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Lonely Planet's bucket list of 500 Aussie hidden gems

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Lonely Planet has given us 500 good reasons to explore Australia with its ranking of the top surprising, unexpected hidden gems across our country.

The top five alone includes huge monoliths, world-class cultural collections, the world’s largest living organism, walks along coastal cliffs and meandering drives.

The top 20 experiences are:

1. Uluru, NT
2. MONA, Tas
3. Great Barrier Reef, Qld
4. Great Ocean Road, Vic
5. Three Capes Track, Tas
6. Bungle Bungles, WA
7. Daintree National Park, Qld
8. Kangaroo Island, SA
9. Dark Sky Park, Warrambungle, NSW
10. Vivid Festival Sydney, NSW
11. Wilson’s Promontory National Park, VIC
12. Kakadu National Park, NT
13. Wineglass Bay & Freycinet National Park, Tas
14. Grampian National Park, Vic
15. Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk, NSW
16. Kata Tjuta, NT
17. Port Campbell National Park, Vic
18. Rottnest Island, WA
19. Manly Ferry, NSW
20. Museum of Underwater Art, Qld

The ranking is collated into a new book serving as a bucket list of interesting, unusual and diverse experiences that are anything but predictable.

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Australia Travel List contains all 500 experiences, with an entry for each giving a taste of what to expect from the sight or experience, plus some practical advice to start planning your own trip.

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Image: LonelyPlanet

Ten guest Australian celebrities also reveal their top five places in the book, including Benjamin Law, Tara June Winch, Heather Ewart, Julia Baird, Christine Mansfield, Gordi, Turia Pitt, Mack Horton, Juan Walker, and Matthew Evans.

Then book also includes five amazing pieces of artwork created by artists from the Central Australian Maruku Arts Project, acknowledging the history and knowledge held by the traditional owners of the land.

The list was voted on by editors, designers, writers, staff, and others from the Lonely Planet community and celebrates all that Australia has to offer across all states.

“This is a huge first for Lonely Planet and Australia. So many guides are about places, but this is about the unexpected hidden gems – the most memorable, beautiful, and totally compelling experiences,” said Chris Zeiher, Senior Director Trade Sales & Marketing for Lonely Planet Publications.

What's your #1 travel experience in Australia? How many of the top 20 have you visited and what’s your favourite?


Main image: Tsvi Braverman / EyeEm/Getty Images; Maurizio De Mattei/Shutterstock; Museum of Underwater Art; ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock; Lonely Planet (inset)