The problem will be narrowing down which experiences in Australia to go for first 😍

New South Wales Lord Howe Island Drone Shot of Island - Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Lord Howe Island

We can’t wait to travel. Trust me, my passport (and soul) is ready.

But a lot has changed over the past year. When leisure travel returns, there’ll be a lot more to consider when planning our trips — new local restrictions and safely navigating popular attractions. For many of us, social distancing will continue to be important when we’re overseas.

Western Australia Kimberley Mitchell Falls - Best Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Sarah Duguid Photography

Australia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world — almost 32 times the size of the United Kingdom with roughly one-third its population. And with eight unique states and territories, there’s loads to experience beyond its capital cities.

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Northern Territory Kakadu National Park Bamurru Plains Safari Drive - Socially Distanced Things to do in Australia

Safari Drive at the Bamurru Plains. Photo credit: Tourism Northern Territory

Which is why we’ve put together 12 exciting experiences in Australia for that perfect socially-distanced vacation.

1) Visit a Gorgeous Island with Just 380 Residents

Lord Howe Island - Things to do in Australia

Photo credit: Lord Howe Island

Inviting turquoise waters and pristine beaches — Lord Howe Island looks like something out of Disney’s Moana. This World Heritage-listed paradise is located in New South Wales and takes just under two hours by flight from Sydney to get there.

New South Wales Lord Howe Island Drone Shot of Ocean - Socially Distanced Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Lord Howe Island

You don’t have to jostle for space here as only 400 tourists are allowed on the island at any one time. Despite its small size (11km long and 2km wide), Lord Howe Island has several scenic treks — like the Malabar Hill hike which promises stunning views from 208m above sea level.

Lord Howe Island Snorkelling with Fishes - Unique Things to do in Australia

Photo credit: Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island’s position at the intersection of five major ocean currents also means there’s a vibrant mix of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate species of marine life. Its clear waters (visibility of around 30 metres!) make it ideal for snorkelling and diving too.

If you’re able to tear yourself away from the water, try spotting one of the 14 species of seabirds or enjoy a round of golf.

Read also: 10-Day Sydney And New South Wales Australia Itinerary — New Experiences in a Familiar Place

2) Experience the Wilderness from Your Bed at Bamurru Plains

Northern Territory Kakadu National Park Bamurru Plains Swimming Pool - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Tourism Northern Territory

Bamurru Plains is an eco-friendly safari lodge sitting on the edge of Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park located in the Northern Territory.

Just 10 modern bungalow tents sit on this sprawling 300km property to minimise environmental impact. Around 75% of the power is generated from solar panels.

Northern Territory Kakadu National Park Bamurru Plains Eco Lodge Interior - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Shaana McNaught

Guests are encouraged to put away distractions and immerse in nature so you won’t find WiFi, televisions or cell reception here. But with mesh screen walls that allow you to see and hear the surrounding wildlife, I doubt you’ll be missing any of it.

Watch buffalos grazing on the wetlands or wallabies hopping across the savannah bush from close proximity — way better than TV!

Northern Territory Kakadu National Park Bamurru Plains Eco Lodge Airboat Safari - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Airboat Safari at sunset. Photo credit: Emma Pritchett

You’ll have a tough time choosing from numerous adventurous activities, like an airboat safari or an open-top safari drive! The former is Bamurru’s signature experience, cruising through floodplain wetlands while passing by kingfishers, buffalos and crocodiles.

3) Live on a Houseboat at the Murray River

South Australia Murray River Safari Houseboat Drone Shot - Socially Distanced Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Murray River Trails

If waterfront living is on your bucket list, why not take it a step further and live on the water itself? At Murray River Safari, you can do just that — by staying overnight in a houseboat.

Located in the historic Riverland town of Renmark, the Murray River spans three states — Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. It’s just a three-hour drive from the bustling city of Adelaide, but Renmark offers a completely different experience.

South Australia Murray River Safari Koala Sighting - Socially Distanced Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Murray River Trails

This three-day experience includes guided field trips across the Riverland Ramsar wetlands — on foot, and via boat and canoe. It’s home to over native 180 bird species, as well as marsupials like koalas and kangaroos.

South Australia Murray River Safari Houseboat Interior - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Murray River Trails

The houseboat itself isn’t some dingy shack. We’re talking five bedrooms, a comfortable lounge area and a fully equipped kitchen. In the evenings, wind down with a sunset dinner from the top deck!

4) Witness the First Steps of Newly Hatched Sea Turtles

Queensland Bundaberg Lady Musgrave Island Sea Turtles - Unique Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: @tracyolive via Instagram

A four-hour drive from Brisbane lies the coastal city of Bundaberg, where a visit to the Mon Repos Conservation Park is a must. It’s here you’ll find the largest concentration of nesting sea turtles on the eastern Australian mainland!

Queensland Mon Repos Conservation Park Baby Sea Turtles Hatching - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Thousands of loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay eggs from November to January. Be part of this annual wonder by joining a turtle encounter tour! Witnessing hatchlings make their journey to the ocean is an incredibly intimate experience that you’ll remember for life.

Make full use of your trip by visiting the nearby Lady Elliot Island, the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef! Here you’ll find 19 stunning dive sites — the perfect place to spot vibrant aquatic life.

5) Dive with Whale Sharks on a Wildlife Conservation Tour

Western Australia Coral Coast Exmouth Drone Shot - Best Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Home to the world’s largest fringing reef, Exmouth in Western Australia is one of the best places to experience Australia’s incredible wildlife. A great way to see as much of it as possible is by joining an eight-day wildlife conservation tour.

Guests are encouraged to record animal sightings and submit them to wildlife authorities. Each tour has a maximum group size of 16 so it’s not too packed.

Coral Coast Exmouth Whale Sharks - Things to do in Western Australia

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Picture spending a week exploring the remote Muiron Islands by boat and swimming with Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef. Visiting Cape Range National Park, where you’ll spot Dingoes and rare Black-footed Rock-wallabies. Not to mention, see Dugongs and Humpback Whales along the Exmouth Gulf.

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Read also: 11D Western Australia Itinerary — Coastal Road Trip From Perth To Ningaloo

6) Experience Off-grid Living in a Tiny Home

Victoria Yarra Valley Tinystays Tiny House - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Tiny Stays

The TL;DR for those unfamiliar with the tiny house movement: you don’t need a large space to be happy. Put this theory to the test with Tiny Stays and experience off-grid living in scenic locations, no less. Pick from three tiny homes just an hour’s drive from Melbourne — Healesville, Red Hill and Warburton.

Victoria Yarra Valley Tinystays Tiny House Interior - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Tiny Stays

Upon arrival, you’ll be sent a door code to check yourself in. The home may be small, but it’s big on amenities — a queen-sized bed, full kitchen and outdoor barbecue among them.

Picnic in Yarra Valley - Best places to visit in Australia

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Great news for wine lovers, Tiny Stays is located near the Yarra Valley, which boasts 160 wineries. There’s also plenty of hiking options in the area, like the La La Falls Walk and the Cumberland Walk.

7) Immerse in Nature by Hiking the Overland Track

Tasmania Cradle Mountain Huts Overland Track Walk - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Tasmanian Walking Company

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covers one-fifth of the state, and the famous Overland Track is a good way to see it. It’s a six-day, 65km hike which currently only permits 24 hikers per day, walking from north to south. Perfect for travel-starved hikers craving a long, scenic trek in Tasmania.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park Southern Lights - Things to do in Tasmania

Catching the Southern Lights at Lake St Clair is definitely a bucket list-worthy experience in Australia. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

This is a Grade Four hike, meaning it’ll be tough — but the reward is well worth it.

It starts at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake. Navigate different landscapes, from lush rainforests to powerful waterfalls. If you’re up for an added challenge, hike up the 1617-metre tall Mt Ossa, Tasmania‘s highest peak!

8) Cruise Around the Kimberley Region

Western Australia Kimberley True North Cruise - Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: True North

A True North voyage around the Kimberley region packs a year’s worth of adventure into a single week. Hosting just 36 guests, True North is purpose-built to venture where bigger ships cannot.

Western Australia Kimberley Horizontal Falls - Best Things to do in Australia

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

The journey starts with a helicopter ride over The Horizontal Falls on day one — the first of many. Yes, the ship has its own helipad.

Western Australia Kimberley True North Cruise Helicopter Ride - Thrilling Things to do in Australia

Photo credit: True North

You won’t be spending all your time onboard. The itinerary includes stops at breathtaking natural marvels, like the 100-metre King George Falls and King Cascades. Hop off the ship and explore these places on foot!

9) Hike at the World’s Oldest Tropical Rainforest

Queensland Daintree Rainforest Drone Shot - Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Silky Oaks Lodge

A two-hour drive from Cairns lies the Daintree Rainforest. This World Heritage-listed rainforest is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, filled with plants and animals not found anywhere else in the world. It even provided inspiration for the blockbuster movie Avatar.

Try spotting crocodiles while cruising along the Daintree River or stay overnight at Silky Oaks Lodge* — a treehouse-inspired lodge with views of the Mossman River.
*Currently closed for refurbishment. Re-opening in Dec 2021

Queensland Daintree Rainforest Waterholes - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: @mr_aaron_84 via Instagram

As if this forest needed any more affirmation, it was called “the most extraordinary place on Earth” by Sir David Attenborough. Check off the many hiking trails before relaxing in one of the natural turquoise swimming holes.

10) Go Glamping in a Vineyard

Victoria Mitchelton Vineyard Couple Cycling - Post COVID Travel Bucket

Photo credit: Mitchelton

Glamping in a vineyard is a pretty special experience in Australia. Especially if it’s in a region known for world-class wine! Since it started in 1969, Mitchelton winery in Victoria has produced several award-winning wines.

Victoria Mitchelton Airstream Hotel Exterior - Socially Distanced Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Mitchelton

At their on-ground Airstream Hotel, guests can enjoy glamping in a modern caravan. The backdrop of their stay is the Goulburn Valley — a scenic wine region with mild, cooling weather.

Victoria Mitchelton Airstream Hotel Interior - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: Mitchelton

Each Airstream is fitted with ensuite bathrooms, televisions and a private deck. Spot local wildlife like kangaroos and emus and enjoy farmhouse cooking at their on-site restaurant.

11) Picnic on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra

Australia Capital Territory Canberra Lake Burley Griffin GoBoat Rental Picnic - Post COVID Travel Bucket List

Photo credit: GoBoat Canberra

Hoping to enjoy a picnic but prefer to avoid busy city parks? Rent a GoBoat at Lake Burley Griffin and picnic on calm waters!

Each carbon-neutral, electric GoBoat seats up to eight people and includes a picnic table. Pack your own lunch or add on a grazing platter. Guests get to steer the boat themselves — no boat license or experience required.

Australia Capital Territory Canberra Lake Burley Griffin GoBoat Rental - Unique Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: @goboatcanberra via Instagram

Pick from two or three-hour rentals and cruise around Canberra at your own pace. From the Captain James Cook Memorial to the bustling stretch of restaurants at Kingston, you’ll see Australia’s capital from a new perspective.

12) Discover Australia’s Aboriginal Culture on a Yuin Retreat

New South Wales Narooma Yuin Retreat Camping - Unique Things to do in Australia

Photo credit: Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness

Learn about the rich history of New South Wales by embarking on a two-night Yuin Retreat. This experience caters to a maximum of eight people and is centred around the Yuin Aboriginal community.

New South Wales Narooma Yuin Retreat Smoking Ceremony - Socially Distanced Experiences in Australia

Photo credit: Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness

You’ll be greeted with a warm traditional welcome — songs, a smoking ceremony and dinner. After a local Indigenous breakfast while watching the sunrise, choose between two exciting experiences.

The first is a tour of Gulaga National Park (home to the sacred Gulaga Mountain!) while the second is a Djirringanj Dreaming Experience that covers culturally significant areas.

Staying Socially Distanced While Travelling in Australia

Canoeing at Nitmiluk National Park - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

With all that’s happened this past year, a socially distanced holiday in Australia sounds like the perfect escape. You don’t have to worry about large crowds, plus you get to enjoy a desperately needed break.

Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long for the borders to reopen. But the real issue comes when we have to narrow down which Australia experiences to try first — but that’s a good problem for later.

While we patiently await our next Australia adventure, stay inspired with our other travel guides:
The Ultimate Australia Road Trippin’ Guide — 10 Itineraries For The Perfect Adventure of a Lifetime
40 Lesser-Known Things to Do in Australia Highly Recommended by Locals, Travellers and Celebrities
16 Unique Experiences to Add to Your Next Australia Itinerary

Featured image credit: Lord Howe Island

Which experiences in Australia are you most looking forward to? Share with us in the comments!


This post is brought to you by Tourism Australia.

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