Exploring East Coast Australia should be at the top of any Down Under bucket list. From diving the Great Barrier Reef to touring the iconic Sydney Opera House, there is no shortage of incredible things to do on Australia’s East Coast.
When you travel with Trafalgar, we go a layer deeper by connecting with locals. From north to south, here are 6 incredible East Coast Australia attractions you can experience with Trafalgar.
1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Getting up close to the bright blue tropical waters of the world’s largest coral reef system is a must-do. So large it can be seen from space, Trafalgar dedicates a full day to exploring the 2,300-kilometre (1,430 mile) long Great Barrier Reef. A high-speed catamaran will take you from Cairns out to the reef. Then it’s time to meet the colourful locals! Snorkel around the tropical waters viewing the vivid marine life around you, or enjoy the coral reef from inside a semi-submersible underwater observatory. Exploring the World Heritage-protected reef is truly the experience of a lifetime.
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2. Connect with Aboriginal culture
For more than 50,000 years the world’s oldest living culture has passed down its rituals through storytelling. Immerse yourself in the culture of the Aboriginal people of Australia at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park when you ‘Dive Into Culture’ with Trafalgar. Embark on a journey across place and time with special Dreamtime stories, watch moving performances by an indigenous dance group, then sit down to dinner while listening to the mesmerising sounds of the didgeridoo.
3. Live the island life in the Whitsundays
In the heart of the Whitsundays, an island archipelago and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lies Hamilton Island. ‘Hamo’, as the locals like to call it, is a resort island primed for one thing: relaxation. Surrounded by white sandy beaches and turquoise waters filled with marine life, the Whitsundays is a picture-perfect paradise. A boat will take you out to a floating pontoon in the middle of the World Heritage-listed reef. Swim or snorkel around the coral cays, soaking in an up-close view of the kaleidoscope of marine life before we break for a buffet lunch. Jump back in the water afterwards or take a scenic flight from the pontoon to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world from above, including the famous Heart Reef.
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4. Help at a wildlife hospital
From cuddly koalas to small marsupials, bouncing kangaroos to the strange and shy platypus, Australia’s native wildlife is certainly unique. But the animals face many obstacles from habitat loss to bushfires to the danger of roads, cars and dogs. At Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, the Wildlife Hospital gives lifesaving treatment and care for between 6,000 and 8,000 injured and sick wildlife every year. With Trafalgar you will head behind-the-scenes to see the incredible work these Wildlife Warriors are doing.
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5. Go behind-the-scenes at the Sydney Opera House
What happens behind-the-scenes in Australia’s most iconic building? Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on a private guided tour of this architectural marvel that graces the front of guidebooks and postcards. Get up inside the ‘sails’ of the building, learn about the heart and history of the opera house, view the Drama Theatre, Playhouse and stunning Concert Hall.
6. Meet a real Bondi Surf Lifesaver
Say g’day to the bronzed, beautiful locals of Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. Meet a local surf lifesaver and learn about what they do and the history of Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club. Of course, this ‘Connect with Locals’ experience includes a long lunch at the club to soak in incredible views of the waves.
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Have you been on tour in Australia with Trafalgar? What was your favourite experience? Let us know in the comments below…