Australia is a country with dramatic landscapes and contrasts like no other. If you are planning a trip for the first time it's hard not to feel overwhelmed when making a choice. One of the questions that comes to mind is where to go in Australia? With all the beautiful places to see you will have first to know when you have time to travel to Australia so as to narrow down the list of places. Here below you find a complete destination guide that gives you our top information for visiting all famous landmarks of Australia and most beautiful places as well as less known but still interesting places worth adding to your itinerary. You can also download our Australia Itinerary Guide here.
There is no trip to Australia without seeing Melbourne and Sydney! These two Australian cities is where many international travellers coming to Australia start their trip itinerary. Being located on the eastern Coast of Australia, Melbourne and Sydney are ideal getaway to Tasmania, to the warm tropical destinations of Queensland and Northern Australia as well as to many epic road trips on the East Coast of Australia. Here below our destination guide with the best cities to visit in Australia. For more details check the Ausralia travel destinations blog page.
Sydney is Australia's most beautiful city. The unique and impressive Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House are two main icons. Its busy city buzz and the popular beaches of Bondi and Manly draw millions of visitors from all over Australia and overseas. Sydney offers many fun activities in its amazing outdoors. There are many shrot day trips that you can do in Sydney's surroundings.
Sydney Destination Guides
Melbourne is the largest, most charming and best city to live in Australia. Besides that i's also the traveller's friendliest city. Make sure you first visit the Visitors Centre at Federation Square and grab the guided walks and free trams brochure. Melbourne offers heaps of cultural events and street entertainment, from street arts to night markets. From Melbourne you can visit its surroundings with day trips by public transport or with a rental car.
Melbourne Destinations Guides
Adelaide is a less known Australian city for visitors coming from overseas, however for foodies and festival lovers a top destination. If you love seafood and wine Adelaide must be on your itinerary with a trip to Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa Valley and more wine regions. It's the gateaway for top destinations: the Kangaroo Island, the Outback Flinders Ranges, the Eyre Peninsual and York Pensinula.
Adelaide Destinations Guides
Perth is the world's most isolated city with +2 millions population. It draws many tourists from South East Asia and Europe who are keen to set off on epic road trips around the beautiful South West or heading north to some of the most pristine coastal area of the Ningaloo Coral Reef. Perth is a great destination for food & wine lovers as well as beach lovers.
Perth Destination Guide
Brisbane is not as exciting as other Australian cities but still retains its flair and good vibe. Southbank and its city centre offers heaps of activities in its great outdoors. The largest Australia Zoo is only one hour drive away. The city is the gateaway to nearby coastal destinations: the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Island. Great flight connections to Cairns and the Whitsundays.
Brisbane Destinations Guides
Australian Tropical Destinations
Australia is known for its warm tropical destinations and many islands which draw hundred of thousands of visitors in the winter months of April to September. If you plan a trip to Australia in these months it's worth adding them to your itinerary. The best time for a visit to Northern Australia and the Tropical regions is September when the crowds have gone or early in the season in May. The ideal way to travel around is to hire a car or campervan as tours can be quite expensive. Check out the Rocky Travel Blog for more tips.
Broome is the pearl of the North Western Coast of Australia. With its unique contrast of outback and tropical settings, this is a place that must be on your list if you plan to visit Western Australia. With its world-famous crowd-free beaches and stunning rock formations Broome is the getaway to the Kimberley Region, the most ancient Outback region of Australia.
Broome Destination Guides
The Great Barrief Reef is the biggest attraction of Australia. With 2000 km along the East Coast it is the most visited destination in Queensland by locals and international visitors alike. Home to two World Heritage Sites, the Daintree Rainforest with Cairns and its amazing Atherton Tablelands are just a few of the top places to visit in North Tropical Queensland. The best time to visit is in May-August.
North Tropical Queensland Guides
Darwin is a top tropical destination in Australia with a warm climate throughout the year. Being a gateway to all major Australian cities as well as Asian destinations from Darwin you can start your trip to the Kakadu National Park and the Litchfield National Park. The best time to visit is towards the end of the wet season, from March onwards with May being the best month for a visit.
North Australia Destination Guides
Outback Australia Top Destinations
As many say the Outback is the real Australia. I feel to agree with this as the Australian Outback is the unique landmark of Australia, rich of natural treasures as well as traditions and culture. If you are lucky enough to travel to some of Australian amazing Outback destinations I'm pretty sur you will fall in love with it. Travellers come back to Australia on their second or third trip only to experience more Outback Trip. Here below an introduction to some top-notch destinations that must be on your list when travelling in the Autralian Outback.
The Uluru a.k.a. as Ayers Rock is no. 1 among all the iconic Australia attractions. Despite being a touristy destination, a visit is really worth your time and money. A trip to the Australian Red Centre must include: Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the Western McDonnel Ranges and Alice Springs. The best time to visit is April-May by hiring a car and driving around the area.
Red Centre Destinations Guides
The kimberley in North Western Australia is the most ancient Outback region of Australia. With a region of the size of Germany you need a couple of weeks to see something of this vast region. For hikers, animal and nature lovers this is a top destination of Australia that must be on your itinerary. Maybe not something for the first-timer but for the second or third Oz trip.
The Kimberley Australia Guides
The Flinders Ranges is an amazing Outback region of South Australia, located 5 hours drive north of Adelaide. If you plan to explore some of the amazing Outback of Australia away from the crowds and love road tripping, then the Flinders Ranges are a top destinations within easy reach. 4WD is required to tour the region though but local tour operators offer great guided Outback Tours if you prefer to be escorted.
The Flilnders Ranges Guide
Australia Food Destinations
Australia is not known as a food destinations as people tend to choose it for its natural attractions. However if you love food and wine Australia offers premium food regions that are often overlooked by the majority of travellers. There are 6 top food regions: Margaret River 300 km south of Perth, north and south of Adelaide, the Hunter Valley 300 km from Sydney and the Yarra Valley an hour drive in the Estern region of Melbourne. Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands is great for tropical fruits, tea, coffee and dairy products. Here below an introduction to some of the best areas for tasting popular Australian foods.
The Margaret River is regarded as one of the top regions of Australia with its rich diversity an array of natural wonders. Here you have it all, from sandy beaches to jagged cliffs, from long stretches of vineyards to towering forests with giant Karri trees. Thanks to the mild mediterranean climate in Margaret River there are ideal growing conditions for an array of local produce that has no like it, making of Margaret River Region a worldwide known region for excellent food and premium wines.
Margaret River Destinations Guides
The Hunter Valley in New South Wales is one of the oldest region for food and wine in Australia. If you are in Sydney and would like to taste local produce this is the place to go. While it's a few hours drive, you are better off with a group tour that can show you the highlights of the region on a great day-trip from Sydney. If you hire a car is worth staying overnight and take a good look at the nearby villages.
Hunter Valley Destination Guide
The Barossa Valley in South Australia is regarded as no. 1 wine region in Australia. In fact some of most famous Australian wines come from this area. It's an ancient region for growing local produce worth visiting if you love food and wine. The whole area in Adealaide is a paradise for foodies. I would recommend going on a tour first as locals know where to take you and and then maybe discover more of the Adelaide surroundings by travelling around the regions.
The Barossa Valley Deatination Guide
Australia Island Destinations
If you love road tripping and walking in the nature you are likely to have Tasmania or Kangaroo Island on your trip itinerary. Kangaroo Island is an easy drive and a road trip adventure for nature lovers, if you are visiting Adelaide it must be on your itinerary. Tasmania is more a demanding destination in terms of time and activities, as this is a top hiking destination of Australia with many short and long tracks. Here is an introduction to 3 main islands, I keep adding Australina island destinations to this guide, so come back for more.
Kangaroo Island in South Australia is the third largest island of Australia . A true paradise if you love untouched nature, breathtaking beaches and natural parks with stunning rock formations and native Australian animals. A great destination for bush walking, food and wine tastings. For travelling around the Kangaroo Island the best way is to hire a car in Penneshaw after taking the ferry from Cape Jervish, about 100km south of Adelaide. Plan at 3-4 days for a road trip around the island.
Kangaroo Island Destination Guide
Tasmania is the smallest of the 6 states named after Abel Tasman, the Dutch guy who sighted in 1642 .Often tourist tend to by-pass Tasmania, in fact to reach it you have either to take a ferry or fly over from a major city, but it is well worth the effort though. Tasmania has a beauty ot its own, pristine forests and secluded natural areas, historical towns, and the most famous landmark the Cradle Mountain with one of the most popular Australia's and the world's hiking trails. The track links the Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair and covers a world heritage area of 85km route. The best time for visiting Tasmania is December to March.
Tasmania Destination Guides
Rottnest Island is a small island off the coast of Perth. With 64 beaches and secluded bays is paradise for locals and visitors alike. Being a car-free island, it's only possible to visit by shuttle bus (hop-on-hop-off) that takes you around. You can also tour the islandby bike which is the best option. A day-tour is recommended however if you want to stay ovenight make sure you book in advance as it tends to be booked out, especially during school holidays. Catch the ferry in Fremantle for a day-tour, I recommend choosing a sunny day with low or no wind, as wind makes it pretty difficult to cycle around the hills of Rottnest Island.
Rottneset Island Guide
Australia Road Trips Destinations
Australia is a top destination for road trips. It offers many different trips from short to long, from coastal to Outback areas, from 2WD to 4WD. Anyone from novice to expert driver can go road tripping and have fun in Australia. The only drawback is distances. Be prepared for long driving distances and arm yourself with patience. Road trips are ideal for couples or if you travel with a companion, however as as solo traveller, driving on your own is easy. I have done it several times on different solo trips. Here you can read more about my solo driving adventures.
The Great Ocean Road Trip is one of the most popular Australia destinations and a must-see place if you travel for the first time. The GOR is a spectacular scenic drive which stretches for over 250 km. If you start your drive from Geelong, south of Melbourne you reach Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo's Bay and more little villages and places. Next to the stunning view of the 12 apostles only 8 rock pillars are visible, you will go through a spectacular and varied landscapes, from surf beaches, to bushwalking trails, to National Parks, to remains of rain forest. The best time for travelling to the Great Ocean Road is Nov-April. Avoid winter months as these gets too rainy and windy. You will need a car to travel by yourself or go on a GOR guided-tour.
The Great Ocean Road Trip Guide
Albany is the pearl of South Western Australia. It's a 440km from Perth on the inland highway and 600km along the coast. One of the most scenic coastal drives of Australia ad top food and wine region too. Western Australian is known to have the most pristine natural landscape and ecosystem, so for nature and outdoor lovers a true paradise. If you love camping this is a fantastic region with beach and water activities. For hiking and bush walking probably one of the top regions of Australia. From Cape to Cape Track to the Bibbulmun Track, one of the world longest walking tracks. To tour the region you ned to hire a car or a campervan in Perth.
The South Western Australia Guide
The Gold Coast of Australia is an underestimated destination of Australia. Despite being a touristy destination, it's a place that I would add to your trip itinerary, especially if you plan to visit Queensland and Brisbane. With +50 km of beaches and a beautiful coastline with lakes and inlets there is anything for everyone. The Gold Coast is much more than beaches and entertainment, its hinterland is rimmed with forests, natural parks, mountains and many walking trails. The best way to get to the Gold Coast is a train or bus ride from Brisbane. Alternatively you can hire a car and tour the Gold Coast attractions by yourself.
The Gold Coat Destination Guides
Plan Your Trip in Australia
These are useful pages and resources that will help you plan your trip in Australia in a simple and smart way. Click on the icons or links and start planning your Australian Aventure now. If you need more help feel free to contact me here.