Australia is a country that almost everyone wants to go to or has already been to. This huge country is almost a continent in itself and is home to some incredible experiences that every traveler dreams of having, some of which are visiting the famous landmarks in Australia.
Australia is covered with stunning eco-systems, crystal clear seas that teem with life, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and some amazing architecture that all come together to form the famous Australian landmarks we’ll cover below.
If you’re heading to Australia or are already there, then join me as we take a look at all the famous landmarks that you should spend your time seeing.
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic Australian landmarks and if you have ever seen a postcard of Sydney or Australia for that matter, chances are it features the Synder Habour Bridge with Sydney Opera House in the background.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in the late 1920s and early 1930s and once completed in 1932 it was the world’s tallest steel arch bridge measuring some 134 meters from the water level to its peak, and it still is today.
The bridge was built by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, an English firm, and the design was based on the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, UK. Today, it’s the world’s eighth-longest spanning-arch bridge and the second widest long-span bridge in the world.
Every year, the New year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney base their amazing display around the Sydney Harbor Bridge and it’s a very popular tourist attraction with its Bridge Climbs and Pylon lookouts. While you’re in Syndey, a stroll over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a must for amazing views of the CBD, Sydney Opera House, and the Harbor.
One of the most recognizable Australian landmarks has to be the Syndey Opera House. Sitting on the small peninsula of a bay in the harbor, right next to Syndey Harbour Bridge, it’s the iconic image of Sydney that pretty much everyone in the world recognizes.
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most architecturally beautiful landmarks in Oz and is known to be one of the top architectural accomplishments of the 20th Century. It was designed by a man called Jørn Utzon, a Danish Architect, and then completed by a team of Australian architects led by Peter Hall, and opened for business on the 20th of October 1973.
The Syndey Opera House is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its structural, innovative, and creative design and it’s a place you have to visit while you’re in Sydney. The best way to take it in is by spending the whole day there by booking to see a performance, have a backstage tour, and of course, a drink at the bar afterward.
Slap bang in the middle of Australia is probably the most impressive Australian landmark, Ayers Rock, which is now referred to as Uluru.
Out of the desert rises a huge 348-meter sandstone monolith in the middle of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Ayers Rock, or Uluru, is often referred to as the heart of Australia given its position in the country and that it seemingly rises from nowhere.
It’s an incredibly sacred site for the Anangu people of the region and it dates back further than 550 million years – if rocks could talk this one would have a serious story.
Thousand and thousands of visitors come to see Ayers Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, every year and to experience the stunning landscape around it that’s full of canyons, gorges, craters, and more.
When visiting Uluru, you’ll have to base yourself at the closest town, Alice Springs which is some 450 km from it. Alice Springs is known as the central town of the Australian Outback and is the best place to explore the dusty red terrain, mountains, cockatoos, kangaroos other wildlife of the outback.
Visiting Ayers Rock and Alice Springs is a must while in Australia and getting there is easy thanks to Alice Springs airport and it’s around a 4-hour direct flight from Sydney (yeah Australia is that big).
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the country’s favorite natural Australian landmarks and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site too.
Blue Mountains National Park is in New South Wales and conveniently located just outside of Sydney and it takes about 2 hours to get there when driving or by train/coach. It’s an amazing place to explore and a favorite amongst Syndey residents.
The Blue Mountains covers an area close to one million hectares and is packed full of stunning Australian scenery including canyons, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, and huge eucalyptus forests. The national park is covered with biking and hiking trails and multi-day hiking trips are very possible too.
If you want to stay overnight in the Blue Mountains National Park, you’ll need to camp at one of the 8 campgrounds and this is the best way to experience the stunning forests, landscapes, birds, and kangaroos. You can hike around the canyons, swim in the rivers, waterholes, and lakes, plus hop onto a 4×4 tour, learn about Aboriginal culture, go rock climbing and canyoning, the list is endless.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous Australian landmarks, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most amazing marine ecosystems on this planet.
The Great Barrier Reef starts on the northern tip of Queensland and runs some 2300 kilometers south down the Queensland coast in the Coral Sea ending at Mackay. It’s the largest coral reef system in the world and the Great Barrier Reef is made up of 900 islands and 2,900 different reefs that cover a total of 344,400 square kilometers.
It’s hard to grasp just how big the Great Barrier Reef is and it’s even harder to comprehend just how diverse the ecosystem is. The reef is home to millions of fish and corals along with turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales, and even dugongs.
If you’re into diving and fishing, then you have probably already booked some time at the Great Barrier Reef during your stay in Australia. If you’re not a water lover, you should miss the opportunity to see this underwater world which can be safely explored via boat rides and snorkeling in a relaxed way.
Some of the best places to explore the Great Barrier Reef from include Cairns and Cook Town in Northern Queensland or you can book to stay on the Whitsunday Islands or at Lizard Island.
Kakadu National Park is the biggest national park in Australia and it covers an incredible 20,000 square kilometers and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the famous Australian landmarks you should try to visit.
You’ll find Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory and it’s home to some of the world’s oldest indigenous rock art with over 5,000 sites to explore. Of course, there is more than just rock art to see in the park as it’s also home to the Mungguy & Bininj aboriginal people plus incredible landscapes and wildlife.
The Kakadu National Park is filled with wetlands, rivers, lakes, beautiful waterfalls, giant rainforests, and a huge amount of wildlife. There are over 2000 species of plants, one-third of all Australian bird species, and about a fifth of Australian Mammals.
You can see crocodiles, river sharks, freshwater turtles, wallabies, wallaroos, snakes, and lots more. While in the park you can also see the rock paintings, learn about Aboriginal culture, go on a guided tour with rangers, go fishing, hiking, and lots more.
Flinders Street Railway Station is an incredibly impressive Australian landmark and one of the most famous buildings in all of Australia, after Sydney Opera House, of course.
You’ll find Flinders Street Railway Station in Melbourne right along the banks of the Yarra River. It’s an iconic domed railway station with an arched entrance and a yellow facade.
It was officially opened in September of 1854 and was the first railway station to be built in Australia and is registered on the Victorian Heritage Register for having the fourth longest railway platform in the world at 708 meters long.
In 1926, Flinders Street Railway Station was named the busiest train station on the planet as it overtook both London’s Liverpool Street Station and Grand Central Station in New York. That didn’t last long though and it was overtaken again shortly after.
The Flinders Street Railway Station is still in use today and if you’re in Melbourne it’s very much worth visiting as the copper dome and distinctive facade are stunning to see.
Another impressive Australian landmark that is close to Ayers Rock and Alice Springs is the Watarrka National Park. It sits on the southern end of Australias Northern Territory and is a protected area that is most famous for its Kings Canyon.
Watarrka National Park features the same orangey-red colors of the Australian desert that Alice Springs and Ayers rock have and is a unique place packed full of magical landscapes, rock holes, rare plants, animals gorges, and, of course, Kings Canyon.
While in the park you can go hiking around the numerous trails, wildlife spotting, and it’s a haven for photographers too. One thing you have to do there is to hike the Kings Canyon trail which follows Kings Creek in the middle of the canyon.
You’ll be surrounded by ancient red canyon walls that are 100 meters tall and as you go you’ll see the local flora and fauna, and end at a lovely watering hole.
This part of Australia gets very hot so it’s best to visit outside of the summertime and since it’s so close to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, you can add this as a stop on your trip to Australia’s heart.
Lord Howe Island is a part of New South Wales but it actually sits in the middle of the Tasman Sea some 700 km offshore from Sydney.
Lord Howe Island is one of Australia’s hidden gems. It is an island paradise that is covered with white sand beaches, crystal clear seas teeming with marine life, and most of the island is a protected national park.
Lord Howe Island is home to just 300 permanent residents and only allows 400 tourists to visit it at a time making it a very exclusive famous landmark to visit. It’s not a big island by any means and is just 11 km long and 2.8 km wide meaning that while you’re there you can explore the entire island via bicycles and hikes into the mountains.
You can get to Lord Howe Island via a direct 2-hour flight from Sydney and once you’re there the activities on offer are quite spectacular. You can hand-feed fish on Ned’s white sand beach, snorkel or dive the coral reefs, experience some of the best fishing in the world, go kayaking and SUP-ing, plus hike into the mountains for amazing views and stunning waterfalls.
Daintree National Park is another natural famous landmark of Australia that is a must-see while you’re visiting. It sits just inland from Port Douglas in northern Queensland making it a great stopover while seeing the Great Barrier Reef.
The reason Daintree National Park is one of the top famous Australian landmarks is because it’s home to the third oldest rainforest in the world plus a tonne of unique flora and fauna.
The Daintree National Park is split into two zones, Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation. The Mossman Gorge zone is home to the beautiful Mossman River which is magical to see. The crystal clear waters flow over granite while being surrounded by rainforest while Cape Tribulation is full of rainforested mountains that sweep to meet to long sandy beaches. This national park really does have it all!
Daintree National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and one can go fishing, canoeing on the river, hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, zip-lining, learn about Aboriginal culture, and so much more.
It’s a very easy national park to get to and it takes just an hour or two in the car from Cairns.
The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is listed as TripAdvisor’s number one Australian landmark to visit and you’ll find it in the center of Australia’s capital Canberra.
The Australian War Memorial was built in remembrance of the Australians who sacrificed their lives at war in major conflicts over the country’s military history. The building is incredibly impressive and was built in a Byzantine architectural style and is listed as one of the top national monuments in the world.
You can visit numerous exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial, and each one is excellent. Learn about the history of Australians at war at their permanent exhibition and go to some of their current exhibitions which include things like a deep dive into Afghanistan, Tattoos, and veterans, plus galleries about the first and second World Wars.
You can easily spend an entire day looking around the Australian War Memorial and if you’re in Canberra it’s a landmark you must visit.
Bondi Beach is a place that you’re almost guaranteed to visit while in Syndey and why wouldn’t you. It’s a stunning white sand beach that is about 1 kilometer long and the perfect place to spend your day swimming in the sea, sunbathing, surfing, going for hikes along the coast, and more.
You’ll find Bondi Beach about 7 kilometers from the center of Sydney meaning it’s incredibly easy to get to. If you’re not a fan of the water, you’ll also find a load of cafes, restaurants, bars, and more in the area. If you go on the weekend you can stroll around Bondi Farmers Market on Saturday or check out the Bondi Markets on Sunday.
Something else you should know about Bondi Beach is that it’s home to one of Australia’s oldest swimming clubs and the oldest surf lifesaving clubs on the planet. Plus, if you happen to be there at the right time you’ll have the chance to see dolphins playing in the waves and see whales breaching off the coast.
Another stunning natural landmark well worth visiting in Australia is Shark Bay. Shark Bay sits in Western Australia on its west coast in the Gascoyne region and is a 23,000 kilometer squared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shark Bay is a wonder of nature with some amazingly rare plant species, an incredible population of dugongs, and the seas are full of more than 6000 turtles, manta rays, whales, fish, and of course a load of sharks.
Shark Bay doesn’t have its name for anything and is home to 28 different species of sharks that patrol the beaches and the seas offshore. They often come in right next to the beach and when swimming in Shark Bay, one usually just wades and keeps an eye on the water in front just in case.
One of the things Shark Bay is most famous for is the dolphins of Monkey Mia. At Monkey Mia you can hand feed wild dolphins that come in for a snack almost daily. It’s quite an incredible experience and made safe by shark spotters standing in the water in front of you and on the beach keeping an eye out for old snaggle teeth.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!