Hi friends! I have a special guest on the blog today. Alex is a blogger who wanted to share an Aussie’s point of view on the best places down under to tick off your bucket list. I have only been to one of these, but the others have been on our list for ages and we need to get to them! Hope you enjoy :).
After years of consideration, tossing up the amount of time and effort it would take to get to Australia, the great land down under, you finally made it with some cheap flight deals! What’s the point of travelling all the way to land in another metropolitan city you ask? Well, Australia is so much more than just the hustle and bustle of the major cities. Of course the cities are stunning, feature beautiful architecture and cultural icons, but Australia’s crowning jewel is the natural environment. If you really want to see what Australia has to offer, I suggest you get out of the cities and check out some of my favourite places in Australia.
If you’re looking to get the real Aussie outback experience, Uluru is definitely a must see. Uluru is the largest sandstone rock formation in southern Northern Territory, and is essentially in the middle of the Australian outback. Not many people in their lifetime have seen this stunning formation, reasoning that it’s just a rock. What people don’t know is that when they see Uluru placed front and center surrounded by the natural Australian environment, and carrying long standing ties to Aboriginal Australians, it’s almost an ethereal moment.
Uluru holds great cultural significance to Aṉangu who are the traditional custodians of the landmark, and you’ll be able to see this through paintings and drawings on the rock that date back thousands of years. Although climbing Uluru is not prohibited, the traditional custodians of the land ask that you respect the traditions and culture, and do not climb, as the climb takes you through sacred tracks that hold significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and damages the environment.
I would recommend viewing Uluru at sunrise or sunset; it really is such a sight to see the rock change colours as the sun rises or sets. Coming from an Australian, I may be biased but I packed a thermos, and watched the sun rise on Uluru and there was a perfect moment for reflection as I reflected back on Australia’s past and realized how truly beautiful this country was. At night, you’ll be able to see more stars than some people see in their entire life.
Famed for its stunning waters, sand, and embodiment of the Aussie beach lifestyle is the infamous Bondi Beach. However, if you’re looking to find untouched beaches without all the crows of Bondi, do yourself a favour and visit the Whitsundays. The group of 74 islands offers the perfect place for a bit of rest and relaxation. Although I classify myself more of a budget traveller, I splurged on a helicopter tour of the islands after reading multiple reviews and it was well worth it in my opinion. From above you’ll be able to see that the white sands and turquoise blue waters have a marbling effect, and you’ll also see the famous “Heart Reef” amongst the reefs.
The Whitsundays is also home to Australia’s number one voted beach, Whitehaven Beach. You’ll find this beach on the largest island, Whitsunday Island. It won’t be hard to miss the blinding white sands, and the stunning clear turquoise waters. If you’re looking for the perfect Insta moment to capture, this is it as Whitehaven Beach is the third most popular iconic photo of Australia, only behind Uluru and Sydney Harbour.
Chances are you’ve heard of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but on the other side of Australia there is the lesser known but equally as stunning, Ningaloo Reef. This reef is lesser visited by travellers, and as such has been able to sustain its biological diversity and preserve its beauty as a world-heritage listed site. Located in northern Western Australia, the reef is a 12-14 hour drive from Perth. If you’re like me and could not think of anything worse than a 12-14 hour drive, you’ll be pleased to hear you can fly into Learmonth Airport from Perth.
One of Ningaloo’s most famous attractions is the prominence of whale sharks which visit the reef to feed during March-June, which you have the opportunity to swim among! To add to the wildlife, Ningaloo is also on the migratory path of dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, and humpback whales. There really is no shortage of things to see and do in Ningaloo Reef. You’ll also find that the reef offers all different types of accommodation, whether you’re a wilderness adventurer looking to camp on the beach, or to those looking for a more luxurious experience like glamping with everything from airport transfers to dinner all included.
If you’re a lover of mountains, caves, and natural flora and fauna stretching as far as the eye can see the Blue Mountains is the place for you. If you don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands, the Blue Mountains make for a great day trip located only a 90 minute drive from Sydney. You’ll really get a feel for the small town vibe of Australia visiting the Blue Mountains, finding boutique shops, comfort foods, and homely places to spend the night. You will definitely need to check out the Three Sisters rock formation, and from the lookout point high up on the canyon you’ll see views of the valley.
I recently did the hike down to Wentworth Falls, and the view you get from the bottom of the valley is incredible. On the walk you’ll follow the track down the site of the mountain to reach the bottom of Wentworth Falls, and be able to look up and see the water trickling down, glistening in the sunlight. My description doesn’t do this view justice; you’ll need to see it for yourself. If you’re okay with the dark and potentially confined places, visiting the Jenolan Caves is worth it. With a range of tracks to choose from, from easy walking tracks to tracks that require harnesses you’ll be spoilt for choice. You’ll be able to check out these natural limestone caves and underground rivers.
So there you have it, these are some of my favourite places in Australia that truly represent what Australia is all about. And yes, I know some of the places I’ve mentioned are a bit out of the way but Australia features 6 domestic airlines so finding cheap domestic flights are a breeze. Once you’ve visited any of these sites you’ll wonder why you had ever just flown into a country and stayed in the metropolitan areas. Go on then, get exploring!
Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!