4 Whimsical Places to Visit in Australia

Sydney Ehmke is a student at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sydney, Australia.

Consider this: When Australia comes to mind, what’s the first thing you think about? Maybe it’s the Sydney Opera House, koalas and kangaroos, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Hillsong Church, the Great Barrier Reef? While all are without a doubt sites/things to see and encounter, Australia is prepared to offer so much more. In the fine print of this country you’ll find the immeasurable beauties that truly make it a must-see.

1. The Floating Forest
Homebush Bay in Sydney is filled with shipwrecks from WWI and WWII that are still visible. A famous ship, SS Ayrfield, still remains with bits of its frame above water. This rusted creation is more than an old floating piece of metal, but a home to a forest of mangroves – hence the name ‘The Floating Forest’. While you cannot board the ship–although I was tempted to kayak out and venture onto it–the ship displays an amazing look into how nature is able to overtake and create a new, enchanting home.

Floating Forest, Homebush Bay, Australia, Ehmke - Photo1
A glimpse of the Floating Forest


2. Jenolan Caves
When I think of Australia, caves are not usually the first thing that comes to mind. So when I first discovered the Jenolan Caves, they blew my mind. These caves were carved out 340 million years ago, and display a structure of stunning rock formations and passageways. The chill and silence of the caves are an incredible environment. The wonders that our world is capable of never fail to amaze me.

Jenolan Caves, Jenolan, Australia, Ehmke - Photo2
Inside the Jenolan Caves with heaps of stalactite!


3. Manly Beach
Looking for a night out with your new Australian dream boat? Have them take you to Manly Beach. If you’re keen for a evening of unique street acts ranging from acoustic sessions to fire dancers, having an array of shops and fun bars to swing by, getting a bite of the best croc burger in town (at Manly Grill), and a romantic walk by the sea to end the night… You’re in luck! While the Aussie isn’t included in this package, you are guaranteed a good time in Manly Beach.

Manly Beach, Manly, Australia, Ehmke - Photo3
An evening view of the strip at Manly Beach.


4. The Blue Gum Walk
If you don’t go on at least one bush walk in Australia while you are there, then you’re doing something wrong. Whether it is a half mile stroll or a 3 mile hike, the time you spend in nature is always worth the effort. The Blue Gum Walk in particular is a hike not to miss. From jumping across streams, climbing over heaps of rocks, crossing old bridges, and navigating your way through the greenery, this walk will enrapture you in a whirlwind of exploration.

Blue Gum Walk, Hornsby, Australia, Ehmke - Photo4
One of the many beautiful, towering trees on the Blue Gum Walk.


So once you get to Australia, be the stereotypical tourist and see the main attractions. Hold the koala, see an opera house show, climb the bridge.

But don’t miss out on the little things – the experiences that will truly make it the trip of a lifetime.


Want to read more about Australia? Check out “What Surprised Me Most about Sydney, Australia”

Interested in learning more about Scholarships for study abroad in Australia? Click on Australian Host University Scholarships!