35 Best Places in Australia (Top Tourist Attractions)

Best Places in Australia Hinchinbrook Island Top Tourist Attractions Whitsundays
Hinchinbrook Island, Attribution: CSIRO - Wikimedia Commons

Coming up with the best places in Australia, the top tourist attractions in the land down under isn’t easy, but there are a few destinations that really stand out in my mind as being the best of the best.

Some of these fabulous Australian tourist attractions are known throughout the world, while other top places in Australia are still a bit of a secret.

Sometimes I wonder whether they’re kept hush-hush on purpose, after all, too many tourists can have a negative impact on the environment, not to mention your sanity if the crowds are too big.

Australia is a big country so it won’t be easy to see all of these stunning destinations. Make sure you choose wisely unless you have unlimited time to play with, which sadly most of us don’t have.

Visiting anyone of these spectacular places in Australia on a nice sunny day would be a dream for most tourists. Believe me, most Australians would be incredibly pleased to have seen even half of these places.

I would say the majority of the Australian population would be lucky to visit between 5 and 10 of these places during their lifetime so keep that in mind if you’re an overseas tourist.

In a two week trip if you can visit 5 of the best places in Australia shown here then you’ve done good. Don’t go overboard trying to squeeze any more than that into a two week itinerary though, as you won’t have enough time to enjoy each destination. Take it easy in the land down under. Here’s where to go:

QUEENSLAND – Best places in Australia

1. Orpheus Island

Accomodation: Orpheus Island Lodge

Who wouldn’t love to stay at Orpheus Island Lodge. Sounds awesome! I want to go too. I don’t think you would ever look back after visiting this island.

Best Places in Australia Map of Orpheus Island Palm Islands

In August 2017, Chris Hemsworth, celebrated his 34th birthday on Orpheus Island with his wife and friends. He called it “one of the best weekends ever”. The Thor film star obviously has a bit of respect for Greek Mythology.

As an added bonus, Pandora Reef is located nearby. This is a fascinating Australian Greek Island zone. There is at least one more island on this map linked to Greek Mythology. Can anyone guess what island I’m talking about?

2. Hamilton Island

Accomodation: Qualia, Hamilton Island, The Whitsundays

This luxury resort began operating in 2007. Ten years later, it was named as the Best Australian Romantic Property by Luxury Travel Magazine. Odysseus would have loved this place, especially the 30-metre-long infinity pool overlooking the Coral Sea.

3. Daydream Island

Accomodation: Daydream Island Resort and Spa, The Whitsundays

I absolutely love this gem of an island. Love the pool and love Lover’s Cove. Love the three mermaids.

Best Places in Australia Daydream Island

They don’t call this Daydream Island for nothing. If you have ever seen the TV series Fantasy Island (1977-1984), then imagine this island as being a mermaid paradise.

4. Hayman Island

Accomodation: One&Only Hayman Island, The Whitsundays

Being stranded on this island would be like being in hotel island heaven.

5. The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is huge. The best place to go in my opinion is the Whitsundays.

Here you can fly over Heart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Heart Reef Great Barrier Reef Australia

Flying over the reef is awesome and the beauty about it is that many tour companies combine a scenic flight over Heart Reef with other breathtaking spots in the Whitsundays, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.

6. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

This beach is a dream. Whitehaven beach is Australia’s ultimate beach.

Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays

7. Fraser Island

Accomodation: Kingfisher Bay Resort

The natives called this island ‘K’GARI’ meaning ‘PARADISE’.

Splashing around Lake McKenzie, the Champagne Pools, and Eli Creek will probably convince you that it’s true.

8. Noosa

Accomodation: The Sebel Noosa

The feature image at the top of this post shows Noosa from the town lookout. Remember to visit the Greek theatre at Lake MacDonald in Noosa. Whoever had it built obviously wanted to honour the Greek Gods and Goddesses in some way.

9. Gold Coast

Accomodation: Palazzo Versace

The bonus of staying here is that you’ll see Medusa’s head all over the place. That’s because the luxury hotel is branded on the legendary fashion brand Versace. You can bet big money lots of beautiful women want to come here.

10. Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest

Accomodation: Ulysses Getaways: Beach House Port Douglas

Four Mile Beach is the signature beach in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas Australia Four Mile Beach
Source: Maksym Kozlenko – Flickr

The Daintree Rainforest is close by. It is supposed to be the oldest continuous living rainforest on earth. The 2km back loop walk on the rear section of Mossman Gorge is one of the Daintree’s best kept secrets.

11. Hinchinbrook Island

The big attraction here is the 32km Thorsborne Trail, along Hinchinbrook Island’s east coast.

12. Lizard Island

This is one of the most exclusive islands in Australia. If you’re a millionaire it’s probably worth while checking out.

13. Cairns

Cairns is one of the Best Places in Australia
Source: John – Flickr

You may be wondering why such a big proportion of the best places in Australia can be found in Queensland? Well, one good reason I can give you is that it isn’t named Queensland for nothing.

Just as Eddie Murphy went to Queens in the movie Coming to America, you should seriously think about coming to Queensland.

NEW SOUTH WALES – Best places in Australia

14. Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Opera House

15. Byron Bay

Having the same name as the poet Lord Byron says something. We know he loved Greece and there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have loved this superb beach town as well. This is the coolest town in Australia by far. Chris Hemsworth built his massive home in Byron Bay and so have numerous other famous individuals.

Accommodation: Shambhala@Byron, Belongil Beach

I stayed at Shambhala and loved the place. They even sent me a beautiful diary after I returned home. Who does that?

Accommodation: Gaia Retreat and Spa (30 minute drive to Byron Bay)

Another option is staying at the Gaia Retreat and Spa which is located in the Byron Bay Hinterland.

This place is associated with Olivia Newton-John, the star of Grease. It’s another affirmation that Olivia Newton-John has very close associations with the Greek Gods. Her Gaia Retreat suggests she’s fully aware of Greek myth and legend, and there’s even a statue of Hermes at Gaia Retreat and Spa to prove it.

16. Port Stephens/Nelson Bay

I love Port Stephens. The first day I arrived in Port Stephens it hailed with massive hail stones, which made me think it was a bad omen, but the weather turned out to be fantastic after that.

Accomodation: Ocean Muse

I wonder what the nine Muses would think of staying at the Ocean Muse?

Another place that looks good is: Armana Luxury Beach Resort (overlooking Dutchmans Bay Beach)

17. Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are located just 50km (32 miles) from Sydney.

The Three Sisters are the most iconic view of the Blue Mountains. Echo Point lookout (named after the tragic Greek nymph) offers a great view of the three sisters overlooking the Jamison Valley.

Three sisters and Echo Point NSW
Source: Maksym Kozlenko – Wikimedia Commons

18. Lord Howe Island

I’ll tell you how Lord Howe, the Greek Gods made it. This place has to be one of the best places in Australia. The food is delicious as well. Yum.

Accomodation: Capella Lodge

Capella Lodge is in a beautiful position and it really stands out in my mind as being a great place to stay, provided it doesn’t hurt your hip pocket.

I stayed in budget accomodation while I was on the island and it was still a great experience, but I was very envious. Wow, some people have it good in this world.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA – Best places in Australia

19. Kimberley

Cruise: Odyssey Expeditions or Orion Expeditions

It’s a Greek myth just to get to the Kimberley, which is probably the reason why a few of the cruises around the Kimberley have names associated with Greek Mythology.

Accomodation: El Questro (If you want to really spoil yourself)


20. Karijini National Park

21. Broome

Accomodation: Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa

22. Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is amazing. The beauty about visiting Rottnest is that you have to be in Perth, which is a beautiful city and the capital of Western Australia.

Accomodation: The best place you can get.

23. Margaret River

Accomodation: Cape Lodge

Margaret River Western Australia
Source: Alan Lam – Flickr

Margaret River is a foodie destination and the beauty about it is that you have great beaches close by.

Hamelin Bay is the best place to see wild stingrays in Australia.

Margaret River Hamelin Bay Western Australia
Source: Maman Voyage – Flickr

The stingrays are supposed to be very friendly, so much so that you can snorkel with them. You can even pat them in shallow water.

Hamelin Bay Stingrays in Western Australia
Source: Maman Voyage – Flickr

24. Monkey Mia & Shark Bay or Ningaloo Reef & Exmouth

Monkey Mia is famous for its dolphins and Ningaloo Reef is famous for its whale sharks.

Monkey Mia

Feeding dolphins at Monkey Mia Western Australia
Source: rggoldie – Flickr
Best Places in Australia to see Dolphins Monkey Mia
Source: rggoldie – Flickr

Getting to Ningaloo Reef from Monkey Mia by car will require a full day since it is 710km (441 miles) away. Carnarvon is about half way between Monkey Mia and Ningaloo Reef/Exmouth.

Map of Shark Bay Monkey Mia

25. Esperance

Accomodation: Esperance Seafront Caravan park

The beaches are absolutely amazing on a hot day.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Best places in Australia

26. Southern Adelaide beaches in summer (December – February)


Best Places in Australia Glenelg

Beautiful Glenelg Beach Adelaide South Australia


Here we have Poseidon holding his trident and a cute dog holding a stick in his/her mouth at Brighton beach. It’s almost like a mirror image. We have a fierce looking God on one side and a cute dog on the other.

Brighton Beach Poseidon

Glenelg to Brighton along the sandy beach or the paved pathway is about 4.2km (2.6 miles) away.

Star of Greece

The Star of Greece was a ship that sank off the coast of Port Willunga (‘Willy’) in 1888.

Today, there is a restaurant named Star of Greece which sits in a prime position on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The restaurant isn’t Greek but you will feel like you’re in Greece at this top spot. Down below there are even caves inside the cliff.

Best Places in Australia Star of Greece

27. Kangaroo Island

Accomodation: Southern Ocean Lodge


28. Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is the most famous wine region in the whole of Australia. The Barossa Valley Way is the main road through the valley. It connects Nuriootpa, Tanunda, Rowland Flat and Lyndoch. Make sure you visit Chateau Yaldara 1847 Wines in Lyndoch.

Best Places in South Australia Barossa Valley Winery

29. Flinders Ranges

Wilpena Pound is 430 kilometres north of Adelaide via the Clare Valley. The big attraction here is Wilpena Pound, which formed as a result of a meteor crash thousands of years ago.

There are many other cool things to do in the Flinders Ranges as well. Make sure you hike up Dutchmans Stern. The 10.5km circuit is fantastic.

Wilpena Pound – The biggest drawcard to the Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges Wilpena Pound from the Air in a Plane
Source: Iain Whyte – Wikimedia Commons

View from St Mary Peak

St Mary Peak is the highest point in Wilpena Pound. You can hike it and return within 8-12 hours. I have to say I really struggled on the return journey. I left early in the morning and made it back at dusk.

Best Places in Australia Flinders Ranges

Victoria – Best places in Australia

30. Great Ocean Road

Start your adventure in Torquay, a charming seaside resort town known for being the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. This is where you’ll find the famous plaque marking the beginning of the Australian Heritage-listed 243km Great Ocean Road drive.

12 Apostles

The Twelve Apostles (Rocks in the Water) will eventually crumble away entirely, so who knows how much longer they’ll be around for. At the moment only about 6 of them are still standing. The total destruction of the Apostles will occur eventually.

Great Ocean Road Top Tourist Attraction in Australia
Source: Daniel Fernandes de Oliveira – Flickr

12 Apostles Great Ocean Road

Apollo Bay 

Apollo Bay on the other hand will stay around forever. Spending a bit of time in Apollo Bay is a must. Make sure you don’t miss it.

Apollo Bay Victoria Australia
Source: russellstreet – Flickr

NORTHERN TERRITORY – Best places in Australia

31. Uluru and Kata Tjatu

Accomodation: The best place you can afford to stay at.


Best Places in Australia Uluru


Kata Tjatu

The Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjatu is incredible.

The Valley of the Winds walk will immerse you among Kata Tjuta’s domes. When I was there it was a boiling hot day. I couldn’t feel the slightest breeze at the time, then once I arrived at the Valley of the Winds I was blown away by gale force winds. That’s when you immediately realise that the name of the place is warranted.

Kata Tjuta The Olgas
Source: Martin7d2 – Flickr

32. Kakadu National Park

  • Gunlom Falls – Probably the most impressive natural infinity pool in Australia.
  • Motor Car Falls
  • Jim Jim Falls
  • Twin Falls
  • Maguk Gorge

TASMANIA – Best places in Australia

33. Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair

The only way to really appreciate this natural wonderland is to go on a long hike. The Overland Track is Australia’s most famous multi-day walk, however you can also go on shorter walks to experience this wonderland.

The cool thing about this beautiful part of the world is that Tasmania has a mountain called Mount Olympus which overlooks Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia.

34. Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires Tasmania
Source: Diego Delso – Wikimedia Commons

35. Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay should be at the top of your list when visiting Tasmania.

Otherwise you might miss it, which is an easy thing to do, because there are so many great sights to see in Tasmania.

Accomodation: Saffire Freycinet

It’s good to know that the Ancient Greeks associated Sapphire with Apollo.

Visitors to the oracle at Delphi wore the gem supposedly due to the power of sapphire to tap into the “third eye” making it clearer to understand oracular pronouncements.

Saffire looks like a fabulous hotel to stay at while exploring the spectacular eastern coastline of Tasmania.

I have visited 18 of these 35 places shown here. That’s just over half of the best places in Australia which isn’t too bad at all.

Top Tips: For a two week trip visit no more than 5 of the best places in Australia shown here. You won’t be able to enjoy each destination to its fullest otherwise. A top way to visit some of these beautiful places is to go on a great Australian road trip as shown in another post. All of these road trips around Australia have been given Greek mythology names to make them unforgettable.

Hopefully this is enough inspiration to spur some of you to take action.

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Best Places in Australia Top Tourist Attractions