Planning a trip to Australia? You’ll be spoiled for choice when planning your itinerary – so here are some of the best places to visit in Australia.
Australia is high on my travel wish list. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a wish to go there for a month or even longer and travel around, taking in all the sights and sounds of the country.
You can fly to Australia from several UK airports, and although the cost of flights is much more reasonable these days, it’s still a very long journey. So if you’re thinking of taking a trip to Australia, you’ll probably definitely want to make the most of your time there.
And whether you choose to travel around the country by plane, or pick up a campervan from Gumtree for a road trip, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning your itinerary.
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Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney is probably high on the list for most people visiting Australia. The harbour is instantly recogisable, with its iconic sail-shaped Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
There’s plenty of things to do in Sydney, from walking across the Harbour bridge, and visiting the Botanical Gardens to exploring the Rocks District.
And don’t forget to visit Bondi Beach, or take in the coastal walk to Coogee Beach.
Melbourne turns up regularly in lists of the top cities to live in. And that’s no surprise, because there’s a lot going on in the state capital of Victoria.
It’s fantastic for foodies, with a vibrant cafe culture and plenty of restaurants to try out. Arts lovers will love the Arts Centre Melbourne, and there are plenty of markets and bazaars to check out.
And sports fans will know Melbourne as the home of the Australian Open, the Grand Prix and of course Aussie Rules Football.
Admittedly, the weather in Melbourne can be temperamental, and the summer heat can be brutal. But it’s worth putting up with it for everything that the city has to offer.
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Uluru, Northern Territory
Uluru is known as the ‘spiritual heart of Australia’ and is surely one of the most iconic sights of the country.
It’s undoubtedly on most people’s bucket lists, and is definitely somewhere you need to see for yourself. Take your time to soak in everything about the experience.
Visiting at sunset will allow you to see Uluru in the glowing red that you’ve probably seen in photos. Sunrise is also a good time to visit Uluru and Kata Tjuta nearby.
You can walk around the base of the rock, or take a helicopter flight over the top of it for a different view. But do respect the wishes of the local indigenous people, for whom the area is a sacred site, by not climbing the rock and only photographing it from the signposted locations.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Another must-see place in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Over 2000km long, this is the world’s largest coral reef and the largest living structure on Earth. It can even been seen from space!
Most people will travel to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, which is the unofficial gateway to the area. There are many towns and bays to visit along the reef, including Whitsunday Bay which is pictured above.
Whether you take a glass bottomed boat tour along the reef or go diving to see the Great Barrier Reef up close, it is an amazing sight to behold.
Gold Coast, Queensland
If you want to mix a little R ‘n R into your trip to Australia, then you should definitely fit in a visit to the Gold Coast in Queensland.
It has beautiful coastal scenery and some of the best beaches in Australia. Locations to consider are Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and of course Surfers Paradise.
But the area isn’t just great for those who want to be by the sea. Further inland, the area is also home to Lamington National Park and Tambourine Mountain.
Karijini National Park, Western Australia
If hiking is more your thing, then head to Karijini National Park for some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia.
There are a range of hiking trails from easy to challenging, which will take you into ancient gorges and climbing up some of the Earth’s oldest rocks.
You’ll be able to cool off in crystal clear lakes and underneath cascading waterfalls. And there are even eco-retreats for those who don’t fancy camping out under the outback sky.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
And for foodies, a short drive from Adelaide will take you into Barossa Valley. The Mediterranean climate of this area has made it perfect for grape-growing, which in turn makes it perfect for wind producing.
Barossa is home to well known labels such as Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass and Penfold’s. And many of the wineries in the area will offer tours and cellar door tastings.
You could join a chauffeured wine tour or organise your own tour. But whichever you choose, do remember that a designated driver will be needed!
And the scenery in the area is stunning, so make time to do the Barossa Scenic Heritage Drive to take it all in.
Don’t forget to include a trip to Tasmania on your visit to Australia. The state capital Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city, and is easy to get around on foot.
Visit Salamanca Place for galleries and cafes located in old sandstone warehouses and its Saturday market. Or head to the historic district of Battery Point to see its narrow lanes and colonial era cottages. The MONA museum (Museum of Old and New Art) is another must-see.
The city is overlooked by Mount Wellington, which offers hiking and cycling trails as well as the stunning views you can see in the picture above.
These are just some of the top places to visit in Australia, but there are many many more that I haven’t included in this list. However you choose to travel around the country, you’re going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to destinations.