Australia & South Pacific

The 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in Australia

Australia is a beautiful country that attracts millions of visitors each year. Popular tourist destinations like Sydney and Melbourne offer visitors world-class sightseeing, but there are less popular travel destinations in Australia that are often underrated and overlooked. Take a look at seven Australian destinations that deserve a lot more attention.

1. Adelaide

Adelaide is a picturesque coastal city with a mild, year-round climate and lots of things to enjoy. Its beaches stretch for miles, from North Haven Beach with its boat marina to Sellicks Beach, a popular surfer’s paradise. Adelaide is also a city that’s full of exciting outdoor activities, culture and entertainment. If you like the outdoors, visit one of Adelaide’s 29 beautiful parks, the Adelaide Botanic Garden or the Adelaide Zoo, home to the world’s prized giant pandas. Brush up on culture at Migration Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Enjoy a night out at one of Adelaide’s many restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, then relax on the banks of the River Torrens while you row a boat and feed the ducks.

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2. Darwin

Darwin is a quiet city on the Timor Sea in the sparsely populated Northern Territory of Australia. With balmy, tropical breezes and beautiful orange sunsets, Darwin offers visitors a calm retreat from other bustling cities. Mindil Beach has open-air markets that feature crafts, pottery and foods from around the world. You can shop for bargains and relax with dinner on the beach while you enjoy a beautiful evening sunset. For sightseeing, Darwin has numerous guided tours that explore nature, culture and adventure. You can visit the local rainforests and outback, learn about the Aboriginal culture, explore a safari or fishing adventure, or take a harbor cruise to Crocosaurus Cove to see Steve Irwin’s beloved crocodiles.

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3. Broome

Broome, located in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, is a quiet, mellow place with friendly people. It isn’t that well-known to most travelers except for backpackers who love the laid-back atmosphere and spectacular scenery, like at Horizontal Falls, a natural phenomenon where tidal currents cause the waterfall to fall horizontally. Cable Beach, with pristine white sand, is famous for an undersea telegraph cable that connects Broome to Singapore. Town Beach, known for the Staircase to the Moon, is famous for dinosaur prints that are 130 million years old and etched in the sand. In Broome, you can shop for rare pink diamonds and pearls, go bird-watching in Roebuck Bay, rent a dune buggy in the outback or ride off into the sunset on a camel.

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4. Tasmania

The beautiful unspoiled landscapes in Tasmania are definitely an underrated attraction. Lake St Clair National Park is home to Cradle Mountain, one of Australia’s most beautiful wilderness areas. It’s a region that’s full of natural landscapes and gorgeous mountain ranges that were formed during the last Ice Age. You can take a walk around Dove Lake where you’ll see waterfalls and strange vegetation. If you’re up for a real adventure, you can take a six day guided walk along the world-famous Overland Track. It includes delicious meals, Tasmanian wine and accommodations in well-equipped huts. Tasmania is an Australian destination that will make you appreciate the real undisturbed beauty of Australia.

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5. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is located in the state of South Australia. It’s just a short ferry ride from Cape Jervis or a quick flight from Adelaide. The island is full of natural landscapes and untouched bushland. It’s a natural sanctuary for wildlife and birds. Surrounded by water, Kangaroo Island is great for fishing and whale watching. There are sea lions, penguin colonies, rare birds, wallabies, and lots of free-roaming kangaroos and koalas. The relaxing atmosphere and unique wildlife is a treat for visitors looking for a restful, scenic destination. For another treat, you can enjoy gourmet food at the Kangaroo Festival, along with wines, cheeses, yogurts and authentic Australian cuisine.

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6. Phillip Island 

Located in the state of Victoria, about two hours south-east of Melbourne, Phillip Island offers a look at Australia’s natural beauty. Some of the terrain is rugged with rocky cliffs that line miles of sandy beaches. Other areas contain wetlands, mangrove flats and undisturbed bushland. You can stroll through seaside villages and shop for local treasures or enjoy delicious local seafood dishes. If you like to surf, you can catch a wave at Cape Woolamai, one of Victoria’s most popular surfing beaches. If you’re intrigued by penguins, visit the nearby village of Cowes to watch the Penguin Parade. At sundown each night, these resident penguins walk from the sea to their burrows to go to sleep. How cute is that?

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7. Cairns

Although most travelers know Cairns as the main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, there’s a lot of things to explore in the city. Cairns has a mild tropical climate and relaxed atmosphere. You can enjoy the beaches while swimming, snorkeling, diving and sailing. The city has a diverse selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs for great food and nightly entertainment. Shopping is endless with world-class boutiques and specialty shops. If you enjoy adventure, Cairns is home to Daintree National Park, the world’s oldest living rainforest. You can explore the rainforest by taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway, a 90 minute ride through the rainforest where you’ll see platypus, crocodiles and colorful parrots.

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