Want an epic list of things to do in Australia and New Zealand? Well, we’ve got you covered with beaches, #views for days and those must-do experiences Down Under. Question is, where do you wanna go?
We’ve got lots of adventure to add to your Australian itinerary. But, if New Zealand is the next destination on your radar, skip straight to number 9. Or, you know, hit up both 😉
Your trip of a lifetime starts here!
🐨 AUSTRALIA 🐨
1. Experience sunset and sunrise over Uluṟu
Trip: Outback Gem
Watch the glow of the sunset morph through 50 shades of orange at the one and only Uluṟu. It really is special here. Trust us. After the sun goes down, settle in around the campfire and count shooting stars as you cosy up in an Aussie swag. Then, prep yourself for sunrise. All. Of. The. Feels.
2. Drive the Great Ocean Road
Trip: Down South & Outback
Prepare for windswept selfies and stunning views out of your window as you cruise along the coast with the most (hello, 12 Apostles!). Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary waves of Bells Beach plus the sweet lil’ towns of Lorne and Torquay along the way.
3. Hike the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuṯa
Trip: Rock ‘n’ Canyon
Get ready for some soul searching as you venture into the heart of sacred Kata Tjuṯa (the Olgas). Here, you can hike The Valley of the Winds and walk among 36 red sandstone giants. It’s like something from another world.
4. Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Trip: East Coast Beachin’
Welcome to the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem. There are so many activities to choose from. Whether you’d prefer scuba diving, snorkelling, or takin’ it easy floating above the Great Barrier Reef, you absolutely cannot miss this.
5. Stay in Byron Bay
Trip: East Coast Cruisin’
Byron Bay: where you can burn incense, sip chai, practise yoga, head out for a surf and go on an epic night out all in the space of 24 hours. Pro juice bars, beer gardens and beards, it’s no wonder Byron Bay is a traveller’s hotspot. Oh, and the beaches here are gorgeous. Also, Chris Hemsworth has a house here 👀
6. Sail the Whitsunday Islands
Trip: Tropical Suntanner
The best way to experience the dreamy Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast? Cruising on a private yacht of course 😉 You’ll soon see why this stretch of coast is famous for some of the world’s best beaches. Whitehaven Beach, here we come!
7. Take a trip to Kakadu National Park
Trip: Rock ‘n’ Top
Checking out this UNESCO World Heritage-listed national park is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. See the idyllic natural pools of Kakadu, be awe-inspired by Indigenous Australian rock art and go croc spotting on a billabong. Best. Holiday. Ever.
8. Visit Fraser Island
Trip: East Coast Vibes
A favourite with travellers and the locals, Fraser Island is a must-visit when you’re on Australia’s East Coast. It’ll be love at first sight as you hit up Eli Creek, the Maheno Shipwreck, the crystal-clear Lake McKenzie and so much more on Fraser Island.
🏔️ NEW ZEALAND 🏔
9. Channel your inner Lord of the Rings fan at Hobbiton
Trip: Northern Explorer
New Zealand is the land of The Lord of the Rings. When you’re travelling through the North Island, you can’t miss the Hobbiton Movie Set. Weave through the hobbit holes, listen to fun facts from a clued-up guide and visit the Green Dragon pub where you can actually get snacks and drinks. Yes please!
10. Cruise Milford Sound
Trip: Southern Explorer
Get your Norway fix right here in New Zealand! Yep, Fiordland National Park will make your dreams of Scandi-esque scenery come true. We’re talking mystical forests, glacier-filled fiords and epic waterfalls. Don’t forget to peel your eyes away from your phone screen and just take it all in. Wow.
11. See Fox Glacier
Trip: Pure Adrenalin
The closest thing you’ll get to the Ice Age, this famous glacier is one of the highlights of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Grab your gloves and get your tramping fix (read: hiking) with a guided glacier walk or soak in those bird’s eye views with a scenic flight over the blue ice. Look at you, exploring like a pro!
12. Soak up the buzzing vibe in Queenstown
Trip: Kiwi Encounter
Adventurous travellers, meet your match. Queenstown might look all sweet and cosy nestled between mountain peaks and a beautiful lake, but it’s also famous for nightlife and adrenalin-pumpin’ activities. Take a leap for Topdeck kind with a bungy jump, or test your courage with a zipline or canyon swing. Not enough for you? There’s also skydiving, jet boating and hiking… Try and have a bad time in Queenstown. We dare you.
13. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Trip: Sweet As North
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known as one of the best day hikes in the world. And for good reason. With three volcanic peaks dominating the horizon and terrain that’ll make you feel like you’re on Mars, this hike is oh-so worth the sore legs the next day. Ready, let’s go!
14. Be amazed at the Waitomo Caves
Trip: City to City
For a super unique experience, a visit to the Waitomo Caves is unmissable. Shimmy down underground and prepare to be amazed. You can even take a boat ride and look up to see the stars (aka the glowworms glowing all over the place).
15. Island hop the Bay of Islands
Trip: Grand Kiwi
Ready for emerald waters, dolphins, and more islands than you can poke a snorkel at? Cruise through the waters and island hop your way around this stunning Kiwi destination. 10 points if you spot a whale!
16. Explore Abel Tasman National Park
Trip: Grand Kiwi
Yep, you just stepped into a real life Insta feed with magical rainforests and hidden beaches for days. Abel Tasman National Park is a real South Island gem, so get amongst the walking tracks, paddle along the shoreline in ocean kayaks, or see it all from above with a skydive. Sold.
So there you have it! A list of the most epic things to do in Australia and New Zealand.
Check out Topdeck’s trips Down Under.
Want more travel inspo?
– Read our interview with a Topdeck Australia and New Zealand Trip Leader
– Check out 9 photos you won’t believe were taken in Australia
– Take a look at 10 reasons why you should visit New Zealand in your 20s
Written by Marianne Lampon and Bianca Blades.