Top 10 Destinations in Australia

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1. Sydney – Is the main entry point in Australia for most people, and the city offers many interesting sites to visit such as the Opera House, Darling Harbor with marine aquarium, lots of Shopping malls, museums, and it worth a visit to the other side of the bay including the Zoo and the beach of Mainly. Visiting the downtown tower (Sydney Tower) will have a complete view of the city from the top. The Blue Mountains will provide a beautiful panorama of the valley. The nightlife in Sydney is one of the most active in all Australia.
2. Newcastle – Controversially nominated in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travelas #9 in the list of top 10 cities to visit in 2011, Newcastle is definitely worth a visit. While it lacks the glam and glitz of its bigger neighbor Sydney, there’s plenty of lo-fi charm in Newcastle. Make friends with locals and they’ll unlock the local secrets – favorite watering holes, local gigs, secret spots on the beach, cool coffee shops etc. Or head to one of the many beaches for a swim, tan or surf (minus Sydney crowds). Stockton Beach, with its fine sand, stretches as far as the eye can see. Or jump into the convict-carved Bogey Hole ocean baths.
3. Gold Coast – pretty beaches special for surfers and beach lovers. Other attractions are the Theme Parks and the busy night life in Surfers Paradise. The surrounding mountains and National Parks should not be missed with many waterfalls, flora and fauna to be appreciated.
4. Kakadu National Park – travel to the Northern Territory to experience Australia’s magnificent, remote and natural environment first hand. The World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park is almost 20,000 square kilometers in size and features spectacular cultural and ecological beauty. Enjoy time with your family as you wander the great outdoors together and appreciate your isolated and untouched surroundings. This peaceful destination is full of wildlife, spectacular views and great walking tracks. The destination is great for families who are looking to get out and connect with nature.
5. Outback road trip – head out West, hire a 4WD and drive north along the unpaved Gibb River Road. This 660km drive in Western Australia takes you from Derby to Kununurra and it’s one of the great outback highways. The terrain is at times inhospitable and impassable during the rainy season but expect highways with endless vistas of red dirty, blue open skies and rugged terrain. Make pit stops along the way – there are stunning gorges, picturesque riverbeds, pounding waterfalls – perfect to cool off in. It is advised to book accommodation in advance, especially during the peak months of June to August. The drive isn’t to be taken lightly but with advance planning, you’ll have a ball of a time. Did someone say, ‘Road TRIP!?’
6. The Whitsundays – The Whitsundays has everything you need for your family vacation. Great weather, stunning beaches, clear blue water and the most relaxing locations for newlyweds to unwind. The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands in total and boasts year-round sunshine. During summer the temperature reaches a balmy 27-30 degrees and in winter the weather is just as pleasant, averaging 23-26 degrees. A Whitsundays honeymoon is all about resting, 5 star resorts and beautiful beaches and coral reefs. A great way to enjoy the island is by cruising or sailing the turquoise blue sea. After you’ve found your sea legs and snorkeled some of the most beautiful reefs the Great Barrier Reef have to offer, finish your holiday by booking into a resort, such as the adults-only accommodation at Hayman Islands or Brampton Island, which is a favorite amongst honeymooners.
7. Daylesford – the serene setting of Daylesford is enough to send any newlywed into immediate relaxation mode. Daylesford is full of restaurants, galleries, spa facilities and beautiful countryside. Known as one of Australia’s premier spa destinations, it’s perfect for honeymooners. Spoil yourself with a day at one of the many luxurious spas and finish your evening with local wines and produce on your own terrace. The beautiful gardens and architecture around the area have a European feel which will make you feel a million miles away from home.
8. Perth – Perth presents one of Australia’s most picture-perfect postcard settings. Flanked by 80 kilometers of white sand beaches, the sparkling Swan River and lush green parklands, the Western Australia capital is an outstanding holiday destination. Voted as one of the world’s most livable cities, Perth experiences 3000 hours of sunshine a year and enjoys a relaxed lifestyle centered on the outdoors. From the Indian Ocean to the hinterland of the Swan Valley and into the Pinnacles Desert, Perth is a great base from which to explore Australia’s virtually un-spoilt west coast.
9. Tasmania Zoo – Tasmania Zoo is the state’s only fully-accredited zoo, near Launceston in Tasmania’s north.  Set amongst extensive natural bush-land, the zoo has Tasmania’s biggest collection of animals including the world’s largest private devil breeding program. You will come face to face with the world-famous Tasmanian Devils who assist research into the devil facial tumor disease. Witness these fascinating creatures live, at the devil feedings and interpretation times. Watch wild animals feeding in their natural habitat at daily sessions. Feeding times are 10.30am, 1.00pm and 3.30pm. You can pet a baby devil and get your photo taken. You will also see over 80 species of birds, from fairy penguins, swift parrots and macaws to wedged tailed eagles.
10. Snowy Wilderness – Snowy Wilderness is a true Australian outback adventure. Bordering the Kosciuszko National Park and Snowy River, Snowy Wilderness is a sanctuary for wild brumby and offers 7,500 spectacular acres bursting with experiences for you to discover.  Run free with the brumbies, ride horseback through the rugged mountain terrain, explore the wilderness by four wheel drive, camp under the stars or sit back and relax in luxury accommodation – the resort offers something for everyone.  Dawn and dusk are spectacular and this is when nature comes into its own – you’re welcome to stay the night. Curl up in the lap of luxury in one of the new high country lodges or indulge yourself at the luxuriously appointed homestead.  

Author: Jonathan Marlow

Travel Blogger and dedicated world traveler

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