While you may very well think you’ve done it all when it comes to exploring the best that Australia has to offer, there are some destinations which are bonafide local knowledge. These places in Australia, hidden in fishing villages and in underground caves, are well worth the visit and should definitely be added to your 2021 travel bucket list.
Just a few kilometres east of Bundaberg is the family-friendly beach of Bargara Beach. This summer Australia bucket list destination sees turtles shack up on the beach during the warmer months and stocks a whole suite of coastal walks perfect for sunrise strolls. The best part is, this open beach welcomes four-legged companions and there’s a whole lot of seafront dining with butcheries, ice-cream parlours, bakeries and fish and chip shops to work your way through.
Check out our trip to the stunning Bargara Beach!
You’ve most likely never heard 1770 (also Seventeen Seventy) which makes it one of the absolute must-visit places in Australia. This coastal town in Queensland is mostly known for being a departure area for fishing charters and cruises which head out to the Great Barrier Reef but there’s more to this town than meets the eye. While there may be only two supermarkets in the area (there’s a beauty in that), 1770 is a brilliant base, especially if you call yourself a serious camper. To pitch a tent, make sure you head out to Middle Island and pace yourself for the four surrounding national parks.
Click here to see our review of the 1770 Camping & Caravan Parks!
Mundi Mundi Plains
The road to Mundi Mundi Plains is definitely the road less travelled so jot this magical landscape down on your Australia travel bucket list. The desertscape here looks anywhere but in NSW however you’ll find this stunning lookout just north of Broken Hill. While it’s more of a road trip pit stop, it’s one of the most unique places to visit in Australia and will give you uninterrupted views of the Barrier Ranges. For the movie buffs out there, the road stretching out from the lookout is from a famous scene in Mad Max 2.
The Pink Roadhouse
The Pink Roadhouse has been standing proud in South Australia’s outback town of Oodnadatta for a steady 35 years. Some call it the “beating heart” of the Simpson Desert but The Pink Roadhouse has a word of mouth reputation that can’t be beat. From the famed “oodnaburger” (the feeds here source local kangaroo and camel for a classic outback feast) from the roaring pink cafe to the certified post office and handy workshop, there’s a lot happening here. It’s one of the biggest bucket list places to stay in Australia because not only is this entire place painted hot pink (a jaw-dropping sight at sunset) but if you choose to stay here for a number of days, there’s a solid line-up of day trips out to places like Dalhousie Springs, The Painted Desert and Algebuckina.
Don’t let the fact that Weipa is a very active mining town, the getaway to the Western Cape York Peninsula, so to speak, deter you from hitting this Australia bucket list destination. It’s secretly the barramundi capital of Australia so charting a boat, joining tours and joining local fisherman at the likes of Gonbung Beach, Kerr Point and Wallaby Island, is very much on the cards here. While barra is definitely kingfish here, you can also expect to find salmon, cod, trevally and snapper.
Bullo River Station
If getting yourself to the Northern Territory’s Bullo River Station isn’t top priority on your Australia travel bucket list, it should be now. It’s a live station cattle station packed out with billabongs to have lunch along, swimming holes to cool off in and a whole lot of outback country to admire. This sustainable homestead is one of the best places to visit in Australia, spanning a 500,000 acres in the Northern Territory and has landscape carved out with natural gorges, waterfalls, rivers, and at night time, a sky full of stars.
Warrumbungle National Park
Located near Coonabarabran in NSW’s central west, is Warrumbungle National Park. However, if you think this is some run-of-the-mill naturescape with hikes, hikes and more hikes—you’d be very wrong. Instead, Warrumbungle National Park is actually Australia’s very first Dark Sky Park (the first in the southern hemisphere, at that). At this must-visit Australia bucket list destination, your adventures will rotate around stargazing and camping under the starriest skies in Australia. If you’re looking to be truly blown away during the day though, Whitegum Lookout (which has a super easy 500-metre walk to the observation point) never disappoints.
You’ll find the magical Buchan Caves nestled into the East Gippsland area of Victoria, an underground natural phenomenon that everyone needs to see at least once in their life. The Buchan Caves were created by a series of underground rivers which essentially (and at some point) cut through limestone around 400 million years ago. This Australian travel bucket list houses two separate caves, both of which can be explored. While Royal Cave is the shorter and more accessible of the two, Fairy Cave contains about 100 more stairs than the Royal and means a lot more bending and slipping through smaller crevices. This underground, ancient wonderland not only spots stalactites and stalagmites but calcite-rimmed pools too.