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There is no other country in the world like Australia and few that are as diverse. From the tropical north to the mountainous south and over 10,000 beaches dotting the coast, there is no shortage of beautiful sites or unique things to do in Australia.
Our guide to the best places to visit in Australia shows you all of the country’s highlights including its wildlife, wine regions, national parks and top cities.
The city is kid-friendly but also has great food, an exciting night life and the perfect jumping off point for day trips to the Hunter Valley for wine and the Blue Mountains for some nature. A trip to Australia is not complete without a stop in Sydney to see the country’s most iconic sites and to visit one of the most popular destinations in the world.
If you prefer to take it easy in the water you can relax on one of the many stunning beaches in the area, whale watch or go sea kayaking to spot dolphins. Byron Bay has a relaxed vibe where travellers can chill out for a few days and watch the best sunrise in the country from Byron Bay Lighthouse.
In winter you can tear up the slopes on the best mountains, Thredbo and Perisher. In the spring, summer and autumn you can explore the mountains on horseback, by hiking, through river activities and more. Between all the adventure outings, pamper yourself at a spa and visit the winery or distillery.
Coffs Harbour is known for being the home of the Big Banana. It has plenty of beaches to choose from, water activities, action sports, scenic sites and wildlife.
It encompasses a number of places that are ideal for those wishing to get outdoors, see nature up close and have a quiet time. Cape Tribulation offers jungle surfing (ziplining) and Mossman Gorge showcases the beauty of the rainforest. On a nightwalk you can see nature come to life. Daintree is a UNESCO World Heritage site because it’s the oldest living rainforest in the world.
A trip to Australia is not complete without flying over the reef for some of the best scenic views in the country, diving or snorkeling to see the diverse marine life or enjoying one of the many white sand beaches.
It’s home to the historic Cooktown and is one of the last remaining wilderness areas on earth. A trip here is perfect to experience adventure, nature, wildlife and culture.
It’s famous for surfing, the network of canals and waterways that run through the city, theme parks such as Seaworld and Dreamworld and the hiking trails through Lamington National Park.
The islands are covered in dense rainforest and are mostly uninhabited, but there are walking trails on some. Hamilton Island is one of the larger Whitsunday Islands and that’s where you can spot wildlife, hike and discover spectacular beaches.
Spotting wildlife such as koalas and dolphins is not uncommon. The waves are excellent for surfing, the nearby Everglades are one of only two in the world and Noosa is a jumping off point for Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
The drive showcases jaw-dropping views of the ocean and incredible sites such as the Twelve Apostles, London Arch, Apollo Bay and waterfalls. It’s typically done as a self-drive but plenty of tours are available, stopping at all the main scenic spots. Koala spotting is also common and there are many walking trails.
With over 80 cellar doors the Yarra Valley is more than just wineries. It has iconic scenery, breweries, mouth-watering food and art.
It’s widely considered the culture capital of Australia with many museums of art, foodie events happening weekly, music shows and new activities happening at the city centre in Federation Square. The Yarra River runs through Melbourne and is lined with restaurants, bars and many city attractions.
It’s home to dramatic pink granite peaks, plenty of bird wildlife, white sand beaches and secluded bays. The park overlooks the Tasman Sea and is home to famous lookouts such as Wineglass Bay, one of the most photographed spots in Tasmania.
In the park you’ll find ancient rainforests, walking tracks with jaw-dropping views and glacial lakes. The park is a Wilderness World Heritage Area and is home to the globally-known Overland Track.
The area stretches over 430km and is filled with national parks, forest reserves, lookouts and many natural attractions. It’s the perfect place to camp and explore the walking or cycling trails.
It’s here where you will find out-of-this-world seafood and photogenic scenery. Under the water is a breeding ground for southern right whales and is an excellent place to discover other marine animals, such as sea lions and great white sharks. Scenes from Jaws were filmed here and there are opportunities to see where.
Image: Shane Reid
Over two thirds of the island is protected nature reserves and Flinders Chase National Park is known for stunning coastal rock formations and penguin colonies.
The area is dotted with small towns and farms known for their hospitality. The landscape is full of green rolling hills and is more than just wine. Enjoy good food, heritage, art and culture and even active pursuits such as cycling.
Over 2,000 plant species are found here with wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, birds, turtles and more. The area is made up of wetlands, sandstone escapes and aboriginal rock paintings that date back to prehistoric times can be found at multiple sites throughout the huge park.
It’s the place to be for a true outback experience and is filled with Indigenous culture. The small town of Katherine is the main hub of the region with museums, galleries and historic sites.
It’s believed that the rock started forming 550 million years ago and it is a sacred site to Indigenous peoples. There is no other site like it in the world. The park is also home to the formation of Kata Tjuta, another sacred site.
Breweries and boutiques are also abundant, making it the perfect weekend getaway. Not far from the town are beautiful beaches with surf breaks and waters that are the migratory routes for whales.
The wealth has kept the town going and today it’s like stepping back in time, with buildings that showcase the history of the gold mining boom.
It’s where wilderness meets the water and is home to a rich history from the town pearl mining past. Broome has abundant wildlife, pristine beaches, a tropical climate and experiences for every kind of traveller.
But the island attractions are more than just those cute animals. There are pristine white sand beaches, blue waters and surf breaks. The entire island is a protected nature reserve with incredible, picturesque scenery.
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