The megadiverse Australia is home to some of the world’s most magnificent landscapes. From deserts in its interior lowlands to pristine islands dotted with rain forests, and all the way up to its tallest mountain peak (Mount Kosciuszko measuring 2,228 meters or 7,310 feet), the country is every nature explorer’s dream.
Traveling to Australia is possible from most countries (including the US and European Union) only with a VISA. To get the Australia visa for UK citizens for example, British citizens have to apply for the document electronically. The only country that doesn’t need a visa for Australia is New Zealand. When planning, be aware of the Covid19 travel restrictions, as listed officially on the Australian Government Department of Health.
And now… let’s travel to some of Australia’s best of the best, unique places that offer excitement, beauty and above all magic, for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
#1. Dive in the Colorful Diversity of the Great Barrier Reef
About 900 islands which host an incredibly diverse ecosystem make up the Great Barrier Reef. Located off the coast of Queensland, this global wonder bursting with colorful coral species is also the largest living entity visible from space. While it is nice that we can get a glimpse of some incredible images of the ocean available online (check out Google underwater street view for example), there is a better way one can explore a tiny bit of The Great Barrier Reef. And that is through snorkeling.
Townsville, Port Douglas and Cairns all offer the opportunity to snorkel nearby, for both beginners and experienced divers, with shallow waters perfect for exploration.
From diving with manta rays in Elliot Reef to spotting anemones and clams in the Hastings Reef, make sure you decide what kind of experience you would like to embrace before planning a trip to Australia. There are plenty of snorkeling tours available in each coastal city neighboring the Great Barrier Reef and the price varies according to the time spent snorkeling.
# Dip Your Toes in White Sand at Whitehaven Beach
Right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef you will find a heavenly white beach, playing cuddles with the blue-turquoise waters of the ocean.
Whitehaven beach is part of the Whitsunday Islands, a mostly uninhabited archipelago made up of 74 islands and boasting rain-forests and white silica beaches. Silica sand gives the shores their almost luminescent color.
Whitehaven is part of a national park and can be reached by boat (1hour 20 minutes by ferry from Arlie beach). If you want to spend more than one day here, there are a few camping sites available which go by the slogan ‘Wake up in Paradise’. Once here, you can spend your day swimming in the warm waters, paddling, or trying out beach cricket. Or simply enjoy walking along the coastline, exploring the 7 kilometer long beach, guaranteed to uplift and refresh.
# Find Artistic Shelter in the William Ricketts Sanctuary
If you ever need an escape while in Melbourne, consider visiting the William Ricketts Sanctuary. This haven of tranquility is located about 40 kilometers east of Victoria state’s capital and will feed your need for nature and arts. In the park you can walk between ferns and enjoy the exquisite sculptures of artist William Ricketts. The works pay tribute to Aboriginal spirituality.
The entrance to the park is free. However, keep in mind that during the rest of 2021 the sanctuary will be closed for restoration.
# Camp with the Kangaroos in Lucky Bay
If you are up for some water activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, diving or fishing, Cape Le Grand National Park on the South-East Coast is the place to be. There are only two campgrounds in the park, one of which is in Lucky Bay.
Camping in the sheltered Lucky Bay comes with its perks: easy access to water activities and fun encounters with the kangaroos that roam around the beach. For a memorable experience, walk along the beach in the early hours of the morning. This way you will avoid the crowds and be able to mingle with the kangaroos when they are most active.
# Enjoy a Guided Stargazing Experience in Pinnacles Desert
In Nambung National Park, located north of the vibrant city of Perth, Western Australia, you will encounter the unworldly landscape of Pinnacles Desert.
The seemingly endless field dotted by rock formations (where you will also be able to spot kangaroos!) is best enjoyed at sunset, when the light is just right for remarkable photography. Day tours from Perth to Pinnacle desert also include a few extra memorable activities such as guided stargazing after sunset and even sand boarding at the Lancelin Sand Dunes.
# Swim with the Playful Dolphins
The beautiful thing about Australia is that it can mediate encounters of a lifetime. Swimming with dolphins is one of those humbling and exhilarating experiences that become embedded in your adventurous being.
There are quite a few places in Australia where you can swim with dolphins under the eyes of dedicated biologists and they include Koombana Bay (South of Perth), Gulf St Vincent (near the town of Adelaide) or Port Phillip Bay (close to Melbourne). Guided boat tours are available in each of these cities.
# Hits the Slopes
Many people show surprise when told that there are no less than 16 ski resorts in Australia. Yes, great skiing can be done in Australia during skiing season, from June to October.
Some of the popular ski locations in Australia are located in the Southeast and include Perisher (great all in all services),Thredbo (longest ski runs in Australia) and Falls Creek (for beginner skiing).