For history buffs
- Animatronic Ned Kelly story, Glenrowan, NSW. Well worth the $30 entry fee.
- The Town Garage Museum, Peterborough, SA (free). An unexpected fun ‘ride’ in a restored early 19th century train carriage. Dog friendly.
- Pearl Luggers, Broome, WA. A one hour talk on the history of the pearling industry in North West WA ($25). An incredible amount of information. Dog friendly.
- The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum, WA. An informative and also fun experience run by volunteers.
- Lake Dumbleyung WA. The location of Donald Campbell’s water speed record. See a replica Bluebird.
- National Anzac Centre, Albany, WA ($24). This doesn’t just provide information about the Anzacs, it takes the visitor on a personal journey with real people and its location overlooking the bay where the Anzac fleets departed adds to the whole experience.
- The Super Pit, Kalgoorlie. (1 1/2 hr tour $45. 2 1/2 hr tour $70). The most accessible and impressive open cast mine in Australia.
- National Trust Museum, Ceduna, SA. You could spend hours here and not see half of the exhibits. Look out for the Maralinga testing display – a forgotten part of Australian history.
- J-Ward Asylum for the criminally insane, Ararat, Victoria. A fascinating insight into the history of the building and its inmates. You can also do a ghost tour.
- Port Arthur Historic Site, Tas. Adult ticket $39 – valid for two consecutive days and includes a 40 min guided walking tour, a 25 min harbour cruise and access to all buildings. Dogs are allowed too!
- The West Coast Heritage Centre, Zeehan, Tas. $25. You could spend hours here exploring the collections.
- Devil’s Marbles, NT.
- Henbury Meteorite Craters, NT.
- Stromatolites, Hamelin Pool, WA.
- Port Gregory Pink Lake, WA. The pink colour is caused by algae and the high salt concentration.
- Wave Rock, Hyden, WA.
- Jewel Cave, Margaret River, WA.
- The 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Vic.
For art lovers
- Sculpture Park, Frankston, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria (donation). A photographer’s dream and also dog friendly.
- Pro Hart Gallery, Broken Hill, NSW ($5). A former miner, Pro Hart became a prolific painter/sculptor whose works fetch high prices. Mainly depicted the Broken Hill landscape and characters.
- Bruce Munro’s ‘Field of Light’, Uluru, NT. ($39). Stand surrounded by 50,000 solar lights which are constantly changing colour underneath the stunning outback night sky. Extended until March 2018 due to its popularity.
- Dot painting workshop, Ayers Rock Resort. ($69). Join a local indigenous artist, learn about the symbolism in dot paintings and produce a painting of your own.
- Antony Gormley’s ‘Inside Australia’, Lake Ballard, WA. (Free). An art installation by an internationally renowned sculptor, in the Outback.
- Cactus Country, Strathmerton, Victoria ($12.50). An amazing cacti and succulent park. The cafe sells cactus ice-cream and cactus cake.
- Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta SA. Gardens beautifully looked after by volunteers. Learned a lot from the guide and was able to identify plants on the drive up through the red centre.
- Olive Pink Botanic Gardens Alice Springs.
- WA wildflower season in Spring. There are wildflower trails to follow from the Pilbarra down to the south.
- Colac Botanic Gardens, Victoria (dog friendly). On the banks of Lake Colac. Contains several plants of historical significance. Seven have been placed on the National Trust of Victoria’s Significant Trees Register.
- Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier, SA. Formal gardens have been laid out within the sinkhole.
- Inverawe Native Gardens, Margate, Tas.
- Big Things. There are over 150 to spot round Australia. Some new ones we’ve seen on this trip include The Big Ned Kelly (Glenrowan), Two Big Trouts (Adaminaby and Cressy), The Big Penguin (Penguin) and The Big Bench (Broken Hill).
- Coober Pedy, SA. Most of the residents live underground where the temperature remains constant.
- Wycliffe Well, NT. The UFO capital of Australia.
- The Principality of Hutt River, WA. There should be more people like Prince Leonard. Don’t forget to get your passport stamped.
- The Tin Horse Highway, Kulin WA. Quirky horses made by the local community to advertise the town’s annual bush races.
- Nullarbor Links. The world’s longest golf course between Kalgoorlie and Ceduna.
- Gnomesville WA. Thousands of gnomes live here. Bring your own personalised gnome to add to the community.
- Stonehenge near Esperance WA. A full size replica of the original.
- Mad Max 2 Museum, Silverton, NSW ($7.50). Created by one of the movie’s biggest fans – a mad Brit from Bradford. Silverton and surrounds were filming locations and many of the exhibits had been abandoned in the outback. Dog friendly.
- Priscilla, Queen of the Desert filming locations – Broken Hill, Coober Pedy, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs
- Bonnie Doon, Victoria. Here you will find the holiday home of the Kerrigans from The Castle. Feel the serenity.
- Wolf Creek props. Mill Markets, Ballarat, Vic. Including Mick Taylor’s truck.
- The Gaiety Theatre, Zeehan, Tas. Watch old Edwardian silent movies.
- NSW coast – humpback whales from May to November.
- Snowy River NSW – platypus, wombats
- Kings Canyon NT. Dingoes wander round the caravan park.
- Ocean Park Aquarium, Denham, WA ($25). Very informative tour given by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. Dog friendly.
- Monkey Mia, WA – dolphins
- Busselton Underwater Observatory, WA.
- Head of Bight, SA – Southern Right Whales between June and October
- Tasmanian rivers – you can’t fail to see platypus.
- North Coast of Tasmania – Little Penguins. At Burnie, the Friends of Burnie Penguins give free talks after sunset as the penguins come back to their burrows.