preloadBest places to visit in Australia

For many, Australia is a bucket-list destination, home to some of the world’s most unique natural wonders, a multicultural culinary scene and incredible road trips. There’s never enough time to see it all, but we can certainly help you fill out your itinerary with these amazing places to visit in Australia.

From the vibrant corals and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef to the stunning scenery and cute townships along the Great Ocean Road, here are the 10 best places to visit in Australia. With more than 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve also keyed in on the best hotels to stay in each destination.

1. Sydney Opera House

Photo | Gettyimages | VIJAY ANAND

What makes the Sydney Opera House one of the best places to visit in Australia? The answer is simple. Few places are more synonymous with Australia than the Sydney Opera House. The historic performing arts venue is a testament to the steady growth of cultural entertainment in Australia, hosting more than 40 shows a week. Not only is she a beauty to look at, the Opera House is a hub for circuses, dance shows, film screenings, opera, musical theatre, talks, comedy and cabaret. It’s also a short walk from numerous restaurants and bars around Circular Quay.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

Photo | Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour| Provided by LEONARDO

Located 500 metres from the Sydney Opera House, the luxurious Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour captures magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. The one and two-bedroom suites overlook lush gardens or the harbour and feature full kitchens, separate lounge rooms, spa baths and private balconies.

Combining produce from land and sea, the on-site restaurant, Q Dining, offers an enticing menu of locally-sourced seafood and grilled meats. After your meal, settle in for a cocktail or wine at the stylish Hacienda Sydney, which overlooks Sydney Harbour. The hotel also has an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, massage services and a well-equipped fitness centre.

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • Surrounded by popular Sydney attractions, including Government House, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Royal Botanic Garden.
  • Easy access to ferries to Manly, Kirribilli and Watsons Bay.
  • Cuban-inspired drinks and food served at Hacienda Sydney.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 365 – USD 1,133
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 61 Macquarie Street East Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, Sydney, Australia

Hotel Location

Looking for those epic harbour views? 28 Sydney Hotels With Perfect Harbour Views

2. Great Ocean Road

Photo | Gettyimages | POSNOV

One of the best road trips in Australia, the Heritage-listed Great Ocean Road takes you along the southern Victorian coast between Torquay and Allansford. As you drive along this coastal route, you’ll encounter a number of incredible places to visit in Australia, including the Twelve Apostles, picturesque Hopetoun Falls and the Griffiths Island Lighthouse. The coastline is dotted with dramatic limestone cliffs and reveals a number of secluded beaches, charming little towns and immersive nature walks.

Great Ocean Road Resort

Photo| Great Ocean Road Resort | Provided by GREAT OCEAN ROAD RESORT

Located in the coastal town of Anglesea, the 4-star Great Ocean Road Resort is the perfect stop-over during your road trip. The resort overlooks the Anglesea River and is a short walk through town to the picturesque Anglesea Beach. Ideal for couples and families, it has a luxurious day spa, a wall-to-wall trampoline facility, fitness centre, tennis court and multiple pools.

The all-suite accommodations feature open-plan designs and furnished patios or balconies. We particularly love the Spa Suite, which boasts an in-room spa bath, outdoor dining area, kitchenette and writing desk. The Two Bedroom Waterfront Apartment is ideal for groups with its spacious living and dining rooms, full kitchen and private balcony overlooking the river. 

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • All-suite accommodation with kitchens, balconies and comfortable bedding.
  • A range of on-site facilities, including an outdoor games area and indoor heated pool.
  • Farm-to-plate dining at The Coast Restaurant.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 109 – USD 306
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: 105 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Australia

Hotel Location

Travelling with your loved one? Great Ocean Road Accommodation for a Romantic Getaway

3. Uluru

Photo| Shutterstock | UWE ARANAS
Photo | Gettyimages | FELIX CESARE

Australia is home to one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world, which experts say dates back between 40,000 and 60,000 years. A site of true spiritual and cultural significance, Uluru is a protected natural landmark in Australia’s red centre. A journey out to Uluru offers deeper immersion in Aboriginal culture, reveals Australia’s vast and barren dessert landscapes and affords some unexpected experiences, such as bush tucker tastings, dining under the stars, Harley Davidson tours and camel riding. All this makes the Uluru one of the top places to visit in Australia.

Sails in the Desert

Photo| Sails in the Desert Hotel | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Sails in the Desert delivers an extravagant and authentic outback experience about five minutes’ drive from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The resort connects with its surrounding environment, from the gumtree-encircled swimming pool to the regionally-sourced fare in the brasserie-style Ilkari Restaurant. You can also admire Indigenous artwork in the Mulgara Gallery or dine on Indigenous-inspired food at Walpa Lobby Bar.

Original Indigenous artwork adorns all the rooms and suites, which also have mini bars, complimentary Wi-Fi and HDTVs. The Terrace Room has a sun-drenched private terrace with plush loungers, while the Deluxe Suite boasts multiple balconies, Indigenous artefacts and a spa bath. 

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • Certain rooms come with complimentary buffet breakfast.
  • Signature spa journeys and body rituals at Red Ochre Spa.
  • A short walk from Maruku Arts Market Place and Red Desert Reptiles.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 390 – USD 401
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 1 Yulara Drive, Yulara, Australia

Hotel Location

4. Rottnest Island

Summer scene at longreach bay rottnest
Quokkas on Rottnest Island near Perth, Australia
Photo| Gettyimages | JOHN CRUX PHOTOGRAPHY

Rottnest Island has become world famous over the last few years because of its adorable population of cute and very friendly quokkas. These little guys and gals have been blowing up Instagram feeds with their cheeky smiles. However, there’s so much more to see and do on Rottnest Island, including getting up close to a colony of sea lions, cycling around the island and taking scenic seaplane flights. There are also boutiques, fine-dining restaurants and day spas around the island.

Discovery Rottnest Island

Photo| Discovery Rottnest Island | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Discovery Rottnest Island is a family-oriented holiday park separated from the iconic Pinky Beach by grassy sand dunes. The park offers an environmentally-friendly glamping experience with 83 eco-tents featuring outdoor decks and private ensuites. Upgrade to a Superior tent for a kitchenette or a Deluxe tent for ocean views.

Make the most of the sunny weather on Rottnest Island with swimming in the 30-metre-long pool, drinks at the poolside bar and picnics at the communal barbecues. Pinky’s Beach Club offers all-day dining and drinks service on its open-air patio. The holiday park also backs onto Rottnest Island Golf Course, where you can play on scenic and challenging holes.

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • Eco-friendly holiday park with glamping tents and resort-style facilities.
  • The king-size bed, day bed, kitchenette, barbecue deck and ocean views in the Deluxe tent.
  • About five minutes’ drive from the Salt Store Gallery and Exhibition Centre.

Star Rating: No Rating
Price: USD 265 – USD 369
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Strue Road, Rottnest, Australia

Hotel Location

Want to stay in Perth? 15 Popular Waterfront Hotels in Perth

5. Daintree Rainforest

Photo| Gettyimages | POSNOV

Located high in the northern reaches of Queensland, the Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest forests in the world and one of the truly amazing places to visit in Australia. You can still see plants and bugs that were around during the age of dinosaurs. These days it’s known for crocodile sightings, delicious farm-to-table dining, dramatic rainforest-backed beaches and adventure experiences like zip-lining.

Daintree Secrets Rainforest Sanctuary

Photo| Daintree Secrets Rainforest Sanctuary | Provided by DAINTREE SECRETS RAINFOREST SANCTUARY

Daintree Secrets Rainforest Sanctuary offers secluded accommodation in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. The estate boasts cascading waterfalls and swimming holes that are metres from your private veranda. There’s only one house, which can accommodate six guests and features a rainforest viewing platform, full kitchen, cosy living room, outdoor seating and beanbags by the natural pool.

You can cook up a barbecue on the deck, enjoy a dip in your private swimming hole and relax with some yoga. There’s also an extensive DVD library for those rainy days, pool toys for the kids and two plush king-size beds for a restful night’s sleep. You’re also a 10-minute drive from the beautiful Thornton Beach.

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • About five minutes’ drive from the Daintree Entomological Museum.
  • 270-degree views of the rainforest, streams and waterfalls from the veranda.
  • Has the largest private swimming hole that’s also free from crocodiles.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 590 – USD 592
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: 61 Stonewood Road Diwan, Cape Tribulation, Australia

Hotel Location

6. Whitsundays

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Whitsunday Islands, Australia, East Coast, Queensland, Non-Urban, Coastline, Scenics, Scenics
Photo| Gettyimages| BYRNECK
Photo| Shutterstock | DARREN TIERNEY

Few places epitomise paradise on Earth better than the Whitsundays, a far-stretching archipelago sitting on the Great Barrier Reef. While most of the islands are uninhabited, the ones that are usually have incredible resorts and seafood restaurants, exciting water-based activities and offshore reefs. Of course, no visit to the Whitsundays would be complete without strolling along the soft, pure-white sand of Whitehaven Beach.

Daydream Island Resort

Photo| Daydream Island Resort | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Occupying its own private island, Daydream Island Resort promises a truly indulgent stay in the Whitsundays with inviting accommodations featuring king-size beds, Whitsundays views, furnished balconies and shower baths. We particularly love the Serenity Suite, which offers a separate living room, a marble bathroom, separate bath and two balconies overlooking the ocean.

Daydream Island Resort brings the reef to you with its Living Reef concept. It’s a freeform coral lagoon where you can get up close to vibrant marine life without leaving the resort. Make an appointed at Elita Day Spa to be utterly pampered with a range of body treatments or admire the ocean from the poolside bar. There are also three restaurants serving gourmet local cuisine, including fresh seafood.

Why You Should Stay Here

  • Offers on-site activities, such as beach sports, swimming with stingrays and jet ski tours.
  • Games, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts and movies at the kids’ club.
  • Delicious Asian-fusion cuisine served at Infinity.

Star Rating: 4.5*
Price: USD 237 – USD 788
Guest Rating: 7.4
Address: PMB 22, Daydream Island, Australia

Hotel Location

7. Great Barrier Reef

Photo | Gettyimages | VLAD61
Photo| Gettyimages| BYRNECK

The Great Barrier Reef is world famous for its seemingly endless sprawl of rainbow fish life, coral habitats and exotic creatures. Exploring the world’s largest coral reef system is easy these days with so many island resorts and coastal cities offering snorkelling and scuba diving tours. Some of the islands even have swim-out reefs teeming with marine life.

Bedarra Island Resort

Photo| Shutterstock | PAUL FAUNTLEROY

Nestled on the southern end of Bedarra Island, Bedarra Island Resort is an upscale holiday destination with secluded white-sand beaches and coral reefs metres from the shoreline. The villa accommodations here are truly spectacular with magnificent bay vistas, custom furnishings, deep-soaking baths and sprawling terraces. Certain villas also have private plunge pools and beachfront locations.

The resort’s dining options are quite indulgent, incorporating fresh and locally-sourced produce. You can dine on the restaurant’s terrace or even enjoy a private picnic on the beach. Of course, relaxation is key at this resort, whether you’re exploring the reefs on sea kayaks, snorkelling, playing tennis, sipping cocktails at the pool or enjoying a beachside massage.

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • Luxurious resort on its own island with white-sand beaches and coral reefs.
  • The plunge pool, outdoor lounge and shower and private Hernandia Beach access in The Point villa.
  • Offers stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, motorised guest boats and fishing.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,250 – USD 2,390
Guest Rating: 10
Address: Via Cairns and Dunk Island, Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia

Hotel Location

Want to stay on an island? 13 Heavenly Island Resorts on the Great Barrier Reef

8. Gold Coast

Photo| Gettyimages| SHANNONSTENT
Photo| Gettyimages| NICK

The Gold Coast is a destination of many faces, one of the top places to visit in Australia. To the north, Surfers Paradise combines late-night clubbing and family-friendly entertainment with a beautiful, long beach and excellent surf breaks. To the south, smaller communities like Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Tugun reveal a quieter side to the coast focused around community markets, beachside parks, dramatic headlands and a lively pub rock scene.

Mantra Towers of Chevron

Photo| Mantra Towers of Chevron | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Manta Towers of Chevron is a popular choice on the Gold Coast, thanks to its lagoon-style pool, gym, sauna, movie theatre and barbecue areas. HotelsCombined visitors consider it a great choice for shopping, because it’s directly connected to the neighbouring Chevron Renaissance dining and shopping complex. It’s also a short walk from the lively Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Beach.

Looking for self-contained accommodation on the Gold Coast? You can’t go wrong here with the one, two and three-bedroom apartments. They all have separate living rooms, full kitchens, laundries, furnished balconies and Wi-Fi. The 3 Bedroom Superior Sub Penthouse offers the highest views of Surfers Paradise from its sprawling balcony. 

Why You Should Stay Here

  • Within five minutes’ walk of the Gold Coast Wax Museum and the Infinity Attraction.
  • Self-contained apartments with well-equipped kitchens and laundries.
  • Sandy beaches and plush sun loungers at the lagoon pool.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 215 – USD 363
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: 23 Ferney Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

Hotel Location

Travelling with your family? Crazy Gold Coast Holiday Deals & Hotels for Families

9. Fraser Island

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia.
Photo| Gettyimages | KASPER HENDRIKS
Photo taken in Eurong, Australia
Photo| Gettyimages | LUCA KEISER – EYEEM

The world’s largest sand island is also one of the most incredible places to visit in Autralia. Fraser Island is a dream for adventure enthusiasts, accessible only with a four-wheel drive or on a guided tour. You can camp on the beach or stay in luxury resorts while exploring the island’s sights, including the cocktail-blue Lake McKenzie, the dramatic Maheno shipwreck and constantly shifting sand dunes. There’s also incredible fishing to be enjoyed off the rocks at Indian Head and straight off the beach.

Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island

Photo| Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island | Provided by MERCURE KINGFISHER BAY RESORT FRASER ISLAND

Combine the adventure of Fraser Island with premiere eco accommodation at Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island. The 4-star resort is a foodie’s paradise, from the gourmet traditional fare at Seabelle Restaurant to the curated share platters at Sand & Wood. There are so many excuses for a cocktail, whether you’re admiring beach views at The Sand Bar, sipping drinks by the lagoon pool or partying with fellow travellers at Dingo Bar.

Accommodation ranges from cosy hotel-style rooms to spacious villas and self-contained houses. We particularly love the one-bedroom loft-style villas with full kitchens, private decks and light-filled dining rooms. Certain villas also have spa baths on their decks, while the Kingfisher Houses boast epic views of the island’s beaches and forests.  

Why You Should Stay Here 

  • Runs immersive tours, nature-based activities, including whale-watching cruises and four-wheel-drive coach tours.
  • The Island Day Spa offers a range of nourishing, and revitalising organic treatments.
  • A fun-filled, adventure for the kids, with The Junior Eco Rangers Program.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 96 – USD 221
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Australia

Hotel Location

10. Wineglass Bay

Photo| Gettyimages | NIGEL KILEEN

Wineglass Bay has earned its name from the shape of its shoreline, which lends the appearance of a wine glass filled with azure liquid. It’s part of Freycinet National Park, where you can also hike up trails for panoramic views over the bay. The area is known for its excellent fishing, sea kayaking, rock climbing and iconic red rocks.

Saffire Freycinet

Photo| Saffire Freycinet| Provided by ICE PORTAL

The award-winning Saffire Freycinet is considered one of Australia’s premier luxury lodges. It’s easy to see why. The 20 opulent suites boast natural finishes and designer furnishings, including king-size beds and plush lounges. They also have private courtyards or decks, in-room music systems and double showers. Certain suites, such as the Private Pavilions, also have kitchens and plunge pools.

The lodge focuses on Tasmania’s love for culinary excellence with the delicious seafood and degustation menus served at Palate Restaurant. It also has barbecued meats and 1950s furnishings in The Lounge. Don’t forget to book an indulgent treatment at the on-site spa, which has a plunge pool and bath surrounded by native bushland. 

Why You Should Stay Here

  • Opulent lodge a short walk from Muirs Beach and small coves within Freycinet National Park.
  • Self-contained suites with plunge pools, full kitchens and private courtyards.
  • Complimentary experiences, including visiting an oyster farm, nature walks and archery.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,530 – USD 2,017
Guest Rating: 10
Address: 2352 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay, Australia

Hotel Location

Discover More Places to Visit in Australia This Year

Australia, Queensland, koala climbing a tree
Photo| Gettyimages | WESTEND61

Tap into your intrepid soul this year and check out the amazing places to visit in Australia. Not only are they utterly unique to the rest of the world, but they also offer memorable accommodation options. Whether you’re staying on a private island on the Great Barrier Reef or deep in the Australian Outback at a luxurious resort, Australia knows how to create an unforgettable holiday.

Where are your favourite places to visit in Australia? Let us know in the comments below.