31 Famous Australian Landmarks You Must Visit

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One of the famous Australian landmarks to see is the 12 Apostles in Victoria
One of many famous Australian landmarks is the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road

Australia is one of the world's most-visited countries. For many, it is a land of adventures, endless summers, rugged landscapes, and clear waters. Australia is where you will find top UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning ecosystems and beaches, and laidback but to-the-point locals.

Despite being the sixth-largest country in the world land-wise, the world's largest island, and being surrounded by several beautiful water bodies, Australia is only home to approximately 26.5 million people (as of early 2023).

Nonetheless, tourists still love visiting the "Land Down Under" for several reasons. Hopefully, this list of famous Australian landmarks, which is in no particular order, will help you understand why! Continue reading for marvelous natural wonders, world-renowned heritage sites, outstanding modern buildings, and more.

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31 Famous Landmarks in Australia

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A map of Australia landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Australia Landmarks Map

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Looking at a part of a colourful coral reef and fish under the blue water
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the world's largest coral reef

The Great Barrier Reef

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, the Great Barrier Reef is Australia's most breathtaking natural wonder. It is the world's largest and longest coral reef, comprising 3000 separate reefs and 900 continental islands.

More than 1500 fish species (including Potato cod, manta rays, and clownfish) and other marine animals live in the Great Barrier Reef. You will also be able to spot different kinds of marine turtles, sharks, dugongs, giant clams, whales, and more.

☂️ Explore the Great Barrier Reef with a tour

An aerial of a white sand beach with people and lapping blue water on a nice day
Bondi Beach in Sydney is known across the world for surfing

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is about one kilometer long and the perfect spot for sunbathing, surfing, swimming, and relaxing coastal walks. It is located approximately seven kilometers from Sydney's city center, making it easily reachable by public transport or cycling.

Bondi Beach is also home to the world's oldest surf life-saving club and one of the country's oldest swimming clubs. It is a well-known spot for whale and dolphin watching as well.

If that's still not enough, there are several beach cafes, a big golf course, and boutique swimwear shops. Doing the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is one of the best things to do in Sydney, too!

☂️ Join a tour to see Bondi Beach

The Sydney Opera House was opened in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a performing arts venue in Sydney, New South Wales. In 2007, the building was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 and designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the opera house consists of several performing venues and hosts more than 1800 shows per year. It also receives almost 11 million visitors annually, including performance viewers and tours.

Regular guided tours of the Sydney Opera House can be booked in advance at the tourist information centre or on the website. If you want to enjoy views of this world-renowned landmark from your hotel, the best places to stay in Sydney for this are the CBD, The Rocks, or Circular Quay.

☂️ Explore the Sydney Opera House on a tour

A large steel arch bridge over blue water with a modern city skyline at the back
Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 to the public

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge, also called the 'Coat Hanger' by locals, connects the northern and southern sides of Port Jackson Harbour. Constructed in 1926 but only opened in 1932, the bridge is the largest steel arch bridge in the world. The Sydney Harbour Bridge's total height is 134 meters, while the roadway is 51 metres above sea level.

You can admire the bridge's detailed steelwork and take fantastic photos from the Pylon Lookout. If you are an adventure seeker, try the climb to the bridge's top for magnificent views over Sydney. For the best views, arrive at the bridge around sunset.

Uluru Rock

One of the world's largest monoliths, Uluru Rock, also known as Ayers Rock, is a spectacular natural formation and spiritual site. Formed about half a billion years ago, the rock is made of red sandstone and stands at 348 metres above sea level.

This iconic natural wonder is situated in Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory. The rock is home to rare plants, animals, religious sites, and caves covered in ancient rock paintings. The best time to visit Uluru Rock is before sunrise or sunset when the sun covers the rock and paints it in a sunburned red color.

☂️ Explore Uluru on a tour

A sign "Great Ocean Raod" over a road next to trees and shrubs on a nice day
The Great Ocean Road is a popular road trip to do in Australia

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, or Surf Coast Highway, is an Australian National Heritage site and is perfect for a long coastal road trip. A 243-kilometre road runs along the southwest coastline connecting Torquay to Allansford town.

While driving, you will pass by many scenic places, such as the charming fishing village of Port Fairy, the iconic limestone stacks of rocks known as the 12 Apostles, the lush and filled with waterfalls Great Otway National Park, and the magnificent Apollo Bay.

☂️ Explore the Great Ocean Road on a tour

Kakadu National Park

One of the must-see Australian landmarks in the Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park is one of Australia's largest national parks. It is filled with refreshing waterfalls and waterholes, rainforests, wetlands, exotic animals, and some of the world's oldest indigenous rock art.

The park covers almost 20,000 square kilometres and is a World Heritage-listed area for its cultural and natural values. It has more than 5,000 aboriginal rock art sites and is home to the Bininj/Mungguy people.

☂️ Explore Kakadu National Park with a tour

Aerial view of clear blue water leading to a rocky coastline on a nice day
There are less than 500 permanent residents living on Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a natural paradise in the Tasman Sea. It is well-known for its white-sand beaches, wildlife, and untouched landscape. As of 2021, only 445 permanent residents live on the island, and only 400 tourists are allowed at a time.

The island is about two hours away by plane from Sydney. It is around 10 kilometers long and about 2 kilometres wide. The best way to get around the island is by cycling or walking.

Shark Bay

Situated in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, Shark Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 23,000 square kilometres. It was the first location in the area to receive UNESCO status in 1991, and it is known for having rare plant species.

It also has the most stable dugong population in the world, some of the oldest living fossils on Earth, and the well-known Shell Beach. It is home to humpback whales, pelicans, manta rays, more than 6000 turtles, and at least 28 shark species as well.

Port Arthur Historic Site

Established in 1830 on Tasmania island, Port Arthur used to be a timber station that was later converted into a large prison colony. Now, the sight is one of the most historic places in Australia, which tells the history of the convicts' daily lives.

Situated on a secluded peninsula, the Port Arthur prison used to be known for having the country's toughest punishments (including hard labour). Not surprisingly, most of its prisoners didn't survive and were buried on a small nearby island called the Isle of the Dead.

☂️ Experience Port Arthur Historic Site with a tour

Green trees, red rock face, and a bridge over rocks on a clear blue day
Kings Canyon Bridge Crossing in Watarrka National Park

Watarrka National Park

Located in the Northern Territory, Watarrka National Park is a protected area of nature. The national park is part of the George Gill Range, and it is packed with picturesque landscapes, animals, rare plants, gorges, and rock holes.

The park is most known for Kings Canyon, as it showcases Australia's spectacular natural beauty and is filled with adventurous trails for beginners and advanced hikers.

☂️ Join a tour to see Watarrka National Park

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is one of the natural Australian landmarks that can't be missed on your trip. Located 13 kilometres off the coast of South Australia, the island is the country's third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island (one part of the Tiwi Islands).

While here, you can see the endangered Australian sea lions in their natural habitat and the cute but prickly short-beaked echidnas. Don't forget to visit Lathami Conservation Park as well, where the glossy black-cockatoos live.

Ferries operate daily from the town of Cape Jervis, and there are regular flights from the city of Adelaide. The isolation of Kangaroo Island has contributed to the preservation of its unique ecological balance.

☂️ Explore Kangaroo Island with a tour

The Blue Mountains

Considered to be another major landmark in Australia, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is about an hour's drive from Sydney. It can be reached by train, car, and coach.

The Blue Mountains cover an area of one million hectares and are filled with tall eucalyptus trees, sandstone cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, waterholes, streams, and canyons. There are numerous well-marked walking and hiking trails that take you through gorges and caves as well.

☂️ Discover the Blue Mountains on a tour

An open-air museum full of wooden structures and a brown and white horse on the right
Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum that offers a variety of activities

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum that takes you back to the 1850s and lets you experience the Australian gold rush. At Sovereign Hill, you can enter an underground gold mine, meet costumed characters, talk to artisans, and more.

The entry to Sovereign Hill includes a ticket to the Gold Museum. The museum has a vast collection of gold and teaches about Ballarat city's history. There is also the Sovereign Hill Hotel, which has beautifully styled Governor's rooms.

Snowy mountain peaks with rocky boulders in front on a nice blue day
The view from Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia

Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko is 2,228 metres above sea level, making it the highest mountain in mainland Australia. It is located in Kosciuszko National Park and is in the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains.

The name Kościuszko was given in honor of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish-Lithuanian military engineer and national hero, by Polish explorer Paul Strzelecki, who climbed the peak in 1840.

There are two ways to reach the mountain: through Charlotte Pass or the Thredbo trail. If you start the hike at Thredbo, you can ride the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift and pass Lake Cootapatamba - the highest lake in Australia.

A train going over a silver bridge amongst tropical green trees
The Kuranda Scenic Railway runs between Cairns and Kuranda town

Kuranda Scenic Railway

This railway runs from the coastal city of Cairns to the rainforest town of Kuranda, taking you through rainforest, mountains, and waterfalls.

Opened in 1891 and rising to 328 metres above sea level, the Kuranda Scenic Railway passes through 15 handmade tunnels and 37 bridges. It is about 37 kilometers long, and the journey takes almost two hours to complete, including the 10-minute stop at the waterfalls.

☂️ Visit the Kuranda Scenic Railway with a tour

Many tall limestone pillars in a desert on a partly cloudy day with blue sky
The Pinnacles Desert was formed tens of thousands of years ago

The Pinnacles Desert

The Pinnacles Desert attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually. It covers about 190 hectares and sits about 60 meters above sea level. The desert has thousands of limestone pillars, some reaching five meters high.

The pinnacles are said to have been formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago. The desert is located about a two-hour drive from Perth. You can reach it by car or take a guided tour bus from Perth.

☂️ Visit The Pinnacles Desert with an excursion

Colourful and bright wooden beach huts lining a sandy beach on a nice day
The Brighton Bathing Boxes are just outside Melbourne and were built in the 1800s

The Brighton Bathing Boxes

The Brighton Bathing Boxes are one of the most popular Australian landmarks in Brighton. The boxes consist of 82 colorful wooden Victorian beach huts that are located on Brighton Beach, just 13 kilometers from Melbourne.

In the mid-1800s, the wooden beach huts were built for women to change their clothes before bathing. Today, they are privately owned by different people and are used as storage facilities or art shops.

All the bathing boxes have retained their classic Victorian architecture. To avoid the crowds, visit the Brighton Bathing Boxes in the early morning or after sunset.

Outside a historic building with a green dome top and people in front on a nice day
Flinders Street Railway Station was once the busiest railway station in the world

Flinders Street Railway Station

Flinders Street Railway Station is one of the most famous buildings in Australia. It is located in Melbourne. Opened in the year 1910, the railway station was the first built in Australia.

In 1926, Flinders Street Station became the busiest train station in the world and surpassed Grand Central Station in New York and London's Liverpool Street Station.

Today, it fascinates visitors with its distinctive facade and green copper dome. It is also listed on the Victorian Heritage Register for having the world's fourth longest railway platform (708 metres).

Daintree National Park

One of the most famous natural landmarks in Australia is Daintree National Park. The Daintree Rainforest is often referred to as a living museum because it is estimated to be around 180 million years old, making it one of the oldest tropical rainforests on Earth.

Daintree National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, acknowledging its importance for global biodiversity. The national park is located in Queensland and is divided into two parts - Mossman Gorge (77 km north of Cairns) and Cape Tribulation (140 km north of Cairns).

Two quokkas on sandy ground with greenery and blue sky behind them
Two Quokkas on Rottnest Island, Western Australia, Australia

Rottnest Island

Located about 19 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia, Rottnest Island is one of the most famous landmarks in Australia among locals. It is a car-free island that offers a perfect getaway from the buzzing city.

Rottnest Island has about 63 white sand beaches with activities such as snorkelling, diving, and surfing. The island is home to the cutest animal in the world as well, the Quokka, which can't be found anywhere else in the world.

☂️ Visit Rottnest Island with an experience

Rocky red cliffs along clear blue water on a partly cloudy day
Broome should not be overlooked by tourists visiting Australia

Broome Town

Known for the magnificent 22-kilometre-long Cable Beach, Broome Town is sometimes overlooked by tourists. This laid-back and colourful town has a fascinating history to tell about its aboriginal times and pearling in the late-19th to early-20th century.

Broome Town is surrounded by the warm Indian Ocean, pristine beach, and red-colored rocks. It is home to various aboriginal craft shops, buzzing markets, and working pearl farms. Of course, you can find numerous pearl showrooms where you can try on and buy pearl jewellery.

☂️ Discover Broome on a tour

The Story Bridge

The Story Bridge, an iconic symbol of Brisbane, spans the Brisbane River with breathtaking elegance. It is a must on any Brisbane itinerary! Completed in 1940, this steel cantilever bridge stands as a testament to the city's resilience and progress.

Offering panoramic views of the cityscape, it connects Kangaroo Point to Fortitude Valley, inviting locals and visitors alike to traverse its pathways. Lit up in vibrant colors during special occasions, the Story Bridge is more than a crossing; it's a living monument to Brisbane's rich history and vibrant present.

A waterfall flowing into a turquoise pool below in between rocks
Karijini National Park contains some of the world's oldest rocks

Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park is the second-largest park in Western Australia. It is located in the Hamersley Range of the Pilbara region and is renowned for its ancient and striking landscape.

The rocks found in the park are some of the oldest on Earth, dating back over 2.5 billion years. You can find ancient cavernous gorges, cascading waterfalls, and pools here, too. A few days is recommended to make the most of your visit.

Waterfall in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory

Litchfield National Park

Located in the Northern Territory, Litchfield National Park is the region's hidden gem. The national park is home to stunning waterfalls and waterholes, monsoonal vine forests, giant termite mounds, and historic ruins.

Litchfield National Park is best visited in the dry season (May to October) and has free entry. There are several easy-paced walks to take up in the national park for beginner hikers.

Darwin Military Museum

The Darwin Military Museum was originally set up as an artillery museum in the mid-1960s. Today, the museum tells the story of Australia's involvement in WWII and other important battles.

You will find plenty of information about various battles and wars, original guns, and other artefacts collected from archaeological sites here. The museum has a cafe where you can get a small bite to eat as well.

An orange path lined with low-lying green hedges leading to a war memorial building
The Australian War Memorial was opened in 1941 in Canberra

Australian War Memorial

A shrine and a museum, the Australian War Memorial is one of the most important historic Australian landmarks. Opened in 1941 and situated in Canberra near the Australian Parliament House, the War Memorial consists of the Commemorative Area (shrine) where the Last Post Ceremony is held, and several interesting exhibits (galleries).

It also has a massive sculpture garden and reading rooms (research centre). To visit the research centre, you must book before your visit. Tickets and guided tours can be booked in advance on the memorial's website.

☂️ Visit the Australian War Memorial with a tour

A boomerang-shaped building with a tall flag on top, behind a green field
The Australian Parliament House in Canberra

Parliament House

Another of the major landmarks in Australia that you must visit is the Parliament House in the capital of Canberra. Opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Australian Parliament House is where the nation's most important meetings are held.

Parliament House has around 4,500 rooms, and the building resembles two boomerangs and has an 81-metre-high flagpole. You can find some of Australia's historical artifacts and contemporary art in the parliament's temporary and permanent galleries. Australia's Parliament House is open daily to the public.

A metal stairway through a rocky opening with moderate sunlight shining through
A walking track to the Lava Tubes in Undara Volcanic National Park

Undara Lava Tubes

Situated southwest of Cairns, the Undara Lava Tubes in Undara Volcanic National Park has some of the longest flows of lava from one volcano in the world.

Tourists can only visit the lava tubes with a tour group, which explains the history and geology of the area. The Undara Lava Tubes ecosystem formed about 190,000 years ago, and the longest lava tube is about 160 kilometers long.

Rectangular abandoned buildings on red dirt with green trees around, on a nice day
The abandoned and well-preserved Gwalia Ghost Town in Australia

Gwalia Ghost Town

Situated in Western Australia, Gwalia is a magnificent outback town near the city of Kalgoorlie. Once a mining town, Gwalia is now one of the most well-known ghost towns in Australia.

The town has a museum, old abandoned shops and houses, a swimming pool built in 1943, and numerous mines. It is also on the Golden Quest Discovery Trail and a historic place in Australia.

Beautiful clear, shallow blue water in between green hills in the back and front
The gorgeous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, if not the most gorgeous, white-sand beaches in Australia. Pictures of it really don't do it justice!

To reach this beach, you must first make your way to Airlie Beach. Once at Airlie, you can head over to Whitsunday Island, where this 7-kilometre stretch of sandy beach is located. You can get here by boat, seaplane or helicopter from Airlie Beach.

☂️ Visit Whitehaven Beach with a tour

In Summary

The list above covered some of the most famous places in Australia, including natural, historical, and human-made landmarks. This guide has ideas for families, group and solo travelers, and backpackers about the sorts of attractions one should not miss on a trip to Australia.

Australia is a big country filled with colourful towns, modern cities, breathtaking landscapes, and clear waters. Whatever you end up doing when here, you'll have the best time!

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Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Loredana has travelled to dozens of countries and has been living overseas for almost a decade. She previously taught English in South Korea and Singapore, and completed a Master of Science in Global Mental Health while living in London, UK. She is also passionate about fitness and photography.

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