Between its endless summers, white sandy beaches and teeming wildlife, Australia makes it to most people’s bucket list. Covering an incredible 7.5 million square kilometres (4.6 square miles), it would take you years to explore the whole country. You could also have a dozen different holidays all in one trip, from hanging out on beaches and surfing to hurtling through the outback to soaking up the metropolitan mayhem of the big cities. Unsurprisingly, it’s not short on photogenic scenery either. To help us find the best, we asked some of our favourite travel photographers to take on the task of sharing their favourite destinations from across the country. Without further ado, here are 15 of the most scenic places in Australia, according to the experts.
The Most Scenic Places in Australia
Jack Careedy (@jackcareedy)
For photographer and filmmaker Jack, nothing can quite compete with one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, Uluru (previously referred to as Ayres Rock). Describing his first experience visiting the massive sandstone monolith, he says: “This rock is spectacular. It’s so unexpected and I just could never have imagined a rock as big as this could sit in the centre of our beautiful country. It’s truly breathtaking and a life-long memory I will always remember!”
Grace Picôt (@shotbygrace)
The remote and remarkable coastal town of Esperance is Grace’s favourite spot. Describing what she loves best about it, she says: “It’s on the very southern tip of Western Australia and truly feels like the edge of the world. From the Jurassic park-like landscape of Cape Le Grand to the crystal clear waters of Twilight beach, it feels like every corner offers up a completely new landscape. I also love how wild and untamed this area feels. The dramatic changes in weather and scenery always make for amazing photographs too”
3. Byron Bay
It isn’t hard to see why Aubrey, empowerment coach and founder of The Love Assembly, loves Byron Bay so much. Speaking about the beachside town, she says: “Everything feels more freeing when you’re in a place like Byron; it’s the spiritual healing capital of Australia. I love the energy, the strong female-led creative businesses and the copious cafes and eateries catering to vegan folk. It’s an easy-going destination, perfect for a getaway to slow down a little, enjoy the seaside and spend time in the sunshine reading a good book. I’ve always made time to watch the sunset on the beach too. Everyone gathers by the parking lot to watch it and I’ve managed to capture the most incredible afterglow with surfers in the water. It’s blissful.”
4. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
For Sydney local Robyn, nothing compares to the spectacular scenery on her doorstep. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is the perfect place to get close to nature, immerse in Aboriginal sites and explore historic palaces. Describing the park, she says: “I love our beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, with its gorgeous walks and incredible scenery, ranging from Bobbin Head on the north shore to walks along Westhead, with their big views. The gum trees in particular are ever-changing and add to the majestic splendour of the area. Sometimes you’ll also get to see the odd wallaby or lyrebird too, which makes it extra special”
5. Cape Tribulation
The remote headland of Cape Tribulation is one of Australia’s most spectacular spots and the only place in the world where two UNESCO sites meet. It’s also one of photographer Charlie’s favourite places in the country. Describing its unique beauty, he says: “It’s a stunning coastline where the pristine jungle meets coral waters. Everywhere you turn the jungle seems to invite you to explore more. You can swim with turtles and walk through the oldest living rainforest on the planet! I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Drew Hopper (@drewhopper)
For artist and photographer Drew, beaches and rainforests can’t hold a candle to Silverton, a small village set deep in the Outback in New South Wales. He says: “Located west of Broken Hill and close to the South Australian border, this once-thriving mining town used to have a population of around 3,000. Today, it’s nothing more than a few historic buildings, the remnants of once-vibrant streets, art galleries and the old pub. A lot of movies have been set here, and you can see why – it’s a real Outback oasis.”
7. The Great Ocean Road
Peter Yan (@yantastic)
Few can fail to fall in love with the Great Ocean Road. Travel photographer Peter Yan describes it as: “One of the most beautiful drives in Australia. Wouldn’t you park by the road and take a dip in that blue water?” It’s one of Australia’s most famous touring routes, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Winding its way from Torquay to Allansford, it passes by surf beaches, dense rainforests and sparkling sea. Peter also recommends stopping at his favourite spot along the way, The Twelve Apostles, the much-loved limestone stacks located around 275 km (170 miles) from Melbourne.
Photographer Liam is another coastal fan, and Noosa – a beachside town located along the appropriately named Sunshine Coast– is his favourite. He says: “The beauty of the Australian coast is unmatched, and if you’re looking for nature photography location or want to catch some waves in your downtime, Noosa has it all.” With its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and gastro-scene, all surrounded by subtropical rainforest, lakes and exotic wildlife, it isn’t hard to see why it’s Liam’s top recommendation.
9. Hobart, Constitution Dock
Tina Lambert (@tinalambertphotography)
Photographer Tina was awed by Tasmania’s capital Hobart the first time she visited. Describing it, she says: “You’re spoilt for choice as far as fresh seafood is concerned at Constitution Dock, with lovely restaurants dotted all along the pier. It’s also a stone’s throw away from Salamanca Point, home of the iconic Salamanca Market. Go on a Saturday and spend all day exploring my favourite market in Australia. Take your time to wander from one end of the market to the other end, checking out all the interesting stalls and sampling products like gin, whiskey, nuts and plenty of unique art and handicraft. My only dilemma was deciding what food to eat as they are deliciously prepared on the day with fresh ingredients from the region.”
10. Bay of Fires
Melbourne-based photographer Sarah is another fan of Tasmania but prefers its wildlife to busier seaside ports. Speaking about the Bay of Firest, she describes: “A coastline stretching 50km along Tasmania, abundant with clear blue seas, which beaches and striking orange lichen-cloaked boulders. Each beach and bay is breathtaking and is a photographers dream destination. Binalong Bay, with its unique orange lichen, is a particularly photogenic spot.”
11. Gold Coast
Katie Jones (@katiejonesimages)
For photographer Katie, it’s hard to beat the Gold Coast’s famous sun and surf scene. Describing what she loves best about her home town, she says: “It has everything you could ask for in a holiday destination. There are incredible beaches, gorgeous rainforests and it’s also loads of fun with many theme parks and attractions.” With 52 kilometres (32 miles) of white sandy beaches and rainforests teeming with wildlife, we couldn’t agree more.
12. Francois Peron National Park
Lisa Burns (@the_wanderinglens)
Francois Peron National Park nabbed the top spot for photographer and editor of The Wandering Lens, Lisa. For her, you can’t compete with the park’s contrasting russet-red cliffs, white sandy beaches and bright blue waters. The national park is located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, famous for its Monkey Mia dolphins, as well as turtles, manta rays, whales and dugongs. It’s also the picture-perfect destination for a four-wheel-drive adventure too.
13. Whitsunday Islands
Sera J. Wright (@photography_byron_bay)
Photographer and fine art printer Sera might have Byron Bay on her doorstep, but she can’t get enough of The Whitsunday Islands. The collection of 74 tropical islands is right next to the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland. She describes a trip she took, recalling: “one of my favourite holidays to date was sailing through The Whitsunday Islands for 4 nights. We anchored on remote islands and spent the days snorkelling the coral reefs and swimming some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen, as well as exploring the white sand beaches of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet”
14. Flinders Range (South Australia)
Andrew Best (@wonderlifephotographer176)
Plenty of people talk about Australia’s beaches and bush, but few talk about the country’s epic mountain ranges. For nature photographer Andrew, they’re missing out. He says: “I love Flinders Range in South Australia for its rugged ancient beauty, the mountain rangers throughout this region are spectacular.” Adding to this, he says: “I also love The Macedon Ranges in Victoria and The Keep River National Park too – my partner Fiona and I have road-tripped the near 4000 km between these three locations. I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone.”
15. Warrumbungle National Park
Janet K. Scott (@JanetKScott)
For nature photographer and visual storyteller Janet, it’s all about the great outdoors. Warrumbungle National Park is a heritage-listed national park located in the Orana region of New South Wales. Describing her top destination, she says: “It’s Australia’s first Dark Sky Park, where during a new moon and a clear night the universe and the depths of the Milk Way open its soul to the naked eye.” It’s the perfect spot for stargazing and amateur astronomy while camping under the stars.