Australia expects to welcome an extraordinary 10 million tourists to its shores in 2019.
With so much to offer across its vast land mass, perhaps it should come as no real surprise. From the sense of adventure that infects its citizens with an incredible zest for life and its incredible wildlife and natural landmarks, to its fantastic modern cities, Australia really can claim to have it all.
But where do you begin and when you do visit, how do you narrow down the attractions you want to see?
Well, the good news is that we are here to help. So here are five things you need to do when you go to Australia.
1. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
It is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, let alone Australia. And not only should you go and see it for yourself, but you should go one step, or even a few more steps, further. Tourists can now climb the 1,332 stairs that take you to the very top of this iconic Australian landmark. From the top, you will not only see an unparalleled view of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, but you will get photographs you will never forget and that will become the envy of your friends and family.
Before you begin the climb, you will pull on a grey suit to match the colour of the bridge itself, and then put on a hard hat, so you avoid any injuries where possible. One more thing, unlike Cuba and Thailand, travel insurance is not something you have to have when you travel to Australia. But if you are going to embrace this country’s adventurous side – and the Sydney Harbour Bridge qualifies – you should be considering it regardless.
2. Dive with the wildlife at the Great Barrier Reef
Unquestionably one of the enduring natural wonders of our planet, but one that is facing a battle for survival. That makes the need to go and see it more pressing than ever but if you do, please find a tour operator who understands and respects the reef and can take you to an area where you will cause no further damage to it. There are still plenty of places where you can dive here, either with a scuba tank or with a snorkel. And with almost 2,500 species of wildlife, you are in for a real treat. It’s an incredible sight. Enjoy it. Look after it.
3. Visit Uluru
The single most iconic landmark in Australia, Uluru is a sight that has to be seen to be believed. It was once known as Ayres Rock but is now more widely known by its Aboriginal name as it has long been considered the indigenous population’s most sacred site.The sandstone rock is more than 1,000ft tall and you would walk for almost six miles if you wanted to trek around its base. Uluru is Australia’s cultural heart and educational tours of the site and the wider park are a fantastic way to learn more about its significance. The best times to see it are at sunset and sunrise when the rock changes colour with the altering light. It’s spectacular.
4. Surf the waves on Bondi Beach
Another fantastic Australian stereotype is surfing. And when you get there you realise it’s a stereotype for a reason. Bondi Beach is a surfing mecca and it’s also a fantastic place to learn the sport. There are lots of good surfing academies that can take you from complete novice to passable beginner in the space of a day or two. And it’s an entirely different and wonderful way to enjoy the spectacular New South Wales coastline.
5. Bounce along to Kangaroo Island
Another magnificent symbol of Australia is the Kangaroo, of course. And if you want to see this incredible animal in its natural surroundings then you should book a visit to Kangaroo Island, which is just to the south of Adelaide. More than a third of this island is protected and can’t be accessed. But there are areas where you can get up-close and personal with the kangaroos and begin to learn a bit more about them. Despite the name, Kangaroo Island also has more of Australia’s most recognisable wildlife. If you spend some time here, you will also see Koala Bears. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself in this place.