Australia is a surprisingly diverse, eccentric, extraordinary and downright intriguing place on Earth. The list of natural attractions in this Southern Continent could go on and on, but we have only chosen a part of them, which received a gush of enthusiastic reviews. Take a look at our list of 15 incredible places to visit in Australia.
1. The Great Barrier Reef
The only living thing visible from space is a real natural gift for the humans. The length of this coral reef is more than 2000 km, so there is enough space for everyone to snorkel or scuba dive surrounded by colorful marine life. Enjoy the perpetual state of tropical luxury on Hayman and Lizard islands, explore the world’s oldest tropical rainforest Daintree or experience the natural beauty in its rawest form on the uninhabited islands with sun-soaked, golden beaches. The aircraft or helicopter tours are exactly for photographic enthusiasts, who want to Capture the perfect contours of the Whitsunday Islands, Hervey Bay and Queensland coastline. The rapid industrialization of the continent is a danger for this World Heritage listed wonder, and it would be better to plan a visit soon not to witness the human destructive interference.
2. Tasmanian Wilderness
The pristine beaches and the tranquility of Tasmania’s wilderness are strong reasons to visit these islands. A large surface of Tasmania is under protection as national parks and reserves, which are easy and safe to visit. The ancient beauty of national parks, which cover a diversity of unspoiled habitats and ecosystems are beyond comparison. A greater part of national parks are World Heritage listed as recognized natural and cultural values. The experienced hikers will appreciate the forest trails with no one else in sight. Kayaking or boat cruises are available for anyone who wants to take in the stunning views of the craggy coastlines. Spy the endemic animals of Tasmania among which Tasmanian devil or wombat, pademelon or little penguin are. Dolphins are a common sight in Macquarie Harbour and a regular accompaniment to tour boats.
3. Blue Mountains
Soak up the blue-hazed beauty of these mountains with an Aboriginal guide, get close up to ancient art and ceremonial sites, pay homage to the Three Sisters: weathered sandstone peaks, which are a recognized symbol of the Blue Mountains and don’t miss the Scenic Skyway with a glass floor at Katoomba. This amazing ride gives the opportunity to marvel all the stunning views of the Blue Mountains, like Mount Solitary and Katoomba Falls. What comes to Jenolan Caves, they are a must-see attraction for cave snobs if for nothing else, but the exhilaration of the adventure caving. These underground limestone caves feature a sonic revelation and that’s the main reason concerts are usually held here. These World Heritage Area is definitely a crowd pleaser with its natural attractions, wildlife and conservation based resorts, gem restaurants and breathtaking panoramas. Climbing rocks, canyoning, exploring eucalypt forests are common attractions alongside many well-marked walking trails.
4. The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road stretches through a dramatic region including fishing villages, famous surf beaches with a view you will always treasure and whale lookouts alongside rainforests and historic ports. Bells beach and Aplolo bay are ideal spots to surf, kayak or laze on the powdery sands. The sparkling gorges, limestone towers, like the iconic Twelve Apostles and old volcanoes highlight the rugged coastlines and if you want to stretch your legs and see anything even more wondrous, take the Great Ocean Walk. Excellent restaurants will impress your senses with mouth-watering delicacies, while Geelong impresses with vibrant Aboriginal culture.
5. The Red Centre
Australia’s Red center is famous for head-spinning landscapes of Alice Springs. The Kings Canyon, Uluru and the Simpson Desert are among the natural wonders, which add charm to this Southern Continent. Although it’s a harsh environment, we still recommend visiting Uluru, but be sure not to miss the sunset or sunrise there. The impressions will be beyond anything. The aboriginal art and Uluru represent Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. Besides exploring these sites with a native guide, you can also see it from above in a hot air balloon.
All the superlatives come together in this heavenly spot. White quartz beaches, towering eucalypts and granite peaks are a lot more than just natural formations. If you are up for something different, Gippsland is the right place to explore. To say that it’s an International holiday mecca, isn’t that right, but Ninety Mile Beach or the Great Alpine Way are every bit as spectacular as the other well-known wonders of the globe. Immerse yourself in the wilderness around Gippsland Lakes or Agnes Falls or slip on a mask and dive to discover the delicate and beautiful underwater environment. Make your time memorable by taking Sidney to Melbourne coastal drive or taking short and scenic trails through Tarzan rainforests in the natural sanctuary of Wilsons Promontory.
7. The Australian Alps
What can be more attractive than the snow-clad mountains in this dry and flat continent? Bushwalk and mountain bike alongside winter sports are adventures on offer in the Australian Alps. Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak on the continent, punches well above its weight when it comes to natural beauty. Take the Great Alpine way from Melbourne through the Australian Alps, visit gold-rush towns and national parks of Gippsland on your way. Every step of the way provides unique experiences like mountain climbing, fishing or surfing on Ninety-Mile Beach, horse riding in Mount Buffalo National Park and the end of attractions isn’t even in sight.
8. Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a must-see destination in Australia with stunning sun-drenched days and warm balmy nights. This is what the locals live here for and what comes to the visitors Byron Bay’s legendary surf beach is more than enough to allure them, but that doesn’t mean there are no other attractions on offer. The hedonistic indulgence seems to be the one and only philosophy here. Unwind on sweeping surf beaches, dive with turtles, dolphins and stingrays, try a sunrise yoga, indulge yourself in the bohemian culture of relaxed beachside towns with a colourful mix of people.
Make sure not to miss the great regional dining, which is going to be an entirely new experience. Take a wondrous walk, taking the Cape Byron Track, which stretches through lush rainforest and across clifftops, rich in delights, like the iconic lighthouse. A unique drive from Sydney will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding national parks on the Rainforest Way. Spend a few hours under the shade of bangalow palms and ancient burrawangs or watch the whales cruising past the headland. This tropical paradise offers a modern range of facilities and services to visiting backpackers and surfers at fully equipped hostels or top-class hotels. At the very least remember that here world-class waves are always free!
This Marine Park in Australia protects numerous species of corals and fish and the most accessible fringing reef of the continent, which begins at Exmouth Gulf, encompassing more than 4000 square kilometres of ocean. Dive into this underwater wonderland tosee colorful fish, whale sharks, turtles, dugongs swimming amongst the seaweed, sponges and rock. Not all the snorkel sites require a four-wheel drive, providing an easy access to the reefs teeming with marine life. The shallow waters of the tropical-colored lagoons of Coral Bay are perfect for snorkelling tours especially for entry-level divers. Laze on deserted beaches of Muiron islands or dive at Turtle Bay, stay overnight to find some peace and quiet in this romantic atmosphere. Drive the Shothole Canyon Road to rugged Cape Range National Park, which features rocky gorges carved by ancient rivers. Guided boat tours are available to Yardie Creek, and Turquoise Bay, which is an excellent snorkel site with a rich diversity of marine life. The seaside towns Exmouth or Coral Bay are pretty spots to join an eco safari and offer different types of accommodations are available to suit all budgets.
10. Kangaroo island
The native wildlife of this island with empty beaches is an ecological heaven to visit if for nothing else but the unique animal species, like kangaroos, sleepy koalas, brush-tailed possums penguins, and echidnas. Find yourself in the midst of these funny creatures. Your hand will hurt from pointing out at all the spectacular sights of this natural treasure. Enjoy the endless stretches of quiet sand, turquoise water, rugged rock formations and plenty of more interesting scenery on Kangaroo island. Underground caves at Kelly Hill Conservation Park and vast native bushland are just some of the breathtaking landscapes on offer. Explore the bush-cloaked national parks, discover native wildlife in its rawest form. What comes to the food and wine on this island, it’s beyond comparison. The island is actually a seafood paradise, but sheep’s milk cheese, Ligurian honey and many other delicacies alongside gorgeous wine from Cape Willoughby are on offer. Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch are the most recognized coastal landmarks of the island. The hidden beach of Stokes Bay is a heavenly spot for solitude and romance.
11. Flinders Ranges
This ancient mountain range highlights South Australian environment. Enjoy the dramatic and eye-catching shift of colours of jagged peaks and escarpments from dusk to dawn. Explore the rock paintings and carvings of the region, if you are interested in the history of the native Adnyamathanha peoples. Besides the Aboriginal rock art, there is so much to see and do here, like discovering a lost world inside stone basins or underground opal mining towns and immersing yourself in the wilderness of Flinders Ranges National Park. Find yourself in the midst of red sand dunes, spinifex and cane grass in the waterless Simpson desert. The extremely dry conditions of the desert require special preparations before you decide to camp here. Wilpena pound, which resembles a natural amphitheatre in the centre of South Australia, is also worth visiting, but if hiking isn’t your thing, you can just take a flight over it in a hot air balloon and marvel the beauty of the rugged crater, which seems an ancient homeland of dinosaurs from above. Lift your soul on St Mary’s Peak or stretch your legs hiking Gammon Ranges near the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.
The peninsula of pink granite offers hikes over the Hazard Ranges, sun and sand experiences in the pristine beaches of Wineglass Bay and of course an abundance of fresh seafood and local wines. Enjoy the exclusive day spa, massages and mud wrap at Saffire Freycinet or take the Freycinet Experience Walk to enjoy breathtaking coastal and mountain views. Appreciate the wonders of Tasmania’s natural sanctuary, taking Maria Island Walk, enjoying candlelight dining with fine food and wines at the end of each day. Discover intriguing convict history at Port Arthur Historic Site, visit MONA – The Museum of Old and New Art, if you are interested in thought-provoking contemporary art. A scenic flight over Freycinet Coast is also available, alongside challenges on foot. Star gaze and see rare native wildlife at Honeymoon Bay, where you can marvel mauve mornings and sea kayak enjoying ochre-red sunsets. Boat to Schouten Island to Watch whales follow ancestral migration or Cruise around Great Oyster Bay to meet local critters, twitters.
13. The Kimberley
This sparsely populated region with endless stunning outback landscapes, is known as Australia’s Last Great Wilderness and is home to a lot of exotic animals and birds, sometimes with names that we haven’t even heard before, such as golden-backed tree-rat, Pacific Koel, Purple-crowned Fairywren tree frog, Saltwater crocodiles and turtles, and the list could go on and on. Windjana Gorge, Devonian Reef National Park, Meteorite Crater and Bungle Bungle Range are only a small part of the highlights of this vast territory. Gantheaume Point is an unbelievable place famous for a dinosaur footprint, dating back 130 million years. The epic waterways, giant rugged gorges, cascading waterfalls are becoming more and more popular, so try to visit this place as soon as possible to avoid crowds of tourists and even worse: before developers discover it and put up large businesses here. This little-travelled and very remote area features remarkable gorges on the Fitzroy River, unforgiving deserts with a severe climate, desolate mountains and camel-tinged sunsets of Cable Beach. To find a new inspiration, take a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Range to take in the stunning views completely.
This natural and cultural wonder in Australia is around three hours east of Darwin. It holds in its boundaries a spectacular ecosystem bursting with wildlife. The mind-blowing concentration of ancient rock art reflects the link between Australia and the Dreamtime ancestors of its Aboriginal custodians. Those who want to avoid the concentration of tourist at rock-art sites, can get off the beaten track an have the park to themselves, since Australia’s biggest national park has a piece of heaven for everyone. Carpets of delicate waterlilies, thundering waterfalls, shady monsoon forests…all these dot the area of the Kakadu national park. Nature’s Way touring route will take you through rugged escarpments and lush rainforest. Capture the perfect contours of stunning gorges and changing scenery on a sweeping flight over the landscape.
15. Fraser Island
Those who want to find themselves in an enigmatic island paradise, should include this island in their list of must-see destinations. Visit the largest sand island all around the world to understand why the natives call it a paradise in their language. Enjoy the tropical luxury, isolated stretches of powder-soft sand and colorful marine life just by stepping off the beach. This World-Heritage-listed island is perfect for bushwalk through dense tropical rainforest supported by sand, to watch wildlife in its natural setting and swim in mirrored lakes ringed with gold. Take the highway of Seventy-Five Mile Beach for a four wheel drive. You can also hunt for some history at the Maheno shipwreck or just picnic on the beach watching the blazing sun sink into the Ocean. The island is also famous for eco-friendly resorts and self-contained villas with sea views. Central Station provides a campsite for those who really want to embrace nature. The Great Sunshine way will take you from surf beaches to the capital of Brisbane, where you can satisfy your culture cravings.