Whether you’re a true nature lover looking for a secluded place to explore the reef or all you want is a bit of beach lazing between city jaunts, or maybe you’re looking for that perfect Australian road trip, here are the must-see highlights of where to go in Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef to match your travels to your interests.
Sydney is Australia’s picture-postcard-perfect signature city. Visits to the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are a must, as is a ferry ride along the stunning natural harbor with its accessible islands. Combining history with modern flair, natural beauty with great restaurants and shops, the city also offers Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most loved beaches, just on its doorstep, making it an all-rounder.
The Southern Reef
[pullquote align=right]Still a relative secret among travelers, the southern reef has a unique mix of beaches, islands, and national parks.[/pullquote]Still a relative secret among travelers, the southern reef has a unique mix of beaches, islands, and national parks, with stunning countryside and sheer seclusion. If you like road-tripping, this section of Australia is for you, with easily managed day trips and sidetracks that offer hiking, wildlife-watching, lazing on beaches, and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, and you’ll hardly meet another soul.
Cairns and the Northern Reef
The diamond on the diadem of the Queensland coast, the tropical north is the place where two natural wonders come together: the ancient Daintree Rainforest and the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. If you like nature to blow your mind, this is the place for you. Go diving among corals, gaze at lush forest, spot crocodiles, watch an incredible array of colorful birds, marvel at huge lava tubes, and explore picturesque tablelands. And with it all being contained in a relatively—for Australia—small area, you can fit a lot into a brief stay, using Cairns or Port Douglas as a base.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef.