Before arriving in Australia, I’ll admit I was mainly just excited to see turquoise water beaches. While I saw my fair share of those (and a few no doubt made my list), I realized Australia has other beautiful sites to offer as well! I spent most of my time in Perth, but was also fortunate enough to be able to explore the opposite coast, and other parts of the country, as well.
It was pretty hard to narrow it down, but here are the top 10 coolest places in Australia that I got to experience:
Whitehaven Beach is hands-down the most gorgeous beach I have ever been to. Others must agree as it is rated one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the entire world. If you go, make sure to book a tour that includes the short walk to Hill Inlet, which will give you the best view of the swirly waters and white sand!
For those who don’t know, Perth is the largest city on the western side of Australia. Since Murdoch University was located right outside of Perth, my friends and I spent a lot of time in the city shopping, eating, or just exploring! The skyline was definitely one of my favorite views, and was pretty stunning to see at night.
During one of my last few days in Australia, a group of friends and I took a trip to the Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are unique limestone formations located in Nambung National Park just two hours away from Perth. While out in the desert, we also spent the day sandboarding, which turned out to be really fun as well!
Rottnest is one of the most beautiful islands in Western Australia, and located only a quick boat ride away off the coast of Fremantle (20 minutes from Murdoch). Murdoch actually hosted a trip to Rottnest, which made it easy to rent bikes and explore the entire island. Rottnest is also one of the only places you can meet a Quokka (the world’s happiest animal) and take a Quokka selfie!
My friend and I got to visit the Blue Mountains during our trip to Sydney. The public transportation system in Sydney involves purchasing an Opal Card, and on Sundays you can travel wherever you want to for just $2.50! We therefore took this opportunity to take the two-hour train ride up to the Blue Mountains, and are definitely happy we did because the view was pretty incredible.
One weekend in May, a group of eight of us decided to take a semi-spontaneous road trip down to the south coast in Esperance. While the weather was a bit chilly, Esperance was still gorgeous and not crowded at all, which was a major plus. One of the coolest places we went to was Twilight Beach where you could climb on a huge boulder that gave you great views of the bright blue ocean.
Karijini National Park
Murdoch University offers a ten-day trip to international students to see the northwest part of Australia, which I completely recommend taking! I got to see so many incredible sites on this trip, but one of the highlights was Karijini National Park. The gorges and freshwater pools in the park are so pretty and unlike anything you would see anywhere else.
While in Sydney, I saw the Opera House at almost every angle possible. Some of the best (and free!) view points we found for the Opera House include Mrs Macquaries Point, walking across the Harbour Bridge, and right outside the famous Luna Park! You can also of course stand right on the Opera House steps, which is what we did as well. It was really cool to see one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world in real life.
My friends and I stopped to see Wave Rock on our way back from our road trip to Esperance. Over millions of years minerals have run down the rock, which have caused the streaks of color to form. This makes the rock appear as a massive breaking wave, and was one of the most unique things I saw in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is the largest living structure on Earth that can even be seen from outer space. My friend and I made sure to set time aside during one of our breaks to spend a day snorkeling at the reef. It was such a cool experience to be able to swim with all the different types of coral and fish!