Must-see attractions in Australia
· ·

Must-see attractions in Australia  

Planning an action-packed trip to Australia? It’s one of my favourite countries in the whole world, and I’m sure you’ll love it too! In this guide, I share some must-see attractions in Australia that you simply can’t miss when planning your trip.

Australia, the land of contrast and diversity, has an array of natural wonders, vibrant cities, and unique cultural experiences to offer. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the breathtaking landscapes of the Outback, Australia offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for travellers to explore. It’s one of the most exciting places to explore on earth, but some experiences stand out more than others. Luckily, no matter the traveller, there is an attraction for everyone. If you’re not sure where to start with your itinerary, this list of must-see destinations is here to help. Let’s embark on a journey to explore some of the must-see attractions in Australia that make it a destination like no other.

Quick tips for visiting Australia

Book this: a small group Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne, to see the Twelve Apostles and a number of other attractions en route

Don’t miss: a Sydney Thunder Thrill ride to experience 360-degree spins and power slides with a view of Sydney’s iconic harbour

Bucket list experience: a helicopter ride over Uluru for unforgettable views over Ayers Rock

Flights: Find the cheapest flights to Australia with Skyscanner 

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Australia on Booking.com

The flight to Australia can take between 22 and 30 hours, with a layover here or there, so visitors tend to stay there for a while to make the long-haul journey worth it. If you plan on earning some money while down under, then get an Australian visa from the UK to ensure you meet legal requirements to work, whilst enjoying yourself!  

Must-See Attractions in Australia

Here’s my pick of the must-see attractions in Australia to weave into your trip Down Under.

The Great Barrier Reef  

First and foremost, it would be silly not to go and see the Great Barrier Reef as one of the most obvious must-see attractions in Australia! As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Reef is home to the world’s largest coral system and an astounding plethora of marine life. I visited this winter and it absolutely blew my mind! I booked this Great Barrier Reef snorkelling trip from Cairns and I added on the scuba diving experience, which was incredible. We boarded a catamaran, had breakfast, gained our instructions, and snorkelled and scuba dived ’til our heart’s content.

You put on your snorkel and flippers and dive into the mesmerising underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system on the planet. Stretching over 2,300 kilometres, the reef is a kaleidoscope of colours and marine life. Snorkelling or diving here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you can spot the vibrant coral formations and an array of exotic sea creatures. It’s truly an experience I’ll never forget! You can add on a helicopter tour for a birds-eye view of the gorgeous water in this region. It had sold out when I booked last minute, but I’d definitely recommend doing this – my friends said it was amazing and their photos vouch for this!

Uluru, Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock)

Located in the heart of Australia’s Northern Territory, there’s nothing quite so spectacular as Uluru in Kata Tjuta National Park. Set in the heart of the Australian Outback, Uluru is an imposing sandstone monolith that holds immense cultural significance for the indigenous Anangu people. Here, you can appreciate their culture and explore the ancestral lands to see iconic rock formations and diverse species of wildlife.  

Boasting the some of the most beautiful photo opportunities in the country, your breath will truly be taken away. The Kata Tjuta rocks stand at 348 metres and at dusk, the setting sun enhances their russet hues and transforms the National Park into an otherworldly red desert. The changing colours of Uluru during sunrise and sunset are awe-inspiring, and guided tours offer insights into the rock’s cultural, geological, and ecological importance. Without a doubt, it’s one of the must-see attractions in Australia, and somewhere you need to visit while in the country.

 

Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation

Another natural beauty that deserves a spot on your Aussie itinerary is the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland. It’s the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, with its creeping vines and lush canopy growing for over a mega 180 million years. The opportunities for adventure are endless, from crocodile spotting to floating down the river on a raft. The Daintree Rainforest is within easy reach from Cairns, so you can conveniently tie it in with a trip to the Great Barrier Reef to tick off two of the must-see attractions in Australia.

Home to diverse flora and fauna, this UNESCO World Heritage site is where the ancient meets the modern, with lush greenery leading to pristine white sandy beaches at Cape Tribulation. You can feel the healing magic of the spellbinding wildlife at luxury spas, or take a trip to the Mossman Gorge. For a truly authentic experience, you can share in the ancient knowledge of the Kuku Yalanji as you gather your own supper. For those travelling as a family, I recommend taking the little ones to the Daintree Discovery Centre for a fun experience that the kids will love.  

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Is there anything more iconically Australian than a view of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge? I’ll wait. On my first visit to Australia, I was so excited to explore these buildings. Sydney Opera House isn’t just an architectural marvel; it’s a symbol of Australia’s cultural prowess. Nestled against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour, the Opera House’s distinctive sail-like structures form an important feature of the city skyline. I took a tour with my family when I visited, and it was so cool to see the structure up close and see how every detail is so carefully considered when it comes to the acoustics inside. If you can, try and catch a performance inside.

Of course, another of the must-see attractions in Australia is the nearby Sydney Harbour Bridge, which helps to create the iconic skyline that graces postcards worldwide. I recommend taking a harbour cruise for the perfect vantage point. An absolute bucket list tick off for me was climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I climbed at sunset which meant I could experience the city in the daylight and also at sunset. It was an incredible experience, and one I certainly won’t forget in a hurry. I can’t recommend it enough.

The Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles

One of the first things I did on visiting Australia was the Great Ocean Road, and I can confirm it’s 100% one of the must-see attractions in Australia, and worth every bit of hype. Starting in Melbourne, we took a day trip along one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. I absolutely loved it. We made a few stops along the journey to the iconic Twelve Apostles. A quick break for lamingtons and tea at Bells Beach, where each year the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surfing competition takes place, and a pitstop in Lorne for lunch. There are so many beautiful spots en route, I’d love to hire a car next time and go at my leisure.

The highlight of the Great Ocean Road has to be marvelling at the limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles, rising majestically from the Southern Ocean. The rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests along the route make for an unforgettable road trip. It’s something everyone needs to do when visiting Australia for the first time. If I were to do it again, I’d try and visit the Twelve Apostles at sunset for a unique view over this incredible landmark.

Melbourne’s Arts and Laneways

Melbourne is quite possibly my favourite city in Australia. As soon as I landed, I loved the vibe, the architecture, and the impressive skyline. Often said to feel the most European of Australia’s cities, Melbourne is considered the cultural capital, offering a vibrant arts scene and unique laneway experiences. You need to try some of the city’s renowned coffee culture (the cafes are out of this world), and explore Hosier Lane’s ever-changing street art. There’s even a street dedicated to Australia’s very own AC/DC – see if you can find it on your visit.

Other great spots to visit include Federation Square, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the iconic Flinders Street Station with its yellow facade. Of course, you can’t miss a visit to the Crown Casino, either – the largest casino complex in the southern hemisphere. Melbourne’s diverse neighbourhoods and cultural events make it a haven for art enthusiasts.

Kangaroo Island

Just a short ferry ride from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. A must-see attraction in Australian, on the island you can expect to encounter kangaroos, koalas, sea lions, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitat. The island’s rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and unique rock formations add to its charm. As well as boasting some of the most impressive biodiversity in Australia (there’s good reason it’s known as Australia’s ‘Galapagos’), there are plenty of gorgeous landscapes to explore during your visit.

Discover pristine, uncrowded beaches – Stokes Bay and Emu Bay are some of the most popular, and for good reason. Here, you can relax, swim, and enjoy the coastal scenery. The more adventurous among us may enjoy some of the many outdoor activities on Kangaroo Island. Think hiking, quad biking, sand boarding, and kayaking among beautiful scenery. You can’t visit the island without sampling some of the delicious, high-quality local produce. Fresh seafood, local cheeses, honey, and wine are all waiting for you to try.

The Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach

I recently visited the Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach and was absolutely astonished by them. In fact, I think they’re probably one of my favourite destinations on earth to date. Sailing enthusiasts and beach lovers alike will be enchanted by the Whitsunday Islands. Crystal-clear waters and coral reefs create a paradise for snorkelling, sailing, or simply unwinding on the pristine shores. You’ll be hard pressed to find whiter sand and bluer waters elsewhere. A bucket list item I recently ticked off was flying over the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, and I saw spectacular views I’ll never forget.

Whitehaven Beach, a jewel within the Whitsundays, entices visitors with its powdery white silica sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, offering an idyllic setting for relaxation, water activities, and unparalleled natural beauty. As the sand is made up of 99% silica beads, it’s as white as talcum powder and also never gets hot. This means that despite the hot Aussie sun, you can walk across the sand without burning the soles of your feet. Whitehaven Beach is gorgeous, and one of the must-see attractions in Australia for those seeking a slice of paradise in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Australia’s diverse attractions cater to every taste, from nature lovers to urban explorers. Whether you’re captivated by the urban skyline of Sydney or the ancient landscapes of the Outback, Australia invites you to discover a myriad of wonders that will leave an unforgettable mark on your travel memories.

Must-See Attractions in Australia – FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions I receive about the must-see attractions in Australia.

What is the number one tourist attraction in Australia?

It’s thought that Sydney Opera House is the number one tourist attraction in Australia, and one of the most recognisable symbols of the country. It’s considered by many to be one of the wonders of the modern world, despite only having been open since 1973. Other iconic attractions include the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge – all renowned landmarks that are considered must-see attractions in Australia.

Where should I go for my first time in Australia?

For a first-time visit to Australia, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice! If I were you, I’d start with a mix of iconic destinations that showcase the country’s diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique wildlife. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Sydney, New South Wales – explore the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, relax on the world-famous Bondi Beach, and wander through the Royal Botanic Garden.
  • Great Barrier Reef, Queensland – experience the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef through snorkelling and diving via a boat tour. Visit Cairns first as your gateway to the reef.
  • Melbourne, Victoria – discover Melbourne’s cultural scene, including art galleries, theatres, and vibrant street art. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and explore the trendy neighbourhoods like Fitzroy and St Kilda.
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory – witness the awe-inspiring Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta formations, and experience the unique cultural and spiritual significance of this sacred Aboriginal site.
  • The Whitsundays, Queensland – relax on gorgeous Whitehaven Beach and explore the stunning Whitsunday Islands. Enjoy sailing, snorkelling, and water activities in this tropical paradise.
  • Great Ocean Road, Victoria – drive along the scenic Great Ocean Road, famous for the Twelve Apostles and stunning coastal landscapes, and explore charming seaside towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay.
  • Tasmania – discover the natural beauty of Tasmania, including Cradle Mountain, Freycinet National Park, and the historic Port Arthur, and visit the vibrant city of Hobart and the picturesque town of Launceston.
  • Kangaroo Island, South Australia – encounter diverse wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and sea lions, and explore the island’s natural wonders, such as Remarkable Rocks and Seal Bay.
  • Gold Coast, Queensland – enjoy the sun-soaked beaches, theme parks, and vibrant nightlife of the Gold Coast, and explore the lush hinterland for rainforest walks and waterfalls.
  • Daintree Rainforest, Queensland – immerse yourself in the ancient Daintree Rainforest, one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests, and take a river cruise to spot crocodiles and explore Mossman Gorge.

These destinations all offer a mix of urban experiences, natural wonders, and cultural richness, providing a well-rounded introduction to the diverse offerings of Australia. The choice ultimately depends on your preferences and the experiences you’re looking for during your visit.

Which is the most beautiful place in Australia?

Determining the ‘the most beautiful’ place in Australia is subjective. There are, however, several locations in Australia that are widely acclaimed for their stunning landscapes and natural beauty. In my opinion, the most beautiful place in Australia is the Whitsunday Islands with their pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views. It’s probably the most beautiful beach I’ve ever visited. As they’re so close to the Great Barrier Reef, you can also experience the most beautiful turquoise waters and marine life. The area just blew my mind!


That’s my guide to the must-see attractions in Australia! Are there any you’d add to the list? Let me know your favourite Aussie spots in the comments below.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.