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8 Best Places to Visit in Australia and New Zealand

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Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia

Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia

Few destinations evoke such spectacle as the top places to visit in Australia and New Zealand.

From hopping marsupials to enchanting cultures, shimmering red deserts to dramatic turquoise fiords, famous attractions are yours to enjoy as you explore the world’s largest reef, the oldest living rainforest, movie sets, and a succession of dazzling cities surrounded by nature.

Ethereal landscapes provide the backdrop across Oceania to create distinct ecosystems that unveil natural grandeur you can enjoy as you discover highlights that will enliven you.

  1. 1. Sydney
  2. 2. Auckland
  3. 3. Melbourne
  4. 4. Matamata
  5. 5. Great Barrier Reef
  6. 6. Rotorua
  7. 7. Fiordland National Park
  8. 8. Great Ocean Road
  9. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Australia and New Zealand

1. Sydney

Auckland City in  Australia

Auckland City in Australia

Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland are shaped by the landscape, effortlessly blending city life with nature. Sydney provides celebrated allure, sophisticated Melbourne is centered around its river and beaches, while Auckland epitomizes the laidback rhythm of the islands. Each is a stunning place in which to start or end your adventure.

Highlights Sydney: Sydney Opera House • Sydney Harbour Bridge • The Rocks • Darling Harbour • Royal Botanic Garden

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

2. Auckland

Hobbiton in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Framed by the sea and acting as an economic powerhouse for the greater country, Auckland is a vibrant and thrilling city that hosts nearly half of New Zealand’s population.

The panorama along the waterfront fills with images of passing sails, museums offer insight into local and national cultural history, and the city's edge acts as a gateway to spectacular national parks.

From islands to monuments, art galleries to celebrated restaurants, Auckland is a city for every kind of traveler.

Highlights Sydney: Waterfront • Queen Street • Sky Tower Auckland • One Tree Hill • Waiheke Island

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

3. Melbourne

Small pond surrounded by lush greenery and a blooming jacaranda tree Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s beauty is in its multiculturalism. Arcades and alleyways are full of cafes, providing a welcoming ambiance. Exploring new neighborhoods unveils a treasure trove of discoveries, from panoramic riverbanks to celebrated restaurants. Find penguins, art galleries, and exceptional flavors as the bigger picture of Melbourne quickly comes into view.

Highlights Sydney: Royal Botanic Gardens • National Gallery of Victoria • Federation Square • South Banks • St. Kilda

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

4. Matamata

Hobbiton™ in Matama, New Zealand

Hobbiton™ in Matama, New Zealand. Photo courtesy Miles Holden / Tourism New Zealand

Meander through a seemingly fictional landscape and discover innumerable spots that have graced the big screen. The journey is packed with intriguing twists and photograph-worthy brilliance. You can immerse yourself in the point at which the cinematic landscape meets the movie set to discover how New Zealand provides a fantasy-like ambiance.

Highlights of Matamata: Wairere Falls • Hobbiton • Alexander Farm • The Green Dragon Inn

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

5. Great Barrier Reef

Aerial view of Whitsunday island in Australia

Whitsunday islands in Australia

Idyllic beaches cover Australia’s coastline. Nowhere on Earth offers such dazzling choices, above and below the water, with countless islands and pristine blue waters in which to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Whether scuba diving along the drop-off or sailing in search of sea turtles, the Great Barrier Reef embodies the scenery and marine life it supports.

Highlights of the Great Barrier Reef: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park • Whitsunday Islands • Whitehaven Beach • Fitzroy Island • Green Island • Magnetic Island

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

6. Rotorua

Maori Performance in New Zealand

Maori Performance in Rotorua, New Zealand

With Maori and Aboriginal tribes having preserved the natural landscapes for millennia, ancient traditions and culturally authentic experiences await everyone with an open heart and mind. From warrior welcomes to evocative rock art, discovering bush tucker to roasting meat on volcanic rock, these immersions into local culture will open your eyes to a different relationship with the land, sea, and history.

Highlights of Rotorua: Rotorua Lakeside Trail • Waimangu Volcanic Valley • To Wairoa

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

7. Fiordland National Park

Stirling falls in Fjordland National Park, New Zealand

Fjordland National Park, New Zealand

Take a journey through some of the planet’s most dramatic landscapes when visiting Fiordland National Park. Cross the waters with a cruise through Milford Sound to find an incredible expanse of blue water, thunderous waterfalls, and towering peaks.

Weave down the glassy water to find dolphins, Fiordland-crested penguins, and pods of passing whales. The park offers a mesmerizing look at New Zealand’s glorious, untamed nature.

Highlights of Fiordland National Park & Great Ocean Road: Milford Sound • Doubtful Sound • Te Anau

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

8. Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

Australia’s Great Ocean Road is one of the most inspiring scenic drives in the world. The highway clings to the continent's edge, offering tremendous views of karsts, colorful striations, and charming beach towns. Wild koalas roam, lookouts offer panoramas of marine life and the coastline’s craggy edges, and you can find hidden shores on which to spend time watching the waves roll in.

Highlights of Great Ocean Road: Port Campbell National Park • Torquay • Twelve Apostles

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Australia and New Zealand

Kangaroo at Lucky Bay in The Cape Le Grand National Park in  Australia

Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park in Australia

Cherish the colorful marine life of the Great Barrier Reef and take in the picturesque beauty of epic scenery at Fiordland National Park when you explore Australia and New Zealand.

Famous destinations like the Great Ocean Road and Rotorua represent only a fraction of the enticing places you can visit in the countries. Find more inspiration with our Australia and New Zealand tours or discover information to help you decide on what to do, when to visit, and more with our Australia and New Zealand travel guide.

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