As an enormous country, Australia has its fair of thrilling attractions and natural wonders, scattered across its states. From the vibrant cities and national parks to the spectacular beaches, you have a complete package for your next perfect holiday. I have chosen ten of my favourites that make Australia one of the most popular holiday destinations and must be on your bucket list. I hope that my choices encourage you to pack your bags and throw yourself to the unknown. Shall we start?
1. The Great Barrier Reef
Get ready for a mind-blowing underwater experience at the largest coral reef system on earth. Known as “Icon of Queensland,” the Great Barrier Reef is one of the top tourist attractions in Australia. Being home to thousands of coral reefs and different species of fish and sea molluscs, the place is heaven for scuba divers and underwater lovers. Extending for 2,3000 kilometres, it is the largest structure, built from billions of tiny living organisms. Did you know that it is among the world’s Seven Natural Wonders that can be spotted from the outer space?
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park houses more than 3,000 coral reefs and hundreds of islands and cays. Swimming with dolphins, sharks, turtles, and stingrays? – Are you kidding? I am totally in. It has been my dream as a kid since I have watched “Finding Nemo.” And, if you are not into diving or snorkelling, you can enjoy the magnificent marine life from glass boats and underwater stations.
2. The UNESCO Site of Blue Mountains National Park
A day-trip to the popular Blue Mountains national park sounds like a good idea, excited?
The Blue Mountains are about 50 million years old, housing different bird, reptile, mammal, and frog species. Inside the park, there are four major rivers, dense forests, many eucalyptus trees, and waterfalls. If you want to reach the highest point of the park, let’s head to Mount Werong, which is 1,215 metres above sea level. The highlight of the park is the “Three Sisters,” which is the 900 meters sandstone rock, guarding the Jamison Valley. So, why blue? – Due to the blue haze that emerges from the eucalyptus trees over there.
As we are here, I am going to let you soak up the amazing panoramic view of the entire place. But not for so long! The park offers many activities from hiking, abseiling, and rock climbing to mountain biking and canyoning. I can feel a little adrenaline rush running through my veins already. If you are not up for an adventure, you can still enjoy the trip through the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest railway. Want something a little bit more adventurous? – I get you. Fly over the cliffs and forests through the glass-floor cablecar, the Scenic Skyway.
3. St. Mary’s Cathedral
St. Mary’s Cathedral is the most famous historic landmark in Sydney, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The English style and distinctive architecture of the Cathedral have influenced many artists over the years. Designed to be “Beautiful and grand,” St. Mary’s Construction is distinguished for its honey-coloured sandstone and decorative, red-cedar ceilings. On moving inside, you can see the Cathedral’s stained glass, showing different themes and mysteries.
The yellow light contrasts with the blue stained-glass windows, depicting the birth and childhood of Jesus. The great thing is that the cathedral is open to everyone, not only Catholics, to witness its lavish style and spiritual vibes.
4. Sydney Opera House
The unique structure of the Sydney Opera House makes it one of the most famous landmarks and tourists attraction in Australia. The artistic touch of the architect, Jorn Utzon, resulted in an architecture marvel recognized all over the world. Its mesmerizing appearance, along with its location on Sydney Harbor, is the absolute picture-perfect scenery you will ever see. As a UNESCO Heritage Site, the Opera House stands proudly, representing the country’s image.
You can have a nice Australian dinner in one of its restaurants, or have a tour of the building, passing by the theatres and concert halls. A picnic in the surrounding Botanical Gardens as you take in the view of the place is magical. And while you are in the area, ascend the Sydney Harbor Bridge and enjoy a spectacular view of the whole city.
5. Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is one of the greatest wilderness areas on earth, covering an area of more than 19,840 square metres. It is home to different species of mammals, reptiles, and fish, birds, and plants. You can explore the park by car, boat, or on foot. You can also use the hiking trails if you are interested. The park has a significant ecosystem from the massive rainforests, rivers, and waterfalls to the gorges and swamps. It also has a high population of freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, so you need to take care.
Kakadu national park tours Ubirr by Territory Expeditions:Flickr [link]
This is impressive; however, the park’s popularity isn’t bound to its incredible ecosystem only. The Kakadu area was inhabited by the Aboriginal people for 4000 years, leaving evidence of the ancient aboriginal culture. Numerous sites have inscriptions of the aboriginal life, raising its cultural importance globally, such as the 2000-year-old Ubirr rock.
Freshwater Crocodile, Kakadu National Park, Australia by Travolution360:Flickr [link]
6. The Stunning Whitsunday Islands
What is the first thing that pops into your head when you’re stressed or exhausted? – A nice beach holiday. The correct answer, nothing is more satisfying than sinking your toes in the sand with a tropical juice in your hand. So, a vacation in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef? – Sounds perfect!
The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of 74 islands, lying in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Tourists travel from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful beaches and rainbow-coloured fish. You can also enjoy hours of snorkelling, scuba diving, and many other activities.
Most of the islands are deserted, but four of them offer outstanding resort accommodation, including the “Hayman and Daydream Islands.” Also, you don’t you want to miss the most beautiful beach on the planet, Whitehaven Beach. Its sand is so white that you think the entire island is fictional. The island is uninhabited, but you can easily access the beach through a seaplane, helicopter, or boat.
7. The Sacred Site of Uluru
The Uluru, meaning the “shadowy place,” has stirred the interest of enthusiastic tourists due to its aboriginal culture significance. Known as the “spiritual heart of Australia,” the iconic red monolith is one of Australia’s top tourist attractions. The large sandstone stands in the centre of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, rising for about 863 metres tall. The area around the sacred site is full of ancient paintings inscribed on rocks, depicting the aboriginal daily life.
Perhaps the best time to visit this place is at sunrise or sunset when the rock changes its colour to violet, red, and blue beneath the soft sunlight. The park is also famous for the red dome rocks called Kata Tjuta.
8. The Great Ocean Road of Melbourne City
Drive through the Great Ocean Road and you will be stunned by the most beautiful beaches in Australia, including bells beach and Fairhaven. The beaches over there are famous for the surf competitions, swimming, and scuba diving. The place’s top attraction is the gigantic rock formations, known as the Twelve Apostles, standing 45 metres above the Southern Ocean. The limestone pillars can be identified in Port Campbell National Park. The spectacular drive route is a worthy addition to any travel trip to Australia, whether you preferred to stay at the beaches or enjoy the cliffs.
You can also delve into the popular town of Lorne and Otway National park and have a tour between the waterfalls and dense eucalyptus forests. There are various hiking trails for you to follow. One last thing, I must warn you, there are some spots along the Great Ocean Road where you can come face-to-face with kangaroos, koalas, fur seals, and even foxes. Come on, don’t be such a coward. Our adventures are endless and there is no room for light-hearted people.
9. The World Heritage Daintree National Park
You have been relaxing at the beach for a long time. What? I am the guide! You can’t fire me. It’s time for an exploration tour in the oldest tropical forest in the world.
The Daintree National Park of Queensland is one of the top attractions in Australia, having the richest prehistoric ecosystem on earth. Guarded as “one of the finest examples of Mother Nature,” the 110 million-year-old rainforest covers an area of 1,200 squared kilometres. It is home to numerous, rare plant, insect, and animal species, including 18,000 different plants and 430 bird species. As you wander, you can spot the wildlife from forest dragons, crocodiles, and water dragons to tree snakes and pythons.
Daintree rainforest. View to coast near Cape Tribulation by denisbin:Flickr [link]
Enjoy the uninterrupted scene of the clear water hitting the granite rocks at the Mossman Gorge. Besides, you get to see how the rainforest perfectly meets the white-sand beach at the Cape Tribulation.
10. Fraser Island
Get ready for a four-by-four wheel driving adventure to the largest sand island on earth, Fraser Island. It takes only a short ferry trip from Hervey Bay to be in front of one of Australia’s wonders. You get to witness the massive rainforest, coloured sand cliffs, and over 100 freshwater lakes, all connected to the astonishing island. Additionally, the wonderful sea has a rich diversity of marine life, including dolphins, sharks, and whales. What exactly can be done there? – Enjoy paradise swimming at Lake Wabby or diving at Lake Mckenzie.
Bring your camera out to the Indian Head and start shooting your way to the perfect pictures in the sunlight. Camp at Lake Boomanjin put on your sunglasses and revitalize by the turquoise crystal water.
Australia really holds rich historical legacy and unusual destinations within its territories. As a tourist, you have endless options to have a memorable time on your vacation. Too many things to do and you’re overwhelmed already? – Surprisingly, I’ve already skipped some activities like skydiving in the city of Melbourne, skiing in the Snowy Mountains region, or trying different food the China town.