10 Places You Must Visit In Australia

Last Updated on March 1, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island

Australia is a beautiful country famous for its stunning landscapes, natural wildlife and laidback lifestyle, so it’s no wonder a lot of overseas tourists and locals choose to take their holidays downunder every year.

If you’re lucky enough to be taking a vacation in the coming weeks, months and years, here are ten places to visit in Australia that you won’t want to miss.

1. Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island, located off the coast of New South Wales, showcases Australia’s natural beauty, from pristine waters and white sandy beaches to lush rainforests and magnificent mountains. Once on Lord Howe Island, check in to a quality accommodation provider such as and enjoy five-star facilities while you explore this unspoiled paradise!  Click HERE to see what Lord Howe Island has to offer!

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Opera House

2. Sydney

While Sydney is not the capital of Australia, it is often the first place in Australia that overseas tourists flock to, and is popular with Aussie locals too. See the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, visit Taronga Park Zoo, swim at Bondi Beach, have a drink at the Sydney Opera House and explore the city’s many restaurants, cafés, museums and galleries. You could spend a week in Sydney and still not see everything there is to offer.  So click HERE to get started on your Sydney adventure!

Four Mile Beach from Flagstaff Hill Lookout, Port Douglas, Queensland
Four Mile Beach from Flagstaff Hill Lookout, Port Douglas, Queensland

3. Cairns

The tropical far north Queensland coast is perhaps one of the most picturesque locations in Australia, with beautiful white sandy beaches, offshore islands and the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Start your visit by exploring Cairns then make your way north to Port Douglas and up the coast to Cooktown and Cape York.  Here’s how to spend 7 days in Cairns!

4. Tasmania

Tasmania is often forgotten because it is the only state or territory not connected to the mainland. Despite the effort that is required to get there, Tasmania is a brilliant part of Australia that must be explored if you like unspoiled natural attractions and wilderness, intriguing history, world class cultural attractions – and especially if you are keen to devour some of the best local produce in Australia.  Sound good? Check out what’s to do in Tassie HERE!

View over Hobart from Mt Wellington, Tasmania
View over Hobart from Mt Wellington, Tasmania

5. Melbourne

Melbourne is Australia’s cosmopolitan heart. Wander through the city and explore the chic laneway network with its trendy cafés and boutiques, shop at the Queen Victoria Market, pose for photos outside Flinders Street Railway Station and discover the river precinct before crossing the river to explore the outer suburbs. If you have more than a couple of days, take a road trip past Geelong and experience the Great Ocean Road with the iconic 12 Apostles.  See more about Melbourne HERE!

Melbourne CBD from War Memorial, Victoria
Melbourne CBD from War Memorial, Victoria

6. The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is home to some of Queensland’s most popular beaches – from Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise to Burleigh Beach and Coolangatta. The Gold Coast has a bounty of tourist attractions, so once you’re done by the sea, visit one (or all!) of four major theme parks or head up into the hinterland and enjoy some R&R in the crisp mountain air. Click here for more information.

Gold Coast and Surfers, Queensland
Gold Coast and Surfers, Queensland

7. Fraser Island

Fraser Island, located off the coast of Queensland, is the world’s largest sand island, stretching some 120 kilometres from top to bottom. World Heritage listed Fraser Island can only be accessed by ferry and its pristine rainforest and unspoiled natural attractions make it a frequent holiday destination for both locals and overseas tourists.  More information HERE!

Uluru, Central Australia
Uluru, Central Australia

8. Perth

Perth is Australia’s most isolated capital city, 4000 km west of Sydney in Western Australia. It’s a great base from which to explore the surrounding regions, especially if you’re interested in beautiful beaches, national parks, wine regions, fine dining, seasonal wildflowers and a coastline to die for. See what’s on offer in Perth HERE!

9. Alice Springs

Alice Springs from Anzac Hill, Northern Territory
Alice Springs from Anzac Hill, Northern Territory

Located in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs is the gateway to Central Australia and its many stunning attractions such as Rainbow Valley, Ormiston Gorge, Standley Chasm and Palm Valley. 460 km southwest is Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), the huge sandstone rock that is Australia’s best known landmark and sacred site to Australia’s Indigenous people.  More about Alice Springs HERE!

10. Adelaide

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, Adelaide
Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, Adelaide

Finally, be sure to include Adelaide in South Australia on your must-see list on your travels in Oz. Highlights include the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, the Adelaide Hills region, Barossa Valley, seasonal festivals and many gastronomic delights. Adelaide is considered Australia’s hidden gem, so stop in before it becomes a part of the tourist trail.  Check out what makes Adelaide tick HERE!


Australia’s so big it’s impossible to see it all in one trip, but make a start with these suggestions and you’ll see a good cross-section of the country’s highlights. If you’ve travelled in Australia, we’d love to hear about YOUR favourite places in the comments below!

Lord Howe Island Sunset
Lord Howe Island Sunset

Disclosure: This post sponsored by Pinetrees Lodge, and prepared in collaboration with agencies acting on their behalf.  All photos provided by RedzAustralia

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  1. A cool list for anyone wanting an overview on where to go on this great big island paradise of ours. I had to check out the Lord Howe Island link (never been) and Tasmania link (want to go back) and oh Perth link to see if it was what I’d suggest for people to do 😉 As usual you’ve whetted my appetite for more travel in Aus.

    1. A lot of my blog posts are very specific, Jo – so I wanted to provide more of a starting point. Look forward to showing a few more ‘starting point’ posts over the next few months!! See you on the road somewhere 😀

  2. What a great list you have of the top 10 places to visit in Australia -We Love Melbourne. and Sydney and the Sunshine Coast 🙂
    Australia is such a big place – so much great places to see and do!

    1. I think you know how BIG Australia is better than most, Lisa!!! It’s so varied as well – we are really lucky! Thank you so much for dropping by – have a great week 😀

  3. Having been all over Australia (and the world) as the Remote River Man (exploring pristine wilderness rivers), I agree with most of your list. However, I do miss the days when Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe used to NOT be 5-star, and was good value for money.

    Secondly, Adelaide is on your list above the magnificent Kimberley, the most spectacular and unique part of the country? Mmmm, no.

    And 50 years ago, I would have said The Gold Coast – but not today. Many parts of it just aren’t safe at night any more. The GC hinterland is still quite beautiful, though.

    Otherwise, thanks for sharing! Having filmed black bears in Canada, shared river journeys with Baka pygmies in Gabon and explored the remotest reaches of the Bolivian Amazon, I still love returning to Oz, every time.

    I lived in Port Douglas in 1983 too, when it was just a quiet little town. How quickly some places change and become unrecognisable!

    Kevin Casey


    1. Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with my readers! I agree with much of what you say 😀 I know, however, that many first-time visitors don’t have enough time to see all the REALLY good bits and neither is the weather always an ally, so directing them to a cross-section of regions is (and only ever will be) a starting point. Take Adelaide, for example. In and around are some interesting and varied regions you can get to in less than a day – like Adelaide Hills (food & wine); the Barossa and Clare Valleys (wine, food, scenery, history); Fleurieu (ditto + beaches, rugged coastline); Yorke Peninsula (Innes National Park, hikes, fishing, deserted islands …); Mid North (history, hiking, scenery); Flinders Ranges (do I have to spell it out?); Limestone Coast (National Parks, hiking, caves, coastal scenery) and so on. No, it doesn’t compare to the Kimberley, but neither does the Kimberley compare to it in accessibility or variety. Which would I prefer? There are two different answers on two different days at two different times of year! Yep, I’m what you’d call an ‘each way bet’ gal! The other places are also a starting point that provides access to many other attractions in the surrounding regions.

      Interestingly, one of my long-term followers from overseas has commented below that she’s now thinking seriously about a trip to Australia. She’s never really done this before despite my best efforts to persuade her via story and photo in previous posts showing more specific areas (including the Kimberley) – I say bring ’em here once on whatever pretext, and they’ll be BACK!!

      Thanks again for dropping in – I appreciate your comments! You’ll actually generally find me either away from the developed areas; or visting their natural attractions!

  4. I enjoyed reading about your selections, Red. Living in Vermont, I guess I’d want to visit your New England to see and compare!

  5. WHAT?! Are you serious, the capital is not S…. 😉
    Aww, Fraser Island, so beautiful. And so cold when we were there.
    Shoot, we just rushed through the hidden gem. Guess I really have to come back to all of it sometime.
    Perth 🙂 My fav. Also Broome, Carnarvon (yes, I´m serious), Darwin. Windorah, the Outback in general.

    1. I’m a big fan of Carnarvon too, Iris! But realistically, so many people have such limited time they don’t get the chance to get too far out of the bigger tourist centres – on their first trip, anyway! And don’t worry – I’ve been living here for too many years to count, and I still haven’t seen everything either!

  6. Oh Red! Those photos just made my day. They made me feel like a world traveller from right here! I’ve talked my son into a trip to Australia, and we are working on getting my husband on board.

    1. I’m glad they’ve inspired you, Tina – but tell Z to watch out!! There are a LOT of crocodiles, as well as the kangaroos and emus!! If your husband isn’t making enthusiastic noises, then just threaten to leave him at home while you have the time of your life!! OR that you’ll need his protection from the crocs – appealing to the macho side might just work, if fear of being left out doesn’t!!!! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  7. Wonderful! I’ve never been to Lord Howe Island but it looks divine. I know you had to limit it to only 10 destinations, but I would put Broome on that list. So many awesome places in Australia – I guess it is just too hard to choose!

    1. Lord Howe Island is the most amazing place, Kathy – but you have to like walking!! I might do another list soon with MY picks of all the places that didn’t make the first cut – but even that would be hard because choosing a particular attraction is too narrow – there are usually several in a region! Watch this space!

  8. I’ve lived in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and I’ve visited Perth, so no need to put those on my list, but one day I’d like to visit Alice and Tassie. Cairns? Maybe, but I’d have to be assured no hurricanes were included in any holiday package up there.

    1. I used to think I could live in Cairns, River – but then cyclone Yasi came along 🙁 Alice Springs is perfect for a visit – so many things to see and do in the town itself, then there’s also the awesome Central OZ attractions nearby! And Tassie – what can I say? A 10 day visit only serves to show how long I’d REALLY need to do it properly!

    1. It’s too hard to narrow it down to just 10, Diane!! In terms of size, it’s like saying just pick only 10 things to see in Europe, or the US! At least this is a starting point – and there wouldn’t be time to even see all of these on a shortish holiday!!!

  9. I thought I knew Australia pretty well, but I found so many places I didn’t visit!
    Personally, I love to explore national parks and local weekends. It surprised me that Australian national parks are so large and stunning. I feel that it’s so amazing that super clear beaches and super scary waterfalls are near the big cities. Also, I love the free and lively spirits on weekends – Just seeing local performers and strolling in markets make me so happy. I really love many things in Australia!

    1. It really IS way too big to try and cover properly in just one visit, Kozue! The best you can do is choose a few places to explore and save the rest for next time!! You have identified many of the best things about Australia in your wonderful comment anyway – so I think you understand what this country is all about!!

  10. Not seen Lord Howe and no real desire to. Ditto Gold Coast but I did see it in the mid seventies. Fraser Island is not high on my list, but Perth and The Alice are. From what I don’t want to see I would add Darwin and Kakadu, perhaps a NSW coastal town like Merrimbula.

    1. Weirdly, after you featured an awesome scenic loo from Merimbula, it’s actually been quite high on my priority list, Andrew!!!! I would visit the GC again in a heartbeat – SO many awesome natural attractions! It’s Surfers I wouldn’t bother with, although an anthropological study of the unbelieveable (to this Aussie gal) high rises makes it almost worth a visit 😀

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