Australia’s Top Ten Experiences

Everyone knows Australia is a big country; we’ve all seen the maps of Europe and the United States super-imposed over the map of our vast continent. That’s why creating a true list the best experiences Down Under is a hard task. Many have tried, few have succeeded… until now.

TripAdvisor recently released the results of its Seasonal Experience Trend Index, which shows the most popular attractions based on year-on-year booking activity on the site, and a handy by-product of this list is a definitive list of the top 10 experiences in Australia.

While I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all of the points (I’m looking at you, Melbourne Tram Car at number seven), TripAdvisor do have stats (and receipts) to back them up.

Without keeping you in suspense, here’s a breakdown of the best Australia has to offer.

1. Kakadu, Nourlangie and Yellow Waters Tour from Darwin – Northern Territory
Take in the magnificence of Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this tour where you’ll stop by Nourlangie Rock for well-preserved examples of ancient Aboriginal rock art and hop aboard a cruise along the Yellow Water billabong to explore its wetlands and mangroves. Keep an eye out for the saltwater crocs that can be seen along the banks!

2. Katherine Day Tour from Darwin including Katherine Gorge Cruise – Northern Territory
Drive up to the sandstone wonder of Nitmiluk National Park and start your tour of the Katherine Gorge with a picnic by the Edith Falls, followed by a 2-hour scenic river cruise where you will learn about the region’s geology and Aboriginal history. The tour concludes with an afternoon touring Katherine and Pine Creek, a historic gold mining town.

3. Uluru Camel Express, Sunrise, or Sunset Tours – Northern Territory
Explore Uluru and Kata Tjuta like an outback pioneer with this camel riding tour and learn about the local wildlife and ecology as you make your way through some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure, a sunrise tour, or a sunset excursion.

4. Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne – Victoria
From visiting koalas, kangaroos and wallabies at a conservation park to witnessing fairy penguins at a local beach, this tour also offers insights into the conservation efforts of Australian wildlife. In addition, the tour makes a stop at the iconic Brighton Beach for a visit to the colourful bathing boxes.

5. Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkelling Cruise from Cairns – Queensland
Travellers can marvel at the diverse marine life through world-class diving and snorkelling at the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef with this tour. The five-hour tour also includes a buffet lunch and options for certified dives or a 10-minute scenic helicopter flight.

6. Full-Day Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Sunset Tour from Melbourne – Victoria
Embark on one of Australia’s most beautiful drives and this tour starts with panoramic views of beaches, rugged cliffs and picturesque towns. Pause at the Split Point Lighthouse and Kennett River for lunch and some koala bear spotting. The tour continues past the Otway Ranges and the Loch Ard Gorge, before the grand finale of watching the sun set over the Twelve Apostles.

7. Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne – Victoria
Indulge in a dining experience like no other with a gastronomy tour on-board a colonial tramcar restaurant in Australia’s top food city. Travellers get to hop aboard a vintage 1948 tramcar and dine on gourmet cuisine as they ride through Melbourne’s scenic southern neighbourhoods.

8. Small-Group Litchfield National Park day trip from Darwin – Northern Territory
Explore the natural attractions of Litchfield National Park, home to several magnificent waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools. As part of this tour, visitors get to swim under the falls, relax in the natural pools of Buley Rockhole, see six-metre high termite mounds and learn more about Australian wildlife.

9. Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne –Victoria
No trip to Melbourne is complete without a road trip down the Great Ocean Road. Travellers get to visit some of Australia’s most renowned natural scenery, including Apollo Bay and Great Otway National Park, without the hassle of renting a car on this guided tour.

10.  All-inclusive Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney – New South Wales
Leave Sydney behind for the dramatic scenery of the Blue Mountains in this all-inclusive tour. Key highlights include stops at the award-winning Featherdale Wildlife Park, a spectacular clifftop viewpoint for views of the Jamison Valley and entry to Scenic World’s glass-bottomed Skyway cableway for 360-degree views of the Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters.

What do you think of the list? Are there any you’d change?

Written by
Chris Ashton

We're Chris Ashton and Simon Ceglinski, two Aussie travellers with a love of exploration and adventure, and the odd bit of luxury thrown in. We seek out street art, street food, and scuba diving wherever we go, and prefer the road less travelled over well-worn tourist paths.

View all articles
Written by Chris Ashton