Australia’s vast size coupled with the amount of activities on offer and sights to see make it hard for families to narrow down their itinerary. From the quiet, beautiful forests of the Daintree region to the energetic, bubbling cosmopolitan cities, Australia seems to have it all on offer. You can go diving in the Great Barrier Reef or just drive endlessly and be mesmerised by the sights you come across from koala bears in trees to whales in the ocean. Have your breath taken away by the sight of kangaroos lying under the shade of a tree or the stars in the sky on a cloudless night in the outback. There’s a lot to do, so we’ve picked five of the most important things you have to do when you come to Australia.
1. Be fascinated by cosmopolitan Australia
Flying into Australia will lead you to one of the three major cosmopolis in the country: Perth, Sydney or Melbourne. The last two are the biggest and much more important culturally and historically. This has paved the way for immigrants to settle down in Sydney and Melbourne over the last few decades. This has created two very diverse, rich cities whose culture is an amalgamation of the world and is proud to portray that on a daily basis. Melbourne and Sydney are always at odds with each other on which city is better. Sydney has the beaches; the more historic landmarks of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge; it has the weather and financial momentum. But, Melbourne can retaliate with its obsession with coffee and the rise of the coffee culture; its sports stadiums; the influence it continues to have on the world in terms of an artistic city; the general attitude of the city makes it much more appealing to the youth, plus it’s considerably less expensive. There’s no better way for you to decide than seeing both.
2. A visit to the Daintree will be remembered forever
The Daintree finds itself in an isolated region in Northern Queensland. The closest airport and city is Cairns, five hours away by road. The Daintree is continuously touted as one of the best parks and forests to visit in the world. An ancient rain forest whose trees seem to resemble ones in movies, this part of the world will dwarf you with its trees, abundance of nature and terrify you with the vast amount of dangerous animals around. Sounds fun, no? Despite the threat of snakes and crocodiles, it is still one of the most visited parks in Australia and one of the safest as well, for families. You won’t be disappointed visiting this haven.
3. Drive along the Great Ocean Road and be mesmerised
If you’ve flown your family into Melbourne but are tiring of the city-life, rent a car and drive to Adelaide down one of the most scenic routes in the world: the Great Ocean Road. Kilometres of wilderness on one side with the gorgeous Indian Ocean on the other, you’ll want to keep driving down this winding road. Spot the koala bears in the trees. Rest at a picnic spot and look out for whales or sharks. Go to any of the beaches that can be found along this drive, but make sure you watch out for sharks or jellyfish! There’s an endless amount of things to do on the Great Ocean Road, it’s just not your average road trip. And when you get to Adelaide, there’s a whole other chapter waiting for your family with wine tours, amusement parks and laid-back Australian life awaiting you.
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4. Marvel at the importance of the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the world’s largest coral reef system. Stretching for over 2,300 km, there are 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, it’s no surprise that it’s one of Australia’s biggest tourism spots. A UNESCO World Heritage Site as well, it supports a wide diversity of life, most of which you can see. Snorkelling or scuba diving are both options in this reef. Known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander people, the Great Barrier Reef is historically and culturally very important and as such, should be treated so. It is easily one of the greatest sights you can come to and take your family on a vacation.
5. Relax in the scenic Hyams Beach
Just two hours south of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, lies a remote little village called Hyams Beach. Renowned world-wide to have the whitest sands in the world with some of the clearest waters imaginable, this piece of paradise is perfect for any family vacation due to its solitude, remoteness and general laid-back attitude. The village itself has a population of just 290 people and can be reached easily via a major highway from Sydney. Jervis Bay, the popular national park, lies just north, while Hyams Beach is at the south of the Jervis Bay region. Getting away from the city isn’t an easy task sometimes, but even for locals living in Sydney, you’ll be surprised by how close Hyams Beach is; it’s the perfect getaway spot for families visiting or living in Sydney.
We've just skimmed the surface on what to do in Australia
There’s a lot to do in Australia. These options are just skimming the surface in a country which also includes the great Outback littered with kangaroos, or hiking in the windswept island of Tasmania. Australia may be vast with a multitude of options for your family, but if you have the time to spare, doing all of these items on one trip is definitely possible. Otherwise, dig deep into each item, spend a week in Sydney and Melbourne each or spend two weeks in the Daintree. Each location offers your family the depth and intricacy in a way that only truly remarkable places can.
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