The ULTIMATE East Coast of Australia bucket list: Places you cannot miss
At least once in your life, I really do hope you make it to the east coast of Australia.
Australia is without a shadow of a doubt up there in the top three destinations I’ve ever travelled to. Yup, for real.
Why, you ask? Why is it that you have to go to Australia?
Well, if it isn’t the golden beaches, health conscious cafes, outdoor living, relaxed culture or abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites that draw you Down Under, then let it be the likes of Whitehaven Beach, the vineyards, the surfing or the endless road-trip possibilities.
I honestly just found it really hard to narrow down my choices in that last paragraph, which is an honest reflection of how many things, places and activities there are in Australia that I love… things I know you will love too.
Where would I recommend? Where should you add to your bucket list for your East Coast Australia adventure?
It goes without saying that my suggestions only touch the surface of what’s on offer. In terms of travelling along the East Coast, there are plenty of options. The hop on hop off buses all stop off at the must-see places, or you could rent a camper or a car. For more ideas about planning your travel in Australia, click here.
Here are my 14 places you cannot miss on the East Coast of Australia…
1. St. Kilda
There are not many destinations where I sit and think, ‘I could see myself here long term.’ But, with Melbourne I did, especially St. Kilda.
St. Kilda is a small seafront town located in Melbourne, just outside the city centre. Trams run every 20 minutes into the centre and you have the beach life right on your doorstep. You seriously have the best of both worlds. Combine that with the beach front bars and live music venues, and you have the dream set up.
2. Fraser Island
This is one you simply cannot miss. Whether you join in with one of the many tours that run on this island or hire a 4X4 for yourself – you are going to fall in LOVE.
I have explored this island twice: once with Nomads Tag Along Tour (via RatPack) and once with Cool Dingos.
For a proper backpacker vibe check out my experience with Nomads Tag Along Tour here. For a more laid back, couple-orientated and high-end accommodation experience, check out my experience with Cool Dingos here.
3. Diving or Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
A world heritage site, seen from space, 400 types of coral, 10% of the world’s fish species, and the largest coral reef system on Earth… Whose bucket list ISN’T this on???
4. Road trip down the Great Ocean Road
I was so happy to tick this one off my bucket list in 2018. Grab a car or a van and a few friends and ride from Melbourne through to Adelaide. Pass The Apostles and cruise The Ocean Road with the music loud and the breeze running through your hair.
THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF.
See my guide to planning your Great Ocean Road trip here.
5. Sunrise hike up Mt. Warning
This is a stop off slightly less explored by backpackers, but a freaking amazing one. Even if you’re travelling on the Greyhound or some other hop-on-hop-off company, rent a car in Byron Bay and follow my epic road-trip itinerary. This hike requires an early start but the view is worth every sweat bead you release. It’s mind blowing.
See my complete guide to Byron Bay here.
Do I need to give Sydney an introduction? Do I need to explain why this has to be on your bucket list? In fact, I’m pretty sure it already is. I’ve been 5 times now and simply cannot get enough of the outdoor lifestyle, beaches or energy that resides in the biggest city on the East Coast of Australia. See my guides and experiences below for more.
7. Road trip to Hyams Beach
Take the Grand Pacific Drive down to some of the whitest sands in the world! See my road-trip from Sydney to Hyams beach here.
8. Noosa National Park
Noosa is a popular place to start the legendary Fraser Island tours. If you do find yourself here, make sure you leave a couple of days to enjoy this little surf town. There are some gorgeous eateries on the beach front and also the incredible Noosa National Park.
See my guide to Noosa, Sunshine Coast here.
9. Hot air ballooning and wine tasting, Gold Coast
Sunrise sessions and wine tasting before 9am makes for my kinda morning! Check out my experience here.
10. Sail through the Whitsundays
It’s heaven on earth, and one of the prettiest places on the East Coast of Australia. The pictures do all the talking for this one: see all my pictures of the Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach here (the few I’ve selected below barely scratch the surface). I’ve done the Whitsundays three times now, so to help you decide…
11. Explore Blue Mountains National Park
With stunning views wherever you look., whether you go on an organised tour or by yourself, this isn’t one to miss – I’ve done it three times now! See my self-guided experience of the Blue Mountains here.
One for the thrillseekers… imagine doing a skydive in such a beautiful place! There are so many places you could skydive on the east coast of Australia: Mission Beach, Airlie Beach, Great Ocean Road, Sydney, Cairns, Noosa, Byron Bay… to name a few! Click here to read my guide on skydiving in Australia to find out more.
13. Hunter Valley day trip from Sydney
Cheese, chocolate, wine, wildlife… what more could a girl want?! See my trip here.
Another one near Sydney, but this beach side district is one of my faves. See my guide to Manly here.
What are you waiting for? Get planning your East Coast Australia adventure!
Don’t forget, you can get 10% off any bookings you make through RatPack Travel with my discount code MOLLIE10.
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Have you been to the East Coast of Australia?
What would you add to this bucket list? I’d love to know!
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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