BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN EACH STATE
Australia is a country of immense diversity and natural beauty. It is a veritable adventure playground, bursting with exciting places to explore. Every state and territory has an abundance of stunning attractions, both natural and manmade, including 19 UNESCO heritage listed sites.
This Australia travel bucketlist I’ve put together gives you the best places to visit in each state, when planning your Aussie adventure.
However, trying to see all of the country in one visit is totally out of the question. Everything is located far and wide and requires hours of travel. It’s hard to comprehend the enormous size of this land, especially if you hail from a small country. I’ve lived here my whole life and haven’t seen even half. But I have managed to visit all states, except for the Northern Territory, which is on my Australia travel bucket list next.
I hope this list gives you heaps of inspiration and wanderlust for Australia.
Capital city is Melbourne, which is consistently ranked in the top most liveable cities in the world.
Victoria is one of the smallest states in the country but packed with attractions.
Best places to see here:
- Melbourne – iconic Flinders St Station, Shrine of Remembrance, Eureka Skydeck at Southbank, Docklands, St Kilda Beach, Williamstown beach.
- Great Ocean Road and the Apostles – scenic coastal road trip.
- Great Otway National Park – rainforest, waterfalls and beaches.
- Grampians National Park – mountain range with waterfalls.
- Mornington Peninsula – beaches and water sports around Port Phillip Bay.
- Phillip Island – beaches and wildlife, popular for fairy penguin viewing.
- Wilsons Promontory – beaches and rugged ocean at southern tip of mainland.
- Alpine National Park – mountain, forest, and Winter snow resorts.
- Yarra Valley region – vineyards and cellar doors.
- Dandenong Ranges – forests, gardens, Puffing Billy steam train.
- Daylesford – mineral springs and spa resorts.
- World sporting events – Formula 1, Tennis Open, AFL Football, Melbourne Cup.
Find out more: Victoria Tourism website
Photos of Victoria - click for related tour
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The only city is Canberra, which is the capital of Australia.
Best places to see here:
- Australia’s Parliament House – visit and take a tour of democracy.
- Australian War Memorial – Byzantine-style monument.
- Lake Burley Griffin – swim and water sports.
- Mount Ainslie Lookout – walking trail.
- Namadgi National Park – wilderness and Gibraltar Falls.
- Corin Forest Mountain Resort – scenic views and Winter snow resort.
Find out more: Canberra Region website.
Photos of ACT - click for related tours
New South Wales (NSW)
Capital city is Sydney, the most populous city in the country.
Best places to visit include:
- Sydney Harbour – Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
- Darling Harbour – entertainment precinct.
- Bondi beach – famous beach and Bondi Baths pool.
- Sea Cliff Bridge – scenic drive along coastal towns in the Illawarra region.
- Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains – highest mountain on the mainland.
- Blue Mountains National Park – Three Sisters rock formation and Wentworth Falls. Scenic Skyway cable car over mountains.
- Jenolan Caves – a network of caverns.
- Jervis Bay – beaches, water sports, and whale watching.
- Kiama Blowhole – largest in the world.
- Tomaree National Park – Zenith Beach and Shoal Bay opposite each other.
- Byron Bay – beaches, rainforest and waterfalls.
- Hunter Valley region – wineries.
Photos of New South Wales - click for related tours
One of the largest states, the wettest and most tropical part of the country. Capital city is Brisbane.
Best places to see:
- Story Bridge – one of 3 bridge climbs in the world, for views of the city.
- Gold Coast – seaside resorts, beaches, surf, and theme parks.
- Australia Zoo – home of the Crocodile Hunter.
- Cairns – tropical town close to many of the attractions here.
- Great Barrier Reef – dive, snorkel in the natural wonder of the planet’s largest living structure.
- Kuranda – skyrail, scenic train, Atherton Tablelands, Barron Gorge and waterfall.
- Hervey Bay – whale watch capital of the world.
- Fraser Island – cruise, 4WD on the beach.
- Whitsunday Islands – a string of islands, Whitehaven beach, water sports and resorts.
- Noosa – resorts, surf, and hike the Noosa National Park.
- Daintree Rainforest – safari, hike, zipline over the forest.
- Port Douglas – resorts, all-terrain vehicle tours.
Find out more: Queensland website.
Photos of Queensland - click for related tours
Northern Territory (NT)
Known as the Top End, the capital city is Darwin.
Best places to go:
- Douglas Hot Springs.
- Litchfield National Park – plunge pools, waterfalls and walking tracks with stunning views.
- Kakadu National Park – huge park, rivers, billabongs, and rainforests with spectacular scenery.
- Arnhem Land – permit required to visit this designated Aboriginal Land, untouched landscape.
- Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park – cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls.
- Alice Springs, centre of the outback – famous for Uluru (Ayres Rock), owned by the local Aborigines and an important natural landmark.
- Kings Canyon in Watarrka, Central Australia – red sandstone rock ranges.
- Adelaide River – popular ‘Jumping Crocodile’ tour.
- Other crocodile experiences – tours and cruises.
BEWARE: Crocodiles are common in Northern Territory wetlands, both freshwater and saltwater – do not swim in the waters. Be Crocwise.
Find out more: Northern Territory website.
Photos of Northern Territory - click for relevant tours
Western Australia (WA)
WA is called the Coral Coast, it is the largest state, making up a third of the country. Most of it is uninhabited.
Capital city is Perth.
Best places to go:
- Perth – Cottesloe beach, the enormous King’s park, and Fremantle.
- Great Ocean Drive – WA’s version of Great Ocean Road in Victoria, located in Esperance.
- Pinnacles Desert – yellow limestone rock spires up to 4 metres high in Nambung National Park.
- Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area – a coral reef you can access from the shore.
- Kimberley Region – wilderness, waterfalls, and waterholes.
- Bungle Bungle Range – black and orange striped rocks, in Purnululu National Park.
- Pilbara region – Karijini National Park with gorges, caves and freshwater pools.
- Rottnest Island – see cute quokkas, mini marsupials that only exist in WA .
Find out more: Western Australia website.
Photos of Western Australia - click for relevant tours
South Australia (SA)
Known for its outback landscapes, capital city is Adelaide.
Best things to do:
- Adelaide Hills – Cleland Conservation Park, Mt Lofty.
- Kangaroo Island – Flinders Chase National Park.
- Morialta Conservation Park – bush and 3 waterfalls.
- Mount Gambier – Blue lake .
- Flinders Ranges – rocky outback and mountain range hike or scenic flight.
- Gawler Ranges National Park – organ pipe rock formations and rugged scenery.
- Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale – vineyards.
- Nullarbor Plain – completely straight stretch of road through desert and shrubland, from Adelaide to Perth. See wild camels.
- Hallett Cove Conservation Park – a geological site to hike or swim.
Find out more: South Australia website.
The only Island state. Capital city is Hobart.
Best places to visit:
- Hobart – Waterfront, Cascade, Port Arthur convict settlement.
- Kunanyi/Mount Wellington – hikes and views of Hobart.
- Launceston – Cataract Gorge Reserve – suspension bridge, chairlift and walking trails.
- Tamar Valley – river and wine region.
- Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay and mountain views.
- Aurora Australis (southern lights) – see lights from South Arm Peninsula or Cockle Creek.
- Cradle Mountain – lakes, gorges and rainforests.
- Westcoast wilderness railway – rainforest and gorges.
- Bay of Fire – orange granite boulders on the beach.
- Bruny Island – a neck connects north and south of the island.
- Western Arthur Range – rugged landscape and lakes, hiking.
- Totem Pole – dolerite pillar in Tasman National Park, rock climbing.
Find out more: Tasmania website
Photos of Tasmania - click for relevant tours
That’s my Australia travel bucketlist.
Has it inspired you to visit and plan your Aussie adventure? Have you been to any of these places already?
Leave me a comment below.
Bye for now.
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Photos in this post without the Snazzy Trips watermark are provided by the wonderful photographers of Pixabay and Unsplash.