Australia is known for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, unique wildlife and out-of-this-world landscapes. But what is there to do Down Under after the sun goes down under? Australia has plenty to offer in terms of night-time entertainment – just remember to bring your adventurous side.
Stargazing at Uluru
One of the ultimate Aussie experiences is witnessing the night sky in the middle of the vast red desert. There are nightly stargazing tours where experts will take you through a map of the sky, pointing out other solar systems, planets and stars of all ages. A high-powered telescope will give you a closer look, but the view as a whole is arguably more impressive. Some tour companies will organise for guests to sleep under the stars in an Australian ‘swag’ (essentially a covered bedroll).
Melbourne’s White Night
In late February, Melbourne holds a culture-focused festival during which museums, galleries and art-houses stay open from 7PM to 7AM. In 2014 White Night was attended by half a million people; the streets are extremely busy as people wander from one exhibition to another. Institutions such as the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) host special displays and performances throughout the evening. Federation Square is the main hive of activity - brace yourself for a manic evening in one of Australia’s most vibrant cities.
Night scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef
The number one natural wonder of the world, there is no cooler way to experience the wonders of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef than with a night dive. Not for the faint-hearted, sinking under the waves as the sun goes down is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Armed only with a torch, this underwater paradise is completely different in the dark – and you’ll probably have it to yourselves. Live-aboard dive boats can be booked from Cairns, Port Douglas or Airlie Beach in Queensland.
Camping on Fraser Island
Fraser is an island made entirely of sand. There are no roads here, only beaches and bumpy dirt tracks it takes a four-wheel-drive to navigate. The world-heritage listed island is as wild as it is beautiful. After spending the day exploring freshwater lakes, forests and sand dunes, bed down for the night on the beach. It’s important to be aware of the dingoes, Australian native sand-coloured dogs, on Fraser Island. After dark is a good time to spot them, but stay in a group and don’t go anywhere alone for safety reasons. There’s no better way to experience Australian outdoor living than around a campfire on the world’s largest sand island.
If you want to see Australia’s city skylines during their finest hour, there a number of tall buildings, mountains and even a big wheel you can climb up after dark. Take in the bright lights of Sydney by trying one of the city’s ultimate experiences - the harbour bridge climb. Choose a twilight climb to experience sunset over some of Australia’s most iconic sights, or a night departure for the ultimate view of the city lights. Melbourne has its own quirky eye in the sky; the Melbourne Star is situated in the Docklands area and is open for boarding until 9.30pm every evening. They provide day and night combination tickets so you can see the city in both lights. Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, has easily one of the best natural viewpoints in the whole of Australia. Drive up Mount Wellington, situated just 10 minutes outside the city, at dusk to see epic views of Hobart and the surrounding coastline. Beware of snow in winter months and check weather forecasts year-round before embarking.
A good night for all
Australia’s night time activities are both unique and unforgettable. Whether you are after a quiet evening under one of the best skies in the world, a city-based experience, a back to nature camping adventure or a spooky wildlife encounter, you can find it all in Australia. However you choose to spend your time, enjoy your days in Australia from dawn ‘til dusk.
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