80% of Malaysians think Australia is best to see on a guided tour.
A guided tour can be a great way to make the most of your trip to Australia, but when the freedom of the open road calls you’ll find some really exciting options for venturing out on your own. From coastal drives to off-road adventures, these beautiful destinations offer the opportunity to explore stunning spots without the crowd.
Visit Pulpit Rock in the Blue Mountains
Made up of one million hectares (3861 square miles) of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons and waterfalls, the magnificent Blue Mountains National Park is a nature lover’s dream. There are many well-known hikes available for all fitness levels, but if you’re looking for something far from the tourist spots, head to the lesser known Pulpit Rock lookout near Blackheath. You’ll get a thrill on the multi-tiered lookouts that offer almost 360˚ panorama across the dramatic mountain range. In Autumn, you’ll witness a majestic mix of orange, yellow and red. For a truly magical experience, spend a night in a mountain resort or romantic cottage and wake up early to see the Three Sisters rock formation engulfed in the beautiful morning mist.
Find adventure in Port Stephens
Located a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens has the longest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. The dunes reach heights of over 40 metres, creating an otherworldly landscape that is an adventure lover’s playground. Go on a quad biking adventure with Aboriginal guides who will share their history and show you a few of the extraordinary number of significant Aboriginal sites in the area. You can also try sliding down the dunes on a sandboard, as well as horseback and camel riding through the awe-inspiring landscape. Beyond the dunes, you can spot dolphins frolicking off the coast or get up close with sharks and rays at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters. Those visiting between late May and November can see migrating whales from the coast or a whale watching tour.
Embark on the Grand Pacific Drive
Starting in Sydney’s Royal National Park and extending to the charming holiday town of Jervis Bay, taking your time along the Grand Pacific Drive will allow you to soak in some of the South Coast’s coolest experiences. Wildlife lovers should make a stop at Symbio Wildlife Park to meet native Australian animals and hand-feed kangaroos, while the brave of heart can skydive in Wollongong. Cross the famous Sea Cliff Bridge and head for the Scarborough Hotel to take in the sweeping views from the cliff’s edge while enjoying a delicious lunch. Don’t forget to stop for the Kiama Blowhole, which sprays seawater into the air, and Glenbernie Fruit Orchard, where you can pick your own fruit from November to April.
Discover the Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains on the southern tip of New South Wales is an adventure wonderland. In the warmer months (September to February) you can explore the mountains on horseback and fish in pristine mountain waters, but winter (June to October) is when you can find heart-pumping adventures for families and friends alike. Head to Perisher or Thredbo, two mountain resorts where you can play to your heart’s content in the winter snow area, trek through the powder with your snowshoe guide and hit the slopes on a snowboard. No matter which thrilling experience you choose, you’ll enjoy night entertainment and sunset skiing as well as the magnificent scenery that surrounds you, including Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Whether you want to test your adventurous side or relax among the still snow, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Snowy Mountains.