Yes, living in Australia takes a lot of work. The reality is that it would take more than a lifetime to see and do everything worthwhile here, and that can be downright depressing. So to perk you up – we decided to take a good, hard look at this fabulous land of ours and come up with some goals that any Aussie could reasonably achieve. Now – we couldn’t include everything, or you’d spend your lifetime reading the list, but these will give you a good start. So pull out your list of things to do before you die, and be sure to write these in. The Top 10 Aussie things to see before you die:

1. Dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

It doesn’t matter if you can’t SCUBA dive, the reef is spectacular whether you’re snorkelling, diving or viewing it from an underwater observatory. Teeming with colourful corals, fish, and marine life of every shape and size – this living wonder is a must-see for every Aussie. After all – people from around the world are flocking daily to witness the magic of this UNESCO Heritage-listed world wonder, and when you see the Reef for yourself, you’ll know why.

2. Kayak Katherine Gorge

The breathtaking scenery of Katherine Gorge can best be experienced from within the Gorge itself. Drift along the water, and open your senses to the sounds, sights, smells, and feel of the area. You’ll need a guide, but there are plenty of boat and kayak tours available. As you gaze up at the ruggedly beautiful walls of the Gorge, you’ll know you are in one of the most special places in the world.

At sunrise and sunset, you’ll be treated to a splash of colour across the area, and marvel at how it transforms the region seemingly minute by minute. Keep your eyes open and listen intently for ominous splashes nearby…this is part of the thrill of Katherine Gorge.

3. Experience Uluru (Ayers Rock)

This iconic red rock in the centre of Australia is worth travelling from across the globe to see, and it’s virtually impossible to take a bad photograph of it. Whether it’s raining, sunny, sunrise, sunset, you’re up close or far away, it looks magical. That said ... mere photos don’t do it justice.

You need to get up close, explore the nooks and crannies around the rock, learn about the Aboriginal lore of the area, and touch it for yourself. A trip to Uluru also gives you the chance to visit the geological wonders of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon. Be sure to bring a camera and a sense of adventure.

4. Experience a corroboree…and while you’re at it, eat a witchetty grub, and learn to throw a boomerang or a spear.

Australia’s Aboriginal people have thrived for tens of thousands of years in conditions few of us could imagine surviving. They hunted with spears and boomerangs, travelled hundreds of miles in bare feet, and drank water in places we would believe to be barren. They would pass stories from generation to generation, and immortalise their lore in rock and cave carvings. A corroboree is a special Aboriginal ceremony with dancing, music, and stories. Participants take pride in wearing costumes and face paint. During their dances, they jump high, pounding their bare feet to the ground with rhythm and passion.

The corroboree is a very emotional experience; something very few people in the world will ever witness. Before you die – be sure to learn about the people who first touched Australian soil, and experience their zeal for life in the form of a corroboree. Head to Alice Springs and go on a Dreamtime tour where you can watch a corroboree, eat a witchetty grub if you dare (they taste a bit like peanut butter…really!) and even learn to throw a boomerang.

5. Ride a horse or camel along Cable Beach at sunset

If you’ve ever watched a soppy movie and cried while the couple rode horses into the sunset, then you’ll need to bring a box of tissues with you on this trip. It doesn’t matter if you’re on your own – you’ll cry anyway. The sunsets in Broome are so beautiful - you’ll be overcome with emotion as you experience them. The sparkling ocean, the perfect sandy beach, the gentle breeze of the evening and the orange/red glow of sunset bouncing shades of pink off the clouds – really, this is a must-do.

Whether you prefer a horse or a camel, you’ll have no problem finding one to accommodate you on this gorgeous stretch of paradise.

6. Wine tasting and hot air ballooning 

While Australians can be a laid-back bunch, we still know how to really appreciate a good vino. The trouble is – how do we choose from our hundreds of delicious homegrown varieties? Many of our wines are internationally acclaimed, winning awards that have undoubtedly flustered generations of French sommeliers. And while we sympathise with their plight, the reality is we simply need a good wine to accompany our excellent homegrown beef, lamb, fish and cheeses.

Although you can easily drive up to any bottle shop and select an exquisite Aussie wine, it’s much more fun to visit the vineyards themselves, to sample the different flavours, and experience the exhilaration of floating high above the vines in a hot air balloon. Vineyards are spread across Australia, and whichever wine growing region you visit, you’re sure to find the perfect mixture of comfort, beauty, fine wines, and interesting attractions. 

7. Sail the Whitsunday Islands 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sailed before, or even if you’re prone to seasickness – the gentle waters around these picturesque isles will allow even the clumsiest of sailors to hold their heads high. Imagine landing on secluded beaches for private picnics, or drifting into islands loaded with water sports, bars, and dancing. Whether you’re after a peaceful trip or a party, this is one place you simply must experience before you die. 

8. Sleep in a swag under the stars, and experience the thrill of a cattle station 

In North America, they have ranches with cowboys and cowgirls. In Australia, we have cattle stations with jackeroos and jilleroos. The difference? Australia’s cattle stations are HUGE. It’s not enough to simply round up a herd on horseback, these stations are so big they often need helicopters. But with all this vastness you’ll find a rugged beauty and a quiet sense of excitement and anticipation. Out here, you can sleep in a swag under the stars and spin yarns around a campfire – an experience every Australian should have before they die.

But before you swagger up to a cattle station, check out Stayz farm accommodation experiences options where you’ll find literally hundreds of farms, cattle stations and rural paradises around the country. 

9. Scenic flight around Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is an Aussie icon, frequently shown in foreign movies when they depict Australia. The reason is obvious – the harbour is stunning, with such landmarks as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in addition to the hubbub of the boats sailing in and out, seagulls flying all around and the general sense of excitement in Sydney. From the air – the scene is even more beautiful. You’ll see the harbour and where it fits with Australia’s largest city, the nearby beaches and islands, as well as the hills.

The big question is – when to fly? A sunrise flight where you can see the glow of dawn over the Harbour? Or during the day, when the hustle and bustle is happening? How about sunset, with the pink and red colouring, or at night with the city lights? Regardless of when you choose to fly, it will be a magical experience. 

10. Take a ferry to Tasmania 

Tasmania is a fun island to visit. It is a place where you can be jet boating in the morning, and abseiling down a mountain in the afternoon. It’s a place where you can quietly explore quaint villages and picnic on a secluded beach, or enjoy the thumping nightlife of a city. Getting there is half the fun. The overnight ferry from Melbourne will take you and your car to Devonport, so that you can drive around the island.

Having your car with you is a great idea, because you can properly explore and experience everything Tasmania has to offer. Restaurants, bars, dancing, and a play area for kids make The Spirit of Tasmania ferry a load of fun for all Aussies venturing to Tassie. 

... 11. Don’t finish your list! 

Once you’ve completed these 10 must-see-and-do items, don’t stop! We’ve really only scraped the red sandy surface of this amazing continent!

 

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