If you're planning a gap year Australia is a great place to start, with it's striking landscapes and beautiful yet dangerous wildlife instilling a sense of adventure. Here a 5 must-sees Australia has to offer:
1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic destinations that Australia has to offer. Situated off the coast of Queensland and featuring over nine hundred islands, the Barrier Reef is truly one of the most incredible sights that can be experienced.
Featuring astonishing species ranging from whales, dolphins, and turtles and over 1,500 species of fish, there is no better location to show off the astounding wildlife the sea has to offer. When I was younger, my family and myself were taken on a boat trip and then given the amazing opportunity to dive into the reef, and swim amongst the wildlife, which was the most incredible experience I have ever had and truly opened my eyes to how vital it is to protect the natural world.
For anyone considering touring Australia on a gap year, I would thoroughly recommend this experience, because it truly highlights how picturesque the ocean is and why it is vital to protect it.
2. Whale Watching
During the period of July-August, Humpback whales can be seen of the coast of Queensland, as they migrate from Antarctica for the breeding season, and they are truly magnificent mammals. Multiple towns along the Western Coast offer Whale Watching experiences and due to the acrobatic nature of the Humpback Whale, it is most definitely a phenomenal encounter to have.
In addition to this whilst on the boat Dolphins can also be seen diving out of the water, which enriches the experience and further shows how spectacular the Pacific Ocean is. The tours offered also include an educating experience, by showing documentaries on the Whales, providing a learning opportunity to anyone who desires to pursue Marine Biology as a career. Frontier offers an Australian Adventure trip, in which Whale/Dolphins can also be experienced.
3. Fraser Island
Located South East of Queensland, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. The island is home to many exotic species of bird, as well as Wallabies, Possums and even Echidnas. When we visited Fraser Island, we swam in Lake McKenzie, one of the most beautiful sights the Island has to offer. With the perfectly blue water and golden sand, Lake McKenzie is the closest I have ever come to being in paradise.
Fraser Island is home to the purest strain of Dingo. Cars can be hired on the Island, so when driving through you may be lucky enough to see these wild Dingoes in their natural habitat. The ability to hire a car to tour the Island also enables you to witness the sunset whilst driving along the beach, which is beyond incredible and a great way to end the experience. Frontier’s Aus Experience features a visit to Fraser Island.
4. Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, and is in the centre of the Daintree Forest. Within the rainforest some of the world’s rarest and most unbelievable wildlife species can be found, such as the endangered Cassowaries, a flightless species of bird that can be up to two metres tall. Due to them being endangered they are rare to see, however if you are lucky enough you may spot one roaming in the wilderness.
Cape Tribulation offers a vast amount of activities such as canopy and night walk tours, where you can witness a bird’s eye view of the Forest and see some of the nocturnal wildlife species it houses. From my own personal expedition, the river cruise is the best way to see the area, as it is a great opportunity to see Crocodiles at the river mouth, as well as go through the depths of the rainforest, which provides an incredible scenic view. There is no better way to experience Australia’s notorious wildlife than a visit to Cape Tribulation.
5. Australia Zoo
Steve Irwin was without doubt one of the most iconic wildlife experts the world has ever known, and with his family he created a zoo that houses and preserves some of the most rare and phenomenal creatures in the world, from Koala Bears to venomous snakes and tigers. We saw animals that we could never see anywhere else and to see them in large enclosures and being treated how they deserve to be, it truly shows how great an example Steve set for the preservation of animals.
In addition to this the zoo provides the chance to have a personal encounter with some of the animals, such as Cheetahs, Wombats and even Rhino’s. In my opinion if anyone is looking to pursue a career in animal care or even animals in general, Australia Zoo is without doubt the best place that can be visited.
By Euan Smith - Voices for the Future
Voices For The Future is a platform for the younger generation to have their say about environmental issues, nature, travel and community.
Having a published article online is always beneficial when applying for work experience, internships, jobs and university applications and we love to hear your opinions. If you are aged 16+ and would like to get your voice heard then send an email to email@example.com to register your interest.
We also offer work shadowing days that we encourage students to apply for. The work shadowing day offers the chance for 16-18 year olds to come to our London HQ and shadow a member of our team. The departments you can work in are events, marketing, research and development, UK operations or overseas operations. It provides a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in environmental conservation or volunteer travel to have a taste for what a career working for an NGO in this industry would be like.