1. The Great Barrier Reef, Qld

One of the great, natural wonders of the world – The Great Barrier Reef, brings millions of tourists (and billions of dollars) to Australia’s shores every year to gaze admiringly at its beauty.  

Simply put, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most awe inspiring, beautiful and humbling places on Earth. Whether you’re swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving on it or taking it in from the air above, the reef is a very special experience. 

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system – composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. In other words, its massive. 

A good place to base yourself if you really want to get out and explore this magnificent stretch of living, breathing majesty is the town of Airlie Beach in the beautiful Whitsundays. 

Airlie is a town geared towards two things – Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef tourism and backpackers. The big hostels here all have bars and are rammed year round with travellers, just like you, hoping to get out and experience their very own piece of the islands and reef and make some friends over a beer or two. 

From Airlie you’ll be able to find all manner of companies willing to take you out into the Whitsundays and the reef beyond, catering to all levels of budget and experience. 

That’s not to say that the Great Barrier Reef is the only awesome dive spot you’re going to come across on your journey up the eastern seaboard of Australia though – not by a long shot. There is well over 3,000 kilometres of coastline between Sydney and northern Queensland, after all.  

A great variation on reef diving is checking out the SS Yongala wreck off of Townsville. It’s rated as the best wreck dive in Australia (if not in the world)and people say you will see more marine life in one dive here than you would in 12 anywhere further north.


2. Byron Bay, NSW

One of our absolute favourite spots on the Australian east coast is the booming town of Byron Bay, with its lively arts, music, surfing and tourism industry. 

Beautiful beaches, tranquil hinterland and a relaxed vibe means it’s easy to come here for three days and end up staying ‘til the immigration men come a-knockin’.

Byron Bay has an excellent nightlife – with pubs like the Great Northern and the Beach Hotel putting on awesome live bands and DJs over the weekend as well as the nightclub Cheeky Monkey’s which has different themed party nights almost every night of the week. 

Byron is also Australia’s most easterly point, has some of New South Wales’ most beautiful beaches – like Tallows and Watagos – and also has some of the most stunning hinterland of anywhere in the state, perfect for hiking and nature enthusiasts. 

Oh yeah, and there’s Nimbin as well. 


3. Fraser Island, Qld

Jump of the east coast goon carousel for a minute and enjoy some sun, sand and a number of dingos.  

A perennial fave, nothing quite beats the world’s largest sand island in a 4WD. The inland lakes are also some of the best swimming spots you’re likely to find in Oz. Driving up the beach and through the subtropical rainforest is an unforgettable experience. Another little secret for you – check out nearby Rainbow Beach, plenty to see and do.  


4. Sydney City, NSW

Almost certainly your first point of entry into Australia – Sydney is a vibrant, modern, sprawling city with plenty to see and do.  

Where to start with Sydney? If the sun’s shining why not start with the undulating Coogee to Bondi walk. Then head to the Harbour and check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Take a ferry across to the Northern Beaches and Manly or head out on the town to the ‘Cross’. 


5. Cairns, Qld

In many ways, Cairns is the capital of tropical northern Queensland and the perfect place to either relax in the sun, head into the rainforests or party like there’s no tomorrow. 

While the beautiful beaches around Cairns aren’t always safe (they get killer jelly fish sometimes) you can always catch the rays at the lagoon. If you’re in the mood, AJ Hackett have a great bungy in Cairns as well. Then go out, job done. 


6. Gold Coast, Qld 

Love it or hate it, the Gold Coast is one of the east coast’s most vibrant places and is an absolute must-visit.  

The Gold Coast boasts loads. So if you’re a rollercoaster junkie, you’re in heaven. Gold Coast/Surfer’s Paradise is also famed for its… let’s just say “lively” nightlife. Indeed Surfer’s main strip is always full on sultry evenings with people out for a few stiff drinks. If you want to change it up, head into the hinterland for a bit of nature.


7. Newcastle, NSW

Often overlooked, Newcastle is rapidly becoming one of New South Wales’ fastest expanding cities. 

A one-time industrial powerhouse that has transformed into a laidback and sophisticated surf hotspot that boasts more artists per capita than anywhere else in Oz. Lonely Planet even named it as one of the world’s top cities to visit in 2013. Being a bit of a uni town, Newcastle also has some truly epic spots for a night out.


8. Noosa, Qld

The jewel in the Sunshine Coast’s crown, Noosa is one of Queensland’s most beautiful towns.  

Noosa, from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many trees,’ is the place to be at any time of the year. The sunny climate and warm locals make relaxing a very easy option.Must-dos are the Noosa National Park, shopping along Hastings St, surfing, jetskiing, kite surfing, kayaking, biking and parachuting.


Cape York, Qld

Geographically closer to PNG than it is to much of Australia, Cape York is properly northern and is about as untamed and wild as it comes. 

Unsealed roads, river crossings and crocs make the adventure one of the best roadtrips Down Under. Just don’t even think about it without a 4WD. If you’re not too sure about your skills, jump on a tour bus from Cairns and experience it in slightly more comfort.


Bondi Beach, NSW

For many the physical embodiment of the Australian way of life, Bondi is much more than just a stretch of sand though. 

Along with one of the world’s most famous beaches, Bondi is a flourishing, coastal suburb of Sydney with a lot to offer. Wonderful restaurants and cafés, a number of super-cool bars and pubs and more budget accommodation options than you can poke a stick at.