Make your Australia trip even better with these 10 unforgettable experiences

Australia is a vast and diverse country that offers countless attractions and activities for travellers of all tastes and budgets. But if you want to go beyond the usual tourist hotspots and discover some hidden gems, here are 10 under-the-radar or offbeat experiences that will make your trip unforgettable.

Watch the sunset at Uluru

Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, a massive sandstone monolith that rises from the flat desert in the Northern Territory. It is also a sacred site for the local Aboriginal people, who have a deep connection and respect for it. You can learn about their culture and stories at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, or join a guided walk around the base of the rock. But one of the most unforgettable experiences is watching the sunset at Uluru, when it changes colour from red to purple to orange.

Kayak with dolphins in Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley is a scenic valley on the Central Coast of New South Wales, only an hour north of Sydney. Here you can enjoy a range of outdoor adventures, including horse riding, quad biking, abseiling and camping. But one of the most unique and memorable experiences is kayaking with dolphins on the Hawkesbury River. You can paddle along the tranquil waterways, surrounded by lush forests and cliffs, and spot bottlenose dolphins, sea eagles, pelicans and other wildlife.

Explore the River Red Gum National Park

River Red Gum National Park is a hidden gem near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, close to the Victorian border. It is home to one of the largest river red gum forests in the world, as well as kangaroos, koalas, emus and other native animals. You can camp for free in the park, kayak on the Murrumbidgee River, mountain bike along the trails, or simply enjoy the peace and beauty of nature.

Drive along the Gibb River Road

Gibb River Road is a legendary 4WD road trip that runs through the heart of the Kimberley region in Western Australia, one of Australia’s last wilderness frontiers. The road stretches for 660 km (410 miles) from Derby to Kununurra, passing through rugged landscapes, gorges, waterfalls, savannahs and bushlands. You can free camp along the way, swim with freshwater crocodiles, visit Aboriginal rock art sites, or join a cattle muster at a working station.

Swim with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef is a World Heritage-listed coral reef off the coast of Western Australia, where you can swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean. These gentle giants migrate to Ningaloo between March and August every year, and you can join a guided tour to snorkel with them in their natural habitat. You can also see manta rays, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and hundreds of colourful fish.

Sleep underground in Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is a quirky town in South Australia, known as the opal capital of the world. It is also famous for its underground dwellings, called dugouts, which provide relief from the extreme heat and cold of the desert climate. You can stay in one of these unique accommodations, such as The Lookout Cave Underground Motel, which offers panoramic views over the town and the Breakaways Ranges. You can also visit an opal mine, play golf on a course without grass, or watch a movie at an underground cinema.

Experience Aboriginal culture in Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land is a vast and remote region in the Northern Territory, where you can immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture and history. Arnhem Land is home to some of Australia’s oldest and most sacred rock art sites, as well as traditional communities that still practice their ancient customs and rituals. You can join a guided tour to access this restricted area, where you can learn from local elders, witness ceremonies and dances, fish for barramundi, or weave baskets.

Hike on Maria Island

Maria Island is a natural paradise off the east coast of Tasmania, where you can hike, bike, camp and wildlife watch. The island is a national park and a wildlife sanctuary, with no cars, shops or permanent residents. You can explore the island’s diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches and rocky cliffs to forests and mountains. You can also see wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas and Tasmanian devils, as well as penguins, seals and whales.

Fly over Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest salt lake, located in the arid heart of South Australia. It is usually dry and barren, but once every few years, it fills up with water from the inland rivers, creating a spectacular sight. You can witness this rare phenomenon from the air, on a scenic flight that takes you over the lake and its surrounding landscapes. You can also land on the lake’s shore and walk on the salt crust, or visit the nearby town of Marree, where you can see the historic Ghan Railway.

Sail around the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands are a group of 74 tropical islands off the coast of Queensland, surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. They are a paradise for sailing enthusiasts, who can charter a yacht or join a cruise to explore the islands’ pristine beaches, coral gardens and marine life. You can also visit the famous Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the whitest sand in the world, or hike to Hill Inlet, which offers stunning views over the swirling sands and turquoise waters.

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