Unique experiences you can find Down Under

Australia is one of the most unique countries in the world. It has everything from deserts to beaches, tiny rural towns to international metropolises and everything in between. Its native fauna and extreme weather add to the character of the country. Many people have an imagined stereotypical Australia in their minds and they are often shocked when they discover that the reality is far more interesting.

There are plenty of museums, restaurants and cities to visit. There are also some experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Whether you’re a local looking to try something new and different or a visitor trying to fit as many uniquely Australian experiences as you can into your trip, we’ve got some great ideas for you.

Visit iconic filming locations

While the Australian New Wave movement of the 1970s may never be as famous as its French predecessor, it deserves far more popular and critical attention than it gets. It had an important impact, both on cinema and on how the world viewed Australia. Visiting the locations where some of these classic movies were filmed is a truly unique experience.

Two of the most original and moving films of the genre were filmed in small towns in New South Wales. Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Fright (1971) was filmed in Broken Hill and Peter Weir’s The Cars that Ate Paris (1974) was filmed in Sofala, in the Turon River Valley.

George Miller’s Mad Max (1980) is most likely the famous film from this period. Much of it was filmed in and around Melbourne, while some of the car chases were shot in Clunes and Little River. From Melbourne, it’s just a short drive to Hanging Rock, the setting for Peter Weir’s haunting Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

Many tourists think of film locations Down Under and immediately jump to Hobbiton, the Lord of the Rings movie set. Obviously, that’s in New Zealand, not Australia, but we’re still going to suggest it as a wonderful experience for fans of the books and the films. For more ideas if you’re making the trip across the Tasman Sea, read these tips about New Zealand.

Tour an opal mine

Mining has been one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy since the 1840s. Mining has made such a deep cultural impact that it has inspired many books and movies, and even major art installations. The country is still the world’s largest producer of many of the ores and elements that we rely on to keep society running. It is also one of the top producers of precious metals and gems. The opal is Australia’s iconic gemstone.

The Umoona Opal Mine and Museum is a fascinating attraction and a must-see for anyone interested in mining, geology or gemstones. The mine and museum are located in Coober Pedy, the unofficial opal capital of the world. The town is also worth a visit – due to the heat in the region, most of the homes and businesses are actually underground.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef

One of Australia’s best-known natural wonders isn’t on land, it’s just off the coast of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, isn’t just one long chain of coral, it’s actually a

series of hundreds of small reefs and islands that cover over 100,000 square miles. It’s easy to see why this site has inspired so many and become such an iconic destination.

There are many ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef. The two most popular are diving and glass bottom boat tours. If you are certified as a scuba diver or snorkeler, you can explore the reef from the many diving locations along its length. There are also several dive schools that will get you ready for your adventure. If you’d rather stay out of the water, glass bottom boat tours are a great alternative. These tours allow you to experience the wonders of the reef in comfort.

This is one experience that has a time limit on it. Due to global climate change and pollution, the corals that make up the reef are dying off. While some preservation and protection work has been started, it is unlikely that the reef will ever be returned to its former glory. As long as climate change continues to be ignored by politicians and corporations, the reef will continue to die faster than it can regrow. A visit in the next few years will give you the best chance to see it.

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