I have always dreamed of visiting Australia. Ever since I was a little girl and my dad told me about his six-week trip to Australia and New Zealand: white-water rafting in Queensland, scuba-diving the Great Barrier Reef and sailing around Lizard Island.


My dad scuba-diving the Great Barrier Reef… with an 800-pound codfish!

And when I was in Vietnam, I found an incredible deal on a flight to Australia; from Kuala Lumpur to Perth for less than $200. After consulting a few friends via Skype, who told me not to buy it (lame), I decided to give the deal a miss. (Which, obviously, is for the best, considering I’m not longer in Asia. And considering Australia is crazy expensive.)

But I definitely intend to make it to Oz someday (once I have more money!) so here are the things I absolutely have to do in Oz.


Go White-water Rafting on the Tully River



Like father like daughter, right? Ever since I went white-water rafting back in 2011 in Patagonia, Chile, I’ve been dying to try it again. I love both the adrenaline rush of paddling through rapids and the serenity of drifting slowly through nature. And where better to do it than Australia?

Scuba-dive the Great Barrier Reef

Now that I’m a diver (thanks, Thailand!) I’d love to experience some of the world’s best diving on the Great Barrier Reef. When my dad was there he saw an enormous school of barracuda and an 800-pound codfish- see above!

Scope out Street Art in Melbourne



Melbourne seems to have all the makings of a city I would love: artisanal coffee, street art and lots of ethnic food. And considering Anthony Bourdain called it the “San Francisco of Australia”, I’m sure I would adore it.

But seriously, the coffee- C’est Christine’s coverage of Melbourne coffee culture there makes me apply for the under 30 Australia visa immediately. Also did you know all of my favorite coffee places in Paris, like Kookaburra and Tuck Shop are Australian-run?

Road-trip Up Australia’s East Coast

While I’m not a huge road-trip person (I’m kind of a terrible driver) I would love to spend a few weeks driving up Australia’s East Coast from Sydney to Brisbane. (You can take a look at Motoring if you’d like to do the same!) On the way I would cuddle with koalas in Port Stephens, watch the sun set over South West Rocks and pull over for countless beautiful beaches.

A Wine Tour in the Yarra Valley



As anyone who reads this blogs knows very well, I’m a big fan of wine- so no trip to Australia would be complete without tasting some of the country’s finest vino. I’d love to do a wine tour in the Yarra Valley, the Australian answer to Napa Valley.


This list in no way is all I want to do in Australia- I’d be a fool not to check out Tasmania‘s untouched beaches or dive with whale sharks on the West Coast. And while I’m in Australia I would naturally have to pop over to New Zealand to indulge my Lord of the Rings obsession.

Your turn! What’s on your Australian bucket list?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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