Best places to visit in Australia: What’s too good to miss

CNN  — 

If you could magically conjure up a place that’s ideal for travel adventures, it would be hard to imagine anything better than what the world already has: Australia.

This continent/country offers spectacular outdoor scenery, animals unlike anywhere else in the world and urban centers that compete with the top cities of Europe, North America and Asia on livability rankings.

Admittedly, as destinations go, it’s not that close for most of us. But it’s so worth the flight to get there.

So when you finally arrive, you want to be sure you make the most of your holiday. In no particular order, here are the best places to visit in Australia. Some of these locations have links to previous CNN Travel articles if you want to dig into the details.


Despite its name, the Sydney Opera House has more than 2,000 shows a year and only about 15% of them are actual opera.

Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is heralded as one of the world’s greatest metropolises for a reason.

The capital of New South Wales plays host to the photogenic Sydney Harbour (the world’s largest natural harbor), the one-of-a-kind Sydney Opera House, a lively entertainment scene and some of the best restaurants in the world.

And then there are the beaches. Bondi might be the best known, but it’s just the beginning of the sun ‘n’ surf available near the city.


Melbourne's neighborhoods are a big selling point. Here, people cross a pedestrian bridge in popular Southbank.

Melbourne, the second-largest city in Australia, overflows with first-rate attractions.

From cultural and architectural highlights to amazing outdoor locations, Melbourne offers stiff competition to Sydney in the travel department.

From top-rate museums such as the National Gallery of Victoria to stunning nearby getaways such as Port Campbell National Park, Melbourne delivers.