While filming the Dundee Super Bowl ad, Danny McBride got to enjoy some of Australia’s most incredible locations and experiences. Here are just a few of his favourites.
By Allie Metz
From his adventures through the outback to floating over the Great Barrier Reef, Danny discovered that Australia is a destination with so much to explore. The vibrant cities are impressive for their exciting nightlife, incredible dining options and towering man-made monuments. Nature lovers will be enthralled by the stunning landscapes and varied climates that make Australia a perfect destination any time of year while animal lovers will be excited by the many opportunities to interact with the country’s unique wildlife.
If I was going to give some advice to an American on what they should expect when they come to visit Australia, I would say just prepare for a very good time. I think it’s very easy to navigate this country; the people are super friendly and very helpful.
The Great Barrier Reef
“One of the most incredible things I did was take a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing to see something that massive and beautiful from that perspective. It was mind blowing.” - Danny McBride
Danny experienced the Great Barrier Reef from the air, and there are incredible opportunities for you to do the same. Take a scenic helicopter flight over Heart Reef or make it even more romantic (it’s surprisingly possible) with a trip to Vlasoff Cay. This tiny sand island appears only at low tide, and you can enjoy a private champagne picnic along with a swim, snorkel or snooze on your personal, if temporary, island. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider sailing through the 74 islands of the Whitsundays. Whether you sail yourself or hire a skipper, it’s easy and affordable. Of course the most enchanting thing about visiting this part of the world is what lies beneath the surface. Whether you swim, snorkel or dive, you’re sure to spot incredible marine life everywhere you look. You can even swim with humpbacks and minke whales at certain times of year, so put your suit on and get ready to discover every angle of this wonder of the world.
“The wildlife in Australia is definitely unique. There are so many types of animals that you just don’t see anywhere else.” - Danny McBride
While filming Danny and Chris made friends with the furry residents on Kangaroo island - or KI to locals - which is just a quick 30 minute flight from Adelaide. With more than one third of the island made up of conservation areas and national parks, KI has an abundance of wildlife. So much so that it is often referred to as Australia’s “natural zoo”. While visiting the island you can expect to spot koalas resting high up in the eucalyptus trees, Kangaroo Island kangaroos (a shorter, longer-haired version than their mainland counterparts) and tammar wallabies in the island’s reserves, echidnas, several species of rare birds and possibly even the elusive platypus. Off the coast it’s not uncommon to spot seals, dolphins and migrating whales. It’s also the only place in the world where you can walk among endangered Australian sea lions. In addition to all of the incredible wildlife encounters you can have here, Kangaroo Island is also a gourmet destination with an established artisanal food scene, incredible wine and spirits as well as one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, indulge and connect with nature.
“Some of the colours in the outback I’d never really seen before, like the sky and the landscape and even the colour of the water in the gorge was incredible.” - Danny McBride
As vast as it is varied, Australia’s outback offers transformative experiences that will speak to you through the landscape and the ancient history of its first inhabitants. A visit to the sacred sites of Uluru and Kata Tjuta is impressive both visually and emotionally. You can take in their full scale from above on a helicopter tour or walk around the base to truly appreciate their grandeur. Wake early to see the colours changing as the sun rises, or enjoy a sunset experience in which the sky transforms from red to purple to a million twinkling stars. While the outback is known for its rugged landscapes, it’s also a place that can be explored in luxury. Stay at Longitude 131 and awaken each morning to breathtaking views of Uluru and dine each night on fine foods as you hear Dreamtime stories from Aboriginal elders.
It’s certainly a magical place, but the Red Centre is just one of the many unique faces of the outback. Visit Kakadu National Park to explore the wetlands, witness thundering waterfalls, and find Aboriginal rock art more than 20,000 years old. Or discover one of the world’s last wilderness frontiers in the Kimberley region. Here you'll find prolific wildlife, majestic canyons, freshwater swimming holes and several outback stations, as well as one of Australia's greatest 4WD road trips. Despite the area's remoteness, it's also a place of great food, luxury accommodation, friendly locals and one of the most romantic beach towns on Earth. Whatever style of outback you choose to explore, you’ll emerge a changed person.
The Sydney Opera House
“The Sydney Opera House - they don’t have that anywhere else but here, which is pretty cool.” - Danny McBride
You can have dinner with a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House at Quay, just like Danny and Chris. This fine dining establishment is Australia’s most awarded restaurant and serves up a creative and inspired tasting menu alongside its spectacular views of the harbour. Once you’ve snapped your perfect shot of the Sydney Opera House from afar, it’s time to head inside for a concert, symphony, theatre or dance performance. You can also head backstage on a behind-the-scenes tour to see just what it takes to put on so many incredible performances. If you’re visiting in May or June be sure to walk through the city and experience Vivid Sydney when the Opera House sails, Taronga Zoo Sydney, Customs House and other landmarks are illuminated with colourful projections.
“Australia has a killer culinary scene, there are so many good restaurants and the wine is incredible. They make incredible beers here as well. I’m blown away by the food in Australia.” - Danny McBride
Australia’s major cities all have incredible dining options that offer the best of both traditional and international cuisines. It’s also home to a sophisticated wine industry as well as a burgeoning craft beer and spirits scene. Experience fine dining at its best with a visit to Attica in Melbourne, Orana in Adelaide or Firedoor in Sydney. You’ll even find outstanding options in Australia’s regional towns, transforming these traditional road trip stopovers into destinations in their own right. Stop at Brae along the Great Ocean Road for a true paddock to plate experience, or dine in style at Doot Doot Doot in the Mornington Peninsula, Paper Daisy near the Gold Coast or Biota Dining just south of Sydney.
With over 60 wine regions scattered across the country, wine lovers will find exciting destinations near almost every major city. The Hunter Valley makes a great day trip from Sydney, while the Yarra Valley sits just outside of Melbourne. Surrounding Adelaide you can find the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale - all within an hour of the city.
Tasmania is a haven for both wine and whisky lovers, all of which can be sampled as you make your way around the island. If you’re staying in the city you won’t be left out. You can taste incredible drops from across the country in any rooftop or speakeasy bar. Craft breweries are also easy to find in Sydney and Melbourne, and you can even visit working wineries without leaving the city. Whatever your weakness, you'll find incredible opportunities to indulge during your visit.