Australia is a destination that abounds with iconic sights, both natural and man-made.  See the stunning Sydney Opera House, gaze at the changing color of Uluru Ayers Rock at sunrise and sunset and dive in and explore the Great Barrier Reef. Go beyond the iconic sights and discover a myriad of experiences to include during your Australian vacation.

Bay of Fires, Tasmania
Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Mount William National Park, Tasmania (Tourism Australia)

After seeing the icons in Sydney, head out to Bondi Beach and learn how to surf! Bondi Beach is one of the world’s best destinations to learn to surf, with stunning views and waves that draw surfers from around the globe. Enjoy an informative and fun surfing lesson with an expert instructor who will show you the basics on land, before heading in to the surf to catch your first wave.

Mission Beach
Mission Beach

For a difference perspective of this great city, take a seaplane flight across the Harbour for a bird’s eye view of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and surrounds. Continue to Rose Bay, a pretty Harbourside suburb close to Bondi Beach, for a waterfront luncheon. Or perhaps fly to Jonah’s at Whale Beach and the acclaimed Relais and Chateaux hotel, where you can dine on some of Australia’s best modern cuisine.

Speaking of dining experiences, if you fancy “fresh” seafood, join a cruise from Hobart to the bountiful waters of D’Entrecasteaux Channel.  While you haul in your own oysters, ready to shuck and eat, your guide will jump overboard to catch the likes of crayfish, sea urchins and abalone.  Sit back and relax with a glass of pinot noir in hand while the catch is barbecued on board for a memorable feast.

Head north the Brisbane and take a short ferry ride to Moreton Island and Tangalooma Resort. Zoom down super-sized sand dunes on a toboggan or dive the artificial reef made of 19 wrecks and one tram!  The highlight of a visit to Tangalooma Island is feeding wild dolphins.  Each evening, wild dolphins swim in the shallow area near the resort jetty to be hand-fed their favorite fish.

Barron Falls
Barron Falls

For the wildlife encounters, head to Exmouth, north of Perth, and get up close and personal with the biggest shark in the world.  The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the sea and reaches up to 40 feet in length.  They prefer warm waters in the tropical seas, making Ningaloo Reef the ideal location.  These docile creatures allow swimmers to swim beside them as you marvel at their size, grace and beauty. Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim operates mid-March to mid-September.

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If you prefer to keep dry and explore the sights by land, then rent a car and discover the many spectacular coastal journeys available. With a dramatic coastline, the 150-mile Great Ocean Road was built as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of WW1. Starting in Torquay and winding across the coast to Port Campbell, the Great Ocean Road encompasses the magical rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, iconic surf breaks and misty waterfalls.  Take a day or a week and explore the great seaside villages and surf towns as well as the cultural and heritage attractions along the way.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Great Ocean Road, Victoria (Tourism Australia)

Traveling to Uluru Ayers Rock?  Extend your stay a couple of days and travel to the remote city of Alice Springs and discover an oasis of palm trees in Palm Valley and sparkling swimming holes like Ormiston or Glen Helen Gorge. Experience the breathtaking feeling of floating silently above the Outback, keeping an eye out for native wildlife and the iconic red kangaroo when you take a sunrise balloon flight.

Cooya Beach
Cooya Beach

When planning a vacation to Australia, consider including a “once in a lifetime experience” that will set your trip apart! For more information, check out Down Under Answers.

Editor’s Note: Down Under Answers is a paid sponsor of Budget Your Trip.