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The waterfront city of Busselton, Australia is a beloved beachside vacation spot on the southwest tip of Western Australia. It’s located near one of my favorite places in the country in what’s known as the Margaret River Region. There are so many things to do in Margaret River as well as Busselton, you can’t go wrong spending time around here.
Year after year, the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and expansive white sand beaches draw travelers in search of relaxation and natural beauty to the gorgeous Geographe Bay.
Busselton is a lively and vibrant beach town, without being overly busy like some of the larger coastal cities in Australia, and features so many fun activities. On a trip to Busselton, you can experience coastal trails, enjoy delicious food, hang out and socialize at fun bars, and explore the world-renowned 19th-century Busselton Jetty. If you visit during the right season, the area is also well known for being part of the migration of three different species of whales!
During the summer months, there are countless events to inspire and delight visitors and celebrate the artistic side of Busselton, as well as its unique cultural history.
If you’re planning your trip to Australia, Busselton absolutely deserves a place on your itinerary, and it’s only about a two-hour drive from Perth, making it one of the best day trips from Perth. Daniel grew up in Perth, and all of his family still lives there, so we visit frequently and always make sure we also make time for Busselton!
To help you get the most out of your trip, we’ve come up with a list of the very best Busselton activities. Pack your bags, and check out the 25 best things to do in Busselton, Australia!
- About Busselton, WA
- Things to do in Busselton, WA
- 1. Walk the jetty
- 2. Ride the Busselton Jetty train
- 3. Margaret River wine tour
- 4. Check out the sculptures of the Busselton Heritage Trail
- 5. Visit local breweries
- 6. Go whale watching
- 7. Cave tour
- 8. Free kids waterpark
- 9. Fish and chips by the sea at sunset
- 10. Dine at the French bistro
- 11. Attend an event
- 12. Go to markets
- 13. Enjoy a day at the beach
- 14. Zipline and ropes course
- 15. Day trip to Yallingup
- 16. Soak in Injidup Natural Spa
- 17. Go scuba diving
- 18. Museum in the visitor center
- 19. Drink at the historical fire station
- 20. Visit the courthouse
- 21. Wander the main street
- 22. Nocturnal wildlife tour
- 23. Helicopter ride
- 24. Ride a bike
- 25. Drive to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
- Where to Stay in Busselton, Australia
- Thanks for reading!
About Busselton, WA
Busselton is a vibrant beach town in the South West region of Western Australia. The name comes from the Bussell family, who were the first settlers in the area in 1834 – making it among the earliest settlements in Western Australia. The first railway line in Western Australia was actually built north of town in 1871.
Busselton is about 230 kilometers (143 miles) from Perth, so around a two-hour drive if you’re coming from there. If you are coming from further away (like across an ocean far!), make sure you read our tips for long-haul and international travel before you set off.
The average temperature in this seaside town is around 22°C (71°F) but rises to 28°C (82°F) in the summers. The good thing is that even with hot summers, the breezes coming off the sea help bring some cooler air in the afternoons.
The city itself has small-town vibes with a population of around 41,000 people. There are lots of activities and things to do in Busselton concentrated around the jetty, so you can easily walk or bike around this area. The Busselton Jetty is actually the longest wooden jetty in the entire southern hemisphere!
This fun little beachside place is not only a great vacation destination but a wonderful spot to spend some time if you’re passing through WA.
Things to do in Busselton, WA
1. Walk the jetty
Busselton, WA, is famous for its iconic Busselton Jetty. Stretching out endlessly over the brilliant blue water of Geographe Bay, the jetty is known for being the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Western Australia.
Construction began in 1865. Originally it was only about 131 meters (430 feet) long, but due to sand drift, construction resumed in 1875. Over the next 90 years, additions to the jetty continued until it eventually reached the 1.8-kilometer (1.1-mile) length that it is today.
The jetty features an incredible train service (more on that below), as well as an Underwater Observatory! On warm summer days, you’ll see countless kids and teenagers jumping off of the wooden jetty and swimming in the ocean below. You’ll also have the opportunity to watch fishermen casting lines off the jetty, and you might even spot some dolphins enjoying the calm surrounding waters.
The Interpretive Centre is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and the Underwater Observatory is open from 10 am to 3 pm. Hours are dependent on weather, including wind and ocean conditions, so call ahead if you’re concerned about the weather.
2. Ride the Busselton Jetty train
The Jetty access is open 24 hours a day, but if you want to take a ride on the Jetty Train, you’ll want to visit between 10 am and 4 pm. The adorable Stocker Preston Express jetty train began service in 2017, and it’s the perfect place for fun photo ops along the jetty.
It’s a bright red, old-fashioned steam engine-style train and runs along a track for the length of the jetty. While it might look vintage, it’s actually electric and is powered completely by solar panels! It’s one of the first of its kind in Australia, and eco-friendly travelers will love supporting this excellent sustainable feature.
There is plenty of space with 90 seats available, and the train has rides departing every hour from the Interpretive Center at the start of the jetty. It’s wheelchair accessible and features an audio tour that will explain the history of the jetty and Busselton.
The ride takes about 25 minutes each way and costs $4 AUD ($3 USD) for a Jetty Day Pass. It’s recommended that you book ahead, which you can do so online through the Interpretive Centre or over the phone by calling (08) 9754 0900.
3. Margaret River wine tour
The wines produced in the Margaret River region are famous around the world. The best way to experience the delicious flavors from the wine region is by going on a Margaret River wine tour with an expert local guide.
While you can absolutely navigate between the wineries on your own, you will want to have a designated driver either way. Booking a tour can take all of the pressure off of planning the perfect itinerary and choosing who will have to stay sober in order to make sure you have a safe experience.
For a full-day winery experience of the Margaret River Winery Experience, this day-trip tour is a great option. It’s $160 AUD ($113 USD) a person and includes hotel pickup and transportation from Busselton. For 7 hours, you will venture through the region’s delicious wineries, breweries, and restaurants with an expert guide who will teach you all about the unique Margaret River.
You will learn how the wines and beers are produced and also have the opportunity to visit chocolate and cheese shops. Enjoy an included gourmet lunch at one of the wineries with the option to try Australian wild foods and sample wines, beers, chocolates, cheeses, and other delicious foods throughout the day.
If you want a day with the perfect aesthetic from start to finish, consider booking the full-day winery and brewery tour in a classic silver spirit Rolls Royce for $187 AUD ($132 USD). The luxury tour will begin with a hotel pick-up in a one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce car that will take you to five wineries for tastings and two breweries.
The guides are friendly and knowledgeable and the tour visits smaller wineries for a more intimate day. Lunch at a local brewery is included, and you’ll even have the opportunity to stop along the coast for a special photoshoot!
Believe me, a wine tour is easily one of the best things to do in Busselton (especially if you love wine as much as I do!)
4. Check out the sculptures of the Busselton Heritage Trail
The Busselton Heritage Trail begins at the Railway House near the Busselton Jetty and continues on a journey that tracks the footsteps of the first English migrants. The first families came in 1832, and the town that would eventually become Busselton was surveyed in 1839.
The trail passes all kinds of historical features of Busselton, but the most interesting stops we found are the sculptures that were commissioned in 2009 when Busselton celebrated 175 years since the first non-Aboriginal settlers first arrived. The sculptures include life-size bronze figures that tell the story of Busselton’s history.
There are sculptures of the Wadandi people, American whalers, timber industry workers, Spanish settlers, and others who called the region home throughout the ages. The artistry of the sculptures is reason enough to visit this amazing site, but it also provides travelers with a decadent dose of local history.
5. Visit local breweries
Busselton, WA, is home to so many amazing breweries that have sprung up in the Margaret River region over the past 20 years. Each brewery has its own style and flavors, so if you’re a beer lover (like me!) consider spreading your visits out over several days so that you can experience a little bit of everything. Whether you like pale ales or pilsners – Busselton’s breweries will have something you’ll love.
Many of the breweries are family-friendly and include beautiful natural surroundings and large open spaces to enjoy drinking out of doors. The list below includes some of the best breweries within the Busselton area. There are so many to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a tasty farm-to-table lunch or an interesting brewery tour – they’re well worth a visit!
One of the largest and closest to the foreshore is Shelter Brewing Co. We stopped in here during our last visit and loved it! The beer was good and I loved the outdoor patio with views of the water. Unfortunately, the service could have been a little better.
There are many other breweries and distilleries in the area too, they are:
- Wild Hop Brewing Co.
- Black Brewing Co.
- The Sophisticated Beast
- Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
- The West Winds Gin
- Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery
- The Grove Distillery & Brewery
- Bootleg Brewery
- Cowaramup Brewing Company
- Colonial Brewing Co.
6. Go whale watching
The city of Busselton is well-known as a popular spot for whale watching, with three species of whales passing through the calm waters of Geographe Bay each year. Enjoying a day on the water while searching out the majestic giants will be an experience you’ll never forget. You will have the opportunity to spot southern right whales, humpback whales, and even the magnificent blue whales!
For an amazing half-day experience, we recommend this whale-watching tour for $92 AUD ($65 USD). It’s offered only from September to early December, which is peak whale watching season.
The tour is led by a marine biologist and departs from Dunsborough for a 2.5-hour journey. Your guide knows all the best places to look for whales, so hopefully, you’ll see quite a few. You’ll meet your guide here, about 20 minutes from Busselton. Coffee and tea are served on board and there’s plenty of room to spread out on the spacious boat.
Related Read: Whale watching is also one of the best things to do in Fremantle, Perth.
7. Cave tour
Exploring Western Australia’s hidden underground through a tour of the region’s expansive cave systems is one of the most amazing activities to partake in on your trip to Busselton. You’ll be awestruck by the giant caverns and unique rock and crystal formations while exploring some of Western Australia’s geological marvels.
The Jewel Cave is one the largest in all of Western Australia, and it features incredible crystal formations throughout. On this 1-hour long tour, your guide will take you through the cavern and explain the history and geology of the cave. Afterward, you can enjoy a self-guided hike in the forest above the cave.
The tour costs just $22.50 AUD ($16 USD) and starts at the Jewel Cave, so you’ll need to arrange transportation for the one-hour drive from Busselton to get here.
Another amazing cave in the area is Ngilgi Cave. You can take a partially guided tour of the caverns and learn Aboriginal Dreamtime stories about the cave and its creation. Your guide will take you through the most visually stunning spots in the cave while educating you on early people’s relationships with the caves. After the guided portion, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the caves on your own.
The tour costs $22.50 AUD ($16 USD) and starts at Ngilgi Cave, so you’ll have to find transportation for the 30-minute drive from Busselton.
8. Free kids waterpark
If you’re traveling with kids, don’t skip the Busselton Foreshore Playground. Located right next to the Busselton Jetty, the play area features exciting water elements and a giant wooden ship that appears to be tipping over because of the whale swimming underneath it. Water sprays from the whale’s tail so kids can enjoy splashing around, or they can play in the large sandy area beside the ship.
Giant squids with spraying tentacles and a huge playground make this the perfect place for adults to relax while kids play. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby to grab a bite to eat before wrapping up the fun.
9. Fish and chips by the sea at sunset
For a quintessential “Aussie” experience, grab fish and chips from one of the many tasty spots near the beach.
Cod Rocks on Queen Street is one of the best fish and chips shops in Busselton and serves traditional fish and chips as well as grilled fish and squid rings. A meal starts at about $10 AUD ($7 USD).
I like grabbing my meal to-go and heading down the beach to watch one of Busselton’s amazing sunsets while enjoying a tasty meal.
10. Dine at the French bistro
For a dining experience at one of Busselton’s best restaurants, head to Bistro Breton. This unique spot serves classic French delicacies for breakfast and lunch. We loved the crepes – they have both sweet and savory options. The crepes are made from traditional recipes using buckwheat flour which is gluten-free!
La Provencale is an amazing savory crepe made with roasted eggplant and tomato sauce, Jarlsberg cheese, feta, and zucchini. For a sweet option, try La Caline, which is made with fresh strawberries, coulis, chantilly, and strawberry sorbetto. Aside from crepes, the restaurant serves French-style breakfasts like creamed omelets and lunch items like grilled scallops and croquet monster sandwiches.
Make sure to drop by during the week as Bistro Breton is only open Monday to Friday from 8 am until 2 pm.
11. Attend an event
Busselton always has impressive events happening year-round. It’s known for being the “Events Capital of WA,” and attending one of the fantastic events is a great way to meet locals and get to know the special community.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during some of the annual festivals, you absolutely have to attend. The Festival of Busselton is held in December and January and is one of the highlights of WA summers. There are tons of activities that are appropriate for all ages, and it’s a really great opportunity to experience Busselton’s community spirit.
The Busselton Jetty Swim takes place in February, and it’s worth attending to cheer on the swimmers even if you aren’t participating in the race. There is live music, activities, and plenty of action to enjoy in between watching the swimmers participate in the 3.6-kilometer (2.2 mile) sporting event.
Even if you aren’t visiting during peak summer months, there will still be plenty of events happening in the area like writers’ festivals, film festivals, and food, beer, and wine events year-round.
12. Go to markets
During your trip to Busselton, enjoy some of the city’s fantastic markets. Shop around while soaking up the sun and experiencing the local culture for a day of fun, food, and good vibes. The city of Busselton has a variety of markets that each operate on different days of the week, so you can plan your days and visit as many as you want.
Some of the best farmer’s markets for purchasing fresh produce and tasty treats include the Lions Vasse Markets, which take place on the first and third Saturday of each month. The markets go from 8 am until noon.
Another favorite is the Foreshore Market which takes place on the first, third, and fifth Sunday of each month from 7 am to 1 pm.
Another option to check out if you love farmer’s markets is The Shed. This market focuses on making fresh, local food accessible to everyone. It’s open Thursday – Sunday from 11 am until 3 pm and includes a variety of vendors selling delicious local produce and gourmet food. It’s a great place to enjoy lunch while browsing the booths, and there is something for every taste.
Related Read: While touring the markets in Australia, make sure you check out the night markets at Mindil Beach. It’s one of my top things to see in Darwin!
13. Enjoy a day at the beach
Spending the day at the beach is a must while in Busselton and there are a few fantastic places to visit!
In the heart of Busselton is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. This white sand beach is the perfect place to cool off and enjoy the beautiful weather we are so blessed to get in Australia. There is even a section with a shark and stinger net for those worried.
For an even more picturesque day of sand and sea, head to Meelup Beach. The expansive stretch of perfect white sand and crystal clear water is located near Dunsborough.
Enjoy a day of recreation by walking or biking along the coastal trail, or simply relax in the sand and enjoy a good book. Swimming is safe there, as the waters are calm and warm. Amenities include picnic areas, plenty of shade trees, restrooms, showers, and changing rooms.
Meelup Beach is the perfect place to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the coast. Pack a picnic and enjoy a full day in this beachy paradise.
Related read: If you can’t get enough of Australian beach days, heading to the beach is among the best free things to do in Sydney!
14. Zipline and ropes course
You’re in for a thrill with a trip to the Busselton High Ropes and Zipline Adventure. This two-hour experience will take zooming through the treetops of Tuart Forest, one of Western Australia’s most beautiful woodlands.
You will have the opportunity to learn from expert instructors before embarking on the challenging rope courses. There are different heights and levels to suit every fitness level and ability.
Feel like you’re flying high above the ground on the zipline. It’s fun for kids and kids at heart. All equipment is included, and the tour costs $44 AUD ($31 USD).
15. Day trip to Yallingup
Just a short journey (about a 30-minute drive) from Busselton awaits the super chill beach town of Yallingup. It’s been voted one of the top towns by Australian Traveler, and it’s no wonder why. The town is located on a ridgeline in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park and features gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean.
Yallingup is an extremely popular destination for surfers, and it’s a great place to watch the pros catch waves or even try it out yourself if you’re experienced. There is a beautiful lagoon that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling as well as cool hikes along the cliffs.
You can even visit an expansive cave before enjoying some of the area’s fun restaurants and bars. The nearby Caves House Hotel and Pub has live music daily and is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink after a day of nature and fun.
16. Soak in Injidup Natural Spa
If you go on a day trip to Yallingup, you probably want to consider adding on a visit to the Injidup Natural Spa. The location is absolutely breathtaking and features a rock formation that protects the area from the winds of the Indian Ocean.
Depending on the tides, the spa can vary from a relaxing pool to a turbulent spa-like experience with waterfalls tumbling over the rocks into the pool. Make sure to stick to the sheltered pool area, as the ocean outside of the cove has strong tides and can be dangerous for swimmers.
This area can be super crowded, so go early and maybe stick to weekdays for this adventure. It’s completely free to enjoy, so it’s often busy with locals and tourists alike.
17. Go scuba diving
Scuba diving is one of my favorite ways to explore the ocean and the water around Busselton is perfect for diving because it’s so clear! You’ll be amazed at just how much you can see.
One of the best experiences in Busselton is to explore the remains of the HMAS Swan, a shipwreck deep beneath the waters. This 5-hour tour will take you to the wreckage, where you can enjoy two dives deep beneath the surface and explore the wreckage of the 113-meter-long (370 feet) decommissioned naval ship. You’ll also have the opportunity to see all kinds of marine life as you swim around.
The tour includes all of the scuba equipment and snacks throughout your day. It departs daily at 8 am from the Marina. A super-fast boat will take you to the location of the HMAS Swan wreckage. It’s one of the most popular dive sites in Australia and is appropriate for all levels of divers. The tour costs $230 AUD ($162 USD) per person.
18. Museum in the visitor center
For a free and educational outing, head to the Busselton Visitor Center. It’s located right next to the Busselton Jetty and is a great place to stop as soon as you arrive in town. You’ll be able to learn all kinds of great tips and information on the area, and the knowledgeable staff will help you get to know the lay of the land.
The visitor center also features rotating exhibits that will teach you about the marine life and history of Busselton. They also hand out free maps of the region, so whether you’re brand new to the area or have visited before, make sure you stop by and pick one up!
The Visitor Center is conveniently open every day from 9 am until 5 pm.
19. Drink at the historical fire station
Nothing pairs better with wine and beer than local history! You’ll experience both at the historic Busselton Fire Station. Built back in 1936, it operated as a fire station until 1990.
The architectural style represents the interwar functionalist era, and it’s a super cool and unique place to enjoy a craft beer or a glass of local wine.
The beverage options focus on organic, all-natural wines from local producers around the region, and there is always something new and unique to try. The Fire Station also serves craft beer with four regular taps and seven rotating guest taps featuring rare seasonal options from local breweries.
20. Visit the courthouse
The Old Courthouse in Busselton is an important remnant from the time of the city’s first English settlers during the colonial era. It’s one of the oldest remaining buildings in Busselton and was constructed between 1860 and 1897.
These days, the Old Courthouse is open to the public daily from 10 am to 4 pm and provides the opportunity for visitors to travel back in time 160 years to the birth of the community. You’ll have the chance to wander through the courtrooms as well as the creepy gaol cells.
Aside from its history, the Old Courthouse has become a home for modern-day artists. There is a rotating collection of local art exhibitions and the gift shop located in the Old Courtroom is one of the best places to buy local art, jewelry, pottery, and woodwork.
There is a nice little cafe located outside where you can pause and grab a coffee before visiting the State Studios and Exercise Yard. There, you’ll have the chance to talk with the artist in residence and even watch them create their masterpieces.
The exploring doesn’t have to stop there! Make sure to walk through the Merenj Boodja Bush Food Garden. It’s a wild garden that features plants that were used by the Aboriginal people who inhabited the area for 40,000 years.
21. Wander the main street
Make sure to save time on your trip to Busselton to simply wander about the city. We love walking around the main drag and taking in the sites of the town. You never know what you might find and it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping.
There are tons of cute shops, art galleries, and boutiques to explore during your trip, and more popping up every day. We loved the ArtGeo Cultural Complex art gallery on Queen Street, which celebrates local artists as well as the heritage of Busselton.
22. Nocturnal wildlife tour
Night owls rejoice! Your activities don’t have to be limited to restaurants and bars in Busselton. The unique Nocturnal Wildlife Tour will take you on a two-hour adventure where you will have the opportunity to see rare Australian animals.
The tour begins in the early evening and includes a walk through a wildlife reserve with an expert naturalist guide. You will get to see Wylie’s, which are a rare and endangered marsupial that is native to Australia. They’re also super adorable! They’re related to kangaroos but are much smaller – just a little over a foot tall.
Other wildlife like kangaroos, bandicoots, and possums can also be seen if you’re lucky! The tour costs $85 AUD ($60 USD) and includes transportation to the nature reserve from your hotel.
23. Helicopter ride
Experience the beauty of the Margaret River region with a bird’s eye view from an unforgettable helicopter tour through KAS Helicopters. There are tons of tour options for every budget. You can take a quick 30-minute flight over Busselton and Dunsborough or experience a luxurious ride to some of the region’s best wineries for lunch and wine tastings.
The availability is limited, so KAS Helicopters recommends getting in touch with them and booking your adventure in advance. They will walk you through all of the options or even help design an experience to fit your specific needs.
24. Ride a bike
Busselton is super bike-friendly, and bikes are a great way to get around during your trip. You can explore the whole city via bike or just rent them for a few hours to enjoy the trails along the coast.
Riding to Dunbsborough is a fun way to spend a day and explore the neighboring town before returning home to Busselton. The visitor center has a bike rental kiosk nearby, and the cost ranges from $15 AUD for 1 hour to $33 AUD for 24 hours.
So, grab your bike and explore – there is so much to see around Busselton!
25. Drive to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
One of the most popular attractions in the Margaret River region is the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. A visit to the lighthouse is a great way to experience the maritime culture and history of the area. You’ll learn about shipwrecks, flora and fauna, ocean currents, whale migrations, and the life of early lighthouse keepers.
The lighthouse is still functioning, and visitors can climb all the way up to the top balcony for stunning views of the ocean. It’s open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with guided tour options up until 4:30 p.m. On the weekends, you can enjoy a bite to eat and a cup of coffee at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse Cafe.
On your way to the lighthouse, make sure you stop at some of the pristine beaches along the way. We particularly love Eagle Bay, but the benefit of driving is that you can stop wherever your heart desires. There are a lot of cool beaches to explore all across Australia, including the amazing beaches around Perth.
Where to Stay in Busselton, Australia
Now that you know how much there is to do in Busselton, it’s time to find a place to stay. We recommend spending 3-4 nights here if you can or a bit longer if you’re going to explore the surrounding towns. Rooms in Busselton typically book up fast, so make sure you book early! These are our top picks for accommodations with something for every budget – from the budget traveler to the resort seeker.
$$$ – Broadwater Resort
If you have some extra room in your budget, check out this hotel overlooking Geographe Bay. It’s a 12-minute walk to the beach or you can enjoy the resort’s heated swimming pool. The rooms have private balconies or patios, perfect for enjoying a coffee in the morning before a day of exploring. Rooms here start around $150-200 USD per night, but there are two- or three-bedroom villas with extra space for big groups that are under $300 USD a night. Check prices and book here!
$$ – Amalfi Resort
For great value for a roomy villa, this is an excellent choice. The accommodations here are all suites with either one or two bedrooms and a patio. This is great for families as you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen (including a dishwasher), so you’ll feel right at home. It’s a short walk to the beach and close to lots of activities. The villas here are around $200 USD but increase in price during the busy summer season to around $300 USD. Check prices and book online here!
For travelers on a budget, this motel has rooms typically under $100 USD per night. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the beach. There are barbecue facilities on site to enjoy and free parking. The staff is friendly and the rooms are a good size and clean. All the rooms have A/C for the warm summer months and you can use the outdoor pool, games room, and playground at their sister property nearby. Check prices and book online here!
Thanks for reading!
We love the easy mix of beach fun, relaxation, entertainment, and charm of Busselton. Whether you’re wandering down the jetty, eating fish and chips by the water, scuba diving, or checking out some of the local history, you won’t run out of things to do.
Busselton is great for families (I would have LOVED that waterpark playground as a kid!) and travelers of all ages. Now that you have ideas of just some of the things to do in Busselton you can start planning your own getaway! Make sure to check out our other blogs about Australia for more inspiration!