Learn about some of Australia's iconic aquatic, beach and coastal destinations. Explore some of the country's best-known landmarks such as the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Sydney Harbour in New South Wales and Tasman National Park in Tasmania.
Go beyond the iconic destinations and explore the many spectacular coastal journeys that also make up Australia's repertoire of aquatic experiences.
Sail through the Whitsundays or hike the pristine coastline of Victoria's Wilsons Promontory. Drive from Sydney to Cairns along the breathtaking Pacific Coast Touring Route. In Western Australia, the South West Beaches and Goldfields Drive travels through Margaret River to the beach-blessed southern coast.
Take a look at what's happening across Australia right now.
Australian aquatic holiday ideas
Beautiful coastal road trips, memorable food and wine experiences near the sea, relaxing weekends in lake country, sailing journeys with stunning views and more.
10 beautiful Australian road trips
Take a leisurely drive from Sydney to Albury
Best things to see and do on your Australian bucket list
Australia offers a mouthwatering array of must-do items, with coastal or marine experiences at the top of the list. From indulging on islands to getting out of your comfort zone in the sea, here are ten exhilarating ideas dotted along Australia’s coastline to help you get inspired.Add to your dream trip
Wind through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Here you can bushwalk through rugged escarpments and lush rainforest and discover a treasure trove of Aboriginal rock ark. Learn about the Territory's pioneering history in Pine Creek and swim in crystal-clear waterholes in the tarzan landscape of Litchfield National Park. You can do this dream drive on a fully sealed road in a two-wheel-drive vehicle.Add to your dream trip
48 hours from Sydney to Byron Bay
Heading north from Sydney along the coast, you’ll see some of the most striking landscapes in New South Wales, some well-known, and others are some of the state’s best-kept secrets. Follow the Pacific Coastline through national parks, lush rainforests, and along expansive beaches.Add to your dream trip
Three Great Days on the Gold Coast
Roll with the vibrant energy of the Gold Coast, where there are beaches, rainforests, restaurants, theme parks and shopping strips to visit. Swim, surf or dine alfresco in relaxed, glamourous Main Beach and shop up a storm beneath the towering Surfers Paradise skyline. Learn to surf here or in Burleigh Heads, where afterwards you can explore the national park. Enjoy thrills, spills and animal interactions in any of the many huge theme parks. Then get back to nature in the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the national parks, including Lamington, Border Ranges, Main Range and Nightcap.Add to your dream trip
Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country's breathtaking south-east coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Taste wine in Coonawarra and see the fossils of giant marsupials in World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves. Cruise the Coorong and explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Adelaide.Add to your dream trip
Indian Ocean Drive
Discover white beaches, coral reefs, salty fishing towns and rugged national parks on this spectacular journey along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Head north to taste fresh crayfish in Geraldton and mouth-watering tropical fruits in Carnarvon. Swim with the huge whale shark on Ningaloo Reef and four wheel drive through the canyons of nearby Cape Range National Park. On your way back down the coast, meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia, along with whales, manta rays, turtles, sharks, dugongs and fish in the wider Shark Bay World Heritage Area. See seasonal wildflowers break out their brightest colours all along the coast, from Cape Range to the cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri National Park.Add to your dream trip
48 hours exploring the Great Eastern Drive Tasmania
Heading on holidays is an adventure in itself, yet when you plan a self-drive journey, otherwise known as a road trip, you get to explore a place at your leisure and have the opportunity to uncover unique destinations along the way. The Great Eastern Drive is located on the east coast of Tasmania and is easily accessible by both Hobart and Launceston via a short drive (just over one hour from Hobart and over two hours from Launceston). On this scenic trip you will discover some of Tasmania’s natural wonders including the picturesque Bay of Fires and Wineglass Bay, as well as charming coastal towns and a number of great places to taste some of the delicious produce and wine that Tasmania is known for.Add to your dream trip
The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route, New South Wales
Explore the sparkling beaches and lush hinterland of the Central Coast, the wineries of the Hunter Valley and the picturesque inlets of Port Stephens. Work on your swing in a rainforest golf course on the Coffs Coast and your aura on the beach in Byron Bay. Dive with brightly coloured fish in Solitary Islands Marine Park or into the bright lights of the Gold Coast. This scenic drive takes you from Sydney to Brisbane, offering sweeping beaches, sleepy villages, mossy rainforests, adventure and relaxation along the way.Add to your dream trip
48 hours on Fraser Island
The world’s largest sand island, World-Heritage-listed Fraser Island is constantly evolving and full of natural beauty including turquoise- and emerald-coloured lakes, meandering creeks and white-sand beaches. Butchulla Aborigines knew Fraser Island as K’gari, or “paradise”, and after 48 hours here you’ll know why.Add to your dream trip
It's hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsundays - 74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle and relax in Hayman Island's five star luxury. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.Add to your dream trip
Explore Australia's aquatic destinations
Get to know the iconic destinations and hidden gems at the heart of Australia's aquatic and coastal experiences.
Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. With more than 240 kilometres of shoreline and meandering waterways, there’s plenty to explore and discover. Sydney Harbour is one big aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, and on a warm sunny day, the harbour is a vibrant blue and dotted with hundreds of sailing boats, cruise boats and ferries. Around Sydney Harbour’s fringe you’ll also find national parks, World Heritage sites, rich Aboriginal heritage and early colonial history. On the water, above the water or below it, there’s a million ways to enjoy Sydney Harbour.Add to your dream trip
Dive the Ningaloo Marine Park, which protects a 260km fringing reef off Western Australia's mid north coast. Snorkel through coral lagoons in Coral Bay, swim with the huge whale shark, and 4WD red sand dunes in Cape Range National Park. The Indian Ocean Drive from Perth links Ningaloo with Shark Bay and the dolphins of Monkey Mia.Add to your dream trip
Bondi to Bronte
Sydney in summertime is all about its coastline, and few stretches are as iconic as the sea-sculpted section from Bondi to Bronte. Learn to surf at Bondi, join the beautiful people in Tamarama and swim in Bronte's family-friendly rock pool. See all three beaches on the Bondi to Bronte walk - a short, spectacular coastal trail along epic sandstone cliffs.Add to your dream trip
Invigorate your soul on wild Bruny Island, which sits in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart. Go walking to discover the rocky coastline, quiet beaches, tall forests, roaring surf and gentle green hills. Spot abundant wildlife, from wombats and wallabies to little penguins, on a tour or eco-cruise. Hunt down history, stock up on gourmet produce and stay in boutique accommodation amongst the wilderness.Add to your dream trip
The Moreton Island National Park covers around 98% of the island. White sandy beaches line the island's ocean side which are ideal for swimming, surfing and fishing. The sheltered western edge is more relaxed, with crystal clear blue water gently lapping against the beach. The three island settlements are all located on the western side, at Kooringal in the south, Cowan in the middle and northern Bulwer.Add to your dream trip
Commune with native wildlife and majestic scenery on Kangaroo Island, easily accessible from Adelaide. Meet Australian sea lions on the beach, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, penguins, echidnas and diverse birds. Discover rugged rock formations, underground caves, bush-cloaked national parks, and beaches and bays to swim, snorkel, dive and fish. Drive here on the South Australian Loop or add the Eyre Peninsula to your coastal journey.Add to your dream trip
Explore Canberra for Australian culture and history at superb monuments and galleries in this city surrounded by parklands and native bushland. Visit Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Experience the the Balloon Fiesta in autumn, Fireside Festival in winter, and Floriade in spring. Explore the Australian Alps or Tidnbinbilla Nature Reserve and Murrumbidgee River Corridor, just a short drive away.Add to your dream trip
Rottnest Island, just a short ferry ride from Perth, feels a world away from city life. Rottnest Island was separated from the Western Australian mainland around 7,000 years ago when the sea level rose. The first records of human occupation of Rottnest Island date back more than 6,500 years, when the Nyungah Aboriginal people inhabited the area. Known to local Aboriginal people as Wadjemup, the island is of great spiritual significance to Aboriginal communities.Add to your dream trip
Hervey Bay, around 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, is an aquatic paradise and one of the best places in Australia to experience nature in the wild. The safe, sheltered waters of Hervey Bay make it ideal for year round water-sports from swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving to sailing and fishing.Add to your dream trip
Kakadu National Park
Immerse yourself in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, a natural and cultural wonder around three hours from Darwin. Discover detailed Aboriginal art galleries, hike to the top of rugged escarpments and cruise the wetlands past waterlilies, waterfalls, crocodiles and migratory birds. Drive the Nature's Way route from Darwin, or add Katherine and Arnhem Land for a longer Top End adventure.Add to your dream trip
Experience aquatic Australia like a local
Find the best places around Australia for close encounters with marine animals, surfing big waves, island hopping, whale watching and more.
The Best Sydney Whale Watching Spots
Sydney and its surrounding national parks offer a host of options for whale watching throughout the season (May to November). Some of the city’s locations in whale season get you close enough to see the ripple of barnacles on a whale’s back. There are ocean lookouts in national parks, cruises from Circular Quay and you can even go whale-spotting in a sea plane. Whale watching season is also a great time to explore the Sydney coastline, which is full of dramatic cliffs, sea views, flora and fauna.Add to your dream trip
Taste the best food and wine in Byron Bay
The Byron Bay area is renowned for its food and wine. From farmers’ markets to gourmet cafés and chic bars, the focus is on locally grown produce and sustainable fare. Whether you’re looking for a classic brunch, beachside dinner or a swanky cocktail bar, Byron Bay and its surrounding areas are filled with great places to indulge your culinary senses.Add to your dream trip
Where to encounter marine animals on the Great Barrier Reef
Explore the tropical islands near Cairns
Off the coast of Cairns you’ll discover an array of tropical islands – each with their own ecosystems. There are Vlasoff Cay and Michaelmas Cay; the coral wonderlands of Green Island and the Low Isles; the more substantial, densely forested, Fitzroy Island; and the five tiny islands that make up the Frankland group.Add to your dream trip
Great Barrier Reef animals
Best ways to enjoy the Murray River
From fishing and paddling to tranquil picnics and horseback rides, there are countless ways to enjoy Australia’s longest river. One of the most popular ways to enjoy the river is by paddle-steamer or houseboat, but there are plenty of other pleasures to be found along the Murray River.Add to your dream trip