We managed the impossible. We picked our top 15 Instagram-worthy destinations in Australia. And because it was impossible to pick just 15, we threw in their perfect pairs as a bonus. From lighthouses and rock formations to beaches and lookouts, these photogenic travel locations don’t need a filter. In fact, they make for some awesome family-friendly adventures. Teens should check out this whopping list for some scenic travel inspo to add to their Insta grids and memory banks alike.
1. Gunlom Falls, Northern Territory
Take an Instagram-worthy dip in nature’s very own infinity pool, with astonishing views across Kakadu National Park. If you’d rather avoid the steep climb, stick to the shaded main pool and picnic areas at the base of the falls.
Alternative: Australia’s natural pools
Stay in the Northern Territory and cool off in Ellery Creek Big Hole, near Alice Springs in the Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park. The aptly named Fairy Pools in Noosa Heads, Queensland, are brimming with photogenic magic, as are Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park, New South Wales.
2. Bungle Bungles / Purnululu National Park, Western Australia
The striped, dome appearance of the Bungle Bungle Range has been compared to beehives. They make for a unique social media snap, that’s for sure! The distinctive landmark sits in the Kimberley, much of which is restricted to four-wheel drives and accessible only in the dry season.
Alternative: The Breakaways, South Australia
The lesser-known mesas and coloured earths of the Breakaways are a sight to behold. Located next door to Coober Pedy, they were once hidden under an inland sea!
3. Pink Lakes, Western Australia
Their unexpected colour is what attracts photographers to these scenic lakes. Hutt Lagoon on WA’s Coral Coast lies just six hours from Perth and changes hue depending on the time of day. It is harder to get to, but Lake Hillier on Middle Island is brilliant by boat or scenic flight.
Alternative: Lake Eyre, South Australia
Sometimes, Lake Eyre is a vast salt pan. Sometimes, it fills with water and grows a type of algae that turns it pink. While you’re in South Australia in search of pink lakes, check out Lake MacDonnell and Lake Bumbunga.
4. Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes, Victoria
Little has changed about the 82 chirpy wooden bathing boxes at Brighton Beach. Except for their colourful designs, that is. The vibrant decoration makes them hard to miss and certainly an Instagram-worthy destination.
Alternative: Blue Boatshed, Perth, Western Australia
Sitting at the end of a pier, this quaint little boatshed in Perth has exploded as a hugely popular tourist spot.
5. Bondi Icebergs, NSW
This Insta-famous ocean pool at Bondi Beach has become an international attraction. Time your photo to coincide with the crashing of the waves.
Alternative: Broome’s Cable Beach, Western Australia
Another famous Aussie beach, Cable Beach in Broome stretches out to 22 kilometres in length. Enclosed by sand dunes and red cliffs and frequented by camel tours, it is an ideal location for a sunset shot.
6. Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Twelve Apostles might be the most famous ocean rock formation on this scenic seaside road trip. But there is plenty more to see. You should also stop at the Instagram-worthy destinations of Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, and towns such as Port Fairy and Lorne.
Alternative: Sea Cliff Bridge, NSW
When it comes to coastal drives, the Illawarra region throws up an impressive rival to the Great Ocean Road. The cantilever bridge sits on the Grand Pacific Drive and links Coalcliff and Clifton villages. Try and make it there for sunrise.
7. Hot Air Balloons Hunter Valley, NSW
As dawn breaks over the vineyards, take a once-in-a-lifetime photo in the basket of a hot air balloon. For a bird’s-eye view like no other, splurge on a luxury activity with one of several Hunter Valley hot-air ballooning agencies.
Alternative: Enlighten Festival Canberra, ACT
Or stick to solid ground. You’ll get just as stunning a photo with the colourful balloons floating across our capital’s skyline. Canberra Balloon Spectacular is part of the annual Enlighten Festival held in March.
8. Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia
Head on a surfing safari with a difference – in the middle of the outback. This wave-shaped rock formation stands at 15 metres in height and is over 100 metres long. Time your visit to coincide with the spring wildflowers.
Alternative: Karlu Karlu/ Devil’s Marbles, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory
For more unusual desert geology, explore these huge granite boulders which formed over millions of years near Tennant Creek. The local Warmungu people consider the Karlu Karlu to be the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.
9. Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
Imagine what it looks like when you mix white and turquoise paint on a palette. Hill Inlet sits at the northern end of the famous Whitehaven Beach, on the biggest of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. Watch what happens to the colours as the tide shifts from Tongue Point lookout.
Alternative: Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Further south, you can look out over another astonishing bay in Freycinet National Park. Or perhaps you’d prefer to explore the area via hiking trail, rock climb or sea kayak? The choice is yours in this seascape of pink granite, sandy beaches and bushland.
10. Uluru, Northern Territory
This central Australian sandstone monolith is our country’s beating heart. There are ancient stories, rock art, bike tours and plant and animal life to encounter. Be conscious that Uluru is sacred to Anangu people.
Alternative: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Red Centre is equalled only in its fame and grandeur by the Great Barrier Reef. Visible from space, Queensland’s network of coral reef and atolls hosts a vast array of marine life best explored by snorkel. This is one for the underwater camera!
11. Sydney Opera House, NSW
This architectural oddity caused quite the controversy during its construction in the 1960s. Now, its white sails make it one of the most recognisable icons of Sydney Harbour and most Instagram-worthy destinations in the country. The Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay sit nearby.
Alternative: Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland
Pick an alternate cityscape in the thrumming hub of the Gold Coast. With a skyline packed with high-rise buildings, Burleigh Heads is also famous for its surf beaches.
12. Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, Tasmania
Whether you conquer the multi-day Overland Track or pick the 2 to 3-hour Dove Lake circuit, you’ll be treated to the unmatched vistas of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Stop by the wooden lakeside hut to capture the reflection of the mountains in the still waters.
Alternative: Nitmiluk / Katherine Gorges, Northern Territory
Switch destinations and instead watch the reflection of glowing red cliffs disappear beneath your paddle. You can explore Nitmiluk National Park’s thirteen breathtaking gorges and numerous waterfalls by canoe, river cruise, scenic flight or on foot.
13. Princes Pier, Melbourne, Victoria
The remaining wooden pylons of this historic Port Phillip pier jut out from the water in the perfect sunset photo. You can also pick up on loads of local history nearby.
Alternative: Bay of Fires, Tasmania
At this destination on Tasmania’s East Coast, it is orange granite boulders that emerge from the waves instead. Covered in lichen, the rocks are just one of the region’s marvels. Explore secret, white-sand beaches, nature walks, middens and reefs.
14. Rottnest Island Quokkas, Western Australia
What do Chris Hemsworth, Roger Federer and Margot Robbie have in common with a quokka? They all love selfies! It has become a trend on Instagram to snap a pic with these cute marsupials on Rottnest Island. While we love the idea of featuring some animals on your Instagram grid, be sure to keep an adequate distance from the wildlife and respect their habitat.
Alternative: Ningaloo Whale Sharks, Western Australia
Opt for an animal encounter under the sea instead. Jump on a tour and get up close with the gentle giants that swim the Ningaloo Reef each year from March to August. The 300-kilometre Ningaloo Reef is very close to shore, so is easy enough to explore by yourselves with snorkel in hand.
Check out more of this family’s Aussie adventures on their Instagram page.
15. Cape Byron Lighthouse, NSW
Document your visit to Australia’s most easterly point at this Byron Bay lighthouse. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might spot a dolphin or humpback whale as you look out over the Cape Byron Marine Park.
Alternative: Point Lowly Lighthouse, South Australia
Built in 1883, this Whyalla lighthouse towers over the Spencer Gulf at a whopping 22 metres in height. You can also stay in nearby lighthouse cottages if you want to make a weekend of your visit.
This is a Family Travel online exclusive story. Make sure you don’t miss any exclusive digital content by subscribing to our email newsletter