In many ways southern Australia boasts the very best the country has to offer visitors. Comprising not just the state of South Australia, the region also includes the states of New South Wales, Victoria, the lower portion of Western Australia, and Tasmania to boot.
Southern Australia is home to roughly three-quarters of the country’s population centered around the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. The largely temperate Mediterranean climate makes it the hub of Australia’s wine industry. Another attraction is southern Australia’s thousands kms of coastline which provides (almost) endless opportunities to take to the sands and waves, for which Australia is rightly famed.
If all these wonders of southern Australia leave you unsure where to start, here are the top 10 reasons to visit southern Australia:
1. Great for Road Trips
With close to 10,000 km of spectacular roadside coastline, southern Australia was built with great road trips in mind. Get enchanted by the panoramas of the iconic Great Ocean Road that runs between Torquay and Allansford in Victoria. A 240 km road, it winds through a region of unparalleled beauty. Some of the highlights include the Great Otway National Park, Bells Beach and the world-renowned limestone pinnacles known as the Twelve Apostles. Sunrise and sunset at almost any stopping point offer out-of-this-world photo opportunities, and the chance to catch sight of a penguin or two as well! If you’re not into road trips, make sure to check out these great tours through-out Australia.
2. Home to Must-see Wine Regions
Southern Australia is home to several internationally-acclaimed wine regions, including Hunter Valley in New South Wales and Barossa Valley in South Australia, where there are more than 150 different wineries to choose from. The damp winters and cool summers experienced in the valley makes it perfect for the production of full-bodied reds, and it is well-known for its intensely-flavored Shiraz and Chardonnay. On the west coast, the Margaret River area produces a fifth of all Australia’s premium wines, including Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignon, in an area of rugged coastal cliffs beloved by hikers too.
3. Coastline to die for
Offering a combination of cliff-top viewpoints, pristine sands, and warm waters, southern Australia’s coastline is another top reason to visit the region. From large and popular beaches such as those at Torquay and Lorne, to tiny coves with names unknown to anyone but locals, you won’t be disappointed. For something a little different, check out the Carisbrook Creek pebble towers — an informal artwork of stacks of rounded stones piled high by passing visitors and in danger of destruction with every rough wave. Those with an eye on the surf should check out Bells Beach, 100 km west of Melbourne.
4. Stunning Sydney
No visit to southern Australia would be complete without stopping at Sydney. With its elegant harbour front, ring of protected bushland, and history dating back to the earliest European settlements in Australia, Sydney is much less the country’s largest city as it is one giant visitor attraction. Whether its culture you’re after at the Australian Museum or the sail-like Opera House, the chance for some retail therapy, relaxation in the Botanic Gardens, or the country’s finest (think Michelin star rated) and freshest cuisine, you’re sure to find it in the ever-changing glitz that is Sydney.
5. Wondrous Wilderness in Tasmania
The island state of Tasmania is something of an Australian microcosm. You’ll find everything from white sand beaches, craggy coast, and the alpine landscapes of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Hikers are well-catered for, with trails of various lengths leading through landscapes largely untouched by man, but a haven for such rare and endemic species as the Tasmanian devil, the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. Out to sea, you’ll share the mighty waves of the Southern Ocean with seals, dolphins and even penguins, while Tasmania’s homely towns, such as the state capital Hobart, offer a wealth of experiences, from artisan cheese producers to amazing pubs.
6. Majestic Melbourne
Sydney may be Australia’s de facto go-to destination, but Melbourne certainly doesn’t play second fiddle. An artistic and cosmopolitan city, it’s loud and proud of its position as Australia’s cultural capital. Amid the gleaning office blocks are a diverse array of inner city neighbourhoods crammed with narrow lanes that hide works of street art, bars, and pop-up restaurants. With a sub and counter-culture atmosphere all of its own, the south bank of the Yarra River is the site of Melbourne Arts Precinct, a series of galleries, venues and performance spaces on and around St. Kilda Road, the piece de resistance of which is the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest art gallery.
7. Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains of New South Wales is the highest mountain range on Australia’s continental landmass, and the home to the country’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Reaching a height of more than 2,200m above sea level, it’s unusual in receiving regular flurries of snowfall during the winter months of June to early September. As a result, the area is the base for Australia’s ski industry, with four resorts located here. The ‘Snowies’ Main Range also contains the country’s only glacial lakes, the largest of which is the aptly named Blue Lake, reached after an hour’s walk from the Charlotte Pass resort.
8. Wild Welcomes on Kangaroo Island
Lying just 112 km southwest of Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island has several nature reserves designed to protect its native flora and fauna. The best known is Flinders Chase National Park at the western end of the island, where goannas (a species of monitor lizard), porcupine-like echidnas, and eponymous kangaroos are regularly sighted alongside koalas. There are great photographs to be had among the wilds of Remarkable Rocks, a group of wind-sculpted formations balanced precariously on a rocky outcrop, while it’s also possible to walk among a colony of sea lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park.
9. Regal Adelaide
Named in honour of British king William IV’s queen consort, yet once regarded as a dour backwater when compared to other southern Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, Adelaide has revitalized into a city with a busy events calendar and amazing live-music scene, whether your artists of choice are Mozart or Motorhead. The Port Adelaide neighbourhood gives the best indication of what the city was originally like, while the beachside suburb of Glenelg is the place to find the city’s modern inhabitants at their most relaxed and natural.
10. Fascinating Aboriginal History
Long before the arrival of European settlers, southern Australia was the ancestral land of Australia’s aboriginal communities, and their thousands of years of history await discovery across the region. The Flinders Range, near Adelaide, are of huge cultural importance to the Adnyamathanha people, for instance, where you can find millennia-old rock carvings and paintings. Alternatively, follow in the footsteps of the Narungga people on a guided tour of Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula. Also, get a chance to explore the wild lagoon landscapes of Coorong National Park, just an hour and a half’s drive from Adelaide, as a guest of the Ngarrindjeri people.
A region packed with must-visit destinations, southern Australia should be high on any traveler’s wish list. Whether you consider yourself a culture vulture, beach bum, or avid nature lover, southern Australia has plenty of options of how to spend your hard-earned time.
Posted By Charlie
Updated : 22nd October 2021 | Words : 1222 | Views : 2045