Australia’s East Coast has it all: hip cities, picture-perfect beaches, hundreds of islands, best surf breaks, lush rainforests, and rampant wildlife. It is hard to single out any of the amazing places and fun activities on this 18000 km long stretch of land. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Diving in the Cairns
The gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Cairns offers world-class diving sites. Nearly 2900 individual reefs, 600 continental islands, and 300 coral cays, are visited by divers from around the world, every day. There is a perfect spot for everyone, regardless of their time, budget and experience. The Outer Reef is for those who are tight on time or on money. Or just those people who are not confident enough about their diving skills. It is located about 60km from Cairns, but still you can spot turtles, dolphins and whitetip reef sharks here. Flynn Reef and Milln Reef are the most popular diving spots of the Outer Reef. A bit further to the north, at Ribbon Reefs, you might see dwarf minke whales in late June and July. Pixie Pinnacle is renowned by the abundance of marine life packed onto a pinnacle only 15m in diameter. Challenger Bay boasts with dazzling colours of corals. Osprey Reef is reserved for daredevils. It sits in the middle of the Coral Sea and is Australia’s famous shark feed dive.
Blue Mountains Hike
The Blue Mountains provide idyllic scenery and challenging trails for both experienced and novice bushwalkers. Whether you are looking for adventure or you would prefer a relaxed stroll, there are hikes to suit everyone and anyone. A good place to start is the Heritage Centre. Here, you can find information about the region, purchase maps, or find local Blue Mountains tours. They include a wide range of tracks, from short walks to day-long adventures.
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands
When you have had your fun at the Great Barrier Reef, you can easily turn your liveaboard towards the Whitsundays. Sailing is the best way to see what these 74 tropical islands have to offer. Hamilton Island is the crown jewel of any Australian tourist itinerary, Hayman Island takes second place. It is the main destination for tourists from all over the world, although it is known to be very pricey. But there are all sorts of activities to do at the Whitsundays, without being subject to these sky-high prices. The fishing trips in the crystalline Coral Sea are extremely promising, of course. Other popular water sports are snorkelling, diving, jet skiing, and parasailing.
Ride the Dunes at Fraser Island
Fraser Island is strictly 4WD territory. Still, vehicle permits are required to enter the island. Explore this World Heritage site’s beauty while travelling off-road. Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world. The island is a 120km-long uninterrupted white-sand beach. Drive across sand cliffs inlands to see ancient rainforests and crystal clear lakes. It is home to a very diverse range of animals, from birds to reptiles, including saltwater crocodiles.
Surfing on Bondi Beach
A world-class surfing destination, Bondi Beach in Sydney offers mesmerising views and curling waves to thousands of surfers from around the world. If you are not experienced, you can also enroll in one of the many accredited surf schools there. You will find yourself standing on a board in the blink of an eye. Ben Buckler, at the northern end, is popular with more experienced surfers. Beware of the dangers. Abide by the beach rules to avoid any troubles.
What would you like to try in your own East Coast trip?