18 Places to Explore in Australia in 2018

2018 is well underway and if you are like me than you are already looking at booking in a holiday. Australia is such a massive and diverse country that has a lot to offer so here are 18 places to explore in Australia in 2018.

1

Noosa, Queensland by Through an Aussie’s Eyes

Noosa is one of the most popular destinations in Australia. Not only is it idyllic but it has some of the most beautiful scenery Queensland has to offer. This stunning resort area is known for its heavy surf and the boutique shopping on Hastings Street. The beaches are crystal clear and the surrounding rainforests are lush and full of life. Noosa is split into three different areas, Noosa Heads (more upmarket), Noosaville (much more relaxed) and Noosa Junction (the administrative hub). It isn’t uncommon to see dolphins and whales just off the beach.  Noosa National Park is home to koalas which are around Tea Tree Bay. It is always such a delight to see koalas in their natural habitats.  Hiking the National Parks shows you the best coastline that Noosa has to offer. Noosa is also the gateway to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island and the Great Sandy National Park.

Noosa, Queensland

2

The Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania by Travels with Talek

The Museum of Old and New Art, otherwise known as MONA, near Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is a one-of-a-kind artistic creation.  There is nothing like it in the world. Who would have thought you’d have to come all the way to Tasmania to be delighted and amazed by this unique venue and curated collection of curiosities.

Australian businessman and irreverent art connoisseur, David Walsh is the brain behind this endeavor. Everything about this place is unusual. Just to get there you need to take a half-hour ferry ride from downtown Hobart harbor. The pleasant ride will take you to the foot of a mountain, and guess where the museum is…actually IN the mountain! Once in the museum you will find that there is no guide. Instead, you are provided with a device similar to an iphone which you point at the art in order to receive an explanation.  The art itself can best be described as modern or contemporary. But it is nothing like the art you’d find in a MET in New York or a Tate Modern in London. The art at the MONA is in a class by itself.  There is a definite focus on sex in many of the exhibits and the cultural aspects draw from all corners of the world.

One of the most interesting things about the museum is its apparent refusal to take itself too seriously.  The MONA’s brochure states, “  “But we must be honest with you: our goal is no more, nor less than to ask what art is, and what makes us look at it with ceaseless curiosity. We don’t have the answer yet.”  A sign in the cafeteria encourages patrons to “eat, drink and cough up the cash.” You’ve got to love a place like this.

This place will delight, surprise and inspire you. Go Tasmania!!!  Show the world you are more than convicts and devils!

The Museum of Old and New Art

3

Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria by The Travelling Tom

Before I went to Australia, I had never hear of Wilson’s Promontory. I visited the National Park during my road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. I still hadn’t heard of it, unil we decided to go there after reaching Melbourne!
It’s safe to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I got to Wilson’s Promontory. For somewhere I had never heard of before, it was incredibly beautiful. Wilsons’ Prom is a national park that is the southernmost point of mainland Australia.
It’s a 3 hour drive from Melbourne, but it is definitely worth it. The sights here are spectacular. The rolling hills, golden beaches, and blue waters, make it a picture postcard destination. A highlight of my trip was climbing giant boulders in Whisky Bay, and strolling on Squeaky beach. It’s a beach where the sand emits a squaking sound whenever you step foot on the sand!
As well as that, there are numerous hiking trails and wildlife to encounter too! It may not be the most well-known destination in Australia, but it’s certainly one of the best!
Wilsons Promontory

4

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory by Through an Aussie’s Eyes

Canberra is the capital of Australia and it is a really beautiful city surrounded by Aussie bushland. Canberra seems to be forgotten a lot when it comes to exploring Australia. As this city is surrounded by bushland it really makes it perfect for hiking. Places like Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and the Arboretum are some of the favourites. Kangaroos are in abundance here and if you go to Tidbinbilla you will probably see emus, koalas and maybe the elusive platypus.

Some may think that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia but Canberra can definitely give it a run for its money with its diverse and delicious cuisines. Australia’s history can also be found all over the city. The Australian War Memorial is one of the most popular attractions Australia has to offer. This Memorial is one that will explain Australia’s part in war and when we have been peacekeepers. Other interesting places to explore are the National Library, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum. All places that you can learn about Australia’s history.

Canberra

5

Phillip Island, Victoria by Backpackers Wanderlust

Located a two hour drive from Melbourne in Australia, Phillip Island is the perfect day trip and will keep all ages entertained. Easily accessible by car one of the top highlights is to check out Nobbies and Phillip Island Penguin Centre.

At Nobbies, prepare yourself for epic scenery of the Bass Strait and the harsh cliffside landscapes which the penguins live. Peak inside their boxes and see if anyone is home. It is amazing to see how awkwardly placed and how far away from the ocean some of the penguins boxes are placed. Imagine having to traverse the side of a cliff with food for your family every day!

After a visit to Nobbies head down the road to witness the nightly penguin parade at Phillip Island Penguin Centre. It a bit of a tourist attraction, which will be reconfirmed with all the buses and the overpriced souvenirs, but it is totally worth the visit. The name ‘penguin parade’ is a perfect fit for the daily occurrence of hundreds of penguins waddling up the beach to their homes, one after another. There’s even a little penguin crossing so they don’t get disturbed on their journey.

If you are in Melbourne or in the state of Victoria I highly recommend making the trip to Phillip Island to visit Nobbies and Phillip Island Penguin Centre. If is the perfect opportunity to learn more about these little creatures and see the coastal landscapes of Australia.

Phillip Island

6

Top End Road Trip, the Northern Territory by Travelnuity

If you’ve never yet visited the Top End of Australia, add this to the top of your bucket list for 2018. This northern-most part of Australia’s Northern Territory, surrounding the capital of Darwin, offers so much diversity. There are beautiful waterfalls to trek to and swim under. Stunning plains of wetlands to tour via boat. Ancient Aboriginal art and culture to amaze you. Jumping crocodiles, humongous barramundi, countless birdlife. And even the legacy of Australia’s direct encounter with World War II.
No matter if you’re interested in exploring all or just one of these aspects, the best way to explore the area is on a road trip. Fly into Darwin, pick up a 4WD or campervan, then make a loop around the region, including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. It’s possible to see most of the highlights in under a week on a self-guided road trip. If you’re looking for an even more unique experience, consider also visiting Arnhem Land. Either apply for a permit in advance, or join an organised tour group. It’s all such a world away from the cities of Australia’s southeast coastline!
Top End Road Trip

7

Music Festivals around Australia by Jones Around the World

Australia is one of the most beautiful and adventure filled countries in the world, but it’s also home to some incredibly unique, colorful, and wild music festivals!  I’ve personally attended over a dozen different Music Festivals in Australia – from one day-events to three-day bush doofs, and they were all incredible experiences!  There’s simply no better atmosphere to experience live-music than at a festival, and the scene here in Oz is truly thriving.
One of my favorites is called “Lost Paradise”, which is actually over New Years Eve, and I couldn’t imagine any better way to start the year off than by dancing with friends (old and new).  While there are dozens spread out around the country, I would have to say that the majority of the bigger festivals around around the countries two biggest cities of Sydney & Melbourne.  While it’s super easy to find a festival during the summer season, there still are some epic parties to choose from during the winter.  While I do understand that everyone’s “Australia Bucket List” is completely massive, I’d strongly recommend adding “experience a festival” to the list — because let’s be honest, Australians know how to party!  😉
Music Festivals

8

Glamping amongst the grapevines in Rutherglen, Victoria by the Traveling Honeybird

Glamping is such a wonderful way to experience camping in Australia. Though in all honesty there is no guarantee that there won’t be snakes, spiders or friendly vineyard dogs that drop by to say hello.
Imagine waking up to the sounds of nature, sun rays peaking through the vines and freshly delivered coffee all in a secluded rural landscape. This is our experience of glamping at Grapevine Glamping in Rutherglen Victoria. Around a three-four hour drive from Melbourne.
Really I could never have imagined the ultimate luxury that was awaiting us inside the small bell tent. Beyond the bunting and through the fairy lights. The 5mtr bell tent is uber adorable. It’s every little girls delight and I really did want to bring it home with me. The tent is spacious, light and comes equip with literally everything I could ever need. Allowing me the luxury to disconnect from the world and eating far too much good food accompanied with wonderful wine.
Glamping

9

Melbourne, Victoria by International Hotdish

When it comes to cities to visit in Australia, pretty much everyone will tell you to visit Melbourne (locals pronounce it Melbin). And for good reason. Conde Nast ranks it as the most liveable city in the world. And indeed, once you’ve visited you might just find yourself thinking of ways to move into a suburb.

So what makes Melbourne so great? For starters, with a population of about 5 million, everyone is friendly! Of course there are the occasional grumps, but by and large everyone is nice. But what about things to do?! Great question. The city has hundreds of top notch eateries, a world famous botanical garden, Big Bash cricket matches, superb quality public transportation, and heaps and heaps of activities. Whew! Melbourne offers so many ways to spend a day, weekend, or month. You’ll find so much to do here.

If you love big cities, Melbourne is a must visit. End of discussion. Full stop. It’s as required as New York or Tokyo. Melbourne is such an international city you’ll wonder how many different ethnicities there are. You have all the food and culture you can shake a stick at: Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian…it goes on and on. So next time you’re wanderlusting at a map, take a long hard look at Melbourne. You won’t regret it.

Melbourne

10

Kings Park, Western Australia by Legging It

Kings Park is a must see when you visit Perth in Western Australia . It is the largest urban park in the world, spanning 1003 acres, making it even larger than Central Park in New York. The park is a mixture of cultivated gardens and native bush with the added bonus of having spectacular views over Perth City, the Swan River and the surrounding mountain ranges. The park is home to the War Memorial, Pioneer Women’s Garden and if you have children with you there are some great play areas for them too.

In September the Kings Park Festival is held, this allows you to experience the beauty of Western Australia’s wild-flowers in one spot . It the perfect place to spend a few hours meandering around the many paths, walking across the Tree Top Walkway and exploring the park’s diversity. There are also free guided walking tours at 10am and 2pm (and 12 July to October), if you are short on time these are a great way to see the highlights.

Kings Park is situated on the western edge of the city, it is possible to walk from the city but there are also free buses that will drop you there just look for the Green Cat Bus.

Kings Park

11

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria by Don’t Forget to Move

No trip to Victoria is complete without traveling down the Great Ocean Road to experience Australia’s rugged southern coastline, unique surf culture lifestyle and iconic landmarks. Beginning an hour outside of Melbourne, you start your Great Ocean Road trip in the famous beachside town of Torquay. Home to the legendary surf location Bells Beach, Torquay is a quaint little town full of things to explore. As you leave Torquay you’ll frequently pass small coastal towns for the next couple of hours, all the while following the amazing beaches to your left. Notable stops along the way are the lighthouse in Aireys Inlet, lunch in Lorne and Wye River. Once you pass Apollo Bay you’ll cut inland across the Great Otway National Park, with a chance to see koalas in the wild, before cutting back to the coast after Princetown. From there the next couple of hours are dotted with iconic Australia rock formations like the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps. Thousands of daily tourists confirm that this is one spot not to miss along the Great Ocean Road. And while it can get quite busy, it’s not hard to break away fro the usual crowds to find a piece of Victoria coastline to call your own.

The Great Ocean Road

12

Perisher, New South Wales by Through an Aussie’s Eyes

Did you know that Australia’s snowfields actually receive more snow that the Swiss Alps? Believe it or not (anyone else remember that TV show??). Anyway, Perisher is one of Australia’s most popular snowfields and it is also the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. But I didn’t visit during the middle of winter; I decided to visit this beautiful area during autumn to do some hiking as Perisher is set in the Australian Snowy Mountains. I hiked the Porcupine Trail, as you may have guessed there are no porcupines in Australia. At the end of the Trail you will see the panoramic views from the Porcupine Rocks. The trail will have you walking through beautiful snow gums and passing through granite tors. At the Porcupine Rocks you will have a view over the Perisher Valley and the Thredbo River Valley. If you do get the chance to visit Perisher during winter than I highly recommend visiting this popular snowfield.

Perisher

13

Uluru, Northern Territory by MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld

You can’t plan a trip to Australia without including a visit to Uluru in the heart of the NT. This giant monolith of red rock, formed around 550 million years ago, holds incredible spiritual meaning for the traditional owners of the land and even a visitor cannot help to be moved in it’s presence. Sunrises and sunsets here are particularly magical, and walking around it’s base (which is a 10km walk!) is extremely rewarding. Free ranger guided and self-guided walks are available daily and are a great way to connect with the nature and beauty of the area.

Uluru

14

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania by TravelLemming.Com

Upon entering Freycinet National Park, you would be forgiven for thinking that you’d left Australia and found yourself on some enchanted alien planet. Because, no matter how many amazing places you’ve seen in Australia, you haven’t seen it all until you’ve been to “Tassie.” And nowhere epitomizes Tasmania’s jaw-dropping beauty better than Freycinet National Park.
Located on a peninsula jutting out from the island’s east coast, the highlight of Frecyinet is the aptly-named Wineglass Bay. This crescent shaped bay is a regular entrant on most lists of the best beaches in the world — and for good reason. Wallabies can be found scampering across white powder sand that slowly gives way to clear blue water, all set against a dense jungle landscape that would make Indiana Jones envious.
Sure, the water is frigid even during the summer. And, sure, Wineglass Bay is hardly a secret with tourists anymore. But here’s a tip: most visitors hike up to the lookout point for the iconic panorama views and then stop there. If you want the true Wineglass Bay experience, put in the extra effort to hike down to the beach itself. You’ll need to bring your own supplies, as there are no beach restaurants or vendors clogging up this natural wonder. But once you’re there, you may never want to leave.
Wineglass Bay

15

Sydney, New South Wales by Delve Into Australia

Sydney is high on many a traveller’s bucket list for Australia, or the whole world for that matter, and having just spent New Year’s Eve there, no wonder.

Its setting – on one of the world’s largest natural harbours, and on the Pacific Ocean – makes it one of the world’s great cityscapes. The Harbour still inspires us, even after countless visits – nothing can beat sitting on the front deck of a ferry with the white sails of the Opera House on one side and the steel frame of the mighty Harbour Bridge on the other.

One of the unique things about Sydney is its outdoor lifestyle – great sunny weather for much of the year, the beaches, the surf, the coffee and brekkie afterwards – an image that was in my mind long before I ever travelled to Australia.

But Sydney has plenty more besides. The historic Rocks district was where the first British colonists settled in 1788, and a walk through there gives you some fascinating glimpses into the modern city’s past. It’s a short ride from there to the family-oriented attractions of Darling Harbour, or one of the city’s newest attractions, the Barangaroo Reserve, a park built on an old industrial site with some of the best views of the Harbour Bridge in town.

Sydney

16

Fremantle, Western Australia by Big World Small Pockets

Tucked away below the city of Perth in WA, Fremantle is the coolest, quirkiest, funnest place to visit in Australia … and that’s saying something!

As such a trip to this great city is a must for any traveller to Australia in 2018.

What I love most about this cute coastal town is its diversity and how many great city elements it brings together in such a small setting.

From glorious beaches to wonderful cafes, farmer’s markets to vintage boutique shops, Fremantle, or Freo as it’s called, is a haven for foodies and fashionistas alike.

It also packs a mean punch when it comes to great galleries, yoga studios, funky bars, delicious delis, cultural events, magnificent museums and heritage buildings.

In fact, the oldest standing structure in Western Australia is here – the Roundhouse – as well as the state’s first UNESCO-listed built environment, namely Fremantle Prison.

From nightly ghost tours in the Prison’s spooky hallways to day trips to the famous Rottnest Island to seeing the smiling Quokkas, Freo has so much to discover on its doorstep, as well as down its historic cobbled streets, you’ll need at least a week to explore the best of this top Aussie destination!

Fremantle

17

The Field of Lights, Northern Territory by Travel For Difference

Situated in the midst of the Australian Outback around the beauty of Uluru, is the magnificent Field of Light.

This beautiful art installation by Bruce Munro, has quickly become one of the most popular attractions at Uluru – apart from the rock itself of course. Opening in April of 2016, the Field of Light is an installation of 50,000 stems topped with individually crafted frosted glass spheres!

As night falls and Uluru fades away in sight, 36 portable solar panels power these bulbs to vibrantly light up in the darkness.

380 kilometres of optical fibre is used in the installation allowing the bulbs to change complete colour every 6 seconds. As you walk around this field – which is the size of 7 football fields – it’s hard not to be blown away by the beauty and silence of the outback.

One of the most amazing factors is that every piece of this artwork is re-usable, and will be recycled for future artwork once the exhibition closes in March of 2018.

Somehow, this artist has managed to make Uluru an even more magical experience than it already is. If you’re heading to the Red Centre in the near future, this is something that you simply cannot miss!

Field of Lights

18

The Margaret River, Western Australia by Fair Dinkum Traveller 

It could be easier to tell you what there isn’t to do in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia, undoubtedly one of the tourist hotspots in the state and for good reason too.

Taking the three-hour drive from Perth, the first port of call will be the tempting Margaret River Chocolate Factory, full of delicious chocolates, fudge and sweets that will get those hips expanding, but it will be pleasurable in the meantime.

The region is well known for its abundance of wineries and breweries, 215 in fact, it makes the drive through the area quite breathtaking as you explore the pleasant surrounding of the famous vineyards and try your hand in a little wine tasting and perhaps purchase a bottle of red or two.

The town-centre indeed creates a vibrant atmosphere, especially when there is a festival going in town, that brings in tourists from all over the world. It’s all smiles walking the streets as you check out the surf shops, arts and crafts stores, markets and other retail outlets that will make the wallet a little thin.

Perhaps the best bit in Margaret River will be the short drive to Prevelly Beach, one of the most famous surf beaches in the state that brings the world best competitors. Even if surfing isn’t your style, take a stroll along the footpaths or the sandy beach and witness some incredible coastal views from all angles.

The Margaret River

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4 Comments

  • Ghia Lorenzo

    January 31, 2018

    What a great list! So informative! Thanks for sharing all of these Australian wows! The Great Ocean Road, Field of Lights, Wineglass Bay, Top End Road Trip, Philip Island, and Wilson’s Promontory sounds really good! Great photos featured!

    Reply
    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      January 31, 2018

      Thank you so much! There are just so many different options. I have’t been to any that you have listed so I would love to check them all out as well 🙂

      Reply
  • Juliette S

    February 2, 2018

    Really must get back to Australia at some point – I’ve been about 8 times! Absolutely love Melbourne, unsurprisingly. I’ve always thought I could live there. The transport is easy, there’s such a great vibe there – it’s got that big city buzz which just draws people in. Next trip to Australia though – keen to do the Great Ocean Road.

    Reply
    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      February 4, 2018

      Wow! You have been to Australia quite a few times!! If I could move to any other place in Australia it would be Melbourne. I have always liked the vibe there. I am also hoping to do the Great Ocean Road soon!

      Reply

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