Five of the most visited
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Five of the most visited states in Australia
If you’re going to Australia as a tourist, you will need a visa. The only exception is if you’re a citizen of New Zealand.
Australia is one of the most popular travel countries in the world and, ironically, one of the most popular places to visit, especially among backpackers camping, road trip, and diving destination or budget travelers but no matter your travel style, there is something attracts to be here.
Most visited states in Australia
New South Wales is a southeastern Australian state, distinguished by its coastal cities and national parks. Sydney, its capital, is home to iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Inland are the rugged Blue Mountains, rainforests and outback towns where opals are mined. Along the coastline are long surfing beaches. The Hunter Valley region, in the north, has dozens of wineries.
Popular seaside driving routes include the twisting Grand Pacific Drive, linking Sydney to the industrial harbour town of Wollongong. Heading north, the Pacific Highway passes the Port Stephens area (known for its dolphins and watersports), relaxed Coffs Harbour and bohemian Byron Bay. New South Wales also has hundreds of national parks protecting the region’s diverse environments, ranging from desert to forested cliffs to the slopes of the Snowy Mountains. The varied terrain allows for all sorts of outdoor pursuits like skiing, bushwalking, paddleboarding, rock-climbing and alpine horse trekking.
Victoria is a state in southeast Australia. It encompasses mountains, national parks, wineries and surfing beaches. Melbourne, the state capital, has a warren of 19th-century ‘laneways’, and a central arts precinct. The Great Ocean Road follows the coast west to Port Campbell National Park, where the Twelve Apostles are limestone stacks on the edge of the ocean.
Vineyards in the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley offer tours and tastings. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are inland spa towns. Tours explore the former Central Deborah Gold Mine in Bendigo, and Ballarat has a recreated 1850s mining town.The Dandenong Ranges are forest-covered hills that are popular for bushwalking, and Wilsons Promontory National Park has coastal campsites. There are ski resorts in the inland High Country. Port Phillip bay and Queenscliff are known for scuba diving. Bell’s Beach has a renowned surf break, and Torquay and Lorne are popular places to learn.
Queensland is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
The Whitsundays, near the midpoint of the Great Barrier Reef, are a 74-island chain popular for diving, snorkelling and do-it-yourself “bareboat” sailing trips. Fraser Island, billed as the world's largest sand island, features immense dunes, old-growth rainforests, freshwater lakes and a pure strain of dingo, or wild dog. Migrating humpback whales, lethal saltwater crocodiles and giant flightless cassowary birds can also be seen throughout the coastal area. Inland, the Outback region is a stark stretch of mostly deserted, arid savannah. It's home to the 1870s gold rush town of Charters Towers.
Western Australia, covering the entire western third of the country, is made up mostly of the arid Outback. Its population is concentrated in its fertile southwest corner, home to the Margaret River wine region and the riverside capital, Perth. In the far north, the Kimberley region is home to ancient Aboriginal rock art, the Bungle Bungle sandstone domes and Broome, with Cable Beach camels and a pearling industry.
Across the Swan River from Perth is Fremantle, a port city noted for its 19th-century architecture. Also from Perth, the 1,000km Bibbulmun Track crosses forests, hills and coastline to Albany, site of annual whale migrations. North of the capital are the Pinnacles, wind-sculpted limestone pillars surrounded by sand dunes in Nambung National Park. The Ningaloo Coast has a long near-shore coral reef, whale sharks and karst caverns. Inland, the Karijini National Park has ochre-coloured gorges, rock pools and rock-wallabies. In the southwest interior, the remote gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie is home to 19th-century frontier buildings.
South Australia is a state known for its dramatic outback, fertile wine regions and many beaches. It's home to the 100km-long Bunda Cliffs facing the Great Australian Bight, the empty expanse of the arid Nullarbor Plain and the red dunes of the Simpson Desert. Its capital, Adelaide, nicknamed “City of Churches” and known for its rich culture, is neighboured by Barossa Valley vineyards and Fleurieu Peninsula beaches.
Aside from the Barossa Valley, the Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley regions are renowned for fine wines, with diverse red and white grape varieties, along with gourmet cuisine incorporating German culinary traditions. Coastal regions offer uncrowded beaches and seafood specialties. Houseboats float on Australia’s longest river, the Murray. Kangaroo Island is known for wildlife spotting of penguins, sea lions, koalas and kangaroos. Highlights of the Outback include the red Flinders Ranges and the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, much of which was built underground to beat the daytime heat.
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