Australia is no stranger to cruise ships. With 259 pulling into Sydney Harbour alone this season, you can bet the country has plenty of shore excursions that keep visitors coming back for more.
While a full list of shore excursions in Australia would take all day to get through, we’ve compiled some of the most loved and some of the most undervalued activities to help you decide what to experience in this great big land down under.
Sydney Bridgeclimb is the quintessential Australian urban experience. Photos of Sydney Harbour with the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are some of the most famous views in the world. See the splendour of Sydney Harbour from a different angle as you climb up above the crowds and take in the view from the top of the Bridge. Our pick for the most underrated experience? Taking a day trip up to the natural wonderland of the Blue Mountains.
Heading South, a private city tour of Melbourne is one of the best ways to see this vibrant city on a shore excursion. The 4-hour tour takes you to some of the best sights and hidden attractions the city has to offer. Another popular shore excursion in Melbourne is visiting the Healesville Animal Sanctuary and getting up close and personal to Australia’s unique wildlife.
To the north of Sydney, cruise ships heavily frequent Newcastle, Brisbane and Cairns. One of the best shore excursions from Newcastle is a day trip Hunter Valley wine country. Brisbane shore excursions include trips to the Australia Zoo and Gold Coast theme parks. Of the ports north of Sydney, however, Cairns is one of the most popular for the opportunity it provides to get out to see the reef. Visit the pontoon or take a trip out to the spectacular Green Island.
Rounding out Australia’s best cruise ship destinations are Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Shore excursions from Darwin include day trips into the surrounding national parks – hands down the best spots to see in the area. A day spent on a crocodile cruise, however, is not to be discounted. Cruise ships arriving in Perth dock at Freemantle, making it an easy and popular location to tour.
Adelaide is a less frequented city by cruise ships, which is a benefit for those who do stop there. Take advantage of lesser crowds on a shore excursion into the Barossa Valley wine region, or spend the day exploring Kangaroo Island. Hobart, the capital of Australia’s wilderness state, is best experienced by getting out of the city. Shore excursions that include a glimpse of Tasmania’s wilderness are incredibly popular, but don’t discount the history to be seen on a Hobart walking tour.