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Many people aspire to travel to Australia to soak up its dazzling sun and relaxing lifestyle. As the farthest possible place from the UK, there is something inherently fascinating about the land down under. Most people who travel to Australia from the UK often do so armed with a particular set of expectations: oversized insects, a laidback lifestyle, and limitless sandy beaches.
Travellers also tend to set off with a similar set of bucket-list attractions on the must-do list. Invariably, the Sydney Opera House will make the cut, alongside an array of others such as Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. However, the seventh largest continent in the world (admittedly, there are only seven) has so much more to offer outside of these expectations and mainstream attractions. Strap in and enjoy our compendium of five lesser-known must-see locations for when you travel to Australia.
When most people think about Australia, they might think about the barren landscape of the outback or toned surfers soaking up the scorching heat. However, it’s time to throw all your Australian inclinations out the window and head on over to the Australian Alps.
The Australian Alps straddle Victoria and New South Wales and should be on any skiing enthusiast’s bucket-list. The Alps boast the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere – Perisher. Drink in the unrivalled views from Blue Cow Mountain and enjoy the winding slopes of Guthega. The Australian ski season usually falls between June and September and so is the perfect way to sate one’s skiing appetite during the northern hemisphere’s annual snow shortage. Surprisingly, the Australian Alps gets more snowfall than Switzerland!
Anyone looking to travel to Australia must consider visiting the Alps of Australia, whether you’re a skiing-savant or whether you’re trying skiing for the first time, this is a great one for the bucket list.
For many, travel is a means of escape from the usual pace and scenery of one’s daily life. Sometimes, escaping to entirely novel and alien settings is just what the doctor ordered. When you travel to Australia, the Bungle Bungles Range will not fail to drop your jaw and provide that novel environment you're after.
Upon visiting the marvellous Bungle Bungles Range, you may be momentarily convinced that you have fallen through a portal and landed on an alien planet. Such an impression is forged by the towering beehive-like structures that cover the grassy land.
If you can, it is definitely worth taking a helicopter ride over this epic landscape to take in the stripy, geological phenomenon below.
Fun fact: The Bungle Bungles weren’t discovered by the outside world until 1983!
Mungo National Park is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, located in New South Wales. It is a World Heritage site oozing with aboriginal history.
To fully take in the barren and unique landscapes of this park, it is recommended you stay at least two nights to have ample time to complete the Walls of China tour, visit Lake Mungo and take in the park’s rich history.
Fun fact: The oldest human remains in the whole of Australia (dubbed, ‘the Mungo Man’) were discovered at Mungo Park.
Looking for a tranquil and luxurious getaway? Somewhere remote and impossibly beautiful to escape the usual fast pace of life? Wilson Island is the place for you. This adult-only private hideaway is located on the Great Barrier Reef and has the allure of an idyllic dream.
Surrounded by clear waters packed with marine life, this coral cay offers unrivalled scenery and a peaceful sense of seclusion (only 18 guests allowed at any one time!). This is the perfect place for a romantic retreat to enjoy a luxurious, castaway experience.
Calling all adrenaline junkies! There are few things more humbling and awe-inspiring than swimming with Great White Sharks. It is an experience that is positioned at the top of many bucket lists, and rightfully so. If you travel to Australia and find yourself on the South Coast, then be sure to hop on a tour from Port Lincoln and mosey on over to the Neptune Islands.
The Neptune Islands are home to the largest colony of Fur Seals, making it the ideal hunting ground for Great White Sharks that can be sighted all year round. Take a cage dive with these humbling aquatic specimens and have your breath taken away.
On your travels to these majestic islands, be sure to keep an eye out for an impressive host of animal species, including the fabled Albatross and the elusive Australian sea lion.
To travel to Australia from the UK, you are faced with three choices: digging a really deep hole, sailing a boat, or flying in a plane. Burrowing through a hole in the ground would be an arduous and inefficient choice. A boat would be faster than a hole but still quite slow. Unsurprisingly, a plane is the best way to get to Australia.
You have two options when flying to Australia:
Option two is appealing on a number of levels if you have the time to spare: you can explore a brand-new bonus city and you also split the long journey in two! Stopovers such as Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore are all attractive possibilities!
Airlines such as Qantas, British Airways and Singapore Airlines all offer regular flights to Australia.
Okay, so you’ve braved the flight and you have made it to the land down under: what now? Again, the best way to navigate the vast continent is by utilising internal flights. This is efficient and will give you the most time to enjoy whatever road trip you have planned! Domestic flights are provided by airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Australia.
The current exchange rate means that you can expect to receive 1.76 Australian dollars for every UK pound sterling. To put this into perspective, the average pint in Australia costs about $8 and the average loaf of bread costs $2 to $3.
Australia’s seasons are opposite to the UK, with temperatures soaring well into the 30s (degrees Celsius) in January and far milder weather in July. One might argue that travelling to Australia is best during Spring and Autumn as you get the best of both worlds: it’s either cooling down from the highs of summer or warming up from the chillier winter.