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8 Amazing Australia Experiences You Need On Your 2021 Bucket List (With Halal Food Nearby!)

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Shasha Dania  •  Dec 15, 2020

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As we look forward to experiencing a vacation in Australia once the borders open, it seems like there’s an endless list of must-do activities to enjoy! To help you with your vacation planning, we’ve gathered a list of 8 awesome experiences for your 2021 Australia bucket list - complete with nearby halal options so you can refuel and recharge after an exciting day out.
1. Pick your own fruits in South Australia
Plan a road trip around South Australia and Adelaide that will take you to some of the best fruit farms in the area, with seasonal pick-your-own-fruit experiences all within an hour’s drive of Adelaide city. Get a chance to taste the freshness of Australian locally grown produce that you won’t get anywhere else, and enjoy the beautiful countryside scenery along the way.
Credit: Tourism Australia One of the most popular farms to visit is Beerenberg Farm . If you’re visiting between November to April, drive up to the Adelaide Hills to enjoy their Pick Your Own Strawberries activity. It costs just $5 per person (free for children under 12 years old) to enter, and you can fill up your baskets with as many fruits as you wish. The strawberries are later weighed, and you’ll need to pay for your pickings too - but the sweetness of a freshly picked fruit is worth it.  If you’re visiting during the first half of the year between January to June, drive out to Harrisville Orchards to pick their apples to your heart’s content. They are the only commercial grower in the Adelaide Hills where you can pick your own apples and sink your teeth into the fruit fresh from the tree.
Credit: Cherries at Verdun For a truly special fruit-picking expedition, plan a trip to Adelaide between December to January to go cherry-picking at some of the farms in the area. Cherry-picking season in Adelaide typically only lasts for 2-4 weeks at the end of the year, so it’s a real treat to be able to enjoy some fresh cherries! Harrisville Orchards has pick-your-own cherries when in season, or you can visit a dedicated cherry farm like Cherries at Verdun to indulge in your cherry obsession. Halal food nearby: Dine at one of Adelaide’s halal and Muslim-friendly eateries before making a day trip out to the Adelaide Hills. One unique restaurant you should try is Le Souk located in the heart of the Adelaide Central Market. This halal-certified restaurant serves Algerian and Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes like Chakchouka, Lamb Tagine, and Algerian-style Paella. 
2. Catch and dine on fresh oysters in Freycinet
Australia is full of fresh seafood, but the catch down in Tasmania is truly incredible. Seafood lovers can enjoy some of the best seafood and shellfish in the region, from oysters to salmon to abalone and more. To taste the freshest that Tasmania’s waters have to offer, tour a Tasmanian oyster farm to learn how oyster farmers operate, and shuck your own oysters for a lip-smacking feast. One oyster farm that offers tours is Oyster Bay Tours run by Freycinet Marine Farm in the town of Coles Bay in eastern Tasmania, a little over 2 hours drive from Hobart. The farm was founded in 2005 and has become a must-visit attraction in Tasmania for travellers. Pacific Oysters and Tasmanian Blue Mussels are grown in-house on the farm, but they also have products from all over Tasmania including abalone, scallops, rock lobster, and sea urchin roe.
Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson Start your tour by tugging on some waterproof waders, and your expert tour guide will teach you how oyster farmers grow these prized shellfish. Get to taste delicious Pacific Oysters fresh from the water - and learn how to shuck an oyster on your own for a useful tip you’ll remember even after your trip is over. P.S. The tour price includes a glass of wine but you can request to substitute Tasmanian sparkling apple juice instead. The tour is a set package that comes with 6 natural oysters, ½ a bowl of steamed mussels, and the options of fresh lime, lemon, and a red wine vinaigrette sauce served on the side. 
Credit: Tourism Australia Halal food nearby: Dine at Freycinet Marine Farm to enjoy the freshest seafood around. Admire the seaside scenery as you dine on seafood from around Tasmania - the combination of the sea breeze in your hair and fresh oysters on your plate is an experience you’ll never forget. Note: The restaurant uses meat bacon for oysters served ‘Kilpatrick’ style, but the shellfish can be served as is. Apart from that, the rest of their menu is only seafood, but note that ingredients including soy sauce and cow cheese may be used. We recommend dining at your own discretion, and to check with the tour operator and restaurant before dining. Alcoholic beverages are also sold.
3. Go whale-watching in Brisbane
Whale-watching is one of those experiences you need to see for yourself at least once in your lifetime. If you’re eager to see some beautiful humpback whales in action, take a trip to Brisbane between Jun-Nov to get a chance to see them during their migration. The whales swim up north from the Antarctic to the warmer waters in Queensland and getting to see them in-person is a moving experience that can’t be expressed in words.
Credit: Brisbane Marketing, Tourism Australia Hop on a cruise tour departing from Brisbane to try your luck at catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures. Several cruise services are available including Tangalooma Whale Watching Day Cruise and Brisbane Whale Watching. Do note that tours may only operate during selected seasons, so check ahead of time and pre-book your tour if possible.
Credit: Tourism Australia The cruises usually start in the morning and end between lunchtime to mid-afternoon. Listen to expert commentary from the staff on board and broaden your knowledge while keeping an eye out for any whales in the calm blue waters before you. #HHWT Tip: Some cruises may include a meal with your cruise ticket. Do opt for a meal-free option if available.
Credit: Amin’s Butcher & Grill  Halal food nearby: Once you’re back on land, head to Amin’s Butcher & Grill for a hearty halal meal to get your land legs back. This halal butcher has an in-house restaurant where you can pick your own meat from the butcher’s selection and have it done your way. From steaks to burgers to grill, there’s a wide variety of tantalizing menu options to choose from. Brisbane also has many halal and Muslim-friendly eateries so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
4. Visit the Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park
Located a 3-hour drive from Sydney, Morton National Park is a breathtaking nature park with dreamlike landscapes of waterfalls, scenic walking trails, and rainforests. It’s also the traditional Country of the Yuin people, an Aboriginal people that have lived in the New South Wales area for centuries. There are hundreds of recorded Aboriginal sites across the park! If you’re looking for a day or two of tranquil nature away from the busy city of Sydney, this is the place to be.
Credit: Walter on Flickr The must-see attraction in the park is the magnificent Fitzroy Falls, with a plunge of over 80 metres to the valley below. Stroll through the East Rim and Wildflower  walking tracks to reach the falls, soaking in the breathtaking scenery from lookout points along the course. You might even spot iconic Australian wildlife like kookaburras and cockatoos! Visit the nearby Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre to learn about bushfire regeneration efforts in Morton National Park as well as the Aboriginal culture of the area. The region is still recovering from bushfires it faced earlier in the year, providing an irreplaceable and meaningful educational experience for visitors.
Credit: Doug Beckers on Flickr Plan your visit around the seasons to see the park in a new light. The Fairy Bower Falls walking track is nice and cool in the summer, ending at an enchanting waterfall. Dip your feet in the water to feel rejuvenated after a nice long hike, and enjoy the serenity around you. If you’re visiting in the spring, trek through the Three Views or Granite Falls walking tracks to see the paths lined with wildflowers. More adventurous travellers may also enjoy canoeing down the Shoalhaven River or Kangaroo River in autumn.
Credit: Andrew Harvey on Flickr Halal food nearby: There are no halal eateries nearby Morton National Park. Instead, we recommend you pack food from halal and Muslim-friendly eateries in Sydney  to bring out to the park for a yummy picnic. There are several dedicated picnic spots such as the Pigeon House Mountain Didthul picnic area or along the Granite Falls walking track. Recharge with your lunch as you gaze out onto the beautiful scenery of Australia’s untouched nature!
5. Go stargazing in Nambung National Park
Western Australia is full of natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes, and one nature park to include in your itinerary for an unforgettable experience is the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. The unique limestone formations of the Pinnacles are an amazing sight to behold in the day - and they’re even more stunning at night when the stars go down!
Credit: dylan_odonnell on Flickr Spend a romantic night stargazing out in the tranquility of the desert away from the lights and sounds of the city. You might even be able to catch a photo of the Milky Way during your stay. The towering formations around you add a surreal and unique touch to your photos that will make this trip unforgettable.
Credit: dylan_odonnell on Flickr There are no camping areas in Nambung National Park, but you can drive to the nearby town of Cervantes (30 minutes to 1 hour drive from the Pinnacles Desert) which has several hotels and motels for every budget. Alternatively, book a stargazing tour with companies such as Autopia Tours that will include stargazing and an exploration of the coastal regions of Western Australia.
Halal food nearby: A popular Muslim-friendly eatery nearby is Lobster Shack in the town of Cervantes. Seafood options are available, but do request for alcohol not to be added to your meal. Alcoholic beverages are also sold.
6. See Magnetic Termite mounds and beautiful waterfalls at Litchfield National Park
If you’re visiting Darwin in the Northern Territory, Litchfield National Park is a great option for a day trip away from the city. This nature park has a stunning mix of waterfalls, forest, scenic paths, and impressive natural formations like the Magnetic Termite mounds.
Credit: Tourism Australia Make sure to snap a photo with these towering structures - some of them are almost 100 years old, and are unique to the northern regions of Australia. The mounds are unlike any other termite mound in the world as their strange shape is due to the magnetic forces of the area. The Magnetic Termite mounds reach up to 2 metres high - and there’s also the nearby Cathedral Termite mounds which reach a jaw-dropping 4 metres!
Credit: Tourism Australia After you’ve visited the mounds, enjoy the other beautiful attractions of Litchfield National Park by trekking through its nature walks and trails. There are a variety of trails suitable for every experience level. The Walker Creek walk is a moderate 3.5 kilometer course along a beautiful creek where you might be able to spot some local wildlife. Whereas outdoor or hiking enthusiasts will love the challenge of the Greenant Creek Walk. This route is a moderate return walk that ends at the Tjaetaba Falls plunge pool and lookout. The 27 kilometer hike has some steep inclines, and is best done as a full-day activity. Admire the lush greenery lining the trail including fig trees and towering palms, or keep a sharp eye out for geckos, lizards, and frogs who might cross your path. P.S. The Tjaetaba Falls plunge pool is located above an Aboriginal sacred site. Custodians of the land request that visitors swim above the falls, so once you reach the rock pools do walk a little further down if you wish to dip your feet into the water.
Credit: Tourism Australia Other waterfalls in the park you can’t miss are the beautiful Florence Falls, Tjaynera Falls, or  Tolmer Falls . The plunge pools at the base of the waterfalls are great for cooling off after a hot day hiking in the sun, and you might even spot local birdlife, bats, or bandicoots. Take a chance to learn about Australian history by visiting the Bamboo Creek Tin Mine site as well. Its ruins are open during the winter dry season only, but are an intriguing reminder of the region’s tin mining history. Halal food nearby: Head to Sari Rasa in Darwin for authentic Indonesian fare after a day out at the park. This Muslim-owned and halal-certified eatery has familiar dishes including beef rendang, chicken curry, and sambal that will make you feel at home in one bite. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive between Litchfield National Park and Darwin so do plan your trip ahead of time.
7. Go on an Aboriginal culture tour in Canberra
Canberra isn’t just the capital of Australia, but an important city with a rich Aboriginal history. Explore and experience the various Aboriginal sites around Canberra with a professional guide to help you understand the significance of and relationship between the land and the Aboriginal peoples of the area.  If you’re interested in diving in-depth into Aboriginal culture, arrange to experience a Dhawura Tour with a local Ngunnawal guide. There are a variety of tours available so you can spend an afternoon, a half-day, or even a full-day engaging with Aboriginal history and culture. The shortest option (a 2 hour tour) will take you to Mount Majura, Mount Taylor, and Black Mountain to learn about how Aboriginal peoples interpret and view the land, as well as what bush foods and artefacts emerged and are used in the area.
Credit: Tourism Australia Continue your journey into Aboriginal history at Namadgi National Park, which has sprawling plateaus of bushland and gorgeous vistas that will take your breath away. Visit the campsites in the park which still have fragments of Aboriginal artefacts dating back to the last Ice Age, or see the rock painting sites at Yankee Hat Shelter. The park also has plenty of walking or biking trails you can enjoy for a breath of fresh air.
Credit: Tourism Australia End your journey through a contemporary lens by visiting the National Gallery of Australia  in Canberra. The gallery’s collection includes the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander art, and the museum also hosts the National Indigenous Art Triennial. See modern takes of traditional Indigenous art forms, patterns, and even performance art and rituals to bring together the past, present, and future of Indigenous culture. Halal food nearby: Canberra has several halal and Muslim-friendly eateries but one place where you can dine on familiar Malaysian dishes is Papparich in the heart of Canberra Central. This restaurant uses halal-certified ingredients and meat only, and no alcoholic beverages served. Refuel for your adventure with Dim Sum, Nasi Lemak, Assam Laksa, and more. Papparich is a 20 to 30-minute commute from the gallery via public bus.
8. Canoe down the Snowy River in East Gippsland
Melbourne and its surrounds are a popular destination for travellers, but the state of Victoria has so many more enchanting landscapes and nature destinations to behold. Uncover some of Victoria’s breathtaking national parks and natural features in East Gippsland like the Australian Alps, and enjoy opportunities for water and outdoor sports to get your adrenaline flowing.
Credit: Tourism Australia Rent a car or campervan for a day or overnight trip to Snowy River National Park and Alpine National Park . It takes about 6 hours to drive between Melbourne and the Snowy River so we recommend making this an overnight trip, or making it a 2-3 day self-drive exploration to spend time in the region. There are various vehicle rental services available at the Melbourne airport or within the city itself, but do remember to select a child car seat if you’re travelling with children as child car seats are compulsory throughout Australia for children up to 7 years of age. Babies up to 6 months are also required to be in a rearward-facing child seat.  Located across Snowy River National Park and Alpine National Park, the Snowy River is a 325km long wonder of nature that’s a popular trekking, canoeing, and rafting destination. Outdoor enthusiasts who love getting to see nature in its raw and powerful form will get a thrill out of kayaking down the white water rapids. For an outdoor activity that’s better suited for novices or families, book a whitewater paddling trip to get up close with this breathtaking area as a family. Whitewater paddling is typically less intense than kayaking, and there are various grades of difficulty so you can pick a tour that suits your comfort level. Some companies also allow children aged 10 and up to join in, but do check ahead of time. Halal food nearby:  There is no halal food available in the park itself, but you can pack halal or Muslim-friendly food from Melbourne for a picnic if you’re starting your journey there. Alternatively, the town of Orbost (a 1.5 hour drive from Snowy River National Park) has the Morganics Cafe and Store. Fuel up with sandwiches, burritos, and muffins for dessert at this vegetarian Western-style eatery. The menu is vegetarian with some seafood (tuna) and vegan options available. We recommend you dine at your own discretion. With so much to see and do in Australia, these unforgettable experiences are sure to show you a whole new side of the country. Time to add them to your 2021 Australia bucket list, and start planning for your future getaway! This article is brought to you by Tourism Australia.