Although it’s sometimes true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are many places whose allure is simply undeniable – especially here in Australia. From hidden enclaves in the hinterland to modern metropolitan marvels, this country’s got plenty of beauty to go around. We’ve pulled together this list of destinations that are generating the most buzz online for their good looks. In no particular order, here are Australia’s 25 most awe-inspiring spots.
1. Cairns, Queensland
The city known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is just as stunning as you’d expect. Get a bird’s-eye view of a tropical rainforest canopy from the Skyrail and Scenic Railway connecting Cairns and Kuranda. Or, for unforgettable sights closer to sea level, hop aboard the Daintree River cruise, which stops at a shaded riverbank garden for lunch—how charming! In the evening, take a seat at the Salt House restaurant on Marina Point, where you’ll find not only delicious dining but also one-of-a-kind panoramic views of Cairns’ waterfront.
2. The Whitsundays, Queensland
With dense rainforests surrounded by white-sand beaches, the 74 Whitsunday Islands pepper the ocean between the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s northeastern coast. Explore Hamilton Island’s extraordinary fringe reefs and get up close and personal with everyone’s favourite marine creatures on a dive with Deep Water Turtle Discovery. If you want to take to the skies instead, embark on Air Whitsunday’s half-day Panorama Tour and soar above the glistening islands and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
3. Fraser Island, Queensland
Don’t think the world’s largest sand island sounds all that beautiful? Think again. Spanning more than 120 km off the eastern coast of Queensland, Fraser Island is home to loads of pretty places. Vibrant Lake McKenzie is surrounded by white-silica sand that feels like you’re walking on clouds, and the view here at dawn is worth waking up early for. Fraser Explorer Tours is also a “whale” of a time—the island is known for its humpback whale watching. Or, buckle into a ute from Fraser Dingo 4WD Hire and chart your own course from the beaches into the rainforest.