Five must-see spots to try out in Australia


Australia is the world’s biggest island, the driest continent on the planet, and the location of some of its oldest geological features.

With such a diverse offering for holidaymakers, it’s hard to pin down the best attractions. However, few people would argue with this selection of five must-see Australian destinations, including tips on the best vantage points.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

No visit to Australia would be complete without gazing in wonder at the magnificent Sydney Harbour and the city’s iconic Opera House. The best vantage point, for unforgettable 360-degree views, is the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Under close supervision and with appropriate gear, visitors climb the arch of the Bridge to gain the ultimate perch 440 ft above sea level.

To join the ranks of the 4 million people who have already done this worthwhile ascent, contact the official climb company, which was voted the top travellers’ choice attraction in Australia.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Uluru (Ayres Rock)

Another place that richly deserves a top slot on any Australian bucket list is the mysterious and magnificent Ayres Rock, officially called Uluru.

This sandstone formation stands 2,831 ft high and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Uluru is sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area, and watching a sunset here certainly is a deeply spiritual experience.

The best place to see it is from a camel’s back! Local guides in the Northern Territory's Red Centre can also help you to find the incredible ancient springs, caverns and cave paintings in the area too.

Uluru / Ayres Rock

Uluru / Ayres Rock

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

You must have lived under a rock if you have not heard of Australia’s unrivalled series of interwoven coral cays, channels, caverns and islands that make up the breathtakingly beautiful Great Barrier Reef.

Marine life of all types and sizes thrives in this highly accessible ocean location. There are abundant amazing beach resorts to use as a base to get close to the Reef. The best vantage point from which to see the Great Barrier Reef is swimming above it, wearing your snorkel and flippers!

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

The chances are you have seen photographs taken along this awe-inspiring stretch of coastline. Images of the iconic Twelve Apostles feature in most guides to Australia. This is the point at which the impressive Southern Ocean has carved the ancient limestone to leave tall rock pillars surrounded by water.

As this must-see coastal route is around 150 miles long, the best place to enjoy it is from your own car! Self-drive holidays along the Great Ocean Road take you past pristine surfing beaches, lush rainforest and to historic fishing villages. It’s not to be rushed, not least as you are as likely to see kangaroos inland as you are whales out to sea.

To help prepare, there’s lots of detail on the Visit Victoria site, and there’s a handy guide to hire car excess charges on the 1cover website.

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

This area contains an incredible concentration of fascinating wildlife and birds. The wetlands are a superb place to immerse yourself in the greatest nature show on earth.

One excellent spot to see the wonders of the Kakadu National Park is on a cruise that crosses the Yellow Waters Lagoon. Look out for sea eagles, pelicans, snake birds and crocodiles, as well as exotic species such as brolgas, jabirus, jacanas and goannas.

When you’re done with bird and beastie watching, you can fish, swim and hike, or explore local art and archaeology in this dual-listed UNESCO World Heritage site (nature and culture).

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park

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Written by Wayne Thomas

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