Let’s be real - your study abroad experience is about more than just studying. While it’s still incredibly important to do well academically, you want to make sure you’re enjoying your time and creating lifelong memories as international students. The weekends are a great time to explore the best things to do in Australia and tick things off your travel bucket-list.
Whether you’re an exchange student here for a few months or an international student moving to Australia for several years, it’s important that you make the most of your time living in a different country. If you choose to study in Australia, here are some of the best things to do in Australia on your weekends.
Go for a hike
If you ask around for things to do in Australia, hiking is one of the most popular choices among locals and students alike. Australia is home to an incredible number of beautiful national parks and nature reserves. From the red deserts of the outback to lush, tropical rainforest, you’ll find every ecosystem accounted for.
If you aren’t an experienced hiker, we recommend bringing a friend along for safety (and more fun!) and let others know where you’re going. Be sure to plan your route in advance, pack plenty of water, put on sunscreen and a hat, and take lots of photos to make everyone back home jealous. Check out a full list of parks to find the perfect hiking location in Australia for you.
Go to a festival
If you’re into festivals, you’ll find plenty to do on the weekend in Australia. Festivals are one of the best things to do in Australia! It’s no secret Aussies like to celebrate, and the country’s events calendar is jam-packed with incredible major festivals that attract people from all over the globe.
Some big names in the festival game include Splendour in the Grass, Mardi Gras, and WOMADelaide, but the smaller, local festivals are just as fun and a great way to get involved in the community. Check out this comprehensive guide to learn more about the best things to do in Australia.
Learning the history of your host country is a great way to gain perspective on its cultural differences and, in turn, enrich your overseas student experience. It is one of the best things to do in Australia so do spend a weekend or two hopping around Australia’s best museums.
Most museums will be located in the CBD of major cities, and many will offer discounted tickets for students. Explore everything from history, fine art and sports to prehistoric artefacts and technology.
If you are located in a regional area, you will likely find smaller museums that are tailored to the area’s unique local history, like Kalgoorlie’s Museum of the Goldfields or Herberton’s Historic Village.
Take a road trip
Most major Australian cities are situated near the coast. So, one of the best things to do in summer to escape the hustle and bustle of student life is to take a road trip to the beach. Australian beaches are some of the most pristine in the world and the options of incredible seaside spots are endless. Pack an esky, portable barbeque, Bluetooth speakers, and lots of sunscreen for a quintessentially Aussie weekend. Check out this blog to know the best beaches in Australia.
For those living in Victoria or South Australia, the Great Ocean Road is a dreamy drive that you can squeeze into a weekend and is considered to be one of the best things to do in Australia. This scenic route takes you through some of the most beautiful places in Australia, including ancient rainforests, wildlife hotspots and rugged cliff faces overlooking the Southern Ocean. Along the way you will spot the Twelve Apostles, one of the (unofficial) natural wonders of the world and a true bucket list moment.
Meet the animals
Get up close and personal with native Australian wildlife at one of the many sanctuaries across the county. It is one of the best things to do in Australia for students!
Australia is teeming with unique animals that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, and thus, being able to interact with them makes the list of fun things to do in Australia. From cuddles with koalas to learning about crocodiles, whale watching to penguin parades, there are plenty of ways you can encounter wildlife safely and ethically.
If you get the chance, a key international experience as an overseas student and one of the best things to do in Australia is to visit the Zoo, founded by beloved Australian icon, Steve Irwin.
Sample Australian produce
People travel from around the world to sample Australian produce! It definitely tops the list of the best things to do in Australia. Café culture in Australia is taken very seriously - so much so that the term brunch has become its own verb!
“Brunching” is a Sunday ritual for many and is a great way for international students to get to know new friends and enjoy tasty Australian produce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cafe that just serves your average bacon and eggs, with the bar being set increasingly higher to make your brunch an extravagant culinary experience.
Coffee is another subculture in Australia and is considered by many to be an art form. There’s a whole encyclopaedia of coffee blends and styles to choose from, particularly in Melbourne which has been dubbed Australia’s coffee capital.
Go to a sporting match
Still looking for the best things to do in Australia? Australians are passionate about watching and playing sports of all kinds and the climate is ideal for year-round sporting activities. If you want to witness Australian culture in its truest form, attending a sporting match is an absolute must. From Australian Rules football, NRL (rugby league) cricket or the Olympics every four years, Aussies enjoy watching sport in all its many forms. Whether you know the rules or not, the spirit of the fans is contagious, and you’re bound to have a good time.
If you’re an active person yourself, why not join a university or local sporting club as an extracurricular activity? It’s the best way to get fit, meet new people and get involved with the community; plus, there are usually plenty of club social events to fill up your weekend. Also, check out this blog to know about the traditional foods in Australia. If you are planning to move to Australia make sure you know their Christmas traditions.