Top Australian destinations you need to see

The good thing about Australia being so very, very vast is that there is always somewhere else to visit.

Snow, desert, a beach holiday or a tropical paradise, all are within our borders.

But how to narrow it down?

The YourLifeChoices team got their heads together and made a list of ‘must-visit’ locations in Australia that you should put on your bucket list.

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I am constantly surprised at the number of Australians who have not visited Uluru/Kata Tjuta. While the prices can be prohibitive – it’s impossible to have a cheap holiday there – everyone should visit at least once. 

While we have all grown up with the imagery, the reality is another level again. 

A walk around the base is a must, but the towering formations of Kata Tjuta, while less famous, are just as imposing, if not more.

Our tip: go as soon as possible while the Field of Light installation is still intact.

Great Barrier Reef

This one makes me sad, because it’s recommended to go now while you can. Damage to the reef continues, but there are still plenty of tours to see this natural wonder, both from under and over the water.


You need to experience one of Australia’s best beaches at least once in your life, each with their own appeal. 

Bondi for the atmosphere, Bells for the purists, Byron for its international appeal, Noosa for the glamour.

Frankly, there are too many to list here, but this guide should get you started.


Australia has 3.6 million hectares of rainforest, but if you want to experience the best of that, try the Daintree. There are plenty of tours available from walking hikes to day-long river tours or simply take a walk yourself.

There are ample accommodation choices both in Port Douglas and Cairns or lap up some guaranteed calm by enjoying a stay in the forest itself. 


Yes, all other capital cities, I know, Australia isn’t just about Sydney, but let’s face it, when people outside think of Australia, they think of Sydney.

For a holiday in your own backyard, it’s hard to go past our first city. Try to stay as close into the city or harbour as possible to extract as much as you can from your trip.

Must-do’s are a harbour boat trip, a bit of a squiz around the Opera House area even if you don’t feel the need to go inside, a visit to one of Sydney’s famous beaches, a visit to the Queen Victoria Building, a trip to the zoo and maybe a fancy meal overlooking the water. 

Start your wish list here.

Ningaloo Reef

The Great Barrier Reef gets all the good press, but more people should visit Ningaloo Reef and the Coral Coast. 

Apart from anything else, the whole area is massive so there are fewer built-up touristy areas.

So you can join a tour, or simply park your van on a beach for a few days.

Attractions are many and varied, and include swimming with whale sharks and manta rays, whale watching, reef snorkelling, visit a seal colony or turn yourself inland for wildflower tours, the best of Australian wildlife – kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and emus – and a taste of the outback. 

You can’t go past this guide for a jump-off point.

Margaret River

While we are over in the west, the Margaret River area is a stunning part of the world and a must for food and wine lovers. The list of excellent restaurants, wineries, breweries and attractions are simply too long to detail here but it’s fair to say there is a lot packed into a relatively small space from nature tours – including whale watching – to a day doing nothing but wine tasting and gorging on food.

Have you visited some of these destinations? Would you class them as ‘bucket list’? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Also read: Six things to do on your first time in Cairns

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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