The top 10 experiences in Australia have been announced after thousands of tourists reviewed their time in the country for the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards.
And while you might think the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, a Barossa Valley wine tour or an Opera House visit would make the cut, the top picks involve bikes, segways and jet skis instead.
Travellers are enjoying a more adventurous path involving learning to surf, whale watching and ocean rafting before sitting back to enjoy the capital cities major landmarks – a trend growing in popularity the world over.
So what are people loving Down Under?
The Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour is bound the get your heart racing (pictured)
1. Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour
Taking off from Airlie Beach, Queensland, this number one choice is bookable from $110 per person.
You’ll zoom past coves and white sandy beaches and learn about this UNESCO-listed site from your guide, who can take 20 people out of all experience levels.
‘Must do! These guys are super professional and organised. Our day was windy, but that just added to our fun,’ noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
2. The Best of Melbourne Bike Tour
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most bike-friendly cities, with over 135 kilometres of on- and off-road bike trails.
And at $59 per person you can increase your fitness levels while taking in the lush surroundings around the Yarra River, stopping for lunch along the way.
‘The tour was brilliant! Could not recommend higher! Get to see all the highlights that Melbourne has to offer, along with a detailed history lesson,’ raved one TripAdvisor reviewer.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most bike-friendly cities, with over 135 kilometres of on- and off-road bike trails
3. Hervey Bay Premium Whale Watching Cruise
Enjoy the majestic migration of humpback whales on this whale watching cruise from Hervey Bay, Queensland.
For $100 per person this ocean-based tour offers informative commentary on whale migration tours and a buffet lunch, all while you keep your eyes on the water.
‘Words really can’t describe how amazing this tour was’ noted a reviewer.
‘It exceeded my expectations and the enthusiasm from the crew was also amazing. At one point, the boat was surrounded by three humpback whales and dolphins who stayed with the boat for at least an hour.’
Enjoy the majestic migration of humpback whales on this whale watching cruise from Hervey Bay, Queensland
4. Perth East Foreshore and City Segway Tour
If you find yourself in Perth, Western Australia, forget trying to get a selfie with the quokkas and instead opt for a $96.75 segway tour.
With a knowledgeable guide, cruise along the Swan River, and check out attractions like Kings Park, Claisebrook Cove or the river foreshore.
‘Had a great time on the tour. I was worried that it might be hard to use the Segway (especially when I learnt we’d be navigating the city footpaths!), but it’s really easy once you get the hang of it,’ commented a reviewer.
If you find yourself in Perth, Western Australia, forget trying to get a selfie with the quokkas and instead opt for a $96.75 segway tour
5. Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Tour
With a guide, you’ll take easy walks to three waterfalls – Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls and Dinner Falls – and a refreshing swim in Lake Eacham.
This Queensland experience is a day trip option from Cairns and will set you back $109 per person.
See the Cathedral Fig Tree, take in the views of the volcanic crater in Mt Hypipamee National Park, and enjoy lots of time for swimming and photos.
‘This tour included lovely locations, with plenty of time to enjoy each stop. Our guide, Gabs, was fun and gracious. I’d recommend for all ages,’ wrote one reviewer.
With a guide, you’ll take easy walks to three waterfalls – Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls and Dinner Falls – and a refreshing swim in Lake Eacham
6. Hobart Kayak tour
A guide will happily show you around the Tasmanian captial of Hobart in a kayak, with multiple route options to choose from.
You have three options to choose from when booking this $95 grand event: a two and a half-hour tour from central Hobart, a seven-hour tour past cliffs, caves and beaches or a 10-hour Tasman Peninsula tour.
You’ll either admire Hobart’s bustling waterfront along the River Derwent or take in the scenic wilderness outside the city on one of the full-day adventures.
And previous tour customers have raved about the experience.
‘From pick up from our hotel to drop off this tour was fantastic… This is the best way to see the coast line of Hobart,’ said a reviewer.
A guide will happily show you around the Tasmanian captial of Hobart in a kayak, with multiple route options to choose from
7. Ocean Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach
Bookable from $164 per person this motorised raft can take you the pristine white beaches of Whitehaven for a full-day extravaganza.
Choose between tours that offer a snorkelling expedition or extended beach time at secluded spots you wouldn’t be able to access on your own.
Listen to your naturalist guide talk about the flora and fauna of the area during nature walks and guided snorkelling expeditions.
Afternoon tea and cake, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off, make this tour a convenient option.
‘Had such a great day on this trip and even saw a pod of pilot whales, which was amazing! Snorkelling on the reef was an unforgettable experience and we would definitely do the trip over again if we could,’ commented a reviewer.
Bookable from $164 per person this motorised raft can take you the pristine white beaches of Whitehaven for a full-day extravaganza
8. Mooloolaba Seafood Lunch Cruise
This experience on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, will delight the taste buds for $45 per person.
Mooloolaba is one of many resort towns along the Sunshine Coast – the kind of place where the beaches and bars get packed during the summer.
Dine on fresh seafood (including locally-caught prawns) and enjoy the views of the town’s golden beaches from inside a cosy cruise ship on the Coral Sea.
‘We have done this every time we come to Mooloolaba, which is about four times. We have had different staff each time and they have all been great. It is a relaxing, fun, humorous cruise. Totally recommend!’ Commented a reviewer.
This experience on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, will delight the taste buds for $45 per person
9. Sydney Beer and Brewery Tour
After a day of activities you might be winding down for an evening of fine dining but that’s the perfect time to slip in a beer or two.
At $130 per person you can choose between three varied options.
There are two different six-hour tours include a delicious pub lunch, and the three-hour tour, offered in the afternoon, hits the highlights in a shorter time frame.
‘Great small tour with friendly, enthusiastic and well informed guide,’ said a reviewer.
After a day of activities you might be winding down for an evening of fine dining but that’s the perfect time to slip in a beer or two
What are the top 10 experiences around the world?
1. Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Tour – Rome, Italy
2. Chicago Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois, USA
3. Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour – Florence, Italy
4. Snorkelling Silfra Tour with Pick up – Reykjavik, Iceland
5. Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
6. Private Guided Tour on a Vintage Sidecar from 1 Hour to 7 Hour – Paris, France
7. 1-Hour Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
8. Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing – Ubud, Indonesia
9. Xi’an Evening Food Tour by TukTuk – Xi’an, China
10. Kaituna River White Water – Okere Falls, New Zealand
‘The beer, the guide, the friendly staff and owners at all the venues make this a very social and enjoyable tour. Highly recommend for locals and visitors.’
10. Two-Day Camping and Surfing Great Ocean Road Trip
The most expensive experience of the bunch at $249 per person, this Melbourne tour ticks off the Australian highlight of travelling along the Great Ocean Road.
Hit the beach for a two-hour surf class, spot wild koalas and kangaroos and soak up the scenery of Apollo Bay, the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
Best of all, spend a night in a teepee by the beach, where you’ll tuck into a hearty Aussie BBQ around the campfire.
‘If you’re looking to see the Great Ocean Road in all of its glory without the guilt of going on an overly touristy trip, this is the trip for you,’ touted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
‘I had a wonderful time with great people, great sights and memories that make me want to return to Australia as soon as possible!! A must do trip for anyone visiting Melbourne.’