Top 30 Bucket List Destinations

Our lovely Emma, from the Mindful Travel Co. team, recently joined the 30 Club and it got us to thinking about our bucket lists. For the past couple of years travel has been on hold but the World is now slowly opening up and it is finally time to plan where to travel next!

There is so much to do and see in Australia and New Zealand that it makes planning a trip to either of these countries seem overwhelming. Where in earth do you start? It’s easy to follow the beaten path and visit the most touristy spots but there are some hidden gems that we think you definitely should not miss.

We’ve put together 30 bucket list destinations across Australia and New Zealand that we think you absolutely must do – before or after 30! So stay tuned as we unpack some of AU and NZ’s best activities, attractions and a few hidden gems along the way.

Get your bucket list ready for some fresh additions!

Byron Bay, AU

First up on our 30 bucket list destinations it’s our home away from home, Byron Bay. As popular with home grown Aussies as it is with overseas tourists, Byron Bay is a must see on Australia’s East Coast.

Byron Bay boasts a staggering 9 stunning beaches plus some of the best food on the coast. It’s easy to see why people come to visit for a week and end up staying years.

How would we spend a day in Byron Bay? An early morning walk up to watch the sunrise at the Byron Bay lighthouse – Australia’s most Easterly point. Then a stop at @bayleafcafe for their famous coconut cold brew.

After catching a little sun at main beach, happy hour at @missmargarita_byronbay is a must.

If you’re looking for something special in an already special place – the waters around Byron are a playground for marine life. Julian Rocks Marine Reserve, has been likened to a ‘mini Galapagos’ and is one of the best dive and snorkel locations in Australia. If you’d prefer to stay (relatively) dry there’s a dolphin kayak option too!

Remember to squeeze a surf in there somewhere too! The Pass isn’t just one of the most iconic surf spots in Byron Bay, but in all of Australia.

Fun fact: Byron Bay is where our two founders, Laura and Emma, met in 2016!

Hobbiton, NZ

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there” – Gandalf

Next on our bucket list destinations it’s Hobbiton – a view that absolutely never gets old for us. I feel like we could visit 100 times and still find new and exciting details of the Hobbiton Movie Set each time.

Just outside of the Waikato town of Matamata, Sir Peter Jackson discovered the perfect place to create The Shire and village of Hobbiton.

As soon as you step foot off the @hobbitontours bus you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to Middle Earth – a truly magical experience even for those not familiar with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.

Blue Mountains, AU

Next up on our 30 bucket list destinations is the Blue Mountains! Would you believe it’s so cold there sometimes that they have snow?!

Just a 90 minute drive from Sydney is the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, home to home to 400 different species of animals and the famous Three Sisters rock formation. With sensational views over the deep valley troughs, formed over millions of years, the lookouts at Wentworth Falls, Govetts Leap and Echo Point are spectacular.

The area is surrounded by lush rainforest, waterfalls and of course the mountains – which get their blue appearance and their name, from the oil in the surrounding eucalyptus trees which when dispersed in the air gives off a blue hue.

The village of Katoomba is the heart of the Blue Mountains area and you can easily catch a train there from Sydney if you don’t wish to join a tour or self drive.
Scenic World at Katoomba and the Jenolan Caves are also must do’s while you’re in the area.

Bay of Islands, NZ

Next on our 30 bucket list destinations is the Bay of Islands! Around a 3 hour drive from Auckland this is a must see spot for its beaches and water activities, hikes and trails.

Boasting 144 islands you’ll be spoilt for choice with the different activities. Hire a bike or a kayak, join a cruise, charter a yacht or simply don your hiking boots. For something a little more adventurous there’s horse riding, jet boat rides, scenic flights and even skydives available – however you choose to explore is up to you!

The wildlife you’ll witness here is spectacular and includes penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales and gannets.

Don’t miss the epic Hole in the Rock cruise where you’ll spot a variety of wildlife as well as learn some local legends. Māori legend has it that local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before setting off for battle.

If drops of water from the cave roof landed on you as you passed through then it was a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space… and if you get dripped on, consider yourself lucky!

The Whitsunday Islands, AU

The magical Whitsundays is made up of 74 tropical islands scattered across the Great Barrier Reef and is one of the most visited destinations in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef protects these islands from large swells, making them ideal for sailing, swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on secluded beaches and undisturbed bays.

Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is regularly acknowledged as the most beautiful beach in the world and once you visit you’ll understand why! Its sand is 98% silica, and so white that it can appear unreal. Don’t miss Hill Inlet, at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach. As the tide shifts, the bright white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create those turquoise swirls you see all over Instagram!

There are day trips, overnight trips and 2-3 night/day boat trips around the Whitsundays, on different vessel types and sizes. Choosing the right boat trip for you can be a little tricky, but we’re here to help. DM us for some advice in finding the perfect boat for you.

If you’re after something even more special than sailing around paradise, we recommend exploring if from above! Get a bird’s eye perspective of the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the Great Barrier Reef including the famous Heart Reef with a Reef and Whitsundays scenic flight – a bucket list activity in itself!

Have you visited The Whitsundays or is it on your bucket list?

Fraser Island, AU

Next up on our 30 bucket list destinations is Fraser Island!

We’re a little biased toward Fraser here at The Mindful Travel Co – it was our first trip together and we’ve visited several times since. And y’know what? It never gets old.

Stretching over 123km in length, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and there is sooo much to explore! Because of its rugged rainforest and endless beach, Fraser Island is a popular spot for 4WD-ing.

You can choose to leave the driving to someone else and take a guided day or 2-3 day tour, or join a ‘tag-along’ tour where you can take turns driving in a convoy of vehicles.

Have you visited Fraser Island yet or is it still on your bucket list?

The Catlins, NZ

Next on our bucket list destinations – The Catlins, NZ.

The Catlins is a popular weekend spot for locals to escape to. It’s like a different world here in this wooded, leafy and enchanted area which is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and to take it easy for a few days. If you’re keen on chasing waterfalls then this is the spot for you – our favourites are Purakaunui Falls and McLean falls.

At the northern end of the Catlins coast you’ll find Nugget Point and the Tokata Lighthouse. The lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country and this area was named by Captain Cook because he thought the rocky islets looked like nuggets of gold!

Keep your eyes peeled for some of the world’s rarest penguins – it’s one of the only places you might see seals, sea lions and elephant seals in the same area.

Uluru, AU

What would a bucket list be without a trip to Uluru? It’s a view that honestly never gets old. We could spend all day looking at this magnificent rock from all angles, it’s glorious colours and the shadows it casts at different times throughout the day.
Uluru stands 348 metres above sea level at its tallest point (24m higher than the Eiffel Tower), though the vast majority of its mass is actually underground. It’s not until you’re standing in front of it that you really understand the true size of this spectacular formation.
Uluru is sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area and is estimated to be around 600 million years old! The controversial tourist climb up the sacred Uluru rock was closed in 2019, after decades of campaigning by traditional owners. However, you can still walk the base of Uluru where you’ll spot wildlife at waterholes, marvel at geological wonders such as Mututjulu Waterhole + learn more about its history.
Don’t miss the sunset or sunrise at Uluru, when the light turns its surface from ochre brown to burnished orange to intense red.

Milford Sound, NZ

Next on our bucket list destinations – Milford Sound! Described by Rudyard Kipling as the 8th wonder of the world, Milford Sound is a MUST SEE and the jewel of Fiordland National Park.
Although it’s called Milford Sound, Milford is technically a Fiord, which is typically depicted by a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs which has usually been formed by glacial erosion.
You’ll be blown away by this magical combination of mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls and even some penguins and seals at the right time of year!
Probably the most famous of all the peaks is Mitre Peak. Standing tall at 5,560 feet (1,690 m), Mitre Peak is the most photographed peak in New Zealand!
We highly recommend the @Jucyworld ‘coach-cruise-fly’ option for stunning views of this magnificent place from land, water and sky!

Queenstown, NZ

Next on our list of Oz and NZ bucket list destinations – it’s our beloved Queenstown!

This beautiful little town sits around the ever-blue Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake at 80km, a Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes. The town itself boasts breathtaking views of nearby mountain ranges such as The Remarkables and Cecil Peak.

Queenstown is a must visit spot in NZ, especially if you’re into winter sports! There are 3 ski fields within easy reach of Queenstown: Cardrona, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables.

However, even outside of the powdery months, Queenstown is still a hive of activity as the mountain bikers come for their piece of the action on the mountains during the Summer.

Queenstown is renowned for its apres ski and social scene and the town offers plenty of awesome rooftop bars and epic eateries – including the World Famous @fergburger_queenstown – a MUST do in town!

Have you visited Queenstown or is it on your bucket list?

Rottnest Island, AU

On this #Wildlifewednesday it’s only fitting for our bucket list location to be Rottnest Island! Famous for its pristine beaches, swimming spots and of course, the Quokkas!

To reach Rottnest Island you’ll need to hop aboard a ferry, or if you want to tick two bucket list experiences off at once, you can join @swanriverseaplanes for a seaplane flight from Perth – experience a water take-off and enjoy panoramic views of Perth City and Fremantle as you fly over Cottesloe Beach, arriving at Rottnest in just 20 mins!

Rottnest Island is known as the home of the adorable Quokka – a fuzzy little marsupial thats always smiling! Can’t really blame ’em – they do live in one of the prettiest spots in all of Oz! Apart from a small colony on the mainland, they are found nowhere else on Earth. These little guys are so used to humans that they’ll come right up to you, making it easy to get an epic photo, just remember not to touch or feed them.

Rottnest is also well known for its water based activities including snorkelling, diving, fishing, surfing, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing + swimming. With 63 beaches and 20 bays, you’re spoilt for choice – The Basin, Little Parakeet Bay + Pinky Beach are some of the most popular spots and for good reason!

Have you visited Rottnest Island or is it on your bucket list?

Great Barrier Reef, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations list is the world famous Great Barrier Reef! No visit to Oz is complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef – whether you’re a pro-diver or just prefer to swim and snorkel, the beautiful marine life under the sea is a wonder to behold.

The Great Barrier Reef is classed as the single largest living organism in the world, spanning a total distance of over 2300km (a larger area than Italy!) The reef is home to over 1500 species of tropical fish, 400 different types of Coral, 200 types of birds and 20 types of Reptiles!

You can expect to see the elusive Clown Fish, Surgeonfish and White-tipped reef sharks as well as the occasional dolphin or whale!

There’s a lot of different tours for Great Barrier Reef trips, ranging from day tours to liveaboard tours, from snorkelling tours to pro-dive tours, and backpacker tours to family tours. We take the time to find out what you want from your Great Barrier Reef visit, to match you with the perfect tour!

Emma and Laura braved an intro dive with @passionsofparadise last year – a highlight of our QLD trip and a big achievement for these 2 scaredy cats!

Have you visited the Great Barrier Reef? What did you think?

Lake Tekapo, NZ

Today’s bucket list destination is one of our favourite spots – the stunning Lake Tekapo.

Home of the remarkable turquoise coloured lake, the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps and the starriest of skies, Lake Tekapo gets its intense turquoise colour from the nearby melting glaciers. The town itself is small but perfectly formed and has all you need to keep you fed and watered during your visit.

One of the most popular things to do in Tekapo is walking! There are some great walks just along or around the lake. But, if you fancy stretching your legs then we recommend the Mount John Summit Track. This hike will take you a couple of hours and requires a moderate level of fitness due to some reasonably steep ascents in places.

It’s totally worth the effort once you get to the observatory and take in 360 degree views over Lake Tekapo, Lakes McGregor and Alexandrina, the Mackenzie Basin and across to the Southern Alps.

On the way back down, choose the longer walking option and stroll along the lake shore to the Church of the Good Shepherd. This tiny stone church was built in 1935 as a memorial to the early settlers and is now one of the most photographed buildings in the country.

Don’t miss out on a night time stargazing tour while you’re in the area. The region’s gold-rated skies are almost entirely free of light pollution making it one of the best stargazing sites on Earth. Spend a couple of hours staring at these unreal starry skies with @darkskyprojectnz

If you’ve spent the past couple of days hiking Mt Cook and Tekapo then treat yourself to a day at @tekaposprings where they offer three tiered Hot Pools with temperatures ranging from 36 to 40 degrees Celsius. Pure bliss, and one of our favourite spots in NZ for sure!

Wineglass Bay, AU

Next up on our bucket list destinations and perhaps the most photographed spot in Tasmania – it’s Wineglass Bay!

Located in Freycinet National Park, the Wineglass Bay Lookout and Wineglass Bay beach itself are both fairly easy to reach on foot. You can even camp at Wineglass Bay Beach – what a view to wake up to! You can also swim, kayak, dive and snorkel in the waters that surround the park, or take a day cruise.

For an extra magical experience, you might like to see Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula from above! A range of scenic flights and helicopter tours will take you over the over the Peninsula and other parts of the east coast—giving you the view, and the experience, of a lifetime.

Have you been lucky enough to visit Tasmania and Wineglass Bay yet? If it’s not on your bucket list, get it on there ASAP!

Cape Reinga, NZ

Next on our bucket list destinations is Cape Reinga!

Te Rerenga Wairua in the Maori language, is New Zealand’s northernmost lighthouse, located at the tip of the North Island. This stunning landscape where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean is considered by the Maori to be the most spiritually significant place in New Zealand and a must see on your visit!
An ancient pohutukawa tree (believed to be over 800 years old!) and a lighthouse mark this special place. It is here that after death, all Māori spirits travel up the coast and over the wind-swept vista to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua.
They descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root into the sea below. The spirits then travel underwater to the Three Kings Islands where they climb out onto Ohaua, the highest point of the islands and bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui.

If you have the calm app, we highly recommend the ‘Sacred New Zealand’ sleep story narrated by Jerome Flynn which details the area and history behind Cape Reinga – a wonderfully relaxing listen!

The Kimberley, AU

Next up on our bucket list destinations is one of the oldest and largest wilderness landscapes in the world – The Kimberley!

This region has it all – glorious beaches, sandstone gorges & rock art, camel rides and cave tunnels – you can tick off plenty of bucket list activities in the one spot. There’s so much beauty in the Kimberley it’s hard to pick just one photo!

Located just 70km south of Kununurra and brimming with an abundance of wildlife, Lake Argyle is truly paradise in the outback!

This immense freshwater lake was created by the mighty Ord River Dam and is now home to fresh water crocodiles, fish, birds, wallabies and more. At its peak in the green season Lake Argyle holds a staggering 32 million cubic metres of water – that’s more than 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour!! Admire the lake’s shoreline and islands on a wildlife cruise, or even from above on a scenic flight!

Hamilton Island, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations (and one to add to your list for when the borders reopen!) is the beautiful Hamilton Island!

With its white beaches, gorgeous teal waters and an abundance of marine life, it’s the largest and most popular inhabited island in the Whitsundays,

A water lover’s paradise, choose to hire a dinghy, take a guided or self-run jetski tour through hidden coves, parasail, embark on a fishing expedition or go kayaking or paddle boarding!

You can even get up close to iconic Australian wildlife – including koalas, kangaroos and a crocodile, at #WILDLIFE Hamilton Island.

But for a real bucket list experience, you’ve gotta try a scenic flight with @hamiltonislandair

Franz Josef Glacier, NZ

Next up on the bucket list is the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier. Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimata ō Hine Hukatere) is one of the steepest glaciers in NZ, descending from high in the Southern Alps deep into the rainforest of Westland’s National Park.

It moves faster than your average glacier at around 50cm per day creating incredible features in the glacier such as ice caves, tunnels + crevasses which are constantly changing!

The glacier is 5 kms from the town of Franz Josef, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its terminal face but to get up close to the glacier (you must!!!) you’ll need to join @franzjosefglacierguides for a Glacier Heli Hike where you’ll fly over rugged terrain before landing on Franz Josef Glacier, ready for a 2 hour guided hike.

Take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, capture stunning memories and learn about this magnificent ice giant. Guaranteed to be one of your most memorable moments in New Zealand!

Kakadu National Park, AU

Next up on our bucket list destinations is the glorious Kakadu National Park – and, as if you needed an extra incentive to visit, @ntaustralia is offering Australian visitors to the Top End up to $1000 off their travel expenses, including flights and accommodation!

Australia’s biggest National Park, Kakadu covers nearly 20,000 square kms and is packed with waterfalls, lush rainforests, rocky gorges, local wildlife + more than 5000 Aboriginal rock art sites! Due to its size you’ll want to spend a few days exploring – this is one spot you won’t want to rush!

You can’t visit Kakadu without visiting Gunlom Falls! Climb up to the insta-famous plunge pool – an unforgettable natural infinity pool with sweeping views across the bushlands of Kakadu.

Take a dip in the crystal clear waters + relax at the billabong at the base of the waterfall, made famous by ‘Crocodile Dundee’. There are heaps of attractions within Kakadu to visit including Ubirr rock art site, Jim Jim and Twin Falls and more! Truly a spectacular bucket list location.

The Pinnacles, AU

Next on our bucket list is one of Australia’s natural wonders – The Pinnacles! One of WA’s most visited attractions, The Pinnacles are giant limestone formations found in Nambung National Park.

These pillars are scattered across the Pinnacles desert which covers an area of approx. 190 hectares. These amazing natural limestone structures vary in height + width, with some standing over 4 metres high! The Pinnacles site changes from one day to the next, with desert winds moving sand dunes. Some of the smaller pillars disappear completely under the sand, then re-emerge days later when the winds change direction.

The Pinnacles were formed around 30,000 years ago, when the sea receded, leaving deposits of seashells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. At least, that’s one of the theories! You’ll have to visit to find out the others.

The Pinnacles hold great significance to the Aboriginal people of this region, the Nyoongar people. Nambung National Park comes from ‘Nambung’ meaning ‘crooked’ to describe the river which flows through the park.

During the wet season, this river made a chain of waterholes throughout the park, flowing into the cave systems which became essential for the tribe to survive. There are many myths about the Pinnacles, in particular the Aboriginal legend which tells of the large rock formations as the remains of fossilised ghosts.

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, NZ

Next on our list of bucket list destinations, it’s Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – home to NZ’s tallest mountain.
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage area and is famous for housing Australasia’s tallest peak, Mount Cook, soaring above at 3,724 metres (12,218 feet)!

The park is a collection of stunning peaks, turbulent rivers, beautiful lakes + glaciers. A true haven for hikers and regarded by many as the best climbing region in Australasia. Mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary used Mount Cook to develop his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest, which gives you an idea of the sheer size of this mountain.

Located in the centre of the park is the Mt Cook Alpine Village + iconic Hermitage Hotel which has been treating its guests to World-class views since 1884! The hotel has a bar and restaurant with outdoor seating offering views of the surrounding mountains that will take your breath away. The village is also home to the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre, which features New Zealand’s first full-dome digital Planetarium and a 3D movie theatre.

Above all, this national park has some of the best hiking tracks in the country. The Hooker Valley Track is the most popular short walking track in this region as it is suitable for all walkers. Although it’s just 5km long and 100m high, the views will make you think you’ve climbed a mountain!

For a truly special visit, treat yourself to a scenic helicopter flight or challenge yourself to one of the World’s most scenic skydives to see these stunning peaks, glaciers and lakes from above!

Lucky Bay, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations, it’s Lucky Bay! Located within the Cape le Grand National Park, Lucky Bay is Australia’s whitest beach. With its white sand, turquoise waters and resident beach-loving Kangaroos, Lucky Bay is a must do on your Western Australia adventure!

Cape le Grand is one of Western Australia’s best known and most spectacular National Parks, famous for its stunning scenery and idyllic beaches where you can go swimming, bush walking, fishing and camping.

Lucky Bay is a little slice of heaven, with its white sand and sheltered waters, it’s perfect for snorkelling and wading in the shallows. The best part is that Lucky Bay stretches for 5km, so it’s never too overcrowded! There’s nothing quite like seeing a Kangaroo sunbathing at Lucky Bay – how Australian, right?

Remember not to feed these creatures or try to touch them as they are still wild, though if you’re happy to wait for them to approach you, they seem to like the seaweedy spots so try hanging out there!

Have you visited Lucky Bay, or is it on your bucket list?

Mission Beach, AU

Next up on our bucket list destinations is Mission Beach – perfect for your post-lockdown Queensland adventure!

Mission Beach is located between Townsville and Cairns in the massive state of Queensland. It’s made up of four beach villages linked by 14kms of wide golden sands. This beautiful beachside area, blends vibrant art and culture with unique tourism attractions, inviting you to relax and unwind.

The four villages of Mission Beach offer a vast variety of accommodation options; from secluded rainforest retreats and romantic getaways to holiday parks for campers and caravaners.

Mission Beach also offers a vast array of activities; from tandem skydiving and white water rafting, for adrenaline junkies, to wildlife sightings and nature walks for those looking for a more relaxing trip. And if you’re just looking for somewhere to put your feet up, relax on the beach and read a good book, then Mission Beach is the perfect getaway!

Coober Pedy, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations and a spot that some say needs to be seen to be believed, it’s the ‘underground town’ of Coober Pedy!

The best kept secret in Australia’s mysterious Outback is the underground town of Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is Australia’s opal capital, boasting a sun-baked lunar landscape, fascinating history and a unique way of life.

Descend beneath this barren surface to discover a labyrinth of underground houses, hotels and shops. Watch this iconic outback town change colour with the famous Outback sunsets, visit one of nature’s most iconic natural wonders, unearth the town’s mining history or fossick for your own opals.

Coober Pedy offers plenty of activities to keep you occupied; feed kangaroos at the kangaroo sanctuary or visit one of the mines to see how the miners lived. Accommodation here allows you to sleep underground, as the locals do, and it’s a great place to stop for an overnight rest on the way to or from the Outback.

The Coromandel, NZ

Next up on our bucket list destinations it’s The Coromandel!

Located just a couple of hours from Auckland, The Coromandel is renowned for its natural beauty, green valleys, misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches. The Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of hideaways, making it an ideal place to escape.

On our last pre-Covid trip, Emma and I met some friends in New Zealand at a lovely little Top 10 Holiday Park. We explored the stunning Coromandel with them and discovered some absolutely beautiful spots. We got up early one morning to walk out to one particular beach to watch the sun rise. We all stood together as the rising sun turned the sky purple, then pink and then a stunning gold colour. Absolute magic.

We spent the rest of the day at Hot Water Beach, digging our own personal hot pool, and then relaxed at our cool little hut!

It wasn’t the first time I’d explored the Coromandel. Back in 2021, I spent a couple of days here with my Kiwi Experience bus pals and this place blew my mind then, and even time since. On this particular trip we also explored Cathedral Cove and took in the breathtaking scenery of the Coromandel Coastal Walk. This 20km walk takes up to 7 hours and offers endless views of the aquamarine ocean and rolling green hills.

There’s so much to do here; walking, kayaking, boat trips, dig your own spa pool or relax in one of the hot pools! There’s a reason they say that the Coromandel is #goodforthesoul and ours were super cleansed after this amazing trip!

Adelaide, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations it’s Adelaide!

If you’ve followed us for a while then you’ll know how much I like to bang on about how rad Adelaide actually is. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of years living there whilst working as a Travel Agent for the first time. I got to take part in all the activities there and hung out with the locals who showed me all of the best bits!

Adelaide is amazing because it’s sandwiched between the beach and the hills. The beaches are incredible and the hills are great for hiking and wine tasting. The Barossa Valley is one of my favourites and I’ve been on my fair share on wine tasting tours. The proximity of these epic wineries makes for interesting weekends and a great way to spend time with friends.

The city itself is an easy-to-navigate grid system with a tram line through the centre which ends up at the beach town of Glenelg. It’s an easy and laid back city life and there’s always something going on. They call it the festival state and it definitely lives up to that statement. There are food and music events happening almost every month and if there isn’t then you have a million things to do instead. Visit the indoor food market, walk around the sunken Japanese garden, swim with dolphins or just visit one of the amazing coffee shops, cool bars or awesome restaurants.

Also located close to Adelaide, with day trips and overnight tours from Adelaide city, is Kangaroo Island. But, more on that next time. Stay tuned!

Kangaroo Island, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations it’s Kangaroo Island!

The island was named after its high Kangaroo population back in 1802 and is Australia’s third largest island. Not only is the island famous for its kangaroos but offers a huge array of wildlife! You’ll get to see emus, wallabies, koalas, seals, echidna and up to 267 bird species!

The island was badly burnt by the bush fires of January 2020 and much of the islands wildlife was lost. However, after a hugely brave effort by the residents and volunteers, the island is slowly recovering. If you visit now, you’ll see the regeneration of the island taking place before your very eyes.

While you’re on the island we recommend visiting spots like Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch and Seal Bay. We offer daily day trips as well as multi-day trips which include your transport, accommodation plus a guided tour of the island and we really do recommend spending at least one night over there. There’s so much to see and do!

Message us to start planning your Kangaroo Island trip now – or if you’ve already visited, let us know what your favourite bit was!!

Great Ocean Road, AU

Next on our bucket list destinations it’s the iconic Great Ocean Road!

The Great Ocean Road is famous for its rocky coastline and varied wildlife. One of the most popular road trip destinations in the world, the Great Ocean Road offers spectacular views and gorgeous coastal towns. You’ve probably heard of the 12 apostles but, did you know that there are actually several different rock formation along the Great Ocean Road that are worth a visit? These limestone pillars were once attached to the rugged cliffs along the roadside but have been worn away by the wind and waves.

The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay and travels 243km westward to finish in Warnambool. The beaches are fantastic surfing locations and the local towns have a laid back vibe. Apollo Bay is great overnight stop and if you’re heading to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road. If you’re doing this road trip, don’t forget to stop at the Grampians! One of our favourite stops for great mountain views, hikes and wildlife.

Have you visited the Great Ocean Road, or is it on your bucket list?

Exmouth & Ningaloo Reef, AU

Next on our list of bucket list destinations is Exmouth!

Exmouth is Australia’s most north-western cape, where turquoise waters meet red outback earth. Exmouth is home to the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Marine Park where you’ll find the world’s largest fringing reef, perfect for snorkelling and diving.

The Ningaloo region (Exmouth, Coral Bay & surrounds) is the eco-adventure capital of Western Australia. There’s plenty of activities to try, like quad bike tours, scenic flights and glass bottom coral viewing boat tours, fishing, diving, swimming, snorkelling and whale watching. Keen divers should head to Navy Pier, voted one of Australia’s top 10 dive sites.

The Ningaloo area is a nature lover’s paradise with year-round wildlife delights. From March to August visitors from all over the world come to swim with Whale Sharks. These gentle giants can grow up to 18m long and Ningaloo is one of the only spots on Earth that they appear regularly in large numbers. Humpback Whales and Manta Rays can also be found at the Ningaloo Reef.

Turtles can frequently be spotted whilst snorkelling, but numbers increase dramatically during Turtle Season (Nov-March). During this time turtles lay their eggs and after approximately 60 days of incubation the turtles hatchlings start appearing out of the sand.

Abel Tasman, NZ

Last (but certainly not least!) on our list of 30 bucket list destinations, is the coastal paradise of Abel Tasman National Park.

It may be New Zealand’s smallest National Park but there’s plenty to do, especially if you hike the full length of the famous Abel Tasman Coast Track, which takes 3-5 days!

The 60km Abel Tasman Great Walk track stretches from Marahau to Wainui Bay. Discover Cleopatra’s Pool, a natural rock pool with a moss-lined waterslide + admire Falls River as you walk across a 47m suspension bridge! From Wainui Bay, a short walk leads to the cascading Wainui Falls.

Nestled between Kaiteriteri + Marahau is the remarkable natural landmark of Split Apple Rock. No-one knows how Split Apple Rock was formed – Māori legend has it that the boulder was split in half when the God of the Ocean fought with the God of the Land over its possession, as it was sitting in the ocean, but also on firm ground.

There are plenty of ways to get around – on foot, by bike or boat + of course, by kayak! All year round, you’ll see people kayaking the crystal-clear waters of Tasman Bay, exploring the hidden coves + arches. Rent a kayak or join a guided kayak tour to discover secret spots that aren’t accessible from land! Adrenaline lovers can also go canyoning or skydiving!

Have you visited Abel Tasman National Park, or is it on your bucket list?


Has our 30 bucket list destinations in Australia and New Zealand blog inspired you to book a trip? Now is such a great time to start researching and planning your next adventure!

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