101 Things to See and Do in Australia

Compiling a Definitive 101 list for a country as vast as Australia is an impossible task. Very few individuals will have experienced every place on this list intimately - because getting to know and understand a location or event requires many visits - across multiple seasons - with varying attitudes and discriminations.

Obviously a 20 year old French backpacker will not experience the National Gallery of Victoria in the same way as a seasoned art critic - while a 70 year old ‘Grey Nomad’ with arthritic knees will probably not get the best from the most difficult climbing route at Mt. Arapiles.

Fond childhood memories of places cannot be trusted either - as evidenced when an adult returns to a location to find everything somehow smaller and less impressive, or the opposite – a boring destination, too sophisticated for a child to appreciate, may render fantastic facts and curiosities to an older audience.

No survey can possibly hope to gather an accurate and collective experience of these places and the following list makes no pretentions as to being the ultimate record of this continents offerings.

The list contains the iconic Australian Destinations – those places emblazoned across postcards and sent to all corners of the world. It also contains other interesting and popular places that seem to resonate in different people in different ways.

So without further ado and in no particular order -

1. Rock into the Bungle Bungles to engage with an ancient landscape only recently discovered before booking a flight to see this amazing region with completely different eyes - by air. (WA)
2. You’ll never come down after experiencing a Melbourne sunrise silently cruising in a Hot Air Balloon before taking on ballast in the form of a gourmet champagne breakfast. (VIC)
3. Rise at 4am in the morning and be the only person atop Ayers Rock - Uluru before consuming a breathtaking sunrise with a perfect breakfast that you personally carted up with you. (NT)
4. Self drive Australia’s classic road trip as you follow the 243km winding bitumen path that hugs the stunning shoreline of the Southern Ocean on The Great Ocean Road. (VIC)
5. Pick your way to the opal fields of Coober Pedy to try your hand at prospecting and experience a unique underground housing solution to life in a harsh environment. (SA)
6. Leave your canoe at home because Australia’s largest lake is rarely navigable – Lake Eyre’s vastness and desolate beauty is worthy of a viewing by air or land. (SA)
7. Rock on over to the isolated historic silver town of Broken Hill, an iconic place with an artistic spirit, a proud mining heritage and a typically rugged yet vibrant landscape. (NSW)
8. Sit down and hang on at the petrol head shrine that is Mount Panorama, Bathurst, – the holy grail of V8 Supercar Racing and a benchmark on the automotive calendar. (NSW)
9. Have a religious experience with the remains of the 12 Apostles, limestone sentinels and an iconic landmark along the Great Ocean Road. (VIC)
10. Wade into knee deep, crystal clear waters and hand feed tursiops truncates the visitors who turn up every glorious sun filled day, better know as The Monkey Mia Dolphins. (WA)
11. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t get to the Tiwi Islands for the biggest event on the calendar – The Bathurst Island Football Grand Final held in conjunction with the annual local art sale. (NT)
12. Venture where the tropical rainforest spills into the crystal waters of the Great Barrier Reef - the Daintree Rainforest where the animals range from crocodile to cassowary. (QLD)
13. Rip down to the hallowed surfing waters of Victoria’s famous Bells Beach and carve a world class break just before the pros show you how it’s really done at the Easter Rip Curl Pro. (VIC)
14. Tread in the footsteps of the nations hardest colonial felons at Port Arthur - where intolerable and recidivist convicts suffered unbearable nineteenth century punishment. (TAS)
15. Spring into wildflower season and take a nature hike or a casual drive through and around the magnificient Grampions National Park. (VIC)
16. Under $50 gets you a mining right and a gold pan and the chance to strike it big in Kalgoorlie – the historical heart of the Western Australian Goldfields. (WA)
17. Sample the Barossa Valley, the soul of the Australian wine industry, showcasing great wines, superb regional foods, a picturesque landscape and a host of things to see and do. (SA)
18. Get stranded on Norfolk Island, a feast of maritime history and a sub-tropical paradise 1600km off the NSW coast - an Australian external territory. (S.PACIFIC)
19. Throw a towel on the white sands beneath the towering skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise and spend some time sucking up the beach, shopping and tourism culture. (QLD)
20. Ride the fence at the Phillip Island Moto GP and see a world class circuit test the best motorbike jockeys on the planet, all the while taking in the stunning backdrop of the bay. (VIC)
21. Treat yourself like royalty and hike the place often described as more impressive than the iconic Uluru, a place of ancient sandstone cliffs and hidden rock pools – Kings Canyon. (NT)
22. Prepare the 4WD and store enough fuel to travel in 1800km stretches because that’s how far the fuel pumps are apart on the mighty Canning Stock Route. (WA)
23. Pedal your way around a 50-100-210 or 250km loop with 16,000 others and have a blast riding Port Phillip Bay to fundraise for charity in Around the Bay in a Day. (VIC)
24. Pull on the hiking boots for a 6 day 65km hike from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair in the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area on the Overland Track. (TAS)
25. Burn up one solitary summer Sunday sublimely soaking up the beach culture of Australia’s most famous stretch of white sand and blue water – Bondi Beach. (NSW)
26. Take a deep breath and plunge into a world renowned reef system and its marine inhabitants with all the colour, splendour and spectacle of The Great Barrier Reef. (QLD)
27. Split the continent down the middle aboard The Ghan - as a silver service, platinum guest – train sailing the stunning countryside between Adelaide and Darwin. (SA-NT)
28. Follow the wheel ruts of Len Beadell, the surveyor who opened up much of Australia’s interior and turned a desert track into the Gunbarrel Highway. (CENTRAL-WEST)
29. Sail or fly to the Mackerel Islands, near Ningaloo, and hook into some of the best fishing, dive pristine waters and soak up some of the most sublime beach time anywhere. (WA)
30. Walk the gallows with notorious underground identity Squizzy Taylor and bushranger Ned Kelly, whose ‘Death Mask’ – is still under lock and key at The Old Melbourne Gaol. (VIC)
31. Steer into a pit lane seat at the Melbourne Grand Prix and experience the ‘buzz’ 400,000 race fans generate in a city that thrives on hosting the ultimate motor race. (VIC)
32. Pitch a tent and relax on a camping trip in the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney before enjoying a short walk to view The Three Sisters. (NSW)
33. Get your teeth into the amazing cliffs of The Great Australian Bight - the massive curve in the southern coastline that contributes to the easily recognized shape of the continent. (SA)
34. Go north - as north as it’s possible to go on a 4WD self drive adventure to the very tip of Australia to see the gorges, waterfalls, rock pools and the ever changing landscape of Cape York. (QLD)
35. Wade out to the wetlands or explore the amazing waterfalls, gorges and plateaus of Kakadu National Park - the iconic image of the far north and a remarkable location in any season. (NT)
36. Roll up and for great coffee and sensational food or just be entertained, amused and educated at Melbourne’s great meeting place and cultural hub - Federation Square. (VIC)
37. Make the two hill climbs on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula – one from Coles Bay and the other - a hard climb to the top of Mt Amos, to view Wineglass Bay. (TAS)
38. Fly the Buccaneer Archipelago to the dual mountain gaps in the McLarty Ranges – and experience the massive tidal shift that creates The Horizontal Waterfalls. (WA)
39. Swan on over to Victorias heritage zone where a paddle steamer or horse drawn carriage trip await and visit the buildings and exhibitions that create Swan Hill. (VIC)
40. Put your best foot forward and scale the skeletal world of rivets and steel that creates the peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a breathtaking sunrise climb. (NSW)
41. Explore your inner Afghan cameleer and mount the ‘ship of the desert’ for a 4 day self contained trek along the Oodnadatta Track on a Camel Safari. (SA)
42. Reach new heights in the canopy of ancient and massive tingle and karri trees in the majestic Walpole/Nornalup Forest - high up in The Tree Top Walk. (WA)
43. Paddle leisurely along the majestic Murray River aboard your own self-contained, live-aboard houseboat and try to catch a famous Murray River Cod from the rear sun deck. (SA)
44. Restring the guitar, tune the banjo, clear the throat and burst into song as you busk for your dinner in the main street - at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. (NSW)
45. All aboard a rail line originally constructed in 1886 and still ‘chuffing’ past stunning mountain waterfalls and over magnificent tropical gorges on The Kuranda Scenic Railway. (QLD)
46. Get hit for six attending the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and relax and enjoy this 60 year old tradition at one of the finest sporting venues in the world. (VIC)
47. Be the first walker of the season to hack through the steamy tropical Kimberley bush to reach The Mitchell Falls before soaring back to camp aboard a helicopter. (WA)
48. Slip into the saddle, grab a Banjo Patterson verse book and head to Jindabyne for a horse riding trek enjoying homestead accommodation on a Snowy Mountain Horseback Ride. (NSW)
49. Start at Perth and end in Sydney or reverse it for the classic cross-country, cross-continent, cross-island road trip that is the crossing of the Nullarbor Plains. (Trans-Continent)
50. Get your teeth into a little adrenaline adventure at Port Lincoln and get up close and personal for a cage dive with the oceans ultimate predator – The Great White Shark. (SA)

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