The vast size of Australia, makes it challenging to see everything in the one trip. Unlike some countries, for most it is a once in a lifetime chance, unless you’re visiting Australia for a Gap year.
For most, you won’t have the time to take a gap year, which is why we have picked the best tourist spots to visit in Australia if you’re a first-time traveller.
We have selected the best beaches, cities and the outback to visit for your itinerary in Australia.
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Best tourist spots in Australia
We recommend these best tourist places in Australia for first time travellers.
I might be a bit impartial when it comes to Brisbane, I did live on the northern suburbs of the city, when I took a gap year to Australia. Which is why Brisbane is included in this list of best tourist spots in Australia.
Located on the north east coast of Australia with temperate weather conditions, ideal for visiting in all seasons.
Learn more about Australia history, admire art, take a relaxing stroll through botanical gardens, visit Australia Zoo, plan a day trip from Brisbane, or head to the beaches and soak up the sun.
Brisbane is packed with so much adventure that you can’t not include this in your Australian itinerary.
Australia is known for having some of the best beaches and for some great waves. So, a day beside the seaside is a must in Australia.
Get out of the city for the day, with a day trip from Brisbane down to the Gold Coast.
Have a relaxing day on the beach soaking up the sun, hit some waves surfing, or other water sports. Why not book a weekend getaway where you are pretty much guaranteed sun, with about 300 days of sunshine a year on the Gold Coast.
Surfers Paradise, is popular with tourists and locals, taking the short journey down to the coast.
Surfers as known by the locals, has a party vibe with bars and restaurants running along the seafront.
If you have never surfed before, or a beginner, then Surfers Paradise, will be the ideal location to learn, with plenty of surf schools.
The Sunshine Coast
Located just north of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast. Ideal for families looking for a quiet beach location and a day trip beside the seaside.
The stunning beaches offer bright yellow sand and cool sea waters. The perfect spot to lay back and soak up the sun.
More adventurous travellers could take on one of the best hikes in Australia, with epic views across the scenic landscape.
Sydney Oprah House
One of the most iconic landmarks of Australia is the Sydney Oprah House, located in Sydney.
The architectural design is like no other. From a distance it could be mistaken for white sails, floating on water, but as you get closer the glazed ceramic tiles of the roof appear more prominent.
Take a guided tour of the interior, learn more about the history, stories and take unforgettable pictures of some of the performance halls.
Get an all-round experience of Sydney Oprah House like you haven’t seen before.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Only a short distance from Sydney Oprah House is the Harbour Bridge, which connects southern areas of Sydney with the northern.
Organised tours take groups of tourists up the Harbour Bridge for panoramic views across the city. I climbed the Harbour Bridge, which took me a couple of hours to climb the 134m. You’ll be attached to a harness for added safety.
For first time visitors to Australia, you should add this to your Australian itinerary.
Famous Bondi Beach, is just a short bus ride from Sydney, ideal for a day away from the city and beside the seaside.
Golden sandy beaches stretch for nearly 1km in distance and very popular among tourist and locals.
I loved relaxing on Bondi Beach, while watching others trying to ride the waves, or partaking in water sports. If I wasn’t wandering around Sydney sightseeing I was relaxing on Bondi Beach.
Bondi Beach is a must.
Want to learn to surf at Bondi Beach, then check out this 2 hour surf lessons for all levels
The Great Ocean Road
Do something unique when you take an epic road trip in Australia with a camper van.
The closest city to the Great Ocean Road is Melbourne, so if you’re in Melbourne for a couple of days, plan a trip out of the city and hit the Great Ocean Road.
Take the winding scenic road to the 12 Apostles. Another unique way to experience the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles is with a helicopter ride. Get a bird’s eye view of the rock formations, oceans and landscape.
Why would you want to miss this unique tourist spot in Australia.
Take the hassle-free approach, with a guided tour along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles, which can be done within a day.
You can book your day trip here:
Many will know Uluru as Ayres Rock, which is another famous tourist spot in Australia.
It is one of the worlds natural wonders and an important sacred site for the Aboriginals.
The bright red rock stands in the middle of the outback, with the closest town of Alice Springs some 470km away.
The highlight of Uluru, is to watch the sun set and rise. The bright red colour soon changes with shadows dancing across the landscape.
Sleeping under the stars, with Uluru in the distance, is a memory you will never forget.
I took a tour, that covered my travel from Alice Springs to Uluru, watching the sun set, sleeping under the stars, before watching the sun rise the following morning. I continued my journey through the outback to Kakadu National Park, Kings Canyon, before making my way up to Darwin.
You can book onto a tour, that is planned for you and hassle free.
Check out these two great tours with a different perspective of Uluru:
Kakadu National Park
Make the most of the outback, with a trip to Kakadu National Park.
It is one of Australia’s largest national parks, but also offers an insight into Aboriginal history and art. The bright drawings that dance across the rock, that tell ancestral stories from bygone years.
Diverse flora and fauna thrive in Kakadu National Park.
Check out this best selling tour of Kakadu National Park:
Kings Canyon is a large canyon at a height of 100m with Kings Creek below.
Spend a couple of hours walking the rim of the canyon, before cooling off in the watering holes below.
The views of Watarrka National Park as you walk the canyon are divine, with the red landscape surrounding you for miles.
Learn about the sacred Aboriginal land and what it means to them and the history.
The most northern city in the Northern Territory and so quiet. But you don’t want to miss out on an adventure in the red centre without visiting Darwin.
You won’t need to spend much time here, compared to other cities in Australia. But there’s still some things to see and do, before you fly off to another region of the country or to an onward travel adventure into Asia.
Tours in Australia
There are some great advantages of taking a tour in Australia.
Not only is it a hassle-free way of travelling, as you do not need to plan the logistics of the trip. It’s certainly convenient and a great way to make new friends.
My experience with travelling in a tour in Australia was exceptional, all I had to do was book the tickets and everything was done for me, from my accommodation, activities and food.
I have fond memories of touring in the Northern Territory. I watched the sun set over Uluru, slept under the stars, watched the sun rise over Uluru, I hiked the Kings Canyon and travelled up to Darwin.
I also took a tour along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles.
I have been on many tours in each country I have visited and it is definitely recommended if you have limited time and you don’t want to plan too much.
If you’re wanting a hassle-free experience in Australia, then check out these bestselling tours, that cover the tourist spots in Australia:
We have chosen some of the best tourist spots in Australia that you can’t miss.
You have a choice of the big cities, or small outback regions of Australia, with a wide range of adventures to be had.
Booking a tour is by far the easiest option. Day trips from the large cities are ideal if you have limited time, but if you have a couple of days, why not take a trip into the outback and experience a different and relaxed way of life.
My highlight however was learning more about the ancestors of the land and the history.
Australia will always remain in my heart as one of the best places to visit and a place I have many memories.
Make your own memories, with these best tourist spots in Australia.
Have you visited Australia? What was your highlight? Is there anywhere you visited that we didn’t mention? Or maybe you’re yet visited, but you have somewhere you would love to visit? Let us know, by leaving a comment below.
Continue your travel planning in Australia, with these useful posts
- Best day trips from Sydney
- Best day trips from Brisbane
- Best road trips in Australia
- Best winter destinations in Australia
- First time driving tips in Australia
- How to apply for a tourist visa to Australia
- Best beach destinations in Australia
- Best hikes in Australia
- 5 Islands you can’t miss in Australia
- Travel guide to Australia