Tourist Places in Limousin(Limoges)

The Limousin region is an area of unspoiled natural beauty and rich history. This idyllic countryside of green rolling hills and lush forests surprises visitors with its magnificent medieval castles and picturesque villages, many of which are listed as “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France).

The area’s regional nature parks are a paradise for sports enthusiasts. Opportunities abound for hiking on the scenic trails, fishing in freshwater rivers, and boating on pristine lakes. Plan your trip to this beautiful region with our list of attractions and best places to visit in Limousin.

1. Aubusson

The historic city of Aubusson has been renowned since the 15th century for its intricately patterned tapestries. The city has earned a UNESCO Cultural Heritage designation for its craft of traditional tapestry. This time-consuming and labor-intensive weaving process has produced the gorgeous tapestries that were used during the Middle Ages to decorate French castles.

Tourists may visit tapestry workshops throughout the city, such as L’Espace Tapisseries (32 Rue Vaveix) and the Maison du Tapissier (Rue Vieille). Aubusson also has a fabulous tapestry museum, the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie (Rue des Arts).

2. Limoges

Designated a “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (“City of Art and History”), the capital city of Limousin has a rich cultural heritage. The Cathédrale Saint-Etienne is the most important monument in Limoges and its only Gothic building. Begun in 1273, the cathedral continued to be renovated throughout the centuries. Behind the cathedral are the Jardins de l’Evêché (Gardens of the Bishop), and to the east is the eight-arched Pont Saint-Etienne bridge built in the 13th century. Visitors should also stroll through the city’s historic quarters along the Rue de la Boucherie and the Rue du Temple to soak up the city’s old-world ambiance.

Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir began his career as a porcelain painter in Limoges, and it’s easy to see the connection between this artisan craft and the fine arts. A wonderful collection of Impressionist paintings is on display at the Musée des Beaux-Arts. To learn more about the history of porcelain, tourists should head to the Pavillon de la Porcelaine – Musée Haviland, which also has a boutique that sells the refined Haviland porcelain items.

The Musée National Adrien Dubouché highlights the beauty and variety of porcelain, the art form for which Limoges is famous. The museum has an extensive collection of pottery, faïence, glassware, and Limoges porcelain.

3. Uzerche

Uzerche is known as the “Pearl of Limousin,” because of its beautiful historic buildings and spectacular setting on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Vézère River. This medieval fortified town has many architectural treasures, including impressive old towers, atmospheric vaulted pathways, and elegant “hôtels particuliers” (mansions). Not to be missed is the Abbatiale Saint-Pierre, a marvelous Romanesque church built in the 11th century by Benedictine monks.

The countryside surrounding Uzerche offers ample opportunities for hiking and nature walks. A great place to take in views of the countryside is from the Esplanade de la Luna de. During the summer, outdoor markets, festivals, and music concerts draw many visitors.

4. Abbatiale Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul, Solignac

Solignac (15 kilometers away from Limoges) is home to one of the most important sights in the Limousin region, the Abbatiale Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul. This splendid Romanesque abbey, built by Benedictine monks in the 10th and 11th centuries, was a medieval pilgrimage destination on the “Way of Saint James” route to Santiago de Compostela. Typical of Romanesque churches, the exterior is decorated with rounded arches and sculpted figures. The spacious domed interior features awe-inspiring 15th-century stained-glass windows and columns adorned with details including griffins, palm leaves, and snakes.

The historic village of Solignac charms visitors with its pastel-shuttered old stone buildings and a pleasant ambiance along the Briance River. Spanning the river is the 15th-century Pont-Vieux de Solignac (Old Bridge of Solignac), a graceful arched masonry bridge.

5. Château de Val

Surrounded by dreamy pastoral scenery, the Château de Val looks like an image from the pages of a child’s storybook. The turreted castle stands on a rocky spur within the Lac de Bort Les Orgues, one of the largest lakes in Europe. This medieval fortress, with its grandiose Gothic rooms, is one of the best places to visit to discover the ambiance of another era. Unlike many French castles, the Château de Val is sumptuously furnished with period pieces, creating a good picture of what it was like to live here. The castle’s Saint-Blaise Chapel is listed as a Historical Monument.

The castle grounds include a courtyard by the lake and a tranquil garden planted with many flowers. All around the property are quiet spots that invite visitors to commune with nature under a shady lime tree, by a fountain, or near the old stables. During July and August, the Château de Val hosts outdoor music concerts on Wednesday evenings. The Château de Val also offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations.

6. Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Haute-Vienne

This museum of contemporary art is housed in the majestic Château de Rochechouart overlooking the Graine and Vayres valleys. The well-restored medieval-Renaissance castle houses the museum’s collection devoted to 20th- and 21st-century art. On display are over 300 works created from the 1960s to the present day, plus an assortment of 2,000 decorative arts objects, as well as unique commissioned pieces.

Equally noteworthy are the artworks found on the walls of the château, especially the 16th-century frescoes in the Salle des Chasses (depicting hunting scenes) and the Galerie d’Hercule (illustrating the labors of Greek mythological figure Hercules).

7. Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches en Limousin

The Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches en Limousin is a paradise of deep green forests, gently rolling hills, sheltered valleys, grassy meadows, and peaceful lakes. The regional park, which encompasses the Plateau de Millevaches, has freshwater rivers and streams that are home to river otters. The Millevaches Regional Park is dotted with charming small hamlets and traversed by nature trails. Hikers will enjoy the diverse landscape, from heathlands and oak groves to pastures where the famous Limousin cows graze.

Besides hiking and biking, other popular activities are boating, fishing, and cycling. Overnight travelers can stay at campsites or other accommodations in the park.

8. Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat

This quaint medieval town has a well-preserved historic center and a UNESCO-listed Romanesque church (dating to the 11th and 12th centuries) that was a stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail. Wandering through the town’s cobblestone streets and narrow alleys takes visitors back in time. Much of the town has not changed since the Middle Ages.

The Quartier de Noblat riverside district is especially atmospheric with its old mills and 13th-century bridge. Tourists can arrive here by taking the Chemin du Pavé pedestrian path. This charming area is a delightful place for a stroll. Other things to do include fishing and picnicking.

Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat is also known for its gastronomy. During July, the Fête de la Saint-Martial, a traditional market of regional food products, is held at the place Saint-Martial by the Vienne River. Those with a sweet tooth should try the local specialty called “Massepain de Saint-Léonard,” a little almond cookie that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The recipe has a Mediterranean origin and was brought to the town by pilgrims returning from Saint-Jacques de Compostela in Spain.

9. Collonges-la-Rouge

Collonges-la-Rouge is a picture-perfect hamlet listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France). Most of the buildings are constructed from red sandstone and date back to the 15th and 16th centuries when many noteworthy citizens of the Viscount of Turenne had residences here. The unusual rosy-hued houses and noblemen’s mansions make this town incomparable to any other in France.

Another must-see attraction in Collonges-la-Rouge is the 11th-century Eglise Saint-Pierre, an exquisite church that was visited by medieval pilgrims on the “Way of Saint James” trail to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

10. Curemonte

Listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France, Curemonte sits on top of a rocky mount presiding over two valleys. Three castles dominate the townscape and are visible from far in the distance. Tourists can easily imagine the formidable impression that this village must have made during the Middle Ages. Curemonte boasts a 12th-century Romanesque church, as well as two other historic churches. At the 14th-century Château Saint-Hilaire, the author Colette wrote, Journal à Rebours. The village’s perfectly preserved squares and buildings make it popular as a filming location for movie sets.

11. Mortemart

Another one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France,” Mortemart is a charming village with lovely architecture. Several historic religious buildings dazzle visitors, including a 14th-century Carmelite convent and the Eglise Saint-Hilaire, a humble little chapel in an Augustinian convent. Equally noteworthy is a 10th-century castle, the Château des Ducs, which was home to the Dukes of Mortemart. Stately noblemen’s mansions reflect the town’s wealthy heritage.

In the center of the city is an old covered hall that is still a hub for weekly markets, where farmers sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local products to villagers.

12. Ségur-le-Château

Ségur-le-Château is yet another one of the region’s “Plus Beaux Villages de France.” The village is nestled in a spot that was favored by the Viscounts of Limoges because of its safety from invasions. History is felt at every corner of the village. Visitors will enjoy wandering the ancient narrow lanes to admire handsome half-timbered houses and turreted noblemen’s mansions. On a sunny day, it’s pleasant to go for a scenic stroll along the riverside. Tourists should also be sure to visit the town’s medieval château, which requires a climb up the hill but offers the reward of a stunning view of the landscape.

Union Territories of India

There are eight beautiful union territories in India, Administered by the Central government. These Union Territories are the fastest developing modern and beautiful belt for tourism in India as well as in terms of industry and infrastructure too.

Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches and forts while on the other hand, Delhi is known for a list of old era monuments and heritage sites and islands of Andaman, Lakshadweep with pristine beaches.

How many Union Territories are there in India in 2020?

After the decisions announced by the Government of India on Aug 5, 2019 – J&K as a state will be granted special status and decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and Ladakh without a legislature. A total of 8 Union territories in India.

After the merger of the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu in December 2019, effect on 26 January 2020. There are now eight union territories in India.

National Capital Territory of Delhi – Delhi

The official name National Capital Territory of Delhi, in 1956 Delhi was converted into Union territory. Today, Delhi is the largest metro green city of India by area and eighth in the world by population. Delhi also owns the National Capital Region (NCR) urban area in which Noida, Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad are included.

The capital of India Delhi is located on the banks of Yamuna river one of the holy rivers in India. Delhi has many tourist attractions for the people of all around the world like Palika Bazaar, lotus temple, Red fort, Mugral era tomb, Jama Masjid and the Pride of India “The India Gate”.

Chandigarh – Chandigarh

Chandigarh is one of the best city in India to live and work, It is also known as the Green city of India. Chandigarh is the capital of both states Haryana and Punjab.

Chandigarh is considered as the first well-planned city of India, List of tourist attractions includes Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake and a bird sanctuary located in the city which is home for a variety of bird species are best places to visit in Chandigarh.

Daman and Diu/ Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Daman

Daman and Diu are located on the western coast of India, Daman city is the capital having an area of 72km. Daman and Diu is the second smallest among the other union territories in India and has a mixed culture of Indian and Portuguese

Daman and Diu are known for its untouched and explorer natural beauty. A trip to the famous beaches, Portuguese churches and forts of Daman and Diu can not be forgettable, also Daman city has one of the most famous casinos in India.

– Silvassa

Dadra and Nagar Haveli located between Maharashtra and Gujarat and a few kilometers from the city of Daman. A beautiful lake Garden Vanganga is located at the entrance of the city. Because of its scenic natural beauty and pleasant climate, Dadra & Nagar Haveli are dream tourist destinations of Indian. Silvassa capital is one of the best places to visit in Western India.

Pondicherry – Puducherry

Pondicherry is located on the eastern ghat of India, It was a former French colony. Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Beaches, Walkways, and Churches of Puducherry are must-see places in the southern belt of India.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Port Blair

Andaman and Nicobar are the groups of islands located in the Indian Ocean. The Andamans and Nicobars are separated by a channel. These Islands are blessed with unique tropical evergreen forest.

The British used these islands as an isolated prison knows as Kala Pani for Indian freedom fighters. Local people of Islands still maintained their separated existence, these Indian tribes are known as Jarwa and Great Andamanese. Port Blair is the largest city and the capital of Andaman Island.

Lakshadweep – Kavaratti

Lakshadweep is the smallest union territories in terms of area as well as in population. Lakshadweep located off of the coast of Kerala in the Laccadive Sea. The total area is 32 km and Kavaratti is the capital with the largest city is Andreotti.

Lakshadweep is one of the growing tourist island in India as well as India’s one of the best tourism location for Adventure sports. Though some of the Islands of Lakshadweep are still inhabited and full of natural beauty, color reef and virgin beaches hence become one of the best honeymoon destinations in India.

Jammu and Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is now geographically divided the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Kashmir Valley, Srinagar, and Jammu are the most popular places to visit in J&K. Image by confused_me from Pixabay

Ladakh

Ladakh is the land of high altitude mountain passes, now a union territory of India and home to world highest motorable roads like Umling La, Marsimik La, and Khardung La. The Government of India is also promoting tourism in Ladakh as well as in the Kashmir region and Siachen Glacier. Image source.

Tourist places in Alaska

The largest state in the U.S. at nearly 600,000 square miles, Alaska offers almost countless destinations to immerse yourself in stunning natural beauty, including glistening lakes and rugged coastline, mountains, glaciers, wildlife and more. The biggest problem comes with trying to decide where to go – to help, consider these especially spectacular places in Alaska.

Denali National Park and Preserve

This breathtaking national park contains over six million acres, filled with dazzling lakes and jagged mountains, including the tallest peak in North America, Mount Denali, for which the park was named. One of its must-experiences is the 92-mile Park Road. At Mile 15, you’ll need to take a shuttle or tour bus, as private vehicles aren’t allowed past that point. Once on, you can hop off and hop back on at just about any point along the way. In addition, taking in the magnificent scenery, you’ll have the chance to spot many of the park’s iconic animals like wolves, moose, caribou, grizzly and black bears. Dall’s sheep, spotted foxes, marmots, arctic ground squirrels, and red squirrels are often seen as well.

Juneau

Sitting on a hillside overlooking the Inside Passage, Juneau’s downtown area is nestled between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts, and Gastineau Chanel. Its labyrinth of narrow streets run past a mix of old storefronts, new structures and charming houses with early 19th-century architecture, dating from its gold mining beginnings. Popular activities include whale watching tours providing a great way to see the wide variety of marine life like humpback and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions and Dall’s porpoise.

Juneau is also home to Mendenhall Glacier, located just a short drive from downtown. Adventure enthusiasts can kayak to the 12-mile-long glacier and then ice-climb to the caves inside. As the recent rising temperatures have caused the caverns to shrink to about a third of their original size, there have been dramatic shifts of color inside.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Located just west of Juneau, this park is another fine example of the state’s wild, majestic beauty. By staying at Glacier Park Lodge, you’ll have access to the best of it, with the chance to hike across the land or explore the waters via kayak. It’s a popular place for fishing, with the opportunity to fish the rivers for halibut and rainbow trout, and a variety of wildlife can be seen as well, including mountain goats and black bears.

Margerie Glacier, a tidewater glacier that starts on land and stretches out to the sea, has been retreating, so you’ll want to see it before its gone. The 21-mile-long and one-mile-wide glacier can only be accessed by air or water, but your reward is a pristine glacier with jewel-like blue ice – and, if you’re lucky, you might even be able to witness calving. This incredible natural phenomenon is accompanied by the booming sound of ice cracking and crashing into the water below.

Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island is famous for its fishing and its bears. A renowned fishing destination, it offers the chance to catch trout, halibut and five species of salmon. At the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which protects a diverse 2,812-square-mile area with everything from alpine meadows and wetlands to rugged mountains, offers the chance to view bears. There are some 3,500 bears that live here, with some of the males weighing over 1,500 pounds and standing over 10 feet tall. As there are no roads in the refuge, visitors view the bears via air charters or an excursion from one of the many wilderness lodges.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Chitina

If you’re looking for extreme remote wilderness, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the place to go. The small town of Chitina, population 125, is the prime jumping-off point to Alaska’s largest national park at 13 million acres. It sits at the confluence of the mighty Copper River and the Chitina River, overshadowed by 16,390-foot-high Mount Blackburn. After its mine closed in the late 1930s, it was all but abandoned, but in 1980, with the creation of the park, it began serving as the main gateway for visitors who embark on McCarthy Road, which winds 60 miles east into the heart of the park. With habitats ranging from temperate rain forest to tundra, you’ll find an incredible diversity of animals as well, including moose which are often seen near willow bogs and lakes. Other species of large mammals include mountain goats, caribou, wolves, bison, black bears, and brown bears.

Truly get back to nature, with the time to admire the northern lights and discover glaciers, by staying at Ultima Thule Lodge – 100 miles from the nearest road, there is no cell service or the Internet, but you can spend your time gazing at some of the most jaw-dropping wilderness on Earth.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” as it sits at the southern tip of the Inside Passage and is the first city cruise passengers see when heading north. If you’re a fan of the “Deadliest Catch,” you might want to take the Bering Sea Crab Boat Tour which was featured on the reality series. You’ll get a hands-on look at what it takes to haul up the crab, salmon, shrimp, and other sea creatures. Other outdoor adventures possible here include zip-lining between the soaring trees over salmon streams and wildlife, hiking to the top of Deer Mountain, flying over the Misty Fjords in a floatplane or just spending a few hours watching for whales, sea lions and other signs of sea life along the shore. In town, discover an award-winning arts scene, live music and theater, a host of shops, fantastic eateries and more

Seward

If you’re looking for a town that offers a little bit of everything Alaska has to offer, you might want to head to Seward. It’s easy to reach via a scenic drive on the Seward Highway from Anchorage, which winds through the spectacular Alaskan wilderness offering dramatic views of the shorelines of Turnagain Arm, the towering, craggy peaks of the Chugach Mountains, waterfalls, azure-colored glaciers, and glistening valley lakes. Just some of the wildlife you might spot along the way include moose, eagles, and bears. As you reach Seward, the pristine waters of Resurrection Bay, home to humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, porpoises, otters and sea lions, come into view. And, as you look up, bald eagles can be seen soaring through the sky or perched atop a tree.

Rent a kayak or take a water taxi to check out some of the secluded coves around the bay that are ideal for beachcombing, or paddle to tidewater caves, bird rookeries, and sea lion hangouts. You can also take a mile-long walk on the beach or hike the five-mile coastal trail to Caines Head, known as one of the top hikes in the state.

Homer

As you reach Homer, an amazing panorama of snowy peaks, dramatic mountains, glaciers, and the famous Homer Spit, a long strip of land jutting into a brilliant blue bay, all await. Homer is an “artsy,” town, with a reputation as the cultural capital of Southcentral Alaska, hosting numerous art galleries and museums, as well as a live theater and music venues, along with fine restaurants and coffee bars on every corner.

Homer Spit offers beachcombing, fishing and bird watching, with more bald eagles than you can count, and just across the bay is Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park, a 350,000-acre paradise of glaciers, mountains, protected coves for paddling and an extensive trail system to explore on foot. Kayakers, backpackers, and campers hop on water taxis and to escape the bustle of Homer to an idyllic wilderness.

Chugach State Park, Anchorage

Chugach State Park is the state’s most easily accessible wilderness area, with many of its trailheads just minutes from downtown Anchorage. The country’s third-largest state park at 9,000 square miles, with magnificent terrain that’s popular for hiking, rafting, biking, ATVing, kayaking, and fishing. Rent a yurt near the Eagle River and watch the spawning salmon in the summer. As the historic Iditarod Trail makes its way through this area, it’s a good spot for watching the famous dog-sledding race too. And, at Beluga Point, you can watch for pods of the always-grinning white whales.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords is located near Seward, offering 607,000 acres of snow, ice, long fjords and hundreds of tranquil bays and coves, as well as lots of wildlife, including harbor seals, Steller sea lions, sea otters, moose, black bears, wolverines, mountain goats, and coyotes. Snow and ice cover 60 percent of the park, and lining the edge is its crown jewel, the vast 936-square-mile Harding Icefield. It feeds nearly three dozen glaciers flowing out of the mountains, as a vestige of the massive ice sheet that covered much of Alaska in the Pleistocene era.

Park adventures include Activities include kayaking, camping, fishing, beachcombing, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, boat tours, flightseeing, mountaineering and more.

Fairbanks

Fairbanks is renowned as one the very best places to watch the northern lights in the U.S. At the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, you can even get forecasts on aurora viewing conditions. To get a good look at the stunning light display, you’ll need to get away from city lights and into the vast wilderness. Chena Resort is considered a great place to do just that, where guests can marvel at the display from a hot spring. If you’re worried about missing it while you sleep, the resort offers alerts to guests when the lights appear via the aurora alarm service. You can also enjoy other activities, including a visit to its Aurora Ice Museum, the world’s largest year-round ice environment, as well as join dog-sledding tours or flight-seeing excursions

Talkeetna

Talkeetna sits in the shadows of Mount Denali. This small town founded at the height of a gold rush now draws visitors in the summer for its fabulous fishing on three rivers that converge here, as well as kayaking and four-wheeling. During the winter months, it’s a popular spot for snowmobiling, dog sledding, and nordic skiing. Walk around town and you can enjoy the historic buildings that stand to a testament to local craftsmanship, having endured a century of Alaskan weather. Today, they’re filled quaint shops, local breweries, restaurants and more.

Sitka

Sitka, located on Baranof Island, on the southern tail of Alaska, can only be reached by air or sea, which makes getting there an adventure of itself. It’s the only Inside Passage community that fronts the Pacific Ocean, hugging the west shore of the island in the shadow of the impressive Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano with a cone reminiscent of Mount Fuji in Japan. There are 22 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places right downtown, along with plenty of restaurants, unique local shops, and art galleries.

Thanks to its incredible natural landscape, visitors can enjoy kayaking, fishing, whale watching and hiking on trails that begin in the lush rain forest that surrounds Sitka, with many ending high in the surrounding mountains.

Skagway

Once the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway was filled with treasure seekers out to make their millions back in the day. Today, It offers the chance to experience days gone by on the Alaskan frontier. If you want to delve into its history, taking a self-guided walking tour narrated by a Skagway local, Buckwheat Donahue, well-known for being a captivating storyteller, entertainer, historian, and adventurer, is the best way to do it.

Misty Fjords National Monument

Be sure to check out the old cemetery which holds remains of outlaws, gold miners, and local legends, and pops into one of the honky-tonk piano bars for a drink. Of course, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures too. Hardcore enthusiasts can hike the Chilkoot Pass Trail, the only long trail traverse in Southeast Alaska, crossing through the Coastal Mountains from Skagway to Canada, while others can enjoy flight-seeing, kayaking, rafting, dog-sledding and more.

The Misty Fjords National Monument is located 22 miles east of Ketchikan and is the largest wilderness area in the state’s national forests, with its 2.3 million acres spread across the Tongass National Forest. It’s filled with rock walls that rise 3,000 feet from the ocean, steep fjords, and sea cliffs. Living up to its name, there is almost always precipitation in the area, which means the monument is covered with dense rain forests that grow on practically vertical slopes from sea level to the mountain peaks, while dramatic waterfalls can be seen tumbling throughout the landscape.

The best way to explore the region’s fjords is by kayak, although sightseeing flights and boat excursions are available too. However you choose to see it, you’ll have the chance to view some of the area’s wildlife, from killer whales and Dall porpoise in the water to black bear, moose, marten, wolf and mountain goats on land.

Nome

Just 190 miles from the Siberian coast, Nome is most famous as the end of the Iditarod Trail. But it’s also home to active gold mines and wonderful backcountry roads across the tundra. It’s a fabulous place that blends the state’s gold rush history with Inupiat Eskimo culture and lots of unique wildlife.

While it can only be reached by air or sea, once you’re there you’ll be able to get out on the 350 miles of roads that connect to other Seward Peninsula communities, viewing coastal plains and majestic mountains along the way. Artifacts from the gold rush can be seen at nearly every turn, from old mining claims to decaying trestles and even turn-of-the-century steam engines. Some of its resident wildlife to be on the lookout for include reindeer and musk oxen that tend to graze right off the side of the road. Moose, bears, wolves, fox, and wolverine roam the area too.

Yakutat

The small village of Yakutat which sits on beautiful Monti Bay is a popular destination for steelhead and salmon fishermen, but surprisingly, it offers a whole lot more than that, including incredible beaches with big-wave surfing and towering glaciers. In fact, this remote town made a name for itself in the late 1990s as the first Alaska town with a surf shop. If you’re into beachcombing, you’ll love the miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches abound with driftwood and occasional glass balls.

There are some gorgeous hiking trails in and around the village, including a challenging trek to Situk Lake and an easy hike to Russell Fjord. Like many other Alaska destinations, the area is teeming with wildlife, including brown bears, eagles, and moose on land, while humpback, gray, orca, beluga, and minke whales can be spotted on Yakutat Bay as well as harbor porpoises, harbor seals and sea otters.

Tourist Places in California

The Golden State gets its name for a reason. California’s diverse cultural and geographical offerings, vibrant cities and critically acclaimed culinary scenes are truly the gold standard for travelers. Whether you’re hiking the trails in one of the state’s many scenic parks, sampling some bubbly in the northern valleys, kicking back on sunny, southern shorelines or walking where stars once stood, California is truly a sight to behold. U.S. News took into account expert opinion and traveler sentiment to determine the best places to visit in California. Have a favorite? Vote below to help influence next year’s list.

Yosemite

One of California’s most formidable natural landscapes, Yosemite National Park features nearly 1,200 square miles of sheer awe: towering waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, striking, daunting cliff faces and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. But despite its enormous size, most of the tourist activity takes place within the 8-square-mile area of Yosemite Valley. Here you’ll find the park’s most famous landmarks – Half Dome and El Capitan – as well as excellent hiking trails through the natural monuments. Even inexperienced hikers can enjoy Yosemite: Guided tours and climbing lessons are available from local adventure outfitters. Just don’t expect to experience it by yourself. Like so many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacles to an enjoyable Yosemite vacation – approximately 4 million people visit each year. But if you go at the right time (and start your day a little earlier than usual), Mother Nature’s wonders will reveal themselves to you in a miraculous and serene way.

San Francisco

A jumbled collage of colorful neighborhoods and beautiful views, San Francisco draws those free-spirited types who have an eye for edgy art, a taste for imaginative cuisine and a zeal for adventure. It’s really not surprising that songwriter Tony Bennett left his heart here: The city boasts jaw-dropping sights, world-class cuisine, cozy cafes and plenty of booming nightlife venues – there’s no shortage of ways to stay busy here. Spend an hour or two sunning yourself alongside sea lions on the bay, admiring the views of the city from Twin Peaks, or strolling along the Marina. And for the quintessential San Franciscan experience, enjoy a ride on a cable car or hop on a boat tour for a cruise beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Often described as Los Angeles’ more refined northern cousin, cool and compact San Francisco takes the big-city buzz exuded by its southern counterpart and melds it with a sense of small-town charm. Here, you’ll discover a patchwork of culture flourishing throughout San Francisco’s many vibrant quarters. Follow the crowds to the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf area (which offers spectacular views of Alcatraz) before heading along the bay to the Presidio for a glimpse of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. But don’t forget to save time for the Mission District, the Haight and the Castro for exposure to all of the different varieties of the San Francisco lifestyle. And when you’re ready for a break from the city, join one of San Francisco’s best wine tours for a relaxing day trip.

San Diego

Consistently sunny weather and 70 miles of magnificent coastline are what draw active types and sun-seekers alike to San Diego throughout the year: that and the mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, thriving nightlife and one of the country’s favorite zoos. And then there are the beaches: Retreat to Mission Beach to catch a wave, to La Jolla to soak up the sun and to Coronado for a leisurely seaside stroll. When you’re ready to ditch your flip-flops and board shorts for more formal attire, you’ll find pockets of vivacious nightlife throughout, especially near the historical Gaslamp Quarter.

Lake Tahoe

Incredible, extraordinary, mind-boggling … try as you might, you’ll have difficulty finding words that do justice to the sheer beauty of Lake Tahoe. Resting on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe has long been a favorite vacation spot, welcoming upward of 2.7 million people a year. Visitors are drawn here by the steep granite cliff sides and towering mountaintops, as well as the crystal-clear waters that have earned Lake Tahoe the reputation of being one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the United States. While the stunning blue lake alone is worth a trip, the surrounding area, also known as Lake Tahoe, boasts miles of hiking trails, dozens of picture-perfect vistas and some of the best skiing in North America.

But wait – there’s more. Lake Tahoe seems to have adopted the major traits of its neighbors. You’ll find San Francisco-style high-end shopping and dining along the lake’s north shore, while opportunities to test your luck reside in the south shore’s Reno-Esque casinos. You’ll also find plenty of activities that Lake Tahoe is proud to take credit for, including mountain gondola rides, hot air balloon adventures and scenic cruises across the mirror-like water.

Monterey

The Monterey Peninsula is different than any other part of California. Here, time slows, the architecture is humble (with the exception of the homes in Pebble Beach), and the lifestyle is the perfect synthesis of SoCal laid back and NorCal sophisticated. On the northern side of the peninsula, the town of Monterey draws most of the tourists, while farther south, Carmel-by-the-Sea lures the easygoing wealthy set. Tremendous price tags on real estate help maintain the small-community atmosphere along Monterey’s jaw-dropping coastline.

This area makes for a tremendous road-trip stop or romantic weekend stay. And did we mention the golf courses? This stretch of the California coastline boasts some of the most coveted fairways in the world. Add to that an abundance of natural wonders, luxury resorts, and seafood restaurants, and Monterey might just be the ideal destination for your next getaway.

Big Sur

Big Sur is not just a destination, it’s a state of mind. Stretching 90 miles between Monterey Bay and San Simeon on the west coast of central California, Big Sur’s remote location, peaceful nature, and incomparable beauty entice visitors to change gears, both figuratively and literally. Pacific Coast Highway, which was built less than 100 years ago, is the main road that runs through the region and becomes the most scenic in Big Sur. Sitting high above the surf, the highway clings to the edge of the area’s cliffs, providing spectacular views as it weaves in and out of the seemingly endless coastline. Driving conditions aside, Big Sur’s calming culture is contagious and has been known to attract minds of all kinds seeking inspiration, refuge or transformation. It was Jack Kerouac who took off to Big Sur in search of inner peace, as recounted in his novel “Big Sur.” Fellow writer Henry Miller called Big Sur the first place he felt at home in America, later penning the memoir “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch.” Since then, countless musicians, artists, writers, and photographers have chronicled Big Sur’s powerful presence in their work, yet travelers say its grandeur remains indescribable.

Today, Big Sur draws millions of visitors every year, but it still hasn’t lost its sense of place. Independent art galleries dot the highway, sharing space with wellness retreats and cliffside eateries. But the diverse landscape trumps all of the area’s amenities by a landslide, with state parks and beaches reigning supreme as the main attractions. Mountains, beaches, rivers, valleys, creeks, coves, wildflowers and wildlife linger at every turn. That is if you can find them. Some of Big Sur’s natural attractions are intentionally unmarked to preserve the sense of seclusion that the region is so famous for. Some areas, believe it or not, still don’t have electricity. Big Sur, however, is meant to be an experience rather than just a typical vacation. So kick back, unwind, and open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of Big Sur.

Napa Valley

After a visit to Napa Valley in the 1880s, writer Robert Louis Stevenson pronounced, “Wine is bottled poetry.” You’ll see this quote as you pass the area’s landmark sign on Highway 29. Unfortunately, Stevenson was referring to French wine — what Napa vintners should aspire to. But as the film “Bottle Shock” documents, California wineries have since risen to the level of their European predecessors. Now, both connoisseurs and amateurs savor the respected vintages from Napa. Whatever your level of expertise, a guided tour can help you make the most of your time here.

With its rise in the wine industry, Napa Valley has also become a vacation hot spot. The tiered hillsides, wine caverns, and illustrious estates make for stellar scenery, and top-class hotels are taking note. Scattered between the vineyards, sumptuous resorts cater to every indulgence — golfing, spa pampering, gourmet dining, you name it. A trip to California wine country is made unforgettable by not only the life-changing cabernet but also the intoxicating natural setting. And if you can afford it, you’ll be back for more.

Sequoia National Park

Home to some of the tallest trees in the world, Sequoia National Park is a humbling place to visit. With the magnificent trees towering hundreds of feet above you, it’s easy to feel small in comparison. Located about 80 miles east of Fresno, California, in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the park was established in 1890 as a measure to protect the giant trees from being logged, making it America’s second national park. The adjacent Kings Canyon National Park was formed in 1940 and eventually, both parks became linked together.

Highlights of the park are, of course, the trees, including the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree, standing 275 feet tall with a base more than 36 feet in diameter. But there is plenty to see and do, from exploring caves to hiking to snowshoeing. What’s more, the park is open every day of the year and each season holds its own charms.

Santa Monica

Situated about 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica easily stands alone as its own destination. This beachfront city is equipped with ample hotels, restaurants, and shops in addition to its star attractions: Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. After a day of fun in the sand or at the popular Third Street Promenade, visit Palisades Park for an unforgettable Southern Californian sunset.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles both confirms and dismantles all of its stereotypes. Sure, it’s a sprawling metropolis with eternally congested freeways, but it also contains one of the most diverse and unique sets of neighborhoods in the United States. La-La Land is filled to the brim with the glamour of chic Hollywood name brands and movie set backdrops, yet it’s also home to renowned art galleries like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and architectural masterpieces like the Getty Center. The world’s visual entertainment empire, LA offers tourists behind-the-scenes looks into the world of filmmaking and television broadcasting at studios like Paramount Pictures Studios and Warner Bros. Studio. What’s more, the City of Angels features some of the country’s most eclectic cuisine and dozens of highly acclaimed restaurants. Away from the revitalized downtown area, the Malibu and Santa Monica beaches provide sun, sand, and surfing, while Venice Beach offers close-ups of the city’s most unique residents. Additional outdoor pursuits like hiking can be found at Griffith Park and Angeles National Forest.

At more than 500 square miles, Los Angeles is massive and touring it can be exhausting – but that doesn’t deter visitors. The area is one of the most visited in the country, especially between June and October when thousands of travelers use their summer vacations to experience as many LA attractions as possible. But the key to a successful LA vacation is simple: Plan ahead. Pick a few areas that best suit your interests and needs, or take a guided tour if you want a little more assistance. Then all that’s left to do is explore, explore, explore.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs, centered in the Southern California desert, is far from being a dried-up destination. This city once lured the likes of heartthrob crooner Frank Sinatra and rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley. In fact, the King even took up residence here in the late 1960s, honeymooning with Priscilla and later having their daughter, Lisa Marie. In the ’60s, glamorous piano bars and retro storefronts lined the vibrant streets of the desert town, which is beautifully bookended by the San Jacinto Mountains.

When Elvis and Sinatra left, the city lost some of its spirits. But today, Palm Springs is experiencing a resurgence of sorts. After all, its desert scenery and colorful sunsets are the same as they were 50 years ago. And its pools, spas, and nightclubs are attracting a wide swath of travelers, from seniors to hipsters to LGBT couples. Plus, the surrounding Coachella Valley has blossomed with interesting things to do, from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to the Coachella Valley Preserve. But if you want a true Palm Springs experience, you should take it easy, whether by the pool or in a trendy bar. In short, you won’t regret a visit to this California city. If Palm Springs passed muster for the King and Ol’ Blue Eyes, then it should be a great mix of fun and relaxation for everyday travelers as well.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a small town, Southern California experience. Situated between LA and San Diego, Laguna Beach offers an array of scenic beaches both big and small, remote and central that’ll keep visitors occupied for days. Main Beach and Crescent Bay are a couple of local favorites, though travelers also highly recommend taking a trip to the wild shores of Crystal Cove State Park. For a break from the sun, pop into one of downtown’s art galleries or boutiques.

Anaheim-Disneyland

Many vacationers come to Anaheim for Disneyland Resort. A plaque at the entrance of the park reads: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy,” and for more than 50 years, this complex of amusement parks and hotels has remained a fun fantasy world. Even if you’ve been to other Disney resorts, nothing beats the original’s unique place as a vintage landmark in the heart of Southern California. This vibrant park is still a great place for families – in fact, your kids will most likely have so much fun with Mickey and friends that they’ll never want to leave. And with plenty of thrilling rides and a bustling entertainment district, you might not want to leave either. Plus, the park’s newest themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, brings a whole new dimension to the park.

But Disneyland isn’t the only thing luring visitors to this Southern California city. There are other (more affordable) theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Adventure City, the picturesque Yorba Regional Park, and even an “angelic” baseball stadium. When you need a break from the crowds, simply hop in your car and drive west to the coast: the shorelines of Long Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach are all within about 25 miles of Anaheim.

Sonoma

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Sonoma, a county in Northern California known for its bucolic charms and array of wineries, could also be described as Napa’s rustic, less-refined and more-relaxed sister. Its rolling hills, which rise into the Sonoma Mountains and descend to the Pacific shore, also contain a cache of small cities that are worth a visit: Try Santa Rosa for an urban escape, complete with museums and buzzy restaurants, but pop by Glen Ellen for a slice of small-town Americana. In short, if you want a laid-back introduction to stellar vintages and gorgeous properties, Sonoma – rather than Napa – should be your California wine country destination.

Huntington Beach

Nicknamed Surf City USA, this Orange County beach offers some of the country’s best waves. It is home to the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing (the world’s largest surfing competition) and has a rich surfing history and culture. After visitors learn more about the sport at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, they can enjoy views of the water as they walk along the Huntington Beach Pier or sip cocktails at an oceanfront lounge. Families should save time for shopping and playing at the weekly Surf City Nights Street Fair.

Santa Barbara

In the early 20th century when Flying “A” Studios opened its doors, Santa Barbara was slated to become the epicenter of America’s movie-making industry. But the movie stars moved south to Los Angeles, and today’s Santa Barbarans wouldn’t want it any other way. On the “American Riviera,” Santa Barbara aspires for casual yet fashionable elegance. Just take a look at the well-dressed pedestrians on state Street to comprehend the city’s understated indulgence. And although some of America’s budget-friendly favorites – like Motel 6 and the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin – have their origins here, Santa Barbara’s boutique shops and world-class resorts have a reputation for making a dent in your vacation savings. If you can afford the price tag, this quiet, seaside paradise might just be the ideal California retreat for you.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park established as a national monument in 1936 and then later as a national park in 1994, sprawls across approximately 800,000 acres. Joshua Tree is a deserted wilderness, with few facilities or services, however, those very reasons draw nearly 3 million yearly visitors. Located just outside Palm Springs, California, and about 140 miles east of Los Angeles, the desert park is actually made up of two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and Colorado.

The stark and sometimes surreal landscape, shaped by fierce winds and rains, is famous for its Joshua trees. Still, a wide variety of other plants and animals call the park home, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and jackrabbits. Joshua Tree is also a magnet for rock climbers, as there are more than 8,000 established climbing routes scattered throughout the park. In the springtime, large swaths of wildflowers become a big draw for many visitors. Plus, the incredibly clear night sky, unpolluted by artificial lights, make the park a great place to stargaze.

Venice Beach

2017 Venice Beach Neptune Festival. Photo sponsored by The Sidewalk Cafe. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.com. #VeniceBeachFun

Eclectic Venice Beach, one of LA’s most popular neighborhoods, is packed with things to do and see. The area features a vibrant local art scene, which you can get a taste of while checking out the Venice Art Walls. Plus, the beach offers top-notch conditions for surfing. But the highlight of any trip to Venice Beach is its boardwalk. Here, you can watch everyone from musicians and street performers honing their crafts to fitness buffs breaking a sweat at the outdoor workout facilities.

Sausalito

Travel north across the Golden Gate Bridge and you’ll discover Sausalito, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. This small town is best known for its laid-back atmosphere and colorful houseboats, some of which were built during World War II. The Bridgeway Promenade is where you’ll find the bulk of Sausalito’s shops, restaurants, and art galleries. And just south of the town center is where educational attractions like the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Fort Baker reside.

Malibu

Everyone from celebrities like Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand to cultural icons (think: Barbie) has called this quintessential California beach townhome – and it’s easy to see why. Malibu’s gorgeous stretches of sand, such as Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach, appeal to both sunbathers and surfers. The Malibu Pier is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view. Away from the shore, visitors can see ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities at the Getty Villa or sample wines during a wine hike or a wine safari.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore’s 70,000-plus acres beckon to wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This protected area off of Northern California’s coast offers ample opportunities to see hundreds of animal species, including elephant seals, gray whales and nearly 490 kinds of birds. Visitors can also explore various beaches, wander down to the Point Reyes Lighthouse and hike some of the area’s miles of trails, including the Earthquake Trail, which travels along the San Andreas Fault.

Mammoth Lakes

If you’ve never thought of California as a ski destination, Mammoth Lakes might change your mind. Nestled in the Eastern Sierra region, Mammoth Lakes is home to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the highest ski resort in the state. In winter, the region’s dozens of trails welcome skiers and snowboarders in droves. When the temperatures rise and the snow melts, vacationers can try other outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and paddleboarding.

Kings Canyon National Park

Head to Kings Canyon National Park if you want to see more of California’s famous sequoias after visiting Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. The park’s most famous tree is the General Grant Tree, the second-largest tree in the world by volume. Named after former President Ulysses S. Grant in 1867, the tree has been lovingly called “the Nation’s Christmas Tree” since 1926. Aside from admiring Kings Canyon’s sequoias, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing, among other activities

San Luis Obispo

Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo often serves as a stopping point during road trips between the two cities. But this small town is worth a longer stay. With art galleries, museums, parks and a central district filled with shops, SLO offers plenty to see and do. Looking to satisfy your taste buds? SLO is packed with highly regarded wineries, breweries, and restaurants and even hosts a popular farmers market every Thursday night.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach tends to conjure up images of glamour and sophistication (think: massive mansions, mega-yachts, and high-end shops). Places like Fashion Island – Newport Beach’s lavish open-air mall – and the lush Sherman Library & Gardens give you a taste of some of this luxury. But there is also a more laid-back side to this Southern California city. Quaint Balboa Island is the place to go for Newport Beach’s famous frozen bananas and offers family-friendly fun at the Balboa Fun Zone. And at the Wedge on the Balboa Peninsula, surfers and boogie boarders can catch gnarly waves.

Tourist Places in Tasmania

For those who haven’t visited Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania or “Tassie,” seems shrouded in mystique. Perhaps it’s the state’s far-flung location some 300 kilometers south of the Australian mainland across the stormy Bass Strait. Maybe it’s the vast expanses of windswept wilderness — almost half of Tasmania’s landmass lies in national parks and World Heritage Areas, with sparkling alpine lakes, wild rivers, and mist-cloaked peaks. Perhaps it’s the bizarre wildlife — from real-life Tasmanian devils to the extinct thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger. Or is it the haunting convict history and beautifully preserved heritage towns, which seem frozen in time? Today, this mystique lures more and more tourists who are discovering the island’s many jewels.

Shaped appropriately like a heart, Tasmania is also a foodie’s delight. Gloriously creamy cheeses, crisp fruits, and succulent seafood are just some of the mouthwatering local treats on offer, and hanging out at a waterfront cafe or restaurant is one of the top things to do in the port city of Hobart. Explore the state with our list of the top attractions in Tasmania.

1. Explore Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park

In the north of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is the jewel in the crown of the state’s many natural wonders. Glacier-carved crags; glittering lakes; beech forests; alpine heathland; and jagged dolerite peaks, including 1,616-meter-high Mount Ossa (the highest point on the island), are some of its most breathtaking features. Hiking here is legendary. Favorite day walks include the Lake Dove Walk, with magnificent views of Cradle Mountain (1,545 meters), and the Weindorfer Walk, a six-kilometer circuit through dense forests.

The northern part of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, is particularly beautiful. From the summit of Cradle Mountain, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the central highlands. The famous 80-kilometer Overland Track runs south from Cradle Valley to stunning Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia.

If you’re based in Hobart and want to explore this magnificent national park, as well as some of the state’s other top natural attractions, the budget-priced five-day Best of Tasmania tour from Hobart takes care of all the details. As well as Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, you’ll experience the wonders of Wineglass Bay, the Tarkine rain forest, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Bay of Fires, with optional add-ons, like a cruise on the Gordon River.

2. Hobart

In a beautiful setting between the sea and the soaring peak of kunanyi/Mount Wellington, Tasmania’s capital has transformed itself from a sleepy backwater with a turbulent convict history to a hub of cutting-edge culture. Opened in 2011, MONA: Museum of Old and New Art pushes the art world envelope with its provocative and confronting exhibits, while the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery takes a more traditional look at the country’s art, as well as its natural history. Foodies will also find plenty to smile about. The city’s waterfront precinct buzzes with hip cafes and restaurants, and you can eat around the world on the restaurant strip in North Hobart.

For a glimpse at the city’s convict history, visit the Hobart Convict Penitentiary and explore the historic sandstone warehouses at Salamanca Place, now filled with shops, cafes, and antique dealers. From here, you can also follow the Battery Point Sculpture Trail to see elegant convict-built architecture.

Natural attractions are also never far away from the city buzz. Climb kunanyi/Mount Wellington to really appreciate Hobart’s picturesque setting and gaze out at the World Heritage wilderness in the distance.

3. Port Arthur Historic Site

The old convict settlement of Port Arthur, about an hour’s drive southeast of Hobart offers a sobering look at Tasmania’s turbulent past. The ruins are part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Here, in 1830, Governor Sir George Arthur established a brutal penal settlement where convicts were forced to hew coal in the mines and fell timber.

In spite of a devastating fire in 1897, the remains of many buildings still stand, including the guard tower, church, model prison, and hospital. You can also browse fascinating documents and relics of the penal settlement in the museum, visit the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site, or join an evening lantern-lit “ghost tour” of the ruins. After touring Port Arthur, take a drive along the coast to explore the soaring sea cliffs and sheltered coves of the spectacular Tasman peninsula.

4. Freycinet National Park

World Heritage-listed Freycinet National Park, on Tasmania’s relatively sunny east coast, is one of Australia’s oldest nature reserves and one of its most beautiful. The star of this picturesque peninsula is the perfect curve of powder-white sand and azure sea at Wineglass Bay — one of the top beaches in Australia. A lookout provides the best views. Take the 20-minute walk from the lookout to the southern end of Wineglass Bay to admire beautiful views of the Hazards, three striking pink granite crags rising out of the sea. The peaks are best photographed at sunrise and sunset when their color deepens in the golden light.

Throughout the park, hiking trails wind through pristine bushland to secluded bays and lookouts, and birding is fantastic — black cockatoos, kookaburras, and sea birds are just some of the resident species. At the entrance to Freycinet National Park, the little beach resort of Coles Bay is a good base for walks and climbs in the surrounding hills, and you can also explore the entire region on the East Coast Escape scenic drive.

5. See the Views from kunanyi/Mount Wellington

Undulating to the west of Hobart, the comforting presence of 1,270-meter-high kunanyi/Mount Wellington is a constant reminder of the unspoiled wilderness that lies on the doorstep of this waterfront capital. Follow a winding 21-kilometer mountain road to the Pinnacle, often sprinkled with snow, for breathtaking views over Hobart, the Derwent Valley, and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. At the summit, boardwalks lead to panoramic viewpoints, and a pavilion displays old photographs of Hobart and Mount Wellington.

The mountain is a popular spot for biking and hiking through the temperate rain forests, and the distinctive Organ Pipes, a dolerite cliff, is renowned for its excellent rock climbing. Standing atop the summit and admiring the sweeping views is one of the best free things to do in Tasmania, but dress warmly as the weather here is notoriously fickle.

6. Tasman National Park

On the wind-lashed Tasman Peninsula, 56 kilometers east of Hobart, Tasman National Park protects some of Australia’s most spectacular coastal scenery. If you look at a map of Tasmania, this park cloaks the far southeast tip of the state, with nothing but ocean between here and Antarctica. It’s a place of raw beauty. Towering dolerite cliffs plunge 300 meters to the sea, islands shimmer just offshore, waterfalls tumble to the sea, and contorted rock formations bear witness to the relentless forces of wind and water.

The Blowhole and Tasman Arch are two of the park’s most famous features. Other top sites include Remarkable Cave, Waterfall Bay, and the Devil’s Kitchen — a collapsed rock arch.

Wildlife also scores top billing here. Apart from many species of rare birds, the area plays host to Australian fur seals, dolphins, whales, fairy penguins, and possums. A popular way to explore this stunning national park is by hiking the Three Capes Track (see below).

You can also explore some of the top attractions by car or hop aboard a boat to glimpse the soaring cliffs from sea level, or cast a line — fishing can be excellent here. In the southern end of the park, climbers scale the dolerite cliffs, and Pirate’s Bay is popular with hang-gliders. Nearby lies the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most poignant historic sites.

7. Hike the Three Capes Track

Starting and ending in World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, the stunningly scenic Three Capes Track slices through more than 48 kilometers of awe-inspiring wilderness in Tasman National Park. A boat delivers you to the trailhead from Port Arthur, where you’ll walk along the edge of the continent, with breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea from the cliff-top trail.

Along the way, you’ll walk through pristine eucalyptus forests and windswept heathland; see spectacular dolerite columns rising from the sea; encounter wildlife like wombats, wallabies, and echidnas; and stay in comfy eco-friendly cabins.

Every hiker receives a guidebook with maps and notes about the journey, as well as stories to read as they sit on strategically placed benches along the track. This four-day, three-night hike is suitable for all levels of hikers — even children — and is one of the best things to do in Tasmania in spring, fall, or summer, although hardy hikers could also tackle it in winter if they dress appropriately.

8. Cataract Gorge, Launceston

A mere 15-minute stroll along the river from Launceston’s city center, the wild and romantic Cataract Gorge is a deep chasm carved over many centuries by the South Esk River. Precipitous walking paths, first built in the 1890s, cut into the cliff face on both sides of the gorge, offering heart-stopping views of the river far below.

The less adventurous can hop aboard the world’s longest single-span chairlift, while the Kings Bridge and Gorge Restaurant also afford fine views. On the south side, you can relax at a café and paddle in the bush-fringed swimming pool. At Cliff Grounds on the northern side, lies a beautiful Victorian garden replete with ferns, strutting peacocks, and wallabies. River cruises offer another perspective of this popular attraction.

9. Salamanca Place

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Salamanca Place, with its lovingly restored sandstone buildings, is a tourist hub in the heart of Hobart’s historic waterfront. Built by convicts between 1835 and 1860, these beautiful Georgian buildings were once warehouses along the commercial center of old Hobart. Today, they house art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and shops.

You can dine alfresco along this cobblestone strip; shop for antiques and souvenirs; or visit the galleries, performing arts venues, and ateliers of the Salamanca Arts Centre. Every Saturday, tourists and locals alike flock to the Salamanca Markets, where more than 300 vendors sell everything from handcrafted jewelry and woodwork to fresh produce.

Nearby Constitution Dock is a favorite spot to buy fresh seafood, and one of the most popular things to do in December here is watching the yachts cruise in after the iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. From Salamanca Place, you can also descend Kelly Steps to Battery Point, a picturesque seaside suburb with heritage houses.

10. Bruny Island

About 55 minutes from Hobart by car and ferry, Bruny Island is a popular day trip from the city for foodies and nature buffs. The island lies across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from the seaside town of Kettering. It’s famous for its delectable gastronomic treats, such as handmade chocolates, local berries, artisan cheeses, and succulent seafood, which you can sample on island tasting tours. South Bruny National Park, on the island’s southern tip, offers beautiful coastal scenery with soaring green sea cliffs, sheltered beaches, and challenging surf breaks.

You can explore the park on an eco-cruise or hike the many nature trails. Keep an eye out for wildlife. Fur seals and fairy penguins swim offshore, and wombats, wallabies, and echidnas are some of the more charismatic land animals. Built by convicts between 1836 and 1838, Cape Bruny Lighthouse offers beautiful views of the surging Southern Ocean.

11. Mona Museum and Art Gallery

Cutting edge and controversial, the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart has made a splash on the Aussie art scene since it opened in 2011. Its Tasmanian owner, David Walsh, described the thought-provoking collection of art and antiquities as a “subversive adult Disneyland.”

After entering the museum’s foyer at ground level, art lovers descend a spiral staircase to a subterranean gallery, where exhibits range from Sidney Nolan’s Snake to an Egyptian sarcophagus and a machine that turns food into brown sludge. Portable touch screen devices provide commentary on the works.

Also on-site are entertainment venues, a trendy restaurant, library, cinema, and accommodation pavilions. The most popular way to travel to MONA is a 30-minute ferry ride along the Derwent River, which drops you off directly at the museum’s steps.

12. Mount Field National Park

About 80 kilometers from Hobart, Mount Field is one of Australia’s oldest national parks, with magnificent rainforests, tall swamp gums, alpine moorland, and stunning waterfalls. Beautiful walking trails wind throughout the park, which is often dusted with snow in the high moorlands until summer. The short Russell Falls Nature Walk to these triple-tiered cascades is suitable even for wheelchair-users. You can also hike around Lake Dobson, and experienced bushwalkers have a choice of more challenging routes.

One of the popular things to do in winter in Tasmania is cross-country skiing, and this is an ideal place to indulge, only a 90-minute drive from Hobart. In the fall, the spark ignites with yellow, orange, and red-leafed trees. This is also the site where the last Tasmanian tiger was captured in 1930.

13. Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the spectacular Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park has become a symbol of one of Australia’s most famous conservation victories. In the 1970s and 80s, this majestic mountain region of the primeval rainforest, steep gorges, and wild rivers was the subject of bitter controversy over a proposal to dam the Franklin River. The opponents of the scheme, with their battle cry “No dams!” were victorious, and the wild beauty of the Franklin River and its surrounding wilderness remains.

Today, the national park is the nucleus of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which also includes the rocky 1,443-meter peak of Frenchman’s Cap. Its aboriginal sites are evidence of a rich indigenous heritage stretching back more than 36,000 years. White-water rafting enthusiasts come here to tackle the tumultuous Franklin River, one of the top outdoor adventures in Australia, while hikers enjoy the short walks. A highlight is Donaghys Lookout Walk. You can also explore the park by car on the Lyell Highway. Better still, hop aboard a river cruise from the west coast village of Strahan.

14. Richmond

About 25 kilometers northeast of Hobart, Richmond is a kind of living open-air museum. Of all the early settlements in Tasmania, it presents the most complete and homogeneous picture of a Georgian colonial town. It was founded soon after the landing of the first settlers in Risdon Cove in 1803 and soon developed into the commercial center of a very fertile grain-growing district. Richmond was also an important military post, and inmates from the town’s penal colony constructed many of the buildings, as well as the Richmond Bridge, which dates from 1825 and is the oldest bridge in Australia.

Often seen in the background of bridge photos is the timber-topped St. Luke’s Church with beautiful stained-glass windows. It was so well constructed that the convict carpenter responsible was pardoned. A short distance to the north, the neo-Gothic St. John’s Church, dating from 1837-59 is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Australia.

Other historic highlights include Richmond Gaol and the well-preserved heritage buildings of Bridge Street. A favorite family attraction, the Old Hobart Town model village recreates life in the 1820s. Many day trips to Richmond from Hobart also include a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Park in Brighton, where you can get up close to favorite Aussie animals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and Tasmanian devils.

15. Climb The Nut

On Tasmania’s northwest coast, the Nut is a 143-meter-high volcanic plug, which looms over the picturesque heritage town of Stanley. Matthew Flinders, who viewed it in 1798, thought it was reminiscent of a Christmas cake with its steep, rounded sides and flat top. You can climb the steep path to the Pinnacle, which takes about 15 minutes, or hop aboard a chairlift for fantastic photo opportunities. At the top, trails of varying lengths lead visitors through fern-fringed forests and to scenic lookouts with 360-degree views of the curving coastline, the quaint hamlet of Stanley, and surrounding farmland. Look for pademelons and wallabies along the trails, and take a jacket as the top can be quite windy.

Tourist Places in South Australia

The sprawling wilderness, stunning coastline, and stark desert beauty of South Australia have captured the imagination of artists and adventurers for centuries. The state capital, Adelaide, sits on the brink of all these natural wonders, boasting a lively agenda of festivals and things to do. But this sparsely populated state has a trove of other tourist attractions.

Quaint country villages steeped in European charm, emerald hills, and cobalt crater lakes are some of the top inland sites. Along the coast, you can bask on beautiful beaches; picnic in secluded coves; or commune with wildlife on Kangaroo Island, one of the country’s much-loved tourist gems.

South Australia is also a haven for foodies. The state’s wild seas and picturesque pastoral land, fed by the mighty Murray River, produce a bounty of fresh produce—from citrus fruits and hand-made cheeses to some of the country’s best seafood.

Further afield, in the west and northwest, the arid wilderness meets the pink-tinged peaks of the Flinders Ranges, the opal mines of Coober Pedy, vast deserts crossed by famous 4WD tracks, and the legendary Nullarbor Plain. Find the best places to visit in this diverse Aussie state with our list of the top attractions in South Australia.

1. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island off the Fleurieu Peninsula is the third largest island in Australia and one of the country’s top natural jewels. This beautiful island is a must-do on your South Australia itinerary.

Sparkling cerulean seas, pristine beaches, rugged coastal scenery, fascinating rock formations, caves, and close-up encounters with charismatic wildlife are the prime attractions. Besides its namesake marsupial, you can see koalas, seals, penguins, sea lions, and a diversity of birds in their natural habitat. Scuba divers frequently spot sea dragons in the crystal-clear temperate waters, and many wrecks lie sunken offshore.

In Flinders Chase National Park, the wind-sculpted boulders of the Remarkable Rocks and the eroded curve of Admiral’s Arch are striking geographical features. The island is also known for its bounty of fresh produce including fresh seafood, free-range eggs, and Ligurian honey. To get here, you can fly direct to the island from Adelaide, or hop aboard a ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

2. Adelaide

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is Australia’s fifth-largest city and one of its most charming. Parks and gardens punctuate the city, and venerable 19th-century buildings stand proud amid the burgeoning high-rises in the city center.

Popular Adelaide attractions include the cultural precinct of North Terrace with its museums, galleries, and carefully preserved historic gems; the Adelaide Central Market, a shopping institution; and the impressive line-up of performances and events at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

If you have time during your visit, try to catch a cricket match or AFL game at Adelaide Oval, which has played host to a wide range of Aussie sports since the late 1800s.

For a change of scenery, hop aboard the tram to Glenelg from Victoria Square to swim, sail, and soak up the seaside ambiance, or venture into the beautiful bush-covered hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges (Adelaide Hills).

3. Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley, about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, is a favorite day trip from the capital. Blessed with fertile soils, this verdant valley is one of Australia’s oldest grape-growing regions and a haven for foodies, who are lured by the high-quality fresh produce and artisan foods. German and English immigrants originally settled the valley, and their history and culture are still palpable today in the historic buildings, heritage trails, museums, and European-style cuisine.

In addition to all the historic attractions, the region offers plenty of other diversions. You can shop at the popular farmer’s markets, attend cookery schools, feast at the fabulous restaurants, relax at the day spas, and browse the many gift shops and art galleries.

4. Clare Valley

Along with the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley is another famous Australian grape-growing region, about 136 kilometers north of Adelaide. Picturesque pastoral landscapes provide a perfect setting for romantic weekend retreats, and the region is known for its flourishing gourmet food culture. Polish, English, and Irish immigrants originally settled the valley, and their culture and customs are still evident in the charming heritage towns and historic bluestone buildings.

In the main town of Clare, named after County Clare in Ireland, you can explore the region’s history in the town’s museum, housed in a mid-19th century courthouse, or visit nearby Sevenhill, named for its rolling countryside reminiscent of the hills around Rome. From here, you can take the scenic drive to Polish Hills River Valley, explore the region’s history in the Polish Church Museum, or bike the old railway route.

From 1845 to 1877 copper mining brought prosperity to the area around Burra, which has preserved its rich history in mine buildings, stone dwellings, and museums along Burra’s Heritage Passport Trail. The English-style heritage town of Mintaro is home to Martindale Hall, a Neoclassical mansion that is now a hotel.

Popular things to do in the Clare Valley include exploring the beautiful Skilly Hills; dining at the excellent cafés and restaurants; and browsing the local markets, gift shops, and art galleries. Each year in May, foodies flocks here for the annual Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, a celebration of the region’s abundant fresh produce.

5. Flinders Ranges

Named for famous explorer Matthew Flinders, the Flinders Ranges are a delight for nature lovers, photographers, and artists. In the shifting light of day, the arid landscapes provide a striking play of colors—from pale pink and gold to burnt orange. Despite the dry conditions, the area is home to a surprising abundance of wildlife (emus, yellow-footed rock wallabies, and flocks of brilliantly colored parrots inhabit the region).

The mountains run from north to south through the eastern part of South Australia, stretching northward for 400 kilometers into the scorched Outback. In Flinders Ranges National Park, the most scenic area of the region, a rich growth of vegetation cloaks the sheltered valleys, and wildflowers carpet the parched earth in spring. Top attractions here include the natural amphitheater of Wilpena Pound with St. Mary’s Peak at its highest point, Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock, fossils, and part of the long-distance Heysen Trail named for the famous German-born Australian artist, Hans Heysen.

6. Fleurieu Peninsula

The picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula, a spur of land projecting southwest from the Mount Lofty Ranges, is a playground for many activities such as fishing, boating, bushwalking, whale watching, surfing, and swimming—just to name a few. Top tourist attractions include the beautiful scenery, wildlife reserves, and superb beaches like the sheltered sandy inlets in Gulf St. Vincent. Victor Harbor is one of the most popular beach resorts on the peninsula. Connected by a long causeway, Granite Island, protects it from the turbulent Southern Ocean and is a haven for kangaroos and penguins.

On the narrow channel at the outlet of Lake Alexandrina, into which the Murray River flows, the rapidly growing resort of Goolwa was known as the New Orleans of Australia in its heyday because of the numerous paddle steamers plying the river. Off Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island is a favorite haunt of birdwatchers.

Other popular stops on the peninsula include the surfing hotspot of Port Elliot and the vine-draped hills of McLaren Vale, a prime grape-growing region. From Cape Jervis, at the tip of the peninsula, tourists can hop aboard a ferry service to Kangaroo Island.

7. Eyre Peninsula

Rimmed by a rugged and ravishing coastline of cliffs and sheltered beaches, the triangular-shaped Eyre Peninsula is one of Australia’s least crowded coastal stretches, and one of its most beautiful. It is located east of the Great Australian Bight, and cage diving with great white sharks scores top billing on the list of tourist adventures. You can also snorkel with giant cuttlefish near Whyalla, or swim with balletic sea lions at Baird Bay. Whale watching is another popular activity from May through October when southern right whales migrate along the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.

Coffin Bay is known for its superb seafood and stunning national park. Occupying the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula, Lincoln National Park offers spectacular scenery with rugged cliffs and abundant birds, while Port Lincoln is becoming an increasingly popular holiday resort. Its fishing fleet, the largest in Australia, produces some of the country’s best seafood.

Inland, you can explore the bushland and wildlife of the Gawler Ranges or venture into the outback across the legendary Nullarbor Plain for a serious 4WD adventure through the scorched desert.

8. Murray River

Australia’s longest river, the mighty Murray flows from its source in the New South Wales Alps to the Southern Ocean in South Australia. Sandstone cliffs and tall eucalyptus trees fringe the river, and its wetlands are important habitats for many water birds. Once home to the Ngarrindjeri and Nganguraku people, today the river irrigates a vast citrus-growing industry and agricultural region and provides a wealth of water-based activities, from fishing, boating, water-skiing, and swimming to gliding along on a paddle steamer.

Peppered with colorful gardens and fragrant roses, the riverside town of Renmark lies at the point where the states of South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria meet and is home to huge plantations of citrus fruits. From here, you can tour the Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum, organize a river cruise, or hire a houseboat.

Another popular place to visit is Loxton, the “garden city” of the Riverland region, with galleries and historical sites. Here, on the banks of the river, the Historical Village takes visitors back in time with its faithfully recreated late-19th century buildings and artifacts. Northwest of Loxton, the little town of Waikerie is a popular spot for gliding and offers a pretty cliff-top walk.

9. Mount Gambier

Along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier is an extinct volcano with four beautiful crater lakes, as well as sinkholes and gardens. A curious natural phenomenon occurs on the Blue Lake annually in November, when the color of the lake transforms from dull gray to a brilliant cobalt blue. A scenic drive with spectacular views runs around the crater.

While you’re in the area, stop by the Umpherston Sinkhole. Created when the roof of a cave collapsed, this popular tourist attraction was transformed into a beautiful “sunken garden” by James Umpherston in the 1880s. Ferns, hot pink hydrangeas, and calla lilies flourish in the gardens, and lush plants cascade over the lip of the sinkhole, imbuing the space with a magical feel. In the evenings, lights illuminate the gardens, and friendly possums congregate here looking for a meal.

South of Mount Gambier, you can explore South Australia’s only World Heritage Site, Naracoorte Caves, with fascinating fossils, colonies of bats, and haunting subterranean scenery. Other attractions on the Limestone Coast include the bird-rich lagoons and coastal dunes of the Coorong, a chain of lagoons and salt lakes between Lake Alexandrina and the sea; the grape-growing region of Coonawarra; pretty Beachport, a former whaling station; and the historic beach resort of Robe.

10. Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula

Sitting at the tip of the spectacular Yorke Peninsula, about a three-hour drive from Adelaide, remote Innes National Park is an under-rated and refreshingly uncrowded raw slice of nature. If you look at a South Australia map, the Yorke Peninsula is the boot-shaped claw of land jutting out to the west of Adelaide, and it makes a wonderful weekend getaway from the capital.

Rugged seascapes, wildlife, and windswept white-sand beaches lapped by dazzling blue seas are the prime attractions. You can explore the park on hiking trails or by car, stopping at the empty beaches along the way. Popular things to do include surfing the remote breaks, camping, boating, fishing off the ravishing beaches, and scuba diving the many wrecks scattered along this tempestuous stretch of coast. To learn more about the region’s fascinating shipwreck history, visit the rusted hull of the Ethel, and follow the maritime interpretive trail along the coast.

Wildlife is abundant. Emus and kangaroos are among the most frequently spotted animals in the park, and you might also spot southern right whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions off the coast. The park is also home to more than 150 species of birds, including ospreys, malleefowl, and hooded plovers.

11. Coober Pedy

The opal mining town of Coober Pedy lies in the heart of the South Australian outback. The name of the town comes from an Aboriginal phrase meaning “white fellows in a hole,” since most of the inhabitants live in underground dwellings (dugouts) to escape the fierce heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter.

In 1911, gold miners found valuable white opals here. Since then, opal mining has converted the desolate countryside around Coober Pedy into a lunar-like landscape. You can still try your luck looking for these pearlescent beauties after obtaining a prospecting permit from the Mines Department in Coober Pedy. The Old Timers Mine and Museum display exhibit on the history of prospecting for precious stones. Sightseers can also tour underground homes and the subterranean Catacomb Church.

Tourist Places in Worcester and Worcestershire

Worcestershire is a real gem to visit – and it’s just an hour’s drive from Birmingham.

At its heart is the city of Worcester, which is flanked by the River Severn and sits in the shadow of the 12th-century Worcester Cathedral.

Steeped in history, Worcester was also the location of the final battle of the English Civil War – the Battle of Worcester – where Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army defeated King Charles I’s Cavaliers.

Other connections to Worcester and wider Worcestershire include that it’s the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, composer Edward Elgar spent most of his life here, and of course its synonymous with the name of Lea & Perrins, makers of the traditional Worcestershire sauce.

Here are 16 of the many highlights you can take in on a visit to this interesting area – and most of them are FREE, or include FREE entry for children. In fact, you could quite easily spend days exploring this wonderful part of the world without spending a penny on entrance fees.

1. The Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

If you like nothing more than getting out in the Great Outdoors, then you can do a host of open-air activities in the beautiful Malverns, including a hike up to the top of the Beacon for a great panoramic reward.

There are a few walking routes to choose from here to help take in this vast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its ancient hills as well as cycling trails. You can find out more here.

2. Elgar’s legacy

Where: Various in Worcester, and wider Worcestershire

Cost: Free to follow the trails. Malvern Museum – Weekday prices are adult £2, child 50p, and on weekends, adults £1, children FREE.

As Sir Edward Elgar spent much of his life in Great Malvern you can retrace some of his famous footsteps and see some of the marks that his legacy left on the landscape and are still evident today.

Just of the sights connected to the composer include the Elgar Statue and Priory Gatehouse, which is now the Malvern Museum in Abbey Road, and you can even follow a suggested driving route around Elgar’s Worcestershire too or Elgar’s Trail on a bike or on foot.

In 2017 the city is celebrating the 160th anniversary of his birth.

As well as visiting the places where he lived, you can also take in the famous venues that he played.

3. Morgan Motor Factory

Where: Pickersleigh Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire, WR14 2LL

Cost: Prices for guided factory tours are £20 for adults and £10 for children

For car enthusiasts, a tour of the Morgan Motor Factory is a must.

The company’s famous sports cars have been manufactured in Malvern for 100 years.

Visitors can enjoy a guided visit of the factory (weekdays on the reservation and there’s up to 10 hours on some days), visit the small on-site museum an even hire a Morgan sports car for the weekend.

4. River Severn by Boat

Where: The Boathouse Waterside, Upton upon Severn, Worcester WR8 0HG

Cost: Prices vary depending on type of cruises booked, but as an example the Upton Fish and Chip Cruises are priced at £16.50 per person.

As the River Severn runs through Worcestershire and flanks the historic city of Worcester, you can enjoy it on a heritage riverboat tour.

Severn Leisure Cruises is just one of the companies offering such trips and there’s a choice of public and private charter options. Cruises offered to include afternoon tea cruises, evening and Sunday lunch cruises, and even fish and chip cruises too.

5. National Trust’s Croome Court

Where: High Green, Worcester WR8 9DW

Cost: Prices vary depending on whether you want to visit the whole property or just the park. Prices are changing from January 1, 2019, and will be as follows: Adult £12, child £6.70, family £30, group adult £11, group child £5.50, children under five free.

Croome Court is described as one of the “grandest of English landscapes” and was, in fact, Capability Brown’s masterful first commission, which commands views over the glorious Malverns.

Now in the care of the National Trust, Croome Court was once home to the Earls of Coventry and there are four floors for visitors to explore. As the 6th Earl of Coventry was an 18th-century trendsetter, Croome follows his lead today by using artists and craftspeople in the house to tell the story of its eclectic past in inventive ways.

The site’s visitor center was also once a secret wartime airbase and the park is great to stroll around in fine weather.

6. Worcester Cathedral

Located on a bank overlooking the River Severn, the cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Worcester.

Its official name is The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester and was built between 1084 and 1504.

The cathedral is renowned for representing every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic and features a Norman crypt and unique chapter house, unusual Transitional Gothic bays, fine woodwork, and an “exquisite” central tower.

The cathedral’s west facade also famously appeared, with a portrait of Sir Edward Elgar, on the reverse of £20 notes issued by the Bank of England between 1999 and 2007.

It comes top of out 49 things to do in Worcester on TripAdvisor with a 4.5-star rating from reviewers.

7. Worcester Woods Country Park

Where: Worcester Countryside Centre, Wildwood Drive, Worcester, WR5 2LG

As well as a great, adventure play area for kids of all ages and beautiful woodland walks through two nature reserves, where you can also go bird spotting, this local authority country park also includes the Orchard Cafe where you can grab some refreshments and make use of the free wi-fi.

It also scores a high 4.5 rating from TripAdvisor reviewers.

8. Gheluvelt Park

This local authority memorial park, built in honor of those lost in the First World War, borders the River Severn and boasts footpaths through the park, a cafe, water play (splash pad), multi-age playground, ducks to feed, toilets, tennis, outdoor gym equipment and two, free-to-use table tennis tables.

It features a formal park, which is open from dawn until dusk, and an informal area known as the Riverside Conservation Park which is open 24 hours.

This well-maintained park is great for family picnics in good weather and well-behaved dogs are welcome all year round – but they must be kept on a lead in the formal park area.

You can park for free in Waterworks Road car park, and there’s both disabled and cycle parking at the Pump House Environment Centre.

Opening times for the splash pad area vary depending on the time of the year, see the guide below.

9. Tudor House Museum

This timber-beamed museum with leaded windows and decorated plaster ceilings is located on what is described as Worcester’s “most historic street”.

Inside you’ll discover rooms that are almost 500-years-old and displays focus on Tudor weaving and brewing which are the activities that once went on in the house.

In later years it was also used as a coffee shop for the poor, an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) office and a school clinic. As well as hands-on activities there is also a cafe on site.[

10. The Greyfriars House and Garden

This National Trust property was originally built in 1480 by a wealthy merchant. Over the years as well as being home to wealthy families it was owned by a baker and later became a mixture of homes, shops, and businesses producing goods including clothing, hats, bread, leather goods, umbrellas and china riveting.

It was rescued from demolition after the Second World War and has been cared for by the National Trust since 1966.

11. Museum of Royal Worcester

f you’re a fan of all things ceramic then this museum, which is close to Worcester Cathedral and the city center, will appeal as it was once home to the Royal Worcester factory.

Today it boasts the largest collection of Worcester porcelain in the world. More than 10,000 ceramic objects are housed in these old Victorian buildings with galleries that focus on different eras, including the Georgian, Victorian and 20th centuries. There’s also an audio tour.

12. The Commandery

If you’re intrigued by the part Worcester played in the English Civil War then the Commandery is the place to visit.

Described as “glorious”, this Grade I listed site dates back to the 12th century so it’s steeped in history and reveals more on this interesting chapter in the city’s heritage.

Using an audio guide you can find out about The Commandery’s 800-year history and follow six key periods as you walk through the buildings. Just one of many highlights is the Great Hall, which dates back to the 13th Century, as well as the painted chamber.

The building is most famous for being the Royalist Headquarters during the deciding battle of the English Civil War – the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

13. The Infirmary and George Medical Museum

Where: The Infirmary is located at City Campus Infirmary Walk, Castle Street, Worcester WR1 3AS’ and the George Marshall Medical Museum can be found at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester, WR5 1DD.

Cost: Both FREE

If medical science or things of a sometimes macabre nature intrigue, then these museums will be right up your street.

Collections at these museums tell the story of the development of medicine and healthcare over the last few centuries, with a specific focus on Worcestershire and the West Midlands.

Housed in the University of Worcester’s City Campus, The Infirmary is one of England’s oldest infirmaries.

Its museum features an interactive exhibition exploring a host of stories including the founding of the British Medical Association.

The George Marshall Museum at Worcestershire Royal Hospital reveals 250 years of history, and its artifacts include a collection of death masks of hanged criminals if the macabre is more your thing.

14. Worcester Guildhall

Described as a “truly beautiful building”, that’s a “veritable feast for the eyes” the Guildhall dates back to 1721 and it’s brimming with history and character.

Once the seat of justice throughout the city and housed a prison, it has welcomed many high profile visitors over the years, including King George III in August 1788, and was twice visited by Queen Elizabeth II – in 2001 and 2012.

Highlights include the great hall with its vaulted ceiling, fascinating artifacts, superb ballroom, impressive gold decorated front gates as well as its lovely facade.

15. Kinver Edge and Rock Houses

This is a beautiful, peaceful spot that boasts the opportunity for great walks along the sandstone ridge with family, friends, and pets that reward you with panoramic vistas. It’s also a great location for outdoor picnics and you can explore the National Trust ’s Rock Houses here too.

As well as a kids trail thorough the forest there’s also an Iron Age hill fort to explore.

16. Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum

Housed in an elegant Victorian building in the city center, it features special exhibitions as well as regularly changing temporary exhibitions.

As well as dinosaur footprints, Worcestershire Sauce archive, a real Roman mosaic, and a Native American totem pole, and a recreated Victorian Chemist Shop you can also discover more about the story of the Worcestershire Regiment and the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry.

Tourist Places in Queensland

Queensland, “the Sunshine State,” is Australia’s most popular vacation destination. Golden beaches, idyllic tropical islands, fantastic surf breaks, World Heritage-listed rainforests, rivers, reefs, and waterfalls are just some of the state’s natural jewels. And all of these sun-soaked settings offer exhilarating outdoor adventures. The dazzling Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef offer superb diving and snorkeling. Fraser Island is a favorite four-wheel-driving adventure, and the wilderness areas along the Queensland coast are excellent for hiking, biking, boating, and fishing.

For a change of pace, Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, delivers big-city attractions with a small-town feel. South of Brisbane lies the glitzy Gold Coast with its hedonism and high rises. Traveling north along the coast from the capital, you can explore a string of holiday resorts, from sleepy beach towns and rainforest villages to picturesque Port Douglas, and the tropical tourist-magnet of Cairns. Find the best places to visit in this sunny state with our list of top attractions in Queensland.

1. Great Barrier Reef

It’s difficult to overstate the beauty and ecological importance of this World Heritage-listed natural wonder. This is the planet’s largest living structure, and it’s so vast, you can see it from space. Much of the reef lies within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which extends off the northern coast of Queensland, from Mackay to the northeastern corner of Australia. The park itself is about half the size of Texas and protects more than 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays, and a patchwork of mangrove islands.

The reef’s astounding diversity of marine life lures divers and snorkelers from around the world. More than 1,600 species of tropical fish inhabit the reef, as well as sharks, dugongs, dolphins, turtles, giant clams, and kaleidoscopic soft and hard corals. Underwater viewing stations and glass bottom boats also offer a window into this underwater wonderland.

On the mainland, Cairns, Port Douglas, and Airlie Beach are the main launching points for tours. Alternatively, you can stay at one of the resort islands within the marine park. The Whitsunday Islands offer many popular attractions and accommodation options and make a great base to explore the reef. Remote Lizard Island, the park’s most northerly island, is famous for its exclusive resort, and Lady Elliot Island, the reef’s southernmost coral cay, is home to a popular eco-resort.

Accommodation: Where to Stay near the Great Barrier Reef

2. Cairns

In a superb location, between the Great Barrier Reef and the dark hills of the Atherton Tableland, Cairns is one of the most popular tourist towns in Far North Queensland and makes a great base to explore the best of Queensland. It’s a friendly, laid-back town, with palm-fringed streets, large parks, and colorful gardens. Beautiful beaches radiate out along the coast from Trinity Bay and Palm Cove to Port Douglas, and the five-kilometer-long Cairns Esplanade runs along the bay, with a saltwater swimming lagoon and free water-themed playground for young children.

Cairns is an excellent base for day trips. It’s one of the most popular launching points for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef, as well as tropical islands such as Green Island and Fitzroy Island. The Atherton Tableland to the southwest is another popular day trip destination, where you can explore rainforest reserves, waterfalls, and the charming attractions in the mountain village of Kuranda. The Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Skyrail cableway offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside and the World Heritage-listed rainforests of Barron Gorge National Park.

Other top things to do in Cairns include visiting the Flecker Botanic Gardens, with more than 100 species of palms, and learning about the region’s history at Cairns Museum.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cairns

3. Take a Safari through Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation

A Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park is the planet’s oldest surviving rainforest and harbors one of the world’s highest concentrations of threatened and endangered species. Located in Far North Queensland, the two main sections of the park include the crystal-clear waters and lush forests of Mossman Gorge, as well as Cape Tribulation, where tropical rainforest fringes the reef-splotched shores of the Coral Sea. More than 18,000 plant species, as well as a fascinating array of wildlife, live within the park, including the flightless southern cassowaries (ostrich-sized birds); crocodiles; Boyd’s rainforest dragons; brightly hued azure kingfishers; spotted cuscuses; and musky rat-kangaroos.

The best way to explore this area is on a guided safari. Many companies offer tours on amphibious vehicles and include rain forest hikes and tropical fruit tastings. However, you can also take a self-drive tour. Other popular things to do include ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, swimming at Mossman Gorge, looking for cassowaries along the Jindalba Boardwalk, and hiking the many other rain forest trails.

Just south of the park, the resort town of Port Douglas is a popular base for arranging rainforest wilderness safaris. This area is one of the best places to visit in Queensland in winter, during the dry season.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Port Douglas

4. Go Four-Wheel-Driving on Fraser Island

Between Bundaberg and Brisbane, World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. Four-wheel drive adventures here explore wide windswept beaches, crystal-clear lakes and streams, dingoes, dense forests, sacred aboriginal sites, and multi-hued rock formations. Seventy-Five Mile Beach is the island’s main thoroughfare and provides access to attractions such as the rusted hull of the Maheno shipwreck, the bubbling rock pools of Champagne Pools, Eli Creek, and the colored sandstone cliffs of The Pinnacles. Tiger sharks, dolphins, and whales swim in the wind-whipped waters, and the island’s fauna includes Australia’s purest strain of dingo and more than 300 species of birds.

Top things to do inland include swimming in the aquamarine Lake McKenzie; exploring the rainforest trails of Central Station; and visiting Lake Wabby, backed by a towering sand dune.

The most popular access point for tours to Fraser Island in Hervey Bay, where car and passenger ferries, as well as organized 4WD Fraser Island Tours, depart daily. Hervey Bay is also one of Australia’s best fishing destinations, and it’s a fantastic place for whale watching cruises during the winter months when humpback whales come here to give birth and nurse their young.

Accommodation: Where to Stay on Fraser Island

5. Whitsunday Islands

Off the coast of central Queensland, the Whitsunday group encompasses 74 stunning islands strung along the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays are continental islands, the summits of a coastal range emerging from the sea. All but five of them have been declared national parks, and about eight are home to popular resorts.

The most famous resorts include luxurious Hayman Island; tiny Daydream Resort & Spa; Palm Bay Resort on beautiful Long Island, with access to 13 kilometers of walking tracks; and well-developed Hamilton, the largest of the island resorts. In 2019, both Daydream Resort and Hayman Island will re-open after massive renovations following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

On uninhabited Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach, with its powdery white sands and turquoise water, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Airlie Beach and Shute Harbor are the main launching points for island excursions.

6. Editor’s PickPort Douglas

Dotted with palms and mango trees, the once-sleepy village of Port Douglas is now a charming holiday resort and a popular base for wilderness safaris and reef trips. This picturesque town lies about an hour’s drive north of Cairns, along a scenic coastal road, which winds between beaches and rainforest-cloaked hills. It’s the closest mainland town to the Great Barrier Reef.

Skirting the beautiful blond sweep of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas has a relaxed tropical vibe, with cute cafes, shops, and art galleries. From the Flagstaff Hill Lookout enjoy breathtaking views of the palm-fringed beach merging with the turquoise Coral Sea.

Top tourist attractions include the Wildlife Habitat and the Bally Hooley Sugar Train, an old steam engine chugging through the cane fields to the sugar mill at Mossman. Other adventures on offer include safaris in all-terrain vehicles to Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, fishing trips, northbound expeditions through the rugged landscape of the Cape York Peninsula, and boat trips to Cooktown and the Great Barrier Reef.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Port Douglas

7. Kuranda

A trip to Kuranda, a charming rainforest village on the Atherton Tableland, is as much about the journey as the destination. From just outside of Cairns, you can take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and fly over World Heritage-listed rainforests and the beautiful Barron River and Gorge. Alternatively, the Kuranda Scenic -Railway chugs through the rainforest past rugged peaks and waterfalls. The journey ends in the little station at Kuranda, about 25 kilometers northwest of Cairns, which is almost hidden by tropical plants and palms.

Kuranda’s main attractions are its artsy shops and colorful market selling souvenirs and local crafts, as well as several nature parks and animal sanctuaries, including the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, Kuranda Koala Gardens, and Rainforestation Nature Park.

Walks can be arranged on request from Kuranda to the wildly romantic Barron Gorge National Park. At Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park by the Caravonic Lakes, you can learn about Aboriginal culture and enjoy frequent native dance performances. Travelers wishing to take the scenic self-drive route to Kuranda will also enjoy the journey.

8. Noosa Heads and the Sunshine Coast

Stretching from Caloundra to Noosa Heads, the Sunshine Coast is one of the most popular places to visit on vacation in Southeast Queensland. It’s also a popular holiday spot for Aussies, only about two hours north of the glittery Gold Coast but seemingly a world away. The scenery here ranges from peaceful, cliff-fringed bays and quiet coastal rivers to beautiful bushland laced with hiking trails.

Noosa Heads is one of the most popular resort areas, with plenty of attractions for the whole family. Make sure you save time to bask on Main Beach and hike the trails of Noosa National Park, where sleepy koalas slouch in the eucalyptus trees. Surfing is also one of the most popular things to do in Southeast Queensland, and almost all of the Sunshine Coast beach towns have their own excellent surf breaks.

A short drive from Noosa, you can shop at the popular Saturday Eumundi Markets, and south of Noosa lie the smaller beach resorts of Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, and Sunshine Beach, all with fantastic swimming and surfing. In the hinterland, you can explore Glass House Mountains National Park, a cluster of volcanic plugs rising out of the coastal plain, as well as the charming mountain villages of Montville and Maleny. Maroochydore is the region’s bustling commercial center and the location of the Sunshine Coast airport.

Accommodation: Where to Stay along the Sunshine Coast

9. The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s best-known holiday regions. During the last few decades, a building boom transformed the coast into a kind of tropical Las Vegas, with skyscrapers and shopping malls stretching from Southport in the north to Coolangatta in the south. Packed with attractions and high-rise hotels, Surfers Paradise — “Surfers” for short — is a tourist magnet, legendary for its alliterative assets: sun, surf, and sand. But it’s easy to escape the crowds in the surrounding wilderness areas or on the outlying beaches.

Despite Surfers Paradise’s reputation for hedonism, you’ll find plenty of Queensland attractions for families in the region. South of Surfers Paradise, kids love Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Movie World, where old film sets have been recreated by Warner Bros. To the north, in Southport, you can see your favorite marine creatures at Sea World. Not surprisingly, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing are popular things to do on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and nature lovers will find plenty of attractions to explore.

Excellent networks of roads lead to scenic lookouts in the hinterland, where many wilderness areas are within easy reach, including popular Lamington National Park. To visit the Gold Coast, you can fly into Coolangatta airport, near the Queensland-New South Wales border.

Accommodation: Where to Stay along the Gold Coast

10. Lamington National Park

Heritage Area and one of the state’s most popular national parks. Located on the Lamington Plateau of the McPherson Range, amid the remnants of an ancient volcano, the park contains spectacular scenery, with steep gorges, more than 500 waterfalls, tropical and subtropical rainforests, and beech forests in the higher elevations.

Nature buffs will be in heaven here. More than 190 species of birds live in the park, including bowerbirds and colorful flocks of parrots. Red-necked pademelons, a small kangaroo-like marsupial, frolic at the rainforest fringes, and the shy platypus swims in the park’s river rock pools. Lamington National Park is also a haven for hikers with more than 150 kilometers of walking trails.

11. Townsville and Magnetic Island

Townsville, the largest tropical town in Australia, is an excellent base for excursions and tours, particularly to beautiful Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef. The town lies on Cleveland Bay at the foot of Castle Hill, a 300-meter-high granite crag. Walking tracks lead to its peak with panoramic views over the town and sea. But perhaps the best place to start exploring the city is the Strand. Strolling along this scenic waterfront promenade, you can take a dip at one of the swimming areas, soak up some of the region’s history at Jezzine Barracks, enjoy a picnic in a park, or dine at a nearby cafe.

Apart from the picturesque waterfront, Townsville owes much of its charm to its many parks and private gardens filled with luxuriant tropical flowers. While you’re here, be sure to take a stroll through the Queen’s Gardens, Townsville’s oldest botanical garden, and Townsville Palmetum, with the world’s largest collection of palms. Families will find plenty of kid-friendly attractions. Pack a picnic and head to Riverway, with its pretty riverfront parkland, walking and biking trails, art exhibits, and free swimming pools, and if you’re interested in the local aquatic life, Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium features an underwater tunnel where you can view the coral reef and marine life up close. Other popular things to do include visiting the Museum of Tropical Queensland and diving the SS Yongala wreck.

12. Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city and the capital of Queensland, offers a more relaxed pace than the larger capitals in the country’s southeast and makes a great base to explore Queensland. The city straddles the Brisbane River and is bounded on the east by the sea and on the west by the Great Dividing Range. Visitors love the city’s sunny climate and its luxuriant parks and gardens. Top things to do in Brisbane include strolling around the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, with more than 2,000 species of plants, and visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, one of the few places where you can touch and feed koalas.

Family-friendly South Bank Parklands features riverside walking and biking trails, lush gardens, shops, and restaurants. River cruises are also popular. One of Brisbane’s best-known tourist attractions is the Kookaburra Queen, an old paddle steamer, which cruises down the Brisbane River, and the River Life Adventure Centre offers adrenalin-fueled water sports on the river. Other things to see and do include shopping at the Queen Street Mall, climbing the Story Bridge, exploring the exhibits at the kid-friendly Queensland Museum, browsing the Gallery of Modern Art, and enjoying beautiful city views from Mt Coot-tha Lookout.

Brisbane is also a great jumping-off point for a range of rewarding day trips that showcase the best of Queensland, from island getaways to wildlife-rich national parks, the famous Australia Zoo, and family-friendly theme parks.

13. Australia Zoo

Made famous by the late Steve Irwin, the charismatic croc-loving Aussie conservationist, Australia Zoo is one of Queensland’s best loved family attractions. An easy day trip from Brisbane, the zoo has a strong focus on education and conservation. As well as Aussie favorites like kangaroos, koalas, emus, dingoes, and, yes, crocs, you can also see exotic animal species, including Sumatran tigers, rhinos, meerkats, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, and elephants.

Crocoseum performances are a great way to learn more about some of the fascinating creatures that call the zoo home, including birds of prey, snakes, and the venue’s namesake crocodiles. You can also ride a camel, feed a kangaroo or red panda, and cuddle a koala. The zoo is spread out over 110 acres, so make sure you wear your walking sh

14. Explore the Cape York Peninsula & the Torres Strait Islands

Remote, rugged, and rich in aboriginal history, the “trip to the tip” of the Cape York Peninsula is one of Australia’s epic road-trips. You can reach some of the top Cape York destinations on a day trip from Cairns, including the historic settlement of Cooktown and the wildlife-rich wetlands of Lakefield National Park, but to hit the northernmost tip of Australia, excellent planning and an off-road vehicle are essential. River crossings are part of the adventure, and in the far north, wet season deluges wash out the rudimentary roads, so travel must be tackled during the dry season, from May to October. Along the way, you’ll see jungly rain forests, wild mangrove-fringed beaches, sprawling savannah, croc-filled rivers, ancient rock art, and fascinating aboriginal communities. North of Weipa, it’s usually necessary to camp, and satellite phones are highly recommended.

If you’re not up for the planning and logistics of a self-drive tour of this wild, relatively unspoiled region, you can always take an organized tour or fly directly into one of the 274 Torres Strait Islands north of Cape York’s tip. Thursday Island is the main administrative center and a great place to learn about the culture of the Torres Strait islanders, while Horn Island reveals a fascinating military history. Private Roko Island offers a unique glamping experience, and you can tour a pearl farm here and on Friday Island. Fishing charters off Weipa are another popular way to explore this untamed coast.

Tourist Places in Australian Capital Territory

Crammed with cultural treasures, Canberra, in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), is the carefully crafted capital of Australia. It’s no accident that the city lies between Sydney and Melbourne. The site of the capital was chosen as a compromise between these two rival cities in 1908. American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin, won an international competition for the city’s design, which incorporates vast greenbelts and geometric shapes.

Lake Burley Griffin, in the city center, is Canberra’s sparkling jewel, and many of the city’s top tourist attractions and things to do lie along its shores, including the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon, and the National Library. The parliament buildings, as well as some of the city’s other main attractions, lie within the Parliamentary Triangle, formed by Kings Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, and Lake Burley Griffin. Canberra is also known for its fantastic festivals, including the famous Floriade, a celebration of the city’s many spring blooms.

1 Australian War Memorial

Inaugurated in the middle of WWII, the massive Byzantine-style monument commemorating Australia’s war fatalities is Canberra’s most poignant attraction. More than just a war memorial, the site combines an excellent museum, archives, art gallery, and library. The Commemorative Courtyard at the entrance to the memorial is a haunting introduction. Inscribed in bronze on the walls of the colonnades are the names of every Australian who has died in war since 1885, and the length of the list is spine chilling.

Beyond the entrance, different galleries retrace the stories of Australia’s armed conflicts from colonial days to the present. The exhibits are constantly evolving, but highlights include the collection of old aircraft and the child-friendly Discovery Zone packed with interactive displays. If possible, you should set aside several hours to appreciate this thought-provoking memorial, and if you’re visiting near the end of the day, try to stay for the Last Post, a moving tribute to the fallen played at 4:55 pm daily. Visiting the memorial is one of the best free things to do in Canberra, and the 90-minute tours are highly recommended.

2 New Parliament House

The final fulfillment of architect Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for Canberra in 1912, New Parliament House is a marvel of modern architecture. The boomerang-shaped structure nestles comfortably into Capital Hill and was designed to replace the Provisional Parliament House at the base of the hill, now known as Old Parliament House. A New York-based architect won an international competition for the design of the new building, and on May 9, 1988, the Queen officially opened Parliament House. The date in May was chosen to commemorate the first meeting of the Federal Parliament in Melbourne in 1901 and the first meeting of Parliament in the Old Parliament House in 1927.

From the expansive grassed walkway, which forms the roof, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Canberra and see how Parliament forms the central focus of the city’s street layout. Architectural highlights of the building include the two huge circular walls composed of granite, which mirror the curves of the hill; the towering 81-meter flagpole; and the Ceremonial Pool. In the foyer, 48 columns of illuminated greenish-gray marble create the impression of a eucalyptus forest. Throughout the public spaces, exhibits display important documents (the Magna Carta is a highlight) and retrace important events in Australian history. From the gallery running around the first floor, you can gain admission to the public galleries of the green-hued House of Representatives, and the Senate, traditionally dressed in red. A visit during sitting times is a great way to view first-hand how parliament functions and the free guided tours offer fascinating details about the building.

After visiting, you can take the 3.5-kilometer Parliament House Walk to the city center and learn about the Parliamentary Triangle along the way through interpretive signs.

3 Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

A short walk from the New Parliament House at the base of Capitol Hill, Old Parliament House is now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy. Opened by the Duke of York (later King George VI) in 1927, the building is designed in the “stripped classical” style and was occupied by the Australian Parliament until 1988 when New Parliament House was officially opened. It was formerly called Provisional Parliament House and was only standing in until a permanent structure could be designed and built – a feat finally realized 61 years later.

In the museum, you can learn about past Australian Prime Ministers; sit in the old Prime Minister’s Office, a relatively humble affair; visit the Press Room, and read important historical documents. The chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate are modeled on the British House of Commons and House of Lords with paneling and furnishings made of Australian woods and wall hangings displaying Australian flora. Parents will appreciate the child-friendly exhibits. After a visit to the building, you stroll among the National Rose Gardens. Free, guided tours help you get the most out of your time here.

4 Lake Burley Griffin

Beautiful Lake Burley Griffin is the centerpiece of Canberra. Named for the city’s architect, this artificial lake was included in his original plan of 1912 but didn’t come to fruition until 1958. Tourists and locals alike come here to bike and stroll along the waterfront paths; picnic along its park-fringed shores; and fish, sail, or paddle the glistening waters. Six islands lie at its center, the largest of which is Aspen Island, home to the National Carillon, a gift from the British government with 55 bronze bells.

Sprinkled around the lake are some of Canberra’s top things to see and do, including the National Gallery, National Library, Questacon, and National Museum. Standing on the shores of the central basin, you can see the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, a 147-meter-high fountain inaugurated in 1970 on the 200th anniversary of Cook’s discovery of Australia. A globe sculpture depicting the path of Cook’s voyages lies on the shores of the lake at Regatta Point. On the north side of the lake, Commonwealth Park contains play areas, paddling pools, waterfalls, an amphitheater, and a path around the park. In spring, the park is the venue for the famous Floriade festival, a celebration of spring when more than a million flowers are in bloom.

5 National Gallery of Australia

On the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Gallery of Australia contains Australia’s largest collection of art. The cubic concrete structure was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1982 and consists of 11 main galleries on three levels as well as a large sculpture garden laid out according to the four seasons. The purchase of the extensive collection began in 1968 and includes works from Australia, Asia, Europe, America, and the Pacific, as well as the largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the world. Mediums range from oil paintings and watercolors to sculpture, decorative art, drawings, book illustrations, sketchbooks, photographs, films, ceramics, costumes, and textiles. Locals and tourists alike will also enjoy many special exhibitions. After exploring the gallery, you explore the adjoining High Court of Australia, with its fountains, Carrara marble-paved floors, and murals.

6 Question: The National Science and Technology Centre

Between the High Court and the National Library on Lake Burley Griffin, Questacon is an interactive National Science and Technology Centre opened in 1988. Parents and children alike will enjoy the interactive science displays and do-it-yourself experiments designed to delight and inspire. The exhibits seek to promote understanding of the importance of science and technology in everyday life. Science shows, special events, and guest lectures complement the 200 hands-on exhibits. In the Technology Learning Centre, budding innovators can participate in workshops and build and play with technology. Highlights of the permanent exhibits include the H2O-Soak up the Science room with water-related fun, the Free Fall slide, and Earthquake House.

7 National Portrait Gallery of Australia

Near the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia displays some 400 portraits of the nation’s most influential people. You can easily spend an hour or two coming face to face with Australia’s movers and shakers, brought to life through paintings, photography, and sculpture. Multimedia presentations divulge fascinating details about the lives of the people who helped shape the nation, and special exhibitions provide new things to see. Visiting the gallery is a breeze: parking is free, and the café and bookshop are a great way to top off a tour.

8 National Library of Australia

Opened in 1968, the National Library of Australia is a treasure trove of Australian books, manuscripts, newspapers, historic documents, oral history, music, and pictures. Its most valuable possessions are Captain Cook’s journal (1768-71) and Wills’ diary of his expedition with Burke in 1860-61. Architecturally, the building is a dramatic contrast from the National Gallery and High Court. Built-in the style of a Greek temple, its classical effect is underscored by the lavish use of marble and travertine on the columns and walls, and marble from Greece, Italy, and Australia used in the decoration of the interior.

In the foyer are superb stained glass windows by Leonard French and three Aubusson tapestries woven from Australian wool. The lower floor displays treasures from the library’s collection, and the Exhibitions Gallery hosts special visiting displays, which often require advance booking.

9 Mount Ainslie Lookout

To really appreciate the layout of this carefully planned capital, head to the lookout of 843-meter Mount Ainslie, one of the city’s most popular vantage points. A well-paved walking/biking trail winds for just over two kilometers from the rear of the Australian War Memorial. Along the way, you can pause at the commemorative plaques to learn about historic Australian battles. It’s also possible to drive up to the lookout. Thanks to Walter Burley Griffin’s vision, the lookout aligns perfectly with Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Old Parliament House, and, in the background, the sleek lines of New Parliament House. On breezy days, be sure to bring a jacket. Other popular lookout points include Red Hill, to the south of here, and Black Hill, to the west.

10 Australian National Botanic Gardens

About a kilometer west of the city center, the 50-hectare National Botanic Gardens are spread across the slopes of Black Mountain. In the carefully tended collections, you can admire representatives of all the important species of Australian flora. The Rain Forest Gully is particularly impressive. Look for water dragons among the lush foliage.

Other highlights include the Red Centre garden, with its red earth and spinifex grassland, as well as the Children’s Discovery Walk. The gardens are also a haven for birds and butterflies. From the gardens, you can access Black Mountain Nature Park and hike to the summit for glorious city views.

Garden lovers will also enjoy a visit to the National Arboretum Canberra, about a six-minute drive away. This 250-hectare nature area encompasses forests of rare native and exotic trees, the National Bonsai and Penjing collection, a Gallery of Gardens, picnic areas with panoramic viewpoints, and a fantastic children’s playground.

11 National Zoo and Aquarium

Australia’s only combined zoo and aquarium, this privately owned venture is a hit with families and anyone who loves animals. The National Aquarium displays a wide range of marine life, from the tiny denizens of the reefs to huge sharks. In the neighboring zoo, visitors can view all the important species of Australian fauna as well as exotic species as such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears, and more. The animal encounters are extremely popular and allow visitors to go behind the scenes and interact with cheetah, giraffes, sun bears, and red pandas, among other creatures. It’s located five minutes from the city center.

12 National Museum of Australia

On a peninsular jutting into Lake Burley Griffin, the National Museum of Australia spotlights the nation’s social history in a contemporary space with beautiful lake views. The building itself is a work of art. Inspired by a jigsaw, it was intended to underscore the interconnected stories that helped shape the nation. A major theme of the exhibits is the cultural history of the Aborigines. Other highlights include exhibits on the Gold Rush, Australian industry, clothing, and migration. Children will also find a few interactive displays to keep them busy.

13 National Carillon

On Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin, the white Carillon Tower was a gift from the British government on Canberra’s 50th birthday in 1963. The 50-meter-high tower incorporates three sleek columns clad in opal chip and quartz. Within the towers are 55 bronze bells ranging from seven kilograms to six metric tons. You can bring a picnic and relax on the surrounding lawns. Better still, visit during a recital (Wednesdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 1:20 pm), when the music of the bells wafts across the lake. The tower looks especially beautiful when it’s lit at night.

14 Black Mountain Nature Park

Black Mountain Nature Park, to the west of the city center, is a great wilderness experience to combine with a visit to the adjacent Australian National Botanic Gardens. Walking trails wind through the bushland, where you can see many species of native birds and other wildlife. Black Mountain Tower (formerly the Telstra Tower) provides panoramic views of the city. For a fee, you can zoom to the top and sip coffee at the revolving restaurant while gazing out over the city. At the foot of Black Mountain, the Australian Institute of Sport is the training center for Australia’s top sportsmen and women, with a swimming stadium and tennis center.

15 Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is a great place to spend an hour or so and learn about the heritage of Australia’s currency. All Australian coins are minted here. You can watch the manufacture of coins from a gallery, learn about the history of Australian coins through a video presentation and displays, and mint your own $1 coins. In the foyer of the Mint is a small museum with a souvenir shop. Take advantage of the free tour.

Tourist Places in Northern Territory

A land of stark beauty, sacred aboriginal sites-and space, the Northern Territory has always stood apart from the rest of Australia. Vast deserts, wetlands, monsoonal rains, red-rock gorges, and raging rivers spark the spirit of adventure in those who visit, and these same natural features enabled the local aboriginal people to preserve their traditional way of life. Today, travelers flock here from around the world to see these spectacular sites and learn about the fascinating culture of the tribes who have thrived on this rugged land for thousands of years.

The Red Centre, in the south of the territory, is a land of parched deserts and striking rock formations. Uluru, the iconic red monolith, is one of the region’s most famous attractions. Northwest from here lies the legendary Outback town of Alice Springs, a popular base for wilderness safaris.

The tropical Top End, or northern part of the state, encompasses the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, famed for its Crocodile Dundee scenes; beautiful Litchfield National Park; Katherine Gorge; and the aboriginal settlements of Arnhem Land. Also in the Top End, is multicultural Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.

Find the best places to visit in this rugged Outback region with our list of the top tourist attractions in the Northern Territory.

1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

In the Red Centre, World Heritage-listed Uluru National Park is one of Australia’s most famous tourist attractions. The park’s main features include Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), the 348-meter-high red monolith rising from the desert, and the dome-shaped rocks called Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), which lie 40 kilometers away from Uluru. Oxidation or rusting of iron in the rock gives the structures their beautiful red coloring.

Both sites hold deep spiritual significance to the traditional owners, the Anangu people, who manage the park jointly with Parks Australia. Around dusk, visitors gather at sunset viewing areas to photograph these impressive structures, when the play of color is at its finest. To really appreciate these sacred sites join a tour led by an aboriginal guide.

2. Kakadu National Park

World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, in the Top End, is Australia’s largest national park and one of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas. On the north coast lies the tidal zone, with river estuaries, mangrove swamps, and tall monsoon rain forests. Inland are the flood plains through which rivers pursue a winding course to the sea. The escarpment of the Arnhem Land plateau runs diagonally through the park from southwest to northeast. After heavy rain, water pours over its bare rocks and down the escarpment in magnificent waterfalls-Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls are two of the most famous.

Further inland lies the gently undulating upland country crossed by the main access roads and excellent hiking trails. The amazing variety of wildlife includes more than 70 different species of reptiles, the largest and most dangerous of which is the saltwater crocodile, as well as a vast array of fish, mammals, and birds. In addition to all these natural attractions, the park is home to many sacred aboriginal sites and rock paintings.

You can explore the park by car, on foot, and on cruises through the waterways, but note that seasonal flooding may close some sections of the park, especially during the wet season. For comprehensive information on the natural history and culture of this unique area stop by the National Park’s Visitors Centre in Jabiru.

3. Darwin

Lying on the Indian Ocean within easy reach of Southeast Asia, multicultural Darwin is the youngest of the Australian state capitals and the Northern Territory’s only seaport. On Christmas Day 1974, Cyclone Tracy struck Darwin with wind speeds of up to 280 kilometers per hour, almost destroying the entire town. Not surprisingly, rebuilding efforts enforced strict cyclone safety regulations.

Every year about half a million visitors pour into this tropical Top End town-especially during the dry season. Shoppers love the famous sunset Mindil Beach Markets with souvenirs, art, and Asian-style snacks. Other highlights include the Darwin Botanic Gardens, the open-air Deckchair Cinema, the shops and restaurants of the Darwin Wharf Precinct, and the city’s museums. Don’t miss the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory with a giant stuffed crocodile and exhibits on Cyclone Tracy.

Darwin is also a great base for outback adventures into Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, and Katherine Gorge, and the town is a launching point for tours to the Tiwi Islands and the Cobourg Peninsula, though access is restricted.

4. Nitmiluk National Park

Formerly known as Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park is one of the most famous Top End tourist attractions. The main must-see site is the series of gorges, up to 100 meters deep, carved by the Katherine River through the soft sandstone of the southern Arnhem Land plateau. During the dry months, the river carries little water, leaving a series of pools separated by rocks and boulders. During the wet season, the river is at its most impressive as it surges tumultuously through the narrow gorges.

In contrast to the arid Arnhem Land plateau, the perennial flow of the Katherine River nourishes luxuriant vegetation and diverse wildlife, including freshwater crocodiles and more than 160 species of birds.

Boat trips through the gorges are one of the most popular things to do, but you can also explore the park on foot, with trails ranging from a two-hour hike to the viewpoint above the first gorge to a five-day hike to Edith Falls in the park’s northwest. Kayak rentals and helicopter flights are other popular ways to experience the park.

5. Litchfield National Park

About a 90-minute drive from Darwin, beautiful Litchfield National Park is a popular day trip from the capital and a great way to experience the Top End wilderness without traveling all the way to Kakadu. The main attractions are the waterfalls and springs on the escarpment of the Table Top Range. Park scenery varies from patches of tropical monsoon forest around the waterfalls and ponds to open woodland and giant termite mounds.

The Lost City is a formation of large sandstone columns near the Tolmer Falls in the park’s west. This large protected area offers ample scope for bushwalking. You can also enjoy a dip in the park’s plunge pools and swimming holes; explore the ruins of the Blythe Homestead; and visit Wangi Falls, one of the most popular swimming and picnicking spots. Sealed roads lead to most of the major attractions, but four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended to access some of the park’s more remote features.

6. Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park)

Part of Watarrka National Park and located about midway between Alice Springs and Uluru, Kings Canyon has the deepest gorge in the Red Centre. Rising to heights of 100 meters, its sandstone walls sometimes look as if they were cut with a knife. On the bottom of the canyon are perennial waterholes, while the upper part of the gorge, with lush ferns and palm forests, is called the Garden of Eden. To the Luritja Aboriginal people, this area was sacred, and their dwellings and places of assembly are decorated with rock paintings.

On the plateau above the canyon lies the Lost City, an area of red sandstone rocks weathered into the semblance of ruined houses and streets. The area is rich in flora and fauna. More than 600 species of native plants and animals live in the region.

To explore the gorge, you can hike the steep six-kilometer Kings Canyon Rim Walk, which takes around three to four hours or take a shorter hike through the bottom of the gorge to a viewing platform. Scenic flights and camel safaris are also available.

7. Finke Gorge National Park

Finke Gorge National Park is known for its prehistoric red cabbage palms, which grow in the valley of Palm Creek, a tributary of the Finke River. Extinct elsewhere, the palms are relics of a much wetter period. The imposing rock formations in the park are also of ritual significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people.

Because of its inaccessibility, Finke Gorge National Park drew few visitors until a camping ground was established on Palm Creek, near Palm Valley. For visitors without an all-terrain vehicle, organized tours depart from Alice Springs.

8. Alice Springs

An oasis in the red-earthed desert, Alice Springs, affectionately called “the Alice” by Aussies, is one of Australia’s most famous outback towns. It’s also an important base camp for tours to Red Centre sightseeing attractions including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon, and the boundless expanses of the outback.

Neville Shute’s novel, A Town like Alice, and its film version nudged this unassuming town into the international spotlight. Once a dusty outback settlement, today Alice Springs is packed with restaurants, luxury hotels, caravan parks, entertainment venues, shops, and galleries brimming with aboriginal art. At the Araluen Cultural Precinct, you can learn about the region’s history and aboriginal culture in the complex of museums and galleries.

Other top attractions include the Alice Springs Desert Park and Alice Springs Reptile Park, as well as the annual camel races at the end of April and the beginning of May. The greatest event of the year, however, is the Henley on Todd Regatta at the beginning of October, when locals trundle boats along the dry riverbed and top off the day with a festival.

Adventures abound in the surrounding countryside. Travelers can hike the Larapinta Trail, one of Australia’s most challenging walks, and drive the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon. Desert safaris on quad bikes, hot air balloon rides, and camel rides are other popular things to do.

9. Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve)

These huge granite boulders, worn down and split by weathering, are striking landmarks in a flat sandy plain. In Aboriginal mythology, these massive rocks, lying tumbled on the ground or piled on top of one another, are the eggs of the rainbow serpent and are called Karlu Karlu. Their shade and the dew that settles around them provide habitat for low-growing plants and many birds. Karlu Karlu is a favorite subject for photographers; they are seen at their best just before sunset.

10. Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell National Park

A visit to Simpsons Gap, near Alice Springs, is a great way to experience the rugged topography of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. Deep gorges carved by prehistoric watercourses form a striking contrast to the wide desert-like plains and dunes. Areas of white sand, huge river eucalyptus trees, and white-barked ghost gums lead to a permanent waterhole in the shelter of rugged cliffs, which are particularly impressive in the slanting sun of late afternoon.

To the Aranda tribes who live here, the gorge is the home of their giant goanna ancestors. Walking trails lead to quiet spots where rock wallabies appear in the early morning and late afternoon, and Cassia Hill offers excellent views of the Larapinta valley. A 24-kilometer hike from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap marks the first section of the famous Larapinta Trail, one of Australia’s most famous outback walks.

11. Tiwi Islands

Aptly called the “Islands of Smiles,” the Tiwi islands, about 80 kilometers north of Darwin, are among the top Northern Territory cultural attractions. If you look at a Northern Territory map, these unsung tropical islands sit just north of Darwin and offer a fascinating dose of indigenous culture, as well as white-sand beaches, dense jungles, and fantastic fishing. Bathurst and Melville Islands are the only two inhabited islands and are the top destinations for visitors, but the group also encompasses nine small uninhabited islands.

A popular way to visit the Tiwi Islands is on an organized day tour, which starts with a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Darwin. Famous for their vibrant art, the warm and friendly Tiwi people welcome visitors with a traditional song and dance ceremony and demonstrate artistic techniques like painting, screen printing, and carving in the islands’ galleries. Australian Rules Football is also a favorite pastime, and many footie fans visit during March to attend the annual grand final and local celebrations.

Besides aboriginal cultural and art tours, another way to experience the islands is on a fishing trip based out of either Melville Island Lodge, Johnson River Camp, or Clearwater Island Lodge. Barramundi, giant trevally, golden snapper, and jewfish are some of the species found in the rivers and coral reefs. If you prefer to skip the ferry, flights to the islands take about 25 minutes, but you need to organize a permit well in advance for overnight stays.