When it comes to superlatives, Australia simply has no equals. On this ancient and spectacular continent, you can dive among the dazzling marine life of the world’s largest coral reef, explore its oldest living rainforests and most sacred rock formations, marvel at some of its rarest and most extraordinary animals, and engage with the descendants of its longest surviving culture. Australia isn’t a place to lose yourself: it’s a place to find yourself – amid some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth.
1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space. The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. It’s home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge stands next to the Opera House as one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Lovingly called the “Coathanger” by locals, this towering structure holds the distinction of being the world’s largest steel arch bridge. And while you can capture stunning pictures of the bridge from one of Sydney Harbour’s ferry boats, for an unforgettable experience, sign up for a bridge climb through BridgeClimb Sydney. Ranging from nearly two to nearly four hours in length, the bridge climb provides visitors with panoramic views of the Harbour, Sydney skyline and Opera House.
3. Loch Ard Gorge
Apart from natural beauty this site is steeped with history from the night of 31 May 1878. This location saw the dramatic survival of only two young people, Eva Carmichael as a passenger and Tom Pearce as crew. The ship on a 90 day journey and was one day from arriving in Melbourne when it struck an outer reef. Sadly over 47 perished in The Wreck of the Loch Ard with only four bodies being retrieved and buried.
Allow 2 – 3 hours to fully explore this precinct. At the main car park there is a map of the area, please note there are 3 car parking areas. Offshore stacks, blowholes and the indescribable beauty of formations like the razorback and island arch make this precinct the one with the lot. From September to May a colony of short tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) inhabits the offshore stack that is Mutton Bird Island, their nightly return makes a dusk visit all the more worthwhile.
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation.
5. Sydney Opera House
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, this World Heritage–listed building is Australia’s most recognisable landmark. Visually referencing a yacht’s billowing white sails, it’s a soaring, commanding presence on the harbour. The complex comprises five performance spaces where dance, concerts, opera and theatre are staged. The best way to experience the building is to attend a performance, but you can also take a one-hour multilingual guided tour. Renovation works from 2017 to 2019 will close the concert hall and may disrupt visits.
6. Daintree Rainforest
The World Heritage Rainforest of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation is regarded as one of the top ten in the world, come for a day tour with Trek North and see why.
This region, risk in bio-diversity, offers stunning beaches and ancient rainforest that extend to the waters edge, fringing reefs, beautiful animal and plant life, rock pools, mangrove board walks and a backdrop of magnificent rugged mountains.
7. Jenolan Caves
The Jenolan Caves are limestone caves located within the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve in the Central Tablelands region, west of the Blue Mountains, in New South Wales, in eastern Australia.
Far from other Blue Mountains attractions, the limestone Jenolan Caves is one of the most extensive, accessible and complex systems in the world – a vast network that’s still being explored. Several caves are open to the public, and tours cycle between them. There are various multi-tour packages and discounts. Named Binoomea (Dark Places) by the Gundungurra tribe, the caves took shape 400 million years ago. White explorers first passed through in 1813 and the area was protected from 1866.
8. Three Sisters
The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark. Located at Echo Point Katoomba, around 2.5 kilometres from the Great Western Highway, this iconic visitor attraction is experienced by millions of people each year.
The Three Sisters is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. The Three Sisters is also floodlit until around 11pm each evening looking simply spectacular set against the black background of the night sky.
Each of the Three Sisters stand at 922, 918 & 906 metres tall, respectively. That’s over 3000 feet above sea level.
9. Sydney Tower
Sydney Tower Eye rises 1,000 feet (309 meters) into the sky, and at twice the height of the Harbour Bridge, it’s Sydney’s tallest structure. Designed by Australian architect Donald Crone, construction was finished in 1981, and the tower was soon after opened to the public. If the air is clear, you will be able to see as far as the Blue Mountains, which sit about 50 miles (80 km) away. But even if there is haze in the air, the tower offers a full 360-degree view of Australia’s biggest city, from the golden beaches and the ferries shuttling commuters across the blue harbor to a new perspective of the famous Opera House and the Central Business District below. This high up, Sydney is a jumble of houses and the parks are nothing but tiny green spots.
10. The Twelve Apostles
A series of the Miocene limestone rocks in the Indian Ocean near the coast of the Port Campbell National Park, Australia. They are located between the cities of Port Campbell and Princeton on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, 200 km from Geelong, or 270 km south-west of Melbourne.
First, the place was called “Sow and piglets”; the island in this case was a pig and piglets – the separated rocks. Then the name was changed to the “Twelve Apostles” in the 1950s. It was done to attract more tourists and now it is a popular point of interest, which is annually visited by about two million of tourists. You can order various guided tours, even a helicopter ride. This can be done at the information center on the island.
It is noteworthy that the stone group had only 9 rocks; now there are only 8 of them and just seven apostles can be seen from the viewing platforms. Such a trouble has happened in July 3, 2005, when one of the rocks collapsed, unable to withstand the impact of erosion.