Australia is a land of dreams, located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Australia is the world’s largest island and its smallest continent. Australians have been slowly emerging from covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government is now going to ease restrictions across the country. Overseas travel may be out of reach for now, but there’s still plenty to see, do and experience right here on home turf. We’ve cherry-picked a handful of the regions we think you should put at the top of your list for when interstate travel is once again permitted. Whether you’re into sipping delicious shiraz, hiking around lush green wilderness or getting the most out of our unspoilt coastlines, there’s a destination to suit any and every taste.
Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is a popular stop on many Australian itineraries, especially for culture vultures. Galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops. Due to its high quality of life, citizens from around the world have flocked to the streets. Its multicultural population is reflected in the delicious cuisine on offer and the unique neighborhoods that make it such a fascinating place to explore. Whether it’s a hidden laneway bar, a ten-storey shopping adventure or an underground theatre space, most things worth visiting are within easy reach.
Almost picture perfect, Sydney is a fantastic city with a lot going for it. A modern city with a long history, Sydney is defined by its scenic harbor. The harbor was also the landing site for convicts sent to Australia during the 1780s. Today, ferries take visitors for cruises under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the iconic 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 great architectural icons. If you’re coming for the beautiful beaches, we recommend sticking around for the restaurants, the culture and the good vibes, also the beaches.
A popular tourist destination, Brisbane is a lively, dynamic place that is bathed in beautiful sunshine year-round. Located in the Sunshine State, many visitors stop by on their way to the fantastic resorts and beaches that lie to its north and south. Set alongside the Brisbane River, the city’s fantastic climate means that outdoor activities are very popular here. With loads of brilliant restaurants and bars for you to choose from, Brisbane is not to be missed.
The island state of Tasmania may be isolated from the rest of the country but it still remains one of the best places to visit in Australia; almost half of its area is protected as the government looks to preserve the natural riches.For one thing, 40 per cent of Tasmania is reserved as national parks and world heritage wilderness. Drive 20 minutes outside the state’s major cities (Hobart and Launceston) and you can walk in the bush, bike down a spectacular mountain trail or lounge on the beach. But Tasmania isn’t just for nature fans. There’s extraordinary food, gin and whisky distilleries, wildlife sanctuaries, cool-climate wineries, fabulous festivals and a world-class art museum in the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which is one of the best things to do in the world right now.
The landscapes are simply spectacular in Australia’s red centre, especially when you’re marvelling at the great sandstone monolith that is Uluru. Uluru, meaning “shadowy place” in the local aboriginal dialect, rises to a height of 348 meters from the surrounding plain, with most of its bulk hidden beneath the earth’s surface. Walking around the base and admiring it from afar, as you observe the different colours it turns as the sunlight hits it, is still a humbling experience. Also in the park are the red dome-shaped rocks called Kata Tjuta. As the sun dips in the sky, sightseers gather 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.
With over 2.5 million visitors each year, Bondi Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world and this particular attraction accounts for a significant amount of the tourists who visit Australia each year. The parked sand, the rocks, the water and the warm temperature combine to make the experience at Bondi beach like no other. Due to Australia’s unique weather, Bondi beach can be visited all year round – even during winter. There are many cultural events taking place at Bondi every year. This is one of the many features that draws visitors. In the last few years, there has been, among other events, a food festival, several company events and political gatherings.
Kakadu National Park
Occupied by Aboriginal people for over 40,000 years, Kakadu National Park has over five thousand ancient rock art sites which are fascinating to visit. It is a place of immense cultural and natural significance. The park is huge and contains some stunning natural sights which make it well worth a visit; the Kakadu Escarpment is particularly breathtaking. You can be hiking through deserted sandstone escarpments one minute and bathing in waterfalls and pools the next, before later on learning about some of the ancient rock paintings.
A hop, skip and a jump west of Sydney lies the Blue Mountains region. Let nature be your guide here: wander through the steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and swimming holes dotted around this rugged part of New South Wales and be rewarded by picture-perfect vistas prime for online bragging. The most famous attractions in the park are the towering sandstone rock formations called the Three Sisters. Other highlights include the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest, which whisks passengers down the Jamison Valley through a cliff-side tunnel into an ancient rainforest, and the Skyway, Scenic Cableway, and Scenic Walkway, which all offer elevated views of the dense forests.
Broken Hill, in western New South Wales, is hardly up there as a tourist destination of international renown. It’s miles from anywhere, boiling hot and lacks the more chi-chi elements that often make a destination popular – for example high-end restaurants, beautiful beaches, posh accommodation. If you long to see the brutally beautiful sun-scorched plains of Australia’s desert interior, while keeping one foot in civilisation, there are excellent accommodations in and around the town, such as the luxe Broken Hill Outback Resort.
The Great Ocean Road
Most top tourist destinations have spectacular driving routes, and for Australia, one of its best is the Great Ocean Road. Built to provide employment during the Depression, the road stretches for 300 kilometers along Australia’s southeast coast, from the surfing town of Torquay to the town of Allansford, near Warrnambool, in the state of Victoria. The top attraction along the road is Port Campbell National Park, with the wind and wave-sculpted rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge, the Arch, and Loch Ard Gorge.