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Australia Travel Guide, Tours & Things to Do

Planning an Aussie odyssey? Get inspired on the Top Oz Tours and Travel Ideas website. Our Australia travel guide is packed with tips for getting the most from your trip.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Meet amazing wildlife.

G’day, and welcome to Australia!

They’re likely to be the first words you hear when touching down or coming ashore in the epic land down under — and trust us, you’re in for the holiday of a lifetime! From exploring our gleaming cities and history laden country towns, to revelling in the exquisite beauty of the beaches, bush, and wildlife, there are endless ways to spend your time in Oz. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to absorb the age-old cultural heritage of the First Australians.

Ten of the best things to do in Australia

Australia Day Tours, Activities & Attractions

Australia is a vast country and our top tip is to travel light. You don’t want to be hauling massive suitcases around a place this big! Have the basic schedule of your trip locked in (including domestic flights and accommodation in peak periods), but keep your plans relatively flexible from there. Be open to the unexpected, and keep in mind that the best things in life are indeed free. Relaxing on Bondi Beach or bushwalking in the Blue Mountains will be time well spent!

Australia travel guide
Meet the quokkas on WA’s Rottnest Island. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Top ten things to do in Australia

Deciding on an itinerary for your Aussie odyssey can be a daunting task in itself. Use this Australia travel guide to access destination information, and find tours and guided experiences. It also features a handy state-by-state round-up of the must-sees and dos. Enjoy your stay! Browse Australia travel guides, tours, and things to do

Australia multi-day tours and trips

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Top things to do in New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state and the gateway to the country for many international visitors.

Dazzling capital Sydney is best explored over the course of a week-long stay. Climb the mighty Sydney Harbour Bridgedo a tour of the stately Opera House, lose yourself in The Rocks heritage precinct, pull up a patch of sand on famous Bondi Beach, and cruise the shimmering harbour. The stunning Blue Mountains can be done as a day trip, as can the rolling Hunter Valley wine region.

Australia travel guide
Image: Bridge Climb Sydney

Holiday hotspots abound up and down the NSW coast, including Byron BayCoffs HarbourPort Macquarie, and Newcastle. Inland, Tamworth is Australia’s home of country music, while Mudgee, Orange, and the Southern Highlands are popular food and wine hubs. Outback adventure awaits in Broken Hill and Bourke.

Top things to do in Canberra (ACT)

A three-hour drive south from Sydney will bring you to Canberra — the nation’s fabulous capital.

Previously nominated as one of the must-visit cities in the world by Lonely Planet, the capital effortlessly blends imposing monuments and grand edifices with glorious gardens and open green spaces.

If you have limited time in Canberra, the toughest part of your visit will be deciding what to see and what to miss! At last count, there were more than forty galleries, museums and exhibition spaces to explore, including the National Gallery of Australia, the emotive Australian War Memorial, and the National Library of Australia.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Top things to do in Victoria (VIC)

Art lovers, history buffs, foodies, and fashionistas will all enjoy their time in Victoria.

Criss-crossed by a network of European-style laneways and arcades (that harbour amazing street art), capital city Melbourne is renowned as Australia’s cultural, culinary, retail, and sporting epicentre. Regional Victorian-era cities like Bendigo and Ballarat brim with gold rush heritage, while the era of the paddle-steamer can still be experienced in the Murray River port towns of Echuca and Mildura.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Melbourne. Image: Visit Victoria

An array of sublime natural landscapes lies within two or three hours’ drive of Melbourne. Explore the Great Ocean RoadYarra Valley wine regionMornington Peninsula, Phillip Island (home to the world famous Penguin Parade), the Dandenong Ranges, Gippsland Lakes, Grampians, and High Country. Remote coastal enclaves like Warrnambool, Port Fairy, and Lakes Entrance offer respite from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Top things to do in Queensland (QLD)

A subtropical climate draws homegrown and international holidaymakers to Queensland’s coast all year round.

There are golden beaches from the state’s tip to toe, and a laid-back vibe to match. Situated in the state’s south-east corner, cosmopolitan capital Brisbane has changed beyond all recognition in recent decades and offers an array of world-class museums, galleries, and attractions. The neighbouring Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast boast some of the finest stretches of sand in the land, alongside glitzy resorts and thrilling theme parks.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: South Bank. Image: Bigstock

Cairns is the unofficial capital of the Tropical North, and an ideal base for exploring the world-renowned Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. Other top options for a beach break in the ‘Sunshine State’ include Port DouglasTownsvilleAirlie Beach, the Whitsunday Islands, and Hervey Bay. Inland, channel your inner cowboy in Rockhampton and Longreach, or conquer the outback by travelling to iconic Birdsville.

Top things to do in South Australia (SA)

South Australia is a mecca for food and wine lovers, but there’s much more to this delicious part of Oz.

Capital city Adelaide offers a genteel feel, a rich culture and history to explore, and easy access to the state’s renowned wine-producing regions — including the incomparable Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hills.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Adelaide

Further afield, marvel at the mouth of the mighty Murray River, soak up the seaside vibe in Victor Harbor and Robe, be amazed by the geological oddities on display in Mount Gambier, and go below in the famous Naracoorte Caves. Heading north into the outback will eventually bring you to characterful Coober Pedy, where many residents reside underground. Epic landscapes like the Flinders RangesNullarbor Plain, and Lake Eyre beckon to the hardiest of holidaymakers.

Top things to do in Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia is the largest state in Oz and offers myriad opportunities to ‘get away from it all’.

Capital city Perth is packed with great things to do, but even there you’ll find plenty of options for getting in some quality me-time. Lose yourself in Kings Park (one of the largest inner city green spaces in the world) and spend a day relaxing on gorgeous Rottnest Island.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Heading south will bring you to the celebrated Margaret River wine region and wider South West (don’t miss seeing the emotive National Anzac Centre in Albany). Further east along the coast, Esperance beckons with the promise of some of the whitest beaches in the country.

Up on the Mid West coast, hear tales of seafaring triumph and tragedy in Geraldton, marvel at the ancient stromatolites in Shark Bay, and snorkel the shimmering Ningaloo Reef.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Geraldton. Image: Shutterstock

Gold rush history comes alive in Kalgoorlie, while a palpable sense of adventure permeates the far northern Kimberley region. You’ll never forget your first glimpse of the beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles, or riding a camel along Broome’s sweeping Cable Beach at sunset.

Top things to do in Tasmania (TAS)

Affectionately known locally as ‘Tassie’, Australia’s island state of Tasmania offers a compact mix of natural beauty, heritage attractions, and fine food and wine.

Start your trip in captivating capital Hobart — home to the controversial Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). Learn about Australia’s convict past at infamous Port Arthur, and marvel at the exquisite Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian architecture on display in and around Launceston.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania

Pristine landscapes can be found right across the island; bush walk around Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, cruise the incomparable Gordon River, and smell the wildflowers in Freycinet National Park (home to much photographed Wineglass Bay). Bruny Island mixes an artisanal food scene with yet more scenic magnificence.

Top things to do in the Northern Territory (NT)

The Northern Territory’s Top End and ancient Red Centre are imbued with a rich Indigenous cultural heritage and pioneering spirit.

This is the Australian outback in all its fiery glory, and a sense of adventure is omnipresent. Darwin is the capital of the Territory and the gateway to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks — home to plunging waterfalls, rivers and wetlands teeming with bird and wildlife (including salt and freshwater crocodiles), and caves harbouring ancient rock art.

Australia travel guide
Australia travel guide: Pyndan Camel Tracks, Alice Springs. Image: Tourism NT

Head down the transcontinental Stuart Highway to Katherine and cruise through soaring Nitmiluk Gorge. Continue heading south to characterful Tenant Creek, before discovering why there’s no town like Alice Springs (a camel trek and balloon flight over the outback at dawn are must-dos). Finally, sit and soak up the majesty of mighty Uluru as it changes colour and personality throughout the day. The famous Field of Light art installation brings the desert to life after dark.

Book tours and experiences

See the very best of the country on our amazing range of Australian tours and experiences, including wine tours, guided walks, food tours, scenic day trips, scenic flights and day cruises. Choose from hundreds of amazing Australian day tours and activities from many of the country’s leading tour operators.

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If you find the same tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Our best price guarantee applies to tours available on the Top Oz Tours website and does not apply to tours offered via affiliate websites, including Viator. For terms and conditions or to make a claim, please click here.

Australia travel essentials

You can book many aspects of your holiday on the Top Oz Tours and Travel Ideas website, including hotels, car hire, travel insurance, and more. When you purchase a product or service using the following links from our partners, we receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay, and it enables us to continue to provide readers with amazing travel inspiration.

Flights

Compare airlines, flights, and fares in one place with Booking.com. They don’t charge any credit card fees and you can always see exactly what you’re paying for in the price breakdown. You can book one-way, round-trip, and multi-city flights, and change your travel dates with ease when you opt for a flexible ticket option (an additional cost applies). It all adds up to a great flight! Search for flights with Booking.com

Hotels

If you’re looking for a great deal on your next hotel or homestay, look no further than Booking.com. Their mission is to make travel affordable and accessible to more people, and to deliver seamless accommodation experiences that complement your holiday. Search for hotels and homestays with Booking.com

Car hire

Discover Cars is an award-winning (World Travel Awards) car rental comparison website, which helps customers find, compare, and hire cars at the most competitive prices globally. You’ll get access to meticulously maintained cars, 4WDs, and minibuses from the world’s leading brands, and at the best possible price. Search for hire cars with Discover Cars

Campervans & motorhomes

Make Jucy your first choice for campervan and motorhome hire. Since 2001, this progressive company has had a vision to be world-famous for enabling experience seekers to discover happiness on the road. The Jucy crew live and breathe their core values of passion, pride, family, and fun, and these values influence every one of their interactions with customers. They’re ready to help you find ‘your happy’! Search for campervans and motorhomes with Jucy

Day tours & experiences

Search and book day tours, guided experiences, and attraction tickets and passes worldwide with Top Oz Tours and Viator. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book through us, and you’ll have access to the widest choice of activities and most competitive prices. Browse day tours and experiences

Multi-day tours & trips

Travelling on an extended tour with a local guide is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the destination of your choice. Top Oz Tours has joined forced with Tour Radar to bring you a fabulous range of multi-day tours and trips from the world’s leading operators. Travel with like minded people and get the best possible price on the holiday of your dreams. Browse multi-day tours and trips

Travel insurance

World Nomads aims to be a part of every traveller’s journey by providing a reassuring range of travel insurance services. Travellers can buy insurance, extend their policy, and claim online, 24/7, on the road or from home. Travel insurance benefits include coverage for emergency medical and evacuation or repatriation, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and more than 150 adventure activities. Get an insurance costing from World Nomads

Do you have any tips to add to our Australia travel guide? We would love to hear from you. Please send us a message.

The information contained in this guide is general in nature and does not constitute professional advice in any way. We make every effort to ensure this content is accurate, but we do not guarantee it. You should do your own research and seek the advice of professionals before acting or relying on any of the information provided in this guide.

Additional images: Bigstock

 

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