The 10 Most Beautiful Views in Australia

Australia is a vast country/continent rich with scenic grandeur on a magnificent scale. From Queensland to Western Australia, Tasmania to the Northern Territory, splendor is always on display. Although this is only a small sample of what the country has to offer, here are arguably the 10 most beautiful views in Australia:

10. Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

The gorgeous state of Tasmania has many magnificent views to take in but one of the most rewarding is the view from the top of Mount Wellington. At its peak, Mount Wellington stands over 4,000 feet above sea level and provides spectacular views over the capital city of Hobart, the Derwent River and the World Heritage Protected Mount Faulkner Conservation Area to the west.

Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

9. Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

These gravity-defying rock formations are located in Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, between the towns of Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. These large granite boulders have been shaped by weather and erosion and many are naturally precariously balanced on top of one another, forming larger rock formations. Some have even been split clean in half by natural forces. The Karlu Karlu site has great cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal owners of this land, making the view even more special.

Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

8. Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin

Some of the most spectacular Australian sunsets can be witnessed from Darwin’s Mindil Beach as the sun dips below the Arafura Sea. Beautiful hues of pink, orange, blue and purple paint the sky each night while the beach setting of sandy shores and palm trees swaying in the breeze set the ultimate tropical tone. From April to October you can enjoy the festive nightlife of the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets which celebrate the gorgeous view each night.

Mindil Beach, Darwin

7. Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, Sydney

It’s a view known the world round as one of the most popular and iconic shots of Australia. The famous Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay can be best experienced from a birds eye view, one you can experience yourself if you have the nerve to climb 143 meters above sea level to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It may be a nerve racking climb for some but it’s guaranteed to be an amazing view that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Sydney Harbour

6. Uluru at Sunrise, Ayer’s Rock

There’s something magical about witnessing the first beam of sun hitting the big red rock as dawn breaks in the Australian outback. Uluru is a deeply spiritual place for the Aboriginal people of the area and it’s well worth a visit to see the colors of this monolith change over the course of the day depending on the light conditions. Personally we think sunrise is the most impressive when the whole rock is glowing red.

Uluru at Sunrise

5. The Pinnacles, Western Australia

This is one Australian view that’s eerily beautiful. These limestone formations are known as The Pinnacles and can be found in Western Australia’s Nambung National Park. One theory of how they formed is that long ago they were formed from seashells which were broken down into limestone sand which blew inland forming the dunes that can be seen today.

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

4. McLaren Vale, South Australia

This impressive wine region of Australia lies just 35 kilometers south of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. This internationally renowned wine region was first planted with vines in 1838 and has some vines over 100 years old that are still producing today. The lush rolling hills of vibrant greenery provide a picture perfect setting to rival the most beautiful views in the country.

McLaren Vale, South Australia

3. Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay

This next view is not only beautiful but significant; the Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most easterly point in the entire country. Each year more than 500,000 people visit the lighthouse which rises up above Byron Bay offering spectacular views of the bay, the beach and even an opportunity for whale watching when the season is right.

Lighthouse, Byron Bay

2. The 12 Apostles, Victoria

Who knew limestone could be so beautiful? The golden sand and rolling turquoise water probably helps out this magnificent view but the star… or should we say stars of this scene are the giant limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles. Located near Port Campbell in Victoria, just off the Great Ocean Road, the apostles were formed by erosion. Over the years some of the stacks have fallen, with the most recent collapse in 2005. Today eight Apostles still stand on the shores providing a most breathtaking view.

12 Apostles

1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

For many, the typical Australian image is of a beautiful beach with soft sand and blue waters all around. The 7 kilometer stretch of sand known as Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is about as beautiful of a beach view as one can get anywhere in the country. The beach is known for it’s powder white sands which are 98% pure silica giving it the signature bright white color. The sand at Whitehaven also doesn’t retain heat meaning that walking barefoot on the beach is comfortable even at the hottest points of the day. Whitehaven can only be accessed by boat making this a pristine picture worthy of any postcard.

Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com
Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com

The 10 Coolest Train Rides in the World

In the 21st century, train travel has been displaced by other modes of transport, like air travel and automobiles. But many travelers laud the experience of train travel; it’s often faster than a car and, unlike air travel, it allows you to see the landscape as you roll along toward your destination. Reflecting this, many train operations now offer luxury tours for travelers who want to ride in style without missing an opportunity for exploration. Combining amazing scenery, national treasures and elegance, here are 10 of the coolest train rides around the world.

10. Maharajas Express -India

Travel through India on this amazing train journey. Five different routes are offered, departing from either Mumbai or Delhi. Choose from a four day journey or an eight day grand tour of some of the most famous and majestic places on the Indian subcontinent. Partake in Hindu rituals at the ghats of the Ganges or witness a polo match played not on horses, but on the backs of elephants. From ancient civilizations to the Taj Mahal, you’ll see palaces and museums, national parks and beaches on the Heritage of India tour. On the Indian Splendor tour, you’ll have a chance to explore an abandoned kingdom and a dinosaur fossil park. Departures are limited, usually once per month between October and April, so if you want to travel on the Maharajas Express, you’ll want to plan in advance.

Photo by: Maharajas' Express
Photo by: Maharajas’ Express

9. Grand Canyon -USA

Train travel is almost synonymous with the American West; train service was the glue that held the nation together until the mid-20th century. The Grand Canyon Railway captures the Old West feel with its stops at historic train depots and the El Tovar hotel, which was built in 1905. The railway has a number of unique passenger cars, including the dome cars that are peculiar to American railways. Two of the luxury parlor cars feature open-air platforms for observation. Trains depart the Williams depot daily and arrive at the south rim of the Grand Canyon National Park two hours and 15 minutes later. The trains return to Williams around 3:30 in the afternoon. Along the 65-mile journey, the train passes through diverse terrain of the high Sonoran desert and mountainous areas, and passengers might sight any number of animals, including pronghorns, and a variety of plants.

Grand Canyon Railway

8. The Ghan -Australia

Connecting Darwin at the northern tip of the Australian continent and Adelaide on the southern coast, The Ghan makes one of the most fascinating trips in the world. The Great Southern Rail-operated train travels almost 3,000 kilometers over the span of 54 hours, with a four hour stop over in Alice Springs. The train originally ran between Adelaide and Alice Springs, beginning operations in the late 1890s; it wasn’t until 2004 that Darwin was connected. The reasons are obvious: the route runs through vast swaths of the rugged Australian Outback. With the new train in operation, getting to Darwin and seeing the Outback has never been easier, although delays and track trouble still plague the line. Stops at Katherine and Alice Springs allow time for optional tours. The Ghan generally runs once a week, although two services operate weekly between June and September.

The Ghan, Australia

7. Blue Train -South Africa

The South African Blue Train is world-renowned for its luxury service, boasting butlers, two lounge cars, an observation car and private carriages with gold-tinted picture windows. The train takes passengers nearly 1,000 miles between Pretoria and Cape Town. Originally, the service was meant to connect passengers from Johannesburg to England-bound ships in Cape Town. There was a time when four routes were offered, but all have been discontinued except the route between Pretoria and Cape Town. The train makes at least one stop in either direction, allowing guests to explore the Open Mine Museum at Kimberley Station or enjoy a glass of sherry at Matjiesfontein. The journey takes passengers between inland and coastal areas, showcasing the spectacular scenery of the South African landscape. Passengers will journey across scrubland, through mountain foothills and across rivers in the height of luxury. Bring formal wear for your dinner engagement.

Blue Train, South Africa

6. Trans-Siberian -Russia

Not just a single line, the Trans-Siberian Railway is rather a collection of lines that traverse the huge expanse of the Siberian hinterland, connecting European Russia with the Russian Far East, the Sea of Japan and branching into Mongolia, China and North Korea. It is the longest railway in the world, spanning 5,772 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok, and is still being expanded. Even before its completion in 1916, it had become a hotspot for travelers, who then wrote about their experiences. The journey from Moscow takes about six days and crosses seven time zones before dropping passengers on the Pacific Coast. The line is still incredibly important for the transportation of goods and people between Moscow and the Russian Far East, and its historical importance cannot be underscored enough. The journey might not be the most luxurious, but it is certainly a fascinating view of Russia.

TransSiberian Railway

5. Royal Scotsman -UK

If you look at many top-10 lists for rail travel, you’re almost bound to run into the Royal Scotsman, a luxury liner that offers charter tours of the Scottish Highlands in the UK. With a variety of tour options, ranging from two nights in the Highlands to the seven night Grand Tour of Britain, the journey makes plenty of time for stops at local attractions, such as castle ruins, whisky distilleries and iconic natural wonders. Some journeys even include outdoor pursuits like shooting clay pigeons. As you travel, the observation car provides spectacular views of the glens, lochs and villages that make up the Highland vistas. Dining makes use of the best local ingredients and experiences are mixed between formal and informal. Combining luxury with an amazing tour of the Scottish landscape like you’ve never seen before, it’s little wonder the Royal Scotsman ranks highly on so many travelers’ bucket lists!

Photo by: Simon Pielow via Flickr
Photo by: Simon Pielow via Flickr

4. Glacier Express -Switzerland

While the Glacier Express isn’t a very quick trip—in fact, it has a reputation for being the slowest express train in the world—you probably won’t mind as you pass through the Alps between St. Moritz and Zermatt in Switzerland. The 7.5-hour journey takes passengers across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass. Large portions of the railway use a rack-and-pinion system for ascending through the steep Alpine inclines—up to 6, 670 feet at its zenith! Running east-west almost across the length of the country, the train travels through a number of important sites: the Albula/Bernina section of the trip are part of a World Heritage Site and the train journeys through the Rhine Gorge and up to the Matterhorn in Zermatt. Since the 1980s, the trains have run year-round, which means this spectacular trip can be enjoyed by travelers no matter the season.

Glacier Express, Switzerland

3. Eastern & Oriental Express -Thailand to Singapore

The Oriental Express is an actual train service, journeying through the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and, since 2007, Laos. The tour starts in Singapore and stops in Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and Kanchanaburi before arriving in Bangkok. A guided tour of the River Kwai and a tour of Georgetown, near Penang, are included on the most popular route, although there are nine routes to choose from. The Singapore-Bangkok route takes three days to complete. The journey has been awarded a place on the Society of International Railway Travelers’ “Top 25 Trains” list, earning points for service, dining, beauty and off-train experiences. The service is operated by Belmond, a renowned name in luxury train travel, and is considered one of the best ways to explore Southeast Asia. In 2015, two new “signature journeys” were introduced.

Photo by: Simon Pielow via Flickr
Photo by: Simon Pielow via Flickr

2. Hiram Bingham -Peru

Hop aboard this luxury liner and ride the rails between the city of Cusco and the ancient Inca capital of Machu Picchu. This ride consistently makes the top-10 lists for travelers visiting Peru, and not only because it heads up to the sacred Inca city. Part of the Orient Express, the train operates in both directions and is named after the discoverer of Machu Picchu. Combine slithering through the soaring Andes in the Incan outback with fine dining and a relaxing four hour trip. Guests have brunch on the trip to Aguas Caliente, and dinner if they catch the late train back to Cusco. A local band provides live entertainment during the trip and guests can sample the Peruvian drink pisco as the train rumbles alongside the Urubamba River, which flows from the Sacred Valley. The observation car features an open deck for passengers to better enjoy the view!

Hiram Bingham, Peru

1. Rocky Mountaineer -Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer isn’t one route, but four routes running between Alberta and British Columbia in Western Canada. Formed in 1990, the company operates the busiest privately owned passenger rail service in North America, with more than one million passengers having boarded the train since its inception. The Rocky Mountaineer is a perennial favorite among train travel enthusiasts, having been named the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” seven times and the Society of American Travel Writers’ top train ride in 2009. All four routes run through the rugged Canadian Rockies, some of them following historic routes such as the Canadian Pacific. In 2013, it was announced that a three day trip from Seattle would be offered. All trains operate during the day, with some overnight stops, between May and September. The “Journey through the Clouds” takes passengers over the Canadian National railway through the Rockies, between Vancouver and Jasper.

Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com
Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com

11 Things to See and Do in Kakadu National Park

Regardless of what time of year you get the chance to visit Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory, jump on that opportunity and enjoy what the park has to offer.  Dry season (May to October) will grant you more accessibility and activity options, but wet season (November to April) offers incredibly green, lush, verdant vistas and smaller crowds.  With no shortage of salt and freshwater crocs, waterfalls, boat cruises, walks, swimming, bird watching, and fishing, you are sure to have an unforgettable journey to Kakadu that will have you hankering after your next visit.  Get yourself a permit online before you travel to save yourself some hassle.

1. Yellow Water Boat Cruise

Take a journey through Kakadu’s expansive and magical wetlands on the Yellow Water Boat Cruise.  The Yellow Wetlands, at the end of Jim Jim Creek, are home to countless crocodiles and about a third of all the bird species represented in Kakadu.  Operating year round with a choice of a 90 minute or 120 minute experience and a knowledgeable and highly trained guide, this tour will get you up close and personal with the wetland.  If you want a more unique experience, book at dawn or sunset, check out the night time cruise, or explore their fishing packages.

Saltwater Crocodile, Photo by: Tourism NT
Saltwater Crocodile, Photo by: Tourism NT

2. Nourlangie

Nourlangie Rock, or Burrunggui, is a breathtaking rock formation.  On a 1.5 km walking loop of the outcrop, you can observe ancient mythological Aboriginal paintings.  If you are visiting during dry season, visit the nearby Anbangbang Billabong and enjoy the views of the Nourlangie.  If you feel up for a challenge, the 12 km Barrk Sandstone Walk over the outcrop presents a great opportunity for fitness enthusiasts to make it to the top and enjoy the spectacular views while sneaking in some exercise.

Nourlangie Rock, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT
Nourlangie Rock, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT

3. Maguk Gorge

Maguk Gorge is found in the southern part of Kakadu National Park, just over 10 km off the main highway.  If you are travelling with 4 wheel drive and have checked the road conditions, head to the trailhead, park your vehicle, and begin the 2 km walk to Maguk.  Walk through lush forest and thick vegetation – try to spot some birds and lizards – until the path opens up to a swimming hole and see the only waterfall in Kakadu that flows regardless of season.  Swim across the pool and let the water wash over you.  Feeling brave?  Try cliff jumping!

Barramundie Gorge, Photo by: Tourism NT
Barramundie Gorge, Photo by: Tourism NT

4. Jim Jim Falls

Accessible by 4 wheel drive in the dry season or by air in the wet season, be sure to catch a glimpse of Jim Jim Falls.  Or if you don’t want to drive yourself, join a tour group to make some friends and leave the driving to an expert.  Once you park, you will brave a short but challenging walk to the falls.  If you’ve got the time and energy, do the Barrk-Mariam Buswalk – a 6 km round trip walk that gives breathtaking views of the surrounding area.  Jim Jim Falls also has a nearby campground, so you can stay overnight (book this popular campsite well in advance).  If you have the time, check out the nearby and popular Twin Falls for some more epic waterfall action.

Jim Jim Falls, Photo by: Tourism NT
Jim Jim Falls, Photo by: Tourism NT

5. Explore the Yurmikmik Walks

If you feel like you’ve been cooped up in the car while exploring Kakadu, get out of the car and spend a day hiking at Yurmikmik.  Hikes from the Yurmikmik parking lot range from a 2km loop to a more challenging 14 km loop.  If you’re planning a longer hike, look into obtaining a camping permit to extend your hike overnight.  Check out the Yurmikmik lookout and explore the Motor Car Falls.  Keep an eye out for peregrine falcons, black wallaroo, and saltwater crocodiles!

Yellow Water Billabong, Photo by: Tourism NT
Yellow Water Billabong, Photo by: Tourism NT

6. Grab a Bite to Eat at Kakadu Bakery

Hungry from a long day in the bush?  If you find yourself hungry and close to Jabiru, be sure to drop in on Kakadu Bakery. Grab breakfast, meat pies, sandwiches, burgers and fries, or stock up on their famous pastries, meat pies or bread rolls to refuel before your next jungle adventure.

Aussie meat pie

7. Get a Bird’s Eye View of Kakadu

If you want a real sense of the magnitude and beauty of Kakadu, you absolutely must head to the air to get the full experience.  Choose from fixed wing or helicopter and a variety of itineraries to make sure you get the experience you are looking for.  Depending on if you are travelling in dry or wet season, different tours may be available.  If you’re near Jabiru, check out Scenic Flight Company (fixed wing) or Kakadu Air (fixed wing or helicopter) for the aerial trip of a lifetime.

Jim Jim Falls Arial

8. Take in the Sunset at the Escarpment

Grab some groceries, make a picnic, and head to the Arnhem Land Escarpment by Jim Jim creek to sit back, relax, and take in the view while the sun sets.  Be sure to bring your cameras to this memorable, breath taking view.  If you have the time, try and catch a free talk by the local Rangers to learn about the rich history of the area.

Kakadu Sunset, Photo by: Johan Lolos
Kakadu Sunset, Photo by: Johan Lolos

9. Bardedjilidji Walk

This gentle walk is suitable for the whole family! Accessible during the dry season, the Bardedjilidji (the Aboriginal word for walking track) Walk takes you on a 2.5 km loop and will take approximately 1.5 hours tops.  Explore the sandstone rock formations beside the East Alligator River, try to spot some Aboriginal stone art, check out the caves, and keep your eyes open for the unique plant and animal life that inhabit the area.

Aboriginal Rock Art, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT
Aboriginal Rock Art, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT

10. Animal Tracks Safari

Enjoy the bush experience of a lifetime by taking a dry season tour with Animal Tracks Safari.  Start in Cooinda at 1pm and head to a local buffalo farm, then let your Aboriginal guide lead you through the wilderness to gather food, teach you about bush medicine, and then make a feast at sunset!  Help make a campfire and learn about traditional cooking methods while you absorb the sunset jungle view with your tour group.  If you’re worried about roughing it – they provide plenty of water and access to bush toilets that will keep you comfortable even in the heart of the jungle.  You’ll be back in Cooinda by 8:15pm, and discounts are available for children 4 -16 and under 4 are free.

Bush Walk, Photo by: Tourism NT
Bush Walk, Photo by: Tourism NT

11. Warradjan Cultural Centre

The Kakadu area has been home to Aboriginal People continuously for over 50,000 years. This is evident throughout the park with many sacred sites and ancient aboriginal rock drawings. The Bininj/Mungguy are the traditional land owners and welcome you to experience their beautiful lands and learn about their traditional culture and the Warradjan Cultural Centre located near Cooinda Lodge offers visitors the chance to learn about aboriginal life while exploring the exhibit and also get an up-close look at some unique aboriginal art, many of which are produced by local artists and are for sale.

Warradjian Cultural Centre, Photo by: Tourism NT
Warradjian Cultural Centre, Photo by: Tourism NT

 

8 Awesome Markets in Australia

In a country/continent as big and diverse as Australia they’re able to grow, produce and make many products themselves year round. The best place to find fresh home grown produce and unique local products is by visiting one of the many markets that take place all around the country in cities big and small. No matter where you are in the country there’s bound to be a market held close by. To help get you exploring here are 8 awesome markets in some of the major cities around Australia:

8. Capital Region Farmers Markets –Canberra, ACT

Held every Saturday from 7:30-11:30am at EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra), it’s worth the drive out to these markets which feature the freshest produce in the capital sold by local producers. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, baked goods, meat and seafood, nuts, gourmet foods, flowers and plants all from local area growers. Come for breakfast and be sure to grab a flat white from the coffee stand and a sizzling sausage from The Brathaus.

EPIC Canberra resized

7. Cairns Night Markets –Cairns, QLD

The Cairns Night Markets and Food Court is world famous and a must do if you’re in northern Queensland. There are 130 stalls selling a wide variety of items but the focus is mostly on souvenirs and other aussie-made goods. Bring your appetite to these markets because the food court has a lot to offer including a few Chinese buffets where you pay for a plate and load up as much as you can. These markets are located on The Esplanade in the city center and are open 7 days a week from 5pm-11pm.

cairns-night-market

6. Adelaide Central Markets –Adelaide, SA

The Adelaide Central Markets are located in the heart of Adelaide city center and are conveniently open Tues-Sat. This place is a foodies dream with bakeries, delis, fresh foods, meat and seafood, cafes and more. You can have a meal and then shop for the rest of your week and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find whatever you’re looking for at one of the 80+ stalls. This market is an Adelaide institution and is South Australia’s most visited tourist attraction so make sure you check it out.

centralmarket

5. Brisbane MarketPlace –Brisbane, QLD

The Brisbane MarketPlace in Rocklea is a unique venue with 2 distinct weekend markets: The Saturday Fresh Market and the Sunday Discovery Market. On Saturdays from 6am—noon you’ll find over 190 stalls selling everything fresh including fruits and veg, meats and seafood, bread and baked goods, gourmet products and deli items plus much more. Then, on Sundays from 6am-noon you can come to the Discovery Market to explore new and second hand items, collectibles, books and more…come early and be prepared to haggle!

brisbane marketplace

4. Perth Home Grown Markets –Perth, WA

Perth City Center is home to many fantastic markets but one that stands out in front is the Perth Home Grown Market happening every Sunday from 11am-4pm in Forrest Place at the Murray Street Mall. The aim of this newer market is to provide the best quality local produce and local made products to the people of Perth. You can expect to find tasty home baked goods, organic teas, oils, pickles, hand crated goods in addition to fresh local produce.

perth home grown

3. The Night Market (Queen Vic Market) –Melbourne, VIC

Never wonder what to do on a Wednesday night again because the Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne is the place to see and be seen. These eclectic markets run every Wednesday night during the summer (Nov-Mar) from 5-10pm. It’s the perfect place for food, fashion, bars, music, shopping and more. While at these markets make sure you grab a glass of sangria, it’s legendary.

Photo by Jonathan Khee
Photo by Jonathan Khee

2. The Rocks Markets –Sydney, NSW

The Rocks Markets are nestled in the charming historic area of Sydney’s city center known as The Rocks and run every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. This quaint open air market consists of vendors lining the streets selling their wares in a very relaxed environment. The main highlights of these markets are the many artisan crafts including one of a kind clothing, handmade jewellery and original art. If you’re looking for souvenirs in Sydney, we suggest skipping the junky magnets and checking out these markets instead as you’re sure to find a timeless treasure.

The Rocks Markets

1. Mindil Beach Sunset Market –Darwin, NT

From the last Thursday in April to the last Thursday in October Mindil Beach is taken over by stalls and pedestrians all checking out the many offerings these markets have. Every Thursday night from 5-10pm and Sunday nights from 4-9pm most of Darwin heads to these unique evening markets which take advantage of the beautiful sunsets of the Northern Territories. Food is the biggest attraction here and you can find colorful cuisine like Thai, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian and more. This market also allows BYO so bring your cooler full of cold ones, grab some food and park yourself to watch the colors as the sun goes down.

sunset market

The 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in Australia

Australia is a beautiful country that attracts millions of visitors each year. Popular tourist destinations like Sydney and Melbourne offer visitors world-class sightseeing, but there are less popular travel destinations in Australia that are often underrated and overlooked. Take a look at seven Australian destinations that deserve a lot more attention.

1. Adelaide

Adelaide is a picturesque coastal city with a mild, year-round climate and lots of things to enjoy. Its beaches stretch for miles, from North Haven Beach with its boat marina to Sellicks Beach, a popular surfer’s paradise. Adelaide is also a city that’s full of exciting outdoor activities, culture and entertainment. If you like the outdoors, visit one of Adelaide’s 29 beautiful parks, the Adelaide Botanic Garden or the Adelaide Zoo, home to the world’s prized giant pandas. Brush up on culture at Migration Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Enjoy a night out at one of Adelaide’s many restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, then relax on the banks of the River Torrens while you row a boat and feed the ducks.

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2. Darwin

Darwin is a quiet city on the Timor Sea in the sparsely populated Northern Territory of Australia. With balmy, tropical breezes and beautiful orange sunsets, Darwin offers visitors a calm retreat from other bustling cities. Mindil Beach has open-air markets that feature crafts, pottery and foods from around the world. You can shop for bargains and relax with dinner on the beach while you enjoy a beautiful evening sunset. For sightseeing, Darwin has numerous guided tours that explore nature, culture and adventure. You can visit the local rainforests and outback, learn about the Aboriginal culture, explore a safari or fishing adventure, or take a harbor cruise to Crocosaurus Cove to see Steve Irwin’s beloved crocodiles.

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3. Broome

Broome, located in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, is a quiet, mellow place with friendly people. It isn’t that well-known to most travelers except for backpackers who love the laid-back atmosphere and spectacular scenery, like at Horizontal Falls, a natural phenomenon where tidal currents cause the waterfall to fall horizontally. Cable Beach, with pristine white sand, is famous for an undersea telegraph cable that connects Broome to Singapore. Town Beach, known for the Staircase to the Moon, is famous for dinosaur prints that are 130 million years old and etched in the sand. In Broome, you can shop for rare pink diamonds and pearls, go bird-watching in Roebuck Bay, rent a dune buggy in the outback or ride off into the sunset on a camel.

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4. Tasmania

The beautiful unspoiled landscapes in Tasmania are definitely an underrated attraction. Lake St Clair National Park is home to Cradle Mountain, one of Australia’s most beautiful wilderness areas. It’s a region that’s full of natural landscapes and gorgeous mountain ranges that were formed during the last Ice Age. You can take a walk around Dove Lake where you’ll see waterfalls and strange vegetation. If you’re up for a real adventure, you can take a six day guided walk along the world-famous Overland Track. It includes delicious meals, Tasmanian wine and accommodations in well-equipped huts. Tasmania is an Australian destination that will make you appreciate the real undisturbed beauty of Australia.

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5. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is located in the state of South Australia. It’s just a short ferry ride from Cape Jervis or a quick flight from Adelaide. The island is full of natural landscapes and untouched bushland. It’s a natural sanctuary for wildlife and birds. Surrounded by water, Kangaroo Island is great for fishing and whale watching. There are sea lions, penguin colonies, rare birds, wallabies, and lots of free-roaming kangaroos and koalas. The relaxing atmosphere and unique wildlife is a treat for visitors looking for a restful, scenic destination. For another treat, you can enjoy gourmet food at the Kangaroo Festival, along with wines, cheeses, yogurts and authentic Australian cuisine.

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6. Phillip Island 

Located in the state of Victoria, about two hours south-east of Melbourne, Phillip Island offers a look at Australia’s natural beauty. Some of the terrain is rugged with rocky cliffs that line miles of sandy beaches. Other areas contain wetlands, mangrove flats and undisturbed bushland. You can stroll through seaside villages and shop for local treasures or enjoy delicious local seafood dishes. If you like to surf, you can catch a wave at Cape Woolamai, one of Victoria’s most popular surfing beaches. If you’re intrigued by penguins, visit the nearby village of Cowes to watch the Penguin Parade. At sundown each night, these resident penguins walk from the sea to their burrows to go to sleep. How cute is that?

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7. Cairns

Although most travelers know Cairns as the main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, there’s a lot of things to explore in the city. Cairns has a mild tropical climate and relaxed atmosphere. You can enjoy the beaches while swimming, snorkeling, diving and sailing. The city has a diverse selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs for great food and nightly entertainment. Shopping is endless with world-class boutiques and specialty shops. If you enjoy adventure, Cairns is home to Daintree National Park, the world’s oldest living rainforest. You can explore the rainforest by taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway, a 90 minute ride through the rainforest where you’ll see platypus, crocodiles and colorful parrots.

Filipe Matos Frazao / Shutterstock.com
Filipe Matos Frazao / Shutterstock.com