Places to visit in Australia are numerous and they cannot be confined in a blog post. However, I will try to capture the continent’s top sightseeing places that can be covered in a blog post.
I noticed a similarity between Ottawa and Canberra. Both are capital cities of Canada and Australia respectively but both are not among the spectacular places that are visited in their respective countries.
While Toronto garners all the limelight of Canada, Australia can boast of numerous tourist landmarks that are spread over the entire continent but not Canberra.
Though the entire Australia is an island, it is classified as a continent because of its size and thus does not fall under ‘islands’ category.
Places to visit in Australia:
Top places to see in Australia are located in the following big cities and beautiful states:
- Gold Coast
While Queensland is the home of the highest number of places to see in Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Northern Territory can also attract quite a lot of foreign tourists.
Top Places to Visit in Australia:
Let us begin the list of tourist places in Australia, city wise.
Please read our earlier blog post on “21 things to do in Brisbane”. In it, you can get to know about all the spectacular attractions in Brisbane.
Adelaide is located in the Southwest of Australia. South Australia is the state.
The Victoria Square is rated as one of the top most tourist places to visit in Australia. It is officially called “Tarntanyangga”, in “Karuna” language spoken by the earliest inhabitants of Australia, especially, the southern Australia.
Like the Italian ‘piazzas’, the Victoria Square is a public watching place. It is a place for events, celebrations, and entertainment.
Somehow, I would rather say inexplicably, the majority of Adelaide’s legal buildings that include the Supreme Court, Federal Court, and the Magistrate Court surround the Victoria Square.
Elder Park is a scenic place in Adelaide, on the banks of River Torrens. It is one the shortest rivers that I know of; it flows for only 85 km!
The Botanical Garden
Always, the botanical garden (if there is one) in any city is included in the itinerary of the city tour. The Adelaide botanical garden is developed in a sprawling area comprising 130 acres.
The rose garden obviously pulls more visitors in the garden. The garden authorities should be commended for developing an artificial wetland to maintain the ecology of the botanic garden, and also the city’s geography.
A visit to any part of Australia is not complete if you don’t encounter the prides of the country such as the kangaroo, possum, wallabies, koalas, Rainbow Lorikeet, and finally the attractive Gouldian Finch (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3e/Male_adult_Gouldian_Finch.jpg/440px-Male_adult_Gouldian_Finch.jpg }.
You can see them all in the Adelaide zoo, one of the top places to see in Australia.
This is one of the earliest zoos developed in Australia and hence, it is able to display around a whopping 3000 species of animals, birds, and reptiles.
Adelaide Central Market
I guess the majority of the tourists to Australia or for that matter, any city, would like to finish their shopping on the first day itself before they ran out of money.
In the Adelaide Central Market, you as a tourist would certainly fill up your wheel-cart. Your major purchases would include the Aussie beer, Aussie cookies, and memorabilia that bear the signs or icons of kolas, kangaroos, and the rainbow lorikeet. You can think of keychains, wallets, shopping bags, wooden showpieces and even screens and bedspreads.
Cleveland Conservation Park
Your sixth tourist landmark to visit in Adelaide is the important Cleveland Conservation Park in which you can expect to see wildlife, geographical wonders, and trekking trails. The Cleveland Conservation Park is a major tourist attraction in Adelaide and hence it finds a place in the list of top places to see in Australia.
Morialta Conservation Park
The attractions of another conservation park in Adelaide includes, wildlife, waterfalls, mountaineering, and more particularly bird watching.
We are all aware of the cute budgies of striking colors. The budgies are said to be a native of Australia. In fact, Australia is a big haven for bird watching.
Among the numerous bird species in Morialta Conservation Park, the rarest bird is the yellow-tailed black cockatoo.
Another beautiful bird to watch out for is the gorgeous Adelaide Rosella.
This park is located only 10 km from Adelaide, South Australia.
You might have heaved a sigh of envy whenever you watched a shopping street in a film where, no cars are allowed. They are known as the ‘pedestrian shopping malls’. You can finally stroll through one such car-free shopping street.
In Adelaide, Rundle Mall is a big attraction for shopping-crazy tourists. Electronic gadgets and infotainment devices and Aussie jewelry are the maximum bought items in Rundle Mall.
The imposing appearance will make you stop in your track, stare before decided to capture it in your camera. The St. Peter’s Cathedral is one of the prides of Australia and hence is found in the list of places to visit in Australia.
Beaches of Australia’s southwest coast
The beaches on the continent’s southwest coast are unique and so much different from any beach in the world. I am of the opinion (formed from my travel experiences) that, somehow the western coast of a peninsula, or a country, or an island is more romantic than the beaches on other three sides.
Here are some of the most beautiful and highly visited beaches in Adelaide.
- Noarlunga Beach
- Seacliff Beach
- Moana Beach
- Grange Beach
- Semaphore Beach
- Henley Beavh
I think, I have covered the top attractions in Adelaide that you too can cover during a weekend. I will move on to the next Australian city.
Canberra is the capital of Australia and is nearly 1000 km east from Adelaide, on the southeast of Australia. Moreover, the city is situated at a high altitude of 2000 feet approximately.
Let us go through the list of things to do in Canberra.
Australia National Botanic Gardens
Here comes the all-familiar botanic gardens that carries the ‘s’ at the end, indicating the plural. The sprawling 220 acres of land contains man-made rainforest and there is a guided walking tour inside the rainforest that is highly recommended. I am sure there is something for every flora buffs and fauna enthusiasts.
As the botanic gardens are located in the Aussie capital, you can expect thousands of floras that are native to Australia. Over 5000 species of floras include numerous species of plants that are endemic to Australia.
Apart from the greenscape, you can see a garden of rocks of varied shapes, and sizes from which green lives emerge. Rock Garden is an apt name for this.
This is the rainforest, containing trees that are naturally grown in tropical rainforests.
You get this opportunity rarely during your visit to anywhere in the world. When your Canberra city tour itinerary includes a session of silent star gazing, don’t skip it due to the late night time, when the majority of the artificial lights of the city die.
Star gazing place in Canberra is on the city’s mountain known as Ainslie. There are a few more locations to spot and indentify the stars, galaxies, and constellations in Canberra that include:
- Lake George
- Orroral Valley
- Dairy Farmers Hill
- Namdgi Natiuonal Park
- Mount Stromlo
You are lucky to get so many opportunities of astronomical tour in a single city in Australia. Wouldn’t you rate this adventure as one of the interesting tourist places in Australia?
Australian War Memorial
It sits at the top of the list of Canberra attractions to see. As you stroll through the impressive war memorial, you will come across stunning sculptures that are part of s sculpture garden in the premises.
Look at one such beautiful and realistic sculpture below.
As a special attraction, kangaroos are allowed to roam freely in the landscaped war memorial garden. I think you can feed them. So, remember to carry what the kangaroos’ favourite food.
National art gallery
If paintings, art works, and sculptures are your interest, you will spend at least two hours in the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra.
The Parliament House
The Capital Hill of Australia in Canberra is an impressing building with unique architecture. If you are not interested in its tour, at least, look at it from outside.
Our next city of visit in Australia is Perth
Perth, one of the biggest cities in Australia, sits on its southwest coast, facing the Indian Ocean. Being a coastal city, the tourism centers around 20 odd beaches.
I guess the majority of visitors would skip seeing all the important Government building and hit the Indian Ocean, to escape the city’s sultry weather.
You can guess the place. It is a war memorial that carries an eternal flame. We are all always curious to see an eternal flame, anywhere in the world.
As a matter of fact, anything, a building, a park, a water body that begins with the word ‘eternal’ would pique our interest.
It is a huge park comprising nearly 1000 acres, overlooking the Swan River, the most visited place in Perth.
You can expect to see beautiful garden, eateries, and a small hill from where the view will steal your heart.
The Kings Park is a habitat for hundreds of native flora. That implies, it is game-park to watch colorful Aussie birds of which, we had a glance already in this post.
Kings Park is the pride of Perth and it attracts a whopping 5 million people per annum! That is quite an impressive statistics for the city’s tourism.
Since the size of the Kings Park is nearly 1000 acres with a range of trees, there are several walking trails such as “Kokoda Trek”, and “Law Walk”.
It is amusing to learn the kangaroo paw points to a few species of colourful flowers with amazing shapes and colors. You can see them in the Kings Park walking trail.
Below are the pictures of a few species of Kangaroo Paw. After seeing them, you would definitely want to touch them during your tour of places to visit in Australia.
Aren’t they simply breathtaking?
I think the Perth City’s culture and social life centers around this scenic river that flows through the heart of the city.
I request you to visit the site of the river late in the evening also when you can see extraordinary paintings of light on the water.
We are always confused at the difference between a harbour and a quay. However, both are places abutting a water body such as a river or most frequently a sea.
Skyscrapers usually appear on the quay side of any city. The buildings include commercial complexes as well as residential towers.
Yes, it should be seen at night only to appreciate the lightings of this bell tower in Perth. It is ranked as one of the top places to see in Australia.
The 270 feet tall tower has 18 bells that ring and the tune changes automatically! It is certainly a not-to-be-missed sight in Perth.
Other prominent tourist landmarks of Perth:
- Blackwall Reach-again, something to do with the Swan River
- Melville Water-one more Swan River scenic place
- Freshwater Bay-another Swan River landmark
- Point Walter-a sort of river estuary in Perth
Our next city of visit in Australia is Melbourne
Melbourne, one of the very big cities in Australia, sits at the southern tip of Australia and is the closest place to New Zealand. It is a huge city, comprising a staggering 10,000 sq. km. It is the capital of Victoria state.
National Gallery of Victoria
This will be your first place to see when you have arrived in Melbourne as part of your mission to see the top tourist places in Australia.
Unlike Asia and Africa, the U.S., Europe, the U.K., and Australia are fiercely proud of the fine arts achievements and accolades. Therefore, art galleries and museums are usually places found at the top of the list of tourist landmarks.
The National Gallery of Victoria is quite old, buddy; it is over 160 years old. Naturally, it will be rich in its displays and also you can expect a diverse range.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Cricket lovers all over the world are familiar with MCG, the venue of some of the greatest cricket matches. I loved the way the legendary Richie Benaud pronounced the MCG in his own inimitable style.
It is one of the places in Melbourne to visit. I read somewhere that the Aussies revered it as a shrine.
Royal Exhibition Building
It is truly a Victorian style building-eh? It comes under the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Besides, it hosts numerous exhibitions and events and is a pride of Australia.
Queen Victoria Market
You would be taken to this largest open shopping center during your first day of Melbourne tour by the tour operator.
As an important tourist landmark in Melbourne, it attracts a whopping 10 million visitors every year. Of course, this impressive figure includes the local visitors also.
Imagine the range of products sold in Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne with over 600 outlets, selling A to Z, that are classified broadly under 15 categories. That must be easy to shop around provided the shops are also laid out neatly as per the category.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Like any big city, Melbourne too has a botanic garden and is called the Royal Botanic Gardens. This beautiful place is developed on the banks of Yarra River. The number of plants, trees, and shrubs exceed 50k! I am sure, you would need half a day to see around the gardens.
Yes, this is a man-made lake which seems to be a ‘must’ in botanic gardens, and in the zoos.
Zoo in Melbourne
You can expect see as many as 5000+ animals and birds in the Melbourne zoo.
I would like to mention a unique aspect of the zoo of which I have not heard of before. The wildlife is housed according to their natural habitat including the climate in which they are comfortable. These are known as ‘bioclimatic zones’.
For example, the Chimpanzees and Orangutans thrive only in rainforests. The Melbourne zoo had done that exactly; the African rainforests are there right in the heart of Melbourne. In the rainforest section alone, you can see several species of monkeys, of which, many are very rare.
Besides, in another section of the Melbourne zoo, you can watch the sea mammals that include penguins, and fur seals.
In the birds section, one of the rarest birds that you should not miss is the “Radjah Shelducks”.
Radjah Shelduck-ah, so cute!
This makes the Melbourne zoo as one of the top tourist places in Australia.
Beaches to see in Melbourne:
How about spending some quality time in Melbourne’s best beaches facing the Tasman Sea?
The names of the beaches in Melbourne that you should include in your bucket list:
- Altona Beach
- Kilda Beach
- Brighton Beach
- Sorrento Beach this is really a surreal beach in Melbourne.
Let us know explore the best places to see in Sydney which dominates the list of places to visit Australia. Sydney is part of New South Wales state and also the state capital.
I am putting it atop the list of Sydney’s attractions and it is also listed in the top 50 places to see in Australia.
It is the main shopping street in Sydney which you will visit on your first day in Sydney tour package.
Did you notice the three tall rocks on the mountain? They are called the “Three Sisters”.
This mountain range in the outskirts of Sydney certainly doesn’t emit any blue tinge similar to the Blue Mountains in Tamilnadu state, India.
But, when viewed from Jamison Valley, one could detect the blue haze in the horion.
The canyon you see is known as “Cox River Canyon”. The central business district of Sydney (the heart of Sydney) is 50 km away.
The Blue Mountains come under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geography, flora, and fauna (wildlife).
Some of the notable fauna includes:
- Tiger Quoll-a very rare animal
- Grey Kangaroos
Among other tourist attractions, the cable car that is fitted with a glass floor pulls all age groups of visitors to enjoy a ride in the sky.
There are several activities that would engage you for a full day in the Blue Mountains.
This scenic beach in Sydney is part of the Royal National Park, one of Australia’s largest national parks comprising 50 sq. km.
Occupying massive area of 900 acres, the Centennial Park is a major tourist landmark in Sydney. It is also a site for viewing numerous Aussie wildlife.
Obviously, it is the biggest place for tourist gathering for the views of the Tasman Sea, the high-rise buildings, the bars and restaurants.
Tourists, who go to the China Town for eating and shopping, take a long walk along the King Street Wharf to reach the promenade of Darling Harbour.
The harbour area is full of shops and indoor game halls such as a bowling alley, and a jet flight stimulator.
More nearby attractions include:
- Wildlife World
- Sydney Aquarium
- Marine Museum
- The famous wax museum by Madame Tussauds
- Darling Square
All these activities make the Darling Harbour, one of the top tourist places in Australia.
More places of interest in Sydney
Sydney Opera House
- Watson Bay
- Sydney Tower
- Art Gallery of New South Wales
Queen Victoria Building
- Our final destination in Australia is Cairns.
Cairns is not a very big city but is home to natural beauties including the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests.
Cairns is part of the Queensland state, which is the pride of Australia as far as tourism is concerned.
- The Great Barrier Reef
Some astonishing facts of the Great Barrier Reef that makes it the most visited place in Australia:
- Look at the area that is covered by the Great Barrier Reef.
Do you know the length of the green -colored area in the map? It measures a mind-boggling 2300 km. In terms of coverage, it comprises an incredible 344,400 sq. km! In such a large area are 900 islands, and 2900 reefs!
All these reefs are situated in Coral Sea, Australia’s northeast coast.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Much of the Great Barrier Reef is protected under the Marine Mark that is rich in dense tropical forests and is a habitat for a great range of birds, insects, and marine lives.
Can you say ‘no’ to a walk on the canopy board? I cannot and would spend hours gazing at the tall and centuries-old trees.
When you take a guided tour of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, you can see as many as 18 tropical islands that are home to hundreds of birds, animals, and marine creatures.
Both the reef system and this marine mark are among the ten top tourist places in Australia.
- More beautiful sights to see in Cairns:
Palm Cove Beach
Kuranda Scenic Railway
It is undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. The train ride lasts only 55 minutes and it is so cruel when you are asked to alight from the train.
View a short video of what you can expect to see during the Kuranda Scenic Train Ride.
It is awesome!
Your trip to see the all the beautiful places to see in Australia should end with a visit to the Daintree Rainforest, one of the biggest attractions of Queensland and Cairns.
No wonder, Australia is considered as a continent even though it is a huge island; it is four times larger than Greenland which is rated as the largest (biggest) island in the world.