10 OF THE MOST ICONIC PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRALIA
Australia’s iconic destinations from Uluru to the Great Barrier Reef are unforgettable. Explore Sydney Opera House by going inside its sails or take in mind-bending works at MONA.
Canberra, the thriving capital city, is an essential stop for culture-savvy visitors. Take an organized bushwalk or visit MONA for their impressive collection of contemporary art.
Uluru is both an iconic landmark and sacred haven, providing travelers with an awe-inspiring destination in Australia’s Red Centre. A majestic sandstone rock formation, Uluru stands as both an admirable natural spectacle and a timeless representation of Aborigine culture.
As one of the premier ways to experience Uluru, taking part in a cultural tour can give you an amazing insight into its traditions. Learn about bush tucker and Tjukurpa creation stories with expert guides at Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center; or join a ranger-guided activity teaching you to throw traditional boomerangs.
Make sure to attend either a sunrise or sunset ceremony, take a helicopter flight over Uluru or admire its beautiful surrounds from above – not forgetting to view its unique Field of Light art installation which transforms the landscape into something out-of-this-world!
Sydney is Australia’s oldest city, and its history can be found all throughout its streets. From ancient Aboriginal craftsmanship to blood-sodden convict settlements, Sydney boasts a vibrant culture that embraces diversity.
Sydney Opera House, newly reopened after extensive renovation, stands as its crowning glory. A shimmering sail-like structure, it is framed by the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge for maximum effect.
Other architectural highlights in Adelaide are the Romanesque-style Queen Victoria Building and neo-Gothic St Mary’s Cathedral with its spires that recall Lincoln Cathedral. There is also an abundance of art museums in Adelaide such as Australia Museum with an expansive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork.
For contemporary artworks, be sure to visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales which houses everything from photography to abstract painting. Additionally, Yiribana Gallery displays pieces by local Aboriginal artists.
3. The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the planet’s most complex marine environments, boasting more than 3000 kilometers of Queensland coast. Indigenous Australian communities consider it their Sea Country with more than 70 Traditional Owner groups having links that span 60,000 years to this special place.
Scuba diving and snorkelling offer one of the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef’s spectacular coral, marine life, islands and waters – known for their crystal-clear waters that make for an amazing diving experience.
The Great Barrier Reef’s catchment area is also rich with Indigenous heritage, making tours to sites such as Tjapukai in Cairns a must. Rainforests on the Tablelands boast attractions like Kuranda’s heritage markets and Malanda’s environmental centre; you can support this precious natural resource by practicing reef-friendly practices during your visit.
4. The Outback
Australia’s arid interior conjures up images of wilderness and adventure, its vast, dusty red landscape embodying pioneering spirit, identity, and important stories about its past and future.
Your trip to the Red Centre begins in Alice Springs, the heart of Aboriginal culture and home to Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park (formerly Ayers Rock). Explore its 600 million-year-old sandstone monolith at sunrise or sunset or Kings Canyon/Wattarrka for stunning gorges and domes covered with shades of deep red, blue and desert green – truly magical landscapes that will enthrall you!
Be sure to try some local bush tucker dishes featuring wild camel, wild boar and/or kangaroo meat along with leafy vegetables such as lemon myrtle or warrigal green for a special culinary experience! Be on the lookout for red kangaroos, dingoes, thorny devil lizards – the region offers incredible flora and fauna experiences!
5. The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is famed for its breathtakingly gorgeous scenery and offers plenty of things to see and do along its 243 km route, such as picture-perfect beaches, mesmerizing waterfalls and captivating surf breaks.
Torquay and surrounding regions boast an abundance of breweries and distilleries for craft beer and spirits enthusiasts to visit, with plenty of choices located throughout Torquay, Aireys Inlet, Forrest and elsewhere.
Visit charming National Trust-classified homes, modest cottages and stately buildings in Port Fairy and Portland to explore its charming National Trust homes, modest cottages and stately buildings. Learn about its rich history at museums and heritage centers that exhibit ancient archaeological artefacts as well as information about Aboriginal culture. Also take a guided tour to see Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet’s Split Point Lighthouse: this iconic monument honoring World War I veterans stands at the start of Great Ocean Road and has become one of its most Instagram-famous spots along this stretch of roadway.
6. Hamelin Bay
Hamelin Bay, located on Western Australia’s Southwest corner, is famed for its abundance of stingrays. Just south of Margaret River lies this breathtaking beach – a must see when visiting this area of Australia!
At its center lies an exquisite stretch of sand that appears straight out of a dreamscape. Visitors can enjoy leisurely swims or walks along its coast while taking in its magnificent scenery and admiring its beauty. Furthermore, due to relatively calm waters here it’s easy to discover marine life!
Visit this site any time of year, but summertime is ideal if you want to see stingrays. They tend to congregate around the old jetty and boat ramp and at sunset when floating through shallow waters of the beach.
7. Nambung National Park
The Pinnacles is one of Western Australia’s most impressive natural attractions and an ideal visit for couples, families and solo travellers alike. Their iconic limestone columns rise from the desert and boast other amazing sights and wildlife all around them – ideal for romantic strolls!
This area is home to an abundance of wildlife including kangaroos, emus and dingoes; black cockatoos; bobtail lizards; sea lions and bottlenose dolphins in Hangover Bay and Kangaroo Point’s waters; as well as humpback whales during migration season.
Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre at Hangover Bay Park provides visitors with an in-depth exploration of the history behind unique rock formations as well as activities and tours to complement this experience. Additionally, this beach offers great swimming conditions.
8. Cable Beach
Named for the telegraph cable which connected its town with the outside world in 1889, this breathtaking beach draws visitors from all over to relax and recharge their batteries. Boasting 22 kilometers of white sandy beach dotted with dunes and red-orange cliffs – it truly represents tropical paradise!
Experience an unforgettable camel ride along the expansive shoreline during sunrise or sunset for an unforgettable ride. Thanks to massive tidal movements at the beach, there is also ample flat sand space perfect for strolling and exploring.
Matso’s, located near Town Beach, offers visitors an opportunity to taste local Broome beer alongside international dishes from Matso’s extensive vegetarian-friendly menu and wine list. If visiting Broome on any Saturday afternoon it’s also worthwhile visiting the Broome Courthouse Markets as they offer the chance to meet locals while sipping local beer from Matso’s.
Surfers from around the globe travel to Byron Bay in Northern NSW for surfing adventures, but Angourie lies not too far south – an unassuming town boasting a long and vibrant history in surfing culture.
Yuraygir Village boasts stunning natural surroundings and is the starting point for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk. Additionally, locals are dedicated to protecting its beauty.
Wooloweyah and Lake Arragan offer stunning lakes and lagoons to visit with family, as well as must-see attractions like Green and Blue Pools – formed when old quarry water mixed with underground springs to form freshwater pools – creating the ultimate family destination.
Orange, a regional city located 254 km west of Sydney, holds great appeal. Not only do its outstanding cool-climate wines entice visitors, but there is much more to see and do here as well.
Explore the vineyards to meet local winemakers at work and sample their acclaimed wines. The region’s fertile volcanic soils, moderate summer highs, undulating landscape and ideal growing conditions create ideal conditions for producing chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes – be sure to keep an eye out for famous names like Heifer, Philip Shaw and Rowlee wines as well as lesser-known yet equally impressive producers like lesser-known cellars that may produce their masterpieces!
Do your history research at some of Orange’s historic buildings and museums such as Bastick Cottage, Band Rotunda, Cook Park – an annual spectacle in autumn with beautiful trees lining its paths – Orange Regional Gallery or Corner Store Gallery are also worth seeing!