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50 Ultimate Travel Bucket List Ideas

Looking for bucket list inspiration? Look no further. We asked Flight Centre’s most knowledgeable Destination Experts to give us the lowdown on their favourite travel must-sees, the sights and activities they think you, the traveller should add to your travel bucket list.

And here it is: our top 50 travel experiences. How many have you done?

1. Visit Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Stealing the number one spot on Flight Centre’s Travel Bucket List is the Great Barrier Reef. The largest living organism in the world, the Great Barrier Reef can be explored in a multitude of ways. Choose from diving and snorkelling, boat trips, cruises, submarine excursions, helicopter and seaplane flights and even staying overnight on it.

2. Soar above the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, USA

At around six million years old, the Grand Canyon is one the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Stretching for 277 miles, this vast canyon offers a diverse range of activities. But surely the best way to see it is from a helicopter, soaring high above the mile-deep chasm and even landing in it for a picnic lunch.

3. Look out for elephants in Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park

For a good chance of spotting an Asian elephant, head deep into the misty jungles of Khao Sok National Park. Or better yet, spend a night or two at Elephant Hills luxury jungle eco-camp, where rescued elephants are given a second chance at life. Help feed and wash the elephants while staying in a floating tents on a tranquil lake.

4. Cruise New Zealand’s Fjords

Take a trip to New Zealand’s Fiordland and prepare to be wowed by the magnificent mountain and ocean scenery. The best way to explore is by boat, as this allows you to view the outer reaches of Doubtful or Milford Sound, the two most popular spots, and to get so close to the waterfalls that dot the cliff edges that you can feel the spray.

5. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer train across Canada

One of the best railway journeys in the world, the Rocky Mountaineer winds its way through snow-dusted mountains and past glittering lakes from Vancouver to Jasper, Banff, Calgary or Lake Louise. Every twist and turn along the route offers jaw-dropping vistas of dramatic gorges and canyons, as well as the chance to spot moose, eagles and bighorn sheep.

6. Watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The temples of Angkor are one of the world’s most impressive sights, and the main reason to visit Cambodia. Although there are plenty of temples to explore, each one different, it is Angkor Wat itself that makes the most impressive sunrise-watching spot. Observe as the sun’s rays slowly reveal its corridors and carvings, and the spires come to life in the morning light.

7. Spot the Big Five in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

If you’ve always dreamed of going on safari, then South Africa’s Kruger National Park is the place to do it. Home to lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, hippos, rhinos and buffalo, as well as vast herds of elephants, the park well and truly ticks off the Big Five list. So, set your alarm early, grab your camera and binoculars, head out into the bush and see what you can find.

8. Cruise emerald green waters of Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, whose name means ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’, is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and a World Heritage site. Sail among the picturesque karst peaks and craggy ocean rocks that rise skywards from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and explore the many grottoes, either by kayak or by boat.

9. Gaze up at the Taj Mahal, India

The ultimate monument to love, the smooth white marble and semi-precious stones of the Taj Mahal make it one of the world’s most magnificent buildings. Remarkably, the Taj’s changes colour with the sun; come at sunrise for soft pinks and purples, or sunset for glowing orange. It’s every bit as spectacular as you imagine.

10. Set sail on a cruise around the Galapagos Islands

Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, around 563 miles west of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of 13 islands stuffed full of rare wildlife and the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. Cruise the waters and keep an eye out for giant tortoises, exotic birds, penguins, sea lions and marine iguanas.

11. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

Follow in the footsteps of an ancient civilisation on the world-famous Inca Trail, a 26-mile stone pathway through the Andes leading to the mountaintop settlement of Machu Picchu. Taking around four days to complete, the route reaches altitudes of 4,200m and is tough in sections, but it’s worth it for the Inca ruins, dramatic peaks and the sight of Machu Picchu itself.

12. Walk along the Great Wall of China

Accessed from Beijing, The Great Wall of China snakes its way over 13,000 miles, stretching from Jiayuguan in the west to Old Dragon’s Head in the east, where it plunges dramatically into the ocean. Take a walk on the sections near Badaling and Juyongguan, both easy day trips from the capital, and soak up the mountain views.

13. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Stretching along California’s Pacific Coast from San Francisco to San Diego, the Pacific Coast Highway is an epic drive. Follow the open road and cruise the twists and turns of this glorious coastline, including rugged cliffs, pretty villages and various wine growing regions. It takes 10 hours to drive in one go, but take a few days to ensure you have time to stop and explore.

14. Gaze across Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada

Deep in the heart of Banff National Park, Alberta’s Lake Louise is more than just a sparkling, glacial-fed mountain basin. Cradled by vast unspoiled mountain peaks and 4,200 acres of the world’s finest skiing and snowboarding, as well as being home to bears, elk and wolves, this lake is the perfect outdoor adventure and photography hub.

Written by Angela Griffin

Born with a severe case of itchy feet, I’ve tried to appease my perpetual wanderlust by selling high-end safaris, dabbling in guidebook writing and more recently travel writing and blogging, but to no avail. A life-long lover of the great outdoors, I’m at my happiest when hiking up a mountain, or skiing down one.

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