Why is Australia is on most travelers’ bucket lists? Perhaps it’s because the island country is a sampler of the world’s best travel experiences: unique wildlife, remote wild places, energetic cities with great architecture, a distinct happy, welcoming culture, luxury hotels and resorts, beautiful agricultural areas, and a vibrant food and wine industry. And, due to its distant location and colorful history, many experiences are unique to Australia. There is much to see and do there that you can’t see or do anywhere else in the world!
I went for two weeks in June, which is the beginning of their winter. The climate is mild in most of the country, so you can enjoy it well in all seasons. Distances between top destinations are long and require flying; so, for your once-in-a-lifetime journey to Australia, plan for two weeks minimum; more if you can. And if you also want to see New Zealand, add another week at least!
Below are the top 10 experiences from my trip!
P. S. If you want to see the complete itinerary, view it in Axus, our online itinerary app that makes all your important travel details easily accessible in the palm of your hand.
1. 🏝 Seaplane to Whitehaven Beach on Great Barrier Reef
Whitehaven Beach is considered the most beautiful in the Whitsunday Islands, an archipelago of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and part of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s known for its crystal white silica sands and turquoise-colored waters. I was fortunate enough to pull up to this well-visited beach via seaplane (check that, you big yachts), and this was certainly an attention-getting arrival!
2. 🐨 Holding a Koala on Hamilton Island
I had no idea this was going to be such an amazing experience! You can see by the smile on my face this was very memorable. Koala cuddles and other wildlife encounters are possible at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island. See my video here:
We’re now officially “koalafied” to plan your Australian adventure! 😉
3. 🚤 Jet Boat in the Outback
I headed from the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef to the coastal floodplains of Australia’s Top End. A private charter flight took us from Darwin to Bamurru Plains on the edge of Kakadu National Park. This safari lodge is known for its extraordinary bush setting within the coastal floodplains of the Mary River, full of colorful birds and wildlife. Our jet boat ride took us into this beautiful wilderness full of the colors of the rainbow. 🌈
4. ⛵ Sailboat Tour of Sydney Harbor
My short stay in Sydney featured a glorious sunny day on the harbor, sailing aboard ‘The Count,’ a 57-foot Beneteau luxury sailing yacht. We enjoyed a gourmet lunch while taking in the iconic views of the harbor bridge, Opera House and skyline. This wonderful experience was designed by Sydney’s top tour company serving VIPs and celebs. We’ll make sure you get the VIP experience when we plan your trip!
5. 🌅 Sunrise at Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island, lies off the mainland of South Australia, just southwest of Adelaide. Over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves, home to native wildlife like sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species. This undeveloped landscape provides breathtaking views.
I caught this amazing sunrise right outside my room at the Southern Ocean Lodge.
6. 🚁 Helicopter Ride over Heart Reef
Heart Reef, discovered in 1975 in the Great Barrier Reef, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. It was a beautiful sight from the sky, as was the small part of the reef that I saw. It’s actually 1400 miles long and is composed of 900 island and over 2900 individual reefs.
7. 🌴 Riverside Hammock at Silky Oaks Lodge in the Rainforest
Nestled in Kuku Yalangi country of northeast Australia, the Silky Oaks Lodge, with its treehouse-like suites, is situated in the lush Daintree Rainforest along the babbling Mossman River. From here, explore the surrounding rainforest, the oldest living one on Earth, and return to your suite to enjoy the sounds of the river below from your terrace hammock. I collect hammock memories and this is my new favorite!
8. 🐦 One-Way Screened Tent at Bamurru Plains
Not only did I enjoy the JetBoat ride here, but also I loved the place where I slept! The lodging quarters are tents with the walls made of screens that you can see out, but no one (including the wallabies) could see in. This one was the best “tents with a view” I’ve ever had!
9. 🐑 Sheep Farm Stay on Kangaroo Island
Which do you think is cuter, the koalas or the sheep? I enjoyed another of Kangaroo Island’s top lodging options, The Stranraer Homestead. This working farm home has been in the proprietor’s family for over a hundred years, and the bed and breakfast is operated by the owners, Lynn and Graham Wheaton. Graham took me on an early morning tour of the farm to visit the spring lambs, some born just the night before!
Many thanks go to Lyn and Graham Wheaton for outstanding meals, a comfortable bed, a warm fire, and authentic Kangaroo Island experience, featuring kangaroos in the trees!
10. 🤩 Opera View Room at the Park Hyatt
Lucky me — an opera view room at The Park Hyatt! If your budget allows, this hotel is my best recommendation for your stay in Sydney. The location on the harbor can’t be topped, and most rooms here feature private balconies & spectacular views of the harbor, harbor bridge or the Opera House. The rooms are sleek and sexy, and the service is fantastic!
OK … 11 then. ☕ The South Melbourne Market
The South Melbourne Market is a treasured, inner-city market and village–my local guides said it’s where they do all their shopping. I only had time to buzz through just to get an appreciation of how great this is for our clients, but at least I got my morning Joe from one of Melbourne’s famous coffee shops!
Here are just a few snaps from my quick tour.
👋🏼 It was a sad goodbye, Australia!
If you’re considering a trip to Australia, please get in touch. With so many amazing experiences to choose from, it’s important that your trip is customized to your personal dream list. You can only do so much in two weeks, so let’s make the most of your journey Down Under!