Australian Travel Bloggers share their favourite places that you mustn’t leave the country without seeing. Australia is full of awesome places to explore, from the cities to the mountains and across the Outback, it’s a long drive around the country, but worth the effort to discover so many fabulous places….
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The Outback – A number of States come under this title!
Don’t leave Australia without visiting an Outback Pub. Australia is well known for its many iconic Outback pubs. Walking into a remote Outback Pub is surprising as all are different and have their own unique personality. Some have had many films or television shows filmed in or around them and some are filled with history and crazy quirky mementos. However, it is the laid back and stress-free lifestyle in the remote outback that draws people to these pubs.
For us, there is nothing else more satisfying than sitting in an outback pub having a ‘cold one.’ Talking to the ‘locals’ is an experience; you don’t know what you learn by having a chat.
Outback Pubs offer a welcoming atmosphere, the jukebox is playing in the background and everyone is there to experience the Outback lifestyle. The most common touristy pubs will give you plenty of laughs with the rude and crude jokes on the wall, ceilings filled with female lingerie and ceiling posts filled with business cards. However some remote outback pubs have none of this, it’s just a place for fellow townsfolk and travellers to go for a cool drink.
We love visiting Outback Pubs Australia Wide; our personal favourites are the Silverton Hotel in Outback NSW and The Purple Pub in Outback Normanton, Queensland. There are no extreme price tags, there’s no fancy food, it’s just down to earth Aussie class.
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Don’t leave Victoria without seeing the amazing Tarra Bulga national park in South Gippsland. Tarra Bulga is nestled in the Strezlecki rangers between Traralgon and Yarram, 200 km east of Melbourne down the Princes Highway. Tarra Bulga is a jointly managed national park in Gippsland. The land where the park is located was once the land of the native aboriginal Gunaikurnai people. There is numerous bush walks through old world forests that have survived many centuries in these gullies. The highlight of the park is Corrigan’s bridge. The walk to the bridge is slightly down the hill through a canopy of mountain ash trees that are hundred’s of years old, with their huge trunks and ferns as high as double story houses. Other highlights include waterfalls, the Tarra River, the visitor centre and bbq area. Wildlife is abundant and you will certainly see a wide variety of birds and even a kangaroo and wombat.
New South Wales
Don’t leave New South Wales without seeing Byron Bay. Australia has the best beaches in the world and Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales has arguably the best of them all.
Surfers zero in on the breaks and families set up beach tents and Eskies (Aussie coolers) for the day, while buffed bodies practice handstands between the bikini-clad bodies.
You can walk the collection of beaches joining the town to the cliffs of Cape Byron. Start at Main Beach and walk via Clarkes to The Pass for Surfing action (viewed from fisherman’s lookout) and lunch at the Pass Cafe. Afterwards road climb to the cliff tops where the hang-gliders soar.
Visit Cape Café with its glittering views back across the bay, the stark white lighthouse and the most easterly point of Australia.
Return via Headland Reserve and Wategos Beach, Clarke’s and Main, abandoning the beach for the local institution that is Beach Hotel. Have a drink in the beer garden – you’ve earned it – or dance the afternoon and night away to the awesome live music.
Within 30 minutes of Byron Bay are a bunch of towns worth exploring like Brunswick Heads, Broken Head, Bangalow and Mullumbimby, each with their own brand of magic and budget friendly accommodation. Follow Budget Travel Talk on Pinterest.
Don’t leave New South Wales without seeing Newcastle Many travellers pass through Newcastle, NSW on the Sydney to Cairns route. They really do themselves a disservice by not stopping to spend at least a couple of days in this coastal city.
Newcastle is known for its beautiful beaches, but there are also hip cafes, restaurants, bars – not to mention the art, history and culture hidden around every corner, for those who are less beach-inclined.
Evidence of its modern and natural history can be found everywhere. Visit the Bogey Hole – a convict made swimming pool, cut into the cliff rocks, Fort Scratchley, an old defence fort turned local museum, or stroll along the ANZAC Memorial Walk for unparalleled views of the coastline.
If you find your stomach rumbling, I recommend heading to Beaumont St in Hamilton for dinner, or you can laze the afternoon away at one of the many cafes that line Darby St in town.
As for the beaches themselves, there are plenty of choices. The city has two ocean baths – one near the town centre and the other in the suburb of Merewether, where you’ll find locals swimming laps before, during and after work. Popular beaches include Bar Beach, Merewether and Nobbys, which gained worldwide notoriety after an oil tanker was stranded there during the storms of 2007. Follow them on Pinterest
Don’t leave Australia without visiting Shelly Beach in New South Wales. Shelly Beach is located close to one of Sydney’s most famous beaches – Manly. Take the path to the right of Manly Beach and walk the shoreline through the protected marine reserve, past the coffee shops at Fairy Bower and head to Cabbage Tree Bay where Shelly Beach sits in a secluded and protected bay.
You may meet some of the locals along the way, the water dragons sunning themselves on the rocks.
Along the pathway, you will come across silver sculptures embedded into the rocks – look out for the palm trees, shells, surfers, fish, octopus and many more objects, a great way to keep children occupied and informed as you walk along.
If you are a keen snorkeler or scuba diver, Shelly Beach is a popular spot as the water is shallow and there is abundant marine life to see.
If you want a great cup of coffee, breakfast or lunch there is no better place than the recently opened Boat House. It can be very busy on weekends and we recommend arriving early or be prepared to queue.
Shelly Beach is one of our favourite spots when we are back home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Follow on Pinterest too.
Don’t leave Western Australia without seeing Cable Beach, in Broome in North Western Australia, is a 22 kilometre-long stretch of pure white sand, set against a backdrop of red ochre cliffs and fringed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The contrasts of the vivid colours are soul-stirring and I think that this alone is what makes this beach one of the top beaches in Australia.
One of the biggest drawcards to Cable Beach are the simply spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean. You can drive your 4WD right onto the sand for sunset drinks and aperitifs whilst watching the spectacle of the colourful light show of the sunset and the camel safaris along the beach.
There are two tour companies that conduct camel rides or safaris on Cable Beach. For around $70 you get to ride a camel with experienced camel handlers from pre-sunset to post-sunset for about an hour sauntering along the long stretch of beach.
Although Cable Beach in Broome is a little remote and difficult to get to, it is one of those must-see travel destinations in Australia that everyone should do at least once.
Don’t Leave Australia Until You See A Sunset Over The Indian Ocean Renowned for its red sunsets, Western Australia is the only part of Australia you will see a sunset over the Indian Ocean… Being the only mainland state where the sun sets over the ocean you will have no regrets visiting to take in this daily display.
The bonus of visiting Western Australia is, there are thousands of kilometres of coastline where you can enjoy your very own personal sunset experience. From the south coast while you are taking in the sights of Margaret River and Augusta to Broome in the North where at the right time of the year you can also enjoy the ‘stairway to the moon’. You can be almost guaranteed the perfect end to a day wherever you choose to spend it.
If you can only make it to Perth, you will still be able to see a sunset to die for. Dotted along the coast you can sit in one of the bars and cafes along the coast and enjoy a drink while taking it all in or buy yourself a bottle of wine (a West Aussie one of course) or take a friend and just sit on the beach and enjoy.
Experiencing a WA sunset will be one of the simple things that will make your holiday in Australia one you will always remember.
Don’t leave Australia without seeing Darwin As the capital of the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin has its own charm and character, based not only on its geographical location but also on history and a couple of significant natural events. On the 19th February 1942, during World War II, the city was bombed by the same Japanese force which struck Pearl Harbour. Darwin suffered a great deal of destruction from the air raid attacks (64 in total), which was which was kept quiet at the time, to not cause panic in Australia!
Then early on Christmas day 1974, Cyclone Tracy unleashed its fury, decimating the city. Much of Darwin had to be rebuilt after Cyclone Tracy, giving the cosmopolitan city a “youthful” look.
Hot and humid and wet during the wet season – November to April – visitors can expect monsoonal rains most afternoons including some spectacular storms. Not a fan of the hot weather, I prefer the dry season with temperatures running from 27 – 32 degrees Celsius, to enjoy the many outdoor attractions including a number of world heritage listed natural icons.
Don’t leave Australia without seeing… Kakadu Of all Australia’s many national parks, Kakadu National Park deserves special mention. Not only it is the country’s largest national park at nearly 20,000 square kilometres, it’s also home to some of the world’s oldest rock art (the oldest paintings are as old as 20,000 years!). Visitors to Australia who are heading into the Northern Territory should not miss this special place, which is full of spectacular landscapes and incredible wildlife.
A favourite spot is the locally-known Gunlom Falls, where a long 4WD-only track meets a secluded campground. A short walk away is a deep waterfall lagoon and sandy bush beach, perfect for families and relaxing. Alternatively, you can take a 1km hike up the escarpment to reach the upper pools, where you can enjoy a swim with a view of a natural infinity pool. The walk up is steep, but the views and the cold, clear water at the top makes it all worthwhile!
A 4WD will offer the most freedom in terms of visiting Kakadu National Park, and some of the best spots are, quite literally, off the beaten track. However, the ancient paintings at Ubirr Rock can be accessed via sealed road and are well worth seeing. If you are planning to venture into the park, most people choose to camp because of the long distances between sites, so ensure you’re well prepared! Follow on Instagram too.
All Around Oz
Don’t Leave Australia Without Seeing…….Natural Bridge. Natural Bridge is located within the Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Hundreds of years ago the constantly tumbling waters of Cave Creek broke through the ceiling of the cave below creating a ‘natural bridge’. Particularly spectacular after good rainfall, the waterfall tumbles over the rock face and falls into a deep natural cave. The cave is also home to thousands of glow worms which light up the cave ceiling at night time.
To get to the cave and waterfall it is an easy walk along a boardwalk and down a number of stairs. After viewing the cave and waterfall from below you can walk up to the top and across the Natural Bridge. Here you can view the top of the waterfall as it disappears over the edge and into the cave below.
There is something truly spectacular about this beautiful wilderness area and it is hard to believe that it is just a little over 50 kilometres to the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast. It is definitely somewhere that you should visit before you leave Australia.
It’s not just the remote South Australian Outback setting amidst the dramatic ancient landscapes of the Flinders Ranges that makes Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary one of the best eco-tourism experiences in OZ.
It’s also rugged 4WD tracks (aka ‘roads’) plunging down sheer mountainsides, crossing rocky creeks and winding through narrow chasms. And hikes through spectacular gorges with a colourful side order of intriguing rocks and minerals. And watching the sunset against a stunning panorama of mountain ranges.
Then there’s Arkaroola’s signature Ridge-top Tour – one of my favourite Australian experiences. The four-hour bump-and-grind return trip over tyre-shredding roads so rugged, steep and winding it takes all the driver’s skill to keep on the track shows off some of the most remote and spectacular Outback scenery in OZ – the panoramic view from Sillers Lookout is wild Australia at its absolute best.
Arkaroola Wilderness Resort, 725 km (450 miles) north of Adelaide – and 8+ hour road trip – is an adult adventure-land and a uniquely Australian experience. Don’t miss it!
Red Nomad OZ is Marion Halliday – blogger, traveller and author of Australia’s quirkiest travel guide Aussie Loos With Views!
Don’t leave Tasmania without seeing The Wall One man’s passion has evolved into the most stunning mural, depicting Tasmania’s heritage. Carved from timbers, the 100-metre display is a must see in Tasmania. If there was just one thing you had to see in Tassie before leaving the Island State – This is the place.
It blew us away and was such a surprise. We were told by a few people to go see the wall in Derwent Bridge and expected yet another speccie natural wonder from Tassie. To enter the purpose built building and find a massive mural with so much detail and feeling, was one of the highlights of our 5 weeks in Tasmania. This is an incredible achievement, fuelled by the deep passion a man with such a talent.