Luxury Vacation Favorites: From a picnic spot at a billabong to the best spot to meet roos in the wild, Australians love to talk about their favorite Australia vacation places. Now thousands of Aussie locals have shared their photos and memories on Australia.com, which inspired us with our own list of must-do experiences. PS - Even if you’ve been there’s a chance to go back and win a $10,000 trip if you share your favorite vacation, too.
It's a land where it’s easy to make friends with kangaroos and wallabies and a varied country bordered by coral reefs and endless stretches of sun-drenched beaches so rich in adventure and beauty that it has proven to be one of the top travel destinations among Americans for more than a decade.
If the thought of swimming alongside giant — yet gentle — whale sharks gets your adrenaline pumping, head to Western Australia’s pristine Ningaloo Reef. Not quite ready to come face-to-face with a giant sea creature? Then make a day trip to Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne, where you will discover underwater cliffs, ledges and caves of kelp bed reefs. While you're fins are still on, why not take a dip with playful sea-lions in South Australia's Baird Bay, relax in front of Darwin Harbour's famous flamingo sunsets before a night dive amongst World War II wreckage. And of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning the world famous Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, the largest living organism that can be seen from space.
Coastal Views (bathing suit or ‘swimmers’ optional)
Aussie lifestyle revolves around the beach. For those who want to soak up the lifestyle and enjoy the view then kayak off St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne
With massive waves and swells, Australia is a surfers' paradise. Enjoy the view of the iconic surf spots at Bells Beach and Byron Bay, and the vineyards at Margaret River overlooking the Indian Ocean in Western Australia. Though Queensland’s coastline is usually synonymous with surf, don’t forget to relax on the Pacific’s whitest sand beach in the Whitsunday Islands.
Connect with Australia’s past
Be sure to discover the Australia’s eclectic cultures and rich heritage. In Sydney, follow a heritage trail down Macquarie St. to Circular Quay, peruse the sandstone fortress of Hyde Park Barracks, and take a ferry to Fort Denison, the tiny harbour island where petty criminals were once held. From modern day to ancient indigenous culture, there are plenty of ways to connect to the country’s diverse history, Wander the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne; watch local Yuggera dancers perform in the bushland of Kangaroo Point; meander past the 1830s warehouses along Hobart’s waterfront; and of course discover ancient rock art in Kakadu National Park, outside of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Go on a Food and Wine Walkabout
Complement your cultural trek with a taste of Australia’s native bush tucker. Learn how local chefs use these Australian ingredients during a cooking class at Tjanabi, and enjoy your meal overlooking the heart of Melbourne.
From native cuisine to stunning natural landscapes, Australia
From national monuments to lavish theatre productions, Australia is overflowing with cultural activities. The beauty of the land knows no bounds, so, whether you're a die-hard thrill-seeker or a luxury-minded traveler, you're sure to find whatever it is you're looking for in an enchanting place we call "Australia."
Win a $10,000 Trip to Australia.
Already been to Australia or know someone who has? Tourism Australia is looking for Americans to share their favorite vacation photo and 25 words about their best vacation memory to join the map of Australian’s recommendations. The best experience will win a $10,00 trip back to Australia (so if you tell a friend they owe you!)
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