Welcome to Australia, well known for its vast and stunning scenery, a beautiful beach around every corner, incredible food and wine, a relaxed and casual way of life and unique and amazing wildlife.
All that aside, what makes Australia really worth a visit though, are its people. Relaxed, friendly, laid back and engaging. Spending some time with locals is a must when travelling to Australia to truly understand what it’s like being Australian.
Here are 20 local experiences to whet your appetite. See you soon!
Number 1. Lilypad Palm Beach, Sydney, New South Wales.
Located on Sydney’s insanely stunning Northern Beaches Peninsula, a day out on this luxury floating beach house is the quintessential Sydney experience. Enjoy all the creature comforts including your own private chef to create the ultimate day out.
Local Tip >>> Take a seaplane flight to Palm Beach for a Rock Star arrival.
Number 2. Icebergs Bar and Dining, Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales.
Bondi Beach is highly regarded amongst tourists and locals alike. To get a good read on Bondi life however, it is hard to go past lunch at Bondi Icebergs. While the menu is superb, the people watching and views of the Pacific Ocean and local surfers are even better.
Local Tip >>> Pay a small fee and you can use the pool facilities for the day
Number 3. Wilsons Promentary, Victoria.
Travel to the southern most tip of the Australian mainland for an extraordinary tour into Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean aboard a specially built amphibious vehicle. Discover the pristine water ways teaming with marine animals and stunning views of this unique part of Australia.
Local Tip >>> If you are after a bit of activity. Take the 19km return hike to historic Sealers Cove. It takes you through mountains, temperate rainforest and ultimately to one of the Prom’s most beautiful, sheltered and secluded beaches.
Number 4. Victor Harbour, South Australia.
Just over an hours drive South of Adelaide and on the Fleurieu Peninsula is the coastal village of Victor Harbour. Victor Harbour feels like a small Mediterranean town and has the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches to match. Hop aboard the Big Duck Boat tour and explore the stunning coastline and marine life including dolphins and seals.
Local Tip >>> Join the guided nature and penguin tour at dusk for the arrival of the little penguins up the beach to return to their burrows.
Number 5. Museum of Old and New Art, (MONA), Hobart,Tasmania.
For those of you that have not yet ventured South to Tasmania, what are you waiting for? The Island State has always been well known for its world class food and wine, which continues to thrive, however what has caught the attention of people more recently is MONA. The thought provoking Modern Art Gallery is perched high on a sandstone cliff on the edge of the Derwent River. Located deep in the subterranean basement lies the real stars of the show however and expect to be shocked. While your there experience lunch at The Source.
Local Tip >>> To get there, book the return Fast Ferry which departs from Brooke Street Pier in the heart of Hobart. To make the experience all the more memorable, travel in the Posh Pit.
Number 6. Milawa, Victoria.
Milawa is a town situated in the North of Victoria close to the New South Wales border with a population of just 600 people. Smack bang in the middle of no where. Miliwa however is the home to Brown Brothers Winery, a 130 year old world renown vineyard. A visit here is a very special experience. You can taste the extensive range of World Class wines or simply relax in the stunning surrounds with scenic views.
Local Tip >>> This winery has a landing strip close by for light aircraft. Charter a plane from Melbourne.
Number 7. Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Just a 35 minute drive south of Hobart is charming and spectacular Bruny Island. Travel by ferry across the D’Entrecasteaux Chanel to Bruny which is around the same size as the island of Singapore but has a full time population of only 4,000 inhabitants. (singapore has a population of 9 million) The Island is rich in food and wine and spectacular scenery. Jump on a Bruny Island Cruise to take in more of what the island has to offer.
Local Tip >>> Bruny Island has its own premium vineyard. There is a cellar door where you can taste the wine whilst relaxing on the deck overlooking the vineyards.
Number 8. Dawn Fraser Pool, Sydney, New South Wales.
Built in the 1880’s in the beautiful Sydney suburb of Balmain, are the Dawn Fraser Salt Water Baths. For a uniquely Sydney experience, catch a ferry across to Balmain East wharf and the baths are a short walk. The baths have their own sandy beach at low tide and attract a great array of locals. Enjoy a refreshing swim and maybe stay and have a coffee afterwards.
Local Tip >>> Combine this day with a private walking tour of Balmain and the inner west. Explore the victorian terraces of this affluent suburb and its relaxed bar and cafe scene.
Number 9. Bilpin, New South Wales.
Bilpin is an idealic village situated on Eastern side of the Blue Mountains along the scenic Bells Line of Road. Well known for its local fruit orchards, the area is dotted with tiny cafes and stores. Stop at the aptly named Fruit Bowl for some freshly made Apple Pie and the nearby Hive Cafe makes the perfect Cafe Latte. Or maybe your looking for something a little harder at Bilpin Cider, for a range of locally made alcoholic ciders. Enjoy lunch at Australia’s most elevated Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah.
Local Tip >>> If you are travelling with kids, they can partake in a fruit picking at many of the fruit orchards in this region.
Number 10. Wine Glass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula,Tasmania.
Situated 70 miles from Hobart on the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania, is Wine Glass Bay. Consistently voted as one of the worlds top 10 beaches, Wine Glass Bay is well worth the visit. The contrast of crystal white sandy beaches with towering pink granite cliffs is truly unique. Novices may prefer to just observe from a distance at the lookout but to really appreciate Wineglass Bay, take the 2-hour return walk. You can guarantee you will have the beach pretty much to yourself. Or if you prefer you can also cruise the local area.
Local Tip >>> We can arrange for a picnic to be set up on arrival at Wineglass bay post-walk. It is such a great spot to stop and take in the beautiful scenery.
Number 11. Newnes, New South Wales.
Deep in the Wolgan Valley within the Blue Mountains National Park lies the tiny village of Newnes. Once operated as a Shale Oil Mine at the turn of last century, the town was soon abandoned after the practice became unpopular. Today the industrial ruins are scattered throughout the site offering an almost Ghost Town like feel. Glamping is popular here to enjoy the nearby glow worm tunnels and scenic hikes.
Local Tip >>> There is a campground close by where we can arrange a glamping experience for the night. The area is frequented by Kangaroos, Wombats and native birds.
Number 12. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne, Victoria.
Not just a sporting ground, but an Australian institution, the “G” is the mecca of sport in Australia. Dating back to the 1800’s, the Melbourne Cricket Ground was officially redeveloped for the 1956 Summer Olympics that were held in Melbourne. It is the biggest capacity ground in the Southern Hemisphere being able to hold a record 100, 024 people. The ground is home to several Australian Rules Football (AFL) clubs as well as Cricket in Australia. A tour of the MCG will give you a great insight as to why this place is so special to so many Australians. Go behind then scenes with a private guide to truly appreciate the greatness of the MCG.
Local Tip >>> Stay for an AFL game! The season runs from March through to October
Number 13. Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia.
Well known for its photogenic marsupials, the Quokka’s, Rottnest Island lies just of the coast of Perth, Western Australia. Its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches make it a perfect day or short stay destination. A popular way to get to the Island is via the very reliable ferry service that departs the port at Fremantle regularly. However if you are looking for something a little different, you can fly there by seaplane. A much more convenient and spectacular way to arrive. Once on Rottnest Island, a popular activity is to jump on a bike and pedal around the island. If that doesn’t suit you grab and E-Bike instead. The island is hillier than what it appears. Or if you want to try something different, take the local train on the island to what is the best view of the surrounding area, Oliver Hill. And while you are there you may like to tour the little known military tunnels. Rottnest Island was an important fortification for Perth and Australia during the Second World War. The other great option on Rottnest Island is the Wild Seafood Cruise. Jump on board this converted fishing boat and navigate the surrounding areas of Rottnest Island. Stop by crayfish nets and assist the skipper as he hauls them to the surface, full of fresh Lobsters that make it to your plate within minutes. Now that’s fresh.
Local Tip >>> Instead of a restaurant lunch, we can arrange a private beach picnic
Number 14. Cabarita Beach, New South Wales.
The North Coast of New South Wales is one of my favourite places in Australia. A warm subtropical climate gives way to great beaches and cool cafes and restaurants. One of the most outstanding local towns is Cabarita Beach. Situated just south of the popular Gold Coast or north of Byron Bay, Cabarita oozes charm. When you are not enjoying the amazing beach, head inland to the spectacular Mount Warning. Or for some adventure try a learn to surf lesson, Stand Up Paddle, visit Tropical Fruit World, hike, hire a bicycle or just relax. One thing is for sure, you will enjoy a locals-only slice of Australia.
Local Tip >>> Cabarita Beach is home to Halcyon House, a luxury, trendy boutique property.
Number 15. Hermitage Foreshore Track, Sydney, New South Wales.
Did you know that two thirds of the bush land surrounding Sydney Harbour is actually National Park. The Sydney Harbour National Park to be precise. The harbour foreshore is scattered with walking tracks but one of my favourites and little known to most is the Hermitage Foreshore Track. Starting in the beautiful suburb of Bayview, the track is well constructed and offers stunning views all the way to Neilson Park. It is only just over a mile long and takes about an hour to stroll. Discover hidden coves and secret beaches and maybe even stop for a picnic along the way.
Local Tip >>> Stop at the end of the walk at The Neilson for a coffee or even lunch. A charming cafe overlooking the harbour with stunning views. Pack your swimmers because the beach is oh so inviting!
Number 16. The Daintree Rainforest, Diwan, Queensland.
The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world. It is located to the North of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, consuming around 700 square miles hugging the coastline adjacent to The Great Barrier Reef. The area is also known as the Wet Tropics. Visitors to Australia often travel to the Great Barrier Reef forgetting or bypassing this unique Eco system and experience. The ancient forests hold many secrets that a professional Wet Tropics guide will unlock. The unique and locally indigenous Cassowary roams the forest floors. Take a cruise down the Daintree River to spot massive Salt Water crocodiles and visit Cape Tribulation, where the Rainforest meets the Reef. The Daintree is amazingly diverse and easily accessible with the right operator and is sure not to disappoint.
Local Tip >>> Be sure to visit the Daintree Icecream Factory. Each day fresh homemade ice cream is made using the fruit from the owner’s orchard at the front of their property. It is a real treat and a great way to end your day.
Number 17. Winton, Queensland.
Winton is located in Central Queensland in the heart of the Australian outback. It is the home of QANTAS, and more recently has become well known for the Age of the Dinosaurs Museum. If you are looking for an authentic outback experience, it is hard to go past Winton. Visit the Winton Club where the first board meeting for Qantas occurred in 1920. History buffs will also not be disappointed to know that Banjo Patterson’s Walting Matilda was written and performed for the first time in Winton. Drop into the local pub and share a beer with the locals or discover the local Opal fields.
Local Tip >>> If you are visiting Winton, head down the road to the nearby town of Longreach to see the official QANTAS museum. Even if you are not interested in aviation, the QANTAS museum will impress.
Number 19. Albany, Western Australia.
Albany is a town located 250 miles south of Perth in Western Australia. The stunning limestone coastline gives way to pristine beaches and the scenic Stirling Ranges. Albany feels like a small Mediterranean town with a climate to match. Apart from the great beaches and friendly locals, Albany is home Australia’s ANZAC museum. Albany was the last stop off for Australian Soldiers travelling to the Middle East during the First World War and the port still holds an important piece of history today. Albany itself is also very historical and features many heritage buildings. It is worth the visit alone to see the charming early architecture.
Local Tip >>> When you are visiting Albany, you must head out to see the Granite Skywalk at Porongurup National Park. The climb to the top is challenging but well worth the effort and the incredible views.
Number 18. The Kimberley, Western Australia.
I often get asked where is my favourite part of Australia to visit. Hands Down The Kimberley Region is my number one destination. Located in the North Western part of Western Australia it is hard to describe the draw of this unique landscape unless you visit it. Awe inspiring ancient geography contrast with big cloudless blue skies. The scenery is like nothing else in Australia. Amazing wildlife, cool Australian Pubs and amazing locals, The Kimberly has it all and in spades. It is a little tricky to get to but that’s what also makes it special.
Local Tip>>> Experience the unique Horizontal Falls. Large volumes of water pass through gaps in rocks creating this natural phenomenon. Fly there by seaplane before hopping on a boat to see them up close.
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