Australia is one of the world’s most fascinating countries, and is a must for any travelers looking for new destinations to explore for the first time. In this guide we have selected five of the best spots and attractions for any first time traveler to visit whilst in this great country.
Sydney Opera House
Probably Australia’s most iconic building, this performing arts center majestically overlooks the waterfront at Sydney Harbour, which is itself an impressive sight. The distinctive peaked roof is the work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon and was formally opened in 1973.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the venue hosts not only opera but also a wide range of other cultural events and has hosted artists and speakers as diverse as Paul Robeson, Thin Lizzy, Nelson Mandela, Michael Bublé and Pope John Paul II.
To find out what’s on there during your visit, or to discover more about this historic building, visit their website here.
Also sometimes known as Ayers Rock, this impressive sandstone monolith lies in remote central Australia, but visitors will find its magnificent stature worth the journey. At 348m tall and with a total circumference of 9.4km, this giant rock formation is thought to have been formed by a build-up of sand deposits approximately more than 500 million years ago.
The rock is of great spiritual importance to many of the local Aboriginal communities who live around it, and features as a central part of many Aboriginal myths and legends. Visitors will also notice that the rock changes color throughout the day, glowing red at dawn and sunset.
Great Ocean Road
Australia is a huge country and to get around and see the sights, it is often necessary to take a road trip. Whilst long drives can sometimes be arduous, there is one in Australia which promises to be a great experience. The Great Ocean Road is a listed 243km highway running from Torquay to Allansford in the state of Victoria. The route has become so famous because it takes in some of the country’s most stunning scenery. Sights available on this beautiful route include the imposing London Arch and Twelve Apostles rock formations, as well as the rugged cliff formations of the Victoria coast.
Travelling by car is not the only way to experience this breathtaking route. The Great Ocean Road Marathon takes place each year in May as part of the Great Ocean Road Running Festival, and keen cyclists may be interested in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race which runs in January between Geelong and Torquay.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, and is comprised of nearly three thousand individual reefs. Located in the Coral Sea off the Queensland coast, the reef can be seen from space and is often held as one of the greatest natural wonders in the world.
The reef, itself a living creature, is home to a vast array of wildlife, from sea turtles to clownfish, sea snakes to starfish. Because of the clear water conditions, it is very popular with scuba divers as visitors can get right up close to some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet.
If you love to surf, then the Gold Coast is the place for you. Home to sumptuous golden beaches and a luxury high-rise skyline, this resort on Australia’s East coast offers something for everyone, which is why it hosts around 10 million tourists each year. Originally made popular by its prime surfing conditions, the area is now also known for its nightlife, theme parks and much, much more.
Australia is a big country, and whilst it is a must-see for any would-be traveller, it is also important to stay safe and well informed whilst visiting. For more guides, as well as travel advice and other useful information, head over to 1Cover to find out more.
This post was published in collaboration with 1Cover.