12 places to visit in Australia that aren't Sydney

Visun Khankasem/ShutterstockSydney isn’t the only place in Australia worth visiting.
  • Sydney, Australia, is a popular place to visit but there are a lot of other places in Australia that are also worth visiting.
  • Melbourne is known for its food, street art, and coffee.
  • Many people who love to surf or attend music festivals like to visit Byron Bay.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

More than 30 million people visit Sydney, Australia, each year but there’s a lot more to see than the iconic Opera House. Whether you want to catch some waves, see wildlife up close, or experience local cuisine, there is a lot to explore in Australia.

From Melbourne to Byron Bay, here are 12 places to visit in Australia that aren’t Sydney.


There are stunning views at the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

Flickr/Sinead Friel/(CC BY 2.0)The Three Sisters are an iconic rock formation.

The Blue Mountains are named for the blue haze that shrouds the area’s eucalyptus forests. When combined with water vapour and sunlight, the oil from the trees in this area creates a brilliant, blue-coloured hue.

Located in the Australian state of New South Wales, the Blue Mountains also contain a famous trio of rocks called the Three Sisters. Plus, this mountain range is only a two-hour train ride from Sydney.


Located in Victoria, Melbourne is known for its tasty food and street art.

Light Bulb Works/Getty ImagesBrighton Beach is filled with small, colourful buildings.

Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is known for its strong foodie culture, street art, and ubiquitous coffee shops. Throughout the area, there are narrow thoroughfares called laneways that are oftentimes lined with street art, shops, restaurants, and bars.


Read More:
Melbourne, Australia, is the happiest city in the world. These 53 breathtaking photos show what life is really like there.

If you want a break from all the hustle and bustle, you can visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, home to more than 200,000 plants.

Or, you can soak up the sun at St. Kilda Beach and walk its pier to enjoy panoramic views of Melbourne’s skyline. You could also visit the famous Brighton Beach, known for its colourful, small beach huts.


The Barossa Valley is a German-influenced wine region.

ShutterstockThere’s plenty of wine in Barossa Valley.

Located about 40 miles from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is a wine region known for its fresh produce and local wineries.

In addition to touring the valley’s numerous vineyards, visitors can brush up on history at the Greenock Aviation Museum.


Read More:
6 reasons why McDonald’s in Australia is way better than McDonald’s in the US


Explore the Great Barrier Reef by snorkelling or riding in a helicopter.

Although it is disappearing, the Great Barrier Reef, is definitely worth exploring. One of the world’s seven natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the reef is situated off of the Australian state of Queensland.

Containing 400 types of coral, the reef also houses 4,000 kinds of mollusks and 1,500 fish species. You can explore it by snorkelling, scuba diving, taking a helicopter tour, or embarking on a glass-bottomed boat tour.


Go surfing or attend a music festival in Byron Bay.

Byron Bay is an alluring destination for leisure seekers and surfers alike. This coastal town in New South Wales boasts beaches, spas, and a 19th-century lighthouse. Whether you ride the waves, go whale-watching, or kayak with dolphins, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of Byron Bay’s coastal location.

And, if you time your trip just right, you could also check out one of the area’s famous music festivals, like the Byron Bay Bluesfest, which takes place annually in the spring.


Visit Tasmania, an island state, for culture, wildlife, and hiking.

Taras Vyshnya/ShutterstockTaking the Overland Track is a great way to explore nature.

In Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, you’ll find Cascade Brewery, Australia’s oldest brewery, and a wildlife preserve where you can see koalas, Tasmanian devils, and other animals.

Hobart has also garnered attention for its Museum of New and Old Art (MONA), which was founded by multi-millionaire and professional gambler David Walsh. The museum specialises in pieces about sex and death.

Additionally, hikers flock to Tasmania, accessible via ferry from Melbourne, to explore stunning trails, such as the Overland Track and the Tarkine Rainforest Walk.


Margaret River is famous for its limestone caves.

ShutterstockThere are over 100 caves in the Margaret River region.

The Margaret River region of Australia features more than 100 limestone caves, six of which are open to the public. These subterranean marvels formed about a million years ago and contain eye-catching crystal formations.


Alice Springs is a gateway to the mountains and gorges of the Red Center.

iStockAlice Springs has some impressive sunsets.

Situated in Australia’s Northern Territory, Alice Springs draws in art lovers with its abundance of galleries.

The town is also a gateway to the Red Center, a desert region characterised by mountains, gorges, and sacred Aboriginal sites.

One of the area’s most recognised landforms is Uluru, a formation comprised of sandstone. Its colour varies depending on the time of day, glowing red at dawn and orange at sunset.


The Gold Coast has miles of beaches.

Flickr/Petra Bensted/(C.C. by 2.0)The Gold Coast is a coastal city.

The Gold Coast is a coastal yet metropolitan area in Queensland that is filled with urbane hotels, eateries, and bars.

Because of its copious amount of beaches, this city is a haven for those who love soaking up the sun. If you want to head indoors, you can also browse the stalls at Miami Marketta, an international food hall inside of a converted warehouse.


There’s a lot to see in Perth.

ruchos/ShutterstockPerth has some impressive beaches.

Perth may be one of the world’s most geographically isolated cities but there’s no shortage of things to do there.

Visitors can learn about Australian and global wildlife at the Perth Zoo and they can fuel up at Print Hall, a space inside of a former newspaper building that features restaurants, bars, and a coffee shop.

For a more relaxed day, catch some rays on one of the city’s lauded beaches or stroll through Kings Park and Botanic Garden.


In Cairns, you can ride a train through Queensland’s rainforests.

Wikimedia Commons/HannahChen (CC0)There are some impressive views along the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Known for its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns gives visitors the opportunity to take in a lot of scenic views.

You can take a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, which traverses Queensland’s UNESCO-listed Wet Tropics rainforest. Or, you can view the impressive scenery from above via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.


Head to Kangaroo Island to see Australian wildlife.

Wikimedia Commons/Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble (CC BY 2.0)There is a lot of wildlife on Kangaroo Island.

Just off the coast of South Australia’s mainland, Kangaroo Island is the perfect destination for those who enjoy nature and wildlife. While there, you can walk among rare sea lions and observe populations of koalas, echidnas, and other creatures.

You can also explore the island’s protected conservation areas and national parks. One of the largest islands in Australia, this area is also known for its fresh seafood and gourmet fare.

Read More:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.