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Ultimate Australia Travel List – Book Review

  • April 28, 2022
  • By 50 Shades
  • 2 Comments
Ultimate Australia Travel List – Book Review

What is on your ultimate Australia travel list? This is a question I often ask people who are either setting off on a big lap of Australia or travelling from overseas to see our big wide land. I believe the majority of people answer that they would like to see the wonder of Uluru in Outback Australia, scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge, dive the Great Barrier Reef or drive the Great Ocean Road. So when I received Lonely Planet’s “Ultimate Australia Travel List” publication, I was interested to find out whether these places were highly ranked.

Well, I was pretty close with three out of four of these Australian travel experiences being listed in the top ten. How Lonely Planet came up with this ultimate Australia travel list was by compiling every highlight in their Lonely Planet Australian guidebooks. Then they surveyed their writers, editors, designers and cartographers to pick their favourite Australian places and experiences.

Ultimate Australia Travel List
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Australia Travel List

With a list of 500 of the most memorable, beautiful and compelling experiences to be had in Australia, there are far too many to list. However here I list the top twenty:

  1. Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) in Northern Territory of Outback Australia.
  2. MONA or Museum of Modern Art in Hobart, Tasmania.
  3. The Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland.
  4. A road trip along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
  5. Hiking the Three Capes Track on the Tasman Peninsula of Tasmania.
Ultimate Australia Travel List
Views from Pirates Bay Lookout on the Tasman Peninsula
  1. Exploring the Bungles Bungles in Purnululu National Park in the Kimberley, Western Australia.
  2. Rainforests of the Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland.
  3. Wildlife and wilderness on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
Ultimate Australia Travel List
Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island
  1. Experience the Dark Sky Park in the Warrumbungle National Park of New South Wales.
  2. Attend the Vivid Festival in Sydney, New South Wales.
  3. Explore Wilsons Promontory in Victoria.
  4. Visit Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory.
Ultimate Australia Travel List
View of Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula
  1. Wineglass Bay beach on Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania.
  2. Hiking the Grampians in Victoria.
  3. Walk the Bondi to Coogee clifftop path in Sydney.
Ultimate Australia Travel List
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
  1. See Kata Tjuta (formerly the Olgas) in Northern Territory.
  2. The Apostles in Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
  3. Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth in Western Australia.
  4. Catch the Manly Ferry across the Sydney Harbour in New South Wales.
  5. Dive into the Museum of Underwater Art in Townsville, Queensland.
Ultimate Australia Travel List
12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

For someone like myself, who has actually travelled right around Australia, I have only experienced 11 of these Aussie places. So this tells me that I still have so much more to see and do in this great big country of mine.

My Ultimate Australia Travel List

I haven’t as yet travelled to the centre of Australia and seen Uluru or Kata Tjuta. Nor have I seen Kakadu in the Northern Territory. However these things are on my Australian bucket list. For this reason I will list my top twenty Australian places and experiences:

Ultimate Australia Travel List
Ningaloo Reef Whale Shark Swim
  1. Swam with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.
  2. Explored Cape Le Grand National Park in the south west of Western Australia.
  3. Visited Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
  4. Road tripped along the Great Ocean Road.
  5. Discovered Wilsons Promontory in the south of Victoria.
Ultimate-Australia-Travel-List
Whisky Bay
  1. Taken the Ghan train trip from Adelaide to Darwin.
  2. Witnessed the wonders of the Bungles Bungles in Western Australia.
  3. Admired the beautiful beaches of the Bay of Fires in Tasmania.
  4. Snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns.
  5. Walked along the rim of the Murchison River Gorge in Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia.
Ultimate-Australia-Travel-List
Murchison River Gorge in Kalbarri National Park
  1. Toured the Litchfield National Park in Northern Territory.
  2. Hiked in Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland.
  3. Walked to the most easterly point of Australia at Cape Byron Lighthouse in New South Wales.
  4. Rode on a camel on Cable Beach at sunset in Broome, Western Australia.
  5. Explored the rugged coastline of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
Ultimate-Australia-Travel-List
Talia Caves or The Woolshed on the West Eyre Peninsula
  1. Partook in wine tastings in the Barossa Valley vineyards of South Australia.
  2. Sailed around the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.
  3. Attended the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island in Victoria.
  4. Cruised down the Murray River on an old paddle steamer in Echuca, Victoria.
  5. Taken a tour of Port Arthur Historical Site in Tasmania.
Ultimate-Australia-Travel-List
Port Arthur Historical Site Buildings

Review of Ultimate Australia Travel List

I absolutely loved this book! I actually found it to be absorbing and unputdownable. Mostly it was a trip down memory lane for me as I have travelled extensively throughout Australia. But I was also delighted to learn of new Aussie places to visit and explore. It made me realise that I have so much more to see in Australia.

For first-timers that haven’t seen much of Australia this book is an absolute must read. It could be used a handy planning guide for your trip around Australia. For those overseas it would also be perfect to be used as a planning tool.

Ultimate Australia Travel List
The format of the Lonely Planet Book

As well as being an easy-to-read Australian travel guide, the book features spectacular photography for almost every place on the list. It also informs the reader of the exact location of the destination, its Aboriginal name or territory, a brief overview of the place of interest, factual information and why its memorable.

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Australia Travel List is available at book stores in Australia, US and the UK. Or purchase online HERE.

Ultimate Australia Travel List
Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland

How to Create Your Own Ultimate Australia Travel List

Australia is a big country, so if you’re planning on visiting you need to keep in mind the long distances and the remoteness of some of these travel list destinations. For example, the distance from the east coast to the west coast of Australia is 4,000 kilometres. From south to north, (say Melbourne to Cairns) is a distance of 2,800 kilometres. The main attraction, Uluru is located in the centre of Australia and is 2,840 kilometres north-west of Sydney.

Ultimate Australia Travel List
Map of Australia

In other words you would need a considerable amount of time to see all of what Australia has to offer if you wanted to see everything listed here. So you really need to focus on either the east or west coast and then plan from here. For more on planning a trip to Australia read my post HERE.

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By 50 Shades, April 28, 2022 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.
  • 2

50 Shades

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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2 Comments
  • Darren
    June 5, 2022

    Nice holidays you’ve had in Australia Kathy!

    Cape Le Grand National Park is amazing for camping and snorkeling. Exmouth and Coral Bay are destinations not to miss. So much in Western Australia that travelers don’t know about!

    Next time you can hopefully add Margaret River to your list and we can grab a vino or 2!

    • Kathy
      June 5, 2022

      Yes I’ve experienced some of the best of the West! Cape Le Grand National Park was a big highlight as were the amazing beaches around Esperance. I also spent about 10 days at Coral Bay and Exmouth, swimming with the whale sharks and snorkelling most days. So I totally agree with you. There are too many incredible places to list here. I have been to Margaret River on two occasions and enjoyed some of the fine wines here. I will definitely take you up on your offer if I’m in the area again!

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