Top 17 Things Australia Is Famous For - Updated 2024

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Australia is famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beautiful beaches, open deserts, the great barrier reef, “the bush”, and “the Outback”.

There are many attractions in the large cities in Australia like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Do not underestimate what Australia can offer. There are many sights, sounds and tastes around the country which will interest the curious traveller in you. From landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House to beaches and snacks, Australia has it all. Before you come down to the land down under, look at some of the top holiday houses and beach house rentals to make your stay comfortable. Of course, you’ll need to make an itinerary before you can decide where to stay, and we’re here to help you. Scroll down to discover the top things Australia is famous for.

1. Big things

The Big Lobster, Kingston SE
Source: Photo by Flickr user Holiday Point used under CC BY 2.0

Australia firmly believes in going big or going home, evident by the sheer number of larger-than-life statues you’ll find scattered across this country. Materialistic or otherwise, if something exists, chances are you’ll find a giant replica of it somewhere in Australia.

Some of these oversized landmarks, such as Larry the Lobster in Kensington and the Big Banana in Coffs Harbor to The Boxing Croc in Humpty Doo, are so popular that tourists go on special road trips just to find them. So, while you’re backpacking through the countryside or taking a road trip, be sure to keep an eye out for these big things in Australia.

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2. World-class education

ANU Students at Lego Serious Play
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tom Worthington used under CC BY 2.0

Does the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales sound familiar? That’s because these are amongst the top educational institutions in the world. And not just these, Australia’s education system is so popular that it is internationally recognised as one of the most modern and updated in the corporate industries. Furthermore, you’ll find dedicated international student advising committees throughout institutions. These committees are made of teachers and students alike to help international students with life in Australia.

Additionally, the country has a special set of laws to ensure that international students receive quality education safely and without any prejudice or unfair treatment.

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3. Blue Mountains National Park

Source: Photo by Flickr user Klim Levene used under CC BY 2.0

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Australia for a good reason. It offers some of the best nature trips that all ages will enjoy. One such place is Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales. Located in the Blue Mountains, this protected national park is about 267,954 hectares (662,130 acres). This area is actually a plateau instead of a mountain. There are various rivers throughout the vast region, and its highest point is Mount Werong, at 1,215 meters (3,986 ft) above the sea. This Australian attraction is part of the Greater Blue Mountains Area listed under the UNESCO World Heritage.

Traveler's tips



The verdant rainforest

Do you know that only 1% of the Greater Blue Mountains is occupied by rainforests? These types of forests typically have a ground cover of vines, herbs, and ferns below a closed canopy of horizontal leaves. They can only thrive in areas with higher levels of moisture and soil nutrients and minimal risk of forest fire.

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4. Mad Max

Mad Max / Cruising About
Source: Photo by Flickr user Stefans02 used under CC BY 2.0

The famous film franchise Mad Max is one of Australia’s most beloved contributions to the entertainment industry. This series of post-apocalyptic action films are created by Australian creatives George Miller and Byron Kennedy. The story follows a police officer-turned-drifter named Max Rockatansky in dystopian Australia. The first three films in the 1970s and 1980s starred Mel Gibson as the eponymous character, and Tom Hardy took the role in the latest film in 2015. Future films under the franchise are currently in the works.

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5. Poisonous spiders

Redback spider
Source: Photo by Flickr user Doug Beckers used under CC BY-SA 2.0

As much as we don’t want to take away from the beautiful, positive things associated with Australia, poisonous spiders are part of the country’s identity just as much as the rest of this list is. One of the most notable venomous spiders is the redback spider. The bite of the redback is said to be excruciating and has even been linked to deaths in the past. Another well-known spider found in the country is the Sydney funnel-web, a mygalomorph spider native to eastern Australia.

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6. Vegemite

Vegemite on Ice
Source: Photo by Flickr user Gordon Wrigley used under CC BY 2.0

One of the popular things in Australia, especially amongst the foodies, is Vegemite. The adventurous snackers out there will surely recognize this Australia-sent spread. Vegemite is a food spread made from yeast extract, vegetables, and spices; it was created in 1922 by chemist and food technologist Cyril Callister in Melbourne. At first glance, this will look like a caramelized jam for those unfamiliar, but it is actually savory. Its taste resembles that of beef bouillon and has hints of umami. There’s also a slight bitterness and maltiness to its taste. The Vegemite brand is currently owned by Bega Cheese.

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7. Tim Tam

The inside of a Tim Tam
Source: Photo by Flickr user Joy used under CC BY 2.0

One of the tastiest treats given to the world by Australia is Tim Tam. It is a chocolate biscuit created by the company Arnott’s. Tim Tam is actually a malted biscuit bound by chocolate filling and is covered in textured chocolate. Ian Norris’s (director of food technology at Arnott’s at the time) creation of this piece of heaven is inspired by his 1958 trip to the United Kingdom, where he got a taste of the Penguin biscuit. He decided to make a better version of the treat, which turned out to be one of the most successful products of Arnott’s!

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8. The Great Barrier Reef (from USD 160.0)

It is commonly said that you can spend a whole lifetime exploring the Great Barrier Reef and still not cover everything there is in there. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and longest coral reef system that starts at the tip of Cape York right to Bundaberg. Over 1,500 species of fish and other marine life live in the area. It is interesting to observe the interplay of ecosystems and their inhabitants in the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is especially stunning during the annual spawning season. When millions of corals release eggs and sperms into the sea, it is almost like an underwater snowstorm. If snorkeling is on your bucket list, then join a tour that departs from Cairns. On this tour, spend five hours across two different locations on the reef and observe tropical marine life.

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Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes

2787 reviews

9. Sydney Opera House (from USD 28.0)

No trip to Sydney is ever complete without making a stop at the most famous Australian place, the Sydney Opera House. This stunning building is one of the most popular landmarks in the world. The opera house stands as one of the most inspiring pieces of work in the history of humankind. You can avail a guided tour in order to explore this famous building in greater detail. This tour allows you to get behind the scenes as your guide provides you with a detailed history into this World Heritage site. In this one-hour walking tour, hear stories about the history of this venue and access off-limits areas.

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Sydney Opera House Official Guided Walking Tour

Duration: 1 hour

2079 reviews

10. Meat pies

Meat Pies
Source: Photo by Flickr user Charles Haynes used under CC BY-SA 2.0

How can you leave Australia without trying the famous Australian meat pies? The meat pie is considered to be an iconic food item in Australia and New Zealand. While many people have various adaptations of this meat pie, it continues to have a firm place in the palates of the country. Meat pies play a prominent role at sporting events and even on construction sites because they are so fuss-free. These pies usually contain beef mince which is mixed with spices and onions. Walk along the streets in Australia and you are bound to find a pie in a cafe.

Meat pies

Where to buy: All over Australia

Cost: 3-4 USD

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11. Bondi Beach (from USD 84.65)

things australia is famous for | bondi beach

As you would already know, Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches as it is well known worldwide. Many movies and television shows have featured this beach. This iconic Australian thing has more to it than simply surf and the sunshine. Walk along its long expanse or take your beach towel to reserve a spot on a patch of sand. If surfing is what you fancy, Bondi beach is the best place for it. Take on the waves and show off your surfing skills.

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Bondi Beach: 2-Hour Surf Lesson Experience for Any Level

Duration: 2.0 hour

294 reviews

12. The Outback (from USD 141.0)

For many Australians, the mention of “The Outback” brings to mind nature such as Uluru, Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta, and so on. The Australian outback is probably one of the world’s last true wildernesses, a desert terrain. Here, temperatures are extreme with the highest being about 50 degrees Celsius. The Australian outback towns have a distinct charm to them that cannot be found elsewhere. One can take some time out to explore these towns by checking out the surrounding nature, mines, and museums. It is definitely worth visiting outback towns like Coober Pedy, Streaky Bay, and Broken Hill.

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Full Uluru Base Walk at Sunrise Including breakfast

Duration: 6 hours

313 reviews

13. Barbecues

Barbecuing Pork and Cauliflowers
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michael Coghlan used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A fact about Australia is that the people on this continent love their barbecues. They are a large part of the Australian culture and are considered to be part of their tradition. Come weekends, Australians enjoy indulging in some barbie as part of their leisure. It is said that the indigenous people in Australia have always cooked their food outside their house, hence leading to the practice of having barbecues today. A typical barbecue has sausages, burgers, steak, fresh seafood, bread and tomato. This barbecued food sometimes includes salad. Come and partake of these barbecues and enjoy it the Australian way.

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14. Surfing (from USD 52.09)


Australia is one of the world’s premier surfing destinations and can be said to be an important element of the Australian culture. Surfing is so much part of the Australian DNA that Australian surfboard makers have driven innovation in surfboard design and its production. Brands like Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver are all part of the surf culture in Australia. Many surfers regularly flock to Australia to take advantage of the best Australian waves. Beaches like Bells Beach on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Byron Bay in New South Wales and Surfers Paradise are all the best spots for surfing in Australia.

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Byron Bay: 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson

Duration: 2.0 hour

206 reviews

15. Sydney Harbour Bridge (from USD 63.0)

No trip to Sydney is said to be complete without the mandatory visit to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk should be on every tourist’s itinerary. This popular thing in Australia is a wide steel arch bridge which is world renowned for its beauty, and it also functions as a provision for cars, trains, bikes and pedestrians to pass. At the highest point, the arch of the bridge is about 134 metres (440 feet) above sea level. For good photos of the harbor, climb the bridge and be rewarded with completely uninterrupted views. Challenge yourself by joining a tour which takes you up the bridge with a guide. This 3.5-hour BridgeClimb is conducted with a guide either in the morning, afternoon or night. There are also other climbs with shorter duration.

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Sydney Harbour View Lunch Cruise

Duration: 3 hours

219 reviews

16. Kangaroos & Koalas (from USD 204.0)

Kangaroos and koalas can be said to be the poster animals of Australia. These animals constantly attract throngs of visitors. However, the best way to enjoy them is to admire them whilst they are in their natural habitat- the wild. Join a wildlife tour in order to experience close-up encounters with these amazing animals of Australia. You will be led by an expert naturalist guide who will take you to explore the bush and grasslands of Melbourne’s Western plains. There, you will not only spot kangaroos and koalas in abundance but you will also get to see other Australian animals like emus and cockatoos. This is a full day tour which allows you the time to observe the behavior of these animals.

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Koalas and Kangaroo in the Wild Tour from Melbourne

Duration: 8 hours

10 reviews

17. The Aboriginals (from USD 95.0)

The Aboriginal people of Australia have a rich, living culture stretching back at least 50,000 years. Throughout Australia, one will find many opportunities to find out more about the Aboriginal culture in the country. Given that the indigenous people have inhabited the Australian continent for more than 60,000 years, there are many landmarks everywhere around Australia.

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Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Night Tour with Dinner from Cairns

Duration: 3 hours

10 reviews

Lots to love about Australia

With so many things that Australia is famous for, you will never be bored in the country. Plan your next holiday to Australia right away for a fabulous time. Be sure to check out as well the luxury villas and Bookabach holiday homes to make the most of your vacation!

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Frequently asked questions about the top things Australia is famous for

1. Which food items is Australia famous for?

One of the most famous food items originating in Australia is Vegemite, a yeast-based spread for sandwiches. Other than this, the all-time favourite chocolate bar, Tim Tam, and delicious meat pies can also be traced back to Australia.

2. Which outdoor activities are some of the most popular things to do in Australia?

Diving and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, surfing on Bondi Beach and hiking and exploring through the wilderness in The Outback are some of the most popular outdoor activities to do in Australia. Cruising the Sydney Harbour Bridge or walking to its topmost point is also a fun idea.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Sheela, a devoted mother to two remarkable young children, takes immense pleasure in family travel experiences. With a well-traveled history spanning numerous countries, her passion lies in the...Read more

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