10 Alternative Adventures in Australia

This guest post is from our friend Caz over at yTravel Blog

Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef; you’ve likely already heard about these national treasures of Australia so I’m not going to focus on them. Australia is such a diverse and wild country with so many natural places of beauty to explore and adventures to be had. So why not try something new and different?

Here are 10 Australian Adventures not to be missed

1. Broome, Western Australia

Broome is situated in the far north coast of Western Australia.  It is a haven for backpackers, and pearl farmers. Backpackers run the majority of the shops in this small town and can be found lighting up the bar atmosphere at night. Broome is one of Australia’s most unique towns with its ‘country/outback feel’ right on the ocean.

Cable Beach is consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches, and a day can be spent here playing cricket on the beach, or swimming with crocodiles and jelly fish (do be careful and read the signs) In the evening, catch a sunset cocktail from the Cable Beach resort or even take a casual beach stroll on a camel. You may even decide you want to stay for a while, work on a pearl farm and earn some money to fund your Broome adventure.

2. Wine country

Australia makes great wine and an abundance of it. There are several wine regions around the country you can visit and enjoy. A day trip to the wineries is an experience never to forget. You can usually jump on a tour and spend the day moving from vineyard to vineyard, sampling various wine and delicious cheeses.

Most notably are the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney; The Barossa Valley in South Australia; and Margaret River in Western Australia.  Of the three I would recommend Margaret River for its stunning ocean location, which is famous for its world-class ocean surf breaks as well.

3. Coober Pedy

In the middle of the South Australian desert, with temperatures hitting heights of near 50 degrees Celsius, you might be wondering why I would recommend a visit to this outback town. Coober Pedy produces most of the world’s opals; hence the only reason there is a town there and why it brings its 4,000 residents in from over 40 countries.

It is so hot in Coober Pedy that the town’s inhabitants actually live underground.  Homes, shops, restaurants and pubs can be found down under in cool sandstone dugouts. Coober Pedy is a fascinating place to visit to learn about its history, drink beer in caves, play golf on a course that has not one blade of grass on it and pick up some precious opals.

4. Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia

Imagine visiting Great Barrier Reef 50 years ago, before tourists came and butchered it. Well, you have that opportunity when you visit Ningaloo, one of Australia’s greatest unknown treasures. Exmouth offers you a “range to reef” experience with rugged ranges and gorges on one side and spectacular Ningaloo Reef on the other.

Ningaloo is one of those rare places on earth where you can walk from the white sandy beaches straight onto the coral reefs and begin exploring the underwater world – even just by standing in water that reaches your knees you will be surrounded by hundreds of curious fish swimming around your legs.  Ningaloo is a great spot for scuba diving or better yet, swimming with the gentle whale sharks.

5. The Kimberlys

While in Broome, you can hire a 4WD and explore the beautiful Kimberly region that it is a part of.  Your best path is the Gibb River Rd, a 660 km dirt track that runs through the heart of the Kimberly region. Driving along the Gibb will take you through spectacular landscapes of red dirt, boab trees, intensely colored ranges, gorges, rock pools and waterfalls that this region is most known for.

The most popular falls and gorges to visit are Windjana Gorge, Galvans Gorge and the most popular Bells Gorge. You may even discover little unknown waterfalls along the way, like Adcocks Gorge, where you can camp the night for free and have the whole watering hole to yourself for rock diving and swimming.

6. Fraser Island, Queensland

Fraser Island starts the Great Barrier Reef a few hours north of Brisbane. It is the largest sand island in the world and it’s a World Heritage Site. You can only arrive on the unspoiled island by eco friendly tours or your own 4WD, as there are no sealed roads. There are limited places to stay on the island so make sure you book in advance if you want to find cheap holidays.

A couple of days exploring Fraser Island will give you the opportunity to drive and play on its long white beaches, witness some of the clearest fresh water in the world, trek through its ancient rainforests, and get up close and personal with wild dingoes (please not too close and no feeding)

7. Kakadu, Northern Territory

Kakadu is one of the few World Heritage Sites listed for its cultural and natural values.  Kakadu is a place of exceptional beauty and unique biodiversity. Its Aboriginal owners and the Director of National Parks own it jointly.  Kakadu experiences 6 seasons and has an abundance of unique wildlife and plant species.

Apart from the wetlands there are many beautiful gorges and waterfalls in the park and many people come to visit, not just for this, but to also learn more about the Aboriginal people who have inhabited the area for tens of thousands of years. It is best to visit the park on a guided tour or with your own car. Large saltwater crocs can be found everywhere here so do not ignore the no swimming signs.

8. Explore Tasmania

Poor Tasmania gets largely overlooked by many of Australia’s backpackers and mainland dwellers.  Taking the time to come to Tasmania will provide you with an unforgettable traveling experience. The travelers that do make the trek to Tasmania rave about its unspoiled beauty.

Tasmania is the Australia’s most mountainous state and has some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain National Park is a World Heritage listed site and is a fantastic hiking place to explore its beautiful lakes, rainforests, and waterfalls.

9. Aboriginal Cultural Tours

Why not spend some time in Australia learning about the Aboriginal culture? Australian Aboriginal culture is the oldest living civilization on Earth. The Aboriginal people survived for 50,000 years as nomadic dwellers, never suffering from ailments such as the common cold.  They lived off the land and know many secrets to the power the Earth holds for health, healing, and spiritual connection.

The most untouched area is Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. You must apply for permits before you arrive, as it is a highly protected area, owned and controlled by the Aboriginal people, and visitations are limited.

10. Join the Festival Fun

Australians love a good party. Wherever you are in the country you are bound to find a festival to join in on, especially in the summer months. Some of the most popular festivals being Australia Day that is celebrated on January 26 or my favourite ANZAC Day, which is celebrated on April 25. Make sure you head to your local pub at some stage of the day for a game of Two Up – the only day this gambling game is legal.

An all day music festival to head to is the Big Day Out, which is held in the capital cities during the month of January or there is the Tamworth country music festival also in January. Other fun events are the Melbourne Cup – the horse race that stops the nation held on the second Tuesday of November. Don’t forget unusual events like The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, and the Naslin Beach Nude Olympics in South Australia.

Author Bio: Caz Makepeace has been traveling the world for over 10 years along with her husband Craig and now 3 year old girl Kalyra. They believe life is all about the memories and so live a life that gives them many stories to tell. You can follow their adventures at their website y Travel Blog.

 

About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.