Stretching for thousands of kilometers, the east coast of Australia is home to some of the country's most incredible scenery, lively cities and beautiful beaches. While you could spend years exploring all the amazing destinations congregated here, for the best of the best these are the top places you need to visit along Australia's east coast.
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A group of 74 spectacular islands located in the center of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands are nothing short of a beautiful paradise. Home to the famous Heart Reef, and the award winning Whitehaven Beach - often touted as the most beautiful beach in the world, it's no surprise why these islands have found their way to the top of so many bucket lists worldwide.
Whether you're looking for a full-on adventure, or just want to let go of everything and relax on baby powder soft silica sand, whatever you require you can experience it on these incredible islands, surrounded by the type of beauty that makes you wonder whether you're dreaming or awake.
If there is one place you really must see if you're traveling the east coast of Australia, it's the Great Barrier Reef. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, and our planets largest living organism, this collection of coral reefs is nothing short of spectacular. Whether seen from the sky, or below the surface of the water among the myriad of colorful fish and corals, the immensity and beauty of life here will leave you mind blown.
If you chose to get into the water to explore this impressive site, be sure to use reef friendly sunscreen as this will ease a bit of the pressure affecting many of earths delicate coral reefs.
It's not Australia's most famous city for no reason, this stunning modern city is the perfect destination for any traveler visiting the country. Surrounded by picturesque beaches, filled with exquisite modern architecture and the atmospheric harbor front, Sydney has a unique character that'll leave you wanting to come back again and again.
Chose to spend your days beachcombing, shopping in its fashionable boutiques or hitting up some swanky clubs and restaurants, all conveniently connected by a very comprehensive public transport system consisting of buses, trains and ferries.
Popular spots definitely worth checking out here include the iconic Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Manly Beach.
Some of the most dramatic scenery in Australia, the Blue Mountains are the perfect escape to nature for anyone visiting Sydney and the east coast. As a popular destination for adventure seekers, the Blue Mountains offer a variety of thrilling activities such as rock climbing, canyoning and mountain biking. There are a number of respected companies offering tours and packages mainly based in Katoomba, the gateway town to the national park.
The perfect spot to take a little time out to relax or learn to surf, Byron Bay is a chilled-out town further down the coast from Brisbane and Gold Coast. Known for its excess of beautiful beaches, bohemian vibe, electric night life and some of the coast's best surfing spots, Bryon Bay has quickly become a favorite among both locals and international visitors.
A particularly noteworthy attraction here is the Cape Byron Lighthouse which is located on Australia's furthest point east. An excellent vantage point for whale watching - just don't forget to pack your binoculars if you plan to do so.
A wonderful way to support wildlife conservation in Australia, this amazing sanctuary is home to around a hundred species of indigenous wildlife. Located about twelve kilometers from Brisbane, it's the perfect place to learn about and interact with some of Australia's incredible native species. Here you can hold some cute, fuzzy koalas, feed kangaroos, meet some lorikeets, and hang out with some friendly emus and wallabies. Perfect both for animal lovers and families with young children, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary makes for a fascinating day trip.
Address: 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069, Australia
This world heritage site is the world's largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rain forests can be found growing on sand dunes. If that's not enough to spark your interest, it's also home to some clear, sandy lakes - perfect for swimming, miles of beach, and a wealth of wildlife including cute little sugar gliders, swamp wallabies and Australia's purest strain of dingoes.
If you manage to make it out to this spectacular heritage site, make sure to abide by the islands eco-code which has been put in place to protect the island, and all the incredible lifeforms that depend on it for their survival.
Cosmopolitan cities skirted by beautiful stretches of wilderness, Australia's East Coast is full of incredible destinations to check out. The perfect escape to try a little bit of everything, you can go from having an incredible city break, to hugging koalas, spotting wild dingoes, snapping pictures of whales breaching and relaxing on the world's most beautiful beaches in just a week. For those without a need for a such a dynamic trip, even just one of these stunning destinations are more than enough reason to start planning an east coast adventure in Australia.