5 Areas to Visit in Australia

by Ed Forteau /
Ed Forteau's picture
Feb 10, 2012 / 1 comments

It’s been a couple years since I’ve been to Australia. It’s a beautiful country, with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. My first evening there, walking back to my hotel room from the restaurant, several people stopped and said, “welcome to Australia, mate!” The Australians certainly make you feel welcome.


Heading to Australia? Most people, when they think of Australia, think of the Outback – and the Great Barrier Reef.  But there is so much to see and do in Australia outside of these two main spots. There are many ways to get around Australia - pick one, and you’re good to go – let’s take a look:



You should certainly see the Sydney Opera House (a World Heritage Site). But there’s more fun to be had at the Sydney Harbor Bridge! You climb to the top from the eastern side - in harnesses ! If you’re not that intrepid, you can take the Discovery Climb and ascend a staircase to the lower chord of the bridge.





Some travelers take the Sydney Explorer and Bondi Explorer buses, which stop at frequently visited attractions. If you’ve the time, stop and visit some museums (Jewish Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum, National Maritime Museum), the Sydney Fish Market, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, or another dozen places of interest. Don’t forget shopping at the Queen Victoria Shopping Building.  And, exploring all the different cuisines available – Sydney is a melting pot of culture!



A grand and stately place, Melbourne is warmth personified.  It’s the sporting capital of Australia – maybe you’ve seen the Australian Open?  But there is more to do and see in Melbourne! Try shopping at the gorgeous Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades, Flinders Lane, or find some excellent bookstores.

Take the free tram around town, and see the Docklands (stylish buildings planted amongst the marinas) – and hop on and off as you please, to see the sights.  View aboriginal and global art at a variety of places, including NGV international, the Ian Potter Centre, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, George Adams & State Theatre Foyer Galleries, walk along the Yarra River and see the outdoor contemporary art, or  visit any of the amazing art galleries that populate the city.



Take time to stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Snag a coffee at an old world café, or take tea in a 19th century hotel. Shop to eat at the Queen Victoria Market.  Don’t forget the Melbourne Zoo – or head to Philip Island at dusk (especially in December, when numbers are highest) to see the penguins commute home each night!



Ayers Rock

Also known as Uluru, Ayers Rock is an extraordinary place of natural beauty. Located in the southern part of the Northern Territory in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Ayers Rock juts out of the landscape and should not be missed. If you’re fit, climb to the top and be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. If you’re not so fit, stroll along the bloodwood trees that grow around Uluru. You can also see the Kantju Gorge – when there’s enough rain, you’ll see a 90 metre waterfall!

At Ayers Rock, you can also see aboriginal rock paintings and numerous sacred sites in the area. Definitely visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, where you can learn about aboriginal history and culture, as well as arts and crafts. Uluru is a World Heritage Site.

flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/mutomasa/2581267836/

photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: mutomasa




Overflowing with sunshine, Perth has beautiful natural parklands and is one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. You’ll love the clean and uncrowded beaches (19! White sand!) of the capital of Western Australia.  There’s plenty of gourmet dining, and shopping. Take in the Aquarium of Western Australia, the Perth Zoo, or stroll through King’s Park & Botanic Garden (climb the 101 steps of the DNA tower for a gorgeous view).  See whales pass by Perth from September to December on their annual migration, or view the black swans at Lake Monger!


There’s plenty of art and culture to see, at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Western Australia Museum, or the Holmes a Court Gallery. If you’ve more of a science bent, head to Scitech, which has over 160 hands on science and technology exhibits. Shop at Fremantle Market on Saturdays – for food and all kinds of things. Visit Rottnest Island (catch a ferry from Fremantle) and bike and swim all day. Snorkel in crystal clear waters. This is one spot you won’t want to miss.


Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/steve_ellis/2709732487/

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: steve_ellis



The Gold Coast

Located in Queensland, north of Brisbane, and south of New South Wales is the world famous Gold Coast.  The Gold Coast has long been a popular tourist destination for travelers around the world.

The Gold Coast is never boring.  You can talk a stroll along the beach in Surfers Paradise.  Or surf the world-class waves off Broadbeach.  If underwater exploring is your thing, head off to Main Beach where you can snorkel the wreck of the Scottish Prince.

The heart of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise.  Don't let the name fool you.  This isn't just a place for surfers.  For Americans, Surfers Paradise will remind them of Miami.  Miles of sandy beaches, yachts, high rise apartments, night clubs, shopping, theme parks, water parks, wildlife parks, and many other things to see and do.


Head inland and you can experience the true beauty of nature.  Visit the McPherson Range...a sub-tropical rainforest, where you'll see an amazing array of tropical birds. Lamington National Park is the home of ancient trees and native wildlife. These national parks are an adventure for the entire family.

The kids will enjoy the theme parks. At Sea World see polar bears and seals, or ride their many rollercoasters. See movies being made at Dreamworld or Warner Bros Movie World. Or jump into the giant wave pool at Wet n Wild Water Park.

With so many fun things to see and do, it really is paradise.



Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: mixedmedia



Comments (1)

  • Barbara Greenberg

    12 years 3 months ago

    I've been to Australia twice.  You're right about how friendly the Autralians are.  And there is so much to see and do.  After reading your article I want to head out there again.  Thanks!

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