The Land Down Under is famous for many things.
Kangaroos and platypuses. Men at Work and vegemite sandwiches. Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee. These are just a few of the things that we all know and love about Australia.
But the great island continent is also renowned for its fantastic natural and scenic beauty. It’s home to incredible geological wonders, like Uluru (Ayers Rock), and exhibits a wide range of biomes, from the coastal rainforests to the interior deserts.
Needless to say, there are plenty of things to do in Australia. In fact, there are so many things to explore, it can be a little overwhelming.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Australia, we’ve put together a list of seven top things to do when you arrive Down Under.
- Nullarbor Plain Crossing
Our Australia travel guide begins with an epic visit to the vast expanse of the country’s famed Outback.
The Nullarbor Plain is aptly named (nulla arbor in Latin: “no tree”)—it’s an immense, semi-arid, treeless plain along the continent’s southern coast. Take the Eyre Highway and explore this wonder of the world between Perth and Adelaide.
It’s nearly 800 miles, too, and can be quite empty, so make sure you come prepared with extra gas, water, and food.
- Explore the Tropical Beauty of Cairns
Nestled in lovely Queensland, the city of Cairns is considered the gateway to Australia’s tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.
But there’s plenty to do in and around Cairns itself. Among the city’s best attractions is Cairns Coconut Holiday Park, a tropical oasis with villas, cabins, and even places to pitch a tent.
From there, you can get out and explore the primal beauty of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest.
- Visit the Australian Alps
Bringing along skiing gear doesn’t usually factor in your typical list of Australia travel tips.
Yes, you can find snow in Australia. Visit the alpine village of Thredbo Resort in the Snowy Mountains, and trek up Mount Kosciuszko—the highest peak in Australia.
- Mount Macedon
If you’re passing through the state of Victoria, don’t forget to check out the spectacular volcanic mountains around Mount Macedon. This includes the notorious “Hanging Rock,” a curious volcanic formation that formed the mysterious setting for Joan Lindsay’s strange novel Picnic at Hanging Rock—and its even stranger film adaptation.
- Explore the Pinnacles Desert
Visit Nambung National Park, about 150 miles north of Perth, to explore the eerie landscape of the Pinnacles Desert. It’s truly otherworldly—plus you can enjoy the nearby, tranquil beaches of the Turquoise Coast.
- Do Some Island-Hopping
If you’re willing to shell out the cash for a boat or rent one, one of the best places to visit in Australia isn’t even in Australia.
The Whitsunday Islands, all seventy-four of them, lie in a beautiful azure archipelago off the coast of Queensland. Find the time to explore their exotic beauty, and take a side trip to the famous Great Barrier Reef while you’re in the area.
- Cruise Around the Kimberley
Take a cruise to explore the vast Kimberley region, an immense wilderness in Australia’s northwestern corner. It’s a luxurious way to see the wildlife and the spectacular landscape—and some cruise ships even feature helicopter tours.
Find the Best Things to Do in Australia
This is just a sampling of attractions in the Land Down Under. There are so many great things to do in Australia, and this list has barely scratched the surface.
So get out there and explore! And for more great travel tips, check out the rest of our site.