Lake McKenzie Fraser Island

Top 20 Breathtaking Places To Explore In Australia

19 mins read

The land from down under is a traveler’s dream. Popular with backpackers and holidaymakers, most visit here to tick off the famous sights and experience the famous laid-back Ozzie lifestyle!

Blessed with an eye-watering amount of uniquely beautiful landscapes, narrowing down to a list isn’t easy, but from my travels to this truly jaw-dropping part of the world, here are my favourite Ozzie gems…

1. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

This is the most famous coral reef in the world, and I think you should visit it if you come to Australia! It’s a system of 3000 reefs and coral cays sprinkled with islands stretched 300km along the Queensland coast.

It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is a huge living thing inhabited by thousands of brightly colored tropical fish. The reef’s marine life includes sea turtles, dolphins, and molluscs.

You can see the Great Barrier Reef from a boat, snorkeling, diving, and a small aeroplane if you’re brave enough. My favorite part was seeing Wally, the playful and curious Giant Maori Wrasse who loves the divers and snorkelers! This is an experience I’ll never forget! 

2. Uluru and the Red Centre, Northern Territory

Red Centre Australia

Another famous sight is a giant red-colored rock with a distinct shape that rises out of the flat desert plains of central Australia near Alice Springs within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This area is called the Red Center, and it is the heart of the country.

The iconic rock is 348 meters high and deeply culturally significant to the Aborigines. To learn more about the meaning of this spiritual sight, you can take a tour with one of the local Aborigines.

I suggest staying for sunset when the rock dramatically changes color as the daylight fades! The sight is incredible! 

3. Sydney Opera House and Harbor, NSW 

Sydney opera house - most beautiful places to visit in Sydney

This is a very beautiful man-made site, and it is where most visitors start and end their journey to Oz. The 240 km-long shoreline of Sydney harbor is lined with parklands and gardens.

The bright blue water with white sailing boats afloat is set off by the background of the esthetically shaped Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. See this tranquil sight from a ferry boat tour or the top of the Sydney Tower.

My Travel Tip: If you are traveling within Australia or even from New Zealand, you know that driving to the airport is often the most convenient method of transportation to start your trip off.

4. Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne - beautiful places in Australia

This incredibly scenic coastal road takes you from Torquay to Warrnambool in Victoria. It passes by many attractions, including the famous Twelve Apostles—a series of limestone formations that jut out of the sea.

Other interestingly shaped rocks, such as the Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, the London Arch, and the Island Archway, are also located here.

See the quaint fishing villages of Port Fairy, Apollo Bay, and Queenscliff, which have Victorian architecture. There are various activities along the way, like wine tasting and sea sports, and I highly recommend trying these out! 

5. Cape Byron and Byron Bay, New South Wales 

Cape Byron - beautiful places to go in Australia

Byron Bay Australia

Cape Byron is a gem located near the (now overly touristy) hippy mecca Byron Bay! It’s the most easterly point on the continent, and the cape, which protrudes into the ocean, is known for its historic lighthouse constructed in 1901.

The cape has rainforest, rough cliffs, and parklands, which can be walked on as you gaze out at the spectacular sea views from Captain Cook Lookout or Wategos Beach.

Seeped in Aboriginal and European history, this isolated point where sea meets land creates heavenly views. The Cape is also a good place to spot migrating whales if you time your visit.

6. Phillip Island, Victoria 

Phillip Island Australia

Phillip Island Penguins

The island is along the southern road near Melbourne. It covers 10,000 hectares, and from its 101 km coastline, Bass Straits is the most beautiful with picture-perfect beaches. The island’s undulating terrain has mangrove flats, wetlands, and bushes.

Perhaps Phillip Island’s beauty comes from the resident fairy penguins who walk from the sea to their burrows at sundown, the fur seals which sun themselves on the island’s rocks, the koalas in the conservation centre, or the countless birds and natural wildlife that inhabits the island.

7. Fraser Island 

Fraser Island ship wreck in Australia

beautiful sunset on Fraser Island

beautiful Fraser Island Australia

Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is stunningly beautiful and culturally significant. The island is almost other-worldly, with long stretches of white sandy beaches, sand cliffs, and vibrantly coloured lakes in shades of blue, brown, and green.

The island also has rainforests and incredible dunes; it is divided from the mainland by wetlands that are vibrantly colored with every shade of green.

The best way to visit is to hire a four-by-four and bring your camping equipment. However, I would say be aware (especially if you have a family) that Dingo roams free on the island.

8. Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Blue Mountains in Australia

Only a couple hours from Sydney, this stunning World Heritage site is one of the untouched rainforests, cliffs, freshwater springs, waterfalls, and undulating forests.

The mountains are populated by small villages, each with its own charm. The peaceful atmosphere above can be felt from the highlands and from within the rainforests while walking along one of the scenic skyways.

You can also get a breathtaking view from the cable car or railway, which travels up and down the mountain slopes.

9. Kakadu National Park, Darwin

Kakadu National Park Australia

Located right at the top of Australia near Darwin the park covers almost 20,000km² through it runs four rivers, there are lowlands, rock cliff formations, expansive floodplains, tidal flats, estuaries, hills, and valleys.

Many birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and insects live in the park, along with the many plants and trees.

The park’s beauty comes from the diversity of landscapes and colorful contrasts, along with the sheer expanse of the natural surroundings.

You can camp out in the park for the full experience, or the less adventurous can stay in nearby hotels or guest houses.

10. Barossa Valley, South Australia

Barossa Valley - most beautiful places to visit in Australia

The Winelands of Australia are situated near Adelaide. The Barossa Valley Way winds through the valley, passing several quaint villages and respected wine-producing vineyards.

The beauty of this area is the deep rich colors of the vineyards set against the colors of the trees, grass, and surrounding mountains. Of course, a little wine-tasting doesn’t hurt either! 

11. Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays

Whitehaven Beach

Whitsundays Australia

If you’d like to spend time on a beautiful white sandy beach along Whitsunday Island, you need to go to Whitehaven Beach.

You’ll need to hop on a seaplane, a boat, or a helicopter to get there, but it’s well worth your time because it is more than four miles of beautiful coastline.

Complete with barbecue and camping sites; the beach has turquoise-colored water that will make you want to dive right in and white silica sand that is perfect for sunbathing or just relaxing. The type of sand there doesn’t retain heat, so you can walk on it all day long and not burn your feet.

12. Broome, Western Australia 

Broome Australia

Broome Australia

Located a little more than 1,000 miles north of Perth in Western Australia, Broome is a lovely town that tourists love visiting, thanks to Cable Beach, Roebuck Bay, and some interesting villagers.

While in Broome, you can swim and sunbathe, attend craft and food markets on Town Beach, and visit a bird sanctuary in Roebuck Bay.

The town is also filled with pearl-farming businesses and the native people, known as the Yawuru people. It is a perfect place to visit because it combines the past with a modern future.

13. Lady Elliot Island, Queensland

Sunset Lady Elliot Island

Reef Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island Australia

Covering roughly 110 acres, Lady Elliot Island consists of a small eco-resort and many coral reefs. The island boasts many things to see, including turtles, whales, a lighthouse, and many birds.

I’m a huge fan of this place and would highly recommend it, especially if you love nature and wish to take time out of your hectic tourist schedule and relax.

You can enjoy a ride in a glass-bottom boat, reef walking, and turtle treks when in season, so you will not run out of things to do there!

14. Four-Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland

Four-Mile Beach Port Douglas

Four-Mile Beach is the most popular beach in Port Douglas. One of the first things you’ll notice about the beach is the lack of buildings and clutter.

You’ll only notice the pristine waters and white sandy beaches.

Since the area is undaunted by modern amenities, it’s a great place to be when you want to unplug and unwind because it offers gentle breezes, cool water, and some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever experienced. It is truly a gem! 

15. Maria Island National Park, Tasmania

Maria Island Australia

Maria Island Australia

Located off the east coast of Tasmania, this national park is accessible with a simple ferry ride. It offers beautiful scenery, amazing marine life, and many Australian animals, such as parrots, gulls, geese, and wombats.

You can even find a few snakes as well, including lowland copperheads and tiger snakes.

There are plenty of places to walk and set up a barbecue, but other than this, it is quite rustic. I would say there aren’t even places to shop here, so you have to rely on your love of nature to help you enjoy the place.

16. Noosa and Noosa National Park, Queensland

Noosa Sea

Noosa sunset

Located in Queensland, this gorgeous national park offers something for everyone, including eucalyptus forests, kauri pines, wildflower areas, and pandanus pines, as well as koalas, possums, robins, cockatoos, and even humpback whales if you know where to look.

It’s the perfect place to be if you love nature and wish to get away from it all, and it even boasts a beach and several walking trails. Parks are perfect places for people to enjoy Mother Nature and become familiar with native animals, and this park will never disappoint.

17. Hyams Beach, New South Wales 

Hyams Beach Australia

This beach is located in New South Wales, a three-hour drive from Sydney. It is a seaside resort with beautiful aqua-colored water, white sand, and a lot of quartz.

It is popular with tourists because of its beauty. Even though only 112 people live in this area, the beach is still a popular site in various ads and commercials used in this part of the country.

While there, you can enjoy bird-watching, whale-watching, snorkeling, and diving, among many other activities.

18. The Kimberley, Western AustraliaThe Kimberley Falls

The Kimberley Australia

The Kimberley is the name for a group of nine regions in Western Australia. Here, you can enjoy beautiful rock art, lots of art and culture, beautiful woodlands, lots of vegetation and forests, and wildlife that includes cuckoos, foxes, tree frogs, fairy wrens, and lots more.

This is also an industrialized area with industries such as construction, agriculture, and mining, so you get the perfect combination of technology and nature to enjoy while you’re there. You can consider it a tourist destination and an educational opportunity.

19. Lake Hillier, Western Australia

Lake Hillier Australia

Lake Hillier Australia

Lake Hillier is a saline lake located off the coast of Western Australia. It is memorable because of its pink-colored sand. A longshore separates the lake from the Southern Ocean, and the lake itself is roughly 2,000 feet long and 820 feet wide.

If you view the lake from the air, you’ll get the best view of it. Don’t expect its beautiful pink color to go away anytime soon because it is permanent.

There are many forms of life near the lake, including the red algae that help produce the pink color. Since 2002, it has been considered a wetland. This means you won’t be able to stay in the area for long; you can only visit and look at it via one of the many daily plane trips there.

20. Hunter Valley, New South Wales 

Hot Air Balloon Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Australia

Also known as the Hunter Region, this valley is located in New South Wales and is one of the largest river valleys on the coast. It is an area known for two things: it has a lot of wineries you can visit, and it supports the coal industry.

There are farms, electricity facilities, and a vital tourist industry. While there, you can enjoy shops, golf courses, country guest houses for the perfect accommodations, and many restaurants.

I think it’s the perfect place to spend a day or a week or go for an incredible hot air balloon ride like I did!

Of course, it’s impossible to list every amazing place, and some of my favourite places include the pristine wilderness of Kangaroo Island, the unspoiled island of Tasmania, and Cape Tribulation—where the lush green rainforest meets white sandy beaches. I also love the incredible Gold Coast Hinterland and, of course, the amazing cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide. Enjoy your incredible Ozzie adventure!

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