Avoid the Traveller Trail in Australia: 3 Experiences You Probably Haven’t Considered

Australia has long been one of the most popular destinations for world travellers and for good reason, it’s hard to argue the natural beauty of The Great Barrier Reef, Uluru or the magnificence of Sydney Harbour Bridge but they can get quite busy with tourists.

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Australia’s a huge country though and there are still plenty of hidden gems and great experiences away from the crowds if you know where to look”¦

© paul bica

Drive from Sydney to Melbourne

The drive from Sydney to Melbourne along the coast road is one of the most beautiful drives on the planet. The coastal route is roughly 1000km (approximately 640 miles) long and can be driven in roughly 13 hours without stops but it’s best to take several days and really make the most of it. Jervis Bay in NSW is renowned for its resident dolphins, whales and seals and should be the first place to stop for a visit. June and July is the best time to see the whales but there’s also a good chance of catching a glimpse in September to November.

Wilsons Promontory is the most southern point of mainland Australia and it’s famed for being an excellent place to hike, cycle and take in nature. The secluded bays in particular are stunning. Take a tent, hire a campervan, or rent a lodge and take in some of the most stunning national parks in Australia.

Snowboarding and Skiing

When people think of Australia they don’t necessarily think of winter sports but there are some excellent winter resorts in New South Wales and Victoria in particular. The resort of Perisher in NSW is actually the largest resort in the Southern Hemisphere while Thredbo (also NSW), Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Buller, all in Victoria, are excellent places to catch some snow.

Unlike resorts elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere such as New Zealand and South America, the snow coverage can sometimes be unpredictable but June — October is considered the main season. The larger resorts usually have snow cannons too to help keep the piste covered.

Swim with Sharks

The waters surrounding Australia are full of life from the microscopic to the gigantic including whales, dolphins and of course sharks. Bull sharks, Great Whites and Tiger sharks can all be seen in Australian waters and it’s possible to go swimming with these inside a cage. For now though we’re going to focus on the largest fish on the planet and the fact you can go swimming with them with no protective gear at all.

The Whale Shark might be enormous but it’s not dangerous to humans at all. You can get close to them with relative ease and it’s also possible to touch them. Most dive schools discourage this behaviour though, not because of any danger but simply to keep the boundaries between sharks and humans.

One of the best places to swim with whale sharks is the Ningaloo Reef in the Kakadu national park. Whale sharks often arrive in numbers during March and April to feed on the coral spawning when coral sperm and eggs are released into the water. There are plenty of local boat operators who will be able to take you out over the reef.

Of course, there’s a lot more to Australia than these three things we’ve listed but they should start your mind thinking of other great places you’d like to go.

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