22 Beautiful Places in Australia That You Need to Visit!
Australia is so beautiful and so big. There’s so much culture, so much beauty in one place. There’s beautiful beaches and amazing surf, incredible wineries, vast landscapes, so much nature and wildlife, and of course, epic post card worthy places.
Not to mention, the good beer, the meat pie and pavlova (ok, so the food might not be considered a fancy cuisine, but it is pretty good!). There’s something for everyone, and you can literally spend years exploring Australia and still not see everything. I’m so grateful to call Australia home, my country truly is beautiful.
So, when I sat down to write this post on the best places in Australia, I was kind of stumped. Where did I even start? There are so many amazing places that this could have been a novel instead of a blog post. So, I narrowed it down, to an appropriate length of just 22 best places in Australia that you really should visit, whether you are a local wanting to explore more or coming from overseas.
Which Part of Australia is the Best?
Sydney is easily one of the most famous places in Australia, and for good reason. To put it simply, you just can’t visit Australia without visiting Sydney. There’s something for everyone in Sydney, and it’s the perfect place to start your Australia adventure, or for a weekend getaway for us locals.
With some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House calling Sydney home, you won’t be short of amazing views. Sydney is all home to some of the best beaches in Australia, including the iconic Bondi Beach.
The nightlife and food scene is also amazing, and there’s also plenty of museums for art lovers and amazing shopping spots. Don’t miss a visit to the Grounds of Alexandria, and make sure to visit Darling Harbour. If you are up for some physical activity, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a must!
There’s so much to do that I would be here all day if I talked about everything – so check out 35 of the best things to do in Sydney here. If you are short on time, a hop on hops off bus is a great option!
Where to stay in Sydney
- On a budget: Sydney Central YHA
- Mid range stay: Meriton Suites Kent Street
- For luxury lovers: Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Located in Perth, Western Australia, Fremantle is a port city with lots of history, and certainly worth a visit. It makes for a great day trip from Perth itself, being about 30 minutes out of the city, as there’s easily enough to see and do for a whole day in the iconic spot.
A visit to Fremantle Prison is easily one of the top things to do, and is one of Australia’s best cultural attractions, and tours are offered daily. Fremantle is also home to Australia’s oldest building, The Roundhouse, which was built in the 1830’s, and has since been a used for a number of purposes before opening to the public, and it offers incredible views over the ocean.
Make sure to explore the popular Fremantle Markets, open Friday through Sunday, and wander the ‘Cappuccino Strip’ outside the markets, where there are lots of options of cafes and restaurants while watching the street performers.
Where to stay in Fremantle
- On a budget: The Fremantle Hostel Backpackers
- Mid-range stays: The Local Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges.
A coastal town in the northern part of New South Wales, Byron Bay is the cool spot to be in Australia. The hippie like surf town is home to beautiful beaches, surf, and good food, and attracts surfers and backpackers from all over the world.
Of course, plenty of your time in Byron will be spent lazing on the beach and surfing. But, you should also leave plenty of time to explore more of what the town has to offer. Head up to the lighthouse for sunrise or sunset, where the views are unbelievable. Explore the local markets, and the coffee scene, and take a day trip to Nimbin if you have the time.
The town is perfect to laze over coffee, brunch or a beer, and there’s no shortage of places to do so. Try Loft, Balcony Bar and Oyster Co, or The Roadhouse. For a full experience of all the best breweries in the area, go on a foodie tour.
Where to stay in Byron Bay
- On a budget: Nomads Byron Bay Backpackers
- Mid-range stay: Byron Palms
- For luxury lovers: Atlantic Byron Bay
A harbour city in New South Wales, just 2 hours from Sydney, Newcastle is a spot you definitely can’t miss. It’s the perfect day trip from Sydney, and a must stop on any East Coast Road trip. Think beautiful beaches, good food and surfing!
There’s plenty of amazing things to do in Newcastle. Merewether Beach is one of the best beaches in NSW, and you’ll just love the Ocean Baths located at the end of the beach. You can also do the beautiful coastal walk from Merewether Beach to Queen’s Wharf, which is 10km return and offers incredible views, taking you past stunning beaches, lighthouses and into Newcastle Harbour.
There’s also plenty of shopping and cafe hopping to be done on Darby Street, and surfers will love Nobby’s Beach. Queen’s Wharf hotel is one of the best spots for a pub feed, and if you are lucky, you might spot some dolphins as you eat. There are endless things to see and do, so head to the best things to do in Newcastle for me information!
Where to stay in Newcastle
- On a budget: Newcastle Beach YHA
- Mid-range stays: The Lucky Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Rydges Newcastle
The capital city of Victoria, Melbourne is filled with character. There’s hip neighbourhoods, street art and amazing coffee. There’s also great shopping and beaches to explore, and its definitely the kinda place that can be considered cool.
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to wander. Wander the alleys, explore the coffee scene and hunt for street art. You should also visit Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, and shop of course (Chapel Street is a great spot to start!).
You can also head out to St Kilda and see the beach and drop in at Luna Park while you are there. For coffee or a bite to eat, try Higher Grounds or Market Lane Coffee. You also have to head to a rooftop bar to enjoy a drink with epic views of the city – The Rooftop is one of the best places for this!
Where to stay in Melbourne
- On a budget: Nomads Melbourne Hostel
- Mid-range stays: The Alto Hotel
- For luxury lovers: QT Melbourne
The Snowy Mountains is Australia’s highest mountain range, and is home to Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko. In Winter, it comes alive with the ski season, and in the summer, its’ the perfect place for hiking, camping and BMX riding. From Sydney or Melbourne, it takes around 6-7 hours to get to the Snowy Mountains, and just 3 hours from Canberra.
Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte’s Pass are some of the most well-known spots to visit in the Snowy Mountains, particularly during ski season. For the best hiking trails and to climb Mount Kosciuszko, Thredbo is the best place to stay.
There’s plenty of great places to stay, as well as eat and drink in the villages in the snowy mountains, and The Eagles Nest restaurant is a must, being the highest restaurant in Australia.
Where to stay in the Snowy Mountains
- On a budget: Camping is your best bet!
- Mid-range stays: Thredbo Alpine Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Stillwell Hotel
Located in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa is a surfers dream, with plenty to do and explore. Just 2 hours North of Brisbane, you can easily spend a day or a week in this coastal hot spot.
Hang out on Noosa Main beach, have a surf or just simply enjoy the sun. Explore the 9,800 acres of Noosa National Park, filled with rainforests, dunes, epic views and everything in between. There’s no shortage of hiking to be done in the National Park, and a fan favourite is the walk up to Hell’s Gate, which offers spectacular views.
Hastings Street is the heart of Noosa, running behind the beach and filled with boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. Make sure to grab a bite to eat at the Noosa Surf Club at least once, and try out some of the epic places lining Hasting’s Street.
Where to stay in Noosa
- On a budget: Flashpackers Noosa
- Mid range stays: Noosa Lakes Resort
- For luxury lovers: Tingirana Noosa
Located off the coast of North Queensland and in the heart of The Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays consists of 74 islands. Many of the islands remain un-inhabited, and are characterised by crystal clear waters, white stretches of beach and dense rainforest. You are close enough to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, relax on the endless stretches of peaceful beach, go sailing, the opportunities really are endless!
Hamilton island is one of the most popular islands in The Whitsundays, which has many gorgeous accomodation options, amazing food and many activities on offer. It’s a popular spot for if you prefer to stay in a resort and relax. There’s also options for sailing tours and island hopping, and there’s something for everyone.
The snorkelling and diving is world class, and the pristine beaches call for you to never leave. The Passage Peak hike is an easy 45-minute walk on Hamilton Island, but a must do for epic views. If you prefer, you can also opt to stay on mainland Airlie Beach, where you can easily explore the islands from.
Where to stay in The Whitsundays
- On a budget: There are no hostels on the islands, however you can opt to stay in a hostel at Airlie Beach (such as Base Backpackers). Alternatively, you can camp in one of the many campgrounds on the islands.
- Mid range stays: Reef View Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Beach Club
South Australia’s famous wine region, The Barossa Valley is located North-East of Adelaide, and is home to world class wineries, cottages, churches and beautiful landscapes. Its not only a spot for wine lovers, but also for food lovers and nature lovers. The villages in the area have a European charm about them, after the German and British settled there in the 1840’s.
One of the best things to do in the Barossa Valley is to obviously visit the wineries. With over 170 wineries, and over 40 varieties of grape wine.
Head out on a wine tasting tour, and visit a bunch of the best wineries that the area has to offer. For foodies, make sure to visit the local markets and cafes, all offering amazing fresh produce and food. There’s also plenty of hikes and nature just waiting to be explored.
Where to stay in The Barossa Valley
- On a budget: Barossa Gateway Hotel
- Mid range stays: Novotel Barossa Valley Resort
- For luxury lovers: Barossa Shiraz Estate
The Central Coast is located between Sydney and Newcastle in NSW and filled with incredible beaches. Just an hour North of Sydney, it’s my hometown and I truly love it. It’s often a less frequented destination for tourists, but it’s definitely worth a visit!
There’s so many beautiful beaches to explore, and Terrigal, Avoca and Soliders beach are all great starting points. Hikers will love the Bouddi Coastal Walk, and make sure to check out Long Jetty for sunset, where the photo opportunities are incredible.
The Central Coast is also filled with great places to eat and drink, many of which feature amazing beach views. Try Mumbo Jumbos or The Beery for great cocktails and food with beach views at Terrigal, or Margarita Daze. Read my ultimate guide to the Central Coast for all the best things to do!
Where to stay on the Central Coast
- On a budget: Avoca Beach Hotel
- Mid range stays: Mantra Ettalong Beach
- For luxury lovers: Crowne Plaza Terrigal
Uluru, sometimes referred to as Ayres Rock, is a huge sandstone rock in the middle of the ‘Red Centre’ in the Northern Territory, essentially in the middle of nowhere. The nearest major town is Alice Springs, which is 450km from Uluru. Both the land and Uluru itself are sacred to Indigenous Australians. It’s said that the rock was formed millions of years ago, completely underwater, due to erosion.
It’s easily one of the most recognisable spots in Australia, and you need to see Uluru in person to appreciate the sheer size and scale of it. Although it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s now a whole lot easier to visit. You can drive the 5 hours from Alice Springs, or fly in to Uluru’s very own airport from major cities in Australia.
You can walk around the base of Uluru, or rent bikes or segways if you prefer. Or, jump on a helicopter ride to get the full experience. You can’t climb the rock anymore – to honour the wishes of the traditional owners, but you don’t need to in order to experience the beauty. There’s also plenty of unique cultural and dining experiences to do in the area.
Where to stay in Uluru
- On a budget: Ayres Rock Campground
- Mid range stays: Outback Pioneer Lodge
- For luxury lovers: The Lost Camel Hotel
Grampians National Park
Located in Victoria, Grampians National Park is part of the Gariwerd Aboriginal cultural landscape and is home to wildlife, endless hikes and epic views. The National Park is heritage listed, and home to waterfalls, wildflowers, and lots of native Australian animals such as kangaroos, emus and native birds.
It’s truly a hiker’s dream, with plenty of short hikes as well as multi day hikes. Climb the highest mountain in the Grampians, Mount William, or explore the many walks in Hell’s Gap. If you are up for a multi-day hike, there’s plenty to choose from, such as the Grampians Peaks Trail. You can also go kayaking on the lakes, and just enjoy the beauty of nature.
Where to stay at Grampians National Park
- On a budget: Grampians Eco YHA
- Mid range stays: The Mountain Grand Halls Gap
- For luxury lovers: Marwood Luxury Villas
Located off the coast of South-Eastern Queensland, is a peaceful paradise with lots of adventure. Moreton island is actually the 3rd largest sand island in the world, and it’s a just over an hour’s ferry ride from Brisbane.
As the island is mostly sand, it’s only accessible by 4WD, so to explore everything the island has to offer, you either need to join a tour either from the mainland or island or visit on your own and rent accommodation and transport.
There are endless things to do on Moreton Island. Snorkel the Moreton Island Wrecks, where you’ll get to see the sunken shipwrecks, a whole lot of fish and maybe even a turtle or two, if you are lucky. You can also go tobogganing, visit the lighthouse, go whale watching climb Mt Tempest, the highest point on the island and get a workout in by climbing the huge sand dunes.
Where to stay on Moreton Island
- There aren’t many accomodation options on the island itself, but Tangalooma Island Resort is a great option if you want to stay on the island.
Great Ocean Road
Widely known as one of the most scenic drives in the world and located in Melbourne, Australia’s Great Ocean Road stretches 243km from Torquay to Allansford. One of the biggest attractions along the drive is the 12 Apostles, but there’s also endless views and surf, as well as rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife.
The iconic drive makes for an epic road trip, with so much to see and do along the way. Camp at amazing spots or choose to stay in accomodation along the way. You’ll need plenty of time to take in all the trip has to offer. Go hiking, swimming and surfing, visit small towns and eat local. Stop by at Cape Otway, go waterfall hunting and of course, stop for a swim at Bell’s Beach.
Just South of Brisbane on Australia’s East Coast sits the Gold Coast, a spot filled with not only beautiful beaches, but endless adventure and endless nightlife. Home to some of the country’s best theme parks, including Wet’n’Wild and Movie World, it’s both a perfect family getaway, solo travel destination and party holiday spot all in one.
For nightlife, you’ve got to head to the world famous Surfer’s Paradise, where you will find endless bars and clubs, but also amazing restaurants, shopping and of course, the beach. Make sure you visit the Q1, the epic skyscraper in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise, where you can opt for a meal with an incredible view, or even climb to the top which is an adventure lovers dream.
You can also visit Mount Tamborini, just a short drive from the heart of the Gold Coast and spend plenty of time relaxing on the beach (I recommend Broadbeach!). There’s honestly so much to do on the Gold Coast, the opportunities are endless!
Where to stay on the Gold Coast
- On a budget: Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort
- Mid-range stays: Mantra Legends Surfers Paradise
- For luxury lovers: Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise
Sitting of the coast of Perth, Western Australia, Rottnest Island is a stunning nature reserve home to the Quokka (one of the cutest animals you will ever see!). To get to the island, you’ll want to take the ferry from either Fremantle or Perth CBD, with the journey taking about half an hour.
There’s not much on the island, apart from a couple of hotels, a shop and some food places, but the rest of the island is an untouched paradise. Characterised by long stretches of white sandy beach, crystal clear turquoise waters and of course, Quokkas.
The animals are used to people, so will happily smile for a photo, but make sure you be respectful of the animals and their home. Opt to go biking around the island, animal watching or simply relax on the beach. The Pink Lake is also worth a visit!
Where to stay on Rottnest Island
As I mentioned before, there aren’t many options for accomodation on the island itself, so you can stay in Fremantle or Perth and take a day trip out to the island from there. If you prefer to stay on the island, Discovery Rottnest Island is a great option.
Hobart is the capital of Australia’s ‘island’ state of Tasmania, and although it may be small in comparison to other capital cities in Australia, it holds it’s own. There’s culture experiences, amazing food and an epic backdrop of Mount Wellington, with endless options for hiking, biking and adventure.
Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) is easily one of Hobart’s top attractions, and you can’t miss visiting. Prepare to be shocked, amazed and maybe even a little confused. Either way, you’ll be glad you visited.
Pop into Salamanca Market on a Saturday to experience local life (and try the coffee!), and head out to Battery Point to enjoy the gorgeous winding streets, cottages and boutiques. You can also climb Mount Wellington, and make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy all the amazing food and drink that Hobart has to offer.
Where to stay in Hobart
- On a budget: Hobart Central YHA
- Mid-range stays: Hotel Grand Chancellor
- For luxury lovers: Somerset on the Pier
Just West of Sydney lies the Blue Mountains, a rugged mountain area known for its hiking, its scenery and steep cliffs. It’s a world heritage listed National Park and is an epic spot that you have to see, even if it’s just for a day trip from Sydney. However, there is so much to do (especially if you are a hiker!), that you can easily stay in the mountains and enjoy several days (or weeks!) in the area.
The largest town in the area is Katoomba, and is the gateway to some of the best hikes in the region, but also to the Three Sisters (head to Echo Point for the best views!), and some amazing dining spots. Scenic world is home to the worlds steepest railway as well as the worlds steepest cable car, which offers incredible views.
There are hikes for every level of walker, and you can opt to walk one of the many day hikes or tackle a multi-day one. The Charles Darwin track is a great beginner friendly hike (5km return), or tackle the multi day Six Foot Track, which is one of the best and most famous hikes. Get the most out of one day in the Blue Mountains with a hop on hop off tour!
Where to stay in the Blue Mountains
- On a budget: Flying Fox Backpackers
- Mid-range stays: The Carrington Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa
Located off the the coast of Eastern Queensland, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, and stretches over 120km parallel to the Queensland coast.
It’s not surprise that the island is World Heritage Listed, with long stretches of white sandy beaches, framed by huge cliffs, rainforest and lakes. The rainforests might be the most impressive part, because Fraser Island is the only place where ‘tall’ rainforests grow on the sand dunes.
There’s lots to do on the island apart from relaxing on the beach. Drive along Seventy-Five Mile beach, go whale watching, and swim in Lake Mckenzie.
Hike up to Indian Head for epic views across Seventy-Five Mile beach, check out Maheno shipwreck and explore the rainforest with one of the short walks. For avid hikers, the Fraser Island Great Walk is a 90km trek which takes you through the historical footsteps of the island.
Where to stay on Fraser Island
- Mid range stays: Eurong Beach Resort
- For luxury lovers: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Located North of Sydney near Newcastle, the Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s best wine regions. Well known for its shiraz and semillon, the area is stunning and well worth a visit. It’s an amazing day trip to take from Sydney or Newcastle, and the best way is to go on a wine tour, which takes you to some of the best known wineries in the area.
There’s endless wineries to visit, with some of the top ones being Brokenwood Wines (one of my favourites!), Bimbadgen Winery and Hope Estate.
There’s also more to the Hunter Valley than just wine. You can go on a hot air balloon ride, indulge in a little luxury and visit the Hunter Valley Gardens. At Christmas, the Hunter Valley Garden’s turn in to a Christmas Light spectacular that you can’t miss.
Where to stay in the Hunter Valley
- On a budget: Hunter Valley YHA
- Mid range stays: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
- For luxury lovers: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Margaret River is a gorgeous little town located south of Perth, Western Australia. Along the coast you’ll find breathtaking beaches, and the area is surrounded by wineries. Margaret River itself is filled with boutiques, breweries and is the perfect spot for a getaway.
One of the best ways to spend your time in the area is by eating and drinking your way through Margaret River. The wineries, breweries, farmer’s markets, restaurants and chocolate shops are all incredible, and you will never go hungry (or thirsty).
A wine tour is a great way to make the most of a day visiting the wineries. Visit the beaches nearby and Busselton Jetty, or go surfing, hiking, whale watching or head out on a scenic flight over the coast.
Where to stay in Margaret River
- On a budget: Margaret River Backpackers
- Mid range stays: Margaret River Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Losari Retreat
Canberra is Australia’s capital city, and the eighth largest city in the country. Home to much of Australia’s politics and Parliament House, there’s a little bit of everything in Canberra, and something for everyone. Surrounded by bushland, there’s amazing cafes, lot’s of museums and nature for everyone.
You can go on a tour of Parliament House, head to the National Museum of Australia, and you definitely can’t miss a visit to Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre.
Sport’s lovers can tour the Australian Institute of Sport, and you can enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet in the Botanical Gardens. Head up Mount Ainslie for amazing views or do one of the many hikes in the surrounding areas.
Where to stay in Canberra
- On a budget: Canberra City YHA
- Mid range stays: Midnight Hotel
- For luxury lovers: Hyatt Hotel Canberra