Love it or hate it, Instagram is a valuable resource for planning what to do, eat, and see while exploring new places. Scrolling through various Instagram hashtags and accounts makes us lust after those locations. Australia was one of those places for us. From oceans to deserts to mountains, Australia is like the popular girl in high school. She has it all.
Here are our 30 most Instagrammable spots in Australia. They are not in any particular order. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it out the wild west so none of WA is listed here. Let us know if we missed anything!
30 Most Instagrammable Spots in Austalia
1. Sydney Opera House, New South Wales
Australia’s most recognizable building is also one of the top instagramable spots in Australia. The stunning architecture is great from all angles. I think the best spots for photography are from Mrs. Macquaries Point. At the end of the point, there are rocks that are great for sunsets and long exposure shots.
2. Mona Vale Rock Pool, New South Wales
Ok so this spot may be best for those with a drone, but Sydney’s best rock pool is still amazing for a swim. The ocean surrounds the pool and the waves engulf it while you take a dip. It is roughly 45 minutes north of downtown Sydney. To check out other rock pools in the area, read our blog post on the Top 10 Rock Pools of Sydney.
3. Noosa National Park, Queensland
The town of Noosa is an up and coming hotspot with excellent restaurants and beaches. The national park has a scenic coastline and an excellent walk with viewpoints. The best spot by far is the fairy pools. It is a short walk off the trail, where there are two natural tide pools to enjoy.
4. Point Arkwright, Queensland
Located just south of Noosa, this is one of my favorite hidden gems in Australia. If you aren’t a morning person like me, toughen it up, and get here for sunrise. The rocky area at the end of the beach was one of the best spots in Queensland to watch the sun come up!
5. Pebble Beach, Yeppoon, Queensland
We stumbled upon this beach, and boy were we lucky. With little information about this spot, it was one of the eeriest and dramatic beaches in Australia. There are two short trails up to the Rosslyn Bay Lookout, a great whale-watching spot during the migration season. Another trail leads down to Pebble Beach.
6. Cape Hillsborough, Queensland
When in Australia, seeing Kangaroos will become the new norm. I can’t image why anyone would not love these animals, they are adorable. One of the best places to see them is at Cape Hillsborough. Every morning, wallabies and a few roos head to the beach for a feeding. It is the perfect opportunity to get an up-close shot of a roo.
7. Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
The Whitsunday Islands are one of the most beautiful places in Australia, and some of the best beaches in the world. Whether coming on a tour or heading to Whitehaven Beach for an epic camping trip, there are so many spots to photograph. All tours go to the popular location at the Hill Inlet viewpoint. My favorite spot was a short walk from the beach just below Hill Inlet. Surprisingly, nobody else was there.
8. Wallaman Falls, Queensland
A two-hour drive from Cairns, Wallaman Falls is the tallest falls in Australia. There is an overlook, but it is best seen at the base of the falls. The walk down takes around 20 minutes. The trail is quite steep until reaching the bottom. From here, it takes another 10 minutes scrambling over massive boulders to get to the base of the falls. Don’t forget a bathing suit, it is a great place to cool off.
9. Babinda Boulders, Queensland
This park 45 minutes south of Cairns was a perfect stop on a hot day. There is a trail leading from the parking lot to an excellent swimming area in the river and a pretty sweet rock to jump from. Another trail leads down to the boulders. The river carves through massive boulders, and it is a pretty sweet stop in Queensland.
10. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Ohh the Great Barrier Reef. No matter if you are coming on a boat tour to snorkel or dive, don’t leave without having something to shoot underwater pictures with. Whether it is a Lifeproof case for a phone or professional housing, the pictures of the reef and marine life are stunning. The best pictures though are from above. For drone pilots, Queensland NP does not require a permit to fly here. Scenic flights over the reef are an incredible experience with flights from Cairns or Airlie starting around $80 AUD. Interested in diving the GBR? Check out our blog post on diving with Coral Sea Dreaming.
11. Devil’s Marbles, Northern Territory
One of the strangest and coolest things in Australia hands down is Devil’s Marbles. How on earth did these rock formations stack the way they do!? I have no clue. There is a nice campsite here for only a few bucks per night, and several walking trails to explore the area. If just passing by, at least give it one hour to explore.
12. Uluru, Northern Territory
The iconic view in the outback is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. There are countless photo ops at this national park. Getting up close to Uluru at the Mutitjulu waterhole has some really cool angles to shoot. The best shot though is of the rock itself. I preferred the sunset carpark, which is great for sunrise as well. Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas, is a 40-minute drive away and a destination in its own right. Don’t miss the Valley of the Winds walk. Check out our article on top 13 highlights in the Outback, survival guide, and itineraries for more information.
13. Kings Canyon, Northern Territory
When I think of Kings Canyon, I think of California. It’s my home. But Australia has the better park. Kings Canyon National Park is the most underrated spot in all of Australia. Not everyone visits this park, and they are missing out. The rim walk is only three hours but has some epic spots to take pictures. The dramatic cliffs of Kings Canyon were one of our favorite Instagram spots in all of Australia. It is a two-hour drive from Uluru. Check out our article on top 13 highlights in the Outback, survival guide, and itineraries for more information.
14. Shipwreck at Cape Banks, South Australia
I love shipwrecks. Whether it is scuba diving or a wreck just offshore, they are always interesting places to explore. While the coastline in South Australia has several shipwrecks, this little fishing boat in Lighthouse Bay is a hidden gem. Not many people venture to this spot, but it was one of the more picturesque shipwrecks I have ever seen. It is best to go during low tide to get really close to the boat.
15. The Grampians, Victoria
This awesome national park 3-hours from Melbourne has tons of epic viewpoints, amazing wildlife, and loads of Instagram spots. From Halls Gap, the Balconies, the Pinnacle Lookout, and Hollow Mountain, there are tons of places to explore. One of our favorite pictures was from Mackenzie Falls, which has a beautiful flow and a perfect surrounding for that epic Insta shot!
16. Twelve Apostles, Victoria
The most famous spot on the Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles. While it is super touristy and the crowds suck, the reason why this place is so popular is simple. It’s that stunning. Pictures cannot actually do it justice. This is one of the most picturesque coastlines anywhere in the world. There are too many spots to list in this area, but the 12 Apostles overlook should be the first and last stop on the Great Ocean Road.
17. Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria
After the 12 Apostles, this was my favorite place on the Great Ocean Road. The Loch Ard Gorge is a stunning bay with massive cliffs on both sides. The best viewpoint is near the top walking down the path when the entire bay comes into sight. While the best photos are from above, it is still worthwhile heading down to the beach. There are plenty of great areas including caves and dramatic spots next to the cliff walls.
18. Hopetoun Falls, Victoria
My favorite waterfall in Australia was Hopetoun Falls. Something about all the green surroundings and the perfectly placed fallen tree. It simply is magical. The viewpoint at the end of the trail is nice, but venture a little further and get your feet wet to get the best shot of the falls.
19. Princes Pier, Victoria
While it is not an active pier, it might be the busiest pier on Instagram. The Princes Pier is south of downtown Melbourne in the town of Port Melbourne. The logs sticking out of the water make this the perfect place for long exposure sunset shots.
20. Camel Rock, New South Wales
In the middle of Melbourne and Sydney is a perfect stop in the sleepy town of Bermagui. Just north of town are two well-known rock formations that are amazing for photography, Camel Rock and Horsehead Rock. A quick stop will not do it justice, this spot is amazing for sunrise. Camel Rock is easily accessible at the end of the beach. At low tide, it is possible to hike over the rocks to Horsehead Rock.
21. Bombo Quarry, New South Wales
By far the most dramatic scene in Australia is the Bombo Quarry, just north of Kiama in New South Wales. I saw pictures of this place on Instagram and knew I had to go. Don’t be put off by poop smelling wastewater plant on the walk down. When I got there, I was stunned by its beauty. It is freakin’ incredible and unlike anything else I have ever seen. We got lucky and were there during a massive swell, so it made for some pretty cool pictures. This is best seen during high tide for dramatic waves, but mid-tide is good to explore the rocks up close and get a little further out.
22. Cathedral Rock, New South Wales
Located in Kiama Downs just north of Bombo, Cathedral Rock is an amazing place to take pictures. Arrive at low tide to best explore this spot. During high tide, it is difficult to get out to the rocks to see the Cathedral Rock. The waves can be dangerous during high tide. During low tide, make sure to venture into the cave and on the rocks further away for different angles.
23. Hyams Beach, New South Wales
Looking for the whitest sand in the world? Look no further than Jarvis Bay. There are a few spots to explore and a great coastal walk, but Hyams Beach is too epic to not have on this list. We loved coming here for sunrise to have the entire beach for ourselves. Don’t miss out on the White Sands Walk. Looking for a private beach for the day? Find the secret beach located between Blenheim and Nelsons Beach.
24. Figure 8 Pools, New South Wales
Royal National Park is a short drive from Sydney and has some pretty amazing coastline. The Figure 8 Pools is a popular attraction. This is an easy two-hour walk. To get out by the tide pools it is required to be here during low tide. Any other time, the natural tide pools are covered in water and getting smashed by massive waves, which can be seriously dangerous. If the low tide is during sunrise/sunset hours, there will be fewer crowds than normal. Going mid-day on a weekend will likely have hundreds of people there.
25. Wedding Cake Rock, New South Wales
Located in Royal National Park is Wedding Cake Rock, also known as the White Rock. This is a very easy two-hour walk starting near Bundeena. There are excellent viewpoints of the coastline on this walk. It is a perfect place for whale watching during the October to December migration as the humpback whales swim south. The Wedding Cake Rock is layered rocks that are pure white, however, they are separating from the side of the cliff and experts predict they will fall in the next ten years. Because of the risk, they have fenced off the area. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone that we jumped the fence!
26. The Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Outside of Tasmania, the Blueys have the best mountain scenery in Australia. Just a couple hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains have amazing hiking trails, epic viewpoints, and incredible gorges and waterfalls. The best spots were Echo Point, Cahills Lookout, the Three Sisters, Evans Lookout, the Grand Canyon walk, Govetts Leap lookout, Pulpit Rock, the Valley of the Waters, and our favorite the National Pass. Phewww, there is a lot to see there. The National Pass trail is closed in early 2018, however, the beginning section of the trail down to the bottom of Wentworth Falls has some of the best views in the park.
27. Mount Amos, Tasmania
Tasmania is a wild and rugged place. Of the few spots that are easily explored, Freycinet National Park is one of the best. Beautiful coves and beaches are at every turn. The walk to the Wineglass Bay lookout is super popular. I am sure the lookout is good (we didn’t go), but if you are fit, scratch the lookout and hike up to Mount Amos. The walk up is short, but not easy. It is very slippery and steep. The views from the top are the best in the park.
28. Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania
Tasmania has been pushing a hike called the Three Capes Track which costs hundreds of dollars. Save some money and go to the Tasman Peninsula for free! There are a few walks that are pretty epic, with Cape Hauy and Cape Raoul at the top of the list. For an epic overnight tent camping trip, Cape Pillar has the highest sea cliffs in Australia and stunning views of the Tasman Island. Cape Raoul is actually not part of the Three Capes Track, although it is one of the three capes. Ironic. So to visit, you have to go on privately anyway. This walk is five-hour return and totally worth the views at the end of the cape.
29. Bay of Fires, Tasmania
My favorite coastline in all of Australia is the Bay of Fires in Tasmania. The orange-hued granite is caused by lichen in this northeast region of the island. Binalong Bay is the main town for this park and one of the best spots to photograph. Look for the lone tree at one of the beaches beside the Skeleton Bay parking area. The Gardens is a stunning place to explore, with white sand beaches and massive orange-colored boulders. Venture further north to the Picnic Rocks near Eddystone Point, but be prepared for a bumpy ride!
30. Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Australia’s most picturesque mountain is Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. It is the highlight of the world-famous Overland Track. There are several walking trails to explore the area. Dove Lake is a beautiful lake at the base of the mountain, with an easy walking trail. Make sure to check out the boathouse for a good photo spot. We recommend a circuit up to Hansons Peak and then on the Face Track. This trail meets up with the summit route. A hike up to the summit is a must, which requires some bouldering. Views from the top of Cradle Mountain are amazing. On the way down, look for the small tarns to have some fun and epic Instagram shots.
Why we left off Western Australia
Ok, so yeah WA is left off this list. This might be the best place in Australia for Instagram lovers. We didn’t go, and one day plan to go back, so that will be a post for another day. Until then, I will leave it to the pros who have explored this region. While I cannot say for sure what would be the best spots in WA, however, these places keep showing up on my feed: Shark Bay, Esperance, Kimberleys, Purnululu, Margaret River, Nangaloo, Rottnest Island, Karijini, Spencer Lake, Sugarloaf Rock, and Cable beach to name a few.
Tips for Taking Instagram Photos Like a Pro
Taking pictures is an art, not a science. There are several easy steps to take to start improving photography skills to the next level. If you already have a good eye, having the right gear and knowing how to use it is important. Here are a few tips to get started:
Rule of Thirds
While this rule is more of a guideline, it is pretty important. Separating images into thirds help frame a picture. The easiest way to think of this is a picture of a beach at sunset. Either have two-thirds of the picture the beach, or the sky. This applies to both horizontal and vertical thirds. If a subject is in the picture, sometimes centering works, but I like trying to put the subject on one of the corner thirds of the image.
Adding a subject to the picture such as a log, a person, a tree, or rock can make a picture much more interesting. It helps create a more three-dimensional feel and provides depth to the picture. I don’t have a subject in every photo, but it often helps, especially for landscape photography. In this photo, the landscape on its own could be a photo, however adding a subject (in this case me), adds depth to the photo. It provides scale to how big the mountains are and how far below the lake really is.
Lighting is important and in my opinion the key aspect of photography. Learning how to handle natural lighting is one of the hardest things. Lighting can create soft tones, harsh shadows, or dramatic effects depending on how to use it. Learning to how to shoot fully manual is the best way to deal with natural lighting, especially if the lighting is not cooperating with what you are trying to accomplish. For a basic rule of thumb, the best lighting is during golden hour. This is typically a period of 30 minutes prior to sunrise and 45 minutes prior to sunset.
Create Your Own Shot
There are times and places where it makes sense to try to replicate an exact photo. However, try to create your own shot by creating different angles or adding subjects into the frame. There are many ways to create a unique shot, and this is where the art really comes into play. My biggest advice on photography is trial and error. There are times I will switch between different lenses, try long exposure, moving a subject around, zooming in for more detail, and I might hate all of the pictures except one. Usually, that one picture is not what I originally had in mind. Sometimes you have to find it!
Gear does not create a photographer, and the better the camera does not mean the better the pictures. Sure it helps, but it is better to work on the craft with very basic gear and not have to spend thousands of dollars on high-end equipment at first. The first thing with photography is finding an eye for photos and understanding how a camera really works. Once understanding how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work cohesively together and seeing photos before taking them becomes more natural, you are at a great place. Once those are nailed down, and the camera or lens is holding you back, then invest in better equipment. With that said, I believe photography can drastically be improved by buying three things. A tripod, a circular polarizer, and an ND filter.
Tripod – Using a tripod allows full controls of working with natural light. It allows all settings to be adjusted, and the picture will be crisper as a result of the camera not moving. The Davis & Sandford 65″ Traverse tripod that is compact and lightweight.
Circular Polarizer – A polarizer helps with a few things. The best thing it helps with is glare. It is wonderful for bright sunny days with some clouds in the sky. It can make the clouds pop but in a natural way. Lastly, better quality filters can adjust the saturation slightly, which I find useful during sunrise/sunsets. In short, a polarizer will slightly adjust the natural coloring and is an excellent tool for glare and clouds. The B+W Circular Polarizer is a great option.
ND Filter – Ever wonder how people get those pictures with milky smooth looking water? It is because they are using an ND filter. ND filters, or a neutral density filter, minimizes the amount of light coming into the camera. They often will reduce color, but will not change the color. Because of the light reduction, using a tripod, it is easy to capture a longer exposure by slowing down the shutter speed. For example, using an ND10 filter in broad daylight, it is possible to keep the shutter open for 5 or 10 seconds, and the picture will not be overexposed. This is how the water (or clouds) then become milky. The Breakthrough Technology ND10 Filter is a great option.
My favorite Australian Instagrammers
Luke Tscharke @tscharke
Sean Scott @seanscottphotography
Daniel Tran @_danieltran_
Jackson Groves @jackson.groves
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Visited Australia from September through December 2017.