Australia has forever been known to the world as a paradise, a massive continent with beautiful beaches, reefs and rain forests. The country is clean and full of friendly and welcoming locals. With a country as big as Australia, there can easily be some confusion as to what places to visit. I have travelled this beautiful country to let you know what the top 10 places to visit in Australia are!

The top 10 places to visit in Australia are:

  • Brisbane
  • Cairns
  • Adelaide
  • Perth
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Sydney
  • Uluru National Park
  • Melbourne
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Great Barrier Reef

Read on as I go in depth into each place to help you plan your travel to Australia.

10. Brisbane

Story Bridge in Brisbane
Story Bridge in Brisbane. Photo by Valeriia Miller

Australia’s third largest city and capital of the state of Queensland comes in at number ten on our list. Residents of Brisbane love the cities tropical climate, great food and numerous bars and venues on offer. The city is the gateway to the world famous Great Barrier Reef, with easy airport access to cities and towns like Cairns, Townsville and Mackay to access the reef.

With a population of over 2.4 million, there is so much to explore in Brisbane. If shopping is your thing, Queen St Mall will have you covered. A swim, rainforest walk and lunch at Southbank Parklands might tickle your fancy. Fortitude Valley contains the cities Chinatown district and nightclub scene. Take a trip to the Gold Coast or Sunshine coast, known for its world class beaches.

With so much on offer in Brisbane, it needs to be on your list of places to visit for your trip to Australia. Check out my article on the top 10 things to do in Brisbane.

9. Cairns

Cairns CBD and Esplanade
Cairns CBD and Esplanade. Photo by Imaposter, used under Creative Commons License

Another city located in Queensland, Cairns is located in the far north of the state approximately 1700km from Brisbane. Cairns is the spot to head to if you are wanting to explore the amazing Great Barrier Reef. The stunning Daintree rainforest also surrounds Cairns. The city itself is tropical and extremely humid, so be sure to cool off in the Esplanade Lagoon, conveniently located in the city centre. There are plenty of food and drink options located in the CBD area, so be sure to check the city of Cairns out before you head to the reef and rainforest on your trip to Australia! Cairns is the only city that isn’t a state capital on this list of top 10 places to visit in Australia.

8. Adelaide

Victoria Square in Adelaide
Victoria Square in Adelaide. Photo by Ikhwan Zailani yuslim, used under Creative Commons License

Number 8 on our lists sees us leave Queensland and head to the state of South Australia into its capital, Adelaide. The city of churches is famously peaceful and lined with bars, which makes it a fantastic place to get out and see. A short boat ride is all that is needed to get to the iconic Kangaroo Island. Unfortunately not covered in Kangaroos as its name implies, it is however covered in scenic Australian landscapes and local wildlife.

However its the huge number of vineyards and wineries surrounding the city that make this city worth the ticket, showcasing some of the best wines in the world. Take a tour and sample some of this amazing wine before you journey on!

7. Perth

Elizabeth Quay in Perth
Elizabeth Quay in Perth. Photo by Samuel Wiki, used under Creative Commons License

The major city on the western side of Australia, Perth consistently ranks in the most livable cities in the world. With a population just over 2 million, it is the 4th most populated city in Australia. Perth has a hot and dry climate and receives a large amount of winter rainfall compared to the rest of the country.

Perth has a rich history of early European sightings and gold rushes, and its many museums are great to learn and discover this interesting past. Perth’s beaches are spectacular also (what beaches aren’t spectacular in Australia?) and are perfect for watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

6. Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park. Photo by Tourism NT, used under Creative Commons License

Australia’s largest national park gets number six on our list. With a bigger area than Fiji, this park has a lot to be explored and discovered. Located just south of Darwin, the park offers landscapes thousands of years old, huge waterfalls and ancient Aborigine rock art.

The park is home to the oldest living culture on Earth, with the Bininj/Mungguy having called Kakadu home for the past 65,000 years! There is rivers to cruise on, crocodiles to see in their native habitats and plenty of birds and other wildlife to spot and gaze on. This one is a must for anyone wanting an authentic Australian holiday or vacation!

5. Sydney

Sydney Harbour at Night
Sydney Harbour at Night. Photo by Patrick McLachlan, used under Creative Commons License

Australia’s largest city. It’s biggest landmarks. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and some of the worlds most recognisable structures. So why is Sydney only ranked 5th? Well I am of the belief that there are more beautiful natural wonders to see in Australia. That doesn’t mean Sydney isn’t a must see and is definitely a contender for most livable cities in the world. With great culture like is experienced in Sydney it will always rank highly in a top 10 places to visit in Australia list.

However obviously Sydney is a must visit for anyone coming to Australia, and you will find plenty on offer in this huge city with over 5 million calling it home. Take a trip out to the world famous Taronga Zoo, or soak in the views with a night cruise along Sydney Harbour. Can’t forget Bondi Beach, where you will find those lifeguards from the TV show saving lives!

4. Uluru National Park

Uluru National Park Australia
Uluru National Park in Northern Territory. Photo by Kabo, used under Creative Commons License

Uluru is more than just a photo opportunity. One of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks, this sandstone rock formation is located in the south of the Northern Territory, around 300km from Alice Springs. Don’t forget about Kata Tjuta though! Located 45 mintues from Uluru, this monolith is sometimes forgotten but not to be underestimated!

Although Uluru is now shut for climbing for good, the park still offers a variety of activities such as a self driving tour, seeing plenty of native flora and fauna, skydiving over the rock and plenty of art and culture.

The Uluru National Park is a sacred Aboriginal site that has history going back to the beginning of time in their Dreamtime.

3. Melbourne

Melbourne City from Ornamental Lake
Melbourne CBD from Ornamental Lake. Photo by Adrian Vittorio used under Creative Commons License

The best coffee in the world, need I say more? I do need to say more actually, because Melbourne is absolutely fantastic, Australia’s best city by far. The vibe, the atmosphere, the livability. This city isn’t voted best city to live in the world every year for no reason.

Let’s start with the lane ways. The city is lined with these allies filled with fine dining, the best coffee ever and bars that will keep you going for months. You will then have to get down to the MCG for a game of AFL or Cricket, depending on what time of year you visit. Walk the streets and gaze upon the modern architecture mixed with the older buildings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Take a drive down to Philip Island, maybe you will get lucky and see some penguins. Check out the views from Eureka Skydeck. Head down to St Kilda and walk along the famous pier. Check out the gaol (jail) where the infamous Ned Kelly was executed.

The list goes on and on. Melbourne is a stunning city worthy of spending a good chunk of time in to explore in detail and soak in the culture.

2. Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road at Sunset
Great Ocean Road at sunset. Photo by Kenrick Jones

The most underrated spot on this list. Seriously, I have looked at several different lists of places to visit and the Great Ocean Road doesn’t rank highly on any of them. This place is an absolute treat to drive over a few days. Once you have finished in Melbourne, take a hire car and drive for a few days. Some people will say it can be done in a day, I strongly disagree with them. This vast road across the Victorian coastline needs to be savored across two or more days.

Home to many landmarks, most famously the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, every bit of the Great Ocean Road is stunningly beautiful. Stay a night in Lorne, Apollo Bay or Port Campbell and really take in everything the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Lookout after lookout, amazing landscapes as far as the eye can see.

Just trust me, do yourself a favour and visit this one, it is well worth the time and effort. Read my ultimate guide on the Great Ocean Road for a full guide to this magnificent attraction.

1. Great Barrier Reef

Reef Fish in Great Barrier Reef
Reef fish among coral in the Great Barrier Reef. Photo by Work for Travel, used under Creative Commons License

The coveted number one spot. Did you think it would be anything else? Australia’s greatest natural wonder and one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The worlds largest coral reef with over 3000 individual reef systems and is longer than the Great Wall of China. Best accessed via Cairns, the reef stretches all the way down the Queensland coast and is the biggest tourism revenue generator for cities such as Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Bundaberg.

The list of activities able to be experienced on the reef is endless. Snorkeling, scuba diving, helicopter tours, glass bottom boat viewing, cruise ship tours and whale watching tours can all be done.

Spending weeks driving the coast and exploring every inch or going on a day tour is the must do thing on your trip to Australia!

That’s it for the top 10 places to visit in Australia! Did you agree with the list? Do you feel I got anything wrong or missed anything? Let me know in the comments below. I promise I won’t take it to heart!