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Homegrown Heroes: The Best Places to Visit in Australia This Year

Save yourself the long-haul flight and explore your own backyard this year with our edit of the best places to visit in Australia.

Port Lincoln

With endless stretches of crystal-clear coastline, enchanting rainforests, world-class wine regions and our glorious red centre, Australia boasts some of the most beautiful and historic natural wonders of the world. But beneath the surface of our thriving capitals sits a myriad of lesser-known locales that are just begging to be explored. 

2024 is the year to go off the beaten track and discover some of this island paradise’s best-kept secrets. From vibrant, technicoloured lakes and lush mountain havens to secluded beaches and cactus country, these are the best places to visit in Australia in 2024 and beyond.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Tasmania

Bruny Island Long Weekend (Image Credit: Jess Bonde)

Bruny Island

A gem off the coast of Hobart, Bruny Island is as far south as you can go before hitting Antarctica. It brings a little of the two countries together, and the result is stunning. One day, you’ll see arctic wildlife like penguins and seal colonies; on the next, you’ll explore the rainforest and tick off some of the island’s many walking trails, spotting unique animal and plant species along the way. Bruny Island is also a foodie’s dream, and no visit is complete without indulging in its best exports: cheese, raspberries, black cherries, oysters, and wine. 

Sitchu Picks: The best way to discover the natural beauty of this scenic island is to embark on an immersive three-day expedition with Tasmanian Walking Company Spend your day taking in the sweeping landscapes and abundant wildlife sightings before settling in at Tasmanian Walking Company’s secluded forest camp, where chef-cooked meals packed with local produce await. You’ll explore Cape Queen Elizabeth and East Cloudy Head as well as embark on a private boat cruise. 

King Island

King Island

Affectionately dubbed ‘KI’ by the locals, King Island is a sliver of an island off the northwest coast of Tassie. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone; stay a few days, and you’ll be greeted by name. The island is a magnet for foodies – and it shines brightest during the annual Long Table Festival. Its green pastures produce good cheese and dairy products (a visit to King Island Dairy is a must), while its surrounding seas supply fresh seafood. Food aside, it’s famous for its nature walks and wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for a platypus or the rare, orange-bellied parrot.

Sitchu Picks: Unleash your inner child with a ride on The Grand Carousel and The Beast rollercoaster in Rivertown. A stop at King Island Bakehouse for a crayfish pie is a rite of passage, while Wild Harvest is great for sampling farm-to-table produce from the area.

Villa Talia

Huon Valley

Just a short 30-minute drive south of Hobart is Tasmania's picturesque Huon Valley. Known widely for its salmon production and apple orchards, as well as craft cider makers and boutique winemakers - it's little wonder with so much emphasis on homegrown produce, the region has quickly become a foodie destination. 

Pair that with its incredible natural beauty - from the Huon River to the Far South coastline, epic mountain ranges and World Heritage-listed national parks with forests, caves, and bush walks aplenty. The region 

Sitchu Picks: Check out the Taste of the Huon festival, in March each year, showcasing the best fresh produce the region has to offer. For accommodation, you can't go past the stunning Villa Talia sitting atop the banks of the idyllic Huon River.

Flinders Island

Flinders Island

An otherworldly paradise brimming with breathtaking natural wonders, Tasmania’s Flinders Island needs to be seen to be believed. Over stretches of achingly beautiful coastline, you’ll find stunning natural bushland, 120+ secluded beaches and exceptional dining experiences centred around the freshest seafood, locally grown produce, and hand-raised meats.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also be in their element on Flinders Island with endless opportunities for adventure. From snorkelling and fishing to cycling through its rugged landscapes, there is no shortage of activities to experience. Go off the beaten track and discover some of the island’s attractions from Castle Rock and Palana Beach to Strzelecki National Park. Experience a slower pace of life as you take a scenic drive or hike one of the many walking trails promising sprawling vistas elevated by crystal-clear waters, lagoons, and native wildlife.

Sitchu Picks: Because most of us go to Tasmania for the food (and drinks), be sure to add The Flinders Wharf, Unavale Vineyard, and the landmark Flinders Island Bakery to your foodie trail. You’ll find historical treasures at the Furneaux Museum and for snorkelling, look no further than Trousers Point.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Northern Territory

Katherine Gorge (Photo Credit: @reynbow17)

Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge)

When you picture the Northern Territory, you think red dirt, harsh terrain, and dry desert, and, whilst it is definitely home to all those things, it is also home to a veritable oasis of waterfalls, gorges, and swimming holes.

When approaching the Katherine Gorge you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d come across a mirage, something you’d simply imaged but, in reality, the 23-million-year-old gorge is made with 70-metre-high sandstone cliffs and complete with gorges, thundering falls and rapids. Exploring the Nitmiluk National Park, just 30km northeast of Katherine is an absolute must for visitors to the top end.

Sitchu Picks: Enjoy the natural beauty of the river on a scenic and informative boat cruise, or paddle down the river, enjoying the beauty of being in clear, cold water whilst still being in the middle of the outback. Take in a full spectrum of colours and enjoy chasing waterfalls and swimming in natural rockpools.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Australian Capital Territory

Brindabella National Park

Brindabella National Park

Approximately 30 minutes from Canberra CBD, Brindabella National Park is a hidden gem. You can either make it a day trip or stay the night at one of their four campgrounds: Flea Creek, McIntyres Hut, Lowells Flat, and Coree Camp.

This national park is home to several threatened species, including the regent honeyeater, powerful owl, yellow-bellied glider, Northern Corroboree, and Booroolong frog. Brindabella National Park is the perfect place for keen bird watchers (around 80 types of birds have been spotted), bushwalkers, fishers, and those who love to take the 4WD out.

Sitchu Picks: This is an off-grid holiday spot for the adventurous at heart, with Flea Creek the only campsite with basic facilities.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Queensland

Great Keppel Island (Photo credit: Keppel Explorer)

Great Keppel Island

Sitting on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, this island is as chilled as it gets. Made up of 90% bushland, it’s beautifully rugged yet also happens to be fringed by 17 beaches. All of them have the tropical tick of approval: white sand, azure waters, and pure peace and quiet. Dive beneath the surface, and you’ll see coral, brightly coloured fish and marine life. Like the best island getaways, Great Keppel Island is all about barefoot beach living – dig your toes in the sand, swing in a hammock, and relax.

Sitchu Picks: Take a guided jet ski tour or try tubing at Great Keppel Water Sports

Tambourine Mountain Rainforest Walk

Tamborine Mountain

A lush mountain haven in easy proximity to Brisbane, Tamborine Mountain is pretty as a picture with its small village-like feel and national parkland. Tamborine Rainforest Walk takes you through the middle and upper canopies of the trees and makes for an unforgettable experience. Go underground at the glow worm caves and stop by the cellar doors. In the national park itself, there are natural swimming holes and walking trails.     

Sitchu Picks: Go hot air ballooning and see the sunrise from the sky and discover art, crafts, gifts and knick-knack stores along Gallery Walk.

Lady Elliott Island (Photo Credit: Jeremy Sommerville)

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot is a coral cay island located on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. A visit here means you will get to view one of the world’s natural wonders up close and personal. From snorkelling and glass-bottom boat tours to embarking on your own island exploration, you will encounter stunning tropical fish and maybe even some turtles, dolphins, or rays.

Sitchu Picks: With limited occupancy on the island, if you don't get in quick to book your accommodation, you can opt for a day tour from Hervey Bay. For a unique, off-grid experience, stay at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.

Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a classic Australian holiday destination and for good reason – it’s got a bit of everything. You’ll find bars, cafés and restaurants lining the streets with plenty of beaches to visit by day and cocktails to sip by night. Sort out your hit list with this edit of the best restaurants in the Gold Coast which covers everything from fine dining to casual bites. As for hotels, you’re spoiled for choice with options ranging from the boujiee Imperial Hotel Gold Coast to the retro Mysa Motel.

Sitchu Picks: Take a day trip to the hinterland for meandering walks and scenic spots.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: South Australia

Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln

Located on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, around seven hour's drive from Adelaide, Port Lincoln really does have something for everyone, making it one of the most underrated travel destinations along this magical coastline.

Perched on Boston Bay, the largest natural harbour in Australia, daily life here revolves around the sea. From the pristine South Australian waters, fishermen haul in world-class seafood. It’s a bounty best enjoyed straight from the source.

Sitchu Picks: Perched in a secluded spot just 100 metres from Sandy Point Beach, Eyre.Way Yambara is a private oasis with sweeping views of Sleaford Bay and the Port Lincoln National Park. What this accommodation lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. 

Eyre Peninsula (Photo credit: South Australia)

Eyre Peninsula

Brace yourself, it’s the world-famous pink lake! With beaches, salt pans, and the world’s longest stretch of unbroken sea cliffs, the Eyre Peninsula is full of Instagrammable wonders. With over 2000 kilometres of shoreline, get ready to take in the beauty of the Nullarbor and the Bunda Cliffs, undulating white sand hills at Yanerbie, and, of course, the gorgeous pastel pink waters at Lake Macdonnell, the Eyre Peninsula is jam-packed with other-worldly beauty.

Sitchu Picks: Check out oyster sheds and local townships and see if you can carve out time to hang out with Eyre’s favourite locals, the sea lions!

Limestone Coast

Limestone Coast

An otherworldly paradise brimming with breathtaking natural wonders, SA’s Limestone Coast needs to be seen to be believed. One of the best places to visit in Australia, escape to an unexpected playground of prehistoric caves, crater lakes, sinkholes, and sunken gardens. While the Eyre Peninsula has the impossibly hued pink lake, here you’ll find two magnificent blue lakes. Many of the region’s top attractions are clustered around Mount Gambier, which is a great place to base yourself when visiting.

Sitchu Picks: Foodies simply must book a table at Ottelia, which has been voted one of Gourmet Travellers' top 82 Restaurants in Australia for 2023. A daily, constantly evolving menu of seasonal small plates is sure to delight, using produce sourced straight from the restaurant's kitchen garden.

Hahndorf Hill winery


Artisanal cheese, luxury stays and some of the finest wines in the state – South Australia’s very own Little Germany has it all! A quaint heritage village infused with European culture, Hahndorf has a way of charming locals and tourists alike. Centred around iconic Main Street, the suburb has an abundance of shops selling everything from German smallgoods, homemade chutneys, and traditional confectionary to handcrafted leather goods, antiques, and specialty toys.

Set in the Adelaide Hills, several boutique cellar doors can also be found in the area where you can taste and purchase a huge range of wines from across the region. We’ll drink to that!

Sitchu Picks: You can’t visit Hahndorf without stopping at one of the greatest South Australian institutions - Beerenberg Farm. Family-owned since 1839, the farm is best loved for its strawberry patch, where you can pick fresh, juicy strawberries in season between November and April.  

Best Places to Visit in Australia: New South Wales

Hyams Beach 

Hyams Beach 

A dreamy beachside destination that graces many a postcard, Hyams Beach is a little slice of paradise on the South Coast of New South Wales. Beautifully positioned along the shores of Jervis Bay, this is where native bushland spills over onto white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Peaceful, quiet, and simply stunning, Hyams Beach is one good looking town.

The town itself is small (meaning no shopping village - but with Vincentia and Huskisson close at hand, locals are never left wanting.), boasting several streets of towering gum trees and beachside abodes.

Sitchu Picks: Deep dive into Jervis Bay Marine Park, a wildlife sanctuary just off the coast of Hyams Beach. Kayak amongst the playful sea life, or swim with bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and little penguins. During the colder months, the annual migration of the humpback and southern right whales are a highlight. 

South Coast

South Coast

An absolute must, everyone should experience the stunning South Coast in one form or another. This picturesque region promises endless adventure, from white sandy beaches and old-school fishing villages to national parks and rugged rainforests. Stretching from Sydney’s southern edge to the Victorian border, you can basically choose your own adventure, be it glamping in Jervis Bay, kayaking on Kangaroo River or sipping sundowners at Solis Estate Cellar Door near Berry. Australia has many incredible scenic drives, and this is easily one of its best. 

Sitchu Picks: For turquoise beaches and blooming botanic gardens, be sure to check out Booderee National Park. Hikers, head straight to Morton National Park and tackle the Pigeon House Mountain Track. If you find yourself in the Kangaroo Valley, a trip to the town’s heritage-listed pie shop is a rite of passage.

Broken Hill (Photo credit: Visit NSW)

Broken Hill

Because every Aussie should visit the outback at least once! In the far west of New South Wales, Broken Hill is the perfect place to start. From Sydney, don't let the 13-hour drive deter you, because awaiting you is one of the most historic and culturally diverse communities in the country. Australia’s oldest mining town, Broken Hill is a mecca for history buffs with a colonial past dating back to the 1880s. Along Argent Street, century-old dwellings house an impressive line-up of contemporary shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafes like The Palace Hotel.

For fans of the Australian cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this alone should have you loading up the car. Take a tour of the town with the Heritage Walk Tour, mingle with colourful characters at the local pub and experience the beauty of Broken Hill. 

Sitchu Picks: Held in September, The Broken Heel Festival is not to be missed. Spend an afternoon at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery or Pro Hart Gallery. Twenty minutes drive north of Broken Hill, you’ll find the stunning Living Desert Sculptures.

Central Coast

Central Coast

With stretches of beautiful coastline and an enchanting hinterland region, the Central Coast boasts some of the most stunning natural scenery in NSW. Just over an hour north of Sydney, this seaside oasis is not just an easy escape but also an idyllic, fuss-free getaway.

There are over 41 beaches and lakes to explore, as well as national parks and a constantly evolving foodie scene. Go off the beaten track and discover some of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets, from Norah Head Lighthouse and Lobster Beach to The Munmorah State Conservation Area.

Sitchu Picks: Spend the day taking in stunning vistas from Terrigal's new coastal boardwalk or take to the water on a tour of Broken Bay Pearl Farm. Gourmands should tackle the mighty Meet the Makers Trail for artisanal eats.

Broke Fordwich

Broke Fordwich

With its rolling greenery, gourmet food, quaint cottages, and world-class wines, you’d struggle to find an Aussie that hasn’t heard of the Hunter Valley. But while the region's heavy hitters like Pokolbin, Cessnock and Lovedale often take much of the glory, we’re here to shine some light on a trail less travelled. Beautiful Broke Fordwich has a slower-paced cellar door scene, with charming bed and breakfasts for weekend getaways.

Broke is spoilt with a striking natural backdrop, lending itself to some amazing outdoor activities. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon, go on a horseback riding adventure, or explore the surrounding national parks. And, because most of us go for the wine, be sure to add Winmark, Krinklewood and Mount Broke to your tipple trail.

Sitchu Picks: Foodies can wine and dine at gourmet hideaways like Margan Estate and Nightingale Wines or book a stay amongst the vines at Mio Monte at Winmark Estate. If you find yourself in town on the first Sunday of the month, don’t miss out on the Broke Village Market.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Victoria

Phillip Island

Phillip Island

Just a short 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island has a lot going for it besides the incredible motorcycle Grand Prix circuit and its adorable penguin community. Stunning beaches, coastal hikes and exquisite local food offerings are enough to keep make anyone want to visit. 

Each night at sunset on Summerland Beach, a colony of little penguins come to shore after a day out fishing in the ocean – and believe us, there’s nothing better than ending your day watching these majestic creatures march their way into shore. The main penguin parade viewing area is at Summerland Beach and has tiered seating, providing a breathtaking 180-degree view of the beach below. There's also the Penguin Plus experience and underground viewing platforms for a close-up view. 

Sitchu Picks: Spread out across 65 acres surrounded by native gardens and natural bushland, the Ramada Resort is only two kilometres from Cowes – where you’ll find shops, bars and restaurants – and just 5 kilometres from the famous Grand Prix circuit. The resort also specialises in romantic bed and breakfast stays, so keep it in mind for your next couples’ getaway

Olinda Village

Olinda Village

Sitting proudly atop the Dandenong Ranges, this charming village packs a serious punch. A town bound by its rich natural landscapes and intoxicating community spirit, Olinda’s small-town vibe and many nearby attractions make for the perfect place to while away an afternoon or weekend.

Outdoor enthusiasts also have easy access to many of Dandenong’s most spectacular gardens and natural landscapes – the National Rhododendron Gardens which boast more than 270,000 colourful blooms is a must. After sunset, head to the Pig & Whistle Tavern for some elevated pub grub with the locals.

Sitchu Picks: Stock up on handmade ceramics, clothing and more at Olinda Collective. Spend an afternoon at the Emma Jennings Gallery and don’t leave without checking out Olinda Falls.

Metung (Photo credit: Visit Victoria)

Metung, Gippsland Lakes

Among the hundreds of kilometres of shoreline that surround the Gippsland Lakes is Metung, a storybook town almost completely surrounded by Lake King and Bancroft Bay. Think 360-degree water views all day, every day, with boat ramps, jetties, and bait shops on every corner. Experience a slower pace of life as you charter a boat for the day, navigating calm waters while throwing out a few lines of your own. Back on land, you can work up a sweat via the Box Creek Walking Trail or enjoy fresh seafood by the water at Metung Hotel.

Sitchu Picks: Bring your bikes and ride the Gippsland Rail Trail or book in for a round at the stunningly green Kings Cove Golf Club. The Local is where to head for pizza while Metung Bakery covers the coffee.

Cactus Country

Cactus Country

Millennials, you’ll want to sit down for this one. Just three hours from Melbourne, Cactus Country houses Australia’s largest congregation of these trendy succulents that are guaranteed to level up your home decor.

Venture along one of the eight trails spanning 4 hectares and find your next window piece – there are more than four thousand different species to choose from. Drop in for some tasty Mexican fare at the on-site restaurant and feast on the likes of homemade nachos, cactus cake, and cactus ice cream. 

Sitchu Picks: Get some snaps by one of the many giant cacti scattered around the garden and hunt for the perfect piece to take home with you! 

Refuge Cove

Refuge Cove, Wilsons Promontory

For the beachgoer who likes their visit on the quieter side, you won’t get much more secluded than Refuge Cove, one of a handful of isolated beaches within Wilsons Promontory National Park. The only way to get there though is by a 34-kilometre round trip hike, or by boat — hence its seclusion. Boats are permitted to anchor in the pristine cove and the beach also has basic camping facilities for those venturing out on foot. Old whaling ships previously used the cove for shelter, and as such, whale bones can still be found on its shores. 

Sitchu Picks: If hiking isn’t your thing, check out Wildlife Coast’s day cruises that stop off at Refuge Cove. For those looking to stay a while, hit up the Tidal River General Store for supplies before you head out.

Best Places to Visit in Australia: Western Australia

Collie (Photo credit: Collie Mural Trail and Guido Van Helten)


This small coal mining town, two hours southeast of Perth, has transitioned to tourism over the last few years. Instagram feeds have been filling fast with pics of its bright blue swimming hole and Diamond Lake, while art lovers have been flocking to see the world’s largest dam mural – a stunning work painted on the side of Wellington Dam. And while nearby forest trails are popular with walkers and mountain bikers, for happy campers content to stay put, there are the likes of Lake Kepwari and Honeymoon Pool.  

Sitchu Picks: Adored by locals and visitors alike, Wagon 537 is a pop-up coffee shop housed inside a heritage train wagon. Get your caffeine fix before heading to explore Wellington National Park or the Goods Shed Markets for a dose of retail therapy.

Ferguson Valley (Photo credit: Australia's South West)

Ferguson Valley

With its boutique wineries, breweries, galleries and delicious cuisine (including truffles), the Ferguson Valley is often likened to a mini–Margaret River. However, it has one thing that nowhere else in the country has: Gnomesville, a miniature suburb that's home to over 10,000 gnomes. Roughly 15 minutes inland of Bunbury, its vast undulating landscape has created some of the best mountain biking trails in the state through Wellington National Park at Mount Lennard.

Sitchu Picks: Wine and dine at your pick of wineries and cellar doors in the area. From St Aidan and Hackersley Estate to Talisman Wines nestled high in the hills, there is always a new drop to try and a tasting menu to enjoy.

Ningaloo Reef (Photo Credit: Aksham Abdul Gadhir, Unsplash)

Indian Ocean Drive

Sitting at around 1200km, this drive is epic in every sense of the word. It follows WA’s Coral Coast from Perth to Ningaloo – a stretch of coastline that’s Mother Nature’s finest work. After setting off from the city, you’ll weave your way through the dazzling beach towns of Cervantes, Geraldton, Monkey Mia and Carnarvon.

Beyond beautiful beaches, you can stop at the surreal desert towers called The Pinnacles (at Nambung National Park), and feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia. You can admire the wildflowers and dramatic rock canyons of Kalbarri National Park, and tick off its many hiking trails. Or get snap-happy at Shell Beach, which is carpeted with billions of tiny white shells.

Sitchu Picks: Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, a colourful underwater playground that’s home to over 500 tropical fish species.

Rottnest Island (Photo Credit: Osprey Creative)

Rottnest Island

Floating 18km off the coast of Perth, ‘Rotto’ – as the locals call it – is nothing short of spectacular. It boasts around 60 beaches, all of which are secluded (there’s a good chance you’ll get a stretch of sand to yourself), postcard-worthy and perfect for kayaking, swimming, surfing and fishing. It’s a haven for snorkellers and divers: beneath the sparkling Indian Sea, you’ll find coral reefs and shipwrecks that hint at the island’s fascinating history, dating right back to colonial times and WWII. Cars are banned, so the best way to explore is by bike – just be sure to stop and snap a photo with a ‘quokka,’ the cute marsupial that’s unique to Rottnest Island.

Sitchu Picks: Adored by locals and visitors alike, The Lane Café the place to head for killer coffee and modern Australian bites. Get your caffeine fix before heading out to Wadjemup Bidi for a coastal hike with insane views, or level up with a Segway tour.

Has our edit of the best places to visit in Australia inspired some wanderlust? Keen to keep planning? Check out our round-up of the best luxury accommodations in Australia or our edit of the best family holiday destinations in Australia.

Our Sitchu editors work hard to deliver you the best products, events and venues that we hope you will love, each one is selected independently. Sitchu may receive an affiliate commission when you follow some links.

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