If you’re planning a visit to the land down under, then don’t miss out on the 16 incredible and famous Landmarks in Australia, well-worth exploring!
When you think of famous landmarks of the world, you may be forgiven for immediately turning to the historic landmarks of Europe, such as those found in Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, or even Greece!
Thankfully, it is not only these European cities that are blessed with an abundance of both natural and man-made sights. Countries such as Australia can quite literally hold their own when it comes to beautiful landmarks and historic attractions too!
People looking to visit the most famous landmarks in Australia are truly in for a pleasant surprise. While many people might think the land down under might be just some vast desert (that makes up around 18% of the country’s total mainland) interspersed with a few cities on the coast would be sorely mistaken.
Australia does have deserts, yes, but not only are these beautiful there is also so much more here to see and admire. Thriving cities, sprawling metropolises, expansive deserts, beaches, rich culture, and so much more await visitors wanting to see and explore the famed landmarks of Australia.
Because of Australia’s massive size, there truly is something for everyone here. Australia boasts a wide variety of both man-made and natural landmarks. These combined with its friendly people and storied history make Australia truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit.
- 16 Of The Best Landmarks of Australia
- 1. Uluru
- 2. Sydney Opera House
- 3. The Great Barrier Reef
- 4. Sydney Harbour Bridge
- 5. Bondi Beach Rock Pools
- 6. Twelve Apostles
- 7. Port Arthur
- 8. Queen Victoria Building
- 9. Australian War Memorial
- 10. Lake Hillier
- 11. Melbourne Cricket Ground – Famous Landmark in Australia
- 12. The Great Ocean Road
- 13. Bungle Bungles
- 14. Sovereign Hill
- 15. Q1 – Gold Coast
- 16. The Three Sisters
16 Of The Best Landmarks of Australia
Undeniably one of the most famous Australian landmarks, Uluru, is known by people the world over from being broadcast on television shows, postcards, and movies. The impressive nearly 1,200-foot high, and 6-mile round arkose formation sits in the heart of Australia in the Northern Territory.
Arguably one of the most spiritually important sights in Australia, Uluru (also sometimes referred to as Ayers Rock), is a sacred landmark for the Anangu people. Once part of aboriginal ancestral lands, Uluru has returned to its roots inside Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park by being managed and led by the Aboriginal people.
Guests that come see this iconic landmark can take walking tours, as well as snap some great photos of this truly wonderful place that is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since October 2019 it is no longer permitted to hike up Uluru, a decision made by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board due to the site’s spiritual significance and also to ensure the environmental protection of the site. Having said that, the 6.8-mile loop trail is still worth the experience of seeing this marvel from every possible angle.
2. Sydney Opera House
Ranking as the most iconic of the man-made landmarks in Australia, this building has been a contender for the new seven wonders of the world list for years, and for a good reason.
Its unique sails that make up the ceilings of the hall were then and still today an engineering marvel. Taking over 14 years to construct from its groundbreaking to its opening day, the Sydney Opera House has cemented itself as one of the world’s most beautiful concert halls for musicians, performers, and artists of all types to entertain their audiences.
With three large halls and multiple minor halls to choose from, guests here are sure to see any number of different performances year-round. But while most people might come for the shows, hundreds of thousands of people annually come to take tours of one of the most famous buildings in Australia and the world.
3. The Great Barrier Reef
Unlike the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef has made it onto the new top wonders of the world list for the past twenty years. Comprising almost 3,000 miles of reef and over 900 different islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure made by living organisms on the planet.
Because of the huge amount of sea life that calls this place home, the beautiful structures of the reef, the crystal-clear water, and warm temperatures, it is no wonder that this is the most popular tourist destination in all of Australia.
Visitors can come for a wide range of activities from scuba diving and snorkelling to cruising and staying on some island resorts; this place is truly a watery heaven on earth.
4. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Opera House might take the cake for being the most recognizable landmark in Australia, but an equally impressive engineering feat is also one of Sydney, Australia’s famous landmarks: the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Talks to build the bridge began as early as the 19th century when local leaders wanted a better way to connect the north and east parts of the city. It was not until the 1920s that the project received serious attention and not until 1932 that it was completed.
The bridge itself is an engineering masterpiece. It holds or did hold until recently, numerous world records including longest span bridge, tallest steel span bridge, and widest span bridge. Standing at an impressive 440 feet tall, 160 feet wide, and three-quarters of a mile long, the bridge truly stands out on the Sydney skyline.
Making the bridge stand out, even more, are the various lights used to illuminate it both for the safety of navigation and for celebratory purposes year-round. Probably most notable are the impressive fireworks displays from the bridge on New Year every year. Because of this, the bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Australia for how recognizable it is.
Thrill-seekers may also want to consider scaling this impressive structure and choose from one of four bridge climbing experiences for a truly unique perspective of this iconic sight.
5. Bondi Beach Rock Pools
Not far from one of the most famous landmarks in Australia, Bondi Beach, is another one of Sydney’s treasures: the Bondi Beach Rock Pools.
The pools themselves had humble beginnings. Starting at the turn of the 20th century as a way for lifeguards to keep their swimming fitness up, the unique architecture of the pools has continued to draw visitors for decades.
While you can still take a dip in these pools for a steep price (around $9 per adult and $6 for children), most guests come to simply enjoy or snap photos of this unique pool built onto the rocky shores of Bondi Beach.
6. Twelve Apostles
Situated along the rocky coastline of the Victoria coast, the Twelve Apostles rock formation stands tall as some of Australia’s famous natural landmarks. Formed over the course of millions of years, these impressive limestone structures are a true sight to behold.
Standing tall along the coast, around 200 feet each, these rocks offer a truly remarkable view of the bay they are in and some great photo opportunities.
The name Twelve Apostles is also a little misleading. There never were twelve rock formations, only eight. However, after one of them collapsed in 2005, the remaining seven formations are still a sight to behold.
7. Port Arthur
No list of landmarks of Australia would be complete without mentioning some of the history associated with the former colony. The historic Port Arthur ghost town truly brings to life the living history of some of Australia’s early years when convicted prisoners were first used to settle the new territory.
Located on the extreme south end of Tasmania’s southern shoreline, the Port Arthur historic site lets people see, feel, taste, and even experience what life was like back then for the people that lived there.
Guests can tour one of the thirty buildings there, take a stroll through the cemetery, go on a boat ride around the port, sample period food, and even try to escape from captivity!
All in all this heritage site location truly takes living history to the next level by making the experience enjoyable and fun for people of all ages.
8. Queen Victoria Building
As one of the lesser-known man-made landmarks in Australia, the Queen Victoria Building faced an uphill battle to get to its former glory where it stands today.
Originally built and designed in the 1890s as a marketplace, the building’s iconic Romanesque structure and domes made it a centerpiece in Sydney’s business district. It was hoped that by building it like this, shoppers would be drawn in by its beautiful architecture and stay for the great shops inside.
While this worked out for the first part of its life, later on, the building became financially unprofitable and fell into disarray. After years of lobbying to get the building renovated to its former glory, the city of Sydney acquired it and spent countless millions restoring it to what it used to be.
Nowadays, visitors can still shop here like before, and also take tours of the mini-museum that has been erected in honour of Queen Victoria.
9. Australian War Memorial
Situated just outside the Australian capital, the Australian War Memorial is part museum and memorial to honour all Australians’ service throughout the nation’s history.
While the original emphasis might have been to honour the service and sacrifice of ANZAC troops in the First World War with places like the Memorial Hall, the memorial has morphed to honour and remember all of Australia’s service members from all of its conflicts.
With a museum erected several decades ago meant to bring awareness of Australians’ sacrifices, the place boasts a host of both permanent and temporary exhibits. In addition, the memorial includes a large research centre for conducting original work into Australia’s conflict along with hosting numerous veterans’ memorials.
Perhaps the most famous attraction is its daily changing of the guard whereby the on-duty soldiers are relieved by the oncoming watch to always look over the tomb of Australia’s unknown soldier.
10. Lake Hillier
Many people the world over have probably heard of the Dead Sea, but did you know that Australia boasts its own? Probably one of the least known of the famous Australian landmarks on this list, Lake Hillier is an awesome place to visit.
Known as a saline lake, that is one with a high enough salt concentration similar to seawater, the lake rests just a few hundred meters from the shoreline on a remote portion of the southwest coast of Australia.
Measuring just 600 by 250 meters in size, the lake is pretty small. But what it makes up for is its beauty. Because of its extreme salinity, only one type of algae makes the lake its home, and these algae give the lake its iconic rose-coloured hue.
Because visiting the lake by foot is pretty difficult, the most popular way to tour it is through the daily flights that take off from a nearby airport. Visitors should also note that swimming in the lake, while safe, is expressly not permitted unless written permission is granted beforehand.
11. Melbourne Cricket Ground – Famous Landmark in Australia
There are few famous Australian landmarks in the sports category, but for those sports lovers that have been dying to see one, this is it. The impressive stadium in Melbourne can fit over 100,000 people inside, and such numbers are a long way away from its humble beginnings as a regional cricket club in the mid-1800s. Now, the stadium hosts a wide variety of sporting events.
As the name would imply, cricket is still played here but the stadium can be modified to accommodate other sports. Football and rugby matches are two of the most popular sports played here besides cricket.
Because of its immense size, the stadium is also frequently used for large musical and concert performances. So with that in mind, what’s keeping you from getting tickets to the next event held here?
12. The Great Ocean Road
A route comparable to California’s Pacific Highway, the Great Ocean Road is a scenic 240-kilometre route between the cities of Torquay and Allansford along a remote portion of Australia’s southeast coast.
Travellers passing through this thoroughfare can take in some of the most beautiful oceanside scenery in the country. Originally built by Australian First World War veterans as a living memorial to their comrades who died in the conflict, the road has taken on a life of its own.
Passing by other famous landmarks in Australia like the Twelve Apostles, the road allows commuters to take the road less travelled and admire some of the best of Australia’s natural beauty along the way.
13. Bungle Bungles
The Bungle Bungles situated inside the Purnululu National Park in the extreme northwest corner of Australia mark one of the nation’s greatest natural wonders. Similar to the rock formations found in Utah in the United States, the Bungle Bungles are a range of literally thousands of rock formations inside the 600,000-acre park.
With its immense heights of up to 75 stories, coloured bands, and irregular shapes, the park is a truly remarkable place to visit. For people that might want to visit here, the park is incredibly remote and can only be accessed by vehicle for about half the year. The most popular way to tour these features is through aeroplanes.
Visitors wanting a more up close and personal look at the park can do so as well. With its thousands of caves, canyons, and valleys, visitors can get lost for days, becoming mesmerized by the intricate uniqueness of the place. Additionally, the park is extremely biodiverse despite its foreboding location and hosts almost 200 species of birds to watch.
14. Sovereign Hill
While Port Arthur might be a living history of Australia’s darker past, Sovereign Hill is a living history of what the rest of Australians faced during its early days.
Once a thriving gold mining town, the former ghost town is now one of the most famous landmarks in Australia for living history. This family-friendly place allows visitors to learn about and actually partake in what life was like during the middle of the 19th century.
From touring the reconstructed town with period wares and historically accurate interpretive guides to panning for gold in the nearby streams and rivers, this place truly brings to life this once vibrant town.
Making it even more fun and sticking to its mission of educating the public, Sovereign Hill also boasts a huge variety of traditional trades that were once lost but are now brought back.
From traditional leather making, weaving, sculpting, whittling, and more, there are quite literally tons of different workshops offered throughout the year to get you and your family hands-on fun and experience learning something new.
15. Q1 – Gold Coast
Once the world’s tallest residential building, the Q1, located on the Gold Coast is one of the truly remarkable man-made landmarks in Australia.
Standing at an impressive 322.5 meters, the jaw-dropping structure is a defining feature of the Queensland skyline. While you can rent apartments and people still live here, temporary guests can make their home at the resort and spa that makes up part of the building.
To get the best views of the Queensland beachfront, a viewing deck on the 77th and 78th floors allows up to 400 people at a time to take in the beauty of the city.
16. The Three Sisters
Located in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, the Three Sisters are the inland version of the Twelve Apostles rock formation.
The three limestone structures were formed over the course of millions of years due to erosion. The formations have been an important part of Aboriginal mythology for centuries. According to legend, the three sisters, named Wimalah, Meeni, and Gunedoo, fell in love with another tribe’s men. With marriage forbidden between the two tribes, conflict erupted, and the tribe elders turned the sisters into stone to stop the violence.
While this part of the event is probably not true, what is known is that these almost 1,000-meter formations are a sight to behold. Guests can make the hour-and-a-half journey by foot to the viewing platforms of them. A railway also takes you back down the mountain for those who do not want to embark on the descent back down.