Australia makes the ideal graduation trip for Singaporean students – it is far enough not to be too close for comfort, yet offers a variety of activities to avoid the cookie-cutter graduation trip around Asia.
Australia is a huge country and though many of us are already familiar with Sydney and Melbourne, these two cities no doubt provide someone new to the city plenty to explore. If you are travelling with a group of friends, renting a car or going on day tours also provides the opportunity to explore outside the city.
So if you’ve been fascinated with Down Under but are lacking ideas of how to plan your graduation trip, here are 4 fantastic ideas for you:
- Sydney – a bit of everything Aussie
- Melbourne – Coastal drive
- The Great Outdoors
- Surf and Play
Sydney – A bit of everything Aussie
It’s easy to get to this dynamic city that’s iconic of Australia. Some people even thought that Sydney is the capital of Australia! A trip to Sydney is no doubt pretty easy, since the city itself is quite small and you can get to most places either by walking or by public transport. The only downside is it can be a little more expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation and activities. But of course, everything can be done with a little planning!
- Must-do for first-time visitors
Well for a start, the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour are sights that are not-to-be-missed. The question is how to best experience them with your budget in mind. Perhaps a cruise around is best to simply take in the sights, or what about watching a performance at the Opera House itself?
- Blue Mountains
Other than that, a tour of the blue mountains will make a lovely day trip for a bit of nature. The trip here promises awe-inspiring viewpoints, a variety of hiking trail options and some wildlife spotting opportunities. The most convenient way to visit is probably by a bus tour, which usually includes a stopover at the wildlife zoo as well.
- Taronga Zoo
First-timers to Australia shouldn’t miss out on a visit to the Taronga Zoo to catch some of the native animals. Taronga Zoo is a short ferry ride away from Sydney’s city centre, but it feels like a different world. This well-kept zoo is not just home to a wide range of animals, it also offers ropes adventure course and it’s even possible to sleep the night at the zoo in safari-style tents.
- Sydney Beaches
Sydney is synonymous with beaches and the weather there is perfect all year round. While many would have heard of Bondi beach, there are plenty of others to explore. From Palm Beach and Manly in the north to Coogee in the south, Sydney has a beach for everyone. If swimming and surfing is not your thing, there are also coastal walks connecting the beaches together.
The markets in Sydney make for a good stroll and some shopping. Sydney has many amazing markets to walk through. Paddington Markets, the fish market, Bondi Farmers Market and a whole lot of other seasonal markets are just great for wandering and shopping.
Melbourne – Coastal Drive
Other than Sydney, Melbourne seems to be the next popular travel destination in Australia. Graduating students looking for a trip that cost less than $1,200 need to look no further. Budget airlines like Scoot and Jetstar both fly to Melbourne, and the city is really easy to get around. There’s even a free tram zone available!
Other than offering plenty of free activities like a visit to the lively Queen Victoria Market, heading to St. Kilda for a seaside escape and exploring the laneways for colourful street art, there’s also the Great Ocean Road drive which can offer those with an international driving license an opportunity for a lovely road trip.
It is highly recommended to take the road trip on your own instead of rushing through the beautiful coastal route with a tour bus. Stretching some 664 km, you can choose to complete the trip at an easy pace over 3 days, or even stretch it out to over a week. Some highlights along the route that you shouldn’t miss include the famous 12 Apostles, Loch and Gorges, the London Arch, Port Campbell National Park and a night’s stay over at Apollo Bay.
The Great Outdoors
With the vast amount of land and various landscape Australia offers, it’d be a pity to confine your travels to the cities. Adventure-seekers might find a whole lot of action at Darwin. With budget flights available from Singapore, students will find it a pocket-friendly destination as well.
About 1.5 hours’ drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is the place for some outdoor camping. It’s a great spot for a few friends to explore the outdoors, especially if you are looking to embark on the Tabletop Track walk. There are also beautiful waterfalls and swimming spots aplenty for a dip in the heat. Kakadu National Park is an alternative that provides a similar wildlife experience.
To feast your eyes on live crocodiles, pop into Crocosaurus Cove in the city, where, if you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, you can go cage swimming with a croc too. Alternatively, join a jumping crocodile cruise in which wild crocs jump from the water to feast on meat dangling from long hooks.
Whether you are looking for extreme sports like sky-diving or simply looking for some outdoor time to observe some flora and fauna, Darwin has it all.
Surf and Play
A graduation trip doesn’t have to be about long itineraries and extended planning. After all, you’ve just finished your examinations or your final year projects, so why not gather a few friends for a relaxing vacation? Gold Coast might be your ideal destination!
Spend the day just chilling by the beach, watching hot bods or pick up surfing during your vacation! Gold Coast is also the ultimate haven for theme park junkies, you can literally spend your vacation here going to theme parks every day! Here’s a look at what each of them offers:
Dreamworld – One of the most popular attractions on the Gold Coast, the theme park is spread across 30 hectares and features a wide range of thrill rides, amusement rides, games, restaurants and gift shops.
Dreamworld is also home to The Big 9 Thrill Rides so it’s perfect for thrill seekers. These include the tallest and fastest thrill ride in the world, the Tower of Terror 2, a 360-degree spinning “Claw”, as well as the Giant Drop that takes you on a free fall of 9-storey high at 64 km/h.
WhiteWater World – Adjoining Dreamworld, WhiteWater World offers some of the most advanced water-based rides in the world. From family-friendly attractions to exciting high-speed rides, you are guaranteed to have a day of fun with your friends.
Warner Bros Movie World – Renowned as Hollywood on the Gold Coast, Warner Bros. Movie World brings the excitement of the movies to life. This theme park combines exciting rides with real-life movie sets.
Wet n Wild Water World – Looking for a dedicated water theme park? One of Australia’s best water parks, Wet n Wild Water World offers everything from relaxing adult areas to plenty of thrilling rides and slides.
Highlights at Wet n Wild Water World includes the Whirlpool that sends one speeding through rapids while the Surfrider plummets 30 metres while participants spin on a giant surfboard.
You do not have to forsake visiting some of Australia’s wildlife even if you are in Gold Coast. Hug a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, feed kangaroos at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and see the wonders of a glow worm cave at Tamborine Mountain.
Organising a graduation trip in Australia doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. It’s possible to accommodate a variety of experiences for a group of friends! Always ensure you’ve got your travel insurance ready to provide you with the assurance you need if things don’t go according to plan.
If you’re off on an adventure with a group of friends, DirectAsia offers special pricing when you book three or more people together. You enjoy the same great cover protection at even greater savings. Book travel cover for 3 or more friends together and get an additional 10% discount!