Top 10 Places To Visit In Australia

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What are the best places to visit in Australia? Though Australia is filled with amazing destinations, we've narrowed it down to 10 of the best places to visit! This list of the 10 best places to visit in Australia will focus solely on the East Coast, mainly because this is the most popular and accessible area for travellers

But Australia is massive, and there are many other stunning places to visit outside of the East Coast that we'll briefly touch on at the end. But if you're struggling to decide where to visit in this vast and diverse country, here are 10 of the best places to visit in Australia!

Bondi Iceberg rock pools in Bondi Beach Sydney

Top 10 Places To Visit In Australia 

From massive cities, to tropical islands, to rugged coastal routes and more, here are the top 10 places to visit in East Coast AustraliaEveryone may have a different opinion about Australia's best destinations depending on what you're looking for. Those looking for surf may love Byron Bay or Noosa, whereas those looking for hiking and wildlife may love Cairns or Magnetic Island. But these 10 destinations are the most popular because they offer a bit of everything and are widely visited by travellers!

Here are the top 10 places to visit on Australia's East Coast, listed in no particular order.

people posing in the rainforest in K'gari Fraser Island

1. Sydney

Sydney is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Australia. Not only is this international travel hub a common starting point for an Aussie backpacking trip, it's also full of amazing attractions! From the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, to the golden shores of Bondi Beach and the rugged valleys of the Blue Mountains, Sydney has incredible national parks, beaches, landmarks, nightlife, and culture. Whether you're here for a few days or a few weeks, Sydney has to much to offer!

girl looking at sydney opera house

2. The Whitsundays

If you're looking for breathtaking beaches and tropical islands, be sure to add the Whitsunday Islands to your Aussie bucket list! Located just off the coast from the tourist town of Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays are a haven for sailing, island-hopping, water sports, fishing, and going on adventurous boat trips or seaplane tours. Here you can find world-famous locations like Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, and the Heart Reef, all of which are honestly jaw-dropping!

guys posing at Hill Inlet Whitehaven Beach

3. Cairns

Nestled in between two World Heritage Sites, Cairns is the ultimate destination for adventure, nature, and wildlife. Most travellers flock to Cairns for snorkelling and diving trips to the Great Barrier Reef, which is conveniently located right offshore. Just outside the city you can also find charming mountain villages, wildlife parks, waterfalls and gorges, national parks, and the world's oldest rainforest: the Daintree. Cairns itself is also a laid-back tourist hub with awesome nightlife and delicious seafood. 

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

4. Melbourne

Another one of the best cities to visit on Australia's East Coast is Melbourne. The capital city of Victoria, Melbourne offers a cool climate, trendy coffee scene, and unique ways to engage with the local culture. You can head out to the Mornington Peninsula to tour wineries and vineyards, wander through the world-class museums and galleries, seek out colourful street art and bustling markets, or treat yourself to amazing food and drinks at the numerous international eateries and rooftop bars.

Melbourne City with lights at night time

5. Byron Bay

Surfers and beach bums will never want to leave Byron Bay! Located on the northern coast of New South Wales, Byron Bay boasts warm weather, consistent surf, a bohemian vibe, and a strong backpacker community. This busy town isn't that big and you can easily explore the cafes, shops, and boutiques of the town centre on foot. Spend the rest of your time surfing, sunbathing, kayaking, and going for gorgeous coastal walks!

girls watching sunrise on the beach in Byron Bay

6. K'gari (Fraser Island)

K'gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, is another one of the best places to visit in Australia. As the world's largest sand island, this World Heritage Site has a unique landscape full of freshwater perched lakes, ancient sand dunes, coastal rock pools, and dense rainforests. K'gari is home to famous landmarks such as Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, Eli Creek, and the Maheno Shipwreck. You can only visit the island with a 4WD, giving you an exclusive and rugged wilderness experience!

people floating down Eli Creek on K'gari

7. Noosa

Noosa is also one of the best places to visit in Australia, especially for those who love surfing and beach-hopping! A small, charming coastal city, Noosa has an upscale atmosphere combined with lush natural beauty. The town center has a variety of boutiques, cafes, shops, and accommodations. Just outside the city you can find excellent surf, beautiful beaches, the peaceful Noosa Everglades and the serene Noosa National Park. 

girls kayaking through Noosa everglades

8. Magnetic Island

Filled with pristine beaches and bushwalks, Magnetic Island is another Australian paradise for nature lovers. Just a short ferry ride from Townsville, Magnetic Island (known by the locals as "Maggie") has cozy, eco-friendly accommodations, beautiful national parkland, and palm tree-fringed beaches ideal for snorkelling and sunbathing. This tranquil island is also one of the best places to spot koalas in the wild!

girl leaning out the sun roof of 4WD on Magnetic Island

9. Brisbane

Brisbane is also one of the best cities to visit Down Under. Queensland's capital city is packed with attractions to suit any type of traveller. With delectable food markets, impressive museums, exciting nightlife, and lots of natural attractions outside the city like the Glasshouse Mountains, Lamington National Park, and Moreton Island, Brisbane truly has something for everyone. 

Brisbane skyline at nighttime

10. Great Ocean Road

Last but not least on our list of the 10 best places to visit in Australia is the Great Ocean Road! This scenic drive along Victoria's South Coast is an easy day trip from Melbourne, or you can take your time and turn it into a longer road trip by campervan! Either way, this gorgeous coastal route passes picturesque beaches, lush forests, jagged rock formations, and famous sights like the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. This is another great place to spot koalas in the wild!

koala sleeping in a tree

Other Amazing Places To Visit In Australia

Of course, there are many other epic places to visit outside of Australia's East Coast! This country is huge and there is natural beauty, history, and culture to discover all over the continent. If you have time to venture beyond the East Coast, here are some top spots in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory to add to your Australia travel itinerary!

  • Perth
  • Margaret River
  • Uluru
  • Darwin
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Adelaide
  • Esperance
  • Freycinet National Park
  • Broome
  • Karijini National Park
  • Rottnest Island
  • Hobart

Though most travellers won't have time to visit all of these incredible destinations, you can't go wrong with a visit to any of these cities, towns, or national parks in Australia!

girl smiling on a boat in the whitsundays australia

Check out our itinerary planner if you want help from our experts when booking your Australian adventure! We're also available 24/7 on live chat if you have any questions. 

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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