Spread the love
From time to time I’m asked by other travel bloggers who live overseas for advice on planning a trip to Australia and what are the must see places. I usually tell them that Australia is a vast country measuring 3860 kilometres long from its most northerly point to its most southerly point in Tasmania, and is almost 4000 kilometres wide, from east to west. If you only have a few weeks to spend here this makes planning a trip to Australia extremely difficult.
To put it into perspective this map shows how big Australia is compared to the continent of Europe.
My advice would be plan on spending at least four weeks in Australia as there is plenty to see!
Australia offers a huge diversity of natural attractions with thousands of kilometres of coastline with some of the most pristine beaches in the world; tropical rainforests that meet the sea in the northern states; coral reefs abundant with marine life on both the north east and north west coastlines; the mountainous terrain of the Great Dividing Range running along the east coast; wilderness areas that date back to the ice-age; and the dry arid outback with interesting rock formations, gorges and wildlife.
To top this, Australia also boasts sophisticated cities like Sydney and Melbourne; coastal resort cities with world-class theme parks; and charming little country towns full of character.
Sydney the most populous city in Australia, is located on the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales. It boasts the world’s largest harbour and has two iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But it also has some of the most famous beaches such as Bondi, Manly, Bronte, Coogee and Palm Beach.
The fabulous Gold Coast, located on the east coast of Australia in Queensland, is said to be “sunny one day and perfect the next”! This is because it averages 287 days of sunshine year round. It is a playground of all things fun in the sun – beach swimming, a surfing mecca, a boating paradise, thrilling theme parks, mesmerising national parks, and world class shopping and dining.
Cairns and Port Douglas in Far North Queensland is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The world’s largest coral reef system is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres. However if you travel further north you encounter the world’s largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia, called the Daintree. In some sections the rainforest grows right down to the edge of the ocean and is a must see if you are heading to the far north of Australia.
The Whitsundays or Whitsunday Islands are located on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and comprise of 74 islands. They are accessible by air or water from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, with four of the islands featuring resorts that you can stay at. The famous world renowned Whitehaven Beach is one of the biggest attractions, as is hiring a charter yacht and sailing lazily around the exquisite aquamarine waters surrounding the islands.
The cosmopolitan city of Melbourne located in the state of Victoria in South East Australia, is also a must see. 200 kilometres west of Melbourne is arguably one of the most picturesque coastal drives in the world – the Great Ocean Road. With awe-inspiring limestone cliffs and incredible rock formations and a rainforest area called the Great Otway, it is a must see on your travel itinerary. But not only that, it is also home to iconic surf locations such as Torquay and Bell’s Beach and the beach resort hot spots of Anglesea and Lorne.
If you’re interested in having an outback experience, then one of Australia’s most famous icons is Uluru in the centre of Australia in the Northern Territory. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, the world’s largest monolith is renowned for its natural and cultural value, and is certainly one of the most well known Aussie landmarks. In particular sunrise and sunset is the best time of day to view Uluru as the light changes the colours of the rock. Years ago it was a challenging and rather gruelling climb to the summit of his massive rock, however nowadays this is no allowed.
Possibly one of the most remote places in Australia and known as the gateway to The Kimberley, is the town of Broome, located in North West Australia. The town has an intriguing pearling industry past, dinosaur footprints, majestic sunsets over the Indian Ocean and the world famous Cable Beach. You can take a sunset camel ride along the long stretch of Cable Beach, take a scenic flight to the wondrous Horizontal Falls or go on safari into The Kimberley to see awesome natural wonders such as the Bungle Bungles.
Australia is a country of extremes with different weather patterns affecting varying parts of the continent. When planning your trip I would recommend either visiting in Spring or Autumn as these months generally have milder temperatures, lower humidity and rainfall in the tropics and it’s still warm enough to swim, surf or dive in the northern regions.
The great distances between places of interest in Australia, can be a challenge for first time visitors. However there are reasonably priced domestic flights between the capital cities and regional areas with great deals offered by our airlines. You may also consider rail travel between some of Australia’s cities that will enable you to see some of the amazing countryside. Otherwise there are plenty of tour companies that offer group tours of the major highlights of Australia.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.