its summit twice, I have been captivated by the breathtaking landscapes it unfolds.

  • City and State: Thredbo, New South Wales (NSW).
  • Approximate cost for the tour: Depends on your traveling and accommodation costs.

The journey to the top not only offers a physical challenge but also rewards with awe-inspiring vistas. Scaling Mount Kosciuszko is a testament to the diverse beauty of Australia’s terrain, and I cherish the memories of each climb, surrounded by the magnificent scenery that this towering peak graciously unveils.

Adventures with Ruhi - Kosciuszko
Standing tall on Mount Kosciuszko

Cage Diving with Great Whites

Undoubtedly, one of the most exhilarating experiences etched in my memory is cage diving with Great White Sharks, an adventure that stands as the pinnacle of my daring escapades. As an avid enthusiast of these majestic creatures, this encounter had long held a coveted spot on my bucket list. The anticipation as I submerged into the cold waters, enclosed in a protective cage, was nothing short of electrifying. Face-to-face with the apex predators, I marveled at their sheer power and elegance, a moment of profound connection with nature’s most formidable marine inhabitants.

  • City and State: Port Lincoln, South Australia (SA).
  • Approximate cost: AUD 495 (approx. USD 371) (only for the cage dive).

This endeavor transcended the boundaries of conventional thrill-seeking; it was a plunge into the depths of the ocean and the depths of my own fascination. The rush of adrenaline was matched only by the surreal sight of these magnificent predators gracefully navigating their underwater domain. Cage diving with Great White Sharks not only fulfilled a longstanding dream but also ignited a profound respect for the ocean’s wonders. It is an adventure I recount with awe and gratitude, a testament to the untamed beauty that lies beneath the surface and the extraordinary experiences that await those willing to dive into the unknown.

View from inside cage - Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
Cage diving with Great white sharks

Facing Saltwater Crocodile with Cage of Death

Adding yet another remarkable chapter to my adventures is the enthralling experience of the Cage of Death, a daring escapade that involves cage diving with saltwater crocodiles. This extraordinary encounter offers the opportunity to lock eyes with one of nature’s most formidable predators. If the thrill of confronting the largest and most formidable reptile on Earth is what you seek, then the Cage of Death is an absolute must-try.

  • City and Territory: Darwin, Northern Territory (NT).
  • Approximate cost: AUD 165 (approx. USD 132) (only for the cage dive).

Immersed within the safety of the cage, I found myself in the heart of the saltwater crocodile’s territory, witnessing its power and primal presence up close. The adrenaline rush was unparalleled as the colossal reptile gracefully circled the cage, offering a surreal perspective on the raw beauty and ferocity of these ancient creatures.

The Cage of Death is not merely an adventure; it is a profound connection with the wild, a chance to appreciate the strength and majesty of saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat. This daring exploit adds a unique feather to my cap of experiences, showcasing the awe-inspiring wonders that await those who dare to venture into the domains of Earth’s most imposing creatures.

Cage diving with the salt water crocodile - Bucket List Ideas Australia
Cage diving with the salt water crocodile

Scuba Diving or Snorkeling at Great Barrier Reef (GBR)

A quintessential destination on any Australian itinerary is the iconic Great Barrier Reef, and without a doubt, it’s a must-visit. I wholeheartedly endorse the experience of scuba diving or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, with Port Douglas standing out as a particularly enchanting locale. The allure of this underwater paradise lies not only in its breathtaking beauty but also in the serenity afforded by its lesser-visited depths.

  • City and State: Cairns or Port Douglas (Tropical North), Queensland.
  • Approximate cost: AUD 169 (approx. USD 135) (only for the cage dive).

Embarking on a scuba diving adventure in Port Douglas unveils a world of vibrant coral formations and an abundance of marine life, all against the backdrop of crystal-clear waters. What sets this experience apart is the tranquility, far from the bustling crowds, it allows for an intimate communion with the mesmerizing underwater realm. As you descend into the depths, the Great Barrier Reef comes alive with an array of colors and species, creating a profound connection with the ocean’s wonders.

This recommendation isn’t just about checking off a box on your travel list; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in a pristine aquatic haven. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, especially in the secluded beauty of Port Douglas, is a sensory journey that goes beyond the expected, leaving indelible memories of Australia’s unrivaled natural splendor.

Discover Scuba Diving at Great Barrier Reef
Scuba diving in Great Barrier Reef

Hike the Six Foot Track

Achieving a profound sense of accomplishment, I take immense pride in conquering the Six Foot Track nestled in the Blue Mountains. This challenging 44.8 kilometres three-day hike is more than a trek, it is an immersive journey through the rugged beauty of these majestic peaks. Venturing along the Six Foot Track not only provides a captivating hiking experience but also invites the soul to embrace the raw essence of camping amidst the mountains.

  • Place and State: The Blue Mountains, New South Wales (NSW).
  • Approximate cost: FREEĀ for entry into the national park.

Navigating this trail, I discovered the unparalleled joy of communing with nature, as each step unveiled breathtaking vistas and tested my resilience. The Blue Mountains, with their undulating terrain and lush landscapes, set the stage for a trek that transcended mere physical exertion. Camping under the star-studded sky, surrounded by the tranquil embrace of the mountains, added an enriching layer to the adventure.

Completing the Six Foot Track became a testament to my endurance and a celebration of the inherent beauty embedded in this Australian wilderness. This hike, with its blend of challenging pathways and serene camping spots, encapsulates the spirit of exploration and leaves an indelible mark on the heart of anyone seeking a transformative outdoor experience.

If you are camping in your caravan, the visit Caravan Camping website for best camping equipment solutions.

Hiking the Six Foot Track
Hiking the Six Foot Track

See The Milky Way

An utterly breathtaking experience in Australia involves immersing yourself in the celestial wonders of the Milky Way, either through stargazing or camping beneath its luminous expanse. I wholeheartedly recommend and encourage everyone to witness the mesmerising spectacle of a million stars blanketing the night sky. What sets Australia apart is the accessibility of such celestial marvels, with prime viewing spots conveniently situated close to urban centers.

  • State: Entire Australia.
  • Approximate cost: FREE unless taken a tour.

Imagine, under the southern hemisphere’s pristine skies, a canvas adorned with an awe-inspiring display of stars. It’s not just about witnessing the Milky Way’s cosmic dance but also about the profound connection it fosters with the universe. Whether you choose to recline beneath this celestial masterpiece or set up camp to fully immerse yourself in the experience, the clarity and brilliance of the Australian night sky create a captivating tableau.

This recommendation transcends a mere activity, it is an invitation to partake in a celestial symphony that unfolds above. Australia’s unique advantage lies in the proximity of these stellar displays to metropolitan areas, allowing both seasoned astronomers and casual stargazers alike to revel in the beauty of the Milky Way without venturing far from the city lights. Some of the best places to witness the Milky Way in New South Wales (NSW) are the Blue Mountains, Broken Hill, and Lake Lyell, and in Northern Territory is at Ayers Rock or Uluru.

Milky Way in New South Wales (NSW)
Milky Way in New South Wales (NSW)

Abseil in The Blue Mountains

For the daring spirit, abseiling emerges as the ultimate answer to the call of adventure. My personal rendezvous with abseiling in the Blue Mountains remains a vivid highlight of excitement and exhilaration. Descending a towering 40-meter cliff elicited an adrenaline rush that was nothing short of breathtaking.

  • Place and State: The Blue Mountains, New South Wales (NSW).
  • Approximate cost: AUD 160 (approx. USD 128) (excluding transportation).

Blue Mountains, with its rugged terrain, provided an ideal backdrop for this thrilling escapade. The sheer thrill of leaning back into the abyss, supported only by a rope, and gradually making my way down the cliff was an extraordinary sensory experience. The panoramic views of the Blue Mountains, coupled with the pulsating energy of defying gravity, created a cocktail of sensations that left an indelible mark on my adventurous spirit.

Abseiling, in its essence, is not just a physical feat but a communion with the untamed beauty of nature. It challenges one’s limits and offers a unique perspective of the landscape. For those seeking an adrenaline-fueled journey into the heart of adventure, abseiling in the Blue Mountains is an absolute must, an experience that blends the thrill of descent with the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Australian wilderness.

Abseiling in the Narrow Neck
Abseiling in the Narrow Neck

Visit the Spiritual Capital of Uluru

Exploring the Aboriginal culture at Uluru is an absolute imperative, a journey of profound discovery that deserves a coveted spot on any itinerary. The cultural richness and significance of this sacred site have left an indelible mark on my senses, evoking a deep sense of awe and admiration.

  • City and Territory: Uluru or Ayers Rock, Northern Territory (NT).

Delving into the Aboriginal heritage at Uluru and Arnhem Land opens a gateway to a world steeped in spirituality and tradition. The ancient stories and rituals that echo through the rust-red landscapes impart a visceral understanding of the profound connection between the Anangu people and this sacred monolith. Witnessing the vibrant art, hearing the tales passed down through generations, and engaging with the spiritual essence of Uluru is an experience that transcends the ordinary.

Uluru, with its cultural significance woven into the very fabric of the land, invites visitors to not only witness but also to respect and appreciate the enduring legacy of the Aboriginal people. It is more than a visit, it is an immersion into a living history that demands reverence and offers a transformative encounter with the heart and soul of Australia’s Indigenous heritage. In the embrace of Uluru’s culture, I found not just a destination but a profound and enlightening journey into the roots of a vibrant and ancient civilization.

Sunset with Wine at Uluru
Wine tasting at spiritual capital Uluru

Sky Dive on Great Ocean Road

Plunging from a plane at a breathtaking altitude of 14,000 feet is nothing short of extraordinary. The crowning jewel on my adventure checklist is none other than the exhilarating experience of skydiving, and doing so along the iconic Great Ocean Road is the proverbial icing on the cake.

  • Place and State: Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
  • Approximate cost: AUD 329 (approx. USD 263).

The heart-pounding descent into the vast open sky provides an unparalleled rush of adrenaline. The anticipation builds as the aircraft climbs to dizzying heights, culminating in a free fall that defies gravity itself. Amidst the rush of wind and the expansive panorama below, the Great Ocean Road unfolds in all its coastal splendor, creating a backdrop of unparalleled beauty for this adrenaline-fueled escapade.

Skydiving along the Great Ocean Road transforms this already thrilling activity into a sensory feast. The juxtaposition of the turquoise waters and the rugged coastline, witnessed from the sky, adds a surreal dimension to the experience. It’s not just about the daring free fall but also about capturing a bird’s-eye view of one of Australia’s most iconic landscapes, turning the adventure into a visual symphony of excitement and natural beauty.

Is Australia safe for solo female travelers?

Indeed, Australia proves to be exceptionally safe for solo female travelers. Having called this incredible country home for nearly a decade, my personal experience attests to the overall safety it offers. Traveling solo across its vast landscapes has been a joyous adventure with minimal concerns. While Australia is generally secure, it’s wise to exercise caution, particularly during nighttime excursions.

During my solo journeys, trusting my instincts has been paramount. While incidents are infrequent, it’s advisable to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially after dark. Australia’s cities and regional areas are welcoming, and locals are often friendly, contributing to a generally positive environment for solo female travelers.

Are you intimidated by solo travels or do you have lot of questions regarding solo travels? Then read my frequently asked questions about solo travel.

I have explored the diverse landscapes, from bustling cities to remote wilderness, and the key to a safe and enjoyable solo experience lies in maintaining situational awareness. Embracing the spirit of adventure while staying attuned to personal safety ensures a seamless and delightful exploration of this vast and diverse country. Australia, with its friendly atmosphere and breathtaking landscapes, stands as an ideal destination for solo female travelers, provided they exercise a sensible degree of caution.

Closing notes

Australia, with its myriad of experiences, offers an abundance of other captivating activities waiting to be explored. The wealth of adventures and cultural treasures extends far beyond the scope of this list. From the vibrant cities to the untouched wilderness, each corner of the continent presents opportunities for discovery and delight.

While my enthusiasm could propel me to recount numerous more remarkable encounters, I will gracefully conclude here, adhering to the essence of this post as a compilation of my top 10 favorite things to do in Australia and this bucket list ideas Australia.

Nevertheless, the beauty of this vast and diverse land lies in its ability to continually surprise and inspire, ensuring that there will always be more to uncover and relish for those eager to embark on their own Australian odyssey. So, until the next exploration beckons, I leave you with the promise that Australia, with its endless wonders, awaits your personal discovery beyond the boundaries of this curated list. Happy adventuring!

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Discover Down Under: The Ultimate Guide to the Top 10 Things to Do in Australia (2024)
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    Top 10 things to do in Australia
    PIN for later reference – Bucket List Ideas Australia