As a fun-loving nation known for its laid back attitude and unrivaled outdoor lifestyle, Australia is a place where even the royal family come to let their hair down.
Ever since an Aussie bikini babe stole a kiss from Prince Charles in the surf, and the Queen ditched her Bentley for a cruise around Melbourne on the public tram, the younger generation of royals have followed suit by coming to Australia to relax and enjoy themselves. From playing in the surf at our most famous beaches to wrestling crocs in the Northern Territory, they’ve seen and done just about everything.
For anyone looking for a fun-filled Australian itinerary, these destinations and experiences will help you ensure your next visit Down Under is fit for a royal.
Get an adrenaline fix on the Gold Coast
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. They started their tour in Broadbeach, one of the many beautiful beach suburbs lining the coast. Head to the nearby Q1 Resort Building to experience the SkyPoint Climb, which will take you 270 metres into the air for 360 degree views of the region. You can also get your adrenaline fix at any of the area’s family-friendly theme parks, learning to surf, skydiving over golden-sand beaches or strolling through a tree-top walk in the rainforest canopy.
Spot a bilby at Taronga Zoo Sydney
On his first trip Down Under in 2014, the young Prince George giggled, smiled and played during his visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney. While there he met a three-and-a-half-year-old bilby whose sanctuary was named in his honour. The zoo is home to exotic and native animals as well as a number of activities such as a Wild Ropes course and the Roar and Snore overnight adventure. You can get to Taronga Zoo Sydney on a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay. Along the way you’ll enjoy incredible views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House before reaching your destination.
Visit Fraser Island for a 4WD and wildlife adventure
Off the back of their visit to Australia for the 2018 Invictus Games, the newlywed couple will pay a visit to the world’s largest sand island - Fraser Island. Home to a pure strain of wild dingoes, Fraser is a wildlife lover’s haven. Between August and late October it is also one of the best places in the world to see baby humpback whales and their mothers. In addition to wildlife, the island also has superb scenery, with massive shifting sand blows, sensational swimming spots and thrilling 4WD tracks. A World Heritage-listed wilderness with lots of resort-style comforts, Fraser is the perfect place to go wild, or chill out and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle.
Travel like a queen on Melbourne’s tram system
In a whirlwind tour of Melbourne in 2011, Queen Elizabeth II ditched her driver for a seat on the public tram as she travelled down to Federation Square. With one of the most extensive tram systems in the world, it’s one of the best ways to see the city. Take advantage of the Free Tram Zone that operates in the city centre. The City Circle Tram (number 35) is a hop on/hop off service (with historical commentary) that stops at major attractions including Flinders Street, Federation Square, the Harbour Esplanade, Docklands and Queen Victoria Market. Best of all, it doesn't cost a cent. Alternatively, book a ticket for the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant and enjoy an elegant dinner as you cruise through the city.
Enjoy a pint at the Stables Bar in Perth
When Prince Harry visited the Stables Bar in Perth back in 2015, he opted for a low-key dinner and drink, shunning the VIP area to sit with his friends. There are plenty of great spots to grab a cocktail in the city, or you can head to nearby Fremantle for a beachfront beer at Little Creatures Brewery. Wine lovers can also have their fix by visiting the Swan Valley (just 20 minutes from the city) or the premium wine region of Margaret River, about a three hour drive south of Perth, where vineyards sit just a stone’s throw from some of the world’s best surfing beaches.
Find a holiday romance at Cottesloe Beach
With more than a kilometre of soft, golden sand, Cottesloe Beach is one of Perth's most popular spots for swimming, surfing and…kissing young Princes. In 1979, an Australian model frolicked into the surf at the beach to steal a quick kiss from Prince Charles, who was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors at the time. With long stretches of white sand beaches lining the coast of Western Australia, it’s easy to find beautiful beaches everywhere you look.
Honeymoon at Ningaloo Reef
The younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, and her then newlywed husband, spent their honeymoon at the five-star Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef resort, one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. Located on a remote stretch of Western Australia’s coast, to get to Ningaloo Reef you’ll need to fly to Perth before catching a short regional flight to Exmouth. You’ll stay in one of 16 luxurious wilderness tents positioned just steps away from the reef. It’s one of the only places in the world where you can swim with both whale sharks and humpback whales. Nearby Cape Range National Park abounds with Australian wildlife which you can spot on guided walks.
Travel through Australia’s island state of Tasmania
Hobart is increasingly seeing a record number of international visitors to the area, but it seems the Queen has known about this hidden gem for decades. Queen Elizabeth II first visited Tasmania in 1954, where it is reported she fell in love with the state and has visited six more times since. Pay a visit to the daring Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), tour the state’s wineries, distilleries and craft breweries, or go on a wilderness adventure to Bruny Island with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Tasmania is also home to challenging but rewarding multi-day hikes taking you through white-sand beaches, towering cliff faces and ancient forests.
Go crocodile spotting in Darwin
If Prince Harry ever gets tired of being a Royal, he can always fall back on this career as a crocodile wrangler. During his visit to the Northern Territory in 2015, Harry reportedly looked right at home while he helped catch a saltwater crocodile in Darwin Harbour. While it’s recommended that you leave wrangling crocodiles to the professionals, you can get up close and personal with these ancient beasts on various croc-spotting tours. If you’re feeling really brave, you can sign up to “swim” with the massive creatures from the safety of a perspex enclosure at Crocosaurus Cove.
Take selfies at sunset in Uluru
Take in the sunset at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and pose in front of the iconic red rock. It’s a Royal family favourite and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles and Princess Diana have all made stops in the iconic Red Centre to visit the traditional owners, the Anangu people. There’s a number of ways to experience Uluru - whether on a scenic helicopter tour, a segway or even from the back of a camel, you’ll never forget the impressive size and vibrant colours of this sacred monolith. During your stay, be sure to visit Bruce Munro’s breathtaking art installation Field of Light and experience the magic of dining under the outback stars at Sounds of Silence.
Try unique modes of transportation in Canberra
Opting for action packed transport during her last visit to Australia, Her Majesty was seen whizzing around on a boat and even a golf cart while in Canberra. The city is famous for its hot air ballooning festival, The Canberra Balloon Spectacular, as part of the Enlighten Festival. This should come as no surprise given it’s one of the few cities in the world where ballooning is consistently available regardless of wind direction. If you’d rather stay closer to ground, you’ll find opportunities for adventure around every corner. Go white water rafting, paddle the lake or cycle the city. Whatever your preference, take a leaf out of Queen Elizabeth II’s book and try some exhilarating transportation while taking in the sites.