Despite being the world’s smallest continent, Australia offers awe-inspiring vacation spots. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, you’re sure to see many iconic landmarks the country has to offer.
When planning your vacation, you have the choice of picking which spot to go to and what sites to see. If you have the time, consider driving around Australia in a campervan for a year or so, or if you can’t, you can still gradually check off this list of tourist spots in Australia that you can’t miss.
1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s seven wonders and Australia’s most popular tourist attraction.
A diver’s dream, the reef stretches 3000 km across Queensland’s coast. So whether you’re a casual snorkeller, a first-time underwater newbie, or an avid scuba diver, there sure is something everyone can try.
You can try taking a helicopter tour overhead impressive waters, booking a liveaboard dive boat vacation to see the reef’s most remote dive sites, or diving with a helmet.
2. Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest, located in Queensland, is one of the continent’s natural wonders. It covers 1200 square km at 180 million years old, and tourists can even take a Dreamtime walk accompanied by an Indigenous guide from the Kuku Yalanji Tribe. You can also relax during your stay at the Silky Oak Lodge or paddleboard on the Mossman River.
3. Fraser Island
The 75-mile long beach with dunes, shipwrecks, tidal pools, and dingos is one of the longest beaches in the world. You can rent a four-wheel-drive truck in Noosa and begin one of the wildest rides you’ll ever have.
There is also an airport right on the Island’s shores, and the beach also offers resorts and hotels you can book.
4. Twelve Apostles
The Great Ocean Road is one of Melbourne’s most famous day trips. A drive to the coats gets you to the remarkable Twelve Apostles.
This rugged coast is one of the most awe-inspiring iconic spots in Australia, but to make the experience worthwhile, you should do the Great Ocean Walk, which guides you along the coastal route that you’ll unlikely see from a car. If you can, consider taking a helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles to catch its full beauty.
5. Kangaroo Island
Off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is an excellent place to spend a few days touring. It’s an epic wildlife haven for Koalas, Seals, Pelicans, and, as stated in its name, Kangaroos. There’s also a Birds of Prey rehabilitation center where you can see a show and learn about the indigenous birds of the continent.
The landscape is gorgeous on the Island, and the Remarkables—granite boulders sculpted into unique formations for more than 500 million years— is a must-see at sunset. Kangaroo Island also houses what many considered Australia’s best beach.
6. Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most iconic landmark, and seeing it overlooking the Sydney Skyline doesn’t disappoint. The arts center opened in 1973 and has since become the top tourist attraction in the continent.
7. Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains, located merely 50km (32 miles) from Sydney, are another popular attraction that pulls many visitors. The Three Sisters are the Blue Mountains’ most iconic view. The Echo Point lookout offers tourists a breathtaking view of the three sisters looking over the Jamison Valley.
8. The Outback: South, West, North, and East Australia
The Outback includes a massive expanse of Australia, reaching nearly every one of its states. When visiting the continent, you can’t miss a journey to the Outback. Try taking a multi-day trip in South Australia and have the chance to see all the wonders of the Australian Outback.
From red sands and rock formations to salt lakes, you’re sure to enjoy the experience. And while it’s arid, people settle on the Outback, and some homesteaders raise sheep among emus and kangaroos.
Positioned off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsundays are a group of 75 islands. Try spending a bit of your time here when you’re off to visit the Great Barrier Reef, as these islands are right at its heart. The pearly white sandy beaches whirl effortlessly with the sea-green water.
The Whitsundays also offer snorkeling, sailing, and luxury resorts tourists can book. Whitehaven Beach, the most popular and most extensive of all the islands, is also a must-stop.
10. Cable Beach
You may have seen those photos of camels at sunset walking in a silhouette but don’t know where it was; well, Cable Beach is where you can find it. It may not be the country’s longest beach, but with a 22km length, it’s not something you should overlook.
Many tour companies offer camel rides by the beach during sunset. From India, camels arrived in Australia in the 1800s to carry gear overland. The harsh landscape of the country proved to be a better setting for camels than horses and helped shape the continent’s history.