Picture the remote reds that make up the mythical Outback to the balmy beaches and hip cities that fringe Australia’s edges. Now imagine the glaciers and fjords that cause rapture in New Zealand. Do we really need to spell out why Australasia is such a bucket list destination? Well, we can’t help ourselves anyway. This is the land of ultimate adventure – Tolkien’s Middle Earth meets one of the world’s oldest rainforests, wine-soaked mountains and cultural metropolises.
Australasia is where adrenaline collides headfirst with culture, where hedonism and glut go hand in hand with active glory, and where you feel as small as a pinprick against majestic backdrops and larger than life with all the great feats you can conquer. This is our love letter to Australasia and this is our ultimate defining list of all the incredible things to tick off your bucket list.
Balloon Ride Over the Yarra Valley
What’s better than being in the thickets of Australia’s Wine Country? Floating serenely above the tangled vineyards, shades of green, and sipping the finest champagne with a glorious birds-eye view. A balloon ride over the Yarra Valley is one of the most romantic things you can do in the whole of Australasia. Sitting just an hour away from Melbourne, you can enter a world of gourmet goodness, fine wine, glorious nature, and cosy beautiful B&B’s.
Take your balloon ride in the morning as the golden light spills out across the land, rise above the mists, and gaze down at the splendour of the Dandenong Ranges shimmering like a mirage beneath your feet.
Learn to Surf Australia
No sport captures the barefoot big billowing vibe of Australia quite like surfing. It arrived on the continent back in 1915, carried over by the big Hawaiian Duke. Since, then surf culture boomed with the likes of Bondi Beach, Sydney North, and the glorious Gold Coast boasting a bounty of sublime surf spots.
To truly embrace the Aussie experience, you need to go through the motions of getting tumbled by saltwater as you attempt to stand on a board. Hit up the Margaret River Surf Schooland celebrate all things surfing in this slick sandy region that is so laid back its positively horizontal. This family-run surf school offers nothing but stoke, ensuring you squeeze into that wetsuit, swallow your weight in water, and generally have a washed-up wonderful blast.
Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Whether you choose to skydive, snorkel or simply soak up the mind-bogglingly beautiful beaches, the Great Barrier Reef tops every bucket list experience throughout Australasia. One of the wonders of the natural world, the time to visit is now as the reef is rapidly changing.
There are so many ways to experience the kaleidoscopic wonder of the Great Barrier Reef but we suggest a stay at Bedarra Island. Why? A handful of villas stashed away in the emerald rainforest on a postcard-perfect island, candlelit suppers on the beach, kayaking and snorkelling the reef, and all at a spot that puts great emphasis on being fully sustainable – yes, it’s the Great Barrier Reef without the guilt.
Helicopter to a Remote Hotel in New Zealand
Middle Earth, or New Zealand as it is better known is the ultimate gateway to glorious adventure. While the rugged mountains, glimmering glaciers, and fabulous winding fjords look straight out of a nature lovers storybook, it's not a place that means you need to scrimp on luxury.
Where else in the world can you kick off your muddy boots, slide into a hot tub, and raise a glass of award-winning wine? Sound good? How about, where else in the world can you do all of the above, PLUS climb into your own private helicopter to arrive at your utterly remote, rare and enchanting hotel? Minaret Station is the magical name of such a place. Not only do you arrive via helicopter, but you get to heli-skiing on the hotel's private terrain, hit up some backcountry fishing, go guided hunting, and have mountain kitchen lunches in pure privacy, far from the madding crowd every single day.
See the Field of Light in Uluru
Australia isn’t all chic cities, horizontal surf vibes, and jokes about throwing shrimps on the barbie, It’s also home to an immaculately fascinating outback. The whole centre of Australia is a sparse vision of one of the world’s most remote environments. Here, the sky flames a thousand colours, rocks ripple as though pulled from Mars, and you can go forever without seeing another human.
Uluru is the key to Australia’s Red Center. One of the most iconic places for those keen to see another side. The Field of Light is a mesmerizing art installation that lends a thousand other shades to the already spectacular natural site. Every year the artist Bruce Munroe lays down his fifty thousand fairy-lights, curating a sea of glittering prisms of pure light after dark. Go for the sunset, stay for the lights, and find your spiritual centre in the first nation heart of Australia.
Watch Some Rugby
While you may think Rugby is a British pursuit, it's actually a pretty big deal over in the land of Oz with one of the biggest rivalries being in full swing between Queensland and New South Wales. Just like you wouldn’t have an all-American experience without going out to the ballgame, you won’t understand the throwdown brodown, muddy raucous edge of Australian culture without catching a ruggers match.
Have an unforgettable day at the match watching brusque boys slide around in mud, knock each other to smithereens, and chase a weird shaped ball. Throw back the beers, pick a colour, and up your sporting style with a trip to the Australian rugby.
Pick an Extreme Adventure
New Zealand is always a wild ride; it seems to cater to those who have the desire to push life to its absolute boundaries. Take your pick of crazy rides, whether you want to dive an active marine volcano to see plumes of smoke rise beneath the water or if you prefer to test your prowess as a human catapult – New Zealand certainly ensures you get more than a lifetime's worth of adrenaline.
The Nevis Human Catapult is an utterly unique experience that is exactly what it sounds like it is. Located near Queenstown, you simply strap yourself in like a bungee jump and get catapulted hard and fast right into the rare and remote Nevis Valley. But it doesn’t stop there, along with getting catapulted in, you also get catapulted out at speeds that really don’t even grant you the courtesy of a few screaming seconds.
Eat Some Oysters
Along with being the land of adventure, iconic opera houses, and more creatures that can kill you than most places on earth, Australia is also famed for its fabulous foodie scene. While you can hit up the hipster coffee scene in Sydney or disappear into the rolling cheese lands of the Yarra Valley, you will also want to slurp some oysters over on the shores of Tasmania. Actually, forget on the shores and make that IN the shores.
One of the best oyster farms in Australia may require you to wade knee-deep into the salty tang of water to stand around a linen-covered table, sipping fine wine and greedily slurp those gorgeous delicate pearl oysters. The farm is located right in the heart of Freycinet National Park which is bucket list material alone (even without the allure of oysters). Imagine otherworldly beaches like Wineglass Bay, blushing pink mountains, and cradled lakes.
You came, you slurped, surfed, flew, fell, snorkelled, shouted at sports, sipped wine, and get lost in the outback. In short, you conquered…
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