Australia is the largest island on the Earth as well as the largest country in Oceania. Surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Commonwealth of Australia covers 7,617,930 square kilometers of land. No matter whether you visit Canberra, Sydney, or Brisbane, you will find something interesting to do and see. What is more, almost every town in Australia abounds in historical sites, which will help you embrace Aboriginal people’s culture.
The multiple small islands within the boundaries of the country make for breathtaking scenery and, at the same time, feature magnificent beaches. On the other hand, immense landmarks such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta are awe-inspiring.
Over and above that, Australia boasts huge parks, fascinating museums, shopping centers, aquariums, and art galleries. The island is also noted for superb cuisine and stylish restaurants. With so much on offer, you’d better contemplate over which are the top destinations that you long to be the guest of. Thus, scanning the list below of the best 25 places to visit in Australia may well help you.
- 1. Great Barrier Reef
- 2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
- 3. Visit Sydney
- 4. Visit Canberra
- 5. The Pinnacles Desert
- 6. Visit Gold Coast
- 7. Alice Springs
- 8. Karijini National Park
- 9. Darwin City
- 10. Daintree Rainforest
- 11. Byron Bay
- 12. Fraser Island
- 13. Broome
- 14. Cairns City
- 15. Kings Canyon
- 16. Adelaide
- 17. Blue Mountains
- 18. Great Ocean Road
- 19. Perth
- 20. Kangaroo Island
- 21. Brisbane
- 22. Tasmania
- 23. Whitsunday Islands
- 24. Melbourne
- 25. Kakadu National Park
1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef consists of more than 2,900 separate reefs and 900 islands, covering an area of 344,400 square kilometers. Situated in the Coral Sea, the largest coral reef system of all is visited by around 2 million tourists every year. Its vast biological variety, squeaky-clean waters, combined with easy water access, make it a famous tourist destination.
More than 1500 fish species, including dugongs, whales, as well as dolphins, call the reef home. Sea snakes, various birds, and turtles are also found here. Keep in mind that fishing and hunting any type of sea animal is not allowed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the absence of written consent.
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One is able to explore the reef thanks to various voyages. There are also glass-bottomed boat trips and anchorage points where you can dive deep into the sea, whether using a snorkel or not. Those with a cruise ship phobia can consider taking a helicopter flight to get a bird’s eye view of the Great Barrier Reef.
2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Located in the Northern Territory of Australia, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park features two massive sandstone rock formations called Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The mentioned natural creations are one of the most well-known Australian landmarks, and they have been a prominent tourist destination since the 1930s.
Climbing these enormous rocks is allowed. However, the locals would much rather you didn’t clamber up these essential phenomena since it is neither safe nor respectful. Thus, most visitors prefer to enjoy a stroll or slow biking in this unique park. You may well catch a sight of common brushtail possum, malleefowl, bilby while wandering around.
3. Visit Sydney
The New South Wales’ capital is the most crowded town of the whole of Australia, with a population of more than 5 million. Due to the fact that Indigenous Australians have lived in Sydney for more than 30,000 years, the town is rich in archaeological sites. Besides the ruins, the city’s sandy beaches, museums, architectural structures, as well as parks are visited by dozens of tourists each year.
Sydney Opera House is likely to charm your pants off with its unique architectural design, as the State Library of New South Wales with its special collections. Sydney also features Australia’s oldest museum and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, which displays over 700 animal species.
Other important buildings in Sydney include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Queen Victoria Building, and the like. To get the best out of this large metropolis, go sunbathing or swimming on one of its lovely beaches. Bondi Beach, Manly, and Coogee are the most visited ones.
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4. Visit Canberra
Set at the loftiest mountain range within the boundaries of Australia, Canberra is deservedly called the “bush capital”. One can observe the unusual design of this planned city either from the top of Mount Ainslie or from the Telstra Tower, which is the highest place in the whole of Canberra.
Previously this flourishing town was resided only by political figures and the members of the civil service. However, presently it is teeming with tourists thanks to its top-notch museums, galleries, memorials, and stylish restaurants. Additionally, being home to the Australian National University, Canberra is bustling with nocturnal activities.
Apart from its colorful nightlife, the capital of Australia is a magnificent destination for nature enthusiasts since it features nature reserves that are highly appropriate for hiking and cycling. It also boasts countless parks, artificial lakes, and mesmerizing gardens. On top of that, multiple festivals, including Floriade, are held here.
5. The Pinnacles Desert
The Pinnacles stand in close proximity to Cervantes – a little city in Western Australia. Located in the middle of nowhere, these oh-so-massive limestone formations were unheard-of till 1967. Nevertheless, today, they are the main feature of Nambung National Park, which was found back in 1994.
The desert that looks as if planted with countless weathered limestone stones boasts wattle and other wild plants that bloom in the vernal season. Thus, you had better spend time at the spot in August, September, or October. Keep in mind that there are no camping sites in Nambung National Park, so, supposing you want to stay for the night, head to Cervantes.
Although it is still a matter of debate in what way pinnacles got their bizarre forms, a consensus about their material is reached far ago. They were created from a raw element out of seashells, which called the area home at the time when it was abounding in marine life.
6. Visit Gold Coast
Being hot throughout the year, the coastal city in Queensland welcomes about 10 million visitors annually. The state’s top vacation spot offers surf beaches and a bunch of theme parks, the largest of which is Dreamworld that owns more than 40 rides.
Moreover, Gold Coast is known for the Q1 building which was the tallest tower used as a residential at the beginning of the 21st century (it currently ranks fifth). Believe it or not, its 755-foot high observation deck for 360-degree views allows you to behold the territory from Brisbane to Byron Bay!
On the other hand, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary gives you the golden opportunity to cuddle one of the most sweet-tempered animals in the world, namely koalas. To cut a long story short, with its wax museums, one-of-a-kind nature reserves, shopping centers, gourmet eateries, and taverns, the city of Golden Coast is a fantastic place to have a fun-filled holiday.
7. Alice Springs
Set in the Northern Territory, Alice Springs roughly lies in the heart of Australia. Despite the fact that going to this isolated town takes some time (it is over 1.500 kilometers away from the closest city), its location is ideal in case your desire is to discover the Red Center.
The ‘Todd Mall’ is the favorite spot of foodies and shoppers since it owns multiple gourmet restaurants and stylish boutiques. Moreover, countless works of art are exhibited here by Aboriginal art galleries. On the whole, Alice Springs is famous for its art galleries, local and Aboriginal alike.
However, the main highlight of the town is its setting. Surrounded by a beautiful desert area, this old city features several landmarks, Uluru being the most prominent one. Kata Tjuta rock is another captivating formation that spreads over 21.68 square kilometers. Not to mention the mythical beauty of Kings Canyon.
8. Karijini National Park
Previously called Hamersley Range National Park, the center’s name was changed in 1991. Karijini National Park is located in the Hamersley Ranges, viz. 1,055 kilometers away from Perth – the capital of Australia. Well-known for the dotted with gorges, canyons, and spectacular waterfalls landscape, the park is a must-see.
It is quite likely that you catch sight of red kangaroos, euros, goannas, and other unique wild animals of Australia while hiking the sky-scraping peaks that stand within the boundaries of the park. Happily, visitors are allowed to freshen up in the tranquil waters of the drop-dead gorgeous water holes and sparkling waterfalls after an arduous trek.
Take into account that thunderstorms and cyclones frequently occur in this region in the hot season of the year. Another thing that you should be careful about is blue asbestos which is found close to Yampire and Wittenoom Gorges. By no means smell this dangerous mineral.
9. Darwin City
The smallest capital city in Australia, namely Darwin, went through a bad patch. First, it was destroyed at the time of World War II and then, in 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit it violently. Nevertheless, it rose from the ashes and come to be a prominent tourist destination.
Embellished with bars, seafood eateries, and multicultural shops, the town’s golden beach is a fantastic spot to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Darwin Harbor, being grander than Sydney Harbor, also draws the attention of many. If you want to explore the area more thoroughly, you can take on various pleasure cruises.
Furthermore, Darwin offers tours to Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, and Katherine Gorge. Having about six seasons, the best time to pay this magnificent town a visit is from April to September, videlicet when it is cool enough to wander the town’s crowded streets.
10. Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest bears the name of Richard Daintree, who is a geologist and photographer. The mentioned woodland is an adjunct to the oldest forest of its kind on the planet, namely the Wet Tropics of Queensland Rainforest. Having been included in the list of the Q150 Icons since 2009, Daintree is considered a significant Queensland attraction.
In addition to dense rainforest and numerous walking trails, this fairy-tail zone comprises jagged mountains, fast-flowing rivers, and lovely white beaches. Daintree also features Important Bird Area that boasts charming birds, including a yellow-spotted honeyeater, lovely fairy-wrens, and the like. Moreover, there are loads of gorgeous lodges.
To get the best view of the green area, reach the summit of Thorton Peak, which is among Queensland highest points. Apart from gazing at the breathtaking scenery, you can try paddleboarding, or you can merely sail along the shimmering rivers. Full of enchantments plus outdoor activities, Daintree is particularly a worth-seeing natural beauty.
11. Byron Bay
Located in New South Wales, Byron Bay is well-known for its sparkling beaches that are especially suitable for surfing. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also done in the tranquil waters that shimmer here. However, Julian Rocks, which is 2.5 kilometers away from the city, is the most visited location by divers. When you get tired of doing water sports, go whale watching.
If you are not into water sports, you can as well try skydiving above this beautiful bay. Other options are doing yoga and laying down on one of Byron Bay’s sun-drenched beaches. The proximity of the town to rainforests, Nightcap National Park, and Minyon Falls is another seduction of the bay that attracts the attention of many visitors.
Hundreds of drawers, retirees, and businessmen have succumbed to Byron Bay’s charm and have moved to the town. Consequently, countless beer bars, stylish eateries, markets, luxury villas, and art galleries have popped up. So, you can find whatever you need in this small town.
12. Fraser Island
Covering 1.840 square kilometers of land, Fraser Island is believed to be the most outstretched sand island of all. The population of Butchulla people’s land in the Wide Bay-Burnett region is only 182 people but it accommodates approximately 500,000 tourists every year.
The main reason why Fraser is such a popular destination is its abundant wildlife, dingo, and whales being the most admired. Its white shores, squeaky-clean lakes, verdant rainforests are also contributing factors. Be mindful of the fact that Fraser Island Great Walk stretches for 90 kilometers. But, yes, there are shorter hiking trails.
As you would expect, various water sports are available for guests, but fishing is not permitted in the creeks and lakes of the island. Being home to the only sand land on the planet that features towering trees, the flora of Fraser includes over 865 species. After exploring all of this, visitors generally pitch their tents and enjoy the peace of the night.
Set 1,681 kilometers north of the state capital of Western Australia, on a tiny peninsula, Broome is a picturesque and remote town. It is the traditional land of the Yawuru people who call it Rubibi instead of Broome. This picture-perfect town surrounded on both sides with water bodies has a population of about 15,000.
Its top highlight is Cable Beach, which is believed to be one of the most enchanting beaches in the state of Australia. Lounge on the beach, or if you are more of an adventurous nature, ride a camel along the shore, but whatever you do, find time to enjoy some spa treatment at Broome’s lavish resorts.
With its hot semi-arid climate and turquoise waters, the city mainly bewitches the wealthiest people of the area. Some visitors prefer to have a look at the rock formations at Entrance Point, others head to Horizontal Falls, which make for idyllic sight, but almost everyone who visits this marvelous city goes to Gauntheaume Point to see the marks made millions of years ago by dinosaurs.
14. Cairns City
Located close to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a city of more than 150,000 inhabitants. Gimuy (the other name of the town) is a major tourist hub due to its year-round nice weather and pleasant atmosphere. A lush forest and sugarcane farms exquisitely hug the large area, abounding in luxuriant bars, gourmet eateries, and shopping centers.
Probably the first thing that you will notice when you reach this magnificent city is the saltwater lagoon that lies at the heart of it. Multiple sun-kissed beaches are in close proximity to the city and they can be reached without any difficulties.
Cairns is the proud owner of countless plant species, which are displayed in its Botanic Gardens. There are also crocodiles, which call the Centenary Lakes home. Outdoor activities on offer include snorkeling, scuba diving, skydiving, and the favorite of many, whitewater rafting. Walking high in the air in the Daintree Rainforest is another attraction that keeps guests entertained.
15. Kings Canyon
Situated in George Gill Range, 323 kilometers away from Alice Springs, Kings Canyon leaves tourists breathless with its size and spectacular scenery. This massive orange canyon that is more than 100 meters tall lies within the Watarrka National Park.
One can also observe some greenery, rugged cliffs, and striking rock formations close to century-old walls of the canyon. In other words, the spot has the ideal backdrop that you need for your photos. Hiking in this area is not as easy as pie. Thus, if you want to take a leisurely walk, you had better go somewhere else.
Kings Canyon is not only a tourist attraction but also a source of water for the Luritja people. Furthermore, it casts a huge shadow when the scorching sun appears, which makes it a lifesaver. However, bring several bottles of water with yourself supposing you want to clamber up the canyon since it can be boiling hot up there.
Adelaide, fifth in size among Australian cities, has a population of more than 1.2 million. The capital of South Australia lies on Gulf St Vincent’s east side. This major city is nestled between the charming Adelaide Hills and the Gulf. Adelaide is famous for the multiple wine-producing regions that surround it.
If you are wondering how on earth Australians make such premium wine, be the guest of the National Wine Centre of Australia, which is situated on the boulevard of North Terrace. When you learn the basics of the winemaking process, you can stop by the Art Gallery of South Australia, exhibiting 35,000 works of art, as well as the State Library, plus the Adelaide Botanical Garden as they are along the same road.
Lonely Planet, a travel guide publisher, nicknamed Adelaide ‘Australia’s live music city’ in 2005 as the town, at that time, had an infinity of live music venues. To sum up, with countless festivals, concerts, and superb local cuisine, this multicultural metropolis is a destination to be considered before choosing your next holiday resort.
17. Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains that lie in New South Wales raise its visitors’ eyebrows with its enormous size. The region, covering a large area of land, makes for stunning scenery dotted with plateaus, escarpments, and monumental mountains.
Climbing, biking, hiking, and canyoning are the most rewarding pastimes here that everyone can enjoy. The area offers several tourist attractions, the most popular being the Katoomba Scenic Railway. The Tree Sisters that are in close proximity to Katoomba are another seduction of the Blue Mountains.
The mountains are an amazing zone to embrace Aboriginal culture since the Gundungurra and Darug peoples have lived here for a very long time. Moreover, you can see some rare animals wandering around, including the yellow-bellied glider and long-nosed potoroo.
18. Great Ocean Road
Soldiers started building the Great Ocean Road in the 20th century, viz. when they returned from the First World War. It took them 23 years to create this massive structure. This 243 kilometer-long road is actually a memorial to soldiers who were murdered during WWI.
The Great Ocean Road that lies between the Victorian cities and the sleepy Allansford winds through various forests, rich agricultural lands, and coastal towns. Many events take place in this area ranging from cycling races and marathons to annual festivals.
Furthermore, there is a 104 kilometer-long track, walking which takes eight days. However, you will not regret, in case you rise to the challenge. Otway National Park, which you will notice while walking along the track, consists of countless plant species and a bird area.
Western Australia’s capital has a population of 2.1 million, which makes it the fourth-most crowded town in the whole of Australia. This remote but habitable metropolis attracts the attention of hundreds with its important archaeological sites, shopping centers, elegant restaurants, parks, and irresistible attractions.
While the Perth Zoo gives you the chance to come eye to eye with the western swamp tortoise, the Aquarium of Western Australia allows you to swim together with adorable dolphins. And Whiteman Park is an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts with its walking trails, bicycle tracks, outdoor play area, and sports facilities.
Go to the SciTech Science Centre to learn little-known science and tech facts while being entertained. Supposing you are not potty about science, explore the WA Maritime Museum that is situated on Victoria Quay. Other highlights include the Army Museum of Western Australia, the white sculpture ‘Spanda,’ Swan Bells, and, lastly, Kings Park.
20. Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island, aka “Island of the Dead” is located in South Australia, more than 100 kilometers away from Adelaide. The third-largest island of Australia boasts fantastic scenery and diverse flora and fauna. Its unspoiled topography and mainly warm climate make for a go-to place when off duty.
This outlying island entertains 140,000 plus visitors with its popular spots, among them Seal Bay Conservation Park, Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Caves, et cetera et cetera. With its diverse landscapes, Kangaroo Island offers countless recreational activities, including hiking, sandboarding, and scuba diving.
Types of animals that you are likely to notice while exploring its multiple nature reserves are echidnas, koalas, and, of course, kangaroos. Yes, penguins also inhabit the area, but they can be found along the shore. What is more, Kangaroo Island depends on agriculture for most of its income. Thus, it features superb food and excellent wines.
With a population of more than 2.5 million, Brisbane is the third-most crowded town in the country. The capital of Queensland charms lots of international tourists by dint of its lovely beaches, stylish restaurants, and lively nightlife. On top of that, this large all-year-round sun-drenched city provides that there is not a dull moment during your holiday thanks to its innumerable outdoor activities, with swimming, hiking, and clambering popular.
D’ Aguilar National Park and the Glass House Mountains National Park that surround Brisbane are worth visiting. This beautiful city hosts several events on a yearly basis. While the Brisbane Festival enchants with a firework show, the Brisbane International Film Festival enables visitors to watch new smash-hit movies.
Despite being a remote island, Tasmania is yet one of the top places within the boundaries of Australia. Its untouched landscape itself is enough reason to visit this fairy-tail state. Tasmania is also noted for its diverse fauna, among them dolphins, penguins, and seals.
Other Tassie enchantments include sandy beaches, one-of-a-kind waterfalls, and verdant forests. Furthermore, the island hosts numerous events, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race being the most famous one.
Do sample the local cuisine; you will not regret it. Restaurants here abound with fresh seafood since Tasmanians are eaters of this type of food. Moreover, some leading wine brands, including Boags and Cascade, were created in this island state.
23. Whitsunday Islands
Queensland’s northeastern coast, decorated with 74 continental islands, looks as pretty as a picture. Pristine clean waters surrounding the isles and islands are also eye-catching, as are the pure white beaches. Juru people are probably one of the luckiest communities since they inhabit this mesmerizing area.
Being one of the Q150 Icons, Whitsunday Islands welcome about 700,000 tourists annually. Scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling are the most popular pastimes in the area. However, according to some tourists, sipping a cocktail while lazing on the beach is the ideal form of recreation.
Victoria’s capital, inhabited by 5 million, is the second-most crowded city in Oceania. Set on Port Philip Bay, Melbourne is the proud owner of the grandest urban tram network, an essential airport, and a large seaport. Moreover, the city features camping sites, hotels, caravan parks, and holiday homes for those who want to stay in this thriving town for more than just a day.
Melbourne welcomes more than 10 million guests annually. What attracts most tourists is Federation Square, which is a hub of arts and culture. Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Zoo, and Docklands also contribute to the popularity of the city.
Popular pastimes on offer include swimming and lounging on the beautiful beaches of Melbourne. St. Kilda Beach is noted for its exclusive clubs and excellent eateries. On the other hand, Brighton Beach is known for its multicolored bathing huts. Merely choose the most appropriate beach for yourself and enjoy the sun.
25. Kakadu National Park
Surrounded by the Ranger Uranium Mine, Kakadu National Park lies in the Alligator Rivers Region. The park’s diverse flora, consisting of 1,700 plants, is dominated by water lilies, lotus flowers, and mangroves. And its fauna features saltwater crocodiles, Australian darter, and other rare species. Besides its rich wildlife, the area is famous for its magical landscape and warm weather.
You are allowed to plunge into Kakadu’s pools and bathe in its waterfalls. However, the most prominent activity here is exploring the ancient rock paintings of Aboriginal people, who inhabited the region for more than 40,000 years. Happily, few accommodation options are available within the park for tired visitors.