Are there any places in Australia that you'd like to see before you kick the proverbial bucket (not so proverbial if you were a sheep thief during the Dark Ages)? As Australia is such a vast country, there are several sites of great historical interest, unrivalled in scope and unmatched for the great wealth of photographic opportunities they offer.
Travel website lastminute.com.au recently released a rundown of the greatest Australian attractions to seek out before you try, with some famous contenders mixing it up with lesser-known, but no less impressive, destinations. Which ones do you want to tick off your list?
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living organism, and as such is replete with life. Made up of over 3,000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef displays a kaleidoscope of colours and is home to countless aquatic creatures, from exotic fish to plodding sea turtles. What's more, numerous tropical islands, many of them deserted, are scattered about the Reef, with shimmering sands and golden sunshine a common feature.
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
The remains of an old volcano in the middle of the sea, a day on Lord Howe Island is something of an intriguing prospect. That's because the island, with an area of 14.5 square kilometres, only allows on 400 visitors at any one time. This lends to the impression that you have the island entirely by yourself, so summon your inner Robinson Crusoe and choose from a raft of activities – including raft-building. Scuba diving in the sapphire blue waters, fishing, paddle boarding, and hiking through the extensive forest in the southern half of the island are also all enjoyed on Lord Howe Island.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
As legendary Australian road trips go, it's hard to look past the Great Ocean Road for pure sightseeing potential. Built as a memorial to those killed in the First World War, the Great Ocean Road stretches for 243 kilometres along Victoria's southern edges. It's best to give yourself a good three days to take in the road and all that it has to offer. This way, you won't feel compelled to rush and thus won't miss any of the sights, of which there are plenty, including the famous '12 Apostles' limestone stacks.
Magnetic Hill, South Australia
Magnetic Hill has intrigued startled motorists for over a century. Stop your hire car and put it into neutral on the seemingly uphill stretch of the road, then be amazed as it creeps up the ascent of its own accord. Though it may seem spooky, the answer is a little less exciting. An optical illusion is to blame – the hill is actually on a downward gradient, but the placement of the surrounding land tricks your mind into thinking that your car really is moving, unaided, up the hill.