Australia, the world’s sixth-largest country, is arguably one of the world’s most interesting travel destinations. The diverse landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, unique wildlife, and rich cultural heritage of Australia mean travelers can visit the country, again and again, experiencing a new side each time.
Australia's geography also lends itself well to cruise travel, as so many of the most desirable travel destinations lie along its gorgeous coastline. When you cruise Australia with Azamara, you get to relax and unwind while making your way from one incredible place to the next. Beyond the journey, your time spent onshore will be unparalleled. Our shore excursions in Australia are operated by the experts from Abercrombie & Kent, and they'll introduce you to aspects of the country and its culture you would never have discovered otherwise. What kinds of things can you do in Australia? Keep reading to find out.
1. Dive even deeper "Down Under" on a snorkeling adventure.
Opportunities for underwater adventures abound on this voyage. The water surrounding Australia is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world. In Exmouth, spend the morning at Turquoise Bay where you can snorkel at Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing reef in Australia. A “fringing reef” is a coral reef that lies close to the shore. The one at Turquoise Bay stretches for more than 120 miles!
If snorkeling isn’t your style, you don’t have to miss out on seeing the Ningaloo Reef’s incredible underwater wonders. Try a more relaxed Glass Bottom Boat Tour instead. The boat’s huge viewing panels provide plenty of opportunities to witness schools of tropical fish, eels, rays, and stunning coral gardens.
2. Wine lover? You'll Shir-az heck love Australia!
Australia isn’t just for adventurers. It’s also a favorite destination among wine lovers. You can visit some of the country’s best wine regions during an Australian cruise.
First, there’s the Swan Valley, near Perth. This is one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions, having produced wine for over 180 years. The warm, dry climate results in excellent Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, and Petit Verdot varieties.
Calling on Adelaide means a visit to the famous Barossa Valley. This region, known for producing big, earthy Shiraz wines, has a rich viticulture history of 150 years. It's easy to visit with our Cruise Global, Taste Local shore excursion. It includes stops at four of the region's most acclaimed wineries!
In Bunbury, explore the relatively newer wine region of Margaret River. This region dates back just a few generations but has developed a reputation for great Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays.
Albany, also in southwest Australia, offers the chance to explore the Great Southern wine region. This large region has five smaller sub-regions: Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup, and Albany. Don’t miss trying Shiraz and Riesling wines while here. This shore excursion takes guests to five of the best of the southern wineries.
Interested in learning more? Check out this handy infographic featuring fun facts about Australian wine!
3. Hang ten, or just hang out, at the world's best beaches.
During any vacation, and especially a longer one, it’s important to take time to relax and recharge. That’s easy in Australia! The country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Perth boasts some of the best in the country, and we’ll spend two full days there.
If you’re interested in surfing or body-boarding (or just people-watching), Scarborough Beach is the place to be. For a more relaxing environment with sheltered swimming, City Beach is a perfect choice. If you’d prefer to end your day with a stunning beach sunset, there’s nowhere better to be than Cottesloe Beach. You can take a dip in the Indian Ocean, enjoy a picnic on the sand, or enjoy a sunset cocktail at a beachside restaurant.
4. Immerse yourself in Australia's artistic side in the "Culture Capital".
If you’re more of a museumgoer than a sunbather, Australia still has plenty to offer. In fact, Melbourne is on our list of the best travel destinations for art lovers. “Australia’s Culture Capital” is home to incredible galleries, museums, and public art. Whether you're an art aficionado or a casual fan, you should check out this Cruise Global, Meet Local shore excursion in Melbourne. Not only will you visit a few of the city's most renowned museums, but you'll get to sip champagne and chat about art with the owner of a local contemporary gallery.
If you prefer the art of architecture to paintings and sculptures, this "Arcades and Alleyways" shore excursion will be right up your, well, alley. A knowledgeable guide will lead a walking tour of the city that will expose its most famous and most hidden architectural gems.
5. Talk a walk on the wild side with some of Australia's most beloved animals.
Australia is home to incredible wildlife by land and by sea. Did you know that approximately 90% of animals native to Australia are found nowhere else? Most of the Australian ports we call on offer the chance to get up close and personal with animals! Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney are all home to wildlife parks, sanctuaries, and zoos that host some of Australia’s most interesting animals.
In Cairns, a visit to the Atherton Tablelands with our Cruise Global, Eco Local shore excursion will deliver a fascinating visit to the Australian Platypus Park. Calling on Kangaroo Island will bring opportunities to visit the protected sanctuary of Seal Bay Conservation Park or take an exciting four-wheel drive ride through Finders Chase park and a Eucalyptus forest, before wrapping up the day at a wildlife sanctuary.
Want to learn more about the Australian wildlife you could see during your trip? Check out the fun facts on this handy infographic.
6. Is this life on Mars? No, it's Australia.
In some parts of Australia, you might find yourself asking "Have I landed on another planet? Where is this?!" The terrain in some regions is downright otherworldly. Outside Perth, the Nambung National Park is home to the amazing Pinnacles Desert. This stunning landscape features thousands of limestone spires, each millions of years old, rising from the sand.
In Albany, the Torndirrup National Park boasts several geological wonders. “The Gap” is sure to impress—and we don’t mean the clothing store. The ocean’s pounding surf carved the granite crevasse over millions of years. Nearby, the Natural Bridge is a rock archway shaped by the waves.
7. Kick back and enjoy a few days in Sydney, Australia.
Nearly all of our cruises to Australia embark or debark in Sydney, a city that is worth spending a few extra days in. And luckily, we’ve already created not one, but two incredible ways to spend 36 hours in Sydney.
For a great view of the city, you won’t do better than the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. For the artistic souls, the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery NSW, and Royal Botanic Gardens are must-sees.
Then, of course, there are Sydney’s many incredible beaches. Manly Beach is the most popular and most iconic, with great surfing. Bondi Beach is another famous beach and located just eight kilometers from the city center, while the nearby Coogee Beach is calmer and ideal for swimming.
However you spend your time in Sydney, you’re bound to enjoy it. It’s a vibrant, trendy, and sunny city with no shortage of great shopping, great food, and great culture.
These are only seven things you can do in Australia and, let's face it, it's only scratching the surface. It's time to check Australia off your travel bucket list and experience this wonderful country for yourself! Find voyages here.