Your typical city-dwelling Australian likes nothing better than an early morning run or bracing surf to kick start them into life; well that followed by a flat white, obviously. However, move clear of Sydney and Melbourne and you’ll discover the antidote to the fast-paced Aussie lifestyle with national parks, such as Kakadu and Purnululu, providing an inexhaustible supply of inspirational isolation. From aboriginal art etched over ancient rocks in the Northern, to the penguins, vineyards, and beach reserves of the south, no trip to Australia is complete without donning your cork hat and letting yourself and your imagination run wild.
WHAT WE RATE & WHAT WE DON’T
Great Ocean Road
Take off from Melbourne to Adelaide and you’ll discover one of the best road trips in Australia as well as a memorial. From the weathered limestone formations of the Twelve Apostles to the towering trees of Great Otway, the Great Ocean Road is 250km of stunning scenery with plenty of picnic spots and tiny townships to break up the journey.
The Kimberley is swept by the tides of the Ocean where saltwater crocs line the rugged shoreline, protecting the river mouths that snake through this infinite, dusty. Drive along the Gibb River Road or fly out to Gumboot Bay before spending time in the Bungle Bungles or on the Fitzroy River as you learn more about Dreamtime and the importance the Kimberley holds within Australia’s Aboriginal.
Just 13km from Adelaide, Australia’s third-largest island boasts 450km of wild coastline with Seal Bay Conservation Park and Flinders Chase, which features the Remarkable Rocks, providing protective habitat for an abundance of indigenous animals. Fur seals, koalas, sea lions, bandicoots, kangaroos (obviously), and hundreds of birds, take guided nature walks well worth a hop off the mainland.
This southeast coast city is much more than just Bondi Beach and the Opera House, and if you’re looking to climb the Harbour Bridge, shop in the Rocks or spot fruit bats in the botanical gardens, Sydney’s got the lot, and then some. Discover beachside suburbs like Manly, Tamarama and Bronte as well as Kamay Botany Bay National Park and the Blue Mountains, all inviting an alternative side to Sydney.
Great Barrier Reef
Whether you choose to experience the Great Barrier Reef by glass-bottomed boat, small ship, or with snorkel, mask, and fins, there really is nothing like this marine phenomenon anywhere else. Giant clams, sea turtles, manta rays, and a profusion of tropical fish light up an incredible underwater world ripe with colorful coral gardens and ribbon reefs. Trips to Lizard Island allowing for time on golden sands from where to soak it all in.
Entering the Outback with an Aboriginal guide opens up the relationship between indigenous Australians and the natural environment everywhere from the Kimberley to the MacDonnell Ranges, offering unforgettable adventures. Anywhere away from urban areas and the coast constitutes “the Outback” and if you’re looking for an authentic Australian experience then ‘Go Bush’, and never look back.