Header image courtesy of Wilpena Pound Resort
Exploring a new destination is a veritable assault on the senses—in a good way. You must remain alert to soak up your surroundings, keep your eyes and ears open for unknown wonders, and let yourself enjoy the surprises of your new discoveries.
Few places on earth provide sights and sounds as spectacular and dramatic as Australia, where bustling cities give way to seemingly endless expanses of semi-arid desert, rugged coastlines plunge into the deep blue sea, and the conveniences and innovations of modern life meet the historic legacies of indigenous people.
Armchair travel with us to explore the bountiful wonders of Australia and tantalise your senses with our picks of the unique sights and sounds that perfectly represent the sublime cornerstones of Aussie culture.
Australia is home to a multitude of cultures and heritages, and no place better encapsulates the crossroads where these global traditions meet than the National Gallery of Australia.
Housing over 160,000 works of art from international names like René Magritte and Jackson Pollock, as well as the largest and most famous collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the world, this exceptional destination is a modern capsule in which to enjoy cultural enrichment.
Under a blanket of engrossed silence and contemplation, meander through the exhibition halls and take in paintings and sculptures, and even a “skyspace,” a novel viewing chamber for light installations.
National Gallery of Australia, Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country, Parkes Place East, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia
Learn about the remarkable indigenous soundscape of Australia and groove to the beat of the Bangarra Dance Theatre, a contemporary company of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers whose history and culture are shared through powerful music and sensational performances of movement and dance.
Channelling over 65,000 years of tradition into their theatrical stories, the dancers blend modern choreography with narratives inspired by the teachings of their ancestral elders. Listen to the Bangarra Dance Theatre preserve authentic tales gathered from indigenous communities and watch them shared visually through electric, soul-stirring on-stage productions.
Bangarra Dance Theatre, Gadigal Country, Eora Nation, Wharf 4/5, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay NSW 2000, Australia
Dive into the past and glean important Aboriginal teachings from experts at the Wilpena Pound Resort. Located within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park—believed to be one of the oldest landscapes on earth—this unique accommodation is the only one of its kind in the protected area.
Local indigenous guides lead educational tours to remarkable destinations across the mountain ranges, including sites housing 550-million-year-old fossils, walls bearing ancient rock carvings, and the historic Old Wilpena Station. An airborne exploration of the Wilpena Pound, an 800-million-year-old natural amphitheatre formed by mountains, comes highly recommended.
Wilpena Pound Resort, Wilpena Road, Via Hawker SA 5434, Australia
When one thinks of Australia’s countryside, images of the semi-arid Outback come to mind, with sand plains, salt pans, and sparse vegetation dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see. However, look towards South Australia and you will be pleasantly astonished by the lush greenery and rolling hills of bountiful vineyards, of which Barossa Valley is the most famous.
Synonymous with world-class wines, hot air balloon rides, and the Shiraz varietal, the Barossa Valley is also home to Two Hands Wines, a historic producer that elevates their tours with bespoke experiences, such as scenic helicopter flights and romantic picnics. Raise a glass for a toast and bask in the delicate timbre of clinks as you enjoy a full-bodied Shiraz with the sun setting over the gorgeous Barossa Valley.
Two Hands Wines, 273 Neldner Road, Marananga SA 5355, Australia
It’s a walk in the park at Floriade, Canberra’s largest annual celebration of flowers and springtime. If floral-themed destinations are your cup of tea, this one-of-a-kind horticultural event will dazzle your senses. Over a million bulbs are delicately arranged and planted into garden beds by professionals and local community volunteers, resulting in themed botanical displays that show off elaborate designs and a colourful range of blooms.
Tulips are the favoured blossoms of choice, though daffodils, hyacinths, and pansies make an appearance, too. Catch this delightful visual ode to flora from September to October and indulge in languid strolls through beautiful tulip fields.
Floriade, Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
What if we told you that Australia’s sights and sounds are almost within reach? Awaken your senses and feed your passion for travel with Tourism Australia’s new immersive video, where innovative technologies like 8D audio and stunning visuals come together to tease the reopening of the country to international travellers.
All you have to do is pop on your headphones and allow yourself to be transported to the centre of Australian culture through sight and sound.