The land from down under is a traveler’s dream. Popular with both backpackers and holidaymakers, most visit here to tick off the famous sights as well as experiencing the famous laid back Ozzie lifestyle.
Blessed with an eye-watering amount of uniquely beautiful landscapes, Australia’s top 20 of the most beautiful places to visit are not easy picking, but from my many travels to this truly jaw-dropping part of the world, here are my favorite best and beautiful places to visit in Australia…
1. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland – one of the most iconic and stunning places to explore in Australia
This is the most beautiful coral reef in the world and definitely a must-see when you visit Australia. It’s a system of 3000 reefs and coral cays sprinkled with islands stretched across 300km along the Queensland coast.
It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, a huge living thing inhabited by thousands of brightly colored tropical fish. The reef’s marine life includes sea turtles, dolphins, and mollusks.
You can see the Great Barrier Reef from a boat, snorkeling, diving, and also from a small airplane if you’re brave enough.
2. Uluru and the Red Centre, Northern Territory – one of the world’s most famous natural beauty spots
Another of the famous sights, is a giant red-colored rock with a distinct shape that rises out of the flat desert plains of central Australia near Alice Springs within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This area is called the Red Center of Australia and it is the heart of the country.
The iconic rock is 348 meters high has deep cultural significance to the Aborigine people and you can take a tour with one of the local Aborigines to learn more about the meaning of this spiritual sight.
Make sure you stay for sunset when the rock dramatically changes color as the daylight fades.
3. Sydney Opera House and Harbor, NSW – once of the most famous and photographed places in Australia
This is a very beautiful man-made site in Australia and one where most visitors start and end their journey to Oz. The 240 km long shoreline of Sydney harbor is lined with parklands and gardens.
The bright blue water with white sailing boats afloat is set off by the background of the esthetically shapes Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. See this tranquil sight from a ferry boat tour or from the top of the Sydney Tower.
Travel Tip: If you are traveling within Australia or even from New Zealand, then you know that driving to the airport is often the most convenient method of transportation to start your trip off simply.
4. Great Ocean Road, Victoria – the beautiful famous coastline and one of the best places to visit in Australia
This incredibly scenic coastal road takes you from Torquay to Warrnambool in Victoria passing by many attractions including the famous Twelve Apostles – a series of limestone formations that jut out of the sea.
Also located here are other interestingly shaped rocks like the Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Arch, and Island Archway.
See the villages like the quaint fishing village Port Fairy, Apollo Bay, and Queenscliff with Victorian architecture. There are a range of activities along the way like wine tasting and sea sports.
5. Cape Byron and Byron Bay, New South Wales – a stunning laid back beauty spot with a gorgeous coastline
Located near the hippy mecca Byron Bay, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia, Cape Byron. It’s the most easterly point on the continent and the cape which protrudes into the ocean is known for its historic lighthouse constructed in 1901.
The cape has rainforest, rough cliffs, and parklands which can be walked as you gaze out at the spectacular sea views from Captain Cook Lookout or Wategos Beach.
Seeped in Aboriginal and European history this isolated point where sea meets land creates heavenly views. The Cape is also a good place to spot migrating whales if you time your visit right.
6. Phillip Island, Victoria – a unique and stunning island known for its Penguin Parade!
The island is along Australia’s southern road near Melbourne it covers 10,000 hectares and from its 101 km coastline, Bass Straits is the most beautiful with picture-perfect beaches.
The island’s undulating terrain has mangrove flats, wetlands, and bush.
Perhaps Phillip Island’s beauty comes from the resident fairy penguins who walk from the sea to their burrows at sundown, the fur seals which sun themselves on the island’s rocks, the koalas in the conservation center, or the countless birds and natural wildlife that inhabits the island.
- Also check out our Top 12 Cool And Unusual Hotels In Melbourne
7. Fraser Island – easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia
Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is both stunningly beautiful and culturally significant.
The island is almost other-wordly with long stretches of white sandy beaches, sand cliffs, and vibrantly colored lakes that come in shades of blue, brown, and green.
The island also has rainforests and incredible sand dunes, it is divided from the mainland by wetlands that are vibrantly colored with every shade of green.
The best way to visit is to hire a four-by-four and bring your camping equipment. Although be aware (especially if you have a family) Dingo’s roam free on the island.
8. Blue Mountains, New South Wales – a gorgeous place known for its dramatic scenery
Only a couple of hours from Sydney, this stunning World Heritage site is one of the untouched rainforests, steep cliffs, freshwater springs, waterfalls, and undulating forests.
The mountains are populated by small villages each with its own charm. The peaceful atmosphere above can be felt from the highland mountains and from within the rainforests while walking along one of the scenic skyways.
You can also get a breathtaking view from the cable car or railway which travels up and down the mountain slopes.
9. Kakadu National Park, Darwin – a beautiful World Heritage-listed park
Located right at the top of Australia near Darwin the park covers almost 20,000km² through it runs four rivers, there are lowlands, rock cliff formations, expansive floodplains, tidal flats, estuaries, hills, and valleys.
Many birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and insects live in the park along with the many plants and trees.
The park’s beauty comes from the diversity of landscapes and colorful contrasts along with the sheer expanse of the natural surroundings.
You can camp out in the park to get the full experience or the less adventurous can stay in nearby hotels or guest houses.
10. Barossa Valley, South Australia – a pretty and scenic spot renowned for its wine-producing
The wine lands of Australia are situated near to Adelaide, through the valley winds the Barossa Valley Way passing several quaint villages and respected wine-producing vineyards.
The beauty of this area is the deep rich colors of the vineyards set against the colors of the trees, grass, and surrounding mountains. Of course, a little wine-tasting doesn’t hurt either.
The Barossa Valley was included in Oprah Winfrey’s Ultimate Australian Adventure.
11. Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays, Queensland – one of the world’s most beautiful beaches
If you’d love to spend time on a beautiful white sandy beach along Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is where you need to go.
You’ll need to hop on a seaplane, a boat, or a helicopter to get there, but it’s well worth your time because it is more than four miles of beautiful coastline.
Complete with barbecue and camping sites, the beach has turquoise-colored water that will make you want to dive right in and white silica sand that is perfect for sunbathing or just plain relaxing. The type of sand there doesn’t retain heat, so you can walk on it all day long and not burn your feet.
12. Broome, Western Australia – a laid back and beautiful spot to explore and stay
Located a little more than 1,000 miles north of Perth in Western Australia, Broome is a lovely town that tourists love to visit, thanks to Cable Beach, Roebuck Bay, and some very interesting villagers.
While in Broome, you can swim and sunbathe, attend craft and food markets on Town Beach, and visit a bird sanctuary in Roebuck Bay.
The town is also filled with pearl-farming businesses and the native people, known as the Yawuru people. It is a perfect place to visit because it combines the past with a modern future.
13. Lady Elliot Island, Queensland – a barrier island where the reef meets the shore
Covering roughly 110 acres, Lady Elliot Island consists of a small eco-resort and lots of coral reefs. The island boasts lots of things to see, including turtles, whales, a lighthouse, and tons of birds.
It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia, especially if you love nature and wish to take time out from your hectic tourist schedule and just relax for a while.
You can enjoy a ride in a glass-bottom boat, reef walking, and turtle treks when they’re in season, so you will not run out of things to do there anytime soon.
14. Four-Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland – a popular beauty spot on the backpacker trail
Four-Mile Beach is the most popular beach in Port Douglas. One of the first things you’ll notice about the beach is the lack of buildings and clutter. In fact, the only thing you’ll notice is the pristine waters and white sandy beaches.
Since the area is undaunted by modern amenities, it’s a great place to be when what you want is to unplug and unwind, because it offers gentle breezes, cool water, and some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever experienced. It is truly a gem.
15. Maria Island National Park, Tasmania – most of the most unique and stunning places to visit in the country
Located off the east coast of Tasmania, this national park is accessible with a simple ferry ride and offers beautiful scenery, amazing marine life, and tons of amazing Australian animals such as parrots, gulls, geese, and wombats, among others.
You can even find a few snakes as well, including lowland copperheads and tiger snakes.
There are plenty of places to walk and set up a barbecue, but other than this, it is quite rustic. In fact, there aren’t even places to shop here, so you have to rely on your love of nature to help you enjoy the place.
16. Noosa and Noosa National Park, Queensland – one of the top beach vacations spots in Australia
Located in Queensland, this gorgeous national park offers something for everyone, including eucalyptus forests, kauri pines, wildflower areas, and pandanus pines, as well as koalas, possums, robins, cockatoos, and even humpback whales if you know where to look.
It’s the perfect place to be if you love nature and wish to get away from it all, and it even boasts a beach and several walking trails. Parks are perfect places for people to enjoy Mother Nature and become familiar with native animals, and this park will never disappoint.
17. Hyams Beach, New South Wales – one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia
This beach is located in New South Wales and is a three-hour drive from Sydney. It is a seaside resort with beautiful aqua-colored water and white sand that consists of a lot of quartz.
It is popular with tourists because of its beauty, and even though only 112 people live in this area, the beach is still a popular site in various ads and commercials used in this part of the country.
While you’re there, you can enjoy bird-watching, whale-watching, snorkeling, and diving, among many other activities.
18. The Kimberley, Western Australia – one of the most stunning spots to explore in Australia
The Kimberley is the name for a group of nine regions in Western Australia, and here you can enjoy beautiful rock art, lots of art and culture, beautiful woodlands, lots of vegetation and forests, and wildlife that includes cuckoos, foxes, tree frogs, fairy-wrens, and lots more.
This is also an industrialized area that enjoys industries such as construction, agriculture, and mining, so you get the perfect combination of technology and nature to enjoy while you’re there.
You can consider it a touristy and an educational opportunity all at the same time.
19. Lake Hillier, Western Australia – one of the prettiest and most unique places to visit in Australia
Lake Hillier is a saline lake located off the coast of Western Australia, and it is memorable because of its pink-colored sand. There is a long shore that separates the lake from the Southern Ocean, and the lake itself is roughly 2,000 feet long and 820 feet wide.
If you view the lake from the air, you’ll get the best view of it, and don’t expect its beautiful pink color to go away anytime soon because it is permanent.
There are many forms of life near the lake, including the red algae that helps produce the pink color, and since 2002, it has been considered a wetland. This means you won’t be able to stay in the area for long, only visit and look at it via one of the many daily plane trips there.
20. Hunter Valley, New South Wales – a stunning and scenic valley filled with vineyards
Also known as the Hunter Region, this valley is located in New South Wales and is one of the largest river valleys on the coast. It is an area known for two things, it has a lot of wineries you can visit, and it supports the coal industry.
There are also horse-breeding farms, facilities that generate electricity, and a vital tourist industry. While you’re there, you can enjoy shops, golf courses, country guest houses for the perfect accommodations, and lots of restaurants.
It is a perfect place to spend a day or a week or go for an incredible hot air balloon ride!
Of course, it’s impossible to list every beautiful place to visit in Australia and some other of my favourite places include the pristine wilderness which is Kangaroo island, the unspoiled island of Tasmania and Cape Tribulation – where the lush green rainforest meets white sandy beaches, the incredible Gold Coast Hinterland, and of course the amazing cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. Enjoy your adventure!
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Scott Balaam – writer and photographer
Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Australia, Ireland, UK and the USA but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting thirst for culture, good food and great football. In his spare time Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, the rest of Italy, Amsterdam, USA, Athens, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Find Scott on Linkedin, Instagram, or Twitter.
Hotel Reviewing Experience –Asked by many tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Visit Sweden, OET (Spanish Tourism Office), Sultanate of Oman and Travel Alberta. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos. Also mentioned as a top UK travel journalist.