Top 15 Must See Attractions In Australia

Australia Destinations
Australia Destinations

Australia is a travel destination that is high on many people’s bucket lists. Unfortunately, the long journey is often one of the reasons why very few people actually fulfill their wish and explore the beautiful country. These are the unique places to visit in australia all over the year.

Take a camper ride on the Great Ocean Road, swim in the natural pools of the Kakadu National Park, snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and taste delicious wines in the Barossa Valley: Come with us to Australia – there are plenty of top tourist attractions in australia.

Let us introduce you to the most important must see places in australia , which will definitely motivate you to start your journey to the southern hemisphere as quickly as possible.

From the tropical north with the Cape Tribulation, to the dry landscapes around Uluru, to dream beaches and metropolises like Sydney and Melbourne, Australia has something for everyone.

Map with Australia attractions

1. Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is the most important attraction in Australia and arguably one of the most beautiful in the whole world. With an area of 348,700 km²  it is the largest coral reef on earth, consisting of almost 3,000 individual reefs. It extends with countless islands over an incredible 2,300 kilometers off the Australian east coast.

But it’s not just the numbers that are impressive – the great barrier reef coral itself, which is a real beauty when viewed from the air as well as when diving or snorkeling underwater, is incredibly fascinating.

You can visit the Great Barrier Reef from various locations on the east coast of Australia. Tours are offered everywhere, during which you can spend one or several days on the various islands and swim in the brightly colored sea.

You can partly spend the night on the boat or in accommodations on the islands in the Great Barrier Reef. If you dig a little deeper into your pocket, you can even see the color spectacle in a wide variety of shades of blue from a helicopter  .

Caution : Before you visit the Great Barrier Reef, you should be aware of one thing: We humans harm the reef through pollution of the oceans and the consequences of global warming and environmental disasters also contribute to the reef being destroyed more and more.

Many corals have already died. You cannot stop this process alone, but you should be aware of how valuable the coral reef is for the earth and you should behave accordingly.

2. Ayers Rock / Uluru

ayers rock campground
ayers rock campground

The symbol of Australia is the Uluru, called ayers rock in english and ayers rock changing colour all the time. The sandstone monolith, which has existed for about 550 million years and is located in the middle of mainland Australia, is a sacred symbol for Australia’s natives .

Nevertheless, tourists have climbed the 348 meter high rock in the Red Center over and over again in recent decades . However, this has not been allowed since last year: The Aborigines have finally set an example and since October 26, 2019, it has been forbidden to climb Uluru.

Uluru was the original name of the rock mountain that the Aborigines had given it centuries ago. It was only called Ayers Rock by the Australian authorities in the late 19th century.

The mountain has officially had both names since 2002. The rock consists mostly of sandstone and depending on the time of day it shines in brownish to red tones.

Its location in the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park makes Ayers Rock the ideal destination for an exciting road trip through the red landscapes of the Australian outback .

Here is how the ayers rock changing colour

3. Fraser Island

Fraser Island Australia
Fraser Island Australia

If you are on the east coast, you should definitely plan a visit to Fraser Island. If you want to venture out on your own, you will need a rental car with four-wheel drive , as the island, which is also called the “largest sand island in the world”, has no normal roads.

It is therefore best if you book a guided tour. There are usually 1 to 3-day tours on which you can explore the most beautiful destinations on the island. In order to really see all the highlights of the 1,840 square kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site , I recommend booking at least a 2-day tour. On the island, which is part of the Great Sandy National Park , you will then speed with a 4-wheel drive over the endless sandy Seventy Five Mile Beach.

Tip: Be sure to keep your eyes open, because with a little luck you will spot whales off the coast. Also, the Lake McKenzie , a turquoise blue shimmering freshwater lake, is always included in the tours on Fraser Iceland.

Relax on the clear water with a picnic and enjoy the beautiful Australian nature. You can walk through the deepest rainforest, discover dingoes and swim in Eli Creek or one of the freshwater lakes. An adventure trip is definitely inevitable here! For more tips on Fraser Island , check out my article on the island.

4. Sydney Opera House

The architecture of the Sydney Opera House is world famous. The opera house, which is particularly known for its silhouette construction, stands on Sydney Harbor and is considered the symbol of the city and, along with Uluru, also a symbol of the country .

It has been built since 1959 according to the modern expressionist design by Jørn Utzon , an award-winning Danish architect. It could not be fully completed until 14 years later. The Sydney Opera House has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007.

In five different halls with a total of over 5,500 seats you can let yourself be carried away by great theater and art performances as well as music concerts all year round.

More than eight million visitors are drawn to Sydney’s impressive opera house every year for a performance or a guided tour, which is currently undergoing renovation work so that you can enjoy even better acoustics, optics and show in the future.

If you stroll along Sydney Harbor in the evening, you can look forward to special lighting in the opera house.

The Sydney Harbor Bridge is also within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House. Both sights together fill the typical cityscape of Sydney and line numerous postcards.

If you are in Sydney, the Opera House should definitely be on your list of Australia attractions during your trip – you can find more information in the article about the Sydney Opera House . Do you want to learn more about the sights in Sydney , then take a look at my detailed article.

Guru tip : If you are looking for the best view of the Sydney Opera House next to the famous Harbor Bridge, I recommend Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. From the stone you can see the most beautiful harbor panorama, which offers a unique backdrop, especially at sunset.

5. Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach on Australia’s east coast is one of the most famous beaches in the country. Located in the metropolis of Sydney, it attracts tourists as well as those who want a relaxing break from the stressful everyday working life in Sydney.

Bondi Beach is much more than just a beach: the Bondi district is the opposite of the hectic center of Sydney. The clocks tick more slowly here, people are relaxed and instead of suits and briefcases they wear swimwear and a surfboard under their arms.

Surfers, yogis, swimmers, joggers and many other athletes love to let off steam here in nature. The waves in front of Bondi Beach attract surfers from all over the world, the Coastal Walk Bondi to Coogee Beach is particularly popular with joggers, yogis salute the sun on the green areas or cliffs and swimmers let off steam in the Bondi Icebergs Pool all year round .

But you can also relax here wonderfully. Lying in the sand, enjoy the sun’s rays or have a delicious drink in one of the surrounding cafes.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the beach became famous – swimming was not allowed here at first, but over the years the spot has become one of Sydney’s most visited places.

Bondi Beach has even been a national monument since 2008 and is therefore on the Australian National Heritage List.

Guru tip : If you are still looking for accommodation for your stay in Sydney, I recommend booking a hotel or Airbnb in Bondi , because here you have time to relax, can start the day in the morning with a swim or a run on the coast and be in the city center in no time by bus or subway.

6. Blue Mountains National Park

If you are in Sydney, a visit to the Blue Mountains National Park should not be missing. Whether just as a day trip from Sydney or for a longer break in nature – there is a lot to discover here.

The comfortable train ride on the Blue Mountains Line from Sydney Central takes just two hours. Once in Katoomba, you can simply take the shuttle bus that will take you to the most beautiful places in the Blue Mountains. \

There is plenty of it hidden on an area of 11,400 km² . The most famous highlight of the Blue Mountains are the Three Sisters , three rock towers that were formed over 200 million years ago.

On a viewing platform you can capture the rock formations in front of the panorama of the Blue Mountains with the camera.

We recommend a ride on the gondola , which takes you over the gorges of the Blue Mountains and gives you views over the landscape.

Don’t just explore the Blue Mountains by shuttle bus or gondola lift, but also hike along the trails, because this way you can discover nature in all its facets.

You will encounter caves, waterfalls and Australian animals on the hiking trails. The gray giant kangaroo, the naked-nosed wombat, koalas, wallabies and even platypus could enrich your adventurous hikes.

7. Tasmania

For one or the other, it may be far-fetched to call the island of Tasmania , which is also a state in its own right, a sight.

Unfortunately, it often receives too little attention on tours through Australia. That is why Tasmania is definitely one of the most important Australia attractions, which is itself peppered with many exciting highlights and is therefore definitely worth a trip.

Tasmania is south of mainland Australia, near Melbourne. From here you have the shortest journey, which you can either take the ferry or the plane.

With an area of ​​64,519 km², of which a third is blessed with national parks, the main island is the largest island in Australia. 25% of Tasmania is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – you see, the island is pure paradise for nature lovers.

The climate also contributes to the fact that active vacationers in particular like to come to Tasmania. With daytime temperatures between 11 and 22 degrees throughout the year, the weather is always perfect for exploring the landscapes extensively.

It is best to head for Hobart first , because the island’s capital not only has the largest airport, but is also perfect for getting to know the local culture.

Small cafes and bars invite you to linger, at the huge Salamanca Market you can buy souvenirs and stroll along the harbor.

From here it is only a two-hour drive to Freycinet National Park, which will spoil you with breathtaking views over Wineglass Bay after hiking to the top .

Lonely beaches await you on the east coast and with a bit of luck you can spot whales off the coast from the mountains.

In the west of Hobart is the Southwest National Park , which offers you a contrast to the east coast. Wild landscapes and rough rocky peaks, only interrupted by idyllic lakes, invite you to go on adventurous hikes.

If you are more into tropical flora and small waterfalls, then a visit to Mount Field National Park , which is also located in southern Tasmania, is recommended . You can find more tips about Tasmania in my article.

8. Great Ocean Road

I’m sure everyone of you knows the Great Ocean Road, because it is one of the most famous sights in Australia and one of the most beautiful scenic roads in the world.

If you are planning a trip to the south of Australia, a road trip on the Great Ocean Road should be on your bucket list. I recommend doing the trip from west to east and then combining it with a few days in Melbourne.

The coastal road starts in Warrnambool. Here in the west, around the Port Campbell National Park, you can expect sights such as the famous Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the collapsed London Arch. What nature has conjured up from the rocky coast for you is truly impressive.

At the top of the tip you will reach Cape Otway with the lighthouse before the coastal road continues to the northeast.

Here you shouldn’t miss a walk on the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk. Always keep your eyes open, because here in Great Otway National Park koalas often perch in the treetops.

From now on, there are small coastal towns that invite you to take a break. Treat yourself to a snack in one of the cafes in Apollo Bay or Lorne and stroll through the small shops. Enjoy the views of the wild coast or grab a surfboard and ride in the waves off Victoria.

Especially the Bells Beach just before Torquay has international world fame with surfers. Everything,Great Ocean Road , you can find out in my detailed article.

From Torquay it is only 100 kilometers to Melbourne, a metropolis that you cannot miss! Hip neighborhoods, colorful markets and a variety of beaches await you here. In my Melbourne tips I tell you everything about the big city.

9. Whitsunday Islands

Heavenly, white sandy beaches meet turquoise blue water – this awaits you not only in the Maldives, but also off the Australian east coast.

Belonging to the state of Queensland, the 74 Whitsunday Islands are located in the Great Barrier Reef just a few kilometers from Airlie Beach . It is also best to start your tour to the islands from here, because the journey is really short.

The islands are best known for their eddy-like sandbanks, which merge with the turquoise water like a work of art.

Of the 74 islands, 17 are inhabited, the largest of which is Hamilton Island . There are also numerous resorts and hotels here, so that it attracts many people looking for relaxation.

Also popular is the much smaller Hayman Island, on which there is only one large luxury hotel. Active vacationers in particular will be happy on Hayman Island, thanks to activities such as diving, fishing, tennis and beach volleyball and various water sports, the range of sports is huge here.

But the Whitsundays are not only suitable for luxury vacations: Many backpackers come here on their round trip through Australia to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Recommended for low-budget travelers is a 2 to 3-day tour that includes overnight stays on the boat, snorkeling tours and other highlights for you.

The famous Whitehaven Beach in particular is a popular destination. As surreal as the photos of the unique beach appear – I’ve seen it myself and I promise it is really breathtakingly beautiful. Its quartz content of 99% makes it one of the whitest beaches in the world.

Your options in the Whitsundays are endless. You can arrive by speedboat, sailing boat or helicopter, book a sustainable tour close to nature or spend a luxury vacation. Wander through the dense, green forests on the islands, discover magical waterfalls and dreamy bays. You can encounter turtles, starfish, colorful fish and even humpback whales on excursions and make the experience absolutely unforgettable.

10. Rottnest Island

A few kilometers west of Perth in Western Australia is Rottnest Island in the Indian Ocean. With an area of ​​almost 20 km², it is one of the smaller islands in Australia. Therefore, a trip to the island is perfect for 1 to 3 days, during which you can explore Rottnest Island in all facets by bike – motor vehicles are not allowed here.

Bird watchers in particular will be happy on Rottnest Island, as the island is known for rare birds such as the cliff parakeet. But other rare animal species, such as the quokka , which is also known as the short-tailed kangaroo, feel at home on the island. Did you know that the island bears its name Rottnest Island, because the Quokkas were once thought to be big rats?

Rottnest Island is a true natural paradise. For those who just want to relax in the sun, there are 63 incredible beaches to choose from on the island – my favorites are Thomson Bay with boats bobbing in the water and cafes in the area and Little Salmon Bay with fine powder sand, rough rocks and crystal clear Water.

Those who prefer to be active can either explore the island by bike or hike the coasts with rocky landscapes, dream beaches and secluded bays on the Wadjemup Bidi Trails over 45 kilometers.

Keep your eyes open, because especially in the West End you have the chance to spot dolphins and humpback whales off the coast.

Fishing, surfing, and diving are other exciting experiences waiting for you on Rottnest Island. In any case, you should take a Quokka Walk , because a guide will not only tell you everything about the cute animals, but will also take you to the spots where you can see the Quokkas live in nature.

Guru tip : It’s best to combine a trip to Rottnest Island with a stay in Perth. The city in Western Australia is the only major city west of Darwin and thus the entire western half of the country. In addition to large parks, museums, small cafés and impressive buildings attract visitors to the city of almost 2 million people.

11. Kangaroo Island

Make sure you plan a stop on Kangaroo Island on your trip through the Australian south . Most Australia holidaymakers do not even have the island in South Australia on their radar, which is exactly why it is the perfect destination for anyone looking for tranquility in nature.

A rental car is a must on Kangaroo Island, because this is the only way you can take the highlights of the Australian island with you and simply stop where you like.

You arrive in Penneshaw in the east of the island , from here you head west, where you can stop at Nepean Bay and Emu Bay to make a stop by the sea and relax.

In the village of Kingskote you can look forward to penguin colonies and pelican feeding – an unforgettable experience! If you are now traveling south, a stop at Seal Bay should definitely be on your plan, because here you can visit the sea lions that have made themselves comfortable on the beach with a ranger.

Vivonne Bay is not far from here, which I think is the most beautiful bay on the whole island. Snow-white sand, an old jetty, the turquoise water and the wild nature create a backdrop like from a picture book. With a little luck, you might even be all alone.

You can spend the night at a campsite in Flinders Chase National Park in the middle of the wilderness. So at dinner you have animal company of possums, wallabies and kangaroos who feel at home here.

The Remarkable Rocks in the southwest of Kangaroo Island are an absolute highlight. The strangely shaped boulders appear like a work of art from nature. From here you also have a breathtaking view of the vast ocean. The crowning glory of your trip across the island is the sunset at Cape du Couedic .

Watch the sun sink into the ocean and enjoy the beauty of Australian nature.

12. Kakadu National Park

Of course, the highlights in the north of the country are among the most important sights in Australia. In addition to Uluru, there is another destination in the Northern Territory that you should have on your screen on your route through the country: the Kakadu National Park.

Countless adventures await you on almost 20,000 km², so you can definitely plan 2 to 3 days for the national park, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What makes the park special, in addition to its diverse nature, consisting of over 1,700 plant species , rainforests, river landscapes and reddish gorges, is also the art of the indigenous people, which you find in nature. Marvel at some of the most beautiful Aboriginal rock art!

The national park stretches around four river systems: the East, West and South Alligator Rivers and the Wildman River. With a little luck you can even see fresh and salt water crocodiles here. At Jim Jim Falls, the water that runs through the rivers and creeks of the park falls 200 meters.

There are no crocodiles here, so you can even take a dip in the natural pool. Such refreshment is particularly pleasant after adventurous hikes through the bush landscapes.

At the rock formation Ubirr in the north of the national park you will find important Aboriginal arts that you should not miss. The Kakadu National Park really has something to offer for everyone, that’s why you can find it in my list of the most beautiful national parks in Australia and in the top 5 national parks in the Northern Territory .

Guru tip : Since the Kakadu National Park is only 170 kilometers east of Darwin , the capital of the Northern Territory, you can optimally combine your road trip with a stay in the city.

13. Ningaloo Reef

The reef off the west coast of Australia stretches over 250 kilometers from the mainland. It is just a tenth the length of the Great Barrier Reef, but the beautiful Ningaloo Reef is still a UNESCO World Heritage Site . Due to its proximity to the mainland, you can start tours into the reef in many places.

From some beaches it is only 100 meters to the Ningaloo Reef. In addition to a colorful world of fish, manta rays, water turtles and dolphins, you can even spot whales, whale sharks and manatees in the Ningaloo Reef. The peak bucket whale season is June to November, and the best time to spot whale sharks is May to July.

On the northern section of the Australian west coast lies the city of Exmouth, which is the perfect starting point for touring the area. If you book a hotel here , you can take day trips to the Cape Range National Park , which is also right on the reef.

In the national park you can wonderfully observe the Australian fauna while hiking. Above all, the beaches at the national park allow direct access to the Ningaloo Reef.

For you this means: you only have to strap on your snorkeling equipment and you can swim straight into the reef.

The water is so clear that you can see the corals from afar. The Turquoise Bay , whose name is very promising, is particularly popular . A little further south on Ningaloo Reef you will find Coral Bay . Coral Bay is not just a bay, but a whole place that has hotels, campsites and tour operators ready for you for excursions into the reef.

14. Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation is located in the tropical north of Queensland on the east coast. The headland is north of the city of Cairns and attracts with tropical charm: in front of you extends the gigantic Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef in the world, behind you is one of the oldest rainforests on earth, the Daintree Rainforest .

Cape Tribulation roughly translates as “Cape of Tribulation” – but whoever looks around here is sure to be anything but moping. The name was created by James Cook in the 18th century, who ran aground here, which almost cost him his life.

Today the cape is a popular holiday destination and even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can reach Cape Tribulation by car or book from Cairns, which is 140 kilometers further south, or from Port Douglas,45 kilometers south, a tour to the Cape.

Don’t forget your hiking boots, because before you relax on the dream beaches of Cape Tribulation, you should first go on some exciting hikes through the Daintree Rainforest.

You will hardly believe your eyes when you experience the intense green of the forest live. The best thing to do is to go to Mount Alexandra Lookout first and get an overview. On a clear day you can see almost the entire rainforest from here and even see the coast.

On the Jindalba Boardwalk you can hike through the depths of the forest, past ferns, mangroves with their lianas and over 3,000 other plant species. Bats, butterflies and 430 species of birds feel at home here.

If you want to reward yourself with a unique view while hiking, you should walk along Myall Beach along the cape, which stretches almost endlessly along the coast. Locals advise not to go swimming here as there can be crocodiles in the sea.

You don’t have to go far for a refreshment: a few minutes’ walk will take you to Mason’s Swimming Hole , where you can swim in the river in a tropical setting.

15. Barossa Valley

The last item on my list of the top 15 sights in Australia leads you to the Australian south. You can look forward to one of the best wine-growing regions in the world, the Barossa Valley, which is popular with wine lovers.

The Valley of Australian Wines is located in South Australia, not far from the city of Adelaide.

It is easiest if you look for accommodation in Adelaide and from there take a tour to Barossa Valley, because in this way you are comfortably transported from one winery to the next to taste the wonderful wines on the almost 10,000 hectare wine-growing area .

Test your way through the wines and let the exciting stories tell you about them. The open-minded and happy nature of the Australians makes the whole thing a fun experience.

Also stroll through the estate of the wineries, because they are really wonderful to look at. Many of the buildings are made of rustic stone and overgrown with plants, around which are gardens decorated with flowers and pretty details. Be sure to take a look at the wine cellar .

Guru tip : Barossa Valley is just 60 minutes by car from Adelaide . The capital of South Australia is definitely worth a visit and is also ideal for your overnight stay. The best time to go to Barossa Valley in the Australian autumn, when the vineyards bloom in golden yellow colors and the time for the grape harvest is ripe.

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