Top 12 Australian Icons

With so much to see and do, Australia is an amazing destination for your next holiday. But where do you begin? To help you plan your trip, here are 12 of the attractions that make Australia great.

Sydney -Opera -House -1

1. The Sydney Opera House

Sydney Guide

The distinct architecture of the Sydney Opera House, possibly makes it one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world and certainly a “must see” on any trip to Sydney if not Australia. Did you know that there was more than 15 years of controversy from when Danish architect Jørn Utzons design for the Sydney Opera House was selected to the opening in 1973. The Sydney Opera House is now a UNESCO World heritage Site and considered one of the most distinctive buildings of the 20th Century.

View our guide to Sydney and book holiday accommodation.


2. The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Guide

The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland has been called one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Many smaller reefs and islands create the largest coral reef system in the world. It can be even be seen from space and is incredibly the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. The Great Barrier Reef is home to stunning sea life and provides a back drop for many people to enjoy the Southern Pacific Ocean. Did you also know there are nearly 3000 of these individual smaller reefs that make up what is now a protected World Heritage Site.

View our guide to the Great Barrier Reef and book holiday accommodation.


3. Australian Marsupials

Discover Downunder Guide

Kangaroos and koalas are well known around the world as animals unique to Australia. Like wallabies and possums, kangaroos and koalas are marsupials, a type of mammal that protects its young ( also known as a joey) in a pouch after birth and is found widely throughout Australia. Did you know that most of the world’s 140 remaining species of marsupials are native to Australia with a smaller number also found in New Guinea and the surrounding islands.


4. Indigenous Culture

The Indigenous Australians have lived on both Austrlaia's mainland and Tasmania for between 35-70,000 years. There are nearly 500 recorded tribes. Indigenous Australians possess a distinctive culture and mythology, and are considered to have one of the oldest forms of art in the world. Indigenous Austrlians make up around 2.3% of Australia’s population, nearly a third of who live in the Northern Territory. Some still speak more than 150 remaining Indigenous Australian languages.

View our guide to the Northern Territory and book accommodation.


5. Beaches

Moreton Island, Queensland Guide

With over 11 000 beaches from renowned surf beaches like Bell’s Beach in Victoria to the famous city beach of Bondi in Sydney or the more remote beaches of Cable Beach in Western Australia and Whitehaven in the Whitsunday Islands off Queensland, the continent of Australia has more beaches than any other country in the world. Did you know that with more than 50,000 kilometres of sprawling coastline, Australia has yet another spellbinding surf beach , secret cove or sheltered bay near you.

Discover the 15 best beach camping spots in Australia.


6. Australian reptiles

Australia has a rich and diverse range of unique reptiles with over 860 species from snakes and crocodiles, to turtles. Although the majority of Australian reptiles are harmless, there are lethal or dangerous snakes including the Taipan and Death Adder.
Australian native, the Salt water Crocodile is also immediately recognisable as the world’s largest reptile, with goannas (pictured) and the frill-necked lizard also familiar to many people, when it lifts the collar of skin around its neck.


7. Vegemite

Travelling Australians have introduced the world to Vegemite, a staple food for any overseas adventure and found in almost every Australian home. Made from yeast extract, the unique dark brown spread is salty and has a taste of malt. Some say it tastes like stock or bouillon. It is spread thinly on bread or crackers and can be used as an ingredient in casseroles.


8. Uluru/Ayers Rock

Uluru / Ayers Rock Guide

Uluru near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory is one Australia’s most famous attractions. Also known as Ayers Rock by Europeans, it is a huge sandstone rock more than 9 km in circumference drawing many hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, particularly to see the stunning views at sunset and sunrise. Considered a sacred site by the Aboriginals, its is one of the world’s rocks, and surrounded by the stunning Uluru National park where you can see more than 100 species of birds and mammals.

View our guide to Uluru and book holiday accommodation.


9. Shiraz

Called Syrah in many other parts of the world, Shiraz is Australia’s most popular red grape variety planted. James Busby, a Scottish immigrant, first brought the Syrah wine stock from Europe to Australia in 1832 and today Australia cultivates the second largest amount of the grape in the world after France.


10. The Outback

The Kimberley Guide

Although the term “the outback” can mean any area of country or bush outside built-up areas, it normally refers to more remote and rugged areas, such as the Kimberley Region in the North of Western Australia or Kakadu and Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. It has distinctive landscapes, flora and fauna.

View our guide to the Kimberley and book holiday accommodation.

Steve Irwin

11. Steve Irwin

Aka The Crocodile Hunter was known worldwide through his internationally successful series as an Australian wildlife expert, the man who wrestled crocodiles and a conservationist. Steve ran Australia Zoo, north of Brisbane, on the Sunshine Coast and was tragically killed in 2006 when his chest was pierced by the barb of a stingray during the production of an underwater documentary.

Croc Dundee

12. Crocodile Dundee

Based on the life of a real Australian “bushman”- Rodney Ansell, this much loved, low budget 1986 comedy became a worldwide success and was the second highest grossing movie/biggest box office hit worldwide that year. An international version of the film was produced with less of the Australian slang. It is set in the Australian outback and in New York City and stars Paul Hogan as Mick “Crocodile” Dundee. Due to its international success a box-office successful sequel was made, with a third instalment released in 2001.

Want to visit more Oz landmarks? Discover big things in Australia.

Or plan a trip to the most picture perfect destinations in Australia.

Popular Australian Locations