Australia, a continent-sized country, offers a wide range of must-see spots for tourists and locals alike. With its vast coastline and diverse landscapes, there is no shortage of things to do and explore. From stunning beach towns to rugged national parks, wild green islands, and culture-rich cities, Australia has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to admire nature, experience city life, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches, Australia is a dream destination. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Australia, look no further, we’ve got the top places you do not want to miss if visiting Australia, or if you live here but realise you need to get out and explore this incredible country!
North Stradbroke Island, QLD
If we had just one day to show an overseas visitor postcard-ready Queensland, we’d take them to North Stradbroke Island – or Straddie, as the locals call it. A beloved holiday spot for generations, the island (roughly 40 minutes southeast of Brisbane and a quick ferry ride over) has the kind of scenery that looks straight out of an Australian tourism ad. Pristine beaches? Tick. Bright blue water? Tick. Kangaroos? Tick. Rugged bushland? Tick. Impressive surf? Tick. Serene lakes? Tick. Yes, this is one seriously special place. Hit up Cylinder Beach and the North Gorge Walk after a lunch of freshly caught seafood for the quintessential Straddie getaway.
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Fleurieu Peninsula, SA
It’s no secret that Australian life often centres around water. And it’s no truer than in South Australia’s sensational Fleurieu Peninsula (40 minutes south of Adelaide). You can easily spend your days here just wandering along its long cliff-framed beaches, sunbathing in its sheltered coves and SUPing, surfing, scuba diving, sailing and swimming in its azure waters (be sure to visit Victor Harbour and Port Willunga before you leave). But if you’re looking for a refreshing drop of another kind, discover acclaimed cellar doors and wineries in the nearby McLaren Vale Wine Region.
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If it’s a relaxing getaway in the countryside with romantic dining experiences you’re after, find the perfect destination in Victoria’s tranquil Daylesford (90 minutes northwest of Melbourne). Here, luxury and good ol’ country hospitality combine to offer couples the very best in spa retreats, cosy stays and fabulous fine dining (Lake House Restaurant is an absolute must-visit). For a true Australian experience, take a day-trip 40 minutes east out to Hanging Rock, pack a picnic (of course) and marvel at the ancient formation.
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Frecyinet National Park, TAS
We still can’t get over Freycinet National Park’s natural beauty. We don’t think we ever will. Situated on Tasmania’s East Coast, this spellbinding destination has plenty to fall in love with. The pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range, crystalline waters, the world-famous Wineglass Bay, sleepy seaside villages, white-sand beaches, secluded lagoons, luxe lodges, cool glamping sites and spectacular dining – it’s all here. Going all-out? Book a stay at ultra-glam hideaways Saffire Freycinet and Freycinet Lodge.
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Nitmiluk Gorge, NT
There really is nowhere else on the globe like the magical Northern Territory. After exploring Uluru and Kakadu National Park, add Nitmiluk National Park to your must-visit list. Blessed with some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever come across, the park is home to 13 amazing gorges carved from ancient sandstone, plus incredible wildlife and culture. See it all for yourselves on an exhilarating helicopter tour, on the five-day Jatbula Trail (take a dip in one of the waterfalls on your way!) or on a small-boat sunset cruise.
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Bangalow and Newrybar, NSW
Easily one of Australia’s most trendy (and popular) neighbourhoods, Byron Bay holds many charms for lovers of the chilled lifestyle. If you’re seeking a similar destination without the crowds, travel 20 minutes inland to Bangalow or 30 minutes to Newrybar. With a similar vibe and plenty of hinterland romance, these lesser-known spots are great for laid-back dining, dreamy accommodation, quirky boutique stores and a genuine sense of old-school community. Escape from the rest of the world here… before everyone else does.
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NewActon and Kingston, ACT
When Lonely Planet named the ACT’s Canberra in its ‘Best in Travel 2018’ list, it’s safe to say many were pleasantly surprised. With a booming food and arts scene, chic stays (check out QT Canberra) and trendy bars, Australia’s capital is really making a name for itself as a fantastic spot for a city getaway. Offering all this and more, the stylish NewActon and Kingston precincts are perfect for brunch, sunset drinks, art gallery visits and admiring beautiful architecture. And it’s a bit of a go-to in Canberra, but fit in time for a visit to The Australian War Memorial – this year marks 100 years since the WWI armistice.
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Ningaloo Reef, WA
It’s a major item on many Australians’ bucket-lists, but for good reason. Swimming with whale sharks is one of the most thrilling yet peaceful experiences you can have, and one of the best places to do it is at Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef. Between March and August, these majestic creatures congregate in the reef, allowing couples the rare chance to snorkel alongside the world’s biggest fish (whale sharks can grow up to 18 metres long). And don’t worry about the name – they’re harmless filter feeders. Top off a once-in-a-lifetime escape with a stay at luxury glamping site Sal Salis, right on the reef’s white-sand beach.