Australia, once you have been to this magnificent country you will not want to leave. It has it all. From shiny white beaches, rough outback terrain, hustling and bustling cities and never-ending breathtaking national parks.
This incredible country, however, is a whole lot bigger then most people think, and there is no way you can see everything in one trip. I have been here for 8 years and I haven’t seen everything yet (not even close). So I thought I would compile a list of some of the must-see cities, attraction, national parks and much more….
Be prepared to have your mind blown by spell-binding pictures.
GREAT BARRIER REEF | GO SNORKELING
This UNESCO World Heritage Site lies off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia and is the largest living thing on Earth. It is even visible from outer space.
This amazing ecosystem is over 2,300 kilometers long and comprises off thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral.
It’s also home to countless species of colorful fish, mollusks, and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins, and sharks.
The Whitsundays comprises of 74 islands in the northeast coast of Queensland. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails, and sensational white sand beaches. The town of Airlie Beach on the mainland is the region’s central hub to visit the islands.
The winter months of June, July, and August offer visitors comfortable temperatures, but the water can be chilly. September (early spring) is the ideal time of year to visit the islands.
Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, and is a destination that should not be missed when visiting Australia. Just a short scoot over Bass Straight and you’re in a magical land that’s so naturally beautiful it takes your breath away. This stunning island has some of the most amazing landscapes, food, and beaches that you will ever see in your life! Much to my surprise, it is full of a lot of lush bush area and mountains, incredible blue beaches and lots of funky, hip little shops!
Hobart in Tasmania is a hidden little gem that I fell in love with during one of my city trips. The city has the charm of an old harbour town, with lots of historic buildings, a cute harbour and lots of pretty views. There’s mountains, forests, national parks and rustic oceans for days. In my opinion, this makes Hobart the perfect place to relax from city life or just a great place for a mini getaway.
EXMOUTH | SNORKELLING WITH WHALE SHARKS
This has been a dream of mine for years and is super high on my to-do list. To go swimming with Whale Sharks.
The Whale Shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 meters. Because they are slow-moving and its diet consist of mostly plankton it is safe for people to swim with them without too much danger.
The only time you can go is between March and September. So if this is on your wish list as well make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
THE KIMBERLEY | ENJOY AUSTRALIA’S FAST AND UNIQUE NATURE
The Kimberley is a vast yet unknown corner of Western Australia, this area is so fast that it is larger than 75% of the world’s countries!
This isolated corner of Australia is home to rugged gorges, vast desert, and amazing waterfalls.
Many visitors choose to travel to the Kimberley Region between the months of June and August, as they find the local weather most comfortable during this time of the year. The summer period tends to be too hot for this part of the country.
Sydney is one of Australia’s largest cities and it is best known for its harbourfront Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. The city is also home to some of the finest and most famous beaches in the world. (Think Bondi beach and Manly beach) There are well over 100 beaches in the city, ranging in size from a few feet to several kilometers, located along the city’s Pacific Ocean coastline and its harbors, bays, and rivers.
Are you planning to travel to Sydney for the first time, but you are just unsure what to do? Then check out this cool bucket list written by two Sydney Siders. Some cool hidden beaches to the harbor bridge walk and feeding a kangaroo, all is given in this bucket list.
WITNESS AURORA AUSTRALIS
A similar phenomenon to the Northern lights, the Aurora Australis is a natural light phenomena native to Australia is a shimmering, shifting light show. It’s caused by electrically charged protons being diverted harmlessly by Earth’s magnetic field.
Although auroras happen all year round, the best time to see them in Tassie is during the winter months (March to September). The widest part of the aurora is when the sun is on the opposite side of the Earth to where you are, so around midnight is best.
Melbourne is Sydney’s smaller cousin but has a completely different vibe.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s center are the modern Federation Square development, the Yarra River and many art centers, cool cafes and unique graffiti.
The city was named the world’s most livable city by the Economist Group, publishers of “The Economist” magazine in 2017.
Melbourne is sophisticated, gritty and cold (A lot of the time) and it is a must-visit when traveling to Australia. From its iconic laneways to luna park to the Great Ocean road!
DRIVE THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, The Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It takes you from Torquay and travels 244 kilometers westward to finish at Allansford.
See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife (kangaroos, Koalas, lorikeets Dolfines), and take in iconic surf breaks, lush rainforests, and spectacular waterfalls as you go. This is one a must see when visiting Australia.
Airlie Beach, an Australian resort town on Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast, and is a gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
The resort town itself is, however, a lovely place for a quick getaway, from the hustle and bustle of city living and to stay for those seeking a relaxing holiday away. The town center has an abundance of restaurants catering to every budget, boutique shops with stylish clothing and jewelry and plenty of souvenir shopping opportunities. The small resort town is definitely worth exploring and spending a few days there to unwind.
Australia’s main capital Canberra is not as famous or touristy as Sydney and Melbourne (or quite a lot of other places in the country) It, however, has a lot to offer and should not be missed during a trip to Australia. From the parliament building to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra has a lot of important sights to see. So as the famous saying goes – do yourself a favor and visit Canberra.
Perth, in Western Australia, is known to be a fairly sleepy and uninteresting city. The CBD is not the most hustling and bustling town center you will visit, but the surroundings around the city are some of the most breathtaking you will ever encounter. From the Pinnacles to White sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see or explore Rottnest with those adorable smiling Quokka’s.
Perth is also the gateway to Rotness Island.
Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, is one of the most amazing islands I have ever been too in my life! With it’s raw and rough beauty and home to unique animals that only live on this island, a day trip(at least) is an absolute must for visiting this part of the world.
It has been one of the most popular ‘holiday at home’ destinations for Western Australians. With its many charms and attractions, this island attracts a whole variety of people and therefore it is immensely popular.
Whether you stay for one day or five, Rottnest will enchant, inspire and recharge your batteries for weeks to come. And when you are on that ferry on your way home, you will have wished you booked some more nights on this spectacular island.
This island gets its name for a reason, it is brimming with native animals like Kangaroos, Seals, Echidnas and much more.
SNUGGLE A KOALA
One of the best parts of visiting Australia is the chance to snuggle up with some of the unique – and incredibly adorable – wildlife. It is not possible to do this everywhere, underneath is a quick list of some of the places you can hold a Koala.
You can only cuddle a koala in three states: Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.
- The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to more than 130 koalas, and you can hold one at any time from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Steve’s Irwin’s Australia zoo also has cuddle times with koala’s. Pretty ironic to be holding Steve’s animals I think!
- On Kangaroo Island go to head to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, to snuggle up.
- In Western Australia go to Cohunu Koala Park near Perth.
There are many, many places to hand-feed kangaroos around Australia. Just make sure you do your research first.
The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. It is easily accessible by car or train (About 2 hours from Sydney CBD) Known for its sensational scenery, it encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and quaint villages.
The Blue Mountains are densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. These give off a blue haze, making the mountains look blue.
A popular holiday destination, known for its beaches, surfing, and scuba diving sites attracting over 1.5 million visitors each year.
Home to 9 outstanding surfing beaches and if you are lucky, Thor ‘the god of thunder’ is home and catching a wave.
RED CENTER / ULURU (CENTRAL AUSTRALIA)
Central Australia is a relentless outback region in the Northern Territory. Also known as the Red Centre, its vast terrain consists of dusty red desert, mountain ranges and canyon gorges home, to Cockatoos and Kangaroos.
The red center is known for Uluru (Ayers Rock), a massive rock monolith and sacred Aboriginal site. Close by is Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas, a group of 36 ochre rock domes.
PENGUIN PARADE | PHILLIP ISLAND
Every day at sunset, visitors from around the world gather at Summerland Beach to see hundreds of little penguins return to their burrows after a day’s fishing. The island is home to more than 30,000 of the world’s smallest penguin species. They are the cutes little things you will ever see! It is not allowed to take pictures since it can scare the penguins (or hurt their eyes, one of the two)
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH NATIONAL PARK
For the most Australian photo you will ever take. Roos on the beach during sunrise. It simply does’t get any better then this. This ruggedly scenic national park includes rainforest, eucalypt forest, beaches, rocky headlands covered in hoop pines, and volcanic rock formations.
Located approximately 50 kilometres north of Mackay in Queensland.
HERVEY BAY | WHALE WATCHING PARADISE
Hervey Bay in Queensland is known as a whale-watching paradise. Due to its unique location, whales can be found here for months on end. They deliver their calves there and spend a couple of weeks in the waters before they swim further.
Language | Australia’s official language is English.
Time Zone | Australia has several diffence timezones.
Norfolk Island Time | Kingston (GMT+11)
Australian Central Standard Time | Adelaide (GMT+9:30)
Australian Western Standard Time | Perth (GMT+8)
Christmas Island Time | Christmas Island (GMT+7)
Tipping | Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters 10 percent of the bill for good service.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Australia all depends on where you’re going and what you want to do.
One of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions is the Great Barrier Reef. The best time to visit the Reef is from June to October. This peak season offers some key advantages for travelers. Temperatures hover between 15 and 25 degrees, and rainfall is uncommon, which means clearer waters and better diving conditions
If you’re after picture-perfect days in Sydney without getting trampled, then plan your trip in October, November, late February and March. These months generally offer sunny weather, while avoiding the heat of mid-summer and school holiday crowds.
If you want to go to the hearth of Australia (the red Centre) then the best time to visit is in Autumn or Spring. With warm days and cool nights, it is the most pleasing time to wander around Uluru.
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