10 of the most incredible landmarks in Australia
Instantly recognisable and the star of endless postcards, these 10 landmarks are the finest in the land.
1. Sydney Opera House
It's arguably Australia’s most recognisable landmark, an architectural marvel sitting right on the edge of Sydney’s sparkling harbour. Opened in 1973, it’s one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and the unique shell design still looks as innovative today as the day it was opened.
2. Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay
Shining a light from Australia’s most easterly point, the Cape Byron Lighthouse has been guiding ships since 1901. It’s still the most powerful in Australia though is a much a tourist attraction as a nautical necessity. The walk around the point is truly spectacular and the charming white and red lighthouse itself looks like it belongs in a picture book.
3. Big Banana, Coffs Harbour
The most famous of Australia’s list of ‘Big Things’, the Big Banana has been delighting travellers since 1964. Its been significantly expanded in recent years and now boasts a water park, toboggan ride, ice skating rink, laser tag and plenty of banana-themed fun.
4. Australian War Memorial, Canberra
In 2016 the national War Memorial was named Australia’s top tourist attraction by TripAdvisor and more than one million people pass through its doors each year. It’s a moving, powerful and humbling experience that commemorates our involvement in international conflicts from the colonial period to the present day. Not to be missed.
5. Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef
A quirk of nature created this romantic little outcrop in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s best viewed from above, via a scenic helicopter or small plane flight, though you can get right up to it with a snorkel or scuba tank.
6. Bondi Beach, Sydney
As any foreigner to name an Australian beach and there’s a good chance they’ll say Bondi. It’s become synonymous with the laid back Aussie lifestyle, a glittering strip of white sand and blue water on the edge of the city. Keep an eye out for the local beautiful people and visiting celebrities.
7. Fremantle Prison, Perth
The country’s largest and best-preserved convict-built prison was built in the 1850s and operated continuously until 1991. It now gives a fascinating look into the history of crime and punishment in Australia, with interactive experiences that bring the past to life.
8. Kakadu, Northern Territory
This huge park is Australian tropical wilderness at its best. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres in the Top End of the Northern Territory, Kakadu is made up of wetlands, woodlands, rivers, gorges and rocky cliffs, and is chock full of native wildlife.
9. Uluru, Northern Territory
No list of icons is complete without our most recognisable natural wonder. It’s the world’s largest monolith and juts more than 850 metres from the red sand of central Australia. See it at dawn or dusk when it seems to glow from within.
10. Port Arthur, Tasmania
Australia’s most intact convict site began life as a penal settlement in 1830 and over the following decades was reinvented as an industrial site, dockyard, asylum and prison. The history of tragedy followed Port Arthur into modern times, with the 1996 massacre also commemorated. Take a lantern tour after dark and be thoroughly spooked by the site’s many ghosts.
Which of these landmarks is your favourite?
Let us know in the comments.
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