25 Oct 2021
Our parks are in some of Australia’s most in-demand and exotic locations.
From the eastern tip of Byron Bay to the western edge of Ningaloo, we have Australians covered when it comes to the best things to do in the best places!
Here are 12 that will take your summer holiday from good to great:
Explore a National Park
One of the best things about living in Australia is that we are never far from a National Park. Large and small, each one has its own story to tell.
Read Also: 13 National Parks to Get Lost in this Spring
On New South Wales far South Coast, Ben Boyd National Park is one Australia’s best examples. Close to the whale-watching town of Eden, from May to November every year, you can spot pods of humpback whales as they migrate from Antarctic waters to breed and nurse their young.
Not only that, its crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkelling, swimming and launching your favourite craft!
Visit a Craft Brewery
Sorry America, but Australia has some of the best craft beer breweries in the world! Full of fresh air and fresh, clean water sources, you could spend an entire year touring these and still not scratch the surface.
In Nagambie Lakes, on Victoria’s Goulburn River, the Nagambie Brewery and Distillery perfectly encapsulates the spirit of this pioneering little river town. Located in the heart of the town and offering spectacular views of the lake, its menu of handmade brews, small-batch gins and heartwarming gastro-fare is typical of the quality of what you’ll find around Australia.
Read Also: 6 Things To Do in Nagambie Lakes
See an Aquarium
While there might be an argument about whether we have the best craft beer in the world (see above) we’ll happily stick our necks out and say that when it comes to coral reefs, we’re at the front of the pack globally.
In Townsville, you can experience one of the best without even getting your feet wet! Reef HQ is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. Doubling as the National Reef Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, this place is perfect for the whole family and will open your eyes to an amazing underwater world filled with thousands of charismatic little sea creatures.
Shop at a Market
We can all appreciate boutique shopping galleries and high-street chains, as well as the air-conditioned comfort of an indoor mall, but do any of them get you close to the true characteristics of a city?
In Fremantle, the Fremantle Markets will arouse all of your senses. Hear unique buskers performing their acts, witness amazing indigenous art, and taste and smell flavours from all over the world! Well renowned across the country, whether you’re a Fremantle local or a tourist passing through, there is a lot to love about these markets.
You haven’t really seen a place until you’ve seen it from the air! Hot Air-Balloons can be the perfect romantic interlude or just fun for the whole family whether you're by the sea, in the middle of the desert or over one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
For South Aussies, a Barossa Balloon Adventure might be the perfect way to show someone you care. Sample the best of the region's food and wine and then take in the view of South Australia from the sky!
Despite what some might think, this is far from reserved for those living on some remote Southeast Asian archipelago! Australia is home to thousands of tiny islands that are worth getting onto whenever possible.
On Queensland’s Fraser Coast you can escape the mainland by jumping into a 4WD and heading to Fraser Island by ferry! As a World-Heritage listed location, Fraser Island offers plenty of history and lots to do. The island is rich with a variety of vegetation including mangroves and kauri forest that date back 200+ years.
Smile at a Crocodile
While it goes without saying that this should only be attempted from a safe distance, is there anything more Australian than meeting a croc?
In the Northern Territory’s Top End, Crocosaurus Cove is a $32 million dollar three-story adventure in the heart of Darwin. Witness firsthand (and behind a glass wall) the iconic Top End saltwater crocodiles aged from three months to 80 years old. You can even bring your bathers and swim with these incredible dinosaurs. Smile for the camera while holding a baby ‘salty’ and check out the Barramundi, Sawfish and Whip rays in the 200,000 litre aquarium.
STAY: Discovery Parks - Darwin
Take a walk
Much like national parks, beaches and islands, there is almost an unlimited number of incredible walks you can do in Australia. Some take days, others you can knock off in an afternoon.
None are better or more famous than the iconic alpine walk on Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. As the jewel in the crown of the majestic Lake St. Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is home to the Overland Track, and attracts walkers from around the world. While it is physically demanding and does take some planning, the rewards are clear.
Cruise the River
Australia’s major river systems not only present the opportunity to immerse oneself in nature, they are a chance to take a trip back in time. So much of our history unfolded along the banks of the Murray-Darling network of waterways, so it seems appropriate to take the time to get to know it.
Read Also: Rediscover Victoria with these Quick Escapes
At Echuca in Victoria’s riverland, kids are drawn to the historical significance of a fleet of paddle steamers. Complete with foghorns and retro-looking facades, these are cargo and passenger vessels of days gone by. Taking families to secluded spots along the river, whether you are history buff, steam buff or just looking for a fun day out, Echuca Paddlesteamers cruise 7 days a week on the historic PS Adelaide.
STAY: Discovery Parks - Echuca
Take a Kayak on the water
When it comes to being on the water, there are many ways to skin a cat! Swimming and snorkelling are popular, diving has its fanatics, and for others any trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without a stand-up paddle board.
In South Australia’s Second Valley, just a short drive from Goolwa on the much-loved Fleurieu Peninsula, limestone cliffs and caves provide a dream-like seascape to explore by kayak. Around the corner is Rapid Bay, which for anyone who has been there, is unsurprisingly one of the state’s most instagrammed locations! Don't miss it.
STAY: Discovery Parks - Goolwa
We know we keep saying this, but Australia has some of the best and most affordable golf courses in the world. Nowhere will you get better value for money if you love playing golf - apparently one of several games they play in heaven!
Read Also: Best Australian Golf Getaways
In Western Australia’s south west corner there are courses everywhere. Chief among them is Bunbury Golf Club, considered the region’s top course and host to several of the state’s biggest championship standard events. Awarded the ‘2019 Regional Golf Course of the Year’ at the Golf Industry Awards, it sits between the tranquility of the Collie River and Leschenault Estuary.
Hit the Beach
We couldn’t have this list without mentioning what Australia is ultimately most famous for - its beaches! With literally thousands of miles of some of the most vacant and uninterrupted beaches to play on, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t explore at least a few of them!
Read Also: Road Trip NSW's Sapphire Coast
On New South Wales’ Barrington Coast there is over 190 kms of absolutely stunning coastline. Take a relaxing stroll, have a dip, grab a boogie board or hit the dunes! You can even break out the 4WD and get adventurous. For those comfortable with a horse between their legs, check out Horse About Tours for a unique afternoon on the sand!