Colourful Fireworks at Darling Harbour During Vivid in Sydney, Australia

5 Wacky (and Free) Things to Do on Your Australia Vacation

From the Great Barrier Reef to Uluru to Sydney Bridge, the land down under is packed with exciting experiences. By getting away from the typical tourist sites, however, and exploring some of the offbeat festivals, you can get a better sense of Australian culture and local life, plus unique memories and wonderful stories to tell your friends! On your next Australia vacation, travel deeper and discover some of Australia’s quirky cultural celebrations. Here are a few of our favs:

Staircase to the Moon in Broome

Between March and October each year, when natural conditions are just right, visitors to Australia’s North West region are witness to a natural spectacle – the Staircase to the Moon. Staircase to the Moon is a rare phenomenon which occurs when a full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay and create a beautiful optical illusion of a stairway reaching to the moon. The Staircase to the Moon happens two to three days a month between March and October, and Town Beach celebrates the occasion with markets selling local produce, handmade products, and a variety of international food, as well as local entertainers. Another popular spot to view the event is at The Mangrove Hotel Resort, which has live entertainment every Staircase night.

Red Sandy Beach on the Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia, Australia
Red sandy beach at Roebuck Bay in Broome

Vivid Sydney Festival

Vivid Sydney is a 23-day festival of light, music, and ideas held in Sydney each year. Featuring a mesmerizing free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a cutting-edge contemporary music program, this festival is great for all ages. Vivid hosts some of the world’s most important creative industry forums and, of course, the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails. Watch the city become transformed into a nighttime wonderland through large-scale illuminations, laser lightshows, and 3D-mapped projections. This is artistic innovation at its finest. If you travel to Australia in May, be sure to catch this unforgettable festival.

Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up during Vivid, Sydney
Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up during Vivid

Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

This coastal walk is the most famous, well-traversed track in Sydney, and for good reason. The scenic hiking trail passes between two of Australia’s best-known beaches, Bondi and Bronte, with spectacular beaches, parks, and lookout points along the way. Here you will find the South Pacific Ocean on one side, with waters rolling against a shoreline of coves and beaches extending south from Bondi to La Perouse, on to the entrance to Botany Bay. Savour incredible vantage points and photo opportunities along the trail, such as the sandstone lookout at Hunter Park, about halfway from Bondi to Bronte. Take your Australia vacation to the next level and lace up your walking shoes for the city hike of a lifetime. The Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk is also a great place for celebrity spotting. Don’t forget your camera!

Bondi Beach to Bronte Coastal Walk, Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach to Bronte Coastal Walk in Sydney

Alice Springs Camel Cup

The Apex Camel Cup is a quirky, annual event which attracts visitors to Alice Springs from all over the world.

While camels may have a reputation as dedicated “ships of the desert,” these magnificent beasts are certainly not short on personality. When the starter gun blasts, a dozen groaning camels take off on a 30-second sprint for glory. Racing the cantankerous camels can prove a nightmare for riders and handlers, but are thrilling entertainment for spectators. There are nine unique races scheduled around the dusty Outback track throughout the day, and between races there are belly dancers, rickshaw races, hobby camel races, Mr and Miss Camel Cup challenges, food stalls, and bars. The annual July event transforms a desolate outpost into a carnivalesque camel extravaganza. You’ve never seen anything like this!

Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
Alice Springs

See Public Art in Melbourne

Melbourne is known for its love of art, and a walk around the stylish city can reveal innovative public artworks and street art. Wander the city of Melbourne’s streets and intimate laneways, parks, and waterfront to find inspiring works of art in surprising places. Melbourne is committed to nurturing and enabling artists, and the results are delightful and fascinating. Street art in Melbourne is sometimes controversial, and always interesting.

Melbourne Cafes, Australia
Melbourne cafes

Fly to Australia With Qantas Airways

Qantas Airways Premium Economy
Qantas Airways’ Premium Economy

What better way to experience long-haul travel than with Qantas Airways. For over 95 years, Qantas has striven to ensure every passenger in every cabin has the most comfortable and authentic experience. Offering the most non-stop flights from North America to Australia per week, Qantas also has an expansive domestic network, allowing you to enjoy all experiences listed above! With so many seating options, amenities, and cuisine to enjoy, Qantas makes the perfect start and end to your Australia vacation.

For more information or other travel ideas for your Australia vacation, please visit us at

Tourism Australia Logo HorizontalQANTAS Airways Logo Horizontal 2016


Share with friends and family
Meg Boyd
Meg Boyd

Downunder Product and Marketing Manager - Melbourne-born Meg arrived in Canada in January with no winter coat, one suitcase, a one week booking at a youth hostel, and a sight-unseen job offer at Goway Travel. She thought she’d stay for a year – that was 12 years ago! Never one to shy away from adventure, Meg has been in the industry for 23 years and has journeyed extensively through Europe, Asia and North America. Meg’s heart however belongs to the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Fiji, and her native Australia.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x