The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Australia

Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory provides a true taste of Australian wilderness
Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory provides a true taste of Australian wilderness | © Tom Till / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tom Smith
21 May 2021

Australia is a country that’s as diverse as it is beautiful – from the ochre-red outback around Uluru and the frosty summit of Cradle Mountain, to the white sand of the Whitsunday Islands and the pink lakes of Western Australia. Check out the most gorgeous spots you can visit Down Under.

Sydney Harbour

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
Map View
Sydney Harbour Opera House and Bridge NSW Australia
© John Goulter / Alamy Stock Photo

The sparkling waterway of Sydney is the highlight of the largest city in Australia. Climb the lofty archway of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, admire the sails of the Sydney Opera House, and stroll through the leafy Botanic Gardens to reach Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a vantage point that provides the postcard-perfect view of Sydney Harbour.

Cottesloe Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Cottesloe,WA,Australia-January 6,2016:Indiana Tea House and crowds at Cottesloe Beach with the Indian Ocean in Cottesloe, Western Australia.
© Elizabeth Given / Alamy Stock Photo

Bondi is the most famous city beach in Australia, but Perth’s favourite strip of sand is the most beautiful in the nation. Towering pine trees shade the grass terraces and heritage teahouse that overlook this golden stretch of west Australian coastline… just keep an eye out for sharks.

Cradle Mountain

Forest, Park
Map View
Historic Dove Lake boatshed beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain - Tasmania, Australia
© lkonya / Alamy Stock Photo
The state of Tasmania enjoys some of the most beautiful bushwalking terrain in the country, including the pristine forest of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The best view of the craggy Cradle Mountain – besides from the summit, of course – can be seen while hiking around the serene blue waters of Dove Lake.

Daintree Rainforest

Natural Feature
Map View
Daintree, Queensland. Visitors on the boardwalk in the Discovery Centre, Daintree Rainforest, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo

North Queensland isn’t just about the reef – the region is also home to untouched rainforest. Just an hour’s drive north of Cairns, the Daintree is brimming with ancient vegetation and rare Australian wildlife, including a healthy population of saltwater crocodiles. Be careful where you swim.

Great Barrier Reef

Natural Feature
Map View
Divers exploring the coral formations of Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
© Travelscape Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia is found underwater, particularly when it comes to the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef system in the world spans 2,300km (1,429mi) of tropical North Queensland terrain – a playground for visitors keen to snorkel, sail and swim in paradise.

Lake Hillier

Natural Feature
Map View
Different parts of the Pink Lake next to Gregory in West Australia
© mxwb photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Spencer Lake near Esperance, on the southern coast of Western Australia, hasn’t glowed pink in more than a decade, but Lake Hillier on nearby Middle Island still retains its bubblegum hue. Owing their distinctive colour to a micro-algae found in the water, the pink lakes of Western Australia are best admired from a scenic flight.

Lord Howe Island

Natural Feature
Map View
View over Lord Howe Island
© Ashley Whitworth / Alamy Stock Photo

This tiny volcanic island doesn’t feel like it’s part of Australia, partly because Lord Howe Island is situated 600km (372mi) east of the mainland, and partly because it has forests, peaks, beaches, birdlife and snorkelling spots that feel utterly exotic compared to the rest of the country.

Fleurieu Peninsula

Natural Feature
Map View
Granite Island on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia
© William Robinson / Alamy Stock Photo

This windswept patch of South Australia just southeast of Adelaide contains a string of beautiful vistas, including beach towns such as Port Elliot and Victor Harbor, nature reserves such as the Coorong and Deep Creek Conservation Park, and vineyards at Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale.

Margaret River

Natural Feature
Map View
Stairs and walkways going down into Lake Cave in the Margaret River region, Western Australia
© Sam Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

This region three hours south of Perth is one of the premier wine-growing areas in Australia, right up there with the Barossa Valley, the Yarra Valley and the Hunter Valley. But it’s the series of world-class surf beaches and acres of tumbling green hills that make Margaret River easily the most beautiful wine region in the country.

The Kimberley

Natural Feature
Map View
Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park, Kimberley, Western Australia
© ronnybas / Alamy Stock Photo

This remote corner in the north of Western Australia is a vast expanse of jaw-dropping outback scenery. Highlights include the beehive-like Bungle Bungle Range, the tranquil Ord River, the freakish Horizontal Falls, the epic Gibb River Road, the gushing Mitchell Falls and King George Falls, plus everything the coastal town of Broome has to offer.

Wineglass Bay

Natural Feature
Map View
Famous Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park.
© Ingo Oeland / Alamy Stock Photo

With the thick forest and dramatic granite peaks of the Freycinet National Park providing a stunning backdrop, Wineglass Bay is one of the most photogenic vistas in Tasmania. Climb to the summit of the Wineglass Bay lookout for an aerial view of the smoothly curved, snow-white beach, the highlight of the Apple Isle east coast.

These recommendations were updated on May 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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