Travelling Around Australia Part 1: Where to Visit
Did you know Australia is considered the world's sixth-largest country in terms of total area? That means there are a lot of places to visit and adventures to be had when you're road tripping across this vast land. From bustling cities and sunny beaches, to dense rainforests and dry deserts, travelling around Australia is a truly unique experience. We asked some top travel bloggers for their favourite places to visit and they did not disappoint.
Great Barrier Reef
Spread across 2,300km on the upper coast line of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is a must visit for local and international tourists visiting North Queensland. Known for its colourful and captivating corals, the Great Barrier Reef can even be seen from space! This is one of the top 5 places Dean from The Road To Anywhere recommends local and international travellers should check out if they are making a trip around Australia.
The Gold Coast, in Queensland but quite close to the New South Wales border, is a must-see destination for family travellers. Soak up the sun on the many golden beaches or bring the kids (or the grandkids) to one of the popular theme parks nearby.
Located about 90 kilometres west of central Mackay, Lake Elphinstone is the perfect place to relax according to the Our Naked Australia duo, Juz and Dave. Watching sunrises and sunsets while swans glide through the lake is a picture perfect sight.
Sitting off the coast of Queensland, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. Stretching across 120km, Fraser is the perfect destination to camp, explore rainforests and take a dip in one of the many freshwater lakes spread across the island.
New South Wales & A.C.T
Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House
A tourist landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are particularly popular destinations for local and international travellers visiting New South Wales. The fantastic architecture of these man-made structures offers the perfect photo opportunity. For a magnificent view of the city, book in to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunrise or sunset.
Bondi is easily the most well-known beach in Australia and attracts thousands of locals and tourists every day in the summer months. Close to Sydney's CBD, the impressive surfing conditions and pristine water makes the Bondi crowds worth it.
Jerusalem Creek, Black Rocks Campground
Shaun and Sarah from Norris Around Australia recommend this beautiful northern NSW destination. For fantastic exploring, kayaking, swimming as well as camping and caravanning, Jerusalem Creek and the Black Rocks Campground is worth a visit if you're travelling around Australia.
This is the go-to snow destination in Australia, located in the popular Snowy Mountains subregion in New South Wales. If you want to catch some snow on your way through New South Wales, ski season at Perisher runs from June and usually lasts through until October.
Located west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is the perfect location for avid bush walkers, nature lovers and anyone in search of a spectacular view. It's not all for bushwalkers though - Phoebe from Little Grey Box shared her top picks for spending a weekend in the Blue Mountains.
Great Ocean Road
Running for an incredible 243 kilometres, the Great Ocean Road is another must-see tourist attraction along the east coast of Australia. A road trip along the Great Ocean Road will bring you to some incredible sights including numerous beaches and the marvel that is the Twelve Apostles. Dean from The Road To Anywhere agrees that this is a beautiful stretch of road and with little coves and beaches to discover, Dean admits it is some of the most spectacular coastal scenery he has seen in the world.
Grampians National Park
A great place to hike, explore and camp, visiting the Grampians is a must when passing through Victoria. Local cellars and restaurants that offer delicious food and drinks alongside a breathtaking view are waiting for the keen gourmands, and for the adrenaline-seekers, there are a bunch of heart-pumping hikes to explore.
A fantastic spot to enjoy some local wine, the Yarra Valley is a well-known wine region with fantastic views. If wine isn't your thing, you can always go for an adventure across the valley in a hot air balloon ride.
Great Otway National Park
This gorgeous national park features coastal views, waterfalls, lakes and more. Jonny and Jess loved the Great Otway National Park for its amazing forestry and the beautiful, peaceful wildlife-filled campsites.
Freycinet National Park
Consisting of rugged mountains and white sand beaches, Freycinet is one of the top picks for Tasmanian visitors. With various walks around the park, you can visit the extremely popular (and breathtaking) Wineglass Bay. With white sand and gorgeous sapphire-coloured blue water, Wineglass Bay has been voted one of the top ten beaches in the world time and time again.
Port Arthur Historic Site
For the history buffs, Port Arthur will give you your much needed fix. The historic site is based off the former convict settlement on Tasmania and offers tours (and ghost tours) daily.
Experience a bird's eye view of Hobart on the top of Mount Wellington close to the CBD of the state capital. Accessed by either car or walkways, this is a popular choice in Tasmania due to its stunning views. You can also catch a glimpse of the captivating Southern Lights. If you are in Hobart for a weekend and need some more inspiration, check out Mister Weekender's itinerary for must-do attractions.
Dave and Juz from Our Naked Australia recommend Lake Pedder as their highlight from a recent trip to Tasmania. They were lucky to be visited at the "mirror-like dam" by some native Eastern Quolls.
According to Shaun and Sarah Norris, the travellers behind Norris Around Australia, the Simpson Desert is a must if you enjoy camping. They said, "Nothing is like the stillness of the desert at night."
During winter in particular, Alice Springs is a must-see as it is filled with festivals and events that allow you to be immersed in the true culture of the Australian outback. Dave and Juz loved visiting Alice Springs during the winter months and Shaun and Sarah enjoyed the "melting pot of cultures" right in the centre of Australia.
If you are travelling around the Northern Territory, don't miss one of the most recognisable trademarks of Australia. Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation close to the centre of Australia in the southern part of the Northern Territory. If you need some help planning your Uluru visit, Gary and Amanda from Travel Outback Australia have a complete guide on how to plan your trip to this iconic Australian landmark.
Lorella Springs Wilderness Park
Recommended by the Our Naked Australia duo, this family owned one-million acre property is perfect for the whole family. Offering camping, fishing, hiking, four-wheel-driving, waterfalls, swimming holes and even hot springs, some travellers stay at the Lorella Springs Wilderness Park property for a couple of months at a time!
Another recommendation from Our Naked Australia when visiting the Northern Territory is the incredible Devils Marbles. This landmark is a collection of spectacular red-coloured boulders that have been weathered and eroded to form incredibly smooth, round marbles. A fascinating thing to observe when viewing the rocks are the boulders that have split clean in half as a result of thermal stress!
Located in the Simpson Desert, the Chambers Pillar is a spectacular solitary sandstone column. Shaun and Sarah from Norris Around Australia recommend this for not only its natural beauty but also for its historical significance in outback Australia.
Kakadu National Park
Recommended by Dean from The Road to Anywhere, Kakadu National Park covers a staggering 19,804 kilometres squared and is a protected area of land in the northern region of the Northern Territory. A variety of activities are available for you to undertake while in the area including bush walks, boat cruises and even scenic flights over the stunning landscape.
Midway between Uluru and Alice Springs, Kings Canyon is a gorgeous sandstone canyon that sits above dense palm forests. You can get up close to the action after completing the challenging 6 kilometre Kings Canyon Rim Walk trek. Shaun and Sarah recommend this stunning walk purely for the amazing views throughout, especially when you reach the top.
Known for its incredible wine and food, the Barossa Valley is the perfect place to stop into on your Australian adventure for the cultural experience, relaxed nature and tasty food. With regular events to attend and farmers' markets galore to stock up on fresh produce, The Barossa Valley is a beautiful place to visit in South Australia.
Just off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is a must on your itinerary. With seals, kangaroos and penguins, Kangaroo Island has a fantastic range of wildlife to see and experiences to add to your bucket list.
According to Shaun and Sarah and Jono and Laura from travel blog Champion The Wonder, the Flinders Ranges is a must-do because there are so many activities. Go four-wheel-driving in the red dirt, visit the Nuccaleena Copper Mine ruins and even go cafe hopping in Quorn.
The Blue Lake
In the Mount Gambier region, The Blue Lake exists from an extinct volcanic crater. Not only is the scenery within the Mount Gambier area stunning, the lake water also boasts a gorgeous cobalt blue tone between December through to March. If you are in the area during the summer months, it is the perfect time to add it to your itinerary.
Located only 45 minutes from Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula is a gorgeous combination of rolling hills, national parks and vineyards as well as sandy beaches and a gorgeous coastline. Jono and Laura from Champion The Wonder loved this area, particularly the Rapid Bay camp site which they described as "something out of a fairytale." To follow Jono and Laura's adventure, check out their Instagram.
Made up of 122 islands off the coast of Western Australia, the Abrolhos Islands were definitely a highlight for the Champion The Wonder team on their WA itinerary. The duo got to experience gorgeous aerial shots of the coral reefs and even spotted a shark, manta rays, seals and dolphins.
Sitting in the Nambung National Park on the coastline of Western Australia just north of Perth, the Pinnacles are a must-see when travelling through the western state of Australia. These ancient rock spires are a natural wonder, scattered across the desert in mystical formations.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Our Naked Australia recommend stopping in and visiting the Cape Le Grand National Park in the southern part of Western Australia. With "perfectly white sand and turquoise water", hiking opportunities up to the top of Freshman's peak and four-wheel-driving across the beach back to Esperance, Cape Le Grand National Park is a must-do.
Another popular beach is the breathtaking Turquoise Bay where you can soak up the sun and spend an afternoon swimming and snorkelling in the clear water. More than 500 different fish species live in and around Turquoise Bay, so head there on a clear day and jump right in.
The biggest show cave in Western Australia, Jewel Cave offers a range of stalactites and helictites including one of the world's longest straw stalactites. If you want to make the most of your visit, treat yourself to an informative guided tour through the enormous cave chambers.
Whether you're on a long-term grey nomad trip or hitting the road for a few days with some friends, fill up your itinerary with our travelling around Australia guide. For tips to make life easier on the road, read Travelling Around Australia - Part 2: Handy Tips.