It has natural wonders not seen anywhere else on earth, cities that buzz with energy and excitement and inviting pristine white beaches and warm turquoise waters.
Barrier Reef photo from Rheins.
1. Great Barrier Reef
North East Australia is home to the largest living thing on earth- no, that’s not a salt-water crocodile- the Great Barrier Reef. This 2,300 km long coral reef is made of more than 600 types of coral and thousands of fish, starfish, seahorses, turtles, dolphins and sharks. You can dive, snorkel, sail or fly to get the best vantage point of this incredibly diverse and vibrant ecosystem.
2. Sydney Opera House
Daring and controversial at the time, the Sydney Opera House was finished in 1973. It went 1,457% over budget and was completed ten years past its original completion date. Now, it looms large over Sydney, an iconic and unique building that hosts over 40 cultural performances a week. Across the harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge sculpts the skyline and is perfect to walk across (or over, if you wish) to take in the views of stunning Sydney.
Uluru photo from Sharyn Carr.
Also known as Ayers Rock, this huge sandstone rock is 9.4km around and stands 863m above sea level. This rock has huge significance and is sacred to the local Aboriginal people, the Aṉangu, who have been in the area for over 10,000 years. There are several legends about how Uluru was formed. It is believed that anyone who takes rocks from the area will be cursed, and it is respectful and highly advised to not climb Uluru.
Image of Whitsunday Islands from Carolina Flora Diaz.
4. Whitsunday Islands
The 74 islands of the Whitsundays are set in crystal clear warm waters. The sandy white beaches are perfect for those who wish to relax in paradise, while snorkelling and diving yields rich natural treasures. Sea life abounds in this tranquil, stunningly beautiful area. Four islands have luxurious resorts or you can hire a yacht and cruise around the endless horizon at your own pace. There are cocktails, incredible seafood meals, and the kind of natural beauty you’ll find no-where else on earth.
Image from J.Burger.
5. The Great Ocean Road
One of the most epic road trips you will ever have the opportunity to take, the Great Ocean Road is 243 km of road along the south east coast of Australia. Spectacular sea limestone cliffs, rainforests, amazing surfing and the open road combine to make this an unforgettable trip.
Stop at Kennett River to find the most heavily populated area – for koalas! While these fluffy cute marsupials are not particularly shy, they are exceptionally lazy. Take your time and you’ll soon find the art of spotting these creatures high in the trees, slowly munching on Eucalyptus leaves.
The Twelve Apostles are a quick diversion from the road. Only eight of these limestone stacks remain after the other collapsed. The traitor ‘Judas’ collapsed in July 2005
One of the most vibrant cities in the world, Melbourne is the fashion, shopping and cultural centre of Australia. With incredible malls filled with top designer brands as well as local designers and unique giftware, this city is a shopper’s paradise. There are an incredible number of art galleries and museums, from Indigenous history and culture through to music and sport. The street art is unsurpassed- grab a map and start your exploration from Flinders Station. Make sure to stop in the tiny cafes with the scent of roasted coffee luring you in, or at any number of great Jazz bars and amazing restaurants along the way.
Image by Martin.
7. Cockatoo Island
A quirky day trip from Sydney, pack a picnic, hop on a ferry and head off to this UNESCO listed heritage site. This is where the first white inhabitants of Australia- the convicts- were held while the Island was a penal establishment. After that, it became an Industrial School and reformatory for girls. Then, it was a shipbuilding centre, where Australia’s first steel warship was built. Now, it’s a great place to visit with an intriguing history and lots to explore.
Rottnest Island bay photo by Ndaaunhi.
8. Perth and Rottnest Island
Perth has a charming laid back sea-side vibe that you won’t find in any other Australian city. Go spend a day at Rottnest Island and meet the happiest creatures alive- quokkas. This adorable mammal is confined to this tiny island, accessible via the Perth ferry. When Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered the island in 1696, he thought the quokkas were rats, therefore named the island ‘Rats Nest Island’. Since then, we’ve found that quokkas are the smiliest fluffiest friendliest animals and people enjoy their company as they cycle around the Island, taking in the history and the stunning views. If you’re looking to move to beautiful Perth, then consider using Ausmove.
Yarra Valley wines photo by DearEdward.
9. Follow the wine
Australia is well known for its full-bodied red wines, and there are plenty of areas where you can travel directly to the source. The Yarra Valley in Victoria, Barossa Valley in NSW, Margaret River in WA…. Pick an area and take your time driving through the region, sampling wines as you go. Often regions with stunning natural beauty, you’ll find landscapes and attractions to visit as you explore.
For instance, Yarra Valley has hot balloons at sunrise, letting you silently glide over miles of vineyards and lush green landscapes. Visit Healesville sanctuary to see Australian wildlife. You can hop on a bike- or horse- and follow the Lilydale Rail Trail through the Yarra Valley, enjoying views of the Yarra Ranges National Park and surrounding wineries.
Photo courtesy of Australian Paralympic Committee.
Aussies are a friendly bunch, always happy to have a chat and discuss their favourite places to visit. So there you have the ten amazing things that we think make Australia the greatest place on earth… what are waiting for! Then book your flight, grab some insurance, pack your bags, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!