Australia is one of the largest and most spectacular countries on the planet . It looks big on the map, but you don’t realize the extent of the Oceanian giant until you step on it. The distances are huge! The most touristic part to see in Australia is the East Coast , although there are incredible places almost anywhere. In Australia you can do everything: bathe in paradisiacal beaches, see camels in the desert and even ski! If you think it is an expensive country. In this post we tell you 30 essential places to see in Australia so you can enjoy the country.
Best Places To See In Australia
Australia is the largest island in the world and it is practically impossible to see everything in one trip. That is why we have organized our list of things to see in Australia by state , from more to less touristy, to make it easier to plan your trip. We have also marked all the places we talk about below on this map.
The best attractions to see in New South Wales
Sydney and its Opera, the most emblematic monument to see in Australia
Sydney is the largest and most important city in Australia . Although not its capital, since the political center of the country is in Canberra. The city of Sydney was where the first British colonists established their settlement, so it is the oldest in the country. Sydney’s main icon is the Opera House . It is probably the most famous in the world! It is located on the beautiful Sydney Harbour, the most beautiful area of the city. Actually, it has more attractions beyond its Opera House : stroll through the historic neighborhood of The Rocks or go out for a drink in Newtown. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities to see in Australia .
Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters
There are plenty of spectacular national parks to see in Australia . One of the most visited is the Blue Mountains. It is located just 50 kilometers from Sydney and is a natural paradise for locals and tourists. Getting to the Blue Mountains from Sydney is easy and fast , so it is very interesting to combine your visit to the city with a visit to this national park. In the Blue Mountains there are many trails to discover its waterfalls and rock formations. The most famous is the Three Sisters, the most photographed in the park.
The surfing atmosphere of Byron Bay, one of the most interesting places to see in Australia
Byron Bay is one of the most visited places in the country. It is famous for being the most easterly point on mainland Australia . Beyond this, Byron Bay is worth a visit to enjoy its bohemian and surfer atmosphere. The beaches are full of locals practicing water sports and the bars are always full of atmosphere. If you plan to get around Australia by bus , it’s a convenient and convenient stop on the east coast.
Canberra, the capital of Australia
The Australian capital is the great forgotten of the east coast. Located between Sydney and Melbourne , Canberra often takes a backseat. But it is worth visiting if you have time. It is leaving behind its purely institutional city label to become a cosmopolitan metropolis with many entertaining plans. The most typical visits are the Australian Parliament or the Australian War Memorial . Do not forget to learn about history in its museums, marvel at its art galleries, try rich wines in its cellars or directly in the bars with a very lively atmosphere. Leaving the city center you will find beautiful landscapes with mountains and valleys where you can enjoy nature.
Best places to see in Queensland
Brisbane, one of our favorite cities in Australia
Sydney and Melbourne get much of the fame, but Brisbane surprised us the most. In fact, we wouldn’t mind living there one day. We found it to be a city with a lot of personality, quiet and with many attractions . Do not miss it!
Noosa National Park, one of the most beautiful places to see in Australia
If you plan to tour the Australian east coast, we think you can’t miss a stop at Noosa National Park either . It is located north of Brisbane and is a paradise for lovers of outdoor activities.
Magnetic Island, an ideal place to disconnect
You cannot leave Australia without stepping on Magnetic Island. It is a true paradise! This island, located on the Australian east coast, is one of the best places to unwind. There are plenty of trails that will take you to scenic lookouts like The Forts Walk or Arthur Bay Lookout. In addition, the island has beautiful beaches such as Florence Bay . Also on Magnetic Island there are more than 800 koalas in the wild. So whenever you go for a walk, look up because you might be in for a surprise. We believe that it is one of the best places to see in Australia.
See crocodiles and other animals in the Daintree Rainforest, one of the most spectacular places to see in Australia
One of the best things to see in Australia is crocodiles in the wild . We did not want to leave Australia without living this experience. So when we were in Cairns, we decided to hire a tour to visit the Daintree Rainforest , a tropical forest full of nature and animal life. The highlight of the visit was the cruise we took on the Daintree River where we saw loads of crocodiles. The boat was not very high (or big) so we even had moments of nerves.
Cairns is one of the main tourist centers in Australia. In part, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef . From there you can do a lot of excursions to get to know this natural wonder. There are quite a few things to do in Cairns beyond visiting the Great Barrier Reef. You cannot miss the Kuranda Scenic Railway , one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.
The Great Barrier Reef, a natural wonder to see in Australia
It is the largest living species on Earth . It is about 2600 km long, full of reefs and hundreds of islands made up of more than 600 types of hard and soft corals. There are many ways to visit the Great Barrier Reef. The main tourist centers to visit it are Cairns or Airlie Beach. From there you can make various excursions to get to know it from all possible perspectives: through a helicopter flight, on a glass-bottom boat tour or bathing in one of its islands. There is no doubt that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most spectacular things to see in Australia.
Fitzroy Island, where the jungle and the Great Barrier Reef meet
Seeing the Great Barrier Reef from the air is an incredible experience. But it sounds better to bathe in its crystal clear waters and snorkel, right? This island is a special place, it is where the jungle and the coral come together. It is a national park full of spectacular beaches and great marine life. The best known is Nudey Beach , considered by many to be the best beach in the country. It is just 45 minutes by ferry from Cairns. Although if you want to enjoy it more calmly, you can also stay at its resort . If you are looking for a beach vacation, you will not want to move from there.
Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach
If we talk about beaches in Australia, we inevitably have to talk about the Whitsunday Islands. They are a set of 75 islands that make up one of the main tourist destinations in the country. They are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, so you will be amazed by the crystalline color of its waters. The most famous beach is Whitehaven Beach . Taking an excursion from this slice of paradise is one of the best things to do in Airlie Beach . Being a protected area, there are few accommodations. If you want to stay several days, it is best to choose to visit Hamilton Island, where you will find plenty of accommodation.
Our favorite spots in the Northern Territory
Mount Uluru, one of the sacred sites to see in Australia
This monolith is one of the most spectacular places to see in Australia. It is located in the center of the country and is a sacred place for Aboriginal Australians. Its 348 meters of height impose and contrast with the flat and red landscape of the Australian desert. If you want to visit it, the best way is to fly to Alice Springs and get there by car.
Kakadu National Park and its waterfalls
This national park is the largest to see in Australia . It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, not only for its natural attractions, but also for its cultural value. It is just three hours drive from Darwin, in the Northern Territory. In Kakadu you can do a lot of things: from bathing in its natural pools and waterfalls to marveling at 20,000-year-old Aboriginal art. And if your budget allows it, book a helicopter flight and enjoy its waterfalls from above!
Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, a curious place to see in Australia
Being able to see kangaroos is one of the reasons to travel to Australia . It is a unique and completely adorable species. There are many zoos with kangaroos, but one of the things we have learned after years of traveling is to respect animals. That is why we no longer visit zoos or false sanctuaries that are only looking for financial gain. Kangaroo Sanctuary is in Alice Springs , the heart of Australia, and is a center where they prioritize the welfare of kangaroos over tourist interests. They are dedicated to rescuing orphaned kangaroos, caring for them and reinserting them into their habitat. In cases where this is not possible, they live in the 76-hectare enclosure of the sanctuary. They do guided tours of the enclosure from Tuesday to Friday with the aim of educating about the situation of kangaroos in Australia. They are at sunset so as not to disturb them while they sleep during the day. You must reserve a place on the tour online a few weeks in advance.
If you plan to visit the famous Australian outback, you cannot miss this natural canyon. It is part of the Watarrka National Park , in an area that has been inhabited by the aborigines of Luritja for more than 20,000 years. There are several paths to enjoy this canyon , although it is very important not to leave them to respect this sacred place for the aborigines. The most recommended is the Kings Canyon Rim Walk . It is six kilometers long and will allow you to enjoy spectacular views of the canyon and the landscape, one of the most beautiful to see in Australia .
The main attractions of Victoria
Melbourne, one of the most spectacular cities to see in Australia
Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia behind only Sydney. It always appears in the rankings as one of the cities with the best quality of life in the world. And we thought so! In general, we liked it much more than Sydney, so we believe that it cannot be missing on your route through Australia. The city does not have too many monuments. Do not miss the Queen Victoria Market or the beautiful Flinders Street. Although without a doubt, we are left with the modern Docklands.
Great Ocean Road, a classic to see in Australia
On the outskirts of Melbourne you can take one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world. The most famous point of the route is the Playa de los Doce Apóstoles, some needle-shaped rock formations that jut out from the beach. However, along the way you will be amazed by a thousand places. It is best to rent a car and enjoy the route at your own pace.
Places to see in South Australia
The Barossa Valley Wine Region
Australia surprises you with its diversity of landscapes. And for wine lovers, in Australia you will also find your little piece of paradise. In this case, the Barossa Valley is one of the best wine regions in the world with more than 150 wineries. And it’s quite close to Adelaide! The best way to tour the Barossa Valley is to hire a driver to take you to the best corners: starting with the main wineries so you can taste the delicious wines of the valley without leaving the small producers, who will teach you the winemaking process . Although you could spend an entire vacation in the valley.
Have you ever dreamed of stepping on the Uyuni salt flat? You don’t have to go to Bolivia, because Australia has its own version. Near Adelaide there is a huge salt lake more than 160 kilometers long . In some places the layer of salt is more than a meter thick. When it rains, the layer of water acts as a mirror of the sky, creating a spectacular optical effect. The lake is surrounded by hills of reddish sand , creating a beautiful contrast with the white of the salt.
The jewels of the island of Tasmania
Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, one of the coolest places to see in Australia
The island of Tasmania is often forgotten, but it is one of the jewels to see in Australia . It can be easily reached by plane from the country’s main airports. There’s even a weekly ferry from Melbourne. Tasmania is ideal for being surrounded by nature. Cradle Mountain National Park will leave you speechless. There are a number of day walks around Mount Cradle and Dove Lake, which is right at the base. You can even climb to the top of the mountain if you have mountain experience. But without a doubt, the best way to discover all the beauty of the national park is to take the Overland Track hike . It has a total of 75 kilometers until you reach Lake St. Clair. You will spend a week in the Tasmanian highlands surrounded by glacial lakes and mountains.
If you are more of a beach than a mountain, Tasmania is also for you Wineglass Bay is a good proof of this. This beach is postcard . Its turquoise water contrasts with the pink granite mountains that surround the bay. It is part of the Freycinet National Park , where you can take several walks to get the best views of the beach. If you prefer to enjoy the beach from the shore, we recommend you to wear goggles and a snorkel because there is a lot of marine fauna. In addition to being a beautiful place, it has a privileged climate with more than 300 days of sunshine a year .
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
Another great place to see in Tasmania is the Franklin and Gordon Rivers National Park . Its surroundings are totally wild with imposing peaks and gorges, dense forests in the valleys and fresh water waterfalls. There are several trails in the park, but the most popular is the Franklin Nature Trail . It is suitable for all levels of fitness and is adapted for people in wheelchairs. Perfect to surround yourself with green.
Places to see in Western Australia
Perth, a great city to see in Western Australia
We jumped to the west coast of the country! The gateway for most travelers is Perth, Western Australia’s only major city . But it offers much more than skyscrapers, museums and the typical things to do in a metropolis of more than a million inhabitants. Perth is on the banks of the Swan River, surrounded by nature. You can rent a bike to explore the city or even take a river cruise to see it from another perspective. Take a walk through Kings Park to see Western Australia’s famous wildflowers . It is the state with the most types of flowers. If you prefer interior plans, there are countless bars where you can try the local cuisine, boutique shops, markets and art galleries. Without a doubt, Perth is a vibrant city to see in Australia .
Rottnest Island, a very special island to see in Australia
In 45 minutes by boat from Perth you can move to a tropical paradise. With more than 60 beaches with crystal clear waters , Rottnest Island is a perfect island to forget about the hustle and bustle of the city. You can visit it in a day as an excursion from Perth or stay to sleep there to explore its bays in peace. We recommend renting a bike to move along the 25 kilometers that the island measures. It is very likely that it is one of those journeys that you will meet a quokka, a friendly marsupial that lives on Rottnest Island .
Karijini National Park and its natural canyons
The landscapes of this Australian national park will leave you speechless. You will get sick of seeing canyons, emerald-colored natural pools and beautiful waterfalls . It is one of the natural jewels of Western Australia. The closest tourist town is Broome, although it is more than 9 hours away! The main attraction of the park is its canyons. Hamersley Gorge is the best known, although Hancock Gorge and Weano Gorge are amazing too.
The Desert of the Pinnacles, an atypical landscape of the Earth
Australia will never stop surprising you with its landscapes. If you are looking for one that does not seem from this planet, we recommend you visit the Desert of the Pinnacles . It is located about 200 km from Perth and is one of the most incredible places to see in Australia . They are a series of rock formations of various heights that rise above a desert landscape. In some cases they reach 7 meters in height. The best time to visit these pinnacles is at sunrise or sunset, when the light is prettiest. It looks like from another planet!
Horizontal Falls, a strange phenomenon to see in Australia
In the northwest of Australia you will be able to see an impressive natural phenomenon . The water passes with such force between two gorges that it looks like a horizontal waterfall. But there is no waterfall, it is a sea current. It can be seen very closely with a boat tour plus seaplane perfect for adventurers. You will see this phenomenon from two very different and equally impressive perspectives.
Lucky Bay, one of the best beaches to see in Australia
Lucky Bay is such a beautiful beach that even kangaroos can’t resist jumping on its white sand . It is relatively easy to find these animals there. And if seeing kangaroos is not enough, from July to October you can see whales during the migration season. What remains throughout the year is the crystal clear water that invites you to take a bath. The bay extends more than 5 kilometers. So you will be very calm despite being one of the most famous places to see in Australia . This beach is inside the Cape le Grand National Park , where you can camp or park your motorhome to sleep surrounded by wonderful surroundings.
Another dream beach to see in Australia is Turquoise Bay. It lives up to its name, because the water has a simply perfect turquoise tone . Its location in the northwest of the country, within the Cape Range National Park, makes it a remote paradise. A few meters from the shore there is a coral reef full of life . Don’t forget your snorkel or diving equipment to see colorful fish and turtles that live among the coral reefs.