Off-The-Beaten-Path in Australia
Australia is lucky enough to be geographically in its own little corner of the world and thus offering so many unique places to explore. It has diverse nature and wildlife that enable adventure activities like scuba and skydiving. This guide will help you explore the off-the-beaten-path parts of Australia, including Sydney and Melbourne as well the area in tropical Northern Queensland by the Great Barrier Reef where you can engage in exciting adventure activities. It includes some of our favorite picks for the country as a whole, but of course, we could share much more about each destination if a certain one piques your interest!
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Where to stay
Bungalow Bay Koala Village
This welcoming and stylish lodge is an eco-leader in the heart of Magnetic Islands National Parks.
The Nunnery Accommodation
A modern hostel in a historic building in hip Fitzroy, with a mix of shared and private rooms.
Mad Monkey Hostel
Cairns hostel near the Great Barrier Reef with a good communal area. It’s an easy place to meet other budget travelers as it has a very social environment.
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Things to do
Scuba diving is the one water activity you can't pass up in the Great Barrier Reef, as it is one of the most well-known reefs in the world. There are so many interesting, unique fish and underwater marine creatures to see. The best way to get up close and personal with the sea creatures is through scuba diving. You don't have to be scuba certified, you can book a discovery dive to get immersed. This experience will be a much more in depth view than snorkeling.
The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world. It overlooks the part of the ocean where the Great Barrier Reef is located. Go on a guided tour where the guide will show you different areas of the rainforest to safely swim, free of crocodiles. You can also go on a crocodile tour through the rainforest and see them in their natural habitat.
Day trip to Manly
You can take a ferry across the Sydney Harbor, where the opera house is, and go to a quaint town called Manly. There you can enjoy a day at the beach or walk around and explore the perfect little town.
Bondi Beach is one of the most well known beaches in Sydney. It has really strong waves, making it an ideal surfer destination. Not interested in the salty beach waves? There's also a swimming pool that extends into the ocean and you’re sure to have seen it on Instagram!
Learn about Indigenous cultural traditions
The Aboriginal Culture Park show features performers with the didgeridoos and traditional tribal dances. Attending this show is a substantial way to integrate more of the native culture into your trip, and gain a better understanding of the ancestral ways.
Great Ocean Road is a long road that goes along the southern coast of Australia. Take a day trip from Melbourne and take this scenic route to go see a structure called The 12 Apostles – towers of rocks seemingly hanging out from the ocean.
Places to eat & drink
Pancakes on the rocks: This pancake spot is in Sydney, near the Harbour Bridge, and is open late at night – a great choice if you’re craving breakfast for dinner.
The Raw Prawn: A spot in Cairns for really great seafood and amazing views.
Imperial Peking Restaurant: This Blakehurst Chinese restaurant takes care of all your yam cha cravings and all at an affordable price.
Saint Peter: Sydney is well-known for its charcoal chicken, but try charcoal fish at this location which has turned into one of the city’s favorites.
Boon Cafe: This Thai restaurant inside of a grocery store is very much Sydney-style. Come here for crab congee, baked eggs with smoked fish, and pandan custard toast, plus a matcha or turmeric latte.
Cantina OK: Sydney’s tiniest bar, serves the benchmark Margarita on the market, shaken with a 50/50 blend of tequila and mezcal, shaved ice and orange oil.
Old Mate’s Place: This unsuspecting CBD rooftop is also home to some of the city’s choicest cocktails.
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