After six months of late nights, energy drinks, missed lectures, and procrastinating, you’ve finally made it to another extended break. If this were any other break, you’d be getting ready to sleep in until lunch, eat Mi Goreng for dinner and watch Netflix in bed without ever having to change out of your PJ’s.
But these holidays will be different, this time you’re actually going to do all those things you’ve been telling yourself you would do if you weren’t 5,000 words deep into a literature review at three in the morning.
So put away the books, throw them in the bin or burn them, because it’s time to start planning how to make the most of the next few weeks.
We’ve put together a jam-packed list of 12 experiences around Australia, themed to a variety of holiday-types, allowing you to choose the break that best suits you for a price that’s doable. So if you’re a Uni Student chasing a relaxing, thrilling, scenic, group, adventurous, or foodie break, this one is for you.
As a former two-time uni student in Queensland, I’m always up for a relaxing break with minimal effort. Lying on a beach, going on a cruise, staying at a resort or tagging along to a peaceful tour are some of the best ways to unwind after a stressful semester.
Queensland is blessed with a variety of carefree, relaxing and effortless experiences to ensure local students are able to make the most of their extended break. With high concentrations of students in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, we’ll focus on some of the most relaxing experiences available within a day trip from these three locations.
Green Island tours departing Cairns provide an excellent chance to soak up some sun on a tropical island, float through the calm ocean waters, and spot some marine life all for under $100 per person.
With Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises offering full day tours departing at 9 am and 11 am every morning, sleeping-in is still a distinct possibility, before spending four hours exploring this beautiful coral cay.
The tour takes you on board a luxurious catamaran for a 45-minute journey from Cairns to Green Island, perfect for kicking back and enjoying some sunny views of the neighbouring reefs.
Once you’ve arrived, you’ll have four hours to explore the island and its surrounding reef at your own pace. With the options of snorkelling equipment hire or a ride on the glass bottom boat, there’s sure to be plenty of opportunities for some quality R&R mixed in with some soothing beachy adventures throughout the day.
If you can excuse the fact that kayaking is considered to be a sport and tends to involve some physical exertion, we promise Australian Kayaking Adventures’ Gold Coast kayaking tour makes for a relaxing paddle through calm waters, well suited to Brisbane or Gold Coast uni students looking to unwind after some sleepless nights.
The tour runs for 2 hours, departing at 4:30 pm from Budds Beach in Surfers Paradise and returning to the same spot by 6:30 pm. You’ll be able to relax and unwind as you kayak past homes of the rich and the famous, daydreaming of the life you hope to one day have following graduation.
The tour also includes a relaxing lay down on the beach with a glass of wine after your paddle, where you’ll be able to enjoy a drink without the guilt of missing lectures or neglecting assignments.
If you study in South Australia and – following an intense week of exams – you’ve decided you aren’t afraid of anything anymore, we have just the experience for you!
Despite possibly breaking the bank on a typical student budget, we insist there is no better way to put things into perspective than by jumping in the deep end with some great white sharks, and you’ll be able to do just that in Port Lincoln.
Going into an exam without having ever been to a lecture can be pretty exhilarating, but we promise cage diving in Port Lincoln is on a whole other level. Adventure Bay Charters allow you to take on one of the most spectacular one-day adventures the world has to offer, diving with some of the ocean’s greatest predators; the Great White Shark.
During the experience, you will get to venture out to the Neptune Islands off the coast of Adelaide, which will take approximately two and a half hours and usually includes passing a pod or two of dolphins before the Great White Sharks begin to circle.
The experience includes cruising to and from the Islands, Neptune Island Conservation Park fees, lunch, and some satisfying morning and afternoon tea.
It is worth noting, however, that once the Great Whites do arrive, you’ll need to fork out an extra $125 if you want to jump in the cage for about 45-minutes of up-close viewing.
If you’re after thrills but don’t have the bank account to swim with the sharks, Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast have announced they will be launching a brand new roller-coaster in October 2017, which should be able to satisfy both you and your wallet over the end of year break.
The DC Rivals HyperCoaster will be themed to the ever-popular DC Universe, featuring epic clashes between some of the most iconic DC Super Heroes and Super Villains.
The ride reaches speeds of up to 115km/h, with 1400 metres worth of track reaching heights of nearly 62 metres, it’s set to be the longest, fastest and highest roller-coaster in the Southern Hemisphere.
Along with tackling the DC Rivals HyperCoaster, your pass will also give you access to a plethora of rides, shows and various other forms of entertainment, providing enough entertainment to get you through to the next semester.
If you’re like most students and love a good deal, you’ll want to purchase the VIP Magic Pass which gives you access to three more parks; Sea World, Wet’n’Wild and Paradise Country for a longer period of time.
If you’re one of those students who daydreams during lectures or looks out the window in tutorials, then a scenic break might be just the thing for you.
On a tour, unlike your tutorials, the person up the front will invite you to look out the window and take in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
Going on a sightseeing holiday is usually something associated with travelling overseas, however, on a student’s budget, North Queensland’s coastline or Sydney’s harbour provide some truly captivating home-grown sites worth having a look at.
For uni students in Cairns looking to explore the region’s idyllic coastline, Cairns Harbour Cruises‘ Sunset Cruise is your best ticket to scenic bliss, and at less than $50 per person, you won’t have to break the bank for a ticket.
In what is almost a form of poetic justice, the cruise will allow you to enjoy the Queensland sun as it sets on yet another long semester spent in lecture rooms and libraries, providing you with an opportunity to refresh and refocus for the holidays ahead.
The cruise lasts for two and a half hours and passes a number of coastal environments, including views of the mountains, waterways and mangroves that make Cairns such a highly touted tourist destination.
Along with an ambient sunset to soak up, the cruise also includes views of the local wildlife and a tour through Trinity Inlet, a remote and picturesque piece of tropical wilderness located right at the city’s doorstep.
If you’d like to make an evening of it, you can purchase an optional dinner to accompany your cruise for an additional fee.
Sydney Harbour is known for its beautiful architecture, with iconic landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House receiving international praise for their ingenuity and architectural beauty.
However, every year at around the same time each year, nature sends a few of its own awe-inspiring creations to Australia’s coastlines, exciting locals and tourists alike.
Humpback Whales on their yearly migration provide guests aboard Fantasea Cruising with a guaranteed sighting, along with some spectacular views of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks as you make your way out of Circular Quay.
Be sure to bring your camera and take some snaps of the spectacular scenery, with rugged cliff-tops and expansive waterways framing the journey out to a truly unforgettable experience: seeing Humpback Whales in their natural environment.
The shared trauma of university life can often help bring students together, partly as a coping mechanism, and partly due to the common goal of obtaining a good education.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to make a few uni friends you wouldn’t mind going on an adventure with, we’d love to help you pick the best things to do as a duo, trio or group.
Werribee Open Range Zoo is a brilliant place to visit with family or friends, offering a unique take on the more traditional zoo formula. As a way to enrich the experience, adding an Off-Road Safari allows for some truly unforgettable close-ups that are uniquely personal each time.
With up to 14 people per tour, you’ll be able to bring along a number of your closest study-buddies for the adventure, including exploring the range itself and having a meal at the onsite café.
Some of the animals on show include Lions, Giraffe, Cheetahs, Zeebra, Bison and Hippos to name a few, along with some of Australia’s own Koalas, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Emus to complete the global experience. Each exhibit is beautifully themed to create an immersive enclosure that mirrors the inhabitant’s natural environment, making it feel less like a zoo and more like a chance encounter in the wild.
The beauty of Werribee Zoo is in its open range layout, where a variety of animals share enormous paddocks that only possible in a regional area such as Werribee, located about 40 minutes south-west of Melbourne’s CBD.
During your Off-Road Safari, you’ll be taken through Victoria’s very own African wilderness, where Rhinos, Giraffe, Zebras and Antelope all live in a large African-themed paddock, complete with water holes and grassy planes where they can stretch their legs.
If you’re studying in either Brisbane or Sydney and wouldn’t mind a scenic experience you could take a few friends on, Sydney and Brisbane feature two of the best bridge climbs in the country; the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Brisbane Story Bridge.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge sampler climb with BridgeClimb Sydney includes one and a half hours of outdoor fun, ascending to the halfway point of the bridge’s summit (the full climb will cost you at least $253 AUD).
Although still pricey, the experience takes up less of your day and provides equally impressive views of the iconic Sydney Harbour. If you’re willing to pay for the full climb, you’ll be treated to even more spectacular views, making for a memorable experience with some epic photo opportunities.
Story Bridge Adventure Climb’s Thursday or Friday morning climbs include a $20 discount (from $119 to $99), perfect for students on a budget. Along with being a bargain, the climb includes amazing 360-degree views of the greater Brisbane region, stretching all the way to Moreton Bay in the east.
Other options for climbs include their popular Twilight Climb and Evening Climb. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be treated to some pretty expansive views of the city while also learning a few things about the region from your experienced guide.
If your ideal getaway involves going on an unforgettable adventure, whether exploring Australia’s Red Centre or climbing aboard a camel to traverse the western wilderness of Broome, you’re spoilt for choice in Australia’s own backyard.
Anyone studying in Darwin who has a flair for adventure and an interest in Australia’s incredible history needs to take the long trip south to The Red Centre.
Possibly the most Australian destination on earth, The Red Centre is a rugged landscape made up of desert plains, weathered mountain ranges, rocky gorges and some of the most sacred sites in Australia’s storied Aboriginal history, including Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
During your journey south, between the numerous walking tracks and guided tours, be sure to put some time aside for visiting the Field of Lights Uluru.
Created by acclaimed artist Bruce Monroe, the installation provides a unique display of human creativity in perfect harmony with nature’s sunrise, framed by one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, Uluru.
The tour requires an early start followed by a short drive to reach the Field of Light, learning all about artist Bruce Monroe’s history as you make your way over. Arriving before sunrise, your night is illuminated by 50,000 globes in the middle of the desert beneath a star-lit sky, creating a truly captivating spectacle worth every moment of the journey over to this remote destination.
Admittedly, most Western Australian universities are located in Perth and Broome is almost 24 hours drive north, so this experience might not be super accessible for a large portion of Western Australian students. However, we promise Broome is worth the journey, and if you’re truly adventurous, you’ll be more than happy to do some travelling, right?
Considered one of the best sightseeing experiences in Western Australia, Kimberley Wild Expeditions’ half-day tour includes a tour of the town of Broome itself, along with an iconic camel ride along the shores of the stunning Cable Beach, complete with an unforgettable ocean sunset to finish your day.
Starting at 12:30 pm and going through till 6:30 pm, the experience includes courtesy hotel pickups from Broome and Cable Beach, so you might as well make a holiday of it.
If the standard student diet of noodles, spaghetti on toast and the occasional pizza washed down with a plastic cup of wine from a bag (also known as Goon) is getting you down, Tasmania and South Australia have a range of incredible foodie experiences to cleanse your pallet these holidays.
Tasmania is well known for its seafood and – excluding fish ‘n’ chips or the occasional can of tuna – most uni students would have become relatively unfamiliar with the taste of genuine seafood by the end of a long semester.
Tasmania provides some of the best opportunities to reacquaint your senses with the ocean’s freshest produce, all while on a guided tour through some of the islands most eye-catching environments.
Bruny Island Safaris’ Bruny Island Food, Sightseeing and Lighthouse Tour offers just that, with the opportunity to treat yourself to both scenic views and delicious flavours, the tour is a cant-miss experience for students with a bit of foodie-flair.
Departing at 7am from Hobart and returning at around 5:30pm, the tour takes you on an entire day of sightseeing and food tasting, including visits to the Bruny Island Lighthouse, cheese company tasting, chocolate tasting, ice cream tasting, a visit to the National park, pick and taste at the Seasonal Berry Farm, a drive through the rainforest and lunch at Hotel Bruny.
The types of food you can expect to be treated to on your tour include fresh oysters, tasty cheese, smooth fudge, chocolates and a variety of berries (basically all the good stuff).
Another tour with the opportunity to give your pallet a workout is with Gray Line on the Adelaide City and Hahndorf Sightseeing Tour, which takes you through Adelaide’s beautiful green landscapes, wineries and of course, to the German-style town of Hahndorf.
Departing at 1:15 pm and returning at around 5:15 pm, the tour will take you out of Adelaide in air-conditioned comfort and into the captivating Mount Lofty Ranges, where you’ll learn about the area’s history while you ascend all the way to the summit.
Following the ranges, your tour will continue on to the iconic town of Hahndorf, renowned for its German-style architecture and European stores. You’ll have several hours to explore the various streets and shops, along with sampling some quality German beer.
This is when you’ll get to visit some of the town’s renowned bakeries and cafes, transporting you to gourmet heaven. After a quick breather and a chance to loosen your belt buckle a notch or two, you’ll be all set for the return trip to Adelaide, and with it, the end of your tour.
Whatever your style, there are plenty of experiences and activities around Australia to make the most out of the uni holidays, so be sure to make some bookings and explore Australia’s backyard in your own style these holidays!
If you’re looking for more things to do on your uni break around Australia or New Zealand, check out our full catalogue here.