Australia: The Bucket List

31st May 2013
Pól Ó Conghaile











The Lions tour of Australia isn’t just the pinnacle of a rugby player’s career – it’s as good as it gets for travelling fans too.

Here are my absolute must-do’s for Down Under…


1. Dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Or snorkel. Or failing that, just splash about with some goggles and a buoyancy aid. This is one of the most spectacular underwater ecosystems on earth, and its only living organism visible from space (pictured). Don’t miss it.

2. Watch the sun rise (or set) at Uluru.

Also known as Ayers Rock, the mineral-rich sandstone reflects light unforgettably. But get in and out quickly – the heat, flies and managed resort experience all detract from the central experience.

3. Ride the Ghan.

Australia’s outback is as forbidding as it is fantastic, so why not see it from the comfort of a train? The Ghan ( connects Darwin to Adelaide with a three-day ride across Australia’s Red Centre.

4. Get stuck into Sydney.

Australia’s biggest city is multicultural to its core, and that makes for a fantastic foodie scene. You can sample everything from pho to falafels, sushi to spiced lamb chops, and Bondi beach barbecues to Turkish ice-cream. Tuck in!

5. See some sport.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Lions test, the Australian Open or Aussie Rules, the chance to watch this sports-mad nation cheering on its heroes (and, of course, sledging its villains) is a quintessential Aussie experience.


For more on what to see and do in Australia, visit