The Great Australian Dream… No, not a hills hoist or barbecue. But the ultimate holiday fantasy. A family road trip. Jayco, experts in Australian-made camper trailers and caravans, know what’s what when it comes to Aussie adventures. Here are Jayco’s picks for the top 10 Aussie adventures for a summer of Aussie touring.
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
Visible from space and one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef consists of more than 3000 reef systems and coral cays. You can snorkel, scuba dive, sail or travel in a glass-bottomed boat to best see what’s happening underwater. Heron Island, Lizard Island and Hamilton Island are popular choices. Pull your camper into a caravan park in Cairns or Airlie Beach and then head out on a day trip with one of countless tour operators.
Drive the Savannah Way
This 3700-kilometre route is affectionately nicknamed Australia’s Adventure Drive. It runs from tropical Cairns to Broome in the Western Australian Kimberley region, linking 15 national parks and 5 World Heritage areas. Lawn Hill Gorge is a must-do side-trip and the famous Fitzroy Crossing a road trip rite of passage. Check for 2WD and 4WD routes.
Hike Mt. Kosciuszko
The Kosciuszko National Park Summit Walk takes you up Australia’s highest peak. You can start at Thredbo and walk 13 kilometres return, or depart from Charlotte Pass for a more intense trek. The best time to make the most of the crisp Snowy Mountains air is after the snow melts, from December to March. Consider staying over at campgrounds or tourist parks in Jindabyne and Thredbo.
Raft the Franklin River
The Franklin earned a name for itself in the 1980s as the birthplace of environmental movements in Australia. Now, it is also a favourite among white-water rafters. The tricky rapids, gorges and canyons make for ideal active adventures – you can even embark on multi-day raft trips. Otherwise, enjoy the tall Huon pines and scenic Franklin-Gordon National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for quolls, sea eagles and even Tassie devils!
Dive with crocodiles in Darwin
Crocosaurus Cove is the only spot in Australia where you can dive with a saltwater croc. We repeat – dive into croc infested waters! Spend 15 minutes in the water inside Darwin’s notorious ‘Cage of Death,’ brushing shoulders with a friendly 5-metre saltie. The wildlife park is also home to 70 other reptile species and runs several daily reptile shows including a Big Croc Feed. Home to an estimated 80,000 saltwater crocs – more than half the Aussie population – the Northern Territory is the perfect destination for an encounter with the prehistoric monsters.
Skydive at Nagambie
Teens aged 12 years and over can brave the heart-stopping thrill of a tandem skydive at Nagambie. A short 90 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, the jump is one of the most thrilling in Victoria at a whopping 14,000 feet.
Tow a caravan along the Oodnadatta
The Oodnadatta Track extends from Marree to Marla along the Ghan railway in South Australia. Along more than 600 kilometres of well-maintained gravel road lies Coward Springs, the famous Pink Roadhouse and a detour to Lake Eyre.
Swim with Ningaloo Reef whale sharks
This Western Australian bucket-lister is up there when it comes to Aussie adventures. The gentle giants of the Ningaloo Reef make great swimming companions from March to August. Snorkel beside the huge fish, which can grow to 18 metres long. Full day charter tours depart from Exmouth and Coral Bay. At 300 kilometres length, Ningaloo Reef is also unique because of its close proximity to the coastline. It forms a lovely lagoon great for a splash. If you miss the whale sharks, keep an eye out for manta rays, turtles and even humpback whales in winter.
Visit ancient footprints in Mungo National Park
The oldest fossilised human footprints in Australia and largest footprint collection in the world rest in Mungo National Park. Scientists have been able to tell stories from the prints, which were rediscovered at Willandra Lakes in 2003 and are 20,000 years old. They even think some belong to a hunter who ran as fast as an Olympic sprinter! Pitch your tent or pull up your camper trailer or caravan in the Main Campground which has 33 spots, toilets, BBQs and tables.
Look out at the Twelve Apostles
Stand on the viewing platform at sunrise or sunset for the perfect photo of the Twelve Apostles. Perhaps we should be more specific – thanks to millions of years of erosion, there are only eight of the limestone cliffs still standing off the Victorian coast. They can be found about 4 hours from Melbourne along the famous Great Ocean Road. There is plenty more to look at along the scenic route, including Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto and London Bridge. Make the occasion even more special by seeing the formations from the air, in a scenic helicopter flight.
Read more about Aussie adventures here:
20 Aussie road trips for families – comprehensive list of the best routes from beginner to hardcore
Screen free driving holidays – one of our journalists banned devices and this was the result
Sophie is a die-hard pasta lover, beach-goer and theatre fanatic hit hard with the travel bug. When exploring new places, Sophie loves straying from the beaten path and chatting with locals about the best places to grab a bite to eat.