January 26 is a day that marks Australia’s diversity and the landscapes that we get to call home. Australians are quite literally the envy of many people all around the world and this is a very good reason to celebrate just how incredible Australia is. This year, why not swap the traditional Aussie BBQ at the park for a BBQ on Whitehaven Beach, a swim at the beach for a snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and a coastal getaway for an outback adventure. Here are five unique ways to celebrate Australia Day and make it extraordinary.

1. Set sail on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling a coral reef
Image Credit: @jamesvodicka

There is no location more iconic than our beloved Great Barrier Reef. Part of the 7 Great Wonders of the World and a world heritage listed attraction- the giant coral reef stretches from Bundaberg to Cairns and Port Douglas and is comprised of over 2,900 reefs and 900 individual islands. Surprisingly, the prestigious natural wonder has been explored more by international visitors than Australians.

Why not make 2020 the year that you discover the secret the rest of the world is in on. The Great Barrier Reef is an astonishing underwater world waiting to explored and it is right on our doorstep. The Australia Day long weekend is a great excuse to head north and spend an extraordinary day out on the Great Barrier Reef. It certainly would be an unforgettable and unique way to celebrate Australia Day.

View Great Barrier Reef Cruises

2. Enjoy a BBQ and a game of cricket on Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

It would be remiss of us to not include a traditional Australian barbecue on this list. While it may be cliche, it is a huge part of our cultural fabric. Why not swap a BBQ in the park for a BBQ on Australia’s beautiful Whitehaven Beach and show the tourists how it’s done during a game of beach cricket?

You could fight the crowds at Bondi Beach for a carpark and place to lay down the towel or you could dash away to The Whitsundays for an Aussie adventure of a lifetime. I know which one I’d prefer.

View Whitsunday Island Cruises

3. Explore our Great Southern Lands

Cradle Mountain
Location: Cradle Mountain

Australia is a land of diverse landscapes. It’s how the term ‘Great Southern Land’ was coined many years ago. From lush rainforest, to sunburnt lands, tropical islands, coral reefs, rugged rock formations, towering mountains and endless oceans… we’ve got it all.

Escape the bright lights of the city and head to our regional towns for a touch of country hospitality.  The rolling hills of the Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula may be a popular pick for the food and wine lovers while earthly souls should not overlook our national parks and forests offering a quiet retreat. Spy with your eyes on the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains or disappear into the Cradle Mountains for a few days. Extraordinary experiences can be found in every corner of Australia.

View Experiences

4. Pop into the Australia Outback

Gunlom Falls landscapes
Image Credit: Tourism NT

There is something so alluring and charming about the Australian Outback especially for city folk. The expectation of bone dry lands, steaming heat and nothing much to do is a stark contrast to the reality. Enter Darwin, an Australian city that made Lonely Planet’s Top 10 list in 2012 while the Northern Territory was voted the fourth best region in the world in 2019.

Some of the best sunsets in the world can be witnessed on a patch of sand at Mindil Beach. And just a short hop, skip and a jump away are majestic waterfalls and swimming holes that are slowly being revealed to the world thanks to massive Instagram love. I bet you didn’t think that the Gunlom Falls (pictured above) could be found in the Northern Territory did you? Have we convinced you to visit yet? There is so much to see and do in Australia, no need to limit your Australia Day long weekend to the coastal cities.

View Darwin Experiences

5. Cool down with a Sydney Harbour Cruise

Sydney Harbour Cruise

Enjoy delicious cuisine and admire some million dollar views aboard a Sydney Harbour Cruise. Not everyone is the beach type but most will appreciate a gentle sightseeing cruise with food, drinks, entertainment and iconic Sydney landmarks along the way.

You can also combine a day out on the Sydney Harbour with a wildlife adventure to Taronga Zoo or an high octane jet boat ride to really get the blood pumping. Whatever aquatic experience you choose to beat the heat, it doesn’t get much more Australian than a day by the bay.

View Sydney Harbour Cruises

For more travel inspiration this Australia Day Long Weekend head to Experience Oz and start planning some extraordinary adventures. 

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