Our guide to Australia’s best nature and wildlife experiences

Turtle on Great Barrier Reef

Australia is a nature-seeker’s paradise, with some of the most unique wildlife and diverse landscapes on the planet.


With stunning national parks, spectacular rainforests, beautiful coastline and tranquil islands, there are nature and wildlife experiences for every type of traveller.

Opening image: Turtle swimming off Lizard Island. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.


Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Tourism & Events Queensland.


National parks


Great Barrier Reef, QLD

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is an unmissable destination for nature lovers. Stretching over 2,300km with 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, it is the largest coral reef in the world. Home to a huge diversity of sea life – with over 1,625 fish species, 600 types of colourful coral, 133 types of sharks and rays, and six species of sea turtles – there’s no shortage of places to cruise, snorkel and bask in this amazing marine wonderland.

Several coastal cities on the Queensland coast are gateways to the reef, including Cairns and Townsville. You can even have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of diving with dwarf minke whales, who frequent the northern GBR in June and July each year, forming the only known predictable aggregation of these whales in the world.

Boodjamulla National Park, Outback QLD

Boodjamulla National Park – formerly known as Lawn Hill National Park – is found in Queensland’s north-west highlands. It is well known for its incredible gorges, sandstone ranges, crystal-clear waters and large collection of fossils. One of the most popular walks is the Constance Range track, which takes hikers onto the ridge tops for panoramic views of the landscape below. The traditional owners are the Waanyi People, who have been using the national park as a place of ceremony for generations. To connect with the area’s Indigenous history, the Wild Dog Dreaming Track will take visitors on a tour of beautiful rock art.

Check out our guide to some of Australia’s most iconic outback destinations here.


Sunrise at Curracurrong Falls and Eagle Rock in the Royal National Park, Sydney. Image: Destination NSW.

National parks near Canberra, ACT

These national parks near Canberra are only a short distance from the city, but they will make you feel like you’re worlds away, surrounded by the peace and quiet of Aussie bushland. The Brindabellas offer spectacular alpine views, 4WD and walking trails, as well as some terrific fishing spots; Tallaganda crosses thousands of hectares, boasting a unique range of landscapes with excellent opportunities for bushwalking, camping, mountain biking and orienteering; and Namadgi is renowned for its granite tors, with many marked trails taking you straight to these awe-inspiring geological wonders, as well as activities like hiking, 4WDriving, fly fishing, rock climbing, horse riding, mountain biking and bouldering. 

Check out our guide to Australia’s best adventure activities here.

National parks near Sydney, NSW 

Sydney is bordered by stunning national parks, with the Royal National Park to the south and the Blue Mountains National Park to the west. Both are a perfect day trip from the city, at around a 90 minute drive.

In the charming Blue Mountains town of Katoomba, visitors can see the Three Sisters rock formation: an important Aboriginal Dreaming site which was formed thousands of years ago. There’s plenty of walks and hiking trails nearby that immerse you in the breathtaking natural beauty of the mountains and offer 360 degree views of the valley below. 

In the Royal National Park, hike to see a spectacular waterfall pouring from the cliffs into the sea, visit the famous Figure Eight Pools at low tide or hire a paddle boat and explore Audley Weir.


Daintree Rainforest Creek
Josephine Falls in the Daintree Rainforest. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.




The Daintree, QLD 

Dating back over more than 135 million years, the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland is the oldest on earth – and at over 1,200 square kilometres, it’s also Australia’s largest. The World Heritage protected area is a popular tourist destination, drawing a crowd of around 400,000 visitors each year. With its breath-taking beauty and unique plant and wildlife, it’s not hard to see why.

The Tarkine, TAS

Tasmania’s Tarkine region is home to Australia’s largest cool temperate rainforest, dating back to Gondwanaland when the area rubbed shoulders with Patagonia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Encompassing mountain ranges, wild coastlines, intricate cave systems, and the forests themselves, there is plenty for visitors to explore.

The Dandenongs, VIC

Just an hour’s drive from the heart of Melbourne and right next door to the Belgrave Farmers Market, the Dandenongs are home to many iconic experiences. The 5.9km Lyrebird Track – aptly named for the birds that frequent the ranges – is a particularly popular trail. At Puffing Billy Railway passengers can climb aboard – legs dangling out the carriages – as the steam train meanders its way around tall mountain ashes and endless green flora. 

If you’re a waterfall chaser, check out these eight stunning waterfalls to visit around the country.


Pambula Lake Sapphire Coast
Pambula Lake on the Sapphire Coast. Image: Destination NSW.

Going Coastal


Sapphire Coast, NSW 

The Sapphire Coast is famed for its stunning white sand beaches (rivalling the Whitsundays!), beautiful bays and laidback seaside towns. Go coastal hopping by boat to take in this gorgeous region, or wet your whistle on a road trip down the South Coast Ale Trail.  

Macleay Valley Coast, NSW 

For lovers of adventure and the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. The Macleay Valley Coast in NSW offers world-class surfing, fishing and diving experiences, and a hinterland full of spectacular bush walks and exciting mountain bike trails just waiting to be discovered. 

Coral Coast, WA 

Western Australia’s stunning Coral Coast is 1,100km of breathtaking coastline from Cervantes to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. On the way, you’ll be able to check out some of Australia’s most famous nature and wildlife experiences. Make sure to take in the natural wonders of Carnarvon, find out where to wine and dine in Exmouth, hand feed dolphins at Monkey Mia and experience the otherwordly opportunity of swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.

For those who can’t get enough of sun and surf, don’t miss our guide to Australia’s best beaches.


nsw this spring
Friendly koala at Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh in the Illawarra region. Image: Destination NSW.


Wildlife experiences 


Feed a kangaroo, hold a koala and sleep beside tigers at some of the country’s finest wildlife experiences and conservation parks: home to native and endangered Aussie animals. You can learn how these conservation parks work to protect the animals in their care, as well as ensuring their future. 


Travel Australia with Rex

Rex flies to all these amazing destinations all over Australia. Book your flights here and check out the route map below.

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