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Unlike a lot of other countries in the world, Australia is a relatively young country and as such does not have a lot of historical buildings or landmarks. However what we lack in historic ruins or buildings, we make up for in natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef and a great big rock in the centre of the country. Here’s what my research has revealed to be the top ten landmarks in Australia – have you seen them?
Australia’s most famous landmark, is a unique structure that looks kind of like a cluster of sails on sailboats, is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable and iconic buildings. In 1956 an international competition to design an opera house for Sydney was held, and Architect, Jørn Utzon had his extraordinary design declared the winner on January 29, 1957. It is probably the most photographed landmark in Australia.
I have travelled up the centre of Australia, but strangely haven’t been to Uluru (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 challenging and rather gruelling to climb this massive rock, however nowadays this is frowned upon.
I’ve seen the Great Barrier Reef several times but have never seen Heart Reef. The heart-shaped reef, at Hardy Reef, has become a famous Queensland landmark and Australian icon. Hardy Reef is located in the Whitsunday chain of islands in the Great Barrier Reef, and is accessible by boat or by an aerial flight over the reef.
A poignant reminder of our country’s brutal convict penal settlement history, Port Arthur is located on the Tasman Peninsula of Tasmania. The ruins of the gaol and other buildings are well restored and tell a fascinating story of what it was like to arrive upon the shores of Australia as a convict or transportee. It is also the scene of Australia’s worst mass murder, when a gunman shot and killed 35 men, women and children.
Another place that I’ve never visited, but hoping to visit in 2019, is the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park, a whopping 19,804 km2 of unspoilt terrain located near Darwin at the Top End of Australia. I have been to Darwin and have vowed to return to take in this wondrous place to see the diverse habitats, from estuaries, rivers, woodlands and wetlands to rugged gorges and rocky escarpments. It is especially famous for its flora, fauna and rock art.
Another very iconic landmark in Australia is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, aka as the “Coat Hanger”. Almost every commercial advertising Sydney or Australia features it. You can enjoy views of the bridge, the opera house and the harbour from Circular Quay or take a ferry ride under it, walk over it or climb it.
Located on the Great Ocean Road in the southern state of Victoria, The Twelve Apostles, (although there was only ever nine to begin with and there are only 8 left now since one collapsed in 2005), are a must see on your Australian itinerary. These limestone giants tower out of the water up to 45 meters high and are an incredible sight.
Having only visited Kangaroo Island earlier this year I can undoubtably attest to the unspoilt natural beauty of this South Australian island. With one third of the island declared a conservation area or National Park, a thriving culinary culture, a unique artistic scene, all steeped in a rich history, there is something for everyone at Kangaroo Island. The incredible diversity of Australian wildlife has to be seen to be believed.
Dominating the skyline of Melbourne city is the famous MCG or Melbourne Cricket Ground. The MCG is a sporting arena that hosts AFL (Australian Football League) for half the year and then prepares for the Cricket Season for the other half of the year. The MCG hosts both international and national Cricket Matches and is also home to Australia’s National Sports Museum.
A trip to Sydney is not complete without visiting Bondi Beach. Epitomising the ‘Australian’ lifestyle, Bondi Beach is one of the most well known beaches in the world. The kilometre long stretch of golden beach, nestled in a sparkling bay, has long been celebrated for its iconic sun, surf, sand and bronzed Aussies. It is adjoined by the famous Bondi Icebergs Ocean Pool.
Out of these top ten landmarks of Australia I am still to see three of them, which I’m hoping to remedy eventually. A planned caravan trip to the Top End of Australia will tick Kakadu off the list. Tell me, how many of these have you seen?
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.
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Lyn aka The Travelling LindfieldsJune 22, 2018
I am not sure that I agree these are the top ten landmarks. Apart from Uluru and Kakadu it is very Eastern Coast centric. What about something from Western Australia – the Pinnacles perhaps or the Bungle Bungles or even the entire Kimberley region. It is a great list of things to see nevertheless.
KathyJune 22, 2018
I totally agree Lyn. I think the places you have mentioned definitely deserve a place in the top ten. These are the top ten places that my research revealed and I could easily come up with 10 alternate ones! Cable Beach ranked pretty high too, but like the rest of the places it’s fairly touristy.
Life Images by Jill, West AustraliaFebruary 28, 2022
7 out of 10 – not too bad. Not sure when I will get to tick off the others. Happy and safe travels Kathy.
KathyMarch 1, 2022
That is very impressive Jill. I still have a few to see as well. Let’s hope we’re able to get around to see them in the not too distant future.