Australia offers no shortage of world-famous destinations and iconic sights to see, from the Sydney Opera House to Uluru in the Outback. These are undoubtedly worthwhile, but this massive and diverse country also boasts a treasure trove of lesser-known sights to delight and inspire visitors. One of the best ways to see the true Australia is by hopping in the car and venturing off the beaten path. The following are five of the most intriguing lesser-known destinations to explore to make your holiday a true Australian adventure.
1. Coober Pedy, South Australia
It doesn't get much more off the beaten path than Coober Pedy, located in the heart of remote South Australia. You'll be travelling literally underground to spend time here, with the majority of the town built into underground caverns. Coober Pedy is the opal capital of the world, giving visitors the chance to try their hands at fossicking. Cool down with a beer in an underground bar, or explore the area's mining history in one of the underground museums. If you choose to venture above ground, try playing a round of golf in the desert's alien landscape.
2. Hobart, Tasmania
A ferry ride away from Australia's mainland, Tasmania is an island blessed with pristine wilderness and a growing gourmet food and wine scene. Try venturing into the city of Hobart, which is Australia's second oldest. It has retained many of its original heritage architecture along with a variety of modern art galleries and cafes, all set against the monumental backdrop of Mount Wellington.
3. Gibb River Road, Western Australia
You'll need a sturdy vehicle with 4WD if you choose to tackle the Gibb River road in Western Australia, so get ready for a rugged ride. Running through Australia's Kimberley region in Western Australia, a trip down the Gibb River Road makes you feel like an explorer. Go swimming with freshwater crocodiles, (which are friendlier than their saltwater counterparts), climb rocky gorges, and camp next to lush waterfall scenery.
4. Adelaide Hills, Western Australia
You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd taken a wrong turn and ended up in Germany when driving through the Adelaide Hills, just outside of Adelaide. The German settlement of Hahndorf has changed very little over the past two centuries, and retains a strong Bavarian culture. Sample German cheese, beer, and sausages, and learn more about Australia's German settlers in the Hahndorf Museum. You can also spot more typically Australian residents including kangaroos and koalas in the nearby Gorge Wildlife Park.
5. Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
It would be a shame to visit Australia without getting a sense of its Aboriginal culture and history. The remote Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory may not be easy to get to, but it's worth the trouble to view rock art and partake in a unique cultural experience. This sacred and beautiful land is protected, so you'll need a permit to enter.
Travellers who venture off the beaten path in Australia will be rewarded with unforgettable sights and experience, to compliment the more popular tourist attractions.