As opportunities to see the world grow, our dreams of visiting far-flung regions become more achievable. But here in Oz, we know we’ve got plenty worth seeing right on our doorstep. With stunning national parks, iconic buildings and world-famous coastlines, we wanted to see how much of our own country we want to explore, and how much of it we think should be on bucket lists around the world.

We asked 1,000 Australian residents which parts of our great nation they’re most proud of, the landmarks they’d recommend to visitors, and how many of these famous locations they’ve actually seen for themselves. From this, we can reveal the ultimate Aussie bucket list for locals and visitors alike.

Australian Travel Destinations

1. Great Barrier Reef

  • - 87% want to visit in the future

  • - 70% would recommend to visitors

  • - 60% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

This iconic, colourful coastline comes out as the number one must-see location in Australia. It’s the landmark Aussies are most proud of, and the first place residents would point visitors towards. While recommending it to travellers, a huge 87% also have plans to see the Great Barrier Reef in the future.

The world’s largest coral reef is famed around the globe for its breath-taking beauty, but despite its popularity with the locals, just one-third (33%) of Australians have actually visited the site. With so many people recommending the Great Barrier Reef, despite never having been themselves, it comes as no surprise it’s first on the ultimate Aussie bucket list.

2. Uluru/Ayers Rock, Tjuta National Park

  • - 81% want to visit in future

  • - 55% would recommend to visitors

  • - 51% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

Uluru is a landmark formed over 600 million years that’s a significant part of our national identity, and one we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to visitors. Despite this, only a select few have taken the long trip to Uluru. Just 15% of Aussies have been to this famous landmark.

Many Australians might struggle to make the journey to Uluru because of its isolated location. Being over 450km from the nearest town, the nature of the journey makes accessibility difficult. Our survey covered potential barriers stopping residents seeing more of Australia. 76% said money, and 32% said travel distance. Its unique location and cultural value help give Uluru its fame, as well as the second spot on the ultimate Aussie bucket list.

3. Great Ocean Road

  • - 80% want to visit in future

  • - 56% would recommend to visitors

  • - 30% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

The dream road trip, the Great Ocean Road treats drivers to scenic views of Australia’s southern coastline. It’s the third most popular landmark for Aussies looking to travel, with 80% saying they want to visit in the future. That said, 56% of residents are still yet to visit the Great Ocean Road.

This 243km stretch is the ideal way to see our country. Over half (56%) of Aussies would recommend the Great Ocean Road to visitors.

4. Blue Mountains National Park

  • - 80% want to visit in future

  • - 50% would recommend to visitors

  • - 24% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

Perfect for taking in Australia’s natural beauty, the Blue Mountains National Park features iconic lookouts, waterfalls and makes an ideal location for camping and walking. Half of Aussies would recommend it to visitors, and 80% of Australians have got their eye on visiting in the future – making it one of our country’s most popular landmarks.

Less than half (45%) of Australians have visited the Blue Mountains National Park, but it comes as no surprise that 83% of those who’ve been would like to go back in the future. This spectacular landmark makes a must-see bucket list location for those who love the outdoors.

5. Sydney Opera House

  • - 79% want to visit in future

  • - 66% would recommend to visitors

  • - 46% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

An iconic symbol of Sydney and a building recognised all over the world, the Opera House takes fifth place on our Aussie bucket list. It’s also the most popular landmark here in Australia, having been visited by most people. Over two-thirds (70%) of Australians have visited this famous site and 83% of those who have been said they’d return.

It comes third on the list of landmarks Aussies are most proud of, with 66% saying they’d recommend it to visitors. There is no argument that the home of performing arts in Sydney makes it a go-to location for residents and holidaymakers.

6. Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • - 79% want to visit in future

  • - 63% would recommend to visitors

  • - 39% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

Sydney is home to two of Australia’s top five must-see locations. Narrowly beaten by the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge takes sixth place on the ultimate bucket list. This iconic, heritage-listed landmark attracts visitors from all over Australia and beyond. It’s the second most visited landmark in Australia, with 70% of Aussies saying they’ve been.

It comes as no surprise that the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are so popular amongst locals because it’s almost impossible to miss them during a visit to Sydney. Of the 70% who’ve been, 82% would go again, making them hugely popular bucket list locations.

7. Whitsundays

  • - 79% want to visit in future

  • - 45% would recommend to visitors

  • - 22% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

A famous site across Australia, the islands found off the North East Queensland coast prove a popular place to visit for both Aussies and travellers. Nearly half (45%) would recommend the Whitsunday Islands, and the iconic area proves to be one of the landmarks Australians are most proud of.

The islands are found between white coastal beaches and the Great Barrier Reef and, like the reef, a lot of Aussies are yet to visit the Whitsundays. Just 24% of Australians have been to the islands, so it comes as no surprise that 79% have plans to visit and take in the spectacular views on offer.

8. Kangaroo Island

  • - 78% want to visit in future

  • - 29% would recommend to visitors

  • - 10% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

Australia’s third-largest island comes in at eighth position on our bucket list. Known for its incredible wildlife – including sea lions, koalas and its eponymous residents – Kangaroo Island is a must-see destination for nature lovers, with 78% of Aussies wanting to visit in future.

It contains the Flinders Chase National Park nature reserve, which houses endangered species like echidnas and goannas. It is also famous for its geological features, particularly the iconic Remarkable Rocks, which is a series of bizarrely shaped granite boulders that have formed naturally from erosion over 500 million years.

9. Byron Bay

  • - 77% want to visit in future

  • - 37% would recommend to visitors

  • - 7% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

It wouldn’t be a bucket list without one of Australia’s most iconic destinations, Byron Bay. Known for its beaches and outstanding surfing hotspots, it has become a much more popular destination over the last few years, illustrated by the fact that 40% of Aussies have visited. However, its increasing draw and often large crowds might be the reason that only 7% believe it’s a landmark to be proud of.

In addition, its beautiful setting makes it a popular destination for skydiving, and its wildlife attracts whale watchers, snorkellers and scuba divers to its tropical waters. The Cape Byron Lighthouse is one of the most famous (and brightest) in the world.

10. Fraser Island

  • - 77% want to visit in future

  • - 32% would recommend to visitors

  • - 10% say it’s a landmark Aussies should be proud of

Measuring in at 1,840km2, Fraser Island is the largest sand island on earth and has also been a World Heritage Site for almost 30 years. It attracts half a million tourists per annum, who are drawn by the opportunity to see dingoes in their natural habitat.

Despite this, it is one of the least visited destinations on our bucket list, with only 21% of Aussies having made the trip across the Great Sandy Strait to the island. The population are looking to remedy this though, with 77% wanting to visit the rainforests, mangroves and sand dunes of Fraser Island in future, meaning it makes our top-ten bucket list.

Points of interest

Beyond Australia’s Borders

Australia is home to some of the world’s most impressive landmarks, placing us on many bucket lists around the world. Our survey also sought to find out which other countries jet-setting Australian’s had their eye on. We asked Aussies which countries they would put on their bucket list, with the top spot going to our kiwi neighbours in New Zealand.

World bucket list

Thanks to the ease of getting there – as well as the impressive sights on offer – it comes as no surprise that 58% put New Zealand on their bucket list. The US is second, appearing on 52% of Aussie’s bucket lists, and third is its North American neighbour, Canada (51%). The top ten countries featuring most on Australian bucket lists are below:

  • 1. New Zealand (58%)

  • 2. United States (52%)

  • 3. Canada (51%)

  • 4. Japan (50%)

  • 5. United Kingdom (50%)

  • 6. Italy (46%)

  • 7. France (41%)

  • 8. Greece (38%)

  • 9. Spain (32%)

  • 10. Fiji (29%)

Many have their sights set on Europe, with five inclusions in the top ten. Other inclusions on Australian bucket lists include Nepal, Yemen and Madagascar.

A staple place on many bucket lists around the world, a lot of Australia remains unexplored by its residents. Over three-quarters (76%) said they’d like to see more of Australia, making many of these landmarks a key part of their travel plans. The size of Australia is a potential barrier but booking accommodation early and renting a car can help limit any additional costs, making it possible for you to see more of our beautiful country.

Get an instant quote
Receive a quote in seconds from the car rental insurance specialists:
Get started