Australia is a country that sits on the continent of Oceania and has a population of 24 million people. It’s made up of six states – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia – as well as two self-governing territories: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory. Its neighbors include Papua New Guinea to the north and Indonesia to the northwest. The country has such an incredible diversity in its landscapes and climates that it really does offer so much for travelers to see and experience. Here are our picks for what we consider to be some truly spectacular locations in this beautiful land!
1. Great Barrier Reef – No visit to Australia would be complete without spending time exploring the Great Barrier Reef. This World Heritage Site is the largest living structure on Earth and its sheer size makes it an unmissable sight. There are countless ways to see this natural wonder: you can snorkel or scuba dive, take a glass-bottom boat tour or even just go for a swim! It’s home to huge numbers of exotic marine species which are fun to spot, so bring your underwater camera and don’t forget your sunscreen!
2. Uluru – Also known as Ayers Rock, this famous monolith definitely deserves a place on any list of breathtaking locations in Australia. The “sandstone butte” has become one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks over recent years thanks to a marketing campaign by its owners, the Anangu Aboriginal people. The rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and can be explored on foot, though it’s best visited at sunset or sunrise for that iconic photo opportunity.
3. Sydney Opera House – Another famous Aussie landmark that you should definitely include on your bucket list is the Sydney Opera House. This unique building was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon back in 1957 and has become a firm favorite with tourists worldwide since being completed in 1973. It seats over 3,000 people and hosts hundreds of performances such as ballet, opera and even theatre every year. If you’re planning to visit the city, then experiencing an evening show here is an absolute must!
4. Great Ocean Road – This 243 kilometer road runs along the southern coast of Australia and offers up some of the most scenic views that you’ll find anywhere on the continent. It was built by returned World War I soldiers as a memorial to their fallen comrades, but it’s now one of the country’s top tourist attractions with around 5 million people visiting it every year. You can walk part or all of its length, cycle along it or take a guided tour to really get your heart pumping! If you’re looking for breathtaking locations in Australia then this road should be top of your list.
5. Purnululu National Park – This national park is situated in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and is home to what are known as the “Bungle Bungles,” a series of massive orange and black striped beehive-shaped domes. This unique formation was formed over millions of years by water erosion and today it’s possible to explore them on foot or even in a helicopter!
6. The Twelve Apostles – Situated off the coast near the town of Port Campbell in Victoria, these limestone stacks have become recognized as one of Australia’s greatest natural landmarks. They were first carved out by waves and wind many thousands of years ago but only eight remain standing today after some collapsed into the sea due to erosion. However, that hasn’t stopped visitors flocking here to witness this stunning sight for themselves!
7. Daintree Rainforest – Covering over 1,200 square kilometers and situated in Queensland, this is the largest continuous area of rainforest on the Australian continent. It’s believed to be around 100 million years old and it was even included as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites back in 1988. Today it’s possible to explore its depths either by foot, horseback or helicopter!
8. Kakadu National Park – This huge park is located in the Northern Territory and covers an area of just under 20,000 square kilometers, making it more than twice the size of Israel! It’s home to a large number of different species such as wombats, kangaroos, dingoes and several different types of birds, but the main attraction for tourists is definitely its ancient Aboriginal rock art.