There are so many different attractions in Australia to see, and today will be bringing you just 20 of the country’s highlights. We will cover a huge area, but there is at least one mentioned in every state that you should make the effort to see.
There are six states in Australia and ten federal territories on land and off the coast. You have over 25 million people living in more than 7 million square kilometers of land. This means you have a lot of uninhabited areas, bushland, and the desolate Outback.
The States vary in climate, with the southern states cooling down in the winter months from June to August. As a whole, Australia has a warmer tropical climate and is convenient to visit all year round.
Let’s get to our list of 20 Amazing Attractions in Australia that you must see!
Stradbroke Island Paradise
Stradbroke Island is only a short day tour from Brisbane in Queensland with a fantastic tropical lifestyle. With a small community of 2000 people, you have the opportunity to experience freshwater swimming, convenient facilities, stunning beaches, hotels with views, beachside camping, and wild animal experiences.
Take a stroll through the Gorge walk at Point lookout, watch Kangaroo’s feed in the morning, and whales could be passing by in the distance. Surf or bodyboard the waves, or drinks at the surf club overlooking the water. Brown Lake is located inland and great for swimming, but also where you could find Koalas.
Skypoint Climb on the Gold Coast
Imagine the tallest Building in Australia with an observation deck available 230 meters high. It is a popular Gold Coast tour by stepping outside this enclosed area and climbing up another 30 meters around the top of the building. The Skypoint Climb is one for adrenaline junkies or people after a unique and unrestrictive view of the coastline.
This adventure takes about 1.5 hours of your time, including a safety briefing, suiting up, and strapped into a manufactured railing system. On a clear day, you will see the New South Wales border, the rainforests in the hinterland, and the southern side of Brisbane.
Great Barrier Reef & Island Paradise in the Whitsundays
The Great Barrier Reef stretches from Bundaberg to well past Cairns in North Queensland. One of the best ways to experience this area is within the Whitsunday Network, which contains 74 different Islands.
Throughout this network, you will be snorkeling or diving one of the Great Wonders of the World or vacationing at resorts like Hamilton Island. There are many different beaches to discover in Queensland, but some places like Whitehaven Beach or Hill Inlet views will have you in awe over its beauty.
Quokkas at Rottnest Island
You will find these cute little marsupials on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth in Western Australia. Lately, they have become trendy for the best animal selfie or well-timed captures of them smiling. Even Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, has managed to send a selfie pic around the world.
Rottnest is a small island and is best explored by riding on a bike. Your adventure throughout the island will take you to incredible beaches, small shopping districts, and old military remnants. The Quokkas are located all over the island, so keep your eye out when touring around.
Underwater creatures at Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island can only be accessed by plane, leaving the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Hervey Bay, and Bundaberg. It’s located in the southern Great Barrier Reef and a brilliant place to visit to explore underwater life. Many will come to swim with Turtles, Manta Rays, reef sharks, and many other creatures.
A day trip to the island will generally include snorkeling equipment, a snorkeling tour, and lunch. Although, there are many other free activities in and around the Eco-Friendly resort for you to try out. Furthermore, hundreds of birds nest all over the island and can be seen up close when you wander around.
Cradle Mountain in Tasmania
This one is for those hiking fans and seeing the stunning Cradle Mountain. The entire Overland Track is over 60kilometres long and takes days to trek through. However, you can do a day hike into Cradle Mountain and experience the beautiful National Parks scenes.
If you’re limited for time or unable to hike in, there are options to helicopter over the area. While this will provide an exquisite view, it’s much more beneficial to be explored from the ground.
Natural attractions at Fraser Island
Fraser Island is visited by thousands of tourists each year, located off the Queensland Coast and one of the sort-out attractions in Australia. It has plenty of day trips, fixed accommodations, tours, and beach camping options.
Start your day off with swimming in the beach rock pools, taking in the views of Indian Head, hiking and swimming into the fresh waters of Lake Wabby, or learning the history of the Maheno Ship Wreck. Whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find something on Fraser Island.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Central Australia
Trekking through Outback Australia would have to be one of the biggest highlights you can find and is visited by over 300,000 tourists each year. Viewing Uluru or Ayers Rock for the first time will have you in amazement, with the red sandstone rock standing 348 meters (1142 feet) above the ground.
It’s part of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and often explored with Kata Tjuta ( The Olgas). There are fees to enter the National Park, which allows you to learn about Aboriginal History and take advantage of the hiking opportunities.
Great Ocean Road in Victoria
Explore one of the best road trips in Australia! It is called the Great Ocean Road and starts just outside Melbourne in Victoria. The road stretches 244 kilometers from Torquay to Allansford and where you’ll find sites like the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge.
This is the Limestone Coast, and no matter how many times you visit, you’ll never regret the journey. Short walking trails are available on all the sites and helicopter tours, and a Tourist Information center to help guide you around. Admire the cliff edge views above, or venture down to the beaches and relax on the sand.
Big Red Sand Dune outside of Birdsville
The Big Red Sand Dune is located just outside Birdville, in Outback Queensland, and the first 1100 Sand Dunes. These all run parallel into the Munga-Thurri National Park, and Big Red is the First (and Tallest), standing at 40 meters high.
You have options to drive up in your four-wheel drive, take a sunset tour from Birdsville, or drive to the base and walk up. Either way, sunset or sunrise is the best time, with the sun breaching the horizon. You can explore as much as you can when you’re around, find some wildflowers or admire the wind-formed sand ripples. Big Red Sand Dune is an Australian bucket list opportunity you’re not likely to forget.
Swimming in Florence Falls
You have so many different Waterfalls to visit in Australia, but the best ones allow you to swim. Florence Falls in Northern Territory is a decent size, and you’re about to swim in the waterhole at the bottom. It’s located about 1 hour south of Darwin and an easy day trip to explore the National Park.
Darwin’s climate is always warm, so cooling off under a waterfall can be the ultimate way to beat the heat. The hike is easy but down plenty of stairs. Consequently, the hike back up can be a bit of a heart starter. In the end, I do recommend taking a floating device to help you relax more and limit treading water.
Bungle Bungles Range in Purnululu National Park
The Bungle Bungles has been a part of Aboriginal history for thousands of years but was only discovered by tourists in the 1980s. It’s a natural bee-hive rock formation spanning over 450 square kilometers and best viewed from the air. However, walking paths and hikes can take you in and around this unique attraction.
The Range was formed over 300 million years ago by active faults and erosion depositing different materials. In 2003 it was declared a World Heritage site located in the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia. Conveniently, you have both accommodation and tour options available in the Purnululu National Park or the nearby towns of Broome or Kununurra.
Opera House in Sydney
The Sydney Opera House is located in Port Jackson, in the Sydney Harbour, and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. The roof structure is recognized by a unique series of gleaming white sail-shaped shells. It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, took 14 years to build, and cost about 102 million dollars.
There are options to view the Opera House up close from the stair entry, on a ferry, or cruise through the Sydney Harbour or many surrounding suburbs. The building is used for Theatre and stage shows, and tickets can be purchased and visited every weekend. Otherwise, special events like Vivid have the sails covered in interactive lights.
Any time of year is perfect for visiting but Sydney is especially beautiful in December when the Opera House is lit up for the holidays.
Norfolk Island history
Norfolk Island is one of the Ten Territories of Australia and is located off the east coast near the South Pacific Islands. It’s defined by pine trees and jagged cliffs and is known as a British Penal colony in Australian history. Consequently, it’s a National Park and provides tourists with amazing beaches, wine orchards, and learning about its colorful past.
This island is just 8 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide and one of Australia’s most isolated communities. Yet, it has a diverse landscape, rich farmland, rolling green hills, and a 300-meter tall mountain, allowing you to admire it all.
The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters is a spectacular landmark located in the Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney. Millions of tourists each year visit The Three Sisters rock formation, which stands 900 meters above sea level, and the landscape changes throughout the day with changing lights and weather. Additionally, floodlights’ lighting up at night makes for an easy-to-access viewpoint and one of the best attractions in Australia.
The Three sisters – Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, were members of the Katoomba Tribe and known through Aboriginal history.
Kuranda Scenic Rail Journey
Set forth on an adventure outside of Cairns and take a rail journey through the Kuranda and Barron National Park. Explore dense Rainforests, steep ravines, and stunning waterfalls in this World Heritage-listed park. Ultimately, you will be passing through manufactured tunnels, going over bridges, and traveling right beside waterfalls.
It takes about 2 hours to reach the small community in Kuranda, where you will be introduced to wildlife, local arts and crafts, and many different Cafes or restaurants. It’s an unforgettable journey and one of the best attractions in Australia to add to your list.
Kangaroo Island is the third-largest island in Australia and is located just off the coast of Adelaide. Over a third of the island is a protected reserve for wild animals like sea lions, Kangaroos, penguins, koalas, and many different species of Birds. Not only that, but it manufactures award-winning wines and local produce from Sheep’s cheese, yogurt, and organic Honey.
The Flinders Chase National Park is known for sculpture coastlines and usual creations like the Remarkable Rocks. Alternatively, stalactites and stalagmites can be viewed in several locations like Admiral Arch or Kelly caves.
Camels at Sunset in Broome
You will find some superb sunset locations all along the Western Australian coast, but nothing is quite like riding a camel on Cable Beach in Broome. Every evening you can take an award-winning organized tour for an unforgettable experience down WA’s most iconic beach to experience this attraction in Australia.
A few different operators take you aboard these friendly and docile creatures only to stroll down the pristine sands and enjoy the magnificent views at sunset!
Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln
Test your bravery in one of South Australia’s most known activities, swimming with the Great White Sharks. This bucket list tour to Neptune Island leaves Port Lincoln and has you stepping into a surface cage. This means you can view the Great White Sharks from above and below the waters.
The surface cage can hold up to 4 people, lowered to the waterline, and without the need for a Dive certificate. The sharks sense your presence and swim around to explore. It is one of the most adrenaline-pumping attractions in Australia.
Mitchell falls in the Kimberley
The Kimberly region in Western Australia has many different sites to see, but Mitchell falls is one of the most photographed in the Region. It’s not the easiest to get to during the wet season. It has flight tours to help you visit, but it’s well worth the extra effort to get there.
There is a 5-hour return hike to see to 4 tier Mitchell Falls from the campgrounds. Although, there are options to helicopter in to reduce the time by half, and allow you to view this stunning attraction in Australia from the air.
Chris Fry is the writer and photographer behind Aquarius Traveller, where she shares her journeys, provides valuable information and inspiration for your land and underwater travels. She lives in Australia and has travelled to 36 countries and across Australia.