Australia is truly the land of endless exploration. It is home to extraordinary natural beauty and breathtaking, diverse landscapes, laid-back atmosphere, iconic cities, outback wilderness, ancient cultures, and outstanding cuisine. Mainland Australia is the world’s largest island but the smallest continent.
The vast country is divided into eight states and two territories, each with its own unique mix of incredible destinations and unforgettable adventures. With so much to see and experience in Australia, it can be challenging to know where to even begin. Here’s a start! This rundown of each region, with must-see highlights, will help kickstart the planning of your dream vacation.
New South Wales: Located in the southeast portion of Australia, there is something for everyone here – from thrill seekers to beach and surf lovers, families to wine connoisseurs. It is home to the magnificent port city of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, with its huge Harbour Bridge and iconic Opera House. With the Sapphire Coast to the south, the Central Coast to the north, and the Blue Mountains in the west, natural beauty and adventure await.
Northern Territory: In the top, central area of Australia lies the quintessential Northern Territory which takes “the outback” to a whole new level. Some of the country’s foremost national parks are located here, including Kakadu National Park with its dramatic wilderness, King’s Canyon, Litchfield National Park, and the distinctive Uluru with its spectacular rock formations and monoliths. The Northern Territory is a must-see if you’re looking for authentic Aboriginal culture, awe-inspiring landscapes, and classic Australian wildlife.
Queensland: Known to Australians as the ‘Sunshine State’, this subtropical stretch of land on the northeast of Australia is paradise for travelers seeking sun, surf, and outdoor activities. Queensland is home to the Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef system, the ancient Daintree Rainforest, and the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. In Queensland, lush jungles touch pristine beaches, and rainforests meet the sea with unusual fish, vivid coral, and legendary diving sites.
South Australia: In the bottom, central part of Australia lies one of the country’s most laid-back destinations – perfect for travelers seeking a relaxing getaway. Explore the Barossa Valley wineries, the Flinders Ranges, and Kangaroo Island, a secluded haven not only for kangaroo species but for Australian flora and fauna. Enjoy the thriving arts scene and many annual events and festivals which have earned South Australia the name “The Festival State.”
Tasmania: Tasmania is an island state, separated from mainland Australia by the Bass Strait. This beautiful island is a microcosm of Australia, encompassing dazzling beaches, rugged mountains, and gorging rivers which wind through stunning landscapes and vast wilderness. Hobart, the capital, is a striking cosmopolitan city, and is close to many quaint towns, beautiful walks and hikes, food and wine trails, and a host of great family activities.
Victoria: Victoria is the thriving focal point of culture in Australia, with Melbourne as its capital and metropolis. Capturing what Aussies love most, Melbourne is known for its art, music, upscale restaurants, friendly atmosphere, and cultural diversity. Victoria has famous museums and galleries, the spectacular Great Ocean Road, and the majestic Grampians National Park.
Western Australia: Western Australia, the country’s largest state, is, in fact, located on its western coast. Due to its vast size, Western Australia offers great diversity – the dramatic Kimberly Region, the idyllic Rottnest Island, and the premier wine and surf region of Margaret River where vineyards grow within meters of the sea. Perth, the capital, is famous for its gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, parks, and fresh seafood.
Australian Capital Territory: Australian Capital Territory, which blends nature and culture, is home to Canberra, Australia’s cosmopolitan capital, and to the nation’s most important museums and monuments – as well as sparkling lakes, beautiful gardens, and wild wetlands. There is also a stunning wine region and a thriving restaurant scene.
Ready, mate? Check out Routeperfect’s Popular Itineraries, written by tourism professionals and experienced travelers, for more guidance in customizing your dream trip plan to Australia based on your personal preferences. Culture and natural beauty thrive in all corners of the country, and, with a country of this size and diversity, you’ll find destinations that suit each season. Routeperfect, with its advanced trip planning tools, is your address for planning and booking your trip so you can experience the country YOUR way.