This is the ultimate Aussie summer bucket list

Summer is just around the corner which means it’s time for those family day trips that will create ever-lasting memories. Tripadvisor have done the hard work for you by rounding up the best travel experiences in Australia.

This top 10 list will have you aboard super yachts, making underwater friends, chasing waterfalls and even crocodiles.

Tick these Aussie adventures off your bucket list before the summer is over.

10. Sunset Sailing Cruise, Port Douglas QLD

Sunset Sailing Port Douglas
Sail into one of the best travel experiences in Australia © Tripadvisor

Step aboard a luxury catamaran and cruise along the coast of Port Douglas for 1.5 hours.

Ambient music, gourmet canapes and welcome drinks set the scene. Savour the sunset over the Coral Sea against a backdrop of the Low Isles and the surrounding mountains.

Details: Make your way to the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, 44 Wharf St, Port Douglas by 4:30 pm. Tickets are $52.75 per adult, ticketholders must be 13 or over.

9. All Inclusive Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Cruise, Brisbane QLD

Make some marine friends © Tripadvisor

Moreton Island is a world-famous destination for encountering dolphins, dugongs and turtles. If you want to get in on one of the best travel experiences Australia has to offer then be quick. This one is booking out fast.

The full-day tour features an eco-cruise with marine animal watching plus morning tea and a tropical buffet lunch.

You’ll get designated island beach time and a guided snorkel tour at the Tangalooma Wrecks. Look out for the cluster of 15 sunken ships.

Details: Depart from Unit 1/17 Rivergate Pl, Murarrie, $10 parking is available at Rivergate Marina. Tickets are $119.81 per adult. The event may be cancelled due to poor weather, the operator will offer a reschedule or full refund.

8. Ocean Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach, Airlie Beach QLD

High speed adventure aboard a motorised raft © Tripadvisor

Begin the day with a courtesy pick up from your Airlie Beach hotel. Your transfer will take you to the Coral Sea Marina.

From there you will zoom to the Whitsunday Islands’ Whitehaven Beach aboard a motorised raft.

You can choose between two tour options. One offers a snorkelling expedition for adventurers the other extends your beach time at secluded spots that you otherwise couldn’t access on your own.

Listen to your expert guide talk about the flora and fauna you discover along the nature walks.

Details: The seven-hour tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, snorkelling equipment plus afternoon tea. You can choose to add on a tropical lunch for $17 and wetsuit hire is $8. Prices start from $127.35 per adult.

7. Morning Half-Day Tour, Port Douglas QLD

Cassowary Falls
Chasing waterfalls © Tripadvisor

There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a morning waterfall swim. This excursion sweetens the deal by giving adventurers exclusive access to Cassowary Falls, making it one of the best travel experiences Australia has to offer.

Marvel over the natural beauty of the Daintree on a one-hour River Cruise. While you’re aboard keep your eyes peeled for a croc among other animals. Afterwards, enjoy a morning tea of fresh scones topped with jam and cream and a Daintree tea or coffee.

Then it’s off to River Home Cattle Station where a Soft Top 4WD Land Rover awaits. Drive through the station tracks safari-style till you reach the tranquil Cassowary Falls – which you’ll have all to yourself.

Details: The five-hour morning trip offers pick up from Port Douglas and surrounds. The tour has a maximum of 13 travellers and can be rescheduled in the event of bad weather. Prices start from $92.01 per adult.

6. Kayaking with Dolphins, Byron Bay NSW

best travel experiences Australia
Look at the form on that flip! © Tripadvisor

Take your paddling adventure up a notch by kayaking with some squeaky marine friends. As you encounter these friendly creatures learn about their protected habitat, Cape Byron Marine Park.

While you’re there you’ll catch a glimpse of Cape Byron Lighthouse the most easterly point in Australia.

The best bit about this tour is that you don’t need any kayaking experience – just a sense of adventure. So get paddling towards the local pad of more than 300 dolphins. Did we mention the tour includes all-you-can-eat TimTams?

Details: Depart from Cape Byron Kayaks for a three-hour kayak adventure. Wetsuits, safety gear and National Park entry are included. Tickets are $51.62 per adult.

5. Litchfield National Park and Jumping Crocodile Cruise, Darwin NT

Crocodile
Seeing a croc in action is one of the best travel experiences Australia has to offer © Canva

If getting up close and personal with a jumping crocodile was never on your bucket list, it should be.

Watch on in awe as five-metre long crocs leap from the water to snap up the meat you guide dangles from the boat (don’t worry you’ll be at a safe enough distance).

Go on to explore Litchfield National Park. You’ll be safe to swim in three croc-free zones on the tour – Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls.

Details: Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, this is an 11-hour tour. It includes traveller pick up, lunch and only takes children over the age of 4. Prices start at $134.64 per adult.

4. Whitsunday Bullet Day Trip – Whitehaven Beach and Snorkelling, Airlie Beach QLD

© Canva

Queensland has made the list of the best travel experiences in Australia…AGAIN. With azure water like this, we aren’t complaining.

Explore the Whitehaven Beach stretch or test your balance on a stand-up paddleboard. While you’re in the water try to find Nemo (or at least his lookalike) or gather the gang for an underwater selfie.

Details: The eight-hour day trip includes local transfers, lunch and all equipment. You can purchase alcohol onboard (over 18s only). Tickets are $93.32 per adult.

3. Gordon River Cruise, Strahan TAS

best travel experiences Australia
Cruise along the Gordon River through Hells Gates © Tripadvisor

Take a catamaran cruise along the Gordon River on this cruise from Strahan. Pass through the narrow Hells Gates, as you squeeze through the small gap just 80 metres, you’ll understand why early sailors gave it its ominous name.

Stop by scenic and historic sites such as the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the Sarah Island Penal Colony along the way, a former penal colony from the 1820s and 1830s.

There’s a theatrical presentation and live commentary on board so you will leave a total history buff. Head upstairs to catch some fresh air on the 360-degree viewing deck enjoy a delicious chef-prepared lunch.

Details: The six-hour cruise departs from the cruise terminal on the Strahan wharf. You can cancel up to four days in advance and prices start from $107.41 per adult.

2. Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout Full-Day Snorkelling Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran, Airlie Beach QLD

Fun in the sun © Tripadvisor

What’s better than one travel experience? The answer: two of the best travel experiences in Australia.

Whitsunday Bullet has combined two adventures in one day, so you don’t have to choose between snorkelling and a high-speed catamaran.

Cruise around the scenic islands on a high-speed catamaran before stopping to swim and snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll even get the chance to disembark the boat and hike to Hill Inlet Lookout.

Despite being an eight-hour experience, there will be no hanger pangs on this adventure with a buffet lunch included.

Details: Meet your tour group at Coral Sea Marina North End – Meeting Point B. All entry fees and equipment are already included in the ticket price. Prices start at $139.20 per adult.

1. Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling and Diving Cruise, Cairns QLD

best travel experiences Australia
Australian summer meets luxury © Tripadvisor

Nothing screams Australian summer quite like diving into the Great Barrier Reef off a 35-metre super yacht. It’s easy to see why this luxurious trip has taken out the top spot for the best travel experiences in Australia

You’ll visit two different locations on the barrier reef for the chance to sight tropical marine life in the clear waters. There’s also an option to upgrade the experience to include scuba diving or a helicopter flight.

Whether you’re a novice snorkeler or a total pro, this experience is fit for everyone with friendly instructors that will guide you along the way.

Details: Start your day by checking in at Reef Fleet Terminal from 7.15 – 7.45am. Enjoy 8.5 hours aboard the super yacht. Children under 12 will not be allowed to participate in diving activities. Tickets are $143.62 per adult.

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