Whether you live in Australia, or are planning a visit sometime soon, there is so much to see and do.
But what are the absolute musts – the ones that will provide either “pinch me I can’t believe I’m really here seeing this for myself”, or “just-plain-take-your-breath-away” moments?
Well, wonder no more! We took a quick poll over a coffee in the Chic Living office, and came up with 7 natural – and manmade – wonders of Australia that should definitely go on your bucket list!
Wonders of Australia #1 – Uluru
Uluru – formerly known as Ayer’s Rock – is in the very heart of Australia.
Climbing the rock is discouraged, out of respect for the traditional indigenous owners who consider it to be a sacred site.
However you can still do a walk around, and don’t forget to visit at sunrise and/or sunset (with a glass of bubbly in hand!) for the magical vista generated by the changing light.
If it’s raining, you could be lucky enough to see waterfalls cascading off the world’s largest rock.
Wonders of Australia #2 – Sydney Opera House
Next on the list is the iconic Sydney Opera House. Even catching a glimpse as you fly into Australia’s harbour city will be a memorable moment, but even more so to see it up close and personal.
If you’ve only ever seen the Opera House in photos, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was just painted white – the sails are actually covered with a mosaic of white tiles.
Wonders of Australia #3 – Great Barrier Reef
Based off the coast of tropical north Queensland, there are many ways to see the the world’s largest coral reef for yourself, from snorkelling, scuba diving, or taking a trip on a glass bottomed boat.
For something more unusual, how about a Sea Walker experience (from Cairns), or going in a submarine from Fitzroy Island?! There are more great ideas on the Queensland blog.
The Whitsunday Islands are a great base for your Great Barrier Reef adventure – Hamilton Island, Lizard Island, Daydream Island, Brampton Island – to name just a few.
Wonders of Australia #4 – Coober Pedy
There are a couple of reasons why Coober Pedy, in the South Australia desert, makes this list.
The landscape at Coober Pedy doesn’t look terribly exciting at first glance – but that’s because the extreme heat means that most homes and buildings are actually dug out underground. You can tour an underground house, church, and even caravan park – or stay in an underground motel!
And then there is the reason that the township exists – this is opal country. Visit an opal mine, or go noodling (looking for opals) yourself and maybe make your fortune!
Wonders of Australia #5 – the Nullarbor Plain
Until you’ve visited the Nullarbor Plain for yourself, it’s hard to understand what all the fuss is about. No trees (which is what nullarbor means), no buildings, no anything – just kilometres of barren landscape.
Travelling the Nullarbor Plain you will experience the 90 mile straight – the longest straight stretch of road in Australia. Stop for a spot of spelunking at Cocklebiddy Cave – or when you get to Eucla, just over the WA border, explore the sandy ruins of the old telegraph station.
To the south, the Plain is bordered by the Great Australian Bight – home to the magnificent Bunda Cliffs.
Once you’ve visited, you’ll agree – there’s nothing plain about the Nullarbor Plain!
Wonders of Australia #6 – Wave Rock
Wave Rock is not as well known as Australia’s other amazing rock formation, Uluru, but it is still pretty impressive!
Despite it’s name, Wave Rock is nowhere near the ocean. It’s actually in the wheat growing country of south west, Western Australia.
Instead Wave Rock is so-called because it looks like a giant wave … in the middle of nowhere!
Wonders of Australia #7 – the Gold Coast
No visit to Australia is complete without a visit to the nation’s holiday capital: the Gold Coast in Queensland, the Sunshine State.
On the Gold Coast you’ll find not only sun, surf and sand. Although there are miles of magnificent beaches for you to explore, the “Goldie” as it is fondly called by locals, is also home to the “big 3” Australian theme parks: Sea World, Movie World, and Dream World, as well as a host of other attractions.
And to think, this list is just the start of the amazing sights of the land down under. No wonder the locals often refer to their country as “Oz” – it’s magical!