Guides

20 Places That Need To Be On Your Aussie Bucket List In 2021

Whether you're at home or on the road, there's no excuse to miss AWOL ever again. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram.

Australia has a worldwide reputation for adventure and beauty for a reason. People travel from all over the world to experience everything our country has to offer, yet as locals, we so often take it for granted.

Not this year though. 2021 is all about learning to travel better, and finally getting around to checking off your Aussie to-do list, and what an epic list it truly is.

To help you sort through the endless things to see and do, we’re sharing the ultimate Australian bucket list. In no particular order, mind you, because it’s all awesome.

You might want to check out this annual leave hack to turn your 19 days off into 48 days of travel too, just to make the most out of it.

Road Trips

#1 Cross the Nullarbor

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MAEVA & JEREMY (@thedamnbackpack)

One of the biggest travel trends Australia will be taking into 2021 is the classic road trip. They’re the perfect way to explore new places you’d normally fly right over, even if you only have a weekend. The ultimate Aussie road trip, though, is a drive through the centre of Australia, across the Nullarbor.

#2 Chase the ‘Big Things’

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by (@emcbomb)

We can’t explain why, hell we may even scoff and roll our eyes a little, but we all love a ‘Big Thing’. From the absurdly useless, like Taree’s Big Oyster, to the extremely popular Big Pineapple in Woombye, they’re always a bloody good story and just a bit of fun. Not to mention they’re Aussie icons. Image the clout of seeing them all.

Victoria

#3 Stay in a tiny house

Picture this: you, away from all crowds, heck even away from all reception, in the middle of the stunning Grampians National Park, calling a totally off-the-grid tiny house your home for a weekend (or longer). The newest In2thewild tiny house opened last year, and the idea of leaving ~all this~ behind is more appealing than ever.

South Australia

#4 Flinder’s Ranges

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kassia Byrnes (@probably_kassia)

The raw and rugged beauty of Flinder’s Ranges is a must-see. The dramatically red earth, the way rocky mountains glow during sunset, the kangaroos and the emus running wild will all hold this visit in a special place in your heart. You’ll want about a week to really explore the national park hikes.

#5 Make your own wine

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by d’Arenberg (@darenbergwine)

There are plenty of options when it comes to Australian wine regions, and you can’t go wrong with a trip to any of them. However, you can take your vineyard tour up a notch with a visit to the famous D’Arenberg Cube to make your very own wine blend, with the help of a professional, of course.

#6 Sleep underground

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Coober Pedy (@cooberpedysa)

We all had to learn about learn about Coober Pedy, the unique town that is (for the most part) built underground, and it’s always been somewhere I’ve been wanting to see for myself, and yet I’ve never managed it. Time to change that. I mean, where else in the world can you sleep 25 metres below the earth in total comfort?

New South Wales

#7 Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island has been making waves of late, not just in Australia but around the world. It’s honestly shocking it’s managed to remain a relative secret so long, because this protected island paradise off the shores of New South Wales has everything from beaches, coral reef lagoons and hiking trails to luxury retreats and yoga camps.

#8 Perry Sandhills

If you’ve never heard of this southern NSW spot, you wouldn’t be the only one. Just outside of Wentworth near the South Australian border, these stunning sand dunes were formed by wind erosions over tens of thousands of years — ever since an ice age happened 40,000 years ago.

#9 Quad bike around sand dunes

Whether you’re a certified rev-head or not, quad biking around the dramatic peaks and valleys of Stockton Bight Sand Dunes in Port Stephens is one of the most unexpectedly amazing things you can put on your bucket list this year. These are the largest moving dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, and they’re unlike anything I’d seen before.

Queensland

#10 Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef

You might have visited the Great Barrier Reef before (if not, seriously, where have you been?), but the best way to really experience this natural world wonder is by making it a sleepover. Don’t worry, you won’t be floating adrift on the ocean. You can check out several options over here.

#11 Laura Dance Festival

Indigenous Australia is the oldest culture in the world, which is quite incredible. There are several events around the country that celebrate this heritage, but none is spoken about with more awe than the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, which happens north of Cairns every two years. Tickets are on sale now for this years’ event.

#12 Have a cave disco

Yes, I said disco. For just four weeks a year — between December 12 and January 9 — the Capricorn Caves in Queensland are hit by the Summer Solstice. You can take a tour down to Belfry Cave, which is lit up by the sun’s alignment along the tropic of Capricorn. Add a disco ball and some flares and you have a unique cave party.

#13 Take a dip in a natural infinity pool

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Australia (@australia)

Oh sure, you could pay a million bucks for a man-made infinity pool with a view, or you could turn to the wilderness and find a natural one for free. The pictures from the top of Zoe Falls on Hinchinbrook Island say it all with their sweeping views of untouched beaches and dense rainforest.

#14 Drive through the Daintree

You will never feel closer to the dinosaurs than heading north of Cairns and crossing the Daintree
River by ferry to cross over into the ancient rainforest. Stretching over about 1,200 square kilometres, the Daintree is about 180 million years old — tens of millions of years older than the Amazon Rainforest.

Tasmania

#15 Overland Track

Tasmania is all about beautiful landscapes and top notch food. What better way to explore them both than by an adventure hiking along the six-day Overland Track, then rewarding yourself with a huge feast when you’re done. The trail loops around Cradle Mountain and more, and you can always join an organised group if you don’t have a friend to go with.

#16 Mona Foma

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mona Foma 🐒 (@monafoma)

Australia has no shortage of arts festivals, but the two most iconic ones are held by Tassie’s Museum Of Old And New Art. Mona Foma has been confirmed for 2021, with a range of free and paid for installations across Launceston and Hobart over two weekends.

Western Australia

#17 Take a quokka selfie

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

I don’t care if everybody’s doing it, or has already done it. Quokkas are ridiculously adorable and your bucket list isn’t complete without a famous selfie. Not to mention, Rottnest Island, where they reside, is a natural paradise. The beaches are pristine and there are seals to spot as well.

#18 Dive with whale sharks

Australia’s “other” reef is over in Western Australia, and it’s home to a huge population of whale sharks. There are a range of tour operators who can take you diving with these gentle giants in Ningaloo Reef, for the experience of a lifetime. There’s plenty to do around the area once you’re back out of the water, too.

#19 Go star-gazing

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Perth Observatory (@perthobservatory)

Perth Observatory has been working for over 120 years now. It’s also worked with NASA and been involved in several important astronomical discoveries (like helping to discover Uranus’ ring system, which I know is hilarious, but it’s also true). Pop in for night sky tour.

Northern Territory

#20 Uluru

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Explore Uluru (@exploreuluru)

Obviously we couldn’t leave this one off the list. Named in Lonely Planet‘s top 3 ‘Best Places To See In The World‘, the power and beauty of Uluru never goes out of style. Every Australian needs to visit at least once, whether you only have 48-hours, or can spend a bit longer exploring Central Australia.

(Lead Image: Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia)