Kiran, a blogger for the Great Ocean Road Collective, is an avid traveler of Australia and lover of all things exotic . She will be your travel guide to the best places to visit in Australia.
Australia is one of the worlds most diverse places to explore. With an abundance of wildlife, nature and culture-filled cities, it’s no wonder that it’s a bucket list dream for many travelers.
Due to the vastness of the land, it can be difficult to narrow down the best places to visit in Australia. From historical monuments to breathtaking coastal views, there’s no shortage of most beautiful places in Australia for every type of traveler.
To make the process slightly easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Australia attractions to add to your trip bucket list.
Table of Contents: 10 Best Places to Visit in Australia
- 1 10 Best Places to Visit in Australia
- 1.1 1. Drive the Great Ocean Road
- 1.2 2. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
- 1.3 3. Visit the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach
- 1.4 4. Snorkel with Whale Sharks in Exmouth
- 1.5 5. Going Wine Tasting
- 1.6 6. Visit Uluru
- 1.7 7. Visit the Whitsunday Islands
- 1.8 8. Visit the Daintree Rainforest
- 1.9 9. Go on a Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River
- 1.10 10. Explore the Kimberleys and Broome
- 1.11 Best Travel Insurance for Australia
10 Best Places to Visit in Australia
1. Drive the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road spans 243 kilometres along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Most tourists begin their adventure in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria.
Along the Great Ocean Road you can experience some of Australia’s most iconic sights, such as the giant limestone rock formations known as the 12 Apostles, or the lush rainforest at the Otways. It’s a popular road trip route, with various itineraries that can be followed. If you don’t plan on self driving, there are also numerous tour companies offering the chance to spend a day (or more) travelling the scenic coastal route.
There’s a perfect mix of small seaside towns such as Torquay and Port Campbell and everything from golden sand beaches to animal encounters such as the Kennett River Koala Walk. This makes the Great Ocean road perfect for families, backpackers and solo travelers alike.
Depending on how much time you have to spend in Australia, you could easily take a week or more at the different attractions along the road. Alternatively, many people condense the main sights into a Great Ocean Road day trip, so you don’t have to miss out on the perfect photo opportunities with the historical attractions.
Check out this Guide to Visiting the 12 Apostles
2. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
One of the best spots to visit in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, a stunning adventure highlight when it comes to top 10 Australia attractions. For those who want to experience a tropical underground of sea life and coral, it’s one of the best places in the world to explore.
Most tourists base themselves in Cairns, as they have easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and the many tour operators that provide day trips. Whether you prefer diving or snorkeling, or just relaxing in a beautiful sandy bay, there’s something here for every type of traveler.
The tours are designed to accommodate even the most inexperienced snorkeler, so if you haven’t tried it before there’s no need to worry. Many provide buoys and floating devices, so you can relax on the surface of the water and watch the colourful fish darting around underneath. Thanks to the warmth of the water, it can be both an exhilarating and relaxing experience all at the same time.
3. Visit the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach
The Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach are probably two of the most iconic sights in Australia. With millions of visitors every year heading to Sydney, these two attractions have gained popularity across the world and for all the right reasons.
The Sydney Opera House is a sight to behold from every angle. A 20th century masterpiece, it’s free to visit the Opera House and the foyers inside. If you want to explore further, you need to take a tour or buy tickets to one of the shows.
Popular viewing points to get a clear view over the Opera House include The Pylon Lookout and The Harbour Bridge. You can climb The Harbour Bridge, but if heights aren’t for you, a leisurely stroll along the footpath will still give you spectacular views. Other options include taking a boat tour which will pass the Sydney Opera House and give you a unique water-based viewpoint. Some tours even include Bondi Beach, so you can tick two major sights off your list in one go.
Bondi Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney. Perfect for surfers and beach babes, the warm temperature of the water combined with the soft sand makes it a great beach to spend the day at. A popular walk is the Coogee – Bondi Beach route, which spans 6 km. Take in the beautiful views and enjoy the easy going walk, which is best done in the morning or late afternoon when it’s not too hot.
4. Snorkel with Whale Sharks in Exmouth
The largest shark in the world is also incredibly mellow and calm, so it’s no surprise why tourists jump at the opportunity to swim alongside these beautiful creatures. Ningaloo reef in Exmouth is home to many whale sharks from March to August, and there’s plenty of tours which can take care of all the arrangements.
In addition to whale sharks, humpback whales, blue whales, manta rays, dolphins and turtles can be found in abundance. All of the sea life combined with the eye catching coral underneath makes for a memorable experience.
5. Going Wine Tasting
Sipping on a fruity red or a crisp white wine, overlooking a beautiful vineyard is the perfect way to spend a weekend. The great news is that most of the popular wineries are a couple of hours drive from the major cities.
The Barossa Valley is one of the best regions to visit, especially for lovers of Shiraz. Located northeast of Adelaide, there’s plenty of accommodation nearby making it perfect for a short retreat.
Margaret River in the south of Perth is surrounded by a number of beautiful vineyards. In addition, it’s famous for its craft breweries and beautiful coastline, so there’s plenty to do in the small town. With sweeping views of the lush vineyards, you can easily spend a day exploring and sampling some of the best wine in Australia.
Other popular wineries include Hunter Valley which is to the north of Sydney, and Yarra Valley located 25 km from Melbourne, Victoria. Both offer fantastic wine and even better views. The close proximity to the cities makes it ideal to visit a winery even if you are traveling with limited time and budget.
Check out this Guide to Australia’s Must Try Foods
6. Visit Uluru
Uluru holds a deep, rich history. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Australia, whether you are interested in history or the impressive landscape.
Even though it’s a remote destination, over 250,000 people visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park every year. The distance to get there doesn’t put people off as the views you will experience at UNESCO world heritage site will surely make up for the travel time.
Learn about rock art and the beauty of the Aboriginal culture, or head to the viewing platforms to watch the sunrise and sunset. This is highly recommended, as the colour of the rock changes with the sun, creating a mesmerizing picture.. It’s the perfect bush experience for those who want a complete Australian experience.
7. Visit the Whitsunday Islands
Australia houses some of the best beaches in the world, and the Whitsunday Islands are no exception as one of the top 10 Australia attractions. An archipelago of 74 islands offering gorgeous clear blue water and white sand, there’s many activities and excursions that can be done here.
Located just off the coast of Queensland, the islands aren’t too far from the Great Barrier Reef. It’s important to note that only four of the islands have accommodation, so most tourists take day trips to experience the beauty of the archipelago.
The most famous beach is Whitehaven Beach, with it’s crystal white sand and turquoise water. Often described as heaven on earth, there’s no doubt it’ll be one of the highlights of your trip to Australia. To access the beach, day trips leave from Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach.
8. Visit the Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest is a must for travelers who are interested in the many tropical animals and plants found in Australia. The vast rainforest stretches approximately 1,200 square kilometres, and borders the Great Barrier Reef.
In addition to being one of the oldest vegetations in the world (even older than the Amazon Rainforest), you can also find a number of rare species living here including frogs, bats, butterflies and other insects. Some of these creatures are unique to Daintree Rainforest, so it’s a once in a lifetime experience to be able to view them in their natural habitat.
Taking a guided tour is the best way to experience the magic of the rainforest, as the guide can talk you through the history of the flora and fauna. It’s a wonderful place to explore under the shade of the canopy overhead, taking in the sounds of the forest and the freshness of the air.
9. Go on a Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River
Being up close to wild saltwater crocs may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the high quality tours on Adelaide River ensure that it’s a safe, exhilarating experience. The best time to see these great beasts is during June, July and August, as they come to the surface to bask in the sun.
Tour guides will inform you of the habitat and behaviours of the crocodiles, whilst using natural methods to draw them up and out of the water. This is done in a way which doesn’t cause any harm or stress to the crocodiles. Instead, it gives you the opportunity to learn more about the animals and understand how crucial crocodiles are to the ecosystem in Australia (all from a safe distance!).
10. Explore the Kimberleys and Broome
The Kimberleys covers Australia’s north-western corner and is a remote expanse which draws in adventure enthusiasts and tourists alike.
Filled to the brim with wildlife, freshwater swimming holes, canyons and outback stations, it’s definitely one for the list. There’s so much to do here that you could easily spend a few weeks exploring the region.
Along the coast you can find Broome, a beach resort town. With a 22km long Cable Beach featuring white sands and aqua water, it’s a romantic setting which can be enjoyed by couples, families and solo travelers alike.
Broome also offers some fantastic open-air weekend markets, perfect for picking up a couple of souvenirs to take home with you. Finally, make sure to check out Gantheaume Point which is located nearby, where you can see dinosaur tracks in the red rocks during low tide.
What would you add to this list of best places to visit in Australia? Did we miss any top 10 Australia attractions?
Best Travel Insurance for Australia
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