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Australia's Top 10 Free Attractions

1. Ningaloo Reef, WA

Ningaloo Reef is one of the rare places on earth where you are able to walk from the beach straight onto a coral reef. A protected marine park area on the ocean side of North West Cape in Western Australia, Ningaloo is a virtually untouched barrier reef of 260km length protecting the shallow, brilliant white sandy lagoon of clear tropical waters of Australia's largest and most accessible fringing reef system. The shallow lagoons formed by the reef, and the deeper offshore waters, create a diverse array of hobitats for a multitude of colourful corals and more than 500 species of fish. The park provides an ecellent opportunity to fish, swim, snorkel, dive, observe marine life or just relax on the beach. More >>
Location: Ningaloo Marine Park, near Exmouth, WA

2. National Gallery of Victoria, Vic

Founded in 1861, it is Australia’s oldest public art museum and home to one of the country's most important art collections, with everything from Egyptian and Roman antiquities and Asian art, through to Renaissance, Baroque and everything up to and including contemporary art. The Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square consists of more than 20 galleries presenting the history of Australian art from the Colonial period through to contemporary art, and includes photography, prints and drawings, fashion and textiles, decorative arts, and a suite of galleries dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. More >>
Location: 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Vic. Open daily except Tuesdays, 10am-5pm

3. Tasman Peninsula, Tas

The Tasman and Forestier peninsulas, to the south east of Hobart, contain some of Australia's most interesting, rugged coastline as well as some unique and amazing rock formations. Eaglehawk Neck, which connects the two peninsulas, is a good place from which too see the beautiful coastal rock formations of the Blowhole, Devils Kitchen, Tasman's Arch, Tessellated Pavement and Waterfall Bay. Just east of Eaglehawk Ne ck are Port Arthur (entry fee applies), Koonya, Premaydena and Saltwater River which are home to the remains of penal outstations and a convict-worked coal mine . To the south of the Tasman Peninsula is Remarkable Cave and the pretty Tasman National Park. More >>
Location: Tasman Peninsula, Tas

4. Sydney Opera House, NSW

The Sydney Opera House is one of the iconic buildings of the 20th century and one of the few buildings to be erected in that century that is instantly recognisable in just about every country in the world. It's a building some people travel half way around the world to see, and marvel at its shape and setting. That it has one of the most inadequate, ill-designed opera theatres every built is irrelevant to all but those who use if for the function it was built for - what matters to the rest is that it represents Sydney, and indeed Australia, to many people of the world. Though guided tours are available, it is possible to wander in and around many parts of the Sydney Opera House for free. More >>
Location: East Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW.

5. Litchfield NP, NT

Being less than two hours drive and just over 100 km south-west of Darwin, Litchfield National Park makes the perfect same day destination for visitors to Darwin wanting to experience the bush in the Top End without going too far off the beaten track. The Park contains several types of typical Top End habitats including lush monsoon forests, magnetic termite mounds, unusual rock formations, numerous waterfalls (Florence, Tolmer and Wangi Falls are definitely worth seeing) and cascades. The weathered sandstone pillars of the Lost City are worth a look, but a 4 wheel drive vehicles is required. Otherwise, an ordinary car will take you to most features. More >>
Location: near Batchelor, NT

6. National Museum Australia, ACT

This high-tech museum preserves and interprets Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation. The Museum profiles 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage, settlement since 1788 and key events including Federation and the Sydney 2000 Olympics. On display is the world's largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings and stone tools, the actual heart of champion racehorse Phar Lap and the original prototype of the Holden car. The Museum's innovative use of new technologies has been central to its growing international reputation. More >>
Location: Lawson Cres., Acton Peninsula, Acton, Canberra, ACT

7. Carnarvon Gorge, Qld

Carnarvon Gorge is an oasis in the semi-arid heart of Queensland. Here, in the Carnarvon Gorge Section of Carnarvon National Park, towering white sandstone cliffs form a spectacular steep-sided gorge with narrow, vibrantly coloured and lush side gorges. Boulder-strewn Carnarvon Creek winds through the gorge. Remnant rainforest flourishes in the sheltered side gorges while endemic Livistona nitida cabbage tree palms, ancient cycads, ferns, flowering shrubs and gums trees line the meandering main gorge. Grassy open forest grows on the cliff-tops. More: Carnarvon Nationa Park | waterfalls | aboriginal rock art
Location: between Roma and Emerald in the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt (map)

8. Australian War Memorial, ACT

One of Australia's leading and most respected Museums, the Australian War Memorial is devoted to those who have given their lives for their country in times of war. The Memorial is a unique Australian national institution that combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. Covering every conflict Australian military personnel have ever been involved in, the Museum has many highlights, among which is the Pool of Remembrance, the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier and the Hall of Memory. There are many galleries and exhibition spaces, including the First and Second World War galleries, Aircraft Hall, and ANZAC Hall. More >>
Location: Treloar Crescent (top of ANZAC Parade), Campbell, Canberra, ACT

9. Curtain Fig Tree, Qld

This is the most amazing tree you are ever likely to see. A unique example of nature's unpredictability and power , the curtain effect of this stranger fig results from one tree leaning against another tree on a 45-degree angle. The strangler vine then grew along the oblique angle of the leaning tree, dangling 15 metres to the ground to create the curtain affect. A wooden boardwalk surrounds the tree so you can see and photograph it from any angle . The tree is one of many free natural attractions in the Atherton Tablelands. Others not to be missed is the region's many picturesque waterfalls and the amazing Mt Hypipamee volcano crater with a lake deep within its cone . More: Atherton Tablands | waterfalls of the tablelands | Mt Hypipamee
Location: Atherton Tablands, North Qld

10. Barossa Vintage Festival, SA

A celebration of the wines of the Barossa Valley, Australia's oldest and most well known wine producing regions. The Festival kicks off with a Carnival at Seppeltsfield Winery, which is followed by a week-long series of events centred around the Easter weekend. The beauty of the Barossa Vintage Festival is that you can create your own customised experience. Highlights include ‘Jazz in the Cellar’ , the Vintage Festival Parade and the Grand Vintage Festival Ball . M any free and low cost events are included in the Festival calendar. More >>
Location: Barossa Valley, SA

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