Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Nguyen Kieu Trang 5 0 Error

Australia and the Pacific islands truly are the land of dreams. They have everything to attract the tourists, right from low airfare to the stunning beaches, ... read more...

  1. New Zealand's largest island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking to take in the country's breathtaking scenery. You'll see stunning scenery whether you're hiking around Lake Tekapo, bird-watching on the Otago Peninsula, stargazing from the University of Canterbury's Mount John Observatory, cruising the Milford Sound, or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park. If you want to get away from nature, visit Christchurch's eclectic street art or Dunedin's 19th-century Larnach Castle.

    Temperatures are cool on the South Island, especially in the mountain regions. You can go skiing in the Southern Alps in winter, test your limits by ice climbing Aoraki/Mt. Cook or helicopter into Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier and hike along their icy surfaces.

    The South Island outperforms in terms of wine, owing primarily to the country's largest wine region, Marlborough. Located near the Marlborough Sounds, this region has around 65 wineries producing some of the best Sauvignon Blanc you’ll find anywhere in the world. Canterbury and the lake country around Queenstown also have plenty of wineries to explore and enjoy, but if you can only head to one winery during your trip, make sure it’s in Marlborough!

    Kaikoura is where to purchase the best freshly-cooked lobster or cray and of course, New Zealand is most famous for its sheep and lamb dishes, and you’ll find no better spot to enjoy some Canterbury lamb than in Christchurch. Furthermore, when it comes to oysters, nothing beats Bluff oysters in South Island!


    • #1 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

    Location: The Pacific

  2. If you're dreaming of a remote destination filled with historical charm, pristine beaches, unique wildlife and jaw-dropping mountains, then consider vacationing in Tasmania (or Tassie, as the locals call it). Situated about 150 miles south of Australia's mainland, this island appeals to anyone looking for an adventure.

    Hikers can trek challenging paths at Wellington Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Water lovers can snorkel, kayak and swim at Freycinet National Park. Tasmania is also home to unique critters, such as platypuses, wombats and Tasmanian devils, which vacationers can see during wilderness hikes or visits to animal havens like Brighton's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. After a busy day outdoors, unwind with a locally made cider, wine or whiskey in Hobart or Launceston.

    Shaped appropriately like a heart, Tasmania is also a foodie's delight. Gloriously creamy cheeses, crisp fruits, and succulent seafood are just some of the mouthwatering local treats on offer, and hanging out at a waterfront café or restaurant is one of the top things to do in the port city of Hobart.


    • #2 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #12 in Best Places to Visit in January

    Location: Hobart, Australia
  3. Top 3


    Visitors travel from around the world to catch a glimpse of Tahiti's beautiful natural landscape, which features everything from tumbling waterfalls to soaring mountains. The island of Tahiti is divided into two parts: The larger portion to the northwest is known as Tahiti Nui, while the smaller, southeastern peninsula is known as Tahiti Iti. Tahiti Nui is dominated by three extinct volcanic mountains including Mount Orohena, the tallest in French Polynesia; Mount Aorai, known for its incredible views; and Le Diadème, which appears to crown the island as the rightful queen.

    Tahiti is also home to unique stretches of sand, such as La Plage de Maui, which is close to a shallow lagoon ideal for swimming and snorkeling; Papenoo, a black sand beach popular with surfers; and Taharuu Beach, another black sand option popular with families.

    Tahiti, which is home to the capital city of Papeete, is the economic center of French Polynesia. Because all flights arrive at Faa'a International Airport, your tailor-made Tahiti vacation will begin and end in Papeete. Tahiti is an interesting contrast to some of the more quiet, secluded islands in the region, and with a variety of wonderful and convenient Tahiti resorts available, you will never regret staying.


    • #2 in Best Pacific Islands
    • #3 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #4 in Best Beaches in the World
    • #5 in Best Island Vacations
    • #5 in World's Best Places to Visit
    • #5 in Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations
    • #8 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

    Location: French Polynesia, The Pacific
  4. Top 4


    Sydney, one of the best places to visit in Australia and the Pacific, is both a laid-back beachside town and a thriving metropolis with some of the best surf, landmarks, and activities in the Southern Hemisphere. Sydney has something for everyone, whether you want to see a show at the iconic Opera House, surf at Bondi Beach, or explore trendy areas like The Rocks and Darling Harbour. Even Sydneysiders have an ideal mix of both worlds: fashionable attire and British-style sarcasm mix with a "no worries" attitude and a laid-back coastal vibe. It's no surprise that this vibrant city in Australia is a popular choice for first-time Australian visitors.

    It's difficult to image that this vibrant state capital of New South Wales was once a convict colony. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, established the first British colony in Australia in 1788 at Sydney Cove. Today, you can learn about Sydney's fabled history in the narrow, cobbled laneways and historic buildings of the Rocks, as well as the Gadigal Aboriginal people, the traditional custodians of this land, on guided tours and at the city's excellent museums.

    In addition to a plethora of beaches and world-class restaurants and bars, Australia's most populous city offers a diverse range of activities. Thrill-seekers can participate in heart-pounding activities such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while visitors looking to relax will enjoy a relaxing day at Coogee or Manly Beach or a peaceful stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden.

    Seasonal Sydney festivals and events to enjoy include Sculpture by the Sea, the Festival of the Winds, and the Night Noodle Markets. Sydney has it all, whether you want to watch a rugby match, visit the city's museums, or simply relax on the beach.


    • #4 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #5 in Best Spring Vacations
    • #5 in Best Beaches in Australia
    • #8 in Best Places to Visit in March
    • #9 in Best Places to Visit in October
    • #10 in Best Winter Vacations
    • #20 in World's Best Places to Visit

    Location: Australia
  5. The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is, quite simply, Australia's top tourism treasure. Stretching from the northern tip of Queensland south to the coastal town of Bundaberg, it's the planet's largest coral reef system and comprises one of its richest ecosystems. So vast is this complex of reefs, islands, coral cays, seagrass beds, and mangroves, it is the only living structure visible from space.

    The Great Barrier Reef is a top Australian outdoor adventure, and there are numerous ways to enjoy it. Scuba diving and snorkeling along the shimmering coral reefs, sailing around idyllic tropical islands, fishing in designated zones, peering at the abundant marine life from a glass-bottomed boat, and soaring over this magnificent natural wonder on a scenic flight are among the most popular activities.

    Thanks to its vast size, the Great Barrier Reef can be reached from a variety of locations along the Queensland coast. Cairns, a thriving tourist town in Far North Queensland, is a popular starting point for reef adventures. Port Douglas, about an hour's drive north of Cairns, is a smaller and more peaceful base for reef trips. In addition, it is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef.

    This magnificent spectacle is a must-see addition to your Aussie itinerary. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef, causing large-scale coral die-off, especially along the reef's far northern stretches, so try to see this natural wonder as soon as you can. The Australian and Queensland Government introduced a long-term sustainability plan to help combat the effects of climate change and pollution, but more action is needed to conserve this important resource for future generations.


    • #2 in Best Beaches in Australia
    • #5 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #10 in Best Places to Visit in June
    • #13 in Best Summer Vacations
    • #23 in World's Best Places to Visit

    Location: Queensland, Australia
  6. Bora Bora, a small island about 6 miles long and a little more than 2 miles wide, is breathtaking. At its heart, a dormant volcano rises and fans out into lush jungle before erupting into an aquamarine lagoon. Bora Bora was dubbed "the most beautiful island in the world" by author James Michener, who wrote "Tales of the South Pacific." James Cook, an 18th-century British explorer, dubbed it the "Pearl of the Pacific." Bora Bora is the epitome of a tropical getaway, with luxurious resorts, sunny skies, warm waters, and friendly locals.

    And, as you might've already guessed, tourism is the main industry on this tiny island in French Polynesia and its swarm of tiny motu islands. Spend your vacation here exploring animal-filled coral reefs, an aquamarine lagoon, lush jungles, and towering mountains. Some tour operators even offer shark and stingray encounters as part of their excursions.

    But there is a catch: Bora Bora is very expensive. Book a vacation package that includes your flight and hotel room to save money on your trip to the "Pearl of the Pacific." In short, go to Bora Bora for the natural beauty, stay for the complete relaxation, and visit if you have the money.


    • #1 in Best Pacific Islands
    • #1 in Best Places to Visit in April
    • #1 in Best Honeymoon Destinations
    • #1 in Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations
    • #1 in Best Beaches in the World
    • #4 in World's Best Places to Visit
    • #6 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #7 in Best Island Vacations

    Location: French Polynesia, The Pacific
  7. Top 7


    Fiji is the quintessential South Pacific paradise, famous for its friendly people and heavenly tropical islands. With over 300 islands to choose from, there are plenty of tropical attractions and rewarding things to do. Adventurers can spend the day hiking mountains or sand dunes, snorkeling around coral reefs, hitting the links at one of its world-class golf courses, or learning about firewalking, drinking kava, a plant-based adult beverage, and other native customs.

    The capital is Suva, which is located on Viti Levu's largest island. Nadi, on the island's western side, is Fiji's main international gateway and is close to the large resorts of the Coral Coast and Denarau Island. You can walk through sand dunes to ancient archeological sites, soak in therapeutic mud pools and hot springs, dive with sharks in Beqa Lagoon, and raft the Upper Navua River through pristine rainforests not far from here.

    Further afield, the outer islands have their own alluring natural attractions. The Mamanuca Islands are home to one of the world's top surf breaks, and in other island groups, you'll find mystical caves, Fiji's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the world's fourth largest barrier reef. Fijians also love children, so this is a great destination for families.


    • #2 in Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations
    • #2 in Best Beaches in the World
    • #3 in Best Pacific Islands
    • #4 in Best Honeymoon Destinations
    • #7 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
    • #8 in Best Island Vacations
    • #9 in Best Places to Visit in August

    Location: South Pacific
  8. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed national park is likely to come to mind when you think of Australia's Outback. Uluru (a massive sandstone formation with a red hue) and Kata Tjuta (a group of 36 red geological domes) are located in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, both of which have cultural ties to the local Indigenous Australian community. Though both locations are stunning at any time of day, the best photo opportunities are at sunrise or sunset.

    Everyone raves about the Uluru sunset, but there’s a hell of a lot more to do in the park than sit in an overcrowded car park with a gazillion other tourists. The park has plenty of hiking, photography and birdwatching opportunities.

    Something else not to miss is the round trip to Kata Tjuta, and the Valley of the Winds walk. The Valley of the Winds walk is the best walk in the national park. You’ll see waterholes, shady, narrow gorges, and tree-lined creeks and you’ll get away from most of the Uluru crowds. Don’t let the 8km walk deter you. Unless you have a serious health problem, any normal person can do this beautiful walk. If you’ve got children, then try some geocaching. There are several geocaches hidden at various locations around the park, and none are too hard to find. Like birdwatching, geocaching is an addictive and low-cost activity.


    • #8 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

    Location: Northern Territory of Australia

    Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
  9. Within view of Australia's northeastern coast, the Whitsunday Islands' 74 islands are the place to go to enjoy water sports like sailing, snorkeling and jet skiing. Tempted by the endless activities on offer, families tend to sway towards Hamilton Island, while the more adventurous may stray for the uninhabited, like Hook Island. The beaches here are second to none. In fact, they’re award-winning; the Whitsundays is home to the iconic Whitehaven Beach, a seven-kilometre stretch of swirling silica sand that has been dubbed the world’s best.

    The seaside town of Airlie Beach has long been considered the gateway to the Whitsundays region. Most of the islands have National Park statuses, such as the Molle Group, which has extensive walking tracks offering unsurpassed views over the surrounding islands and distant mainland. The region has a well-defined dry season during winter. Average temperatures range from 10°C to 20°C. The Whitsunday Islands are all about relaxing. Let the calming force of nature take its course and surrender to a gentle sea breeze or for some serious pampering book in at a day spa at one of the islands resorts.


    • #9 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

    Location: Queensland, Australia
  10. The Sunshine Coast, in South East Queensland, is certainly true to its name. Sunny skies and an idyllic subtropical climate draw visitors all year. With a string of pristine beaches, world-class surf breaks, wildlife-rich national parks, and a plethora of tourist attractions, it's no surprise that this is one of Queensland's most popular tourist destinations.

    The "Sunny Coast," as it's affectionately called by locals, is a much quieter alternative to the glitzy Gold Coast just to the south. It stretches north from the popular beaches of Caloundra to the sweeping sands of Noosa North Shore, where 4WD vehicles plow a wild stretch of dune-backed beach.

    Sunshine Coast destinations are packed with things to do. You can eat fresh-caught seafood at Mooloolaba Beach, look for wildlife in the national parks, hike to the summit of Mount Coolum, take scenic coastal walks, or shop for designer clothes on Noosa's chic Hastings Street or at Sunshine Plaza.

    Traveling with kids? You'll find plenty of fun Sunshine Coast attractions for families, including SEA Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium, the Ginger Factory, and the famous Australia Zoo. Not far from the Sunshine Coast's beautiful beaches, the emerald-hued hinterland offers its own sleepy charm. Top things to do in the Sunshine Coast hinterland include exploring quaint mountain villages, tasting artisan foods, shopping at colorful markets, and rainforest hikes.


    • #10 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

    Location: South East Queensland, Australia

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