Australia is the largest country/continent, standing on its own. Its far reach makes a lot of people unaware of the wonders this beautiful land has to offer. For this reason, among others, we went on a 10 day trip over the vast land in search of adventure and beautiful scenery for the nourishment of the soul and bonding with whomever you might take on the trip.
Day 1: Geraldton
- Yamaji Art Centre
- Museum of Geraldton
- Maitland Park
- HMAS Sydney II Memorial
- St Francis Xavier Cathedral
From Western Australia, we began our journey in the city of Geraldton. The city has beautiful weather coupled with beautiful scenery for the best experience. For a great BBQ or family picnic Esplanade would be a great destination on the southern foreshore.
Enjoy a day of watching ships as they come and go coupled with free Wi-Fi at the visitor’s centre the waters here are also popular with water sports like water skiing among others, all the gear is available for rent onsite. Western Geraldton is home to classy cafés and wine bars, among others.
The place is where one would go to think as it is so calm. Next on the list was the Aboriginal Yamaji Art Centre which is on a marine terrace. The centre has on display a variety of pieces of which most are indigenous.
Most of the paintings on display tell a unique story with the description inscribed on the back of the canvas. On an artistic note, we head to the Geraldton museum. The museum offers comprehensive information about the region, its wildlife and the maritime history.
The museum is modernised with state of the art interactive displays and 3D films. The museum also has a shipwreck gallery which will give all the information and history of the Maritime sagas.
At Maitland Park, farmers gather to sell their fresh produce which is a convenient place to stock up for the locals. After much learning about the fruits, vegetables and other products on sale by the farmers, we headed to Geraldton Beach.
As is characteristic of most Australian beaches, the beach has soft white sands suitable for easy strolling. The waves coming to the beach have just the perfect energy for surfing, we were slightly disappointed we did not bring our surfboards. On the top of the hill on Gummer Ave is the famous HMAS Sydney Memorial, most would know about this memorial, it is the remembrance of the crew of the HMAS Sydney which sunk during World War 2.
Mostly seen in pictures we came face to face with the beautiful candy cone lighthouse. The lighthouse is the 4th tallest in Australia, standing at 34 metres with its light being seen as far as 26-km from the ocean. One of the most encapsulating views is that of the St. Francis Cathedral.
Great architect Monsignor Hawes designed the delicate work. The church is beautiful with vibrant striped interior walls. For the picture enthusiasts, a visit to the pink lake will leave you with the best memories, the water in the lake is pink and looks very vibrant in photos. The pink colour is caused by a type of algae which is pink in colour.
Day 2: Perth
- Museum of Perth
- AQWA The Aquarium Of Western Australia
- Elizabeth Quay
- Swan River
- Penguin Island
- The Perth Mint
- Kings Park and Botanic Garden
- Creery Wetland Nature Reserve
- Lake Clifton
Perth boasts of both fresh and saltwater lying next to the Swan River and the Indian ocean. The inhabitants of Perth are to my surprise called Perthites. We decided to begin the tour of Perth on an informative note by a visit to the Western Australian Museum.
The museum is the largest in the country and was built in the late 1800s at the turn of the century as a geological museum. The museum is rich with information about the cultural heritage, natural history and art pieces from all over the state and more.
After all the learning we headed to the Aquarium of Western Austria, which is home to the most massive underwater tunnel of 98-metres in length. Here you get to see the sharks up close, some of the other species which can be seen include stingrays, turtles, fish and many other marine species in the coast of Western Australia.
The aquarium has more than 400 species. All these are there for your viewing pleasure. We then braced ourselves for the beautiful architecture of the Elizabeth Quay.
The encapsulating structure connects the Swan River and an artificial inlet. We then made our way to the Penguin Island, which is off the coast of Rockingham, the island is home to over 1,000 penguins which offer the most beautiful views. Next on our go-to list was the Perth Mint.
The Mint is home to the world’s largest and heaviest coin, weighing about one tonne. The coin is made of pure gold and is worth not less than $60 million. The mint has a section where you can observe gold melt in front of your eyes.
We then decided to reconnect to nature with a visit to Kings Park, including the Botanic garden. The park has a lot of hiking and biking trails with beautiful scenery. Next to the vast natural land is the botanical garden.
We then left the city and headed to the action-filled Mandurah. We visited the Creery Wetlands which provide food and shelter for a lot of bird species. We needed something to eat, so we made a quick stop at Cicerello’s Seafood Restaurant.
Lake Clifton is also a marvellous place to visit with a lot of fossils sheltered by its shallow waters. The shores of Mandurah have beautiful beaches of soft white sand with a lot of activities like diving, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, dolphin cruises and white-water rafting.
Day 3: Albany
- Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
- Amaze Miniature Park
- Torndirrup National Park
- National Anzac Centre
- Natural Bridge
The first place we visited that day was the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. The centre took $12 million to become a reality and is listed as one of the best public buildings in the world. The centre showcases among other international arts, performing arts, comedy shows and theatre.
After the arts, we went to the Amaze Miniature Park. The park is also known as Abingdon Miniature Village and is just 50 minutes from the south of Perth. The park has activities like a hedge maze, circular mazes and a secret garden. Discover great-tasting fruits in the Orchard Aussie Farm.
We then headed to the city of Albany, where we quickly heard nature’s call and started at the park, the Torndirrup National Park is loaded with activities like walking rock climbing and fishing among others. Next stop would be the Albany National Anzac Centre. The centre uses state of the art interactive displays.
The Gap and Natural Bridge are also a must-see, at the Gap you can experience both the peaceful sea and the vigorous ocean. We went to witness the production of power using air at the Albany Wind Farm. The farm has 65-metre turbines to produce electricity since 80 per cent of Albany’s power comes from the wind.
Day 4: Adelaide
- North Terrace
- Mitchell Building
- Adelaide Botanic Garden
- Art Gallery of South Australia
- Adelaide Oval
- South Australian Museum
We then made our way to Adelaide, which is the capital of South Australia. To kick off the city tour we paid the North Terrace a visit. This is where the city does feel somewhat Gothic through the Mitchell building. Next was the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which was established in 1855.
The garden has a wide variety of plants, including medicinal plants and Australian native species. This is not the only such garden in the country; there are a lot of others. From the garden, we went to the Art Gallery of South Australia, which is in the heart of Adelaide’s cultural precinct. The art gallery has on display Australia’s finest art collections.
The collection spans from the colonial days to the present day. Australia is well known in the cricket circles; hence it is no surprise that it has excellent stadiums for it. The Adelaide Oval was built in 1871 and hosted its first test cricket match in 1884.
The stadium is a genuine attraction as it has a lot of history. The South Australian Museum is a must-see. Adjacent to the state library, this home of history and heritage is also a research centre. The museum has on display a lot of artefacts from different places in and around the region.
Day 5: Mount Gambier
- Little Blue Lake
- Centenary Tower
- Engelbrecht Cave
- Cave Garden
- The Old Mount Gambier Gaol
From Adelaide, we made our way to Mount Gambier. The most attractive site which we visited first is the Possums in Umpherston sinkhole, the sinkhole is thought of movies.
Experiencing it first hand is just unmatched. The sinkhole used to be a cave consisting mostly of limestone, the cave then collapsed in 1886 giving birth to this beautiful sinkhole. From the sinkhole, we went for the 75-meter deep Blue Lake. The lake is in a crater of a once erupting volcano.
The blue lake crater is the largest in Australia with a width of about 1 Kilometre. There is a 3.5-kilometre trail around the lake which has excellent spots from which to view the lake. The lake is a no swimming area and changes its colours with seasons, changing from turquoise blue to cobalt blue from December to March. If you are keen on swimming in a crater, the Little Blue Lake is where you need to be.
The lake is around 40-metres deep which isn’t so deep compared to the 75-metres of the big Blue Lake which isn’t allowed to swim in. For the best view in all of Mount Gambier, we climbed the Centenary Tower.
The tower was built in 1904 and had a staircase which needs a good 10 minutes to climb. Before night fell, we made sure to see some of the Engelbrecht Caves of Mount Gambier. Some of the sinkholes and caves have pools which you can go diving in.
When night fell we headed to the Cave Gardens which host a lit up sound and light show. For good night sleep, we then went to the Historic Gaol. The Gaol was fully renovated to become more luxurious. The original jail cells are still intact and were not removed by renovations. The room we booed cost just under $100.
Day 6: Lorne-Melbourne
- Bellarine Peninsula
- National Wool Museum
- Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre – Geelong
- Geelong Botanic Gardens (GBG)
- Barwon Heads
- The Barwon Heads Golf Club
- Geelong Vintage Market
- Fort Queenscliff Museum
- Bellarine railway
Next on the to-visit list was the city of Lorne where we indulged in local cuisine and saw a few beautiful places and quickly headed to Bellarine Peninsula before making way to Melbourne. Geelong is one of the must-see towns standing second on the size list in Victoria.
Geelong is rich in history being the port harbouring Ballarat goldfields and the wool industry in the past. The National Wool Museum in the town is very informative, rich with the history of the industry and its relation with the surrounding.
The Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre has further information on the aboriginal culture of the region. We went for a treat of Devonshire tea next to the Geelong Botanic Gardens. The Geelong Gallery is beautifully decorated with art from Australia and Europe. Geelong Water Park is a great place to relax and catch your breath. Next, we went to the Eastern Beach Reserve, which is an excellent spot for a family picnic.
The reserve has a beautiful white sand beach which allows the undisturbed enjoyment of the sun. If you know the TV show ‘Sea Change’, then you would like to visit Barwon Heads which is home to the beach on which the show was held.
The Barwon Heads Golf Club is a great place to flex your clubs while on vacation. To feel closer to nature, we visited the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to some friendly Koalas and Kangaroos among other Aussie animals. We came across a lot of bird species at Lake Connewarre and the wetlands around it.
The Geelong Vintage Market could not be skipped. The market is 4,000 square metres of space, on which quality antique stalls are set up. The market is the kind of place you will find an excellent gift for your grandparents familiar with the yesteryear products found here. We then made our way to the town of Queenscliff, beginning at the Queenscliff Harbour.
The harbour has a 42-metre-tall observation tower which offers a 360-degree undisturbed view of the bay. The Queenscliff Fort is an excellent museum to learn about the history of the town. The fort itself has seen a great deal, having been built in the year 1860.
We were curious to see where the escaped convict William Buckley took shelter when he escaped jail, which is called the Buckley’s cave. The other activities in the town include Swimming tours and Bellarine railway ride among others.
Day 7: Melbourne
- Fed Square
- Royal Botanic Gardens
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Southbank Promenade
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Eureka Skydeck
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Melbourne Zoo
On this day we would tour the much-awaited capital. Our first site to visit in Melbourne was the Federation Square which opened in 2002 and houses some of the beautiful art pieces of Australia coupled with free Wi-Fi for the best experience.
About 2-km from the CBD is the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens are well kept and are among the best and oldest having been established in 1846.
The gardens cover an area of 38 hectares boasting more than 8,000 species of plant life. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of the most famous sites in Australia, with a capacity of 100,000 the ground was established in 1853.
Opposite to the ground is the Melbourne Park, which is home to the well-known Australian Open. The Southbank Promenade is home to the best cafes, restaurants and live entertainment.
Among the most famous is the National Gallery of Victoria, which is the oldest art gallery in all of Australia, the gallery holds an astonishing 70,000 and more pieces of art.
The building is well known for the Great Hall, which has a beautiful stained glass ceiling better observed while one lies down. We then made our way to the Eureka Tower which was named after the 1854 rebellion of the prospectors in the Victorian goldfield.
The building is 91 stories high with the 88th floor named the SKYDECK. The SKYDECK is where you can view all the buildings in the city and all the surrounding up to the horizon, for vertigo free visitors the building has a glass cube that slides out called ‘’The Edge’.
A visit to Melbourne won’t be complete without a visit to the Museum and Royal Exhibition Building. The Museum is surrounded by colourful gardens and parklands. It is a hub of all the information about the history and heritage of the area. Then finally we went to the Melbourne Zoo which is an 1862 establishment of 22 hectares.
Day 8: Sydney
- Sydney Opera House
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Circular Quay
- Darling Harbour
- Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
- Queen Victoria Building
One of the oldest and four beautiful cities in Australia is Sydney. We started with the most prominent attraction, which is the Opera House. This building has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Next, we went to the Sydney Harbour Bridge or as it is well known as the ‘Coathanger’.
Built-in 1932 the Bridge is the largest steel arch bridge in the world rising 134 metres above the water. The Bridge is enormous with two railway lines and eight lanes of the road. The harbour tunnel was then constructed in 1992 to ease congestion on the Bridge.
The museum in the southeastern pier has all the information about the construction and history of the bridge. We continued to tour other attractions in Sydney like The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, The Royal Botanic Garden and Queen Victoria Building, among others.
Day 9: Brisbane
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens
- Queensland Art Gallery
- South Bank
- Queen Street Mall
- Museum of Brisbane
- Customs House
On the second from the last day, we visited the fair city of Brisbane. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the most popular attractions here, and it is where you will get a chance to cuddle a Koala. Next was the Cultural Precinct on the banks of Brisbane River which is a hive of culture and history. The Museums and galleries here will tickle your imagination in a beautiful way.
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens would make you fall in love with nature if you didn’t already have a passion for it. For art enthusiasts like me, the Queensland Art Gallery is a paradise on earth. Other sites we visited include the Southbank, Queen Street Mall, Story Bridge, Museum of Brisbane and Customs House.
Day 10: Darwin
- Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
- Darwin Waterfront Precinct
- Mary River Wetlands Cruise
- Crocosaurus Cove
- George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
- Darwin Aviation Museum
- Chung Wah Society
- Spirit of Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise | Darwin’s most affordable Dinner cruise
It has been an adventurous few days filled with beautiful days and tired nights. On the final day of our trip, we made a stop and the colourful city of Darwin. The city is a hub of various cultures as it is close to Asia.
First off we went to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The Museum has on display beautiful collections of Aboriginal, Southeastern Asia and Oceanic Art. Also on display is an enormous crocodile to have been captured in Australia.
Our next stop was at the Darwin Wharf Precinct. The location is a one-stop centre housing restaurants, shops and entertainment centres. We were blown away by a lot of other sites like the Mary River Wetlands, Crocosaurus Cove, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Darwin Aviation Museum, Museum Chung wah and then topped it all up by a dinner on the Sunset Dinner Cruise.