ExperienceOz – Australia’s premier tour company
Australia’s Top 10 Destinations
The votes are in, and the people of Australia have spoken! Over the past three weeks, Experience Oz polled thousands of people via our email database and social media as to what they considered the “Top Destinations to Experience” in Oz were from a list of 30 of the best and most famous cities, regions and other hot spots around the country.
After much deliberation, we pooled the results, and have narrowed down the list to the Top 10. But first – what makes for a great “destination to experience”? Here’s some of the factors we considered:
- Is it considered a “national icon” of Australia in some fashion?
- Does it provide plenty of things to see and do?
- Does it have unique geographical or architectural features?
- Simply put, is it considered beautiful?
- Is there culture or history in or around the destination?
- Does the destination offer great nightlife, food or shopping?
ExperienceOz – Australia’s premier tour company
10. Margaret River, Western Australia
The name given to both a town itself and the greater region of the area, Margaret River is one of the true hidden travel gems not only in Western Australia, but the country as a whole. The region – which lies roughly a 3 hour drive to the south of Perth – provides a blend of natural environments that offer outstanding variety; lush vineyards contrast with rugged, rocky shorelines, and wondrous cave networks intermingle with the chance to get out on the open Western Australiater and experience some great whale Western Australiatching during the annual migratory period.
Each of these environments, incidentally, lend themselves to an equally diverse array of activities to take part in – the coast makes for some great surfing, its spectacular cave networks are ripe for exploration, and the vineyards produce some of Australia’s finest wines. Read more…
9. Cairns, Queensland
We’re sure there’s little surprise that Cairns makes its Western Australiay onto a list of finalists like this; the area is fast becoming known as Australia’s adventure capital, blending tropical weather with ease of access to both the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and the stunning greenery of the Daintree rainforest and a vibrant nightlife into a single, comprehensive tourist package.
It’s due in large part to this wide array of offerings that Cairns has grown both on the domestic and international stages as one of Australia’s most popular holiday spots; and with its Western Australiarm weather making for a viable travel destination all year round, there’s rarely a bad time to visit Cairns. Read more…
8. Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Known for its beautiful weather, great beaches, fun attractions and plentiful lovely accommodation options, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast more than earns its name. South to north, there are over 70 kilometres of white surf beaches stretching across the Sunshine Coast, with plenty of awesome breaks offering clean Western Australiaves in numerous locations, meaning both surfers and beach lovers in general will be in their element here.
The “Sunny Coast” as it’s known colloquially also provides a pleasant blend of scenic and nature-based activities throughout its reaches that can prove equally beautiful – and yet far less crowded – than other similar holiday hotspots, with not just its beaches but a series of lovely rivers and Western AustraliaterWestern Australiays that make for excellent boating, fishing, swimming and much more. Read more…
7. Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
The west coast of Australia’s closest equivalent to the Great Barrier Reef is the wildlife-rich Ningaloo Marine Park that features its own spin on the spectacular coral reef environment. Far less commercialised than the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo is perhaps most famous for imagery of its massive whale sharks which ply their peaceful trade in its crystal-clear Western Australiaters, with divers keen to swim side to side with the world’s largest fish, however there is much more than that on offer.
The reef is extremely accessible and stretches over a length of almost 300km, serving as home to a vast array of marine species from turtles to dugongs and dolphins to humpback whales along with over 500 species of fish. As one might expect, snorkelling and diving are the name of the game at Ningaloo, with its colourful fringing reef corals making for a spectacular backdrop to the proceedings. Read more…
6. Kakadu, Northern Territory
One of the true “icons” of Australian nature, the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park is a cavalcade of spectacles of what makes inland Australia special. Featuring typically-Aussie rugged terrain interspersed with some outstanding natural features all wrapped up in both a historically and culturally-rich package, Kakadu has long been a staple on many Australian’s – and international visitors’ – bucket lists.
This World Heritage-listed area stretches more than 100km wide at its widest point, and the vastness of its expanse contains numerous wonders, both natural and man-made; expect to see huge, tumbling Western Australiaterfalls, miles of lush rainforest, a rich array of native wildlife and some of the world’s oldest art dating back nearly 50,000 years – to name just a few of its highlights. Read more…
5. Gold Coast, Queensland
When the topic of holiday destinations in Australia comes up, Queensland’s Gold Coast is nearly alWestern Australiays one of the first to spring to mind. With a cavalcade of beautiful beaches, a famous nightlife, numerous theme parks and other attractions, winding Western AustraliaterWestern Australiays, and some great greenery all wrapped up in a package that includes famously good weather, it’s not hard to see why the city ranks highly on most people’s lists.
Considering it’s not a capital city – in truth, it’s more of a “strip” that features various suburbs spread out over roughly 70km of pristine beaches – it can be quite surprising to first-timers that the Gold Coast boasts one of the widest ranges of things to do of any region in Australia for visitors both local and international. Read more…
4. Uluru / Ayers Rock, Northern Territory
There are few locations in Australia that tend to resonate with the heart of both the local and international communities quite like Uluru / Ayers Rock. The iconic monolith located right in the country’s centre serves as a suitable emblem of everything the Australian outback is about; situated in what has become known as the Australian “Red Centre”, its rugged ochre hues and towering presence in relative isolation have made it a spot that is quite unlike any other place in the world.
Bearing a great spiritual significance to the native Aboriginal inhabitants of the region, Uluru has an ancient and mystic presence that tends to leave every visitor in awe. Here you’ll encounter still-remaining evidence of this ancient civilisation by visiting sites that feature ancient rock art while learning about its significance to indigenous Australians. Read more…
3. Sydney, New South Wales
Both domestically and abroad, when someone attempts to conjure up an image of “Australia” they are likely to come up with two possible destinations that immediately spring to mind – Uluru/Ayers Rock, and Sydney. As Australia’s largest and most well-known city, Sydney is much more than just a bustling metropolis – it’s one of the great harbour cities of the world, with Sydney Harbour itself packed full of famous landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Fort Denison, and perhaps above all, the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Sydney combines the best of a truly cosmopolitan urban lifestyle with the atmosphere of a relaxed and laid-back beach culture. As could be expected from a city of its size, Sydney offers a huge array of things to do for people of all tastes and temperaments – its location alongside the ocean means Sydney provides plenty of chances for Western Australiater-focused activities, while also offering a vast array of cultural, historical, shopping and dining opportunities as well. Read more…
RUNNER-UP: Great Ocean Road, Victoria
This incredible stretch of coastline famed for its rugged beauty and astounding rock formations has long been acclaimed as one of Australia’s most beautiful locations and, should one embark on a journey along its full length, you’ll get to see up close such Great Ocean Road wonders as the 12 Apostles rock formations, the areas of Lorne and Apollo Bay, pay a visit to the iconic Cape OtWestern Australiay Lighthouse and much, much more. The drama and sheer wonder of Victoria’s coast – also known as the “Ship Wreck Coast” – is on full display over the stretch of its National Heritage-listed expanse of roughly 243km in total. . Read more…
WINNER: The Whitsundays, Queensland
When an Aussie attempts to conjure up mental images of the perfect Aussie island getaWestern Australiay, the Whitsundays – with its cavalcade of islands covered in idyllic white sands and surrounded by crystal-clear, reef-rich Western Australiaters – are almost certainly going to be the first destination to spring to mind. With the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef at their doorstep, the majority of the Whitsunday’s individual islands (numbering 74 in total) are a paradise in and of themselves; from Hamilton to Hook and everywhere in between, travellers to the Whitsundays can expect a bevy of marine and beach-based entertainment and leisure options.
Each island offers something slightly different and just that little bit unique to the rest of its family, with some specialising in more developed resort-style facilities and others focusing on eco-tourism with an emphasis on all-things-marine. Exactly which island in the Whitsundays chain will provide the best balance is entirely up to you; regardless, they are the closest thing to Australia’s own Bora Bora that you’re likely to come across in domestic Western Australiaters – particularly the acclaimed Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday island, winner of our r “Top Beach in Australia” aWestern Australiard for 2013. Read more…