Australia might be the smallest of the seven continents, but it packs a big punch of adventure everywhere you turn.
If you're planning on taking a trip to the land Down Under, take care to check out not only the tourist destinations, such as the Sydney Opera House, for example, but some of the local shops, coffee houses, restaurants, cultural centers and outdoor activities as well, to truly experience this extraordinary country.
The following is a breakdown of some must-see sites and must-do activities across Australia's six states and two territories:
Melbourne & Victoria
Nestled on the southeastern coast, Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, one of the most populous of Australia's six states, with no shortage of picture-perfect beaches or artwork.
Admire the graffiti of Hosier Lane
This cobblestone alleyway is adorned with colorful street art created by both local and international artists. One of the most famous urban art scenes in the world, you can join a walking tour, or take in the installations and murals on your own.
Escape to the Dandenong Ranges
These mountains are replete with natural wonders, from dense rainforests and lush parkland to cascading waterfalls and calming lakes. Botanical gardens, hiking trails, even world-renowned restaurants, a steam train, and sanctuary home to more than 90 stone sculptures—Dandenong offers something for everyone.
Hang out with fairy penguins at St. Kilda Pier
The little penguins of St. Kilda Pier are so stinking cute you'll want to come back to watch them waddle to their homes every night. Open 24/7, the St. Kilda Pier is home to about 1,000 little blue "fairy" penguins, who return to their nests every night after sunset.
Sydney & New South Wales
The capital of New South Wales, Sydney, is also Australia's most populous city. Home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, and breathtaking beaches, it is a mere day trip away from the majestic Blue Mountains, and dozens of wineries, among much more.
Do a pub crawl at The Rocks
This historic neighborhood is home to some of the oldest pubs in Sydney. With so many within walking distance of each other, joining a formal walking tour or simply exploring a handful at random will surely make an epic afternoon.
Take the walk from Bondi to Coogee
This popular, four-mile coastal trek winds through stunning beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. There are plenty of rest stops along the way, too, where you can swim, eat, or simply relax and enjoy the spectacular views.
Climb Australia's highest mountain
Venture up Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's mightiest peak, via the Charlotte Pass (which takes about six to eight hours) or or Thredbo (four to five).
Brisbane & Queensland
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a renowned cultural hub for arts, nightlife, dining, and so much more.
Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
If holding koalas and feeding kangaroos has been on your bucket list, Lone Pine is a must. Home to more than 100 species of native Australian wildlife, including the Tasmanian devil, dingo, emu, and much more, this 44-acre refuge boasts more than 130 koalas, and even a pair of platypuses!
Check out the Noosa Everglades
One of only two everglade systems in the world, the Noosa Everglades is a stunning 60 km stretch of tranquil waterways and flora along the Noosa River, also known as the River of Mirrors due to its breathtaking reflections. Explore its mystery and beauty on foot, by boat, or via canoe or kayak.
Listen to some live music in Brisbane
Brisbane boasts everything from smooth jazz to funk and rockabilly, and is brimming with tons of venues and bars, for every taste. Dance the night away!
More than 75 percent of South Australians live in its capital, Adelaide, or its immediate surroundings. So what's outside the city center? Wilderness, encompassing expansive plains, red dunes, beaches, vineyards, and desert.
Visit Kangaroo Island
An island off the mainland, Kangaroo Island is where you'll come to meet all kinds of native wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, penguins, and sea lions.
Experience the Outback on a Mail Run Tour
Running out of the old mining town of Coober Pedy (where half its population lives underground), the Mail Run Tour enables you to hang out with the mailman for the day in an 4WD vehicle, exploring the vast, fascinating Outback.
Sip on some wine
South Australia produces more than half of all Australian wine. There are eight wine regions for you to choose from, so choose your favorite varieties and map our some vineyard tours!
The perfect destination for adventure seekers, the Northern Territory is teeming with unforgettable outdoor activities, including exploring Outback, cooling off in watering holes, hiking national parks, learning about Aboriginal culture, and much more.
Swim beneath waterfalls
Litchfield National Park is home to some of the most popular swimming holes in the country, many featuring breathtaking waterfalls.
Meet and learn from the Aboriginals
Although you need a permit to enter, the wild and untamed Arnhem Land is home to about 12,000 Aboriginals, making it the perfect place to learn all about this extraordinary culture.
Also known as Ayers Rock, this massive, 550 million-year-old sandstone formation is best experienced via a 10 km hike around its base, which takes about 3.5 hours to complete.
The largest state in Australia, Western Australia's sheer size dwarfs all of Western Europe, and comprises five regions, all unique in what they have to offer: from the Golden Outback to the Coral Coast, wine regions to swimming holes, and so much more.
Ride a camel down Cable Beach
Yup. Sunset camel rides along the shore of Broome's Cable Beach are exactly what you'd expect: absolutely unforgettable.
Go wine tasting on Margaret River
Tucked into the southwestern corner of Western Australia, the Margaret River region is famous for its wineries. Home to more than 215 grape growers and wine producers, there's no shortage of tastings and vineyards to explore.
Explore Ningaloo Reef
Whether you want to swim alongside whale sharks or go snorkeling in Turquoise Bay, Ningaloo Reef is the perfect spot to see humpback whales, tropical fish, manta rays, and more!
Tasmania is an island state located just off Australia's South Coast, and home to extraordinary wildlife, a vast wilderness, spectacular views, and pristine beaches.
Meet Tasmanian Devils.
They're real, and adorable! Tasmanian Devils are endangered, but you can see these cute critters at many wildlife sanctuaries throughout the island.
Go museum hopping
There's no lack of art and cultural centers on the island. It's definitely worth visiting the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Queen Victoria Museum, and the Museum of Old and New Art, just to name a few.
Take in the views from Cradle Mountain
The fifth-highest mountain in the state, Cradle Mountain's views are some of the most breathtaking in the country. A popular destination for hikers, there are trails for every skill level, and simply stunning scenery, at every turn.
Whew... These are just a few things to do in Australia, with much more to check out once you get there!