The Must-See Places in Australia Tourists Love but Many of Us Forget

domestic travel must-see kakadu
Northern Territory's Kakadu National Park. Image: Getty Images

If you haven’t heard, coronavirus is cancelling international travel for 2020. That means any holidays you were planning now need a domestic refocus. Thankfully, Australia is such a huge country full of must-see places, there’s a bit for everyone.

It’s not yet known when international travel will again become a reality but Australians can comfortably assume it won’t happen in 2020. Simon Birmingham, the federal tourism minister, told the National Press Club on 17 June that a border re-opening was more likely for 2021. Domestic travel might really be your only option as states open their borders back up to interstate travellers.

For those who prefer to jet-set around the world, leaving Australia in their dust, it means you’ll finally be able to prioritise seeing what the country has to offer. Here are some picks overseas visitors love but are probably glimpsed over by most Australians with the international travel bug.

South Australia’s wonders

must-see Lake Eyre salt lake
Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Image: Getty Images

Despite Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews shading the state fairly hard, South Australia is home to some pretty impressive tourist sites.

For those who were keen on visiting Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, South Australia has its own version waiting for you to see. Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest lake and stretches out for 144 kilometres. When it’s dry, it’s a feature-less field of salt but once filled up, it shows off a pretty tinge of pink perfect for your next Insta post.

must-see kanku
The Kanku-Breakaways near Coober Pedy. Image: Getty Images

Nearby, in Australian terms anyway, is Coober Pedy — an underground desert town with strong Mad Max vibes. It’s colloquially known as the world’s opal capital but its the below-ground shops and residences that make the town a worthwhile addition to your must-see list. Also, the Kanku-Breakaways, a beautiful hill formation once apart of the seafloor, is just a 20-minute drive out of town.

Tasmania’s lush mountains

must-see cradle mountain
A view of Cradle Mountain. Image: Getty Images

While Tasmania is still cordoned off to the rest of Australia, it’s a great place to consider once it re-opens. One of the biggest attractions to the island state is Cradle Mountain, situated in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. You can reach the attraction via a handy boardwalk, which will take a few hours.

Being a fairly small state, it’s possible to achieve a visit to other nearby attractions in a week-long trip. Tasmania’s north-east has the Tarkine Forest, filled with some of the most ancient trees in the world, while the state’s east coast offers up beautiful bay scenery, including the picturesque Wineglass Bay.

Northern Territory’s heritage-listed sites

must-see australia domestic travel
The wetlands of Kakadu National Park. Image: Getty Images

Alice Spring and Uluru tend to get the attention as the Northern Territory’s premier tourist sites but Kakadu National Park is just as worthy of domestic travel attention. Kakadu is a few hours southeast of Darwin and covers an area about half the size of Switzerland. It’s made up mostly floodplains, wetlands and monsoon forests. As expected, it has both fresh and saltwater crocodiles and given its remoteness, you’ll need to do some research to make sure your trip is safe and well-planned.

Still, if you’re a city dweller and always wanted to experience some of Australia’s most beautiful and sacred lands, it should be near the top of your list.


The places we pointed out are just a fraction of some of Australia’s most impressive tourist sites. All you need to do is pull your Google search and type what you’ve yet to discover in your state or territory. Chances are it’s a lot more than you’ll ever achieve in a lifetime.

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