BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRALIA
Without a doubt, Australia is an amazing place to visit – stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, outback, and vibrant cities are some of the reasons.
There is a lot to see in Australia, so if you plan a trip down under and are not sure about the most beautiful places in Australia, here are the top recommendations by some fellow travel bloggers and me.
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By Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels
Noosa is a beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast, and with the Noosa National Park, Main Beach, and Noosa River it is one of the best places to visit in Australia.
The Noosa National Park offers both picturesque coastlines and a variety of walking tracks from easy to moderate. Tracks go through the rainforest and woodlands and, of course, along the gorgeous coastline. Walking tracks start from a few hundred meters to 5.4 kilometers.
The Noosa River’s calm, crystal-clear waters are just ideal for getting out and exploring in a kayak. You can bring your own kayak, hire one from one of the various vendors along the river or join a kayak tour group.
Paddle with the kayak right out to the mouth of the Noosa River, where you will find many sand islands where you can hang out on your own deserted island for as long as you like.
Of course, with the various surf beaches along Noosa, other popular activities include swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, and even snorkeling around some of the secluded bays around the National Park.
There are also several pathways around the area perfect for biking, walking, and running.
When you have had enough of the outdoors, head to fancy Hastings Street for something to eat and some window shopping.
- The best place to stay is along the Noosa River in Noosaville in a riverfront apartment.
- Skippers Cove Waterfront Resort or Noosa Harbour Resort would be ideal.
By Leah from Yoder Toter Blog
Hobart is a quaint city on Australia’s island state of Tasmania. Hobart’s position on the Derwent River makes it so idyllic.
For travelers looking to explore the history of downtown Hobart, I recommend a walk through Battery Point which takes up the southern part of the city’s harbor (just south of the Central Business District – CBD). The houses here were built by the owners and sailors of the shipyards. Hampden Road’s small cottage-like residences and gardens evoke the British style you’d expect from this former penal colony.
At Salamanca Place, the oldest part of the city, enjoy local shopping and fabulous pubs. On Saturdays, this is home to the Salamanca Markets.
You must visit the top of Mt. Wellington/Kunanyi. Along the route, a stop for a tour at (circa 1824) Cascade Brewery is possible, or you can just have a flight of samples whilst enjoying the view from the gardens.
The steep drive up the face of the mountain is not for the faint of heart, but the rewarding views of downtown Hobart and its surroundings are worth every anxious moment! Make sure you pack an extra jacket for the pinnacle, as it tends to be much cooler and windier than downtown Hobart!
If you’re looking for something free to do, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens have numerous examples of native Australian flora.
South Coast, New South Wales
By Kim Ling from Travel Ling
Australia is famous for its pristine beaches. The south coast of New South Wales could, arguably, have some of the best, and it is one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
Jervis Bay is a top spot, with spectacular beaches and national parks dotted all along the coastline, with a small-town feel. There are no high-rises here, and the beaches remain untouched by mass tourism.
But the absolute best-of-the-best is Hyams Beach. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Hyams is said to have the ‘whitest sand in the world’ and have been almost blinded by it firsthand. We would have to agree! The only thing that could be as impressive as the white sand is the array of blue and green water shades. Jervis Bay is also a favorite for whales during the migrating season, and you are likely to see dolphins there throughout the year.
You can enjoy the picturesque beaches from land and sea, with plenty of natural walking trails, whale watching cruises, dolphin tours, and kayaking excursions on offer, but as the saying goes, ‘the best things in life are free,’ and the beaches here are the best!
Grab your sunscreen, roll out your towel, and soak up the relaxed vibes on the best-unspoiled beaches along the south coast of New South Wales!
Great Ocean Road
By Katy from Untold Morsels
Australia’s Great Ocean Road follows one of the most iconic stretches of coastline in the world.
A stunning nature drive, the road winds through lush rainforest and beside pristine beaches on its 240-kilometer route along Australia’s southern coast.
The most striking Australian attractions along the way are the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge rock formations.
Though worn by the weather and time, these natural wonders rise out of the Southern Ocean dramatically. They are the main reason most people visit this area during their Australia travel.
Get off the beaten path and discover some of the lesser-known sites like Wreck Beach near Loch Ard Gorge, where you can see the remains of shipwrecks washed up on the shore. The treacherous coastline claimed many victims but is now protected by the iconic Cape Otway lighthouse. Here you can learn about the history and culture of the area.
If you would like to see Australia’s native koalas in their natural habitat, you can see them at Kennett River by taking a stroll along a bush path.
Many visitors take a long day trip from Melbourne to explore the Great Ocean Road, but if you spend a few days exploring your own, you will uncover many more treasures of this must-visit region of Australia.
By Jennifer from Australian Travel Family
Byron Bay is a well-known, beautiful part of Australia’s east coast, located at the top of New South Wales, near Queensland.
Known for its beautiful beaches and surfing breaks, this seaside town has something for everyone.
Byron’s climate is semi-tropical and often boasts warm, sunny winter days, so it’s a great place to visit all year round. If you are looking for high-rise hotels, you won’t find them here, but there are certainly some luxurious places to stay.
The charm of Byron, though, is its relaxed feel. Many colorful characters visit Byron or make it their home because of this, and there is a real hippy community vibe.
Some of the best things to do in Byron are in line with this hippy, community theme celebrating the natural landscape.
The beach really is a highlight of any trip to Byron Bay. The walk from Main Beach north to Belongil is a beautiful one, but there are many gorgeous beaches in the area. As a surfing town, a few schools offer lessons and a variety of breaks to surf depending on skill and confidence levels.
A well-known landmark and icon here is the Cape Byron Lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and is Australia’s most easterly lighthouse.
There are some great walks up to the lighthouse, or you can drive up. There is an abundance of amazing cafes and bars to choose from, focusing on tasty, healthy food.
If you are in Byron Bay on the first Sunday of the month, the markets are well worth visiting. Held at Butler Reserve has a wide variety of stalls, food trucks, and live music, so it makes for an enjoyable morning.
By Sally from Our 3 Kids v The World
Phillip Island is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne, and it’s one of the great places to visit in Australia for a day trip or, better still, for the weekend.
It’s a popular place for Melbournians, and many have holiday homes there. One of the main tourist attractions here is the Penguin Parade, and it is regularly referred to as Victoria’s number one tourist attraction.
Many people from all around the world visit each night to watch the little penguins (formally referred to as fairy penguins) waddle their way from the water to their little nests up in the beach scrub.
Phillip Island has much more than the penguins though.
Churchill Island is a working farm where city folk gets to experience what life on the farm would have been like in the 1800s. One of the most interesting places in Australia, the historic homestead, is as it was in the late 1800s and is a great insight into our ancestors’ lives. The kids even get to milk a cow, crack a whip, and shear a sheep!
Another great experience for tourists is the Koala Conservation Centre. This is a home for sick and injured koalas. The boardwalk is built for optimum viewing of our famous native marsupials. If you get there early in the day, you might just see these furry little favorites up and about and not asleep! They do sleep 22 hours a day, though!!!
There is more to Phillip Island than you think, so give yourself at least a few days to check out all it has to offer.
Wilson’s Promontory National Park
By Tom from The Travelling Tom
Wilson’s Promontory National Park is more like a hidden gem – but it’s definitely one of the best! It’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway from Melbourne!
Wilson’s Promontory is one of the most beautiful national parks. It is also the southernmost point of mainland Australia. Due to this, there are several great beaches to check out while you’re there.
You can head to Squeaky Beach, which is one of the quirkier beaches. Small grains of quartz in the sand means that every step you take emits a squeaking sound, hence the name. It’s a must-visit if you go to Wilson’s Prom.
There is also Whiskey Bay too, which has giant boulders located at either end of the beach. They are perfect for climbing if you’re bored of relaxing in the sun!
Wilson’s Prom is home to an abundance of wildlife. Don’t be surprised if you spot some kangaroos, wombats, and much more while you’re there!
By Delphine from Lester Lost
If you are planning a trip through the state of Victoria, Australia, you’re probably aware of names such as Melbourne or Great Ocean Road, or even Phillip Island… But have you heard of Sovereign Hill?
Sovereign Hill is in the heart of the Victorian Goldfield Country, only two hour’s drive from Melbourne. It is simply an outdoor museum, the comprehensive reconstruction of a Victorian Gold Town around 1850.
Sovereign Hill has some 60 buildings, including two pubs, a theatre, gold mines, and even a school. The shops are mostly lined along the main street. They include a blacksmith’s, photographic rooms, a printing shop, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a clothing store, an undertaker, a foundry, a bowling saloon, a gold museum, a wheelwright, and candle works.
The great thing is that all the stores and workshops are staffed by people in costume who operate them as it was done in 1850, so you get a very direct experience, and you can ask questions and even try your hand at some of the crafts. Sovereign Hill is very well done, and I didn’t find anything tacky or Disney-like about it.
To do it justice, you do need to spend a whole day there. There is so much to see and do, and several options for food. Ready to travel back in time to Victoria?
By Helena from Through an Aussies Eyes
Canberra is the capital of Australia and one of the world’s up-and-coming travel destinations. Named in Lonely Planet’s ‘Must Visit City List’ in 2018, this city is on the rise.
Known as the Bush Capital, Canberra is full of beautiful natural Aussie bushland. This means that there are plenty of hiking and bike tracks that intertwine the different areas of Canberra’s suburbs into the city. It isn’t uncommon to see kangaroos jumping around the nature reserves in the suburbs.
At the nature reserve, Tidbinbilla, along with the kangaroo, are koalas, emus, echidnas, and the elusive platypus that roam freely.
Although Canberra isn’t an old city, it certainly holds a lot of history and culture. With places like Old Parliament House, you can get an understanding of the political history of Australia.
The Australian War Memorial is the best memorial Australia has to offer to honor Australia’s past and current soldiers and peacekeepers. You could easily spend a couple of days here getting lost in this history.
During the springtime, there are two stunning flower festivals called Floriade and Tulip Top Gardens. They are both world-class exhibitions that draw in crowds from the surrounding land.
By David from Delve into Australia
Port Stephens is a vast natural harbor on the New South Wales coast, three hours north of Sydney. Out of all the places to go in Australia, this part of has more than its fair share of amazing coastline, but Port Stephens stands out even here.
It’s known as Australia’s dolphin capital, mainly because over 100 of them live in the harbor, and one of the local cruise operators claims a 99% success rate in dolphin sightings on their trips. Boats often hang a boom net out of the back, where you can hold on to the side and sometimes be joined by dolphins swimming alongside you.
Whale-watching cruises also run out of Port Stephens’ main town, Nelson Bay, between May and mid-November when humpback whales swim along the coast on their seasonal migrations.
The views underwater are as spectacular as the scenery above, and there are some great snorkeling and diving spots near Nelson Bay. Several operators also run diving trips offshore.
One of the best coastal walks in the area is the 20-minute climb up through coastal rainforest at nearby Tomaree Head for the glorious view over the pristine Zenith Beach and its neighbors, Wreck and Box beaches.
Less than 20 km from here, you’re in a different world – Stockton Dunes, at 32 km long, the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere, a mini-desert accessible by four-wheel-drive only. Here you can take a tour of the dunes, including Tin City, some remarkable fishermen’s shacks in the middle of the sands, or try some sandboarding.
By Alana from Family Bites Travel
Ningaloo Reef is a beautiful region along coastal Western Australia. It is in the middle of nowhere, or more specifically, 1200 km north of Perth.
You can access the region via an epic and highly adventurous road trip. You can also fly close to this area into the Learmonth Airport if time is limited.
Ningaloo Reef is known for its water activities, amazing marine life, and unspoiled natural environment. The opportunity to snorkel or dive should not be missed.
Depending on the time of year, Ningaloo Reef has seasonal visitors, with the whale sharks being the most famous.
During the whale shark season of March to August, the town of Exmouth will swell with tourists vying for a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. During June and October, Manta Rays are often present.
Turtles are also found in Ningaloo Reef year-round. If you wish to see nesting behavior or eggs hatching, your best chance is from December to April.
During this period, the area can also experience cyclones, so it is important to keep an eye on the weather.
Hiking in the area is also very popular. A beautiful hike is through the gorges surrounding Yardie Creek. There is also the chance to go up the river to get a closer look at this beautiful area.
Your chance of seeing iconic Australian mammals such as emus or kangaroos walking down the road is a given. It is a beautiful and unspoiled region in Australia.
By Katelyn from Diaries of a Wandering Lobster
While most people head straight to the beaches and cafes in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s Red Center should not be missed!
Alice Springs is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory and one rooted in deep pioneer history. As it’s often called, Alice is a modern town with a strong Aboriginal culture and history.
The town earns its name as one of Australia’s most famous places as it serves as the starting point for many trips to Uluru, the large sandstone rock formation that is iconic to the Australian Outback.
Uluru is a sacred site for the Pitjantjatjara people and should not be climbed. Still, the ten-kilometer path around the formation is a wonderful opportunity to get up close with the important landmark.
Don’t miss sunrise at Uluru, as it is truly a magical moment. There is plenty to do in Alice Springs, from the historic Telegraph Station to the Kangaroo Sanctuary where you can hold orphan kangaroo babies!
By Christina from Travel2Next
One of the most beautiful places is – undoubtedly – Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. It is located on the east coast and one of the most famous destinations in Australia. If you ask me, Sydney is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
While most people know the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and doing a boat cruise on the water passing them is a must-do activity in Sydney, you can also cross the Harbour Bridge, which isn’t cheap but probably one of the highlights in Sydney.
Sydney also has many greenery and numerous parks, which are very inviting and perfect for resting and just soaking in the beauty. Of course, you have to visit the world-famous pool located at the beach, the Iceberg Pool with great views of one of the most famous beaches in the world.
Sydney is also great for just walking. You can stroll along the promenade, head to Darling Harbour, or visit the Royal Botanic Gardens. If you want to rest, why not go and see Manly or Bondi Beach, or do a day trip and explore Sydney’s stunning scenery, which includes the Blue Mountains.
If you are in Sydney, make sure to add the Blue Mountains to your bucket list.
The Blue Mountains are located to the west of Sydney and have incredible scenery. Make sure you keep an eye out for the Three Sisters while you are there.
The Three Sisters are a rock formation, and I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else in Australia.
It is also a great place for hiking. While I visited the Blue Mountains when Instagram didn’t exist, this is also a great place to get great shots of this beautiful area.
Here you can also learn about Aboriginal culture and do lots of activities like canyoning and climbing and a range of other outdoor activities. It is also possible to stay overnight in the Blue Mountains National Park.
Palm Beach Sydney
By Tom from Travel Tom Tom
Most tourists do not know the utterly stunning peninsula, a little over 30 kilometers North of Sydney.
On the far end of the peninsula, Palm Beach is also really well known because of Australia’s famous tv-show Home & Away recorded in this cute little beach town. As the peninsula gets really narrow at the tip, there are two beaches to choose from within only 50 meters: one on your left side and one on your right side.
The bayside’s inner beach is very popular with windsurfers, and the ocean-facing beach is a popular surf spot. The best thing about this place is the hike up to the lighthouse on top of the cliff.
It will only take you about 20 minutes uphill and can be a sweaty walk in the hot and humid Aussie climate, but the 360-degree views are incredible. You can explore a secret cave on the bayside with some amazing Instagrammable spots for super cool photos.
Palm Beach is easy to get to as there are even public buses that go there from the city center, and on Sundays, it is only $2,50 for the return trip. This place is definitely an ‘off the beaten path destination to see while in Sydney and a must-do on your trip around Australia!
By Michelle from Romantic Explorers
The most beautiful place in Australia is… the Heart Reef – a perfect heart-shaped coral formation situated in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef.
Flying to the Heart Reef includes seeing many other renowned Australian travel gems such as Whitehaven Beach (a seven km long, white sandy beach) and the Whitsunday Islands from a mind-blowing perspective. From start to finish, this value-packed excursion will have you gasping at another level of natural beauty.
For easy access to these and other amazing tours, consider staying at Airlie Beach, which is known as the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Tours booked through scenic flight operators such as GSL Aviation and cruise operators such as Cruise Whitsundays include a courtesy bus to pick you up at your hotel in Airlie Beach.
Consider booking an apartment stay at Mirage Whitsundays – this stunning accommodation is close to the best bars, restaurants, and boutique shops in the area.
It also features convenient access to the scenic boardwalk from Airlie Beach to Cannonvale and Airlie Beach Lagoon – all must-visit spots when you find yourself in one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is probably at the top of most people’s list of what to visit in Australia, and this is actually still on my bucket list! While we talked about the Heart Reef above, the Great Barrier Reef as a whole is one of the most beautiful places in the country – if not in the world.
It was quite a bummer when I couldn’t visit the Great Barrier Reef. Thus, I was even more jealous to hear about my sister’s experience at the Great Barrier Reef.
It is on the coast of Queensland, and it is even visible from outer space. It is home to countless underwater species, but the largest coral reef in the world has more to do.
You can dive or snorkel but if you do not want to spend time underwater, you could take a speedboat tour or even a skydive. You can see turtle hatchlings, spoil yourself with very abandoned places, explore the rainforest or go water rafting.
Hot air ballooning must be amazing in Cairns, where you can see the Great Barrier Reef, so there’s a lot to do in Australia, especially for those who like to do many adventures outdoors in or close to the water.
Most of all you should plan a visit to Whitsunday Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world where you can take a seaplane flight and discover the best beach from the air.
Last but not least… If you plan a trip to Australia, you will miss out if you do not have Melbourne on your itinerary.
There is tons to do in Melbourne – which is the second biggest city in Australia. Since Melbourne is very famous for sports, you have to watch at least a football game my family and cousins went for the Essendon team. Watching it at the Melbourne cricket ground is obviously a highlight, but there is so much more to see and do in Melbourne, even if you’re not interested in sports.
This includes the casino, which is probably the best in Australia; the Crown Casino is big! There are many clubs and places to walk and dine located on the south bank, so it is one of the best Australian tourist spots.
St Kilda Beach and the area around are more gorgeous places to visit. It’s great to swim and relax, have a drink or go clubbing in the evening.
Like Sydney, Melbourne also has a lot of nature to chill out in, for example, the Royal Botanical Garden. While you’re there, don’t forget the beaches in Melbourne, including Mordialloc Beach.
One of the things that you should definitely not miss, especially if you want to go out at night, is Chapel Street, a very alternative shopping street with lots of cafes, fashion brands, shops and clubs to enjoy.
- Check out the Melbourne itinerary for more tips.
FINAL THOUGHTS – MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO SEE IN AUSTRALIA
Hopefully, this post has helped you find out about the most beautiful places in Australia – given its size and the many gorgeous places to visit. It is probably not possible to visit all those places in one trip. So, there will always be a reason for re-visiting Australia.