Australian Landmarks

Famous Landmarks in Australia That Will Amaze You

Has Australia always been on your bucket list? This amazing country is undoubtedly one of the most popular and well-loved travel destinations in the world.

And why not? No matter what your interests are, Australia surely has something to offer.

It is home to aboriginal people, which is why the country is so rich in culture and history.

Nature lovers would enjoy the beautiful beaches, thriving aquatic ecosystems, world heritage-listed national parks, and all the exciting outdoor adventures you only get to experience here.

Those who are into art, design, and architecture would not get disappointed as well!  Buildings are unique and museums are world-class.

To help you decide which places to visit on your next vacation, we have compiled a list of Famous Landmarks in Australia that will wow you!

22 Famous Landmarks in Australia to Visit for Your Next Trip

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
Photo by Dean Bennett on Unsplash

The Sydney Opera House is definitely one of the most Famous Landmarks in Australia. In fact, you have probably seen this impressive building countless times – in postcards, travel brochures, and even in movies. 

The architecture of this building is truly unique. The roof structure of the building looks like three vaulted shells. More precisely, it sits on top of the iconic Sydney Harbour skyline and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007.

As the name suggests, the Sydney Opera House is home to multiple performance venues and facilities that cater to musical production companies such as Opera Australia, the Sydney Theater, and the Sydney Symphony. 

So when you visit the area, don’t just take a picture and go. Watch a live performance, take a guided walking tour, or just eat at the house restaurant.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Photo by narate vongserewattana on Unsplash

Located right next to the Sydney Opera House is the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge. This steel through arch bridge was built in 1932 and was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.

Sydney Harbour Bridge serves as the primary transportation link for those going from Sydney proper to nearby areas and vice versa. Currently, there are eight vehicle lanes, two of which were originally made for trams. Additionally, there is a separate biking lane on the west side of the bridge.

If you want to get on the bridge on foot, there is a pedestrian walkway on the eastern side called the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk. It will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to fully cross the bridge at a  moderate pace. If you have time, we highly recommend this activity. Aside from the exercise, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the iconic Sydney skyline.

Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
Photo by Digby Cheung on Unsplash

Architecture fans would surely not want to miss the historical Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in George Street, Sydney.

This grand structure was really built to be Sydney’s Municipal Market in the 1890s. Although it has suffered from years of neglect, the building has been refurbished and renovated. Today, it stands as a centralized hub for shopping and dining in New South Wales.

QVB has been designed on the scale of a Romanesque cathedral with glass stained windows on the exterior. The building is so big that it houses hundreds of stores, cafes, and restaurants on its four main shopping floors. Inside, you can also find two mechanical clocks on display.

Overall, it is a nice place to visit if you want to shop, stroll around, and relax.

For those who want to learn more about the history and architecture of this famous landmark, you can join the QVB History Tour for a fee.

Parliament House

Parliament House
Image by Lee Chandler from Pixabay

Canberra, Australia’s own capital, has a lot to offer. One of the top activities to do while you are in the area is a visit to The Australian Parliament House.

The building architecture is modern and impressive. Inside the halls, you can find plenty of art and furniture collections on display. However, the highlight of the trip would be gaining more knowledge and insight into how the Australian parliament works.You can either explore the landmark on guided tours or just go through the building on your own. Make sure to book online first if you want to join tours. Lastly, we suggest going there as early as possible to avoid the influx of visitors.

Port Arthur

Port Arthur
Photo by keith davey on Unsplash

Port Arthur is one of the best historical and famous landmarks in Australia. In the past, this scenic site in Tasmania has served as a place of settlement for the convicts in the 1800s.

The place has been amazingly preserved and is very popular with tourists. It is actually one of the 11 UNESCO World Heritage Australian Convict Sites.

When you go to Port Arthur, you will be given entry access to the Port Arthur Gallery. There will be a guided walking tour that will last for 40 minutes and you have the option to go on a 25-minute boat cruise along the bay. Make sure to visit the cells where convicts lived as well as the places where they were punished.

We recommend spending two days appreciating the area. Just a short distance away from Port Arthur is the Coal Mines Historic Site where other convicts were forced to do labor in very cruel settings.

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles
Photo by Connor Home on Unsplash

Breathtaking beauty awaits those who plan to visit the Twelve Apostles viewpoint in the state of Victoria, Australia. There is nothing more amazing than seeing the waves crashing beautifully against these stacks of limestones that have formed million years ago.

Contrary to what its name indicates, there were originally only nine stacks. They renamed the place to 12 Apostles to make it easier to attract many tourists. 

To date, there are only 7 apostles left standing due to the continuing erosion brought by the weather conditions in the Southern Ocean. However, the site remains picturesque and spectacular.

The best time to visit would be at sunrise or sunset. If you want to eat around or stay overnight, you can find many restaurants and accommodations in the nearby town of Port Campbell.

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park
Photo by Ondrej Machart on Unsplash

The beautiful Australian landmark of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is composed of the iconic monolith sandstone of Uluru and the red rock domes called Kata Tjuta.

Uluru is formerly known as Ayers Rock, a world-famous massive single block of sandstone. This iconic rock is red in color and mesmerizing to view at both sunset and sunrise. Up close, you can see that it is home to various plants and animals, many of which are unusual or rare.

The neighboring Kata Tjuta rock formations are equally stunning. The term ‘Kata Tjuta’ literally means ‘many heads’, appropriately describing these connected rock domes. Upon visiting, spot various rock art sites and learn more about the Anangu culture.

Part of the northern territory of Australia, this national park is UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Many visitors enjoy self-guided ling walks, ranger-guided activities, sunset viewing, and bird watching, as well as discovering aboriginal art and culture.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach
Photo by Emjeii Beattie on Unsplash

Bondi Beach is truly one of the most Famous Landmarks in Australia. Ask every Aussie you know for great beach recommendations and surely, Bondi Beach will be on top of the list.

Why is it so Famous Landmarks in Australia, you ask?

First, the location is perfect. Bondi Beach is just a few miles away from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). It is very accessible either via private or public transport.

The second and probably the most important reason why Bondi Beach is such an iconic Australian landmark is the beach itself. The ocean view is fantastic, the waves are perfect for surfing, and the weather is great all year round!

You can find lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops in the area. People enjoy sunbathing or simply strolling along the beach. The best time to visit is on a weekday to avoid the busy crowd.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay
Photo by Shubham Sharma on Unsplash

What sets Byron Bay apart from other Famous Landmarks in Australia? The island is nothing short of a paradise!

If you prefer serene and tranquil places, this coastal town is perfect for you. Located on the northern territory of New South Wales and the easternmost part of Australia, Byron Bay is where the sun first rises on the country each day.

Over the years it has become a sought-after travel destination for those seeking a retreat from busy city life. It is the best place to visit if you want to relax and escape to nature. Popular activities include meditation classes, cycling tours, hiking, and even horse riding along the beach. 

During your stay, you must not miss a visit to the Cape Byron lighthouse. There is a dedicated walking track that will lead you to different viewpoints and ultimately to the lighthouse overlooking Tallow Beach. On a lucky day, you can even spot dolphins and whales from the lookout.

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island
Image by lins3162 from Pixabay

One of the most Famous Landmarks in Australia, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island remains pristine, secluded, and exclusive.  Located 600 km off the New South Wales coast, you can only go here either by yacht or by air.

Upon arriving, you will be greeted by an amazing landscape with various types of unique flora and fauna abounding the island. Put this on your list if f you love nature, beaches with crystal clear water, hiking, and the serenity a hidden paradise brings.

Why is the island so exclusive? Only 300 residents are living on the island. Plus, Lord Howe’s government limits the accommodation to just 400 visitors at a time! This makes it the perfect travel destination for those who dislike the crowd.

Keep in mind that because of the island’s exclusivity, you have to book flights and hotels in advance. Aside from outdoor activities, there are lots of spa and pampering options.

Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial
John Torres at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the top attractions in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial. It is a combination of a shrine and museum that honors the people who have fought for Australia in the past.

Inside, you will see that the Australian War Memorial is divided into three sections. First is the Commemorative Area where you can find the Hall of Memory, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Commemorative Courtyard, Pool of Reflection, and Eternal Flame.

The next section is the actual museum gallery. This is where you can learn about the Australian military through exhibits that feature different regions of Australia.

Lastly, you can visit the Research Centre if you want to learn history by the record. Here, you can find specific details about Australia’s involvement in different major conflicts. Some of the copies here are only available by request.

Visitors can take a self-guided audio tour For a small fee and for a better viewing experience.

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon
Image by Jacqueline Wales from Pixabay

Known for its scenic cliff walls, you can find Kings Canyon at Watarrka National Park in the northern territory of Australia. The top of Kings Canyon offers stunning views of the landscape and rock formations below. It is also one of Australia’s most beautiful spots to witness the sunrise.

Just keep in mind that you need to hike for at least three to four hours if you are doing the popular rim walk. The hardest part is the initial ascent of 500 steps, after which you will be rewarded instantly with a magical view!

Somewhere along the hike, you will get the chance to visit the very lush Garden of Eden. It is a hidden oasis where vegetation and wildlife abounds. This is a perfect spot to rest and relax during the hike.

If you are not much fond of hiking, there are still many ways to enjoy Watarrka National Park. You can immerse yourself in cultural learning activities and go camping or glamping.

Pinnacles Desert

Pinnacles Desert
Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash

The Pinnacles Desert is one of the most unique and famous landmarks in Australia known for thousands of beautiful limestone formations spread across a vast yellow sand desert.

These amazing pinnacles are limestones that have formed naturally, the process dating back to thousands of years ago. This means that no two pillars look exactly the same. Some are tall, some are small. They also vary in shape, color, and texture. 

Just a few hours away from Perth, the Pinnacles desert makes for an excellent easy day trip. You can find various parking spots along the way. People would usually stop to take short walks and take in the spectacular scenery.

The desert is part of Nambung National Park. Witnessing the sunset here is a fantastic experience that you should not miss, especially when the sand dunes are shifting! You can go here anytime, but the best months to visit are between August and October.

Kangaroo Island 

Kangaroo Island
Image by alyssapy from Pixabay

A trip to South Australia would bring you to the beautiful Kangaroo Island, also known as Karta Pintingga to the locals. Located southwest of Adelaide, it is a paradise for nature lovers, especially for fans of wild animals, amazing fields, and beautiful coasts.

Famous Australian landmarks to visit on the island include the amazing sand dunes of Little Sahara and the iconic boulders along the coast called Remarkable Rocks. Tourists often go to Emu Bay to enjoy an afternoon on its white sand beach. Do not forget to go on a walk among sea lions and swim with bottlenose dolphins in the wild ocean.

Enjoy a laid-back vacation as you indulge in delicious food.  Aside from fresh meat, oysters, and seafood, produce like olives, honey, and grapes can be found on the island. Dine-in at the very popular Enchanted Fig Tree restaurant or spend some time visiting farms and wineries for an unforgettable authentic gastronomy experience.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs
Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash

One of the most remote but locally famous landmarks in the Northern Territory of Australia is the town of Alice Springs. Originally owned by the Aboriginal Arrernte people and colonized by the Europeans, the modern town has thrived and now houses almost 30,000 residents.

Adventure awaits those who are willing to visit Alice. Experience the outback with an unforgettable camel ride or fly with a hot air balloon on an early morning escapade. You can also explore portions of the Macdonnell Ranges by going on a self-drive or joining fun and educational guided tours.

The most popular landmark in town is Anzac Hill. It offers a good view of the town and its surroundings, especially at sunset. There is also a dedicated memorial to those who served the army in World War One.

Animal lovers would enjoy a visit to the Kangaroo Sanctuary and the Desert Park.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island
Photo by Antoine Beauvillain on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered where you can find the world’s largest sand island? Look no further, another iconic Australian landmark that you simply must visit is Fraser Island!

The place is simply raw and magical. Aside from its amazing beaches, you will be amazed at the rainforests here. The trees are just growing on pure, white silica sand but they are very lush. In fact, this is why Fraser island has been recognized as a world heritage site.

You can also go swimming in freshwater as perched lakes that only hold rainwater are plentiful on the island. The gorgeous Lake McKenzie is known for its clear waters and serene atmosphere. The road is quite rough, but it makes for an awesome 4WD off-road adventure.

The best part about Fraser Island is that it caters to all kinds of travelers. There are plenty of resorts and hotels to choose from to suit your taste and budget.

Fraser Island is also known as K’gari, which can be translated to paradise. A very apt description for this wonderful place, don’t you think?

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill in Australia; Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Are you a fan of gold and history? Do you want an immersive experience in an outdoor living museum? Then you can’t miss a day trip to Sovereign Hill, one of the most famous Australian landmarks at Ballarat, Victoria. 

As soon as you step into the place, you will be transported back to the time when gold has just been discovered in the 1850s. Sprawled across a 25-hectare property, visitors can see replicas of old buildings and shops complete with staff wearing period costumes.

Experience the gold rush as you participate in a real gold panning activity. The best part? You get to keep the gold if you find one!

Other highlights of your Sovereign Hill trip will be the gold mine tour and a coach ride around the town. Do not forget to have your photos taken at the photography studio for a souvenir.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
Image by Gaby Stein from Pixabay

One of the world’s natural wonders and undoubtedly one of the most iconic Australian landmarks is the Great Barrier Reef. Teeming with abundant and very diverse marine life, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a heaven for people who love the underwater world.

The area it covers is so vast at 344,400 square km and is said to be larger than the Great Wall of China. Impressive, right? In fact, it is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world. Just imagine the number of coral reefs, plant species, and marine creatures you can find in the Great Barrier Reef!

Needless to say, snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular activities to do in the Great Barrier Reef. If you have more time, do not forget to join whale and dolphin watching tours as they also abound the coasts.

Most importantly, keep in mind that the Great Barrier Reef faces various environmental threats due to pollution, coastal developments, global warming, and even fishing. When visiting, help protect the oceans by being a responsible tourist.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash

Outdoor lovers, one of the places you should not miss when in Tasmania is the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. These are two of the most famous Australian landmarks in the state and we can definitely see why!

Cradle Mountain is just beautiful and the views at the top are incredible. The natural scenery is outstanding with abundant wildlife in the area. You will enjoy going on forest walks as the paths in the park are clear and really well-maintained. Everything here is picture-perfect.

Lying at the southern part of Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair is another sight to behold! Surrounded by ancient forest trees and a mountain, the place just gives off an enchanting vibe. It is the deepest freshwater lake in Australia and many visitors go here to try fishing. There is also an available ferry service for those who want to experience a scenic cruise.

Blue Mountains 

Blue Mountains
Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

The Blue Mountains in New South Wales is a vast region of beautiful landscapes and spectacular mountain ranges.

A distinct blue haze characterizes the Blue Mountains and this sets the place distinctly apart from other mountains in the country.

A really prominent icon in the Blue Mountains is the sandstone rock formations called the Three Sisters, which many people choose to admire at the Echo Point Lookout.  

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can explore the Jenolan Caves or better yet, try canyoning and rock climbing adventures.

This is a perfect day trip as the place is just one hour away from Sydney by car.

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station
Photo by Joan You on Unsplash

If you are staying in Melbourne, there is a very high chance that you will be going to Flinders Street Station at least once. As the name suggests, it is sitting on the corners of Flinders Street and Swanson Street. Not only is it the busiest station in the city but it is also a very popular meeting place for the locals.

Even tourists and first-time visitors can easily spot the station. The building facade is very distinct with a large dome on top of the main entrance and a clock tower at the Elizabeth Street entrance.

This iconic railway station in Melbourne first opened in 1854, although the current building was constructed in the early 1900s. Aside from being Australia’s oldest train station, it also has the country’s longest railway platform.

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
Photo by Shaqyl Shamsudheen on Unsplash

The National Gallery of Victoria is truly a paradise for art enthusiasts. The museum has been around since 1861 and features a world-class collection of classic and contemporary art pieces.

It is a permanent home to over 70,000 works known as the Collection. These artworks mainly showcase Australia’s rich history and culture. Make sure to stay a few hours just in time to appreciate the wonderful exhibits on all levels.

There are also separate houses for NGV’s impressive international collection. Aside from displays, the NGV organizes various events and programs for those interested to learn more about art.  No wonder it is one of the most visited museums in Australia.

Admission is free. The museum has always been praised for its clean and well-maintained facilities. You can get drinks and refreshments at cafes and restaurants in the building.

Frequently Asked Questions about Famous Landmarks in Australia

1. What is Australia’s most iconic landmark?

When people say Australia, the Sydney Opera House is the first thing that comes to mind for the majority. It is iconic not only because of impressive architecture but also because everyone simply recognizes the structure at first sight. The design is unique hence its appearance in countless print and digital media worldwide.

2. What are five landmarks in Australia?

If you will only be staying in the country for a few days, the five Australian landmarks that you should not miss are the Sydney Opera House, 12 Apostles, the Great Barrier Reef, Kings Canyon, and Queen Victoria Building.

3. When is the best time to go to Australia?

The best time to travel to Australia is during Spring and Autumn. You will find it very enjoyable to visit Australian landmarks when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.

Spring is between the months of September and November while Autumn is between the months of March and May.

Many tourists avoid December to February because it can get very hot and humid during the summer. Travel costs are usually low as well during winter, which is between June to August.

4. How much money do you need to travel to Australia?

A trip to Australia will set you back $150 per day at the low end. Costs can go up or down depending on your travel style and whether you will go there alone, in pairs, or in a group.

If you have a limited budget, we suggest shortlisting Australian landmarks that you can not miss and work your way around them when planning your itinerary. 

A Quick Guide to Australia

Flights, Hotels, and Restaurants

Flights From New York or Los Angeles to Sydney

Budget Hotels in Sydney

  • Hotel Challis
  • Meriton Suites – Campbell Street, Sydney
  • Holiday Inn Darling Harbour

Budget Hotels in Melbourne

  • The Hotel Windsor
  • Sebel Docklands
  • Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel

Best Places to Eat in Sydney

  • Quay
  • Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
  • Flour and Stone
  • Paramount Coffee Project
  • Ormeggio at the Spit 

Fun Things to do in Australia

Travel by train

Some travelers want to experience Australia aboard a luxury train. Currently, there are a few services that offer amazing rail journeys for travelers. Most of these expeditions take three or four days in total.

For instance, Journey Beyond Rail will give you an unforgettable Indian Pacific expedition from Sydney to Perth or vice versa. Aside from seeing lush vineyards and stunning coast views, they let passengers get off at Adelaide for a quick culture and history trip. Meals and wines are served on the train.

We also have Queensland Rail Travel that offers Spirit of the Outback, a 26-hour journey on a first-class sleeper train. The scenic route starts from Brisbane and ends in Longreach. It will pass through coastal scenery, beautiful old towns, and stunning mountain ranges.

Train tickets can be expensive. If you have the money, go at least once. It is surely a unique way to visit some Australian landmarks. 

Go on a road trip

Go on a road trip
Photo by Thandy Yung on Unsplash

A great way to experience the beauty of the Australian wilderness is to go on scenic road trips. You can stay off the beaten path and visit hidden spots that otherwise you would miss when in a hurry.

Just keep in mind that Australia is a left-drive country. More importantly, always be careful while driving and watch out for animals that might be passing on the road.

The Great Ocean Road

Many travelers go on a scenic Great Ocean Road drive. While on the road, you will pass by some famous landmarks in Australia like the 12 Apostles, Bells Beach, Loch Ard Gorge, Great Otway National Park, Childers Cove, and Kennett River.

The Red Centre Way

The Red Centre is a big part of the Northern Territory of Australia. This desert region is massive and extraordinarily beautiful. Iconic Australian landmarks that you can find here are Alice Springs, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon.

The Red Centre is also a very important place in history because this is where you can learn about the people of Anangu and their culture. We suggest spending at least 7 days in the Red Centre region to fully enjoy a thrilling outback experience.

National Park Visits

A trip to Australia would not be complete without going to at least one amazing national park. Aside from the famous Australian landmarks mentioned above, here are some others worth visiting.

Kakadu National Park

The largest national park in Australia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be found in the northern territory. Kakadu National Park is home to stunning waterfalls, rich and diverse ecosystems, extensive woodlands, and a wide variety of wildlife. With more than 280 bird species living here, Kakadu National Park is the perfect spot for birdwatching.

Purnululu National Park

If you are in Western Australia, you can’t miss a visit to the Purnululu National Park. This is home to the popular Australian landmark Bungle Bungles.

This mountain range is actually a massive collection of sandstone domes. What makes Bungle Bungles unique is its distinct color stripe of black and orange. The sight is just spectacular and leaves people in awe.

Culture trip

Do not limit your vacation to just visiting famous landmarks in Australia. Immerse yourself in unique culture trips. Australia conserves the aboriginal culture and you can directly learn from them in one of your trips to the outbacks.

Visiting Australia in the Time of COVID-19

As of September 2021, Australia’s borders are closed and entry to the country is being strictly controlled. Check the official government page for updates regarding this.

When the government lifts the ban in the future, travelers might be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine from the day of arrival. After completing this, you can go visit Australian landmarks but expect some restrictions due to health and safety protocols.

Bookonboard’s Tips for Travelers

When planning a trip to iconic landmarks in Australia, it is important to carefully plan everything ahead of time.

Get a map of Famous Landmarks in Australia.

It is always helpful to get a map of Australia so you can plan your trip correctly. This will help you narrow down the landmarks you want to see.

We suggest using the aid of Google Maps in determining how long you need to travel from one Australian landmark to another. You will find this very handy in finalizing your itinerary.

Ask Australian locals. They always know it better.

If you have friends or relatives living in Australia, ask for suggestions. There are many articles online about Famous Landmarks in Australia but nothing beats information from people actually living in the country. They can give specific directions and even point you to hole-in-the-wall places that not everybody knows about.

Plan with our amazing team.

If you want to experience a worry-free vacation, you can leave everything to us. We can secure flight tickets and find the best accommodations according to your budget. We can also arrange tours and day trips so you can visit Famous Landmarks in Australia without any hassles.

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