Our Top Tips for your Second Visit to Oz!
It’s time to think about packing your bags again and get excited for your second trip to Australia!
Most first-time visits to this incredible country are usually focused on seeing the most famous landmarks and experiencing some of the most desirable locations in this country, and indeed the world.
But as a second time visitor, your approach can, and should, be very different. If you already have a taste of what Australia offers visitors and are planning your second trip, why not focus on a more custom Australian holiday that helps you get to know this vast land far more intimately.
Perhaps use a relaxed coastal itinerary on the Pacific Coast, create an adventure holiday like the Kimberley Crossing or experience a full immersion into Australia’s nature and wildlife. From the Great Barrier Reef to the real Outback, Australia is home to some of the most incredible places, all ready and waiting for you to explore.
Australian Nature and Wildlife
Whether you would like to cruise the coastlines, dive into the oceans or walk around in the bush, there are endless opportunities to meet animals in their natural habitats in Australia.
- Meet the quokkas, a small marsupial about the size of a cat and probably one of the cutest animals in the world. For your encounter, head to Rottnest Island, only an hour and 30 minute ferry ride from Perth, and meet these mainly nocturnal animals for cuteness-overload and enviable selfies.
- Cuddle a koala at Queensland’s Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. A visit to this Gold Coast park takes you through the hospital that treats locally injured koalas and allows for a little cuddle too.
- Meet bottlenose dolphins at a popular feeding ground near Moreton Island near Brisbane. The dolphins will take fish from your hands whilst you stand in knee-deep, clear and beautiful water.
- Try a devil tracker tour in north-west Tasmania and learn how to track the very cute Tasmanian devil. Choose to drive around Tasmania and see if you can spot these small animals that feed on roadkill. Select a guided tour that suits you and maybe even experience a dinner with the devils.
- Encounter enormous whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s west coast. Snorkeling and diving trips are organized from April to July where these usually solitary animals are found in very large numbers.
Scenic Wonders and Landscapes
The diversity of landscapes in Australia is breathtaking. Choose between the north-east rainforests, the multiple mountain ranges, the central red deserts or the endless beaches of the various coastlines. These landscapes are all aspects of Australia that you can discover through custom-made itineraries.
- Take a scenic tour of the Blue Mountains, located only two hours by train from Sydney. Enjoy a fantastic day that offers circuits and paths that will take you through the mountains using the Skyway, Cableway and Walkway. Be sure to include a trip either up or down on the railway, or more accurately, the steepest passenger railway track in the world!
- Ride the Puffing Billy train which was built in 1900 and meanders through the eucalyptus forest of the Dandenong Ranges from Belgrave to Gembrook. The whole ride can take up to five hours with several train stations along the way, so visitors can decide where to start and stop. Don’t hesitate to get off the train and go for an explore in one of the towns such as Lakeside.
- For early risers, the camel rides around Uluru really are a must-do. The sunrise ride around the rock starts an hour before the sun comes up and lasts for about two hours with breakfast included. Your guides talk in detail about Uluru’s history as well as the camels themselves, the most famous of which has shared the screen with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in the movie “Australia”. For non-early risers, choose the sunset tour instead which includes a snack and drinks at this magical hour.
- What better way could there be to sight-see than from a hot air balloon? Balloon rides over the Australian Outback are even more impressive when you take a sunrise tour. Starting at Alice Springs, enjoy a two hour ride over the desert and the McDonnell Ranges. Pick a tour which includes breakfast and unlimited champagne. Yes, champagne for breakfast!
- A scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef is also a real once in a lifetime experience. Start at Airlie Beach, on Australia’s mainland, and enjoy flying out over the stunning Whitsunday islands and coral formations that are all so perfectly visible with crystal clear water. Some tours also include a pass over Heart Reef, famous worldwide for its distinctive heart shape. One-hour flights start from around 220 AUD per person, a reasonable price when you consider the amazing experience and incredibly unique views
Music and Festivals
- Dance at Rainbow Serpent Festival. This art and music festival started as a local interest mainly before becoming the most famous Australian trance event.
- Visitors can join the Road to Ultra Australia or the Burning Man festivals, with artists and DJs from all around the globe performing at some of the biggest events of the year.
- Byron Bay’s Blues Fest, hosted since 1990, presents some of the most famous blues artists such as Bob Dylan and Chris Isaak.
Sports and Adventures
Australia is a passionate and dedicated sporting nation and many iconic activities and sports can be enjoyed as a tourist, either by watching or part-taking. Planning your trip around the Australian sporting event calendar is a good way to mix your holiday with a common interest for local sports.
Starting with the Adelaide 500 in early March, followed by the Formula One World Championship held in Albert Park in Melbourne at the end of the month, these are the two biggest motoring events of the year and are ideal additions to an Autumn Australia holiday for car fanatics.
This is the time of year when Aussies gather in stadiums every weekend for both football and rugby games. August also hosts the Sun-Herald City2Surf running event, a popular race from Sydney to Bondi Beach.
When the weather gets warmer, events such as Australian Rules, football and rugby all take pride and place around the country. The pre-season cricket games will also start to kick-off in this season, or perhaps plan your trip around the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in October.
In Summer, cricket season has begun. Interestingly, if you’e visit coincides with the end of December, you can witness the unique and spectacular Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The start of every new year focuses in on the Australian Open in Melbourne, before the Brisbane Rugby Tens in February.
Reefs & Coasts
From well-known local beach towns to secluded and isolated waterfalls where you will find more wildlife than humans, you can always discover new water-based activities to learn, practice and enjoy in Australia. Snorkelling in Australia is something you have to include at some point! This country has one of the most iconic coral reefs in the world, as well as many lesser known underwater reef systems, where the often clear waters are home to a multitude of fish, marine animals and flora and fauna.
- Located south of Darwin, Katherine has a lot to offer with its Nitmulik National Park and activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking in the bush, helicopter rides and more. The Katherine Hot Springs and Leylin Falls are worth a visit, as well as the Cutta Caves Nature Park.
- Whether it’s Ningaloo Marine Park on the west coast, Whitsundays on the east coast or Cape Range National Park, these are just some of the spots you can head for for water activities. Australia offers an abundance of places to enjoy marine life where divers can easily spot some colorful fish and swim with turtles.
- Dive with the Great White sharks at Port Lincoln in South Australia. This is the only place where you can do such a dive. Located around seven hours from Adelaide, Port Lincoln’s cage diving is a real-life experience. With a price of AUD 500, to be in the cage, visitors can also just come as a guest on the boat. The day trip starts in the early hours of the morning and takes guests out to sea for a 45 min dive with the Great Whites. The tour includes breakfast, snacks, lunch, drinks and all the equipment for the dive.
- A cruise to the 74 Whitsundays Islands comes highly recommended. You can choose to ride a sailing boat, a catamaran or a speedboat, based on the time you want to spend on Whitsundays. Visitors can choose between day trips, a few nights on a boat or a night at one of the resorts on one of the islands. For those who take a cruise, you will be able to see some of the most beautiful beaches and snorkeling spots in the country. Activities are also available around Whitsundays, so guests can enjoy exploring by themselves or with a guide.
So, whether you decide to spend your second visit to Australia heading for coastal cities, the famous Outback, or maybe the island of Tasmania, there is certainly a huge amount on offer! The more you explore, the more you realise that Australian people are always happy to share their culture and acquaint tourists with what it means to be Australian. Your interests or travel dreams could involve riding horses, surfing on the Gold Coast or enjoying food and wine festivals around the country, but you will always find something that grabs your attention and makes for an excellent custom-made holiday in Australia.
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