Australia is a huge country. Actually, huge is an understatement. Australia is a continent by itself — and while 70 per cent of the mainland is classified as semi-arid, arid or desert, the coastline is bustling with tons of things to do. From Brisbane in the East to Perth in the West, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the most stunning beaches and bustling cosmopolitan cities.
Now that the borders of Singapore and Australia are open to fully vaccinated travellers, there’s no better time to pack up the entire family for a fun-filled adventure than the next school holiday! If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s part two to some of the best things to do in Australia, namely Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Things to do in Brisbane
1. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Home to over 100 koalas and 70 other species of Australian native animals, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s largest koala sanctuary. Ever since opening its gates in 1927, the sanctuary has been one of the best and most intimate places for guests to get up close and personal with Australian wildlife.
Apart from endless photo opportunities with the animals, guests can feed the kangaroos and get the chance to hold one of the cuddly koalas! Raptor shows and sheepdog demonstrations abound as well to entertain the entire family.
We’d recommend visiting on Fridays when the sanctuary holds its weekly produce and food market. With arms full of delicious grub, the whole family can settle down in front of one of the three open-air movie screenings at night.
Address: 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069, Australia
Opening hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm
2. Flipside Circus
If you’ve been to all the best theme parks in Asia, and are looking for the greatest thrills in the country down under, this one's for you. Quit comparing your children to monkeys, and have them go wild and join the circus. At the Flipside Circus’ Full Day Workshop, that is.
Under the tutelage of Flipside’s experienced trainers, kids of all ages — from as young as 12 months to as old as 17 years old — can learn how to juggle, tumble, spin plates and more. Beyond learning new skills to show off to their friends and family, the workshop at its core aims to increase balance, coordination and fine motor skills in young children. Their holiday workshops can be as short as a 1-hour programme up to a full-day programme, so parents can choose something that works within your itinerary.
Your kids will also get a certificate at the end of the workshop because as we all know, the proof is in the pudding. Just be sure to kit them up with comfortable kids’ fashion so that they can tumble and jump around with ease.
Address: Riverfront Event Space at Northshore, 33 MacArthur Ave, Hamilton QLD 4007, Australia
Opening hours: Monday to Friday — 9:00am to 5:00pm
Things to do in Perth
3. The Aquarium of Western Australia (AWQA)
AWQA — also known as Western Australia’s premium attraction — is located just 20 minutes north of Perth City over at Hillarys Boat Harbour. Let’s just say, if the kids love the S.E.A Aquarium, they’re going to go absolutely wild over AWQA.
Come face-to-face with giant sharks, stingrays and turtles like you’ve never seen before while traversing through the 98m long underwater tunnel. There’s even a danger zone exhibit filled with rare and mysterious marine life capable of stinging, stabbing, biting and even killing! Rest assured, parents, this zone’s an observation-only area.
For something a little more immersive, families with kids over the age of 14 can opt to dive into the pools and go swimming with the sharks and turtles. Fret not for the little ones, the family can always go on a glass-bottom boat tour instead. Whatever water activity you and your family choose to partake in during this spectacular underwater journey, be sure to pack the necessary swimming gear!
Address: 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys WA 6025, Function Centre Entrance Australia
Opening hours: 9:00am to 4:00pm
4. Rottnest Island
Perth’s stunning sunset coast is also where you’ll find boat rides to Rottnest Island, just 19km offshore. While it’s just 11km long, the island hosts a whopping 20 bays and over 60 secluded beaches, so there’s no need to fight for space with other families for picnics here!
There is also an Island Bus Explorer that’ll bring you around the island, though we’d highly recommend renting a bicycle and going off the beaten path instead. If you’re lucky, you might even come across several curious quokkas scurrying around.
The best time to visit the island is between late August to mid-November. Hop on one of Rottnest Fast Ferries with marine biologists and witness the humpback whale migration! If there is one thing to do in Western Australia, this has to be it!
Things to do in Adelaide
5. Adelaide Zoo
Filling up your list of things to do in Adelaide? Within a relaxing green oasis at the heart of Adelaide is the second oldest zoo in Australia: the Adelaide Zoo. With more than 2,500 animals — including the only pair of Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere — it’s full of diversity, colour and unique things to see and do.
Drink in the sight of Macaws in all their blue and gold glory flying overhead or seize the opportunity to hand-feed giraffes. For something special, Adelaide Zoo also offers an exclusive behind the scene animal experience and keeper talks via their free daily keeper tours.
All proceeds from ticket sales go towards the zoo’s conservation efforts too, which means you too can do your part in helping to protect these beautiful species while having a good time!
Address: Frome Rd, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Opening hours: Opens daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm
6. Adelaide Botanic Gardens
There is a list of reasons why the Gardens by the Bay should be on your list of garden adventures. The same applies to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Stepping into the gardens almost feels like stepping into a scene from an Enid Blyton fairy tale — blooming rose gardens stretching as far as the eyes can see; majestic ancient trees; and little nooks and crannies to seek respite from the midday sun.
Apart from a large greenhouse that’s been around since the 1870s, there’s also the Santos Museum of Economy Botany and the Bicentennial Conservatory to explore within the gardens. If you’d prefer to bring the family around the place, the Friends of the Botanic Garden over at the Schomburgk Pavilion offer free guided tours every morning.
For lunch, the award-winning Botanic Gardens Restaurant offers a menu featuring produce straight out of the gardens themselves like finger limes and bunya (a native pine). To top off the meal, parents would be pleased to know the National Wine Centre of Australia is just next door.
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Opening hours: Monday to Friday — 7:15am to 5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday — 9:00am to 5:30pm
With such a huge plethora of unique and exciting things for the entire family to do, it’s no wonder that Australia’s one of the top-rated countries to visit by travellers.
Things to note while travelling to Australia
- In view of the evolving pandemic situation, do regularly check back on the Australian Department of Health’s website for the latest information and travel advisory.
- Masks are not necessary for areas where there is low community transmission of Covid-19. However, where the risk of transmission is high, you are encouraged to wear a mask. When in doubt, it’s always safe to mask up.
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Best time to visit
September to November when it’s spring, as well as during the winter months of March to May, are the most popular times to visit Australia due to its temperate climate.
Public buses are plentiful in all three cities, and exploring areas on foot are also a good way of getting around in Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Self-driving is another popular option, especially between cities.
The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Direct flights from Singapore to Australia vary between 5 to 7 hours, depending on your destination. Search for airfares and book your tickets here.