Bucket lists. It seems everyone has one but for many of us our bucket lists feature exotic destinations in far-away places that are simply financially out of reach for the foreseeable future.
But the good news is there are plenty of bucket list places to go and things to do right here in our own backyard, so you don’t need to spend a fortune to start crossing them off. We’ve checked out some of them in our own backyard and across the ditch and rounded up our top 6.
Yes, these days it’s hip to be Hobart and a visit to this tiny state capital packs a powerful punch. Tasmania’s capital is an exciting mix of heritage, nature and vibrant culture. It’s brim-full of restaurants, festivals, markets, arts and stunning waterfronts, so when you’re in town you’ll never be short of things to do and places to go.
Take a trip to the stunning Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the fabulous privately owned gallery that defies everything you’ve ever thought an art gallery is supposed to be. With art in all kinds of mediums, and lots of dark twists and turns, prepare yourself for a display of quirky and innovative exhibitions and events. Even the 30-minute ferry trip is first class cool when you travel on a “posh pit” ticket.
2. Blue Mountains
The spectacular Blue Mountains just west of Sydney is a fresh air experience that’s bursting with things to do. The famous Three Sisters rock formation on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley is one of the best known sites and a must see attraction.
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Mountains is the town of Katoomba and from here you’ll be able to explore all the region has to offer – from spectacular bushwalks through the pristine rainforest to valleys of waterfalls and off-road drive tours of the region.
Don’t worry if bushwalking isn’t your thing – the Scenic Skyway glass cable car offers sweeping views of ravines, rainforests and clifftops and the world’s steepest passenger railway lets you adjust your seat to a cliff-hanging 64 degree incline.
3. Great Barrier Reef
Probably one of Australia’s best known destinations, if you’ve never visited the Great Barrier Reef, it’s definitely something to add to your list of our country’s must-do experiences.
Visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth and is a 2,300 kilometre long ecosystem comprised of thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands. No matter where you stay, you’ll experience crystal clear waters, an array of marine life and amazing snorkelling and diving experiences.
A reef cruise is a great option to see the dazzling beauty of the reef and although it doesn’t come cheap, a helicopter tour will give you views that will take your breath away.
4. Great Ocean Road touring route
One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road touring route in Victoria is a 664 kilometre stretch of coastal road that is best enjoyed over a 3-day planned self-drive tour. Starting just out of Melbourne at surfing spot Torquay, the route will take you to the iconic 12 apostles and eventually wind its way to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy.
Along the way you’ll take in the waterfront city of Geelong, the food and wine region of Bellarine Peninsula, the seaside city of Warrnambool, the majestic nature and Aboriginal heritage of Grampians National Park, the gold rush history and grandeur of Ballarat and the health giving waters of Daylesford and spa country.
5. Bay of Islands
One of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, the Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region just 3 hours’ drive from Auckland. Known for its’ stunning beauty, it encompasses 144 islands and a number of boutique towns. Taking a boat cruise around some of the islands and out to the famous hole in the rock at Motukokako – an easily accessible island tunnel that is so big your cruise boat can fit through it.
The Bay of Islands is home to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a historic and sacred site that is the location for the signing of the nation's founding documents. The award-winning Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Museum of Waitangi are unquestionably one of New Zealand’s premier attractions.
Probably one of New Zealand’s best known tourist destinations, Queenstown is surrounded by majestic mountains and sits on the shores of the South Island’s crystal clear Lake Wakitipu.
Known by many as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown boasts so many activities that you’ll be hard-pressed to try them all. From bungee jumping to abseiling, white water rafting, snowboarding, paragliding and heli-biking, there’s heart-pumping action that will suit any adrenalin junkie.
For visitors who prefer things a little slower, the region encompasses world-class wineries – a staggering 200 of them within a 40 minute drive from the town centre; many of which offer cellar door tastings and fine dining experiences.
If you want to start ticking off some bucket-list adventures but your budget is a bit tight, we can help out with a little financial assistance to make it all happen. Just check out our mini-loans from $1K - $5K to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can start planning your trip in next to no time!