We all know that awkward Aussie feeling. It happens when an out-of-towner asks you: ‘What’s the Great Barrier Reef like?’ or ‘How amazing is Uluru?’
And you reply, ‘I’ve never been.’ Cue sad face.
If you’re a born n’ bred Aussie that simply hasn’t seen much of the great land down under, now’s your chance to make it happen!
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Best for: Seeing the world’s biggest coral reef
Yes – the world’s largest reef is in Australia! Whatever you choose to do at the Great Barrier Reef, make sure you go under water, whether via snorkelling or diving.
With over 3,000 reef systems and coral cays, the colours and creatures will be something you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Sydney Harbour, New South Wales
Best for: Glimpsing our national icons
If you’re from elsewhere in Oz, a trip to the nation’s capital of Sydney is a must. If not for the bustling culture, then for a chance to explore the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
The famed Bridge Climb is a great way to get close to this icon, while a tour or show at the Opera House is ideal if you want to do more than just see the sails from the outside. If either of those don’t suit you, get yourself on a cruise for some stunning harbour views.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Best for: Seeing true blue Aussie wildlife all at once
There’s a bucketload of things to put on your bucket list when in South Australia – including Adelaide, the Barossa, the Limestone Coast and the Flinders Ranges – but Kangaroo Island takes the cake for letting you say hello to our national wildlife.
You can check out koalas and echidnas in Hanson Bay, feed kangaroos at Seddon, grin at Penguins at Penneshaw, swim with dolphins at Kingscote and stroll right up to a sea lion colony at Seal Bay!
The Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Best for: An iconic Aussie road trip
Anyone who’s anyone should brave the Great Ocean Road – which is perhaps Australia’s most iconic coastal road trip. If you haven’t, get your pants on, your car prepped and your holiday rolling!
The huge 45-metre limestone rocks known as the Twelve Apostles are the most popular drawcard along this route, but ensure you also make stops at Apollo Bay, Port Fairy and Cape Otway.
Uluru, Northern Territory
Best for: Seeing the desert and learning about Indigenous culture
Australia has strong and deep Indigenous roots and seeing Uluru, at Australia’s red centre, is an Aussie experience like no other.
This world-famous natural icon has much significance for the local Indigenous people of the area, and while here you’ll get to both explore the site and learn more about the Dreamtime myths that surround this great rock.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Best for: be curious about our nation’s capital
As the Aussie capital, this is one spot everyone should visit at least once!
Cool political buildings, endless roundabouts and cold weather are typically associated with Canberra – but it’s attractions like the War Memorial, the Botanic Gardens and the National Gallery that keep people coming.
For a little more excitement, plan your trip around one of the city’s key celebrations, such as
Floriade, the Fireside Festival, the Nara Candle Festival and Enlighten Canberra.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Best for: Going remotely wild, Aussie style
Never crossed the Bass Strait?
Tasmania is one of the most unique and rugged places down under, and it’s a place where every Aussie or tourist should aim to go. Why? Because it’s beautiful.
Hiking, canyoning, scenic flying, swimming and seeing Tasmanian Devils (the real kind, not the Looney Tunes kind) are all the go at Cradle Mountain. Give camping a go here too for a true wilderness experience.
Perth, Western Australia
Best for: Watching the sun set over the ocean
If you’ve never seen Australia’s western coastline – or watched the sunset over water – you should be have this on top of your bucket list.
While there are many beautiful destinations in Western Australia, Perth is perhaps the most iconic. It’s known for its glorious beaches, its pretty parks and gardens, its wandering paths around the Swan River and its proximity to the beautiful Rottnest Island.
So, which iconic Aussie destination will you visit next?
Wherever you decide to go, don’t forget that travel insurance in Australia is essential.