I was lucky enough to spend nine months exploring Australia and got to see some pretty cool stuff. Here are my highlights.
Whale Watching and Fish & Chips in Manly, Sydney
I’m not saying they’re necessarily the best fish and chips in the world, but this is definitely the best place to eat them. Whatever your stresses in life, manly will remove them. Bliss and chips, they should call it – certainly a good place to head when you first land in Oz. As for whale watching, there are plenty of tours you can do and if you go in August/September when the humpbacks are migrating north you might get lucky like I did and get a double breach of mother and calf:
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Without doubt one of the world’s finest roads. A quick look at the picture below will demonstrate why but trust me, it’s even more spectacular in real life. Those are the Twelve Apostles and look just as spectacular from the beach below as the cliff tops above. There are plenty of walkways to explore to find that perfect shot if you’re a keen photographer.
Fraser Island, Queensland
The world’s largest sand island has some stunning lakes with some of the world’s purest waters, but the surrounding ocean is too dangerous to swim in! Driving on sand here was one of the best experiences I had Down Under.
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Definitely the best time to go Adelaide is the end of February when the city comes to life with comedy, music and the fabulous Garden of Unearthly Delights.
Castaway Island, Queensland
Marooned on an island with only half a dozen other people and one of them happened to be an old British friend I had spent a summer in America with! It was so cool to explore such a beautiful island that we had to ourselves.
Grampians National Park, Victoria
There are few mountains in Oz but one of the best places to get high is at the Grampians. We saw so many kangaroos there it was ridiculous.
Daintree Rainforest & Atherton Tablelands, Queensland
Melbourne AFL, Skydeck and F1
There are always events going on in Melbs and during the four months I lived there I worked at the Comedy Festival, a FIFA World Cup Qualifier and some AFL games, and saw the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. The Eureka Skydeck is another amazing attraction and the tallest building in the southern hemisphere.
Dancing on the Tables, Byron Bay, NSW
Cheeky Monkeys is the club to hit up in Byron Bay simply because the entire dance floor is atop tables. You’ll end up partying on the beach after – it is a classic rite of passage for East Coast backpackers.
Sailing the Whitsundays, Queensland
It doesn’t get any better than this. Aboard the New Horizon boat we spent three days cruising the Whitsundays and had the time of our lives. I did my first scuba diving lesson here and it is to date one of the best things I have ever done.
N.B. I have not been to the red centre, Western Australia or Northern Territory but hope to one day write a similar post about those areas!