Australia, this country-continent which attracts many tourists and backpackers year after year with their WHV (working holiday permit) in their pocket, is a huge country, which requires (if possible) a lot of time to see all of them. wonders !
So if you are on the go, or preparing to go “downwinder” let’s go to Australia’s 10 must-see places!
Obviously there are so many places, cities and wonders to discover in this great country, that we had to make a choice!
So keep in mind that this selection is not exhaustive and that there is still plenty to see in kangaroo land!
1) The Great Barrier Reef:
Often classified under the name “wonder of the world”, and listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1981, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on the planet! It extends over 2,600 kilometers for an area of 344,400 km², has 900 islands and more than 2,900 reefs!
From the city of Cairns through the Whitsundays archipelago, whether by plane or by cruise, for a day or for a week, discover this unique place on Earth!
2) Uluru (Ayers Rock), the heart of Australia:
A huge desert, a road, a rock and… millions of flies! Welcome to Uluru!
This immense rock formation, located in central Australia, fascinates as much as it intrigues. Indeed, the Uluru National Park will take you on the traces of the aboriginal culture, its origins, and why this place is sacred for this community ( Please do not climb on this rock, it is sacred for the Aborigines … so do not miss no respect to the oldest culture in the world).
Simply admire the sunrise / sunset, which depending on the time of day transforms the color of the rock into different shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Around Uluru you have plenty of other things to see (the rock formations of the Olgas 50km to the north) and Kings Canyon, including a 3-hour walk that will not leave you indifferent …
As for our friends the flies, expect the famous “Bushman” product that you will find everywhere in Australia!
3) Kakadu and Litchfield National Park:
In the very north of Australia, there are 2 national parks that make you dream both in terms of their size and the things to discover!
The first is the Kakadu National Park which is at least the size of France! So much to say that to see everything, you have to be patient! A 4 × 4 is preferable to visit this park and its sublime Jim Jim Falls (the highest in Australia) because the “roads” are more like off-road …
Litchfield National Park, on the other hand, is smaller but concentrates giant termite mounds, and beautiful natural water pools! It’s easy to spend a whole day in this park and walk from waterfall to waterfall.
Small advantage here, the park has very good roads and can be visited by classic car… so you don’t have to rent a 4 × 4 like in Kakadu National Park.
Melbourne, Perth, Darwin… Big cities in Australia, that’s not what is missing but clearly you can’t miss Sydney!
Its Harbor Bridge, its Opera House and its sublime Botanic Garden nearby. Like most big cities, you’ll have to walk to navigate the streets of Australia’s largest city, but the payoff is sizable.
If you are into bars / restaurants, then Darling Harbor is for you! In the center of the city this place brings together the best restaurants, bars in the city with a sublime view of the Sydney Marina.
Do you prefer beaches and tanning? Bondi Beach and Manly Beach will delight you with their beauty, and their accessibility from central Sydney.
Do you prefer nature and landscapes? 3 hours from Sydney, the Blues Mountains National Park will blow your mind! With its Three Sisters, its immense forest, and different means of locomotion through the park (train, cable car, etc.), everything is done for visitors.
5) The Great Ocean Road:
Each country has its legendary road, for Australia it is undoubtedly the Great Ocean Road !
Linking Melbourne to Adelaide, the Great Ocean Road crosses about 300km of wild coasts, cliffs and small towns, all against the backdrop of the ocean … Although relatively short this section can be done over 2 or even 3 days. are beautiful, the cities attractive and the scenery spectacular!
Don’t forget to look up to see a koala, or a parrot, stop at the 12 apostles for a sublime sunset, and end your evening with a very good meal in Port Campbell or Lorne, two very nice little towns. on this mythical road!
6) The Cairns Rainforest:
In the North East of Australia lies the city of Cairns. Well known for its access to the Great Barrier Reef, this city is also famous for being close to one of the oldest tropical forests in the world: the Daintree Forest.
Millions of years old, this forest is home to an impressive flora and fauna. Listed as a World Historic Site in 1988, you can reach it by taking a train from Cairns.
Also famous for the Cape Tribulation where Captain Cook ran aground one of his boats, this place will allow you to see iguanas, and other snakes, as well as an animal unique in the world: the Cassowary, a distant relative of the ostrich.
Even for a few days, this place will give you the impression of being very far from everything … For the bravest, know that you can go up to Cape York, the most northerly place in Australia and accessible only in 4 × 4.
7) Karijini National Park:
Australia’s West Coast is for many travelers the most beautiful place in Australia!
Wild and with few inhabitants (the state of Western Australia is also the largest in the country, but also the least populated, with barely 1 million inhabitants for an area encompassing a quarter of Europe), deserted and sublime beaches, and animals by the thousands!
Lots of things to see and visit in this part of the country, but Karijini National Park is THE park not to be missed! Located in the northern part of the state, this place is very reminiscent of the American West, so striking is the resemblance …
Endless canyons, red rock, waterfalls, natural pools everywhere and “rock kangoroos” that you can see if you stay silent.
Several treks are possible in this park, for a few hours or for several days, you will inevitably find your happiness there!
8) Exmouth / Coral Bay National Park:
Still located on the west coast of Australia, these two places are a diver’s paradise, with whale sharks, manta rays and other species in abundance.
Having their own coral reef, and being much less frequented than the Great Barrier Reef, these two sites close to each other will offer you unforgettable memories both by diving and by its natural park: the Cape Range National Park and its sublime beaches with the most evocative names (Turquoise Bay / Oysters Stacks / Sandy Bay).
Be careful though to plan your arrival in the region, depending on the season, some animals are not there all year round.
9) The Sunshine Coast and its surroundings:
Australia’s east coast, although touristy, offers great places, such as the Sunshine Coast located north of Brisbane, and the town of Noosa, THE mecca for surfers.
South of Brisbane, don’t miss the Gold Coast, which includes Surfer Paradise (a mini Vegas), or even Byron Bay and its famous lighthouse. Brisbane itself is an ideal starting point, located not far from Fraser Island (considered one of the best beaches in the country) and the Great Barrier Reef, it is a great place to explore the East Coast during a roadtrip.
Imagine an island where prisoners were sent to languish around 150 years ago, the climate was so inhospitable, the living conditions harsh, and life miserable… Welcome to Tasmania!
Fortunately, living conditions have changed a lot since (although the climate not really), this island, Australian State, located a few hours by ferry from Melbourne, will offer you an unforgettable experience with Mother Nature!
Between Cradle Mountain National Park / Tasman national Park / Freycinet National Park, and Hobart, the main city which has kept its simple appearance, you will have the choice to explore and discover one of the most beautiful places in Australia!