Today we’ve been in Australia for six months. Time flies when you’re having fun! Because we’re currently in the outback and can’t really go and celebrate it with a nice dinner or some fancy cocktails, we figured – why not reminisce about the beautiful places we’ve been in Australia so far? Thus, especially for this joyful occasion, we’ve made a list of our six favourite destinations in Australia to share with you.
Australia has so many contrasts. It was really hard to pick just six places, because Australia has so much to offer! You have big cities, small towns, beautiful beaches, deserts, gorges, waterfalls, you name it – Australia’s got it. There is still a lot to see for us in this beautiful and enormous country, but we already have some very fond memories of the destinations we visited Down Under!
Our Six Favourite Destinations in Australia
We had two lovely weeks in Noosa, as we were lucky to have friends that were sweet enough to let us stay in their home. Noosa is known as Australia’s most beautiful seaside vacation destinations. You can find gorgeous national parks and golden beaches, excellent surf spots and some great shopping areas. We really liked Hastings Street with countless of restaurants where you can sit down and unwind and enjoy the lovely weather. And the food was excellent as well!
Hells Gates is the most memorable place we’ve been in Noosa. It’s located in the National Park and to get there you have to follow one of the walking tracks. It’s a 7 kilometer long walk from the National Park entrance and along the walk you’ll have plenty of amazing coastal views. Just look at the colour of that water!
Melbourne was the first place we saw in Australia and we absolutely loved it there; all the cosy spots to have breakfast, drinks and dinner, brilliant shopping areas and certainly some amazing architecture. Even though it’s already six months back when we were there, we still have this urban beauty on our list of favourites.
The Shrine of Remembrance was one for the books. From there you get a stunning view of the gorgeous skyline. This was the first place we went to that we were actually in awe of it’s beauty. Next to the Shrine of Remembrance, there are lots of other places in Melbourne to have a wonderful time, such as St. Kilda, the Botanical Gardens and of course the city centre. Not only is Melbourne a great city to explore, we noticed there was a very relaxed vibe and people we met were all very easy going.
4. The Great Ocean Road
After Melbourne our roadtrip started and we decided to explore the Great Ocean Road. This was one of our best decisions during our journey in Australia. The Great Ocean Road is one of the most popular road trips in the world, and we totally understand why. During the Great Ocean Road the drive itself is very rewarding with beautiful views out of your car window. You’ll see endless breathtaking coastlines, cliffs, and incredible landscapes.
The Twelve Apostles is one of the most iconic places in Australia, and it didn’t disappoint our expectations. Other spots you get to see are the Gibson Steps, Bells Beach and Tower Hill. During the drive and the pits stops you can encounter wildlife, such as kangaroos, emus, koala’s and wallabies. The Great Ocean Road definitely deserves a spot on our top six favorite places in Australia, and the pictures probably explain why.
3. The Kimberley Region
We are currently living in a small town in the Kimberley Region, and we’ve been here for the last three months. Before we went to Australia we were already very curious about the outback, because we have nothing like it in the Netherlands. Well, it’s not what we expected it to be. We pictured red dirt and a whole lot of nothing – and found that’s only one part of the outback. The Kimberley is located in the outback and it certainly isn’t only dry and a whole lot of nothing, there are so many incredible spots to go. The Kimberley is a gorgeous region, but one thing we really like here is that is also a different culture to experience, as a lot of indigenous people live in this area.
One of our favorite spots is Emma Gorge, located in El Questro Wilderness Park, where we went last Sunday. This is typically one of those spots that’s so beautiful it’s not even possible to capture it on camera. The water is very cold, which you will appreciate after the hour long walk you undertook to get there. It’s a real oasis, surrounded by incredibly high cliffs with greenery, and a 65 meter high waterfall – which wasn’t really flowing when we were there. What made this place even more incredible was that there was a hot thermal spring at the side of the waterhole, where you can actually sit on the rocks and relax.
Other places we recommend in the Kimberley are Lake Argyle, The Grotto, Zebedee Hot Springs, Molly Springs and there is so much more to explore in this region. One place we still want to see for ourselves is Purnululu National Park, also known as the Bungle Bungles.
Please be aware that for almost every destination in the Kimberley Region you need a 4x4wd vehicle.
The Whitsundays are 74 islands on the tropical coast of Queensland, and they are located at the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a very special experience to sail around these incredible islands. Whitehaven Beach was one of our highlights of our three days trip on the Whitsundays, with the most beautiful water and sand you can find on this earth. It has been named the South Pacific’s Best Beach by the 2015 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. It totally deserves the title, with seven kilometers long of the whitest sand in the world. The sand is made of 98% pure silica, and the water is so clear that you can see right through it.
1. The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is probably our favorite place in Australia. Although it’s hard to pick a number one, because all the other destinations all have their own unique qualities.
Even though we visited the Great Barrier Reef during the Whitsundays, we wanted to give it a separate spot in our little list. We’ve been on two different tours, one during the Whitsundays and one in Cairns, because we just loved it so much. Yes, it’s a typical bucketlist destination, but that’s not without reason. We had our expectations about the Great Barrier Reef, but it was better than we could ever imagine. Nowhere else in Australia did we see so much wildlife as in this enormous underwater world.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth and is even visible from space. The ecosystem consists out of hundreds of islands, reefs, 600 types of soft and hard corals and you can find sharks, starfish, turtles, dolphins, crocodiles, over 100 species of jellyfish and all sorts of amazing fish. During our visits we had encounters with six turtles, saw a barracuda, found nemo and all sorts of colorful fish. Every time we came back from the waters, we just had a huge smile on our face.
It was fun for us to reflect and look back on all the amazing places we’ve visited. Australia has so much to offer and there is so much more for us to see. We can’t wait to go and visit Darwin and Kakadu National Park or explore the West Coast of Australia and see Perth, Broome and more. Of course there are some awesome spots we’ve not visited and won’t be able to visit during this trip (such as Fraser Island and Tasmania), but we hope to do that in a couple of years. Australia is so enormous, you probably need years and years to explore everything!
What are your favorite places in Australia?