There are dozens of destinations in Australia, some more well-known than others. If you’ve found our page by looking for top places to travel within and close to Australia, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve found our page due to coming on one of our tours in Melbourne, you may be planning your onward travel from this city. We would love to help you out either way!
Keep reading for tips from our well-versed travellers for the best destinations within Australia and beyond. We have included the top destinations and cities throughout Australia, and also some of the most popular places that people travel from this country as well. There are tons of amazing surrounding destinations around Australia with equally diverse and gorgeous landscapes, so why not make a pit stop on the way home – maybe to a gorgeous island nation or a mountainous escape?
Best Destinations in Australia
Here are the top destinations in Australia for travellers to visit. The places that follow are the most popular among backpackers and luxury travellers alike, and will have adventurous and scenic options for all who come through them. We (Walks 101) run tours of Melbourne (and soon to be beyond), so we have left links to respective free walking tours in each destination (which is the best way to get to know a city!) and also our other favourite tours in each place. We want to make sure that not only your time with us is memorable, but your entire trip!
We don’t run Walks 101 tours in cities apart from Melbourne – yet – but check out some other fantastic tours run by other companies we know and love.
First and foremost, Melbourne is (in our opinion) THE top destination in Australia… this is why we began all our Melbourne tours here! Full of culture, hidden bars and eateries, artsy laneways, bustling nightlife, glimmering beaches, green gardens, fascinating history, and sun-soaked rooftops, Melbourne is a shining gem in the crown of Australia.
We won’t go too much into why Melbourne is the MOST awesome in this article, but this guide to amazing destinations in Australia and beyond is the third part to our Melbourne travel guides series. Make sure to check out our Ultimate Melbourne Travel Guide +Melbourne Practicalities/Transport info if you are coming to our very favourite city.
Sydney is the first Australian city and the picturesque home to the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and one of the largest harbours in the world. No visit to Australia is complete without it, and although Melbourne is still our favourite… we think Sydney is alright too 😉
Click here for Sydney’s free walking tour, and right here to see some of the best rated activities to do there. Harbour cruises, coastal walks, and relaxing on the beach are the best things to do in Sydney. Check out the food scene, marvel at landmarks, and even climb the harbour bridge as a tick off your bucket list.
Many travellers like to road trip up the east coast of Australia to get a more well-rounded perspective on the country. You can rent/buy a campervan to do this, or there are also lots of tours up the east coast if you want it all organised for you.
Adelaide is the capital of warm, beachy South Australia – scattered with wine regions, rolling hills, secluded coastlines, and lots of adventures. Adelaide is best known for exploring remote coastlines and having a barbecue with your mates. The city becomes lively with a cricket or footy match, but many spend their days sipping wine among the vineyards.
Queensland – Brisbane to Cairns
Queensland is Australia’s tropical north – home to the Great Barrier reef, tons of stunning east coast beaches, some great cities, and also some remote bush. Many travellers like to road-trip the East Coast from Sydney/Brisbane to Cairns, or anything in between.
Brisbane has a free tour and some great activities in surrounding areas, such as the Gold Coast and the Tangalooma Wrecks just off Moreton Island. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world with many adventures and swim spots, and Noosa is also one of the most popular beachy destinations in Australia. When you make it up to Cairns, make sure to check out the rainforests and waterfalls – but don’t forget the Great Barrier reef, too!
Western Australia – Perth and Beyond
Perth may be the most remote city in the world, but it’s high up on our list. With amazing sandy beaches for miles and famous wine regions, you can’t go wrong here! If you’ll be making it out to Western Australia, make sure to check out Perth walking tours or these must-see things to do in Perth. Make sure to take a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island, and to spend some quality time at the beach.
Northern Territory – Alice Springs, Uluru, and Darwin
The ‘Red Centre’ is the true heart of Australia – home to rich culture, incredible aboriginal legends, and completely unexplainable rocks! If you’ll be visiting Alice Springs to check out Uluru, Kata Tjuta, or King’s Canyon National Parks, make sure to check out some great tours from Alice Springs.
Thousands of miles away, Darwin is also a classic and popular tourist destination in Australia – with crocodile-ridden bays, and deep red national parks. It’s also just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Indonesia – see below!
Tasmania – Hobart and Launceston
Tasmania, or ‘Tassie’ as it is lovingly called, is Australia’s southernmost gem. An island of surreal amounts of nature and national parks, it’s a must-see for those who live hiking and the outdoors.
Hobart (the capital) and Launceston are the main hubs, all with plenty of tours to tickle anyone’s fancy. Hobart free walking tours are a must! Tasmania is also only a 45 minute flight from Melbourne, and shows off of the best destinations in Australia to experience rugged nature.
Travel Destinations Beyond Australia
Seen all the amazing destinations in Australia? Don’t worry, you don’ have to go home just yet. There are tons of surrounding countries around Australia that will beckon you to pay them a visit during your trip. Some of these are only a few hours’ flight from main Australian destinations, so make sure to see if there are any great stopover points before you leave the Southern Hemisphere.
New Zealand is a clear forerunner for the best destinations to visit before/after Australia. Comprised of two islands, NZ has it all – big cities, totally jaw-dropping nature, dramatic coastlines, cultural communities, and more.
The capital, Auckland, is a clear choice to visit in New Zealand, but you can also get away from it all on some road trips and nature tours. Think – Hobbiton, glow worm caves, incredible mountains, gorges, snow, and more!
The cheapest flight from many Australian hubs, Bali is an easy destination to add to your itinerary down under. The cheap price of the flight is no indicator of how amazing a place it is, either – Bali is a dream with affordable living costs, luxurious living options, delicious food, lovely beaches/views, and amazing community.
Check out some of the best things to do in Bali here – you won’t want to leave this tropical island getaway.
Singapore also very often has cheap flights from destinations in Australia, and is a great hub to Malaysia, Thailand, and the rest of Southeast Asia if you are looking to travel on.
A very clean and glamorous coastal city, Singapore is home to beaches, hiking, elaborate theme parks and areas, and beautiful hotels. Check out these tours in Singapore.
Fiji + Vanuatu
In the opposite direction of Southeast Asia, we have the South Pacific. We are lucky to be in such close proximity to some of the world’s most coveted island nations – such as Fiji and Vanuatu.
Flights to these countries go on sale often, so keep your eyes out! There are some lovely boating, snorkeling, and diving tours to experience in Fiji.
Europe + USA
If you’re on a RTW trip, check our Europe Landing Page for some of our partner tour companies in various cities throughout the world – coming soon!