When I first started traveling, I did it to experience difference. Create memories of a lifetime I could never experience in my hometown. This is something that the land down under offers in spades. Let’s just say Australia has a lot of things that are worth going halfway around the world to see. In this article, we are going to take a look at just a few of the truly unusual yet incredible experiences you can have only in Australia, and nowhere else, including things you might never think you could do there.
1. Visit the Largest Fish Market in the World
If you like your seafood, then you absolutely have to think about visiting Sydney’s Fish Market, the largest of its kind in the world. No matter what kind of seafood you are keen on buying, you can be sure of finding it there, and yet you will also be pleased by the amazingly low prices. Be warned, however: this is likely to always be an incredibly busy place to walk around, so make sure you are prepared when you do so and that you follow the basic rules of thumb for a visiting tourist to any busy place. Do that, and you can have a great time sampling some of the world’s finest seafood, all under one roof by the beautiful Sydney harbor.
2. Visit the Largest Island Entirely Made of Sand
There’s no place on Earth that’s better for sleeping under the stars than the beautiful Fraser Island. This stunning island offers plenty in the way of camping, ranging from the luxurious Rainbow Beach camping to something more rough and ready. Whether you decide to go off the beaten track or follow the ones created by nature, Fraser Island is an example of East Coast Australia at its best. Finally, the best part about an island entirely made of sand is that no day is the same and every next visit will be different.
4. Visit Kangaroo Island
Located just off the coast of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is the perfect place to see kangaroos in their natural habitat. Australia’s third-largest island is known as the country’s largest nature playground. This pristine wilderness offers protection to an array of native Australian animals. However, rare animals aren’t the only extraordinary thing you’ll see here. Kangaroo Island also has wetlands, dense bushland, soaring cliffs, towering sand dunes, and an endless stretch of bone-white beaches. It’s here that you’ll learn that the further you float away from the mainland, the less every-day problems seem to matter.
5. Dive in the Great Barrier Reef
Words do little justice to one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Visible even from the Moon, the Great Barrier Reef is one of those places in Australia you simply can’t leave the country without seeing, especially considering that it won’t last much longer according to most experts. Take a dive in the Big Blue and explore some of the 1,500 species of fish and 400 types of coral.
Are you planning to see Australia and want to see as much as possible? Check out the Big Walkabout that takes you from coast to coast without breaking the bank.
6. Drive the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most iconic scenic drives. It’s actually something more than that. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Feast on 243 km of spectacular views of the 12 Apostles towering over pristine rainforests filled with misty waterfalls and spectacular wildlife. And if you’re more adventurous, go for the Great Ocean World, an eight-day walk from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles.
If you want to do this, you’ll obviously need to rent a car. Use this special offer to save 15% on all car rentals in Australia.
Liking this article? Check out my post about traveling Australia on a budget.
7. Sail the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays is a collection of 74 pristine bays between the Queensland Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. Most of these islands are uninhabited and characterized by dense forests, hiking trails, and sandy beaches. Take a trip to some of these untouched islands and you’ll surely come back with a camera full of unforgettable views and memories of a lifetime.
8. Watch the Sunset over Uluru
This red-stone rock is the second-largest monolith rock in the world and certainly one of the oldest ones too. Uluru is more than 500 million years old! It’s always a great experience to see this wonder of nature but watching its colors change on it as the sun sets is unforgettable. If this is not impressive enough, this rock also has huge historic importance. It is considered to be a sacred site of the Aboriginals and Aboriginal paintings and engravings surround Uluru.
9. See the World’s Oldest Identifiable Fossils
Dating back to over three and a half million years ago the Stromatolites are the world’s oldest identifiable fossils. They can only be found in hypersaline lakes and marine lagoons with extremely high saline levels prevent animal grazing. The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve in Western Australia happens to be one of the only three places on Earth to satisfy this condition.
10. Cage Dive with Great White Sharks
If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, it can’t get more thrilling than swimming with one of the world’s most dangerous predators. Cage diving with great white sharks is an epic adventure you can only experience at Port Lincoln in the south of Australia. The experience includes a full day out in the sea while the only thing separating you from that set of sharp jaws is the thick metal cage. It’s worth noting that this activity has a 100% non-fatality rate.
11. Visit Arnhem Land
When we talk about experiences you can have only in Australia, it really can’t get more authentic than this. Arnhem Land is the land of the oldest living culture in the world dating back to 50,000+ years. Even today, a small population of Aboriginal Australians continues to live off the land in these remote 90,000 square kilometers of Tropical wilderness. Unfortunately (or not) the access to Arnhem Land is restricted and only a handful of tour operators are allowed to bring visitors.
12. Experience the Aurora Australis
Not as nearly popular as their northern counterparts, the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis are just as elusive and even more impressive. Many people don’t know but Australia also gets a glimpse of this divine natural phenomenon once in a while. You can see the Southern Lights dancing across the sky in Tasmania around September and there are a lot of apps out there that can help you track them. If you’re traveling in Australia during this time, the Aurora Australis is something you definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
13. Visit an Isolated Underground Town
Coober Pedy is a mining town that was built around 100 years ago when a gemstone was discovered in the middle of nowhere. The small town is hundreds of miles away from civilization and the only way to survive for its 2,000 residents is to go underground. This definitely makes Coober Pedy one of the most isolated cities in the world.
14. See the Only Evidence of a Dinosaur Stampede
Something really scary must have happened to cause more than 3,000 dinosaurs to create a stampede. The only evidence of this unprecedented phenomenon is to be found at the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Tracks located around 90 miles southwest of Winton.
Helpful resources for traveling to Australia
Looking for a cheap flight? Use this Qatar Airways’ special offer and get 10% off on all bookings.
Need a cheap stay? Use this Booking discount code and save 15% off on all accommodation bookings. And if you need something more luxurious but yet budget-friendly, use this link to get the best Choice Hotels deals in Australia.
To save money on buses, ferries, vans, and trains in Australia, get 5% off when booking with 12goasia and for more info check out our review here.
If renting a car, use this AutoEurope coupon and save 15% on all car rentals in Australia.
Also, don’t forget to get travel insurance. From my experience, the best choice when it comes to traveling to Australia is World Nomads.
Finally, don’t forget to check the visa requirements. If you need to obtain an entry visa, you can apply for and get an Australian visa hassle-free and in no time with Ivisa.
If you liked this article, also check my post about things you can only do in Spain. And if you’re looking for some more unique experiences in Australia, check out this list of tours that allow you to experience more of the Land Down Under on a budget.
Have you ever been to Australia? Did you experience some of the things? Do you have some more ideas of things you can do only in Australia? Let me know in the comments!
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Wednesday 26th of October 2022
awesome site indeed.
Monday 21st of November 2022
Friday 10th of May 2019
I so agree that all these experiences cannot be achieved anywhere else but Australia. Would love to witness the Aurora Auralis someday. Also, watching the sunset over Uluru, visiting the greatest island of sand, and the land of fossils - all are in my list when I visit Australia. Thanks for the share.
Sunday 12th of May 2019
Indeed, Shreya! I hope you make it to Australia soon and experience some of these things in person :)
Sunday 16th of September 2018
I'm dying to visit Australia and you're post makes me want to go as soon as possible! Thank you for sharing these suggestions.
Sunday 16th of September 2018
I'm glad to hear that! Thank you for commenting
Saturday 15th of September 2018
Wow I found this post really interesting! Some of the things here you mentioned I have never even heard before and your photo's are amazing. I would love to drive the Great Ocean Road, I love photography too so I can just imagine the incredible photo's you can take. Never been to Aus but would love to.
Saturday 15th of September 2018
Thank you for your kind words, Lisa, I really appreciate it :)
Friday 14th of September 2018
OMG I didn't know a lot of things. I am completely amazed. I am hooked to this list of things in Australia. The Fraser Island and the Uluru are on my list for many years. The underground town is so fascinating. Thank you for sharing it. I am saving it for my visit. Excellent post.
Saturday 15th of September 2018
Thank you for your comment, Parnashree. I'm glad you could learn some new things and get some cool suggestions for your trip :)