Australia is a land of staggering contrasts and spectacular beauty. Along the coast, you can explore vibrant multicultural cities vast sand islands, ancient rainforests and one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. In the outback, rugged national parks and red earth deserts offer the ultimate in adventure travel.
Sydney Opera House
Mention Sydney Australia and most people think of the Opera House, shaped like huge shells or billowing sails this famous building on Sydney’s Bennelong point graces the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the world’s greatest architectural icons. Designed by Danish architect yarn Woodson, this World Heritage-listed building is Australia’s most famous landmark.
A 2004 renovation added walls of glass to the reception hall offering visitors views of the harbour in addition to the 1500 seat Opera House, the center features a concert hall and three other theaters as well as multiple bars and restaurants. The Sydney Opera House welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world, every year.
The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is both the main method of crossing the harbour and a travel destination for adventurous visitors. Rising 134 meters above the harbor, the bridge spans 500 meters connecting Sydney’s North Shore to the central business district. It was completed in 1932 for two years before the Sydney Opera House. Affectionately called “the coat hanger” this impressive feat of construction is one of the largest steel arc bridges in the world.
One of the top things to do in Sydney is a guided ascent to the top of the bridge where you can enjoy spectacular views over the harbour and city.
Great Ocean Road
Most top tourist destinations have spectacular driving routes and for Australia, one of its best is the Great Ocean Road. It’s Australian National Heritage listed, the road stretches for 300 kilometers along Australia’s southeast coast between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allen’s fort. Winding through varying terrain along the coast and providing access to several prominent landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles of limestone stack formations, the road is an important tourist attraction in the region.
Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War one the road is the world’s largest war memorial.
Australia’s second-largest city is a popular stop on many Australian itineraries, especially for culture vultures. Galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops and it’s distinctly European feel are the main draws of this sophisticated city on the Yarra River. It’s also a green city with parks, gardens and open spaces occupying almost a third of its total area. Highlights of the city include the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne cricket stadium.
Stylish artsy Melbourne is both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and it’s proud of its place as Australia’s sporting and cultural capital.
Blue Mountains National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful Blue Mountains National Park lies 81 kilometers west of Sydney and is a popular day trip from the city. Named for the blue haze, emanating from the many eucalyptus trees this stunning park protects more than six hundred and sixty-four thousand acres of wilderness and encompasses dramatic gorges, waterfalls, Aboriginal rock paintings, and 140 kilometers of hiking trails.
The most famous attractions in the park are the towering sandstone rock formations called “the three sisters”. Hiking, abseiling, rock climbing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all popular things to do in the park.
Great Barrier Reef
Visible from outer space the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest living structures on the planet. In 1975, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established to protect its fragile ecosystems which include more than 3000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, including the beautiful Whitsunday group, 300 coral caves, and inshore mangrove Islands.
One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the park stretches for 2,300 kilometers along with the state of Queensland on Australia’s East Coast. The astounding array of marine life includes soft and hard corals more than 1,600 species of tropical fish, sharks, dugongs, dolphins, Turtles, rays and giant clams.
Nature takes center stage beautiful Kangaroo Island off the Flair you peninsula in South Australia. Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island is the perfect place to view the country’s wildlife up-close, more than a third of the island is a national park worth thousands of Wallabies, koalas, and kangaroos roam freely.
With its windswept cliffs and spectacular rock formations, the island’s landscapes are just as impressive. Easily accessible from Adelaide in South Australia kangaroo island as a can’t-miss destination for nature lovers everywhere.
World Heritage-listed Fraser Island between Bundaberg and Brisbane off Australia’s East Coast is the largest sand island in the world and one of Australia’s top outdoor adventures, especially for four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Fraser Island stretches over 123 kilometers in length and 22 kilometers at its widest point with an area of 184 thousand hectares, it is the largest sand island in the world.
Fraser Island is a place of exceptional beauty with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs and over 100 freshwater lakes, some tea-colored and others clear and blue, all ringed by white sandy beaches.
Bronzed bodies blonde sand backpackers and surf throw it all together and you get one of the world’s most famous beaches. Located just minutes away from Sydney’s central business district, Bondi Beach is a mile-long sweep of golden sand lined with red tile-roofed homes, apartments, and green spaces.
It’s also a great spot for a seaside stroll or picnic and crowds of tourists and locals gather here to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year. A great way to soak up the sea views is to stroll along the scenic Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, which begins at the southern end of the beach and follows the coastline for six kilometers along sandstone cliffs.
Uluru-kata Tjuta National Park
Deep in the heart of Australia’s red center Uluru, formerly Ayers rock is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith forms the centerpiece of Uluru-kata Tjuta national park, a world heritage area jointly managed by Parks Australia and the traditional landowners on a new people. Uluru meaning a shadowy place in the local Aboriginal dialect rises to a height of 348 metres from the surrounding plain with most of its bulk hidden beneath the earth’s surface.
Also, in the park are the red dome-shaped rocks called Kata Tjuta. As the Sun dips in the sky sightseers gathered to watch the colors of Uluru and Kata Tjuta transform in the shifting light. A great way to appreciate these sacred sites is to join a tour led by Aboriginal guides and Rangers.