Top 8 Australian bucket list locations for seniors

With all the time in the world to enjoy and explore, having a few trips planned is a great way to make the most of it. Whether a short or long break, Australia is full of options no matter how far you’re willing to travel.

Here are some top Australian locations every senior should have on their bucket list.

Unique landscapes

Australia is home to a number of locations unique to the world.

Uluru, NT

Considered one of the great natural wonders of the world, Uluru – situated in the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory – is an unmissable sight for any Australian.

Things to do at Uluru:

  • Walk the 9.4 km base – Take the opportunity to look into hidden caves, relax beside waterholes, and experience the true nature of the heart of Australia.
  • A guided Dreamtime tour – Stories of the Dreamtime passed down by generations of indigenous Australians can be heard and experienced by the guided tours offered at Uluru.
  • The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Culture Centre – Discover a great introduction to the Anangu culture – the indigenous Australians who were the original owners of the land where Uluru stands – and see wonderful examples of their art and culture.1

The Great Barrier Reef, QLD

The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see, considering it is both one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and the largest coral reef in the world. There are over 3000 individual reef systems that make up the Great Barrier Reef lying off the coast of Queensland.2

Top activities on the Great Barrier Reef include:

  • Snorkelling and diving – With uncountable species of fish and other sea creatures to view, as well as the coral itself, there’s never a dull moment when out in the water.
  • Aerial views – See the full magnificence of the reef from the air by taking a scenic helicopter or seaplane ride over the water.
  • Whale and dolphin watching – Take a boat ride out off the coast of Australia and watch these magnificent sea creatures in the wild as they surf the seas. If you visit at the right time you may even be able to see whale calves as they migrate.

Short breaks

Can’t get away for a long time? No drama, drop by these great spots!

Mudgee, NSW

Food and wine make for a perfect short break, and Mudgee is the perfect place to embrace it. Located three and a half hours west of Sydney, this region offers many vineyards with plenty of artisan food producers.3

Things to do in Mudgee:

  • Wine tours – Mudgee is home to a number of established wineries, such as the Robert Oatley Vineyards and Thistle Hill. Take a trip to different cellar doors for tastings or arrange a vineyard tour from operators in the area.
  • Soar to new heights – Hot air balloon operators in the Mudgee region will take you on a soaring trip above the beautiful countryside. You’ll see rolling hills, fields of vines, and the attractive town of Mudgee on your travels.4

Launceston, TAS

While Hobart often hogs the limelight, don’t discount Launceston in Tasmania. As one of Australia’s oldest cities, the representation of Colonial and Victorian architecture in the preserved cityscape is worth a visit, in addition to this beautiful town’s other attractions. A few of these sights include:

  • Cataract Gorge – Situated in the heart of Launceston, the Cataract Gorge is a delightful slice of wilderness in an urban landscape.
  • Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery – The largest regional gallery in Australia, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery enjoys national recognition for its collections of Australian colonial art, natural science, and Tasmanian art.
  • Tamar River – Explore the natural scenery of Tasmania by following the Tamar River north into the wine-growing regions.5

Destinations for relaxation

If relaxation is what you’re after, these locations may be more your style.

Daylesford, VIC

Daylesford in Victoria, an easy 90-minute drive from Melbourne, has a range of boutique accommodation, excellent eateries, quirky shopping and gorgeous art galleries. Long considered to be associated with healing and relaxation, Daylesford is a place to visit for relaxation.

Key attractions in Daylesford include:

  • Take to the waters – The Daylesford natural mineral waters are an experience not to be missed. You can experience them at one of the many local spa salons that take advantage of this natural resource for their treatments.
  • Paddle around the lake – Lake Daylesford and Jubilee Lake are both excellent locations to hire a kayak and paddle around on the water for a different perspective on the view.
  • Chill out –The annual Chill Out Festival is held in Daylesford in March. This is the largest country queer pride event in Australia, and is considered a regional mecca for the gay community.6

Bay of Fires, TAS

Another great outdoor adventure can be found at the Bay of Fires. With its secluded white beaches and crystal clear ocean, it’s a must to tick off from the bucket list.

What to do:

  • Walk in starlight – The Bay of Fires offers fantastic opportunities to walk under the stars and appreciate the fresh Tassie air. With little light pollution to affect the night sky, you’ll see thousands more stars than can be seen by the naked eye in the main cities of Australia.
  • Snuggle up in Binnalong – The eco-lodge experience at Binnalong is a wonderful place to view the scenery while comfortably warm inside, if the weather outside proves a bit too chilly!7

Hitting the road

Looking to be a grey nomad? Here are some recommended stops on popular roadtrips around Australia.

The Great Ocean Road, VIC

Hop in the car and traverse the Great Ocean Road. Stretching over 400 km, you can jump out of the car along the way to experience the magic that is Australia’s coastline. The 12 Apostles is one of the most photographed scenes along the route.

Here are some other impressive attractions to see:

  • Cape Ottway Lightstation – The lightstation, which had its light established in 1848, is considered Australia’s most important lighthouse. It is located on the cliffside above the ocean of Bass Strait.
  • Swim with dolphins – In Queenscliff, Victoria, along the Great Ocean Road you can swim with Australian Fur Seals and wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
  • Visit the brewhouse – Stop in at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse for craft beers, live music and delicious food.8

The Kimberley, WA

The Kimberley region is something everyone should experience in their lifetime. In fact, it’s one of the few destinations that is truly untouched and natural. Home to around 40,000 people, the Kimberley is home to both rock formations over 2 billion years old and Outback luxury retreats.

Top attractions to visit:

  • 1,000 islands – Take in the breathtaking sight of the 1,000 rocky islands that make up Buchaneer’s Archipelago. There are a number of tours – both by sea and by air – to give the best views.
  • Unique waterfall – The Horizontal Falls are an example of the quirks of nature, with water spurting between two mountain ranges. You can experience the Horizontal Falls safely on solid ground, or if you’re feeling a bit daring, there are jet boats that ride across the surface.9

Stay safe

Wherever you decide to go, it pays to stay safe. Follow these four simple steps to ensure you’re prepared to travel:

  1. Make sure your travel insurance is up to date before you leave.
  2. Organise your medication prior to departure, and make sure you have extra scripts handy just in case.
  3. Organise locks for your bags and ensure you have a foolproof way to carry your valuables and money. Carry your personal identification on you at all times if you can.
  4. Print out your travel information to leave with someone at home and take a photocopy with you as well.

Need more ideas? Discover more destinations perfect for senior travellers.