My Aussie Bucket List

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So I’ve been calling Sydney “home” for a month now. While I still don’t feel totally settled, there are little things I’ve experienced that make me feel a bit less like a tourist. Things like remembering which bus will deposit me closest to the apartment as opposed to by the beach where I have to walk a bit further to get home. (Granted, that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Or the owner of the coffee shop across the street who I now know by name and that I stop to chat with every now and then. Oh, and that one time I said I was “keen” to try something and I didn’t even realise it. Still working on the rest of the slang though. Up next, “heaps keen”, “I reckon”, and, “I’ll have a choccy biccy for breakky in the morno………. mate”.

As much as I’ve loved traipsing about Sydney pretending to be a local, I’ve also been daydreaming of trips across the rest of the country. So I’ve decided to make a travel bucket list and fill it with all the things I hope to do while I’m living on this side of the world. Now without further ado, I present to you my Aussie Bucket List, sorted by State/Territory:

New South Wales

On the southeast coast of Australia is NSW. Home to Sydney, world-famous tourist attractions like the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach, and the majority of Australia’s population.

Queensland

North of NSW is Queensland, where you can find the Great Barrier Reef, heaps of beautiful sandy beaches, and what is supposedly the most deadly, venomous creature in the world — the Irukanndji jellyfish. Yikes.

  • daydream on Daydream Island in the Whitsundays
  • snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef (may be beneficial to learn to scuba dive first… also to avoid jellyfish)
  • watch a rugby match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
  • go whale watching in Hervey Bay
  • visit Cairns to take a tour of the 110 million year old Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge

South Australia

The wine capital of Australia! I’m told SA produces roughly half of the country’s vino. I think you all know what I’ll be doing here. Also:

  • Visit Kangaroo Island to see the… seals (duh)
  • I’ve been told SA is the only state that wasn’t colonized by convicts so their Aussie accents aren’t as pronounced here. Must verify!
  • Yes, I just want to reiterate that I will indeed drink all the wine

Tasmania

Also known as “Tassie”. Like much of Australia, there are plenty of parks to be found here. Over a third of the state is contained within a National Park (of which there are eighteen) and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

  • catch a glimpse of the Aurora Australis (aka the Southern Lights)
  • go to the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart
  • take an eco tour around Bruny Island and try to find fur seals and fairy penguins
  • visit (and escape from) the historic prison site in Port Arthur
  • go tobogganing in the Henty Sand Dunes in the West Coast
  • hike up to Wineglass Bay Lookout in Freycinet

Victoria

Vic is the smallest and most densely populated state in Australia. It’s capital Melbourne is often compared with and contrasted against Sydney in NSW. I don’t know why, but Aussies love to argue about this almost as much as they like to poke fun at Kiwis (and I don’t mean the bird).

  • drink all the coffee in Melbourne
  • watch the nighttime “penguin parade” at Phillip Island
  • road trip along the Great Ocean Road
  • check out the Twelve Apostles while on said road trip
  • hike to the Pinnacles in the Grampians National Park
  • walk barefoot in the sand at Squeaky Beach
  • ski in the “Australian Alps”

Western Australia

WA is Australia’s biggest state — about as big as the size of western Europe. Though much of it is Outback terrain, there is a sliver of civilization along the coast.

  • try sand boarding in the sand dunes in Lancelin
  • swim with the sea lions in Jurien Bay
  • visit Eighty-Mile beach (supposedly one of the best beaches in Australia)
  • check out the pink lake near Port Gregory
  • ride a jet boat through the Horizontal Falls
  • rent a bike and ride around Rottsnest Island

Northern Territory

Like WA, the “Top End” of Australia is massive. The majority of it consists of Outback desert, National Parks and the Aboriginal territory Arnhem, which requires a special permit for visitors that wish to enter. Fun fact: This is where the didgeridoo originates from.

  • visit the waterfall pools in Litchfield National Park
  • take a wetlands cruise through Kakadu National Park to look for crocodiles
  • watch the sunrise (or maybe the sunset!) at Uluru and Kata Tjuta
  • attend the Camel Cup races in Alice Springs

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT is a tiny territory that encompasses the boundaries of  Canberra, the capital of Australia. The rest of the place is forestland and apparently not very exciting. There is however a Deep Space Communication Complex operated by NASA located in a locality just south of the city. Cool.

  • listen for signs of extraterrestrial life with NASA at the Deep Space Network

Other, non-region-specific goals

I know, I’m so very touristy. But, when in Rome… right?

  • visit all the states/territories
  • visit all the beaches in said states/territories
  • hug a koala
  • make Fairy Bread, consume it, and report back here
  • play ice hockey in this country at least once
  • throw a shrimp — sorry, “prawn” — on the barbie
  • celebrate a white Christmas on a white sandy beach
  • drive a car on the other side of the road

 

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And there you have it. I guess I could write more, but I think this is a decent list for the time being. Will I be able to do all the things on my list? Only time will tell.

Have you ever been to Australia? Did I miss anything that you think is a must-see? Anything else I should add to the bucket list? It’s a huge place but I want to see it all, so lemme know in the comments!

-C

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