Many people have Australia’s East Coast listed on their Aussie bucket list. Whether you are doing the whole lot or only a section of it, there are surely options to get off the beaten path and do something different instead of following the crowds to all the party beaches. Here are some options for a more unique, chilled out East Coast experience.
1) Emu Park
Image via Endeavour Inn
If you happen to find yourself in the town of Yeppoon while travelling the East Coast, be sure to swing on over to Emu Park, a small town south of Yeppoon. The town is most famous for its Singing Ship monument and its remote, untouched beaches. Australia is famous for its insanely beautiful East coast so it is rare when you can find an area that isn’t super popular. If you want a quaint little town with great beaches and chill shops then head on over to Emu Park.
2) Lennox Head Lake Ainsworth
Image via I.Ytimg
When you finally decide to take a break from all the day drinking and beach going throughout your trip, check out Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head. It is a Tea Tree enclosed, freshwater lake which you can swim in, hide from the sun for a bit, and just relax. Pack a lunch or plan a barbecue with some friends and have a day to relax and take it all in.
3) Nambucca Heads
Image via Namgolf
It is perfect for if you fancy some quick scenic day hikes and a surfing spot that is a little quieter than Spot X or Byron Bay. There are loads of nice walks and hikes throughout the national park and along the beach. If you stroll by the V-Wall you can check out all the paintings on the rocks and then maybe even paint your own!
Image via Weekend Notes
If you’re headed to Brisbane and in need of a day trip try checking out Wynnum, one of Brisbane's suburbs. Wynnum is a unique stop on the East Coast if you are into nature. The Mangrove Boardwalk is truly stunning (a Mangrove is a tree that grows in coastal saline so it appears as it if is a forest in the water). With all the hectic energy you will experience travelling through the East Coast, a stroll through the bush will be just what you need.
5) Mission Beach
Image via YHA
Want to do something completely crazy and unique? How about a skydive? How about landing your skydive right on one of Australia’s best beaches. Mission Beach is one of the only places you can do a 14,000-foot skydive with a 60-second free fall and land on the beach after soaring over the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef! If skydiving is a passion or a once in a lifetime bucket list check then you have to make Mission Beach a priority.
6) Spot X Surf Camp
Image via Mojosurf
Maybe you’re not great at surfing and thinking about taking a lesson or two, but you know you are going to forget everything you’ve learnt once you’ve left. How about trying an actual surf camp where you live and breathe surfing for 3 days or up to 3 months! Imagine coming home after your East Coast trip and actually being able to identify as a surfer, sounds pretty neat eh?
7) Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Image via TRVL
Everyone thinks about kangaroos when they think Australia but what about the Koalas, even if you aren't a huge animal fan, a day with the koalas will warm your heart. Here you can hold koalas and snakes, and feed kangaroos. This is a true Aussie experience that will leave you feeling like a local no matter where you are from.
Image via Ironman
One of the only places in the world with Everglades, Noosa is one of the most unique places you can visit in all of Australia. Get up close and personal and take a canoe out through the Everglades or hop on a scenic cruise complete with a barbecue lunch. Imagine cruising over mirrored waterways, surrounded with stunning Aussie nature!
9) Walshs Pyramid Cairns
Images via Cairns Lifestyle
Cairns is home to the world's largest free standing pyramid. Walshs Pyramid is completely natural and perfectly shaped like a pyramid and has been attracting hikers and travellers for years. You can actually hike up it as it is 922 meters tall so you have to be fairly fit to do it, but if you think you can take on the challenge it will usually take about 3 hours. Hiking up the world's tallest pyramid surely gives you bragging rights so start your training at one of Cairn's outdoor fitness stations then go for gold.
10) SS Yongala Shipwreck
Image via Dive in Australia
Over 100 years ago the SS Yongala sank off the coast of Airlie Beach and is still there today on the ocean floor. It is now available as a dive site and you can go down to the old ship and explore the remains if you’re brave enough. There are a few tours that can take you out to the site for a day full of epic diving opportunities.
Aside from these, there are loads of unique things to do on Australia's massive East Coast. Don't let the popularity of the trip sway you from getting out there and seeing why it is so amazing. Try a little bit of both, visit some off the beaten path stops and then head on over to The Whitsundays for some white beaches and some solid parties.
By Sylvia Spanos