The second most populous Australian city of Melbourne is located farther south on the Eastern coast than Sydney, and has been consistently ranked among the world’s “most livable” and “most expensive” cities. Melbourne is a haven for arts and culture, and offers a more “European” vibe than other Australian cities, and is even comparable to Boston with narrow streets and a nearby river. Spend your days exploring the little nooks and crannies of the area, enjoying festivals and live theater performances, and be on the lookout for the famous graffiti alleyways!
7. Whitsunday Islands
Nestled along the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays are comprised of 74 tropical islands in Australia’s Coral Sea. While most of the islands are deserted, eight of the Whitsundays offer various resorts from family-friendly to all-inclusive, the perfect getaway when parents come to visit! If you have limited money and time but still want to visit the Whitsundays while studying abroad, at least try to make it to Whitehaven Beach– one of the top-rated beaches in the world and the most photographed beach in Australia. It’s easy to see how the transparent sparkling ocean water has become world famous, and the fusion of colors from Tongue Point and Hill Inlet are definitely worth the trip.
Don’t let the cartoon character fool you- Tasmania is brimming with tons of outdoor adventures, ruggedly beautiful landscapes, and wonderful wine and food! The most geographically diverse state of Australia, Tasmania is perfect if you’re looking for a more active itinerary that might include visiting thermal springs, ocean kayaking, river cruises and so much more.
9. Featherdale Wildlife Park
If you’ve been waiting your entire life to play with koala bears, kangaroos, and other Australian creatures, LOOK NO FURTHER. Featherdale hosts birthday parties, corporate events, and even allows you to hand-feed some of the animals! Get in touch with your wild side and make sure to take pictures!
10. Great Ocean Road
Built by veteran soldiers between 1919 and 1932, Great Ocean Road is actually the largest war memorial dedicated to the soldiers killed in World War I, stretching 243 kilometers (151 miles) along the southeastern coast of Australia. If you have a few hours to kill and want to experience the coastline, rent a car and get driving! Comparable to California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Great Ocean Road makes a perfect day trip, with large cliffs on one side and the sweeping ocean on the other. Along the way, stop at beaches, famous lighthouses, and rock formations, especially the Twelve Apostles– large rock structures that broke off the shore and moved out to sea.
It’s impossible to list all the incredible places to visit in a country as big and diverse as Australia, so hurry up and get on your way! Australia is a place for the adventurous, the daring, the bold, and those looking to find a new appreciation for the vibrant life and beauty that makes up this truly astounding place. So whether you’re here for a whole semester or just passing through, be sure to hit up some of these Aussie hot spots, and even seek out some of your own!
If you want to read up more on these must-visit spots in Australia, Lonely Planet has some great guides for the Land Down Under.
Which of these places do you plan on visiting when in Australia? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Sources: HKColin via Flickr, Richard Taylor via Flickr, Nikki Mannix via Flickr, Rob & Jules via Flickr, Tim Gillan via Flickr, Dai Fujihara via Flickr, Yasser Alghofily via Flickr, Brewbooks via Flickr, Luke Zeme Photography via Flickr, xiquinhosilva via Flickr, dawolf– via Flickr