However, if you’re looking for more unusual things to do in Australia, take a look at this handy list. They’re all travel-tested, by me, and they’ll all add an extra slice of depth and adventure to a trip Down Under.
So, without further ado, here are 7 unusual things to do while you’re in Australia.
“On the arid cliffs at Nourlangie and Ubirr, swirls and brush strokes create two-dimensional figures in globular white and flat ochre that splash upwards along the curves of the rock.
The heat presses down and I’m almost out of water. From high on a rocky outcrop I watch the blue-tinged treetops camouflage the wildlife underneath. 10 000 species of insects. 2000 plants. 290 birds. 68 mammals. And more than 120 reptiles. Of which there is only one that holds the record. The record for size. The record for aggression. And the record for living here unchanged for nearly 200 million years.
“Mindil, a sandy beach on the edge of Darwin, hosts the Beer Can Regatta each year and has done since 1974. What began as a good time for the lads with beer, cans, and wet T-shirt competitions has matured into an all-out family affair. Today you’ll find sandcastle contests, soul singers, hand-made butterflies and scented soap for sale.
Plus thong-throwing competitions, but more about those later.
Primarily, of course, you’ll find boats. And they’re essentially made from beer cans.“
“Back in the Razorhurst of the 20s and 30s, sly grog progressed to cocaine as an industrial pursuit and in the absence of firearms, razors became the tool of choice for gangsters who needed to go about their daily killing business.
Roll through the years and another piece of legal gymnastics is putting the Darling back into Darlinghurst. Apparently, licensing laws have changed again, making it easier for small bars to compete with the larger chains that until now have characterised the Sydney bar scene.
And so the circle is complete. On the streets where hidden bars and fake laundries used to sell liquor, hidden bars and fake laundries once again sell liquor. The only difference is that this time it’s legal and the razors have gone.
“I am alone. Beautifully, soft-earth-thumpingly alone. The skies are clear but the path still springs with the rainfall of the last few days. The fur coats of the koalas still glisten, flecked with rhinestone diamonds, and the kangaroos’ ears still sparkle over the soaked and ragged edges of the fields and fields of grass.
The road, the Great Ocean Road, may swoop around the coastline like a luxury car ad run wild, but as impressive as it is, there are still some places it doesn’t reach.
For that, there’s the Great Ocean Walk, a 100km or so path that takes around a week to complete. Because of time constraints, I’m just clomping through a taster. And because I’m here as a travel writer, I’m doing it alone.“
“Melbourne likes to describe itself as the most European of Australian cities, but I’ve never been too sure just what that was supposed to mean.
And then it struck me. The cafes. The coffee. The beautiful boutique shops and bars, narrow streets, arcades of patterned glass and stacks of pastel-pink sugar-dusted French macarons. That’s where the connection was (although perhaps French or Italian might have been a more appropriate word. I didn’t see too much of weak watered tea, currywurst or heart-chiselled shutters about the place.)
Still, some of the cafes and shops in Melbourne are a treat to behold – and I was lucky enough to have Danae from Hidden Secret Tours to help me find them.“
“The first word speaks of mystery, magic and a heart fluttering chemistry. Termites, meanwhile, tell tales of corrosion, erosion and an itchy sense of unease at the sound of scuttling in the night. And then there’s “mound,” which barely bothers to register as a word in its own right at all.
Magnetic termite mounds. This unlikely trio of words bounced around my head on the drive to Litchfield Park, Northern Territory.”
“I went surfing on Bondi with Let’s Go Surfing. Let’s Go showed me a different technique to before, involving the downward dog yoga pose (arms straight, legs straight, bum in the air) to create the space to bring that first foot forwards. They also reminded me to pick a spot on the horizon and fix on it, which is easy to do on Bondi as there are so many shops, restaurants and kangaroos. Well, the first two at least.“