Australian Landmarks and Attractions
On this page we have provided you with a comprehensive guide to Australia's most famous landmarks and attractions. We've also been sure to include some less well known places to see. If you have ever wondered what to do in Australia, then look no further. The Australian attractions featured on this page are very popular and include both natural and man made features. To make it quicker and easier for you to navigate to the information that you need, we have arranged these Australian landmarks and attractions in alphabetical order. We have also created the links below that will take you directly to the Australian landmark that you are looking for.
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to those Australians who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial's purpose is to "commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war", and it's mission is "to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society". The Australian War Memorial is a National Heritage Listed Place and has been named Australia's number one landmark. Within the Memorial is a commemorative area (the shrine) which includes the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, a world-class museum, and the Research Centre (the archives). The Memorial attracted more than 1.14 million visitors in 2015.
Here at AustraliaInfo, we believe that the Memorial is one of the Australian landmarks that should definitely be on your list of things to do in Australia. If you wish to visit this great Australian landmark, you will be pleased to know that the Memorial is open every day from 10am-5pm (excluding Christmas Day), entry is free (gold coin donation is welcome), and parking is available on site.
Lest we forget.
Bondi Beach is one of the most popular Australian landmarks and is located approximately 7-8 kilometres east of Sydney's Central Business District. Bondi Beach is approximately one kilometre long and is regularly patrolled by surf lifesavers. The beach has had a long association with Australian surf lifesaving, being home to Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club (the Bondi Life Saving Club was formed in 1906).
There are plenty of things for everyone to do at beautiful Bondi Beach. Visitors can play or relax on the sand, surf, swim, take in the natural beauty, wine and dine at the local bars and cafes, or shop for a bargain at the local street stalls and markets. If you wish to learn more about the area, you can also visit the heritage-listed Bondi Pavilion Community Centre which houses exhibitions, a tourist centre, and a marine discovery centre.
Bondi Beach is also home to a large number of events throughout the year, such as the City to Surf fun run, the Festival of the Winds kite flying festival, the New Year's Eve fireworks, and the Bondi Winter Magic Festival.
If you are wondering what to do in Australia, we highly recommend that you consider Bondi Beach, which is just 30 minutes by public transport from the city centre.
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Cape Byron Lighthouse is located at Cape Byron which is the most easterly point of Australia. Cape Byron is approximately 3km northeast of Byron Bay. Cape Byron lighthouse is still in active service, and is the brightest lighthouse in Australia. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1900, was completed in 1901, and cost approximately $2.8m Australian dollars (adjusted for inflation). The lighthouse has a range of 50 kilometres due to the use of a 1000W 120 Volt tungsten halogen lamp that has an output of 2,200,000 candela (the equivalent of 2.2 million candles!).
Cape Byron Lighthouse is certainly a well-known and popular Australian landmark - attracting more than 500,000 visitors each year. If you wish to visit the lighthouse, you will be pleased to know that the site is open from sunrise to sunset each day, and that there is paid car parking onsite. The lighthouse itself is also open to 20 minute guided tours every day between 10am - 3pm (except Christmas Day). Entry to the site is free, and the guided tours are available via gold coin donation.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a famous Australian landmark and is World Heritage Listed. The Great Barrier Reef is composed of hundreds of types of hard and soft coral and is the largest living thing on Earth - stretching over 2000 km along the Queensland coastline. In fact, the Reef is so large that it is the only living thing on Earth that is visible from space!
The Great Barrier Reef is visually breathtaking and, as a result, has become one of the world's most sought after tourist destinations. Incredibly, more than 2 million people visit the Reef every year to enjoy activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, tours (both air and boat), whale watching and swimming with dolphins.
Unfortunately, however, the Great Barrier Reef has been devastated by sea temperature rise. Hundreds of kilometres of the coral ecosystem has suffered from bleaching in both 2016 and 2017. The Reef also experienced mass bleaching events in 1998, 2002 and 2006 due to warm sea temperatures. Back to back bleaching events make it very hard for the Reef to recover as it typically takes around 10 years for the Reef to recover from a bleaching event.
Visiting the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef is definitely one of the top rated things to do in Australia. We hope that future generations will also have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most famous Australian landmarks.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is Australian National Heritage listed and is one of Australia's most famous touring routes. The scenic drive is approximately 250 kilometres (155 miles) in length and showcases world class surf breaks such as Bells Beach as well as other natural wonders such as the Twelve Apostles (pictured), pristine rainforests and national parks. The Great Ocean Road is one of the Australian landmarks that we think should be on everyone's list of things to do in Australia.
The Great Ocean Road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and was dedicated to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. Construction of the Great Ocean Road may have been finished earlier, however in 1924 the steamboat Casino hit a reef and became stranded near Cape Patton. The Casino was forced to abandon over 150 tons of bottled and kegged beer, Christmas puddings and tobacco. Legend has it that the returned soldiers constructing the road obtained the cargo and indulged in an unscheduled good time for over a week before starting work again!
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is another Australian landmark that is World Heritage Listed and is world famous for its fauna, flora and millennia old Indigenous rock art. Kakadu National Park covers nearly 20 million square kilometres in area and is located 171km south east of Darwin. Kakadu is so large that it is nearly half the size of Switzerland and the same size as Slovenia!
Kakadu is a famous Australian landmark and tourist destination due to having an amazing array of natural features including four major river systems, six major landforms. Kakadu includes a variety of land types ranging from rainforests to rugged escarpments.
As well as featuring an amazing array of natural features, Kakadu is also world renowned for the spectacular variety of fauna and flora that call the park home. Kakadu is home to more than 10,000 crocodiles, 280 different species of birds, and approximately 2,000 species of plants.
Kakadu is also renowned for its Aboriginal rock art which is up to 20,000 years old. In fact, it is now known that Aboriginals have lived in Kakadu for more than 50,000 years!
If you are wondering what to do in Australia, we think that you should definitely consider Kakadu.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is located in Yarra Park which is part of Melbourne's Sports and Entertainment Precinct. The MCG is the home of the Melbourne Cricket Club which was founded in 1838. Interestingly, the Melbourne Cricket Club is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia.
The MCG is quite remarkable, being the tenth largest stadium in the world and having a capacity of more than 100,000 people. Built in 1853, the MCG has hosted many international events such as the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, international cricket matches every Australian summer, and also many international concerts. The MCG is also renowned as the home of Australian Rules football, hosting games throughout the AFL season (including each year's Grand Final).
The MCG is home to the National Sports Museum, and is listed on the Victorian and National Heritage Registers.
Due to all of the above, we consider the MCG to be one of the great Australian landmarks.
Q1 Tower (which stands for Queensland Number One) is located in Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast, Queensland. Q1 is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere and is the sixth tallest residential building in the world. The Q1 Tower project was completed at a cost of approximately $255 million Australian dollars.
Q1 Tower was officially opened in 2005, and stands 322.5 metres (1058 feet) in height (245 metres / 804 feet roof height). Interestingly, Q1's spire is one of the longest in the world, with a length of 97.7 metres. The weight of the spire is 87.2 tonnes! Another interesting fact to note is that Q1 Tower is taller than the famous Chrysler building in New York.
Q1 Tower is a great Australian landmark and is a fantastic tourist attraction due to its observation deck (known as SkyPoint) which is located at level 77 of the tower (230 metres high). The observation deck has a 400 person capacity and provides spectacular 360 degree views over the Gold Coast beaches, city and hinterland. SkyPoint is Australia's only beachside observation deck.
Image courtesy of Donaldytong - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30350135
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge - also known as "The Coathanger" or "The Bridge" - was opened in 1932 and is recognised around the world as one of the most well-known Australian landmarks. It is the largest steel-arch bridge in the world; with the top of the arch being 134 metres (440 feet) above Sydney Harbour. Construction of the Bridge was undertaken over a period of approximately 9 years between July 1923 and January 1932.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge traverses Sydney Harbour - connecting the Sydney CBD with the Sydney North Shore. The Bridge caters for road traffic (8 lanes), rail traffic (2 electrified tracks), bicycle traffic (1 cycleway on the western side of the bridge), and pedestrian traffic (1 footway on the eastern side of the bridge). The Bridge has a total length of 1149 metres and a width of 48.8 metres.
The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is an extremely popular tourist attraction, and there are a variety of activities available to cater for all interests. For example, the bridge can be crossed by walking or cycling, and there is also a pylon lookout and exhibition. If you are the really adventurous type, there is a bridge climb available. The bridge climb was opened in 1998 and allows climbers to legally climb the southern half of the bridge. Details of how to climb the bridge can be found at the official BridgeClimb website.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is UNESCO World Heritage Listed and is possibly one of the most recognisable and famous Australian landmarks. The Sydney Opera House, which was formally opened in 1973, has been internationally recognised as one of the 20th century's greatest architectural works and also as one of the most distinctive buildings in the world.
The Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Utzon, houses multiple performance venues, and is one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world. The Opera House hosts approximately 1500 performances per year, which are attended by more than 1.2 million people. The Sydney Opera House has a total seating capacity of 5738 seats, spread across a number of performing venues. The largest performing venue in the Sydney Opera House is the Concert Hall, which has a seating capacity of 2679 seats.
The Sydney Opera House is recognised as one of the top things to do in Australia and, as such, attracts more than 8 million tourists each year. The Sydney Opera House is definitely one of the most famous Australian landmarks.
The Three Sisters is a rock formation located in the Blue Mountains and is an easy 2 hours drive from Sydney. The Sisters were formed thousands of years ago through land erosion, and are known as Meehni (922m tall), Wimlah (918m tall), and Gunnedoo (906m tall).
The Three Sisters is recognised as a place of special cultural significance to Aboriginal people, and the Sisters watch over the land of the traditional country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri and Dharwal Aboriginal people.
The visual appearance of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day due to the changing position of the sun which brings out the various colours of the rock formation. The changing of the seasons is also known to bring out the various colours of the rock.
The Three Sisters can be viewed from Echo Point Lookout which provides facilities such as toilets, drinking water and car parking. Parking fees do apply, and due to the popularity of this great Australian Landmark, parking can sometimes be limited.
The Three Sisters is a truly spectacular Australian Landmark that you should see at least once in your lifetime.
UNESCO World Heritage listed Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia's red centre, and approximately 335 km/208 mi south west of Alice Springs (450 km/280 mi by road). Uluru is without doubt one of the most famous and recognisable Australian landmarks.
Iconic Uluru is a very large sandstone rock formation - being 348 metres/1142 feet in height, and 9.4 km/5.8 mi around the base. Interestingly, the vast majority of Uluru remains underground! Uluru is famous for appearing to change colour throughout the day, as the sun changes position in the sky. Perhaps most famously, Uluru appears to glow a magnificent red for a few moments during sunrise and sunset.
Uluru is owned by the local Aboriginal traditional landowners, the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people, and is currently leased to the Australian Government under a 99-year lease.
Being one of the most famous and well-known Australian Landmarks, when people consider what to do in Australia, a visit to Uluru is often at the top of their list. We think that Uluru is an Australian Landmark that everyone should see at least once in their life.
Wave Rock is located within the 395 acre (160 ha) Hyden Wildlife Park. The Wildlife Park is located approximately 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the small township of Hyden and 296 kilometres east of Perth, Western Australia. It takes approximately 4 hours to drive from Perth to Hyden.
Wave Rock is a large, natural rock formation that looks like a giant surf wave; frozen in motion. The rock formation is approximately 14m high and 110m long. Wave Rock consists of multi-coloured granite rock that was formed approximately 2.7 billion years ago (2700 million years ago). This makes Wave Rock older than the dinosaurs! Wave Rock developed into its famous shape as a result of water dissolving and re-depositing chemicals in the granite as it ran down the cliff face.
Hyden is also home to Mulka's Cave, another popular tourist attraction, and offers a range of accommodation and services for visitors. Accommodation is available to suit all budgets, and there are food options to suit all tastes. Approximately 100,000 tourists flock to the area each and every year. While Wave Rock is quite remote, it is a very popular Australian Landmark.