12 January 2012

Iconic Aussie things to do to celebrate Australia

Soak up Sydney’s gorgeous coastline with the Bondi to Bronte walk.
An easy to manage path is suitable for people of all fitness levels and offers some of the best views in the city. Stop at the lookouts to spot dolphins, whales, kayakers, surfers or just gaze upon the gorgeous Bondi Beach. Then wonder into Bondi’s cafĂ© district to dine with the trendy locals or browse a few boutiques. Bronte Beach offers a large grassed picnic area for BBQs and salt water swimming baths for a cool dip.

Take a drive along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
Walk down into the famous surfing spot - Bells Beach or count the number of the 12 Apostles are still standing. Visit Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village at Warrnambool to learn about Australia’s most infamous shipwreck coast, claiming over 180 ships in its maritime history. The coastline is famous for its surf culture and this could not be more apparent by the number of surf shops in Torquay, the birthplace of iconic brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver.

Never smile at a crocodile.
With an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 adult Saltwater Crocodiles in the Northern parts of Australia, from Broome in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory coastline and down to Rockhampton in Queensland, the safest place to get up close with these big guys is at a crocodile farm or crocodile park. Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin offers the experience to get in the water with a chomper.. while safely inside a glass cage of course. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, located 40 min north of Cairns is a tourist attraction and commercial crocodile farm. Enjoy a boat trip on the lagoon to watch the crocs lift half their body out of the water to claim the dangling chicken or fish on offer. The sound created from their powerful jaws crashing together is something you will never forget.

Sample a local drop.
Barossa Valley in South Australia offers the chance to sample world famous Shiraz in historic cellar doors and local produce at Maggie Beers farm shop. The Margaret River region in West Australia offers an array of vineyards and dramatic surf beaches. Yarra Valley offers more than 120 wineries and premier restaurants just 1 hour from Melbourne. Tamar Valley in Northern Tasmania has cool climate wineries with growing reputations and Hunter Valley in New South Wales is steeped with historical architecture and serene countryside.

Jacob's Creek Vineyard
Visit Hobart’s old and new attractions.
Constitution Dock and Salamanca Place is the finishing point for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Steeped in history, visit local boutiques, craft shops and cafes during the week and the Salamanca markets on a Saturday. For those who enjoy edgy art, take a short 30 minute ferry ride to Hobart’s newest attraction – MONA. Privately owned, the Museum of Old and New Art also has a winery and micro brewery on site.


Take a dip in a Gold Coast beach.
There is a beach to suit everyone – families can relax in the shallow, sheltered waters of Currumbin Creek, surfers can take on the world famous waves of Snapper Rocks near Coolangatta and the sun worshippers can settle upon glitzy Surfers Paradise Beach.

Tweed Heads and Coolangatta
Hear the crowds at the MCG on game day.
Cricket may be in the name ‘Melbourne Cricket Ground’, but it is the other sport played here that is uniquely Australian. Aussie Rules is a fast paced contact sport with 18 players a side, played on an oval ground. The sport is played all over the country, but its spiritual home remains at the MCG. Join the enthusiastic crowds and see patrons from 10 to 70 years of age passionately cheering for their team. Don’t forget to keep out the Melbourne winter chill with a scarf bearing your favourite team’s colours – which you can swing round your head (Kevin Sheedy style) when your team wins.

Melbourne Cricket Ground
See The Big Things.
Starting in the 1960’s Australia’s big things were developed to offer road trippers a place to stop along their journey. From The Big Merino at Goulburn, The Big Crocodile in Normanton and The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour they often are built to represent Australia’s native wildlife and local produce industries. You can climb The Big Pineapple at the Sunshine Coast, pat The Big Koala at Dadswell Bridge in Victoria or pull an air guitar pose at The Big Golden Guitar in the country music town of Tamworth. For the ultimate Big Things, stay at the crocodile shaped hotel of Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn in the Northern Territory, or enjoy sophisticated luxury at the stingray shaped Saffire Freycinet in Coles Bay, East Tasmania.

Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn
Enjoy a day at the races.
Aussies love a punt, which is why the Melbourne Cup is known as ‘the race that stops a nation’. It is a right of passage for young Aussies dress up in their finest and enjoy a day at the races when they come of age. Whether you take in the urban, sophisticated Melbourne Cup, Sydney’s Easter Carnival or a country race day - we live in a lucky country where many of us receive a day off each year to attend our local horse races.

Have a beer in a traditional Aussie pub.
The type your grandad used to visit - beer stained carpet, wooden stools and free nuts at the bar. For real authentic experience visit a country pub where the men where akubras hats and utes claim the car park. The evening isn’t complete until you’ve enjoyed an icy cold local brew on tap with a hearty country meal of ‘meat and 3 veg’ (vegetables). To experience real country hospitality stay overnight at one of the oldest and most famous outback pubs, Prairie Hotel, situated in the Flinders Ranges region of South Australia.

Prairie Hotel
Snorkel on our magnificent reefs.
Tropical North Queensland is not the only place with great snorkelling in Australia. The Whitsundays offer easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and Heron Island Island (off Gladstone) and Lady Elliot Island (off Bundaberg) are coral cays – meaning there is the opportunity to snorkel amongst the coral and fish right off the beach. For uncrowded, pristine beaches with great visibility consider Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef (between Exmouth and Coral Bay). Here you can discover untouched coral and an arrange of water life within swimming distance from the beach.


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