Australia holds some of the most diverse landscapes and animals in the world, thanks to its enormous size. While it might mean you’ll have to limit your trip to one part of the country (and have to come back many times – not exactly a punishment!), you can rest assured every part of Australia is alive with fun experiences. To ignite your Australia wanderlust, I’ve teamed up with Flight Centre to bring you a list of 15 unique things to do in Australia!
The secret to winning the selfie game, is making your way down to Rottnest Island and grabbing a snap with a Quoakka. A quokka? Yep, one of those adorable fluffy marsupials that was born for the limelight, judging by its picture perfect smile. They’re also known as the worlds happiest animal, and they primarily live on Rottnest Island, an protected nature reserve island off the coast of Perth.
The Great Ocean Road ranks high on any list of best road trips in the world. The stretch of highway is 243 kilometers long and runs between the southeastern cities of Torquay and Allansford. One of the crowd pleasers along the route are the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore, making for some gorgeous travel photography.
Looking for a place to snowboard but can’t deal with so much snow?! Head to Lancelin, north of Perth, a destination popular for sandboarding on the sand dunes.
Is there anything more romantic than a field full of purple lavender? Head to Bridestowe Lavender Estate in Tasmania for your dreamy pictures in floating dresses and stock up on some lavender goodies.
Wether snorkeling with whale sharks or caged diving with great white sharks, it’s all possible in Australia – the country where every animal tries to kill you. Just don’t watch shark week before you go in.
Despite it facing it’s fair share of problems, the Great Barrier Reefs, is still one of the most well known coral reef in the entire world. The best way to experience all the life it houses is by diving. If you’re not into diving, you can also go snorkeling.
This orange sandstone rock in the heart of Northern Territory is a sacred sight for indigenous Australians. Tourists can also visit, and it’s highly recommended to watch the sunrise paint the rock in monolith in the brightest colors imaginable.
I’m a sucker for special hotels, so the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse makes my heart skip a beat. Look out over 240 acres of private wilderness from your bed.
The best way to view crocodiles is to go diving with them in the ‘Cage of Death’. Head to Darwin and lower yourself into a see-trough compartment that allows you to watch the crocodiles as they swim around.
Known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you can’t skip a visit to the white sands of Hyams beach. It looks so positively tropical, it’s hard to picture its actually in New South Wales, Australia!
The early bird doesn’t catch the worm, but it does catch a great view of sunrise at Byron Bay from a hot air balloon.. so really, which would you rather?
The most famous place to taste some of Australia’s finest wines is Barossa Valley. Don’t miss the Shiraz!
Ok, so don’t actually chase them. Have you ever seen a kangaroo fight? You’re not going to win, let me tell you that. But you can’t leave Australia without seeing some kangaroos. A great place to spot kangaroos is at…. kangaroo island. Surprise, right?
Have you even lived if a Koala hasn’t peed on you? Apparently the risk of that is fairly high if you pose for a picture with them. It’s actually illegal in most Australian states to hold a koala, so your only choices are Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, with Queensland being the most popular option.
Australia boasts 8,222 islands, so it’s a reasonable guess you won’t be able to see all of them in your lifetime (it would take you over 22 years to visit each island if you visited one Australian island per day). Lord Howe Island is a great option. A tiny island in the Tasmanian sea, it has sandy beaches with clear water and tropical forests. What more would you want?
Whether you’re in Abu Dhabi on a one-day stopover or you have a day to spare, there are loads of cool things you can see and do. Abu Dhabi has the cultural richness that seems to be disappearing from Dubai. People still follow the old ways here, in this history-rich capital city of the UAE. Visit Abu Dhabi and learn how well old traditions can co-exist with modern sensibilities.
Abu Dhabi Skyline
Culture in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s culture is a combination of international influences and Arabia’s Islamic traditions. Islam governs the way people live here, including what they wear, eat, and drink. There’s a great tolerance of other cultures, and visitors are always hospitably received. Here are a few cultural guidelines to follow while you’re in Abu Dhabi:– Avoid bare shoulders, bare backs and short skirts.– Alcohol is allowed, but only in private nightclubs and bars.– Drinking and driving is a punishable offence, even if you’ve had only a tiny sip.– Public displays of affection are not allowed.– Always check before you photograph important buildings.
The culture of Abu Dhabi’s residents–
Muslims have to pray five times a day, every time when the call to prayer goes up.– Abu Dhabi promotes cultural and sporting events, such as camel racing, falconry, and dhow sailing.– Men wear the kandura, a full-length robe in white along with a white or red checkered headdress, known as a ghutra.– Important businessmen and sheikhs wear gold-trimmed robes during important events.– Women wear long and loose black abayas and cover their heads with a headscarf called sheyla.
One Day in Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Abu Dhabi.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a spectacular concoction made of glittering white marble, with dozens of fabulous domes and minarets. There are a million sparkling gold-plated chandeliers as well, reflecting golden light around the mosque. Plus, you get to see the world’s largest carpet. Note that the dress code is strictly enforced here; women are expected to cover their heads and wear the black abaya. Men should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Author: Kyle Taylor, Source: Flickr
If you long for some nice panoramic views of Abu Dhabi, get to Etihad Towers, which are located across the street from the Emirates Palace Hotel. Be sure to enjoy “a lunch with a 360-degree view of Abu Dhabi and the Arabian Gulf” at Ray’s Grill, a restaurant on the 63rd floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
Just off of the Abu Dhabi Corniche and in front of the exquisite Emirates Palace is the magnificent Palace Marina. The marina gives access to deep waters, which is why the rich sheikhs berth their super-expensive 100-foot yachts here. Take a yellow boat ride along the Abu Dhabi coast and enjoy the coastline and the amazing yachts lined up in front of you.
Want a taste of pure luxury, Abu Dhabi style? Head out to the Emirates Palace Hotel and stroll the lobby and the public rooms. Get a look at the fancy super-expensive cars lined out in front – Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royce’s. The Emirates Palace even has an ATM plated with gold inside!
Emirates Palace Hotel
Ferrari World is just the thrill your heart desires, if you’re a Formula 1 fan. Get on the world’s fastest roller-coaster within the Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor amusement park. The park closes by 8 p.m., so get there early to enjoy looking at several Ferraris screaming down the F1 racing lanes.
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
Want to get a feel of what Abu Dhabi was like before the oil boom? Get to the Heritage Village and observe how the tents are laid out. Watch local craftspeople peddle their craft. Observe the old-style buildings, explore the old souqs and discover Islamic traditions afresh.
Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi
The Corniche is Abu Dhabi’s signature waterfront boardwalk. It’s fun to walk along, looking at the city’s amazing skyline and famous landmarks. You’ll pass the Emirates Palace, the Manarat Al Saadiyat (arts and culture hub) and several other notable architectural wonders.
Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi, Author: Guilhem Vellut, Source: Flickr
If you want to shop for carpets, perfumes, spices or gold, head out to the Iranian Souq. This is a traditional Arab-style market which offers amazing value for money. You can bargain here, but keep an eye out for cheats. The souq is a collection of stalls, hot and humid and filled with the smell of glorious spices.
Qasr Al-Hosn Palace and Fort was the very first structure built in Abu Dhabi and the home to emirate’s ruling Al Nahyan family in the 1760s. Made of coral and sea stone, the Qasr al Hosn was once a commanding watchtower. The shells used in the walls break the sunlight into a myriad of colors – it’s a lovely sight.
Don’t forget to sign up for a wonderful safari in Abu Dhabi’s red sands desert! If you time it well, you can visit the desert in the evening, towards sunset. Watching the desert sunset will be the highlight of your trip. Enjoy all the desert sports you can – dune bashing, dune driving, sand boarding, camel riding and more.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi, Author: Kyle Taylor, Source: Flickr
– If you plan properly, you can take in all of the listed sights in Abu Dhabi in just one day and get back to your hotel or to the airport by nightfall. Abu Dhabi has much more to reveal than we can fit into this article, so be sure to do your homework and research the places you want to visit. Make the best of your visit to Abu Dhabi.
by Hadley Mendelsohn
We are officially in the dog days of summer, which means that we are basically puddles on legs. And though we may find ourselves melting into subway seats already slippery with another commuter’s sweat, our minds are away at sea. Since we’d so rather channel our inner mermaids in enchantings bodies of water (though we’d settle for being human in any body of water, really), we made ourselves comfortable by an AC unit and took a deep dive to discover beautiful places with the clearest water in the world.
From Malta to the Maldives, consider this travel bucket list of beguiling waters a curated siren song—if the siren was of the friendly variety, calling you to a destination that lives up to its breathtaking facade. If you want to hop aboard our mental vacation, or you want to plan an actual vacation, keep scrolling for 10 places with mesmerizing crystal-clear water. Ready to float away? Breezier locales with aquatic delights ahead.
Okay, wow. We would do pretty much anything if it meant diving through the computer screen to land in these tranquil waters. Located between Madagascar and Kenya, this string of islands is a real-life paradise. And though we came for the water, we’d stay for those otherworldly rocks.
More Places to Water Gaze: Busuanga Island, Philippines
Deep, moody greens punctured by vivid turquoise hues, bright sunlight, and jagged white rocks—we can’t think of a more blissful spot to be. Though Malta boasts a relaxed island pace, there’s also so much to do and see. The three islands, from biggest to smallest are Malta, Gozo, and Comino (go here to swim in the blue lagoon).
More Places to Water Gaze: Oludeniz, Turkey
In Lombok, Indonesia, pristine white sand beaches line the coast of this breathtaking island. Prepare for the best snorkeling expedition of your life. Though there’s much to do here, like exploring volcanoes and ancient ruins, we imagine it’d be pretty hard to leave this strip of sprawling pristine white sand that looks out onto the crystal-clear Indian Ocean.
More Places to Water Gaze: Koh Sumai, Thailand
Though Pakleni Islands translates directly to “Hell’s Islands,” we have no idea why. Maybe they were going for irony. When you aren’t frolicking in the dreamy water, you can explore the wooded forests and sleepy lagoons or go hang out in the bustling town centers.
More Places to Water Gaze: Porquerolles, France
For lakes, lakes, lakes and more lakes, head for a camping trip in British Colombia, Canada. After a challenging hike, cool off in the fresh springs and then fall asleep under the stars in the crisp mountain air.
More Places to Water Gaze: Laghi di Fusine, Italy
Blue on blue on blue. If we told you to close your eyes and imagine the most picturesque honeymoon retreat, you’d probably think of those over-the-water huts and the underwater realm of dazzling coral reefs at Madiavaru, Finolhu in the Maldives.
More Places to Water Gaze: Sua Trench, Samoa
No matter what time of year you visit Lake Tahoe and how many times you go, the beauty of the crystal-clear lake, mountains, and fresh air is always astounding. Hit the slopes in the winter for powder skiing and partake in water sports during the summer. Or go hiking and rock climbing if you’re more of a land person.
More Places to Water Gaze: Blue Lake, New Zealand
Climb along the rocky terrain and find yourself a private little corner of Mallorca to swim in. Get off the beaten path for quieter beaches or head to the bustling parts of the island for more lively, exciting beach vibes. When you have turned into a prune, head inland to the cobblestone street canopied in bright botanicals.
More Places to Water Gaze: Algarve, Portugal
This small island (it’s 3.5 miles long and just 1.5 miles wide) is painted in pastel buildings and golf carts, whimsical pale pink sand beaches, and lovely shades of topaz in every direction. So if you have a thing for color, this is where you should vacation next.
More Places to Water Gaze: San Blas, Panama
The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete is a sight to see. With cascading white mountains and fine sand beaches all around, there’s nothing not to love. Oh, and it’s the birthplace of Zeus.
More Places to Water Gaze: Paphos, Cyprus