Top hidden & secret destinations in Australia

Are you looking for some hidden attractions Australia has to offer? Do you want to get off the tourist trail and still get the most out of your time? Then you must keep reading to discover the these hidden destinations in Australia!

Top hidden destinations in Australia
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Trying to find the top 10 hidden destinations in Australia is a tricky proposition. Many people have different opinions about what should, or should not, be in this top ten list.

I have tried to spread them across all the states and territories; however, New South Wales have failed to make the cut, despite having numerous attractions that could have easily made this list. Check out the Top places to visit page for some entries from this state.

This list is not an ordered list of what I consider to the best destination, followed by the second best, and so on. Rather, it is a combination of the top ten, starting in the state of Victoria, and moving in an anti-clockwise direction around Australia, as can be seen on the map below.

Many people will argue that this list is not truly a list of hidden destinations, and they would be correct. It is a list of destinations that are off the popular tourist trails, thus are missed by many international visitors. To get a true list of "hidden" destinations of Australia, and limit it to ten, is almost impossible. As such, in the near future I will be releasing a true hidden destinations list, one for each state and territory, thus exposing some of the truly remarkable places that almost everyone apart from the locals know nothing about. Until then, this page will have to suffice!






1 . Wilsons Promontory National Park

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Wilsons Promontory
Original image available here at flickr.com

It is a 90 km² national park located about 230 kms south-east of Melbourne (Victoria). While its size may not sound impressive it is home to some amazing natural beauty, including mountainous forests, fern gullies, heaths, salt marshes, grey granite ranges and 130 km of coastal scenery. To cap it all off, there are many pristine beaches, the best known being Squeaky Beach, because of the sound the sand makes when you walk over it.

It has a large number of hikes ranging from several hours in length, to several days. It is home to over 50% of Victoria's bird species, and is also home to many other species of animals including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, emus, and a vast array of reptiles and amphibians. For more details please visit parkweb.vic.gov.au.


2 . Glasshouse Mountains National Park

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The Glasshouse Mountains
Original image available here at flickr.com

Located about 70 km, or a one hour's drive, north of Brisbane (Queensland), and just a little inland from the Sunshine Coast, this park is a truly amazing paradise for nature lovers. There are hiking tracks, ranging in difficulty, leading through the forests to various lookouts, which once your reach them offer panoramic views from craggy volcanic peaks that tower above the surrounding landscape.

The mountains are located in the traditional lands of the Gubbi Gubbi people, and Aboriginal legend says the mountains are all members of a family. Once you've finished hiking and exploring the area it is a quick drive to the gorgeous beaches of the Sunshine Coast for you to take an evening swim in. For more details please visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.


3 . Magnetic Island

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Magnetic Island
Original image available here at flickr.com

Magnetic Island lies just off the coast next to the northern tropical town/city of Townsville in Queensland. It was given its name by Captain James Cook, who reported that the ships compass was behaving strangely when he sailed past, although nothing has been discovered since to support this story.

With stunning beaches, averages of over 320 days of sunshine per year, national park areas, pockets of rain forest, and 24 kms of walking tracks through the park with many spectacular lookouts, it is easy to see why this destination should be a must of anyone visiting the area. For more details please visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.


4 . The Torres Strait Islands

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The Torres Strait Islands
Original image available here at flickr.com

Stretching about 120 km from north to south, it is an archipelago of small islands between Cape York, the northern point of the Queensland and the south coast of Papua New Guinea. It is a unique part of Australia and unlike any other part of this vast country.

The islands are a friendly laid-back place to explore, unwind and truly get away from it all. With beautiful, untouched beaches and crystal clear waters, a visit to the Torres Strait Islands will make you think that you've left Australia for another Pacific island paradise. For more details please visit www.lonelyplanet.com.


5 . Litchfield National Park

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Litchfield National Park
Original image available here at flickr.com

Just south of Darwin (Northern Territory), this national park is filled with things to see and do ranging from Ranger guided tours and activities, swimming in local swimming holes, hikes, camping, 4WD tours, and much more.

With stunning waterfalls, gorges, and viewing platforms, this park is truly a treat for the eyes. So go on, why not come and camp for a few nights! For more details please visit www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au.


6 . Broome

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Broome
Original image available here at flickr.com

While Broome, located in Western Australia, certainly isn't a hidden destination, many international tourists have never heard of it before they get to Australia, any even less make the trip over due to its remote location. Which is a shame, because during the dry season it is a gorgeous place full of fun and sun.

Broome is full of stunning white beaches perfect for swimming (during the dry season). It also has a rich Indigenous heritage and there are many attractions to keep you busy. For more details please visit www.visitbroome.com.au.


7 . Esperance

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Esperance
Original image available here at flickr.com

Located in the centre of the southern coast of Western Australia, Esperance is a dream come true. It is host to Australia's whitest beach (Lucky Bay), and the area is set against a stunning seascape backdrop of 110 islands of the Recherche Archipelago. With numerous coves and bays in the area it is ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are surf waves to be found in the area as well!

The area is littered with camping and off road 4WD tracks for the adventure enthusiasts. Great fishing spots can also be found in abundance. With numerous other attractions and activities to be found, this truly is a slice of heaven on earth. For more details please visit www.westernaustralia.com.


8 . Coober Pedy

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Coober Pedy
Follow the link to view the entire
Coober Pedy photo gallery

Located pretty much smack bang in the middle of South Australia, Coober Pedy is a desert town famous for producing most of the worlds high quality opal gems. It is a bit of a quirky town, as most of it is underground! Due to the searing heat, and the abundance of mining equipment, people have build their dwellings underground to keep them cool during the hot summer days.

Come along and take some mine tours, try your luck and dig for opal yourself, or just enjoy the novelty of this town. Most tours to Uluru leaving from Adelaide make a overnight stop over in this town, or if you're driving you can plan your own stop over. For more details please visit www.cooberpedy.sa.gov.au.


9 . Kangaroo Island

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Kangaroo Island
Original image available here at flickr.com

Located just south of the capital city Adelaide (South Australia), Kangaroo Island is a perfect escape from city life. With over 509 kms of coastline, you'll need longer to explore this island than you would first think. Combined with many activities and sites, including eco adventures, Wulde Wairri (the local indigenous tribe) culture tours, wildlife parks and sanctuaries, numerous beaches, bays, and coves, you'll truly be busy for a week on this island!

When it comes to the ocean, if you like to do more than just swimming you are in for a treat. Get ready for marine tours, pristine fishing locations, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and more! For more details please visit www.tourkangarooisland.com.au.


10 . Bay of Fires

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Bay of Fires
Original image available here at flickr.com

The Bay of Fires is a region of Tasmania consisting of white beaches, blue water and granite boulders and rocks covered with orange lichen. The area is littered with beaches and is surrounded by national parks and reserves, meaning there are numerous camping spots and nature walks and hikes all around you. Its remote location makes you feel like you've left the modern world behind and walked into history.

Other activities available in the area including camping, beach activities, boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing and walking. For more details please visit www.parks.tas.gov.au and www.discovertasmania.com.

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