Stay at home: Aussie holiday experiences that are world class

Australian travellers go a long way to do things they could just as easily do on home soil. Many go to Thailand for beaches, the Greek islands for sun.

Overseas travel has a certain allure to it; the thrill of the exotic that you don't always get in your own country. But don't overlook similar experiences in Australia.

The great campervan adventure

Thousands of Australians have done it in Europe, buzzing around France and Italy and Spain in a clapped-out van, sleeping in dodgy campsites and drinking supermarket booze. The European campervan adventure is a trope as familiar as any in the Aussie traveller's psyche. But why not give it a bash at home? Sure, everything's a bit further apart here, but the scenery is amazing, the roads are good, the beaches are better, and there are far more Swedish backpackers to hit on.

Wine tasting

Plenty of travellers have sipped vino and said thoughtfully, “I don't mind that” to no one in particular at vineyards all around the world. I've glugged in the Napa Valley, slurped in Mendoza, guzzled in Central Otago and quaffed in La Rioja. But I've never been to the Barossa, home of some of the best reds in the world. I've never sampled the wares in the Clare Valley, or had a cheeky tipple in McLaren Vale. It's probably time I treated all of them to my own special brand of wine critique: “I don't mind that.”

Under the sea

There are some amazing dive sites around the world – the Red Sea, the Great Blue Hole in Belize, the Surin Islands in Thailand – but you'd be crazy not to want to check out what Australia has to offer. Most Australian divers have spent time in the Great Barrier Reef, but how many have made it to the grand-daddy of underwater attractions, the wreck of the SS Yongala just off Townsville? There are rare sharks there, as well as huge rays, gropers, whales . . . oh, and a shipwreck.

Walk on the wild side

The Inca Trail is an experience that seems to pop up on many a bucket list. And that track through the Andes really is as memorable an experience as you could hope to have on two feet. But you don't have to travel quite that far to have an amazing walk. The Overland Track in Tasmania is a 65-kilometre multi-day hike. It looks like an adventure and a challenge, a tramp through some of Australia's most spectacular scenery. There are no ruins at the end, but there has to be a huge sense of satisfaction.

Animals on the run

Australians enjoy seeing wild animals running around. Go to San Fermin Festival in Pamplona any July and you'll see hundreds of Aussies, some decked out in their very favourite AFL jersey, sprinting through the streets with large bovines in hot pursuit. But there's some adrenalin-pumping animal action closer to home. Each May the town of Barcaldine, Queensland hosts the nation's richest goat race, which sounds so patently ridiculous that you have to see it with your own eyes. There's a street parade as well, but surely it pales in comparison to the sight of overly competitive goats being ridden by school children.

What Australian experiences have you found that are world-class?