76% of Singaporeans think Australia is all about the amazing beaches.
As an island nation, Australia is surrounded by so many stunning beaches it is easy to get swept away. It truly is the perfect destination for a beach holiday, but it’s certainly not all there is to see and do. Australia also has vibrant lakes, rugged mountains and an exciting range of bucket-list activities to do in its urban areas - and that’s just the beginning. So dry off and head inland to discover some of these unforgettable experiences.
Descend into the Jenolan Caves
Australia boasts beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise waters, but some of the country’s most impressive nature lies beneath the ground. Descend into the Jenolan Caves, located near the Blue Mountains, to find 9 spectacular show caves, underground rivers and awe-inspiring formations. There are many ways to explore this ancient cave system; book a guided day tour, get goosebumps on a ghost tour or enjoy a monthly cave concert with natural acoustics and fairytale ambience. When you’re back above ground, explore the surrounding bush and Blue Lake, where you could spot wildlife including kangaroos and wombats. Have lunch at the award-winning Chisholm's Restaurant, in historic Caves House, where you can also stay the night.
Wander through California Redwoods
You might think the Great Ocean Road is all about beaches as you drive the impressive coastline carved by nature, but take the time to venture off the main road and you’ll discover impressive hidden gems that many visitors miss. One of the most unique wonders in the area is the California Redwood forest in the Aire Valley. These towering trees were planted as a softwood logging experiment in the 1930s but were never cut down. Today they rise as high as 60 metres, creating a twilight effect of light through the canopy. Walk the eerily quiet trails, take photos and stop for a picnic. Nearby you’ll also find Hopetoun and Beauchamp Falls, where you can take in the spray as the water comes cascading down to the forest floor.
Experience the magic of Dark Mofo
Heating up the chill of Tasmania’s winter is Dark Mofo. Hobart’s captivating mid-winter festival explores centuries-old winter solstice rituals, giving the entire event a playfully dark and sinister vibe. Run in conjunction with Hobart’s iconic Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), the annual festival celebrates the winter darkness with large-scale public art and musical performances around the city. Foodies will enjoy events like rowdy Medieval-style banquets, while the brave can participate in one of the festival’s most popular drawcards: the annual Nude Solstice Swim, which sees hundreds of nude swimmers plunge into the chilly River Derwent at sunrise. Dark Mofo takes place annually in June, with a new program of exciting events and installations introduced each year.
Gaze at the Milky Way stars from the outback
There’s something truly magical about getting away from the city to connect with nature, and Australia’s outback is the perfect place to stop, be silent and take it all in. The night sky is one of the most impressive features, as billions of stars are visible and bright enough to see with the naked eye. Learning how to locate the Southern Cross, a famous constellation visible in Australia, and listening to Aboriginal stories and legends of the night sky is one of outback Australia's most special nature experiences.
Seek out your next big adventure
You can learn to surf in almost any Australian coastal town, but if you’re looking for another way to get your blood pumping you’ll find that Australia is an adventure-seeker’s playground. In Tasmania you can abseil down the world’s tallest dam; head to the Gold Coast to climb 270 metres (886 feet) to the summit of the Q1 building, or skydive over some of the country’s most beautiful beaches near Sydney or in the Whitsundays. Australia also offers unique opportunities to get up close to wildlife. Cage dive with great white sharks in South Australia or “swim” with Darwin’s biggest crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove.
Let urban Australia surprise you
It’s true that most of Australia’s big cities lie along the coast, but that doesn’t mean a beach holiday is the only thing they offer. There’s a thriving arts scene (both curated and street art), exciting theatre calendar, world-class sporting competitions, events and festivals as well as a rich cultural history that can be explored both in major institutions and small galleries. Get lost in Melbourne’s laneways as you bounce from hidden bars and foodie hotspots to the beautiful Queen Victoria Markets. Explore Sydney’s emerging craft beer scene or head to Canberra for the latest exhibition at The National Gallery of Australia. Brisbane is a haven for live music and rooftop bars, while Adelaide is known for its festivals. With so much going on, Australia’s cities will surprise and inspire you.
Eat and drink your way around
From coffee to fine dining, Australia takes its food and wine seriously. You’ll find innovative and award-winning restaurants both in major cities and regional areas, such as Quay and Firedoor in Sydney, Attica in Melbourne, Brae in Birregurra and Orana in Adelaide. Wine aficionados will be impressed with the level of sophistication found in Australian wines, from alternative varietals to the latest trends in natural winemaking. With over 60 wine regions across the country, you’ll find diversity and quality set amongst stunning landscapes. Head to McLaren Vale for a unique tasting experience or degustation lunch at The Cube. The country also plays host to a myriad of food and wine events that attract top chefs from around the world. Don’t miss the Margaret River Gourmet Escape or the Noosa Food and Wine Festival.
Explore Australia’s undiscovered nature
Some of Australia’s most spectacular natural attractions are hidden gems, tucked away from the country’s coastlines. These awe inspiring landscapes were forged millions of years ago and offer a peek at Australia’s Aboriginal history, challenging (but rewarding) treks, wildlife, star-filled skies and a chance to connect with nature in a way that few get to experience. The Grampians National Park is just three hours from Melbourne, yet feels worlds away. The area is famous for quality red wines, hiking trails and Aboriginal history. The craggy peaks and rocky gorges of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges require a five hour road trip from Adelaide, but are well worth the journey. Explore the 100 kilometre (62 mile) crater that is Wilpena Pound on a scenic flight, taste kangaroo and emu at an outback pub, and glamp under the stars at Arkaba Station.