Uh oh -- your friends from overseas have just called you to let you know they’re coming to Australia for a week, and guess what? You’re going to be their tour guide! But wait -- there’s a problem. You don’t live anywhere near iconic Australian national wonders such as Ayers Rock or the Great Barrier Reef. Your life is well-ingrained in the city and, to you, your city is nothing more than the place you call home. How do you show your visitors something exciting when? This guide throws out a few ideas, including Blue Mountains tours and catching the Phillip Island Penguin Parade...
If you live in Sydney, you’re probably used to a fast-paced lifestyle with suits, schedules and heavy traffic. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to show your visiting friends. But look closer -- there’s a world of excitement all around you. Sydney is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for a reason. Why not take them for a walk around Darling Harbour or Circular Quay? Or if it’s summertime, take them to one of Sydney’s famous beaches such as Bondi, Coogee or Manly with golden sands and surf for a true Aussie experience. If you’re willing to drive a little, head up the picturesque Blue Mountains and check out the Three Sisters at Katoomba -- it’s well worth the drive.
Brisbane is known for its laid-back lifestyle and friendly people, and there’s a whole lot around that will excite your guests. If it’s their first time in Australia, they’ll no doubt appreciate a trip to Australia Zoo, just 45 minutes north of Brisbane at Beerwah. Here they can cuddle a koala or see a saltwater crocodile up close. Again, Australia is never short on beaches, and nowhere does beach life and city life combine more sensationally than Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast -- spend a day or two there soaking up the sun and night life. Speaking of night life, if your visitor fancies a pumping night out, Brisbane itself has the famous Fortitude Valley -- you won’t find a better night life in all of Australia. They don’t call it Brisvegas for nothing!
If you live in Adelaide, why not take your guests to the inimitable Barossa Valley? Located just 60km northeast of Adelaide, it is best known as the wine capital of Australia -- in fact, it’s home to over 50 per cent of Australia’s wine production, with over 500 grape-growing families operating in the area. While wine tours are obviously the most popular activity in the Barossa Valley, it’s often underestimated for the beauty of its countryside, with high mountains, flat valleys and grapes growing on the hillside.
There’s no major city in the world further away from any other major city than Perth -- so if your overseas friends are dropping by, you better have a good plan! If you don’t, you should consider Rottnest Island. Just a 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle, the island is home to over 60 stunning beaches that are just waiting to be explored. In fact, one of the most popular methods of exploration is to hire a bicycle and see the island that way. There are also plenty of places to swim, snorkel and surf, and there’s a huge variety of interesting flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered.
Most Melbournites know that their city is the cultural hub of Australia, and there's a whole lot that visitors will appreciate. If you’re a local, you’ll probably have a favourite pub or club hidden away from public sight -- this is one of the things that makes Melbourne special and visitors will appreciate the uniqueness. Or perhaps you could take your visitor to a footy game -- no sport in Australia draws a live crowd like the AFL, and it’s likely to be an experience they’ll never forget. To get outside the city, why not take a drive down to Phillip Island and show your guest the world-famous Penguin Parade that happens just after sunset every night. A Phillip Island tour is a photographer's dream and a guaranteed jaw-dropper.