8 Dream Destinations In Australia Perfect For Every Type Of Traveller In 2021


Shasha Dania •  Dec 02, 2020

As we wait for international borders to reopen, planning our next vacation is already on our minds and Australia is one destination we’re looking forward to exploring! This vibrant country is full of unique Muslim-friendly experiences that are perfect for every type of traveller. From families to couples to solo adventurers, here’s why Australia should be on the top of your list when you’re planning for your 2021 getaway!

Family-friendly vacations

If you’re looking for a safe and welcoming destination for the whole family, you can’t go wrong with Australia. With endless activities, accessible family-friendly facilities, and so much to see and do, you’ll have an unforgettable vacation with your little ones by your side.

1. Canberra

See the Australian capital in a whole new light with a trip to Canberra. This city has a mix of museums, green spaces, and farm experiences that are as fun as they are educational and enriching.

Credit: Tourism Australia

Start your vacation at the National Gallery of Australia, which has the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Kids will love the vibrant and colourful Yayoi Kusama installation too. Another must-visit Canberra attraction is Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre which has over 200 interactive exhibits where the whole family can learn about science and technology in a fun way. If your kids are going through a dinosaur-loving phase, Canberra’s National Dinosaur Museum also has authentic dinosaur skeletons, replica models, and fossils that will leave them speechless.

Credit: Papparich Canberra on Facebook

You won’t have to worry about finding halal options in the city either as this diverse city has a small but multicultural population. Dine on familiar Malaysian dishes at PappaRich (Halal-certified ingredients and meat only, no alcoholic beverages served), or feast on Turkish delights like pide and kebab at Turkish Halal Pide House (Muslim-owned, halal ingredients only). Once you’ve refuelled with a yummy meal, you can do your prayers at the Canberra Islamic Centre before heading to your next destination.

Credit: Tourism Australia

No family vacation to Australia would be complete without getting up close with nature, and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is one park where you can do just that. Look out for native birdlife, platypuses, bandicoots, and wallabies at the Sanctuary - you might even spot a koala or two. For a breath of fresh air, the National Arboretum has plenty of walking trails that cater to all experience levels including some kid-friendly ones. Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of their stunning lookouts, and bask in the beautiful scenery that will make for some unforgettable quality time together. Younger kids will also love the Babylon Farm where you can experience farm life by feeding and interacting with goats, alpacas, and ponies.

2. Melbourne & Phillip Island

For a vacation you can enjoy at your own pace, take a self-drive trip through the most iconic sights of Melbourne and its surrounding regions. If you’re travelling within Melbourne city itself their public transport system is cost-effective, convenient, and even stroller-friendly. But if you’re planning to drive into the surrounding regions you can easily rent and return a car or campervan at Melbourne airport or within the city itself. If you’re planning to self-drive do check ahead of time if your accommodations have parking available!

P.S. Don’t forget to select a child car seat if you’re travelling with children as child car seats are compulsory throughout Australia for children up to 7 years of age. Babies up to 6 months are also required to be in a rearward-facing child seat.

Credit: Visit Victoria

Start your holiday at Melbourne’s most famous spots like its street art-strewn laneways and arcades. You can even book a street art tour that includes a hands-on spray paint workshop. Popular markets such as Queen Victoria Market or South Melbourne Market are full of local produce and fresh seafood you can try on the spot - like oysters! - and unique souvenirs. Melbourne also has a strong coffee culture, so you can start your day with a freshly brewed flat white or take a midday coffee break at one of its many cafes.

Melbourne also has a notable Muslim population, so you’ll have plenty of halal options throughout the city. D’Penyetz & D’Cendol (Halal-certified ingredients only) serves familiar Indonesian Ayam Penyet and Cendol in the heart of the city, or you can head out to Sydney Road in the suburb of Brunswick where popular Muslim-owned eateries like A1 Bakery are located. If you’re planning to cook your own meals, there are many halal butchers along Sydney Road as well.

In the nearby suburb of Thornbury, you can also visit the Islamic Museum of Australia to learn more about the history of Islam and Muslims in the country. There are art pieces from contemporary Muslim Australian artists, and even pieces of the kiswah (the black fabric draped over the Kaaba) brought back by pilgrims. There’s also a prayer space here, as well as the halal Ima Cafe (Halal-certified ingredients only).

Credit: Phillip Island Nature Park

For an unforgettable day trip, travel to Phillip Island for an overnight stay filled with nature experiences. Snap mind-boggling photos at the A Maze’N Things trick-eye museum, before grabbing lunch at Pannys Chocolate Factory (Halal-certified meat used in the cafeteria) next door. Or dine at Woolamai Kebab (Muslim-owned) or The Cheeky Goose Cafe which has halal-certified chicken and wagyu beef, and seafood, vegetarian, and vegan options too. Phillip Island is also home to a Koala Reserve and the world-famous Penguin Parade. Seeing the Little Penguins toddle past you once the sun goes down will be a memory your kids won’t ever forget.

Romantic getaways

Whether you’re planning for your honeymoon or looking forward to a romantic getaway for you and your significant other, Australia’s breathtaking sights and sounds are the perfect setting for some quality time as a couple.

3. Sydney & its surrounds

Experience all kinds of exciting activities and stunning spots together to get the most out of what Sydney’s coastal region has to offer.

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Begin your trip with a morning hike up to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb. The scenic view of the Sydney harbour and skyline is the perfect way to start your special trip for two. Take a guided walk with Dreamtime Southern X to learn about the city’s Aboriginal heritage, and see landmarks like Dawes Point and Campbells Cove in a whole new light.

Credit: Tourism Australia

Visit popular attractions in the city like the Museum of Contemporary Art and Royal Botanic Gardens, or if you’re already itching to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre make a short trip up to Bondi Beach to dine on fresh seafood with a seaside view. Apart from seafood eateries at Bondi Beach, Sydney itself has a variety of Muslim-friendly eateries including Lal Qila’s (Halal-certified ingredients only) Mughal dining fit for royalty, Neptune Palace’s (Halal-certified ingredients only, alcoholic beverages served) Malaysian and Chinese cuisine, and familiar Malaysian hawker food at Ipoh on York (Halal-certified meat used).

Credit: Tourism Australia

Once you’ve seen enough of the city, drive out to Sydney’s surrounds for unforgettable experiences that can be done as individual day trips or a long extended self-drive adventure. Thrill-seekers will love dune-bashing or camel-riding at Port Stephens, or skydiving in Wollongong. Whereas animal-lovers may prefer to hand-feed kangaroos at Symbio Wildlife Park or join a dolphin or whale-watching cruise for a chance to see these beautiful animals in the wild. The Blue Mountains National Park also has romantically stunning views and vistas that will leave you speechless.

4. Great Ocean Road

Spend some quality time with each other on a road trip down Victoria’s world-famous Great Ocean Road. Whether you’re newly married or going on your anniversary trip, this self-drive adventure lets you take things at your own pace and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Credit: Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk

Rent a car or campervan within Melbourne city before driving out to the route, so you can combine this road trip with a short stay in the city. Soak in the beauty of scenic spots like the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and Gibson Steps that you’ll encounter along the drive. Getting to witness the natural beauty of Australia with your loved one is truly an unforgettable experience. For a special experience, you can even see these iconic sights from the air in a helicopter flight.

Credit: Tourism Australia

You can also take detours to smaller towns and other attractions along the way, like relaxing Anglesea Beach which has pristine white sand, towering cliffs, surfing and swimming opportunities for all. If you and your significant other love the wild outdoors, Great Otway National Park has walking paths, camping sites, and even hiking trails amidst lush greenery and untouched forests.

Remember to stop by the town of Apollo Bay for its handful of Muslim-friendly eateries. The RAWR Bar (Vegan restaurant) is a 100% vegan restaurant that serves smoothies, vegan lunch and dinners, and even sweet treats like cakes and tarts. Icaro Wholefood Cafe (Vegetarian and vegan restaurant) is another eatery that has vegetarian and vegan options including an all-day brunch with seasonal big breakfast, banana bread, and more. Do note that Icaro does use cheese in some dishes, but all of their ingredients are vegetarian-friendly and can be modified to be vegan-friendly as well.

Memorable best friend trips

Sometimes you just need to take a relaxing trip with your best friends - and Australia’s scenic drives, beautiful flower fields, and variety of exciting experiences are an amazing backdrop for the bonding trip of your lifetime. Go beyond the beach and spend some quality time together seeing what Australia has to offer.

5. Adelaide

For a laidback holiday with Instagram-worthy opportunities for adventure, head to balmy Adelaide in South Australia.

Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

Start your cultural exploration of the city at the Art Gallery of South Australia which has one of the largest art museum collections in the country, showcasing thousands of works from artists all over the world. Continue on to the Adelaide Central Market and Jam Factory where you’ll find souvenirs and trinkets made by independent artisans. Rundle Mall is another popular shopping destination in the city, with dozens of international and local brands to browse.

Credit: Adelaide City Mosque on Facebook

Adelaide has a rich Muslim heritage and history, so the Central Adelaide Mosque definitely needs to be on your itinerary. It’s the oldest surviving mosque in the Southern hemisphere, and was built by Afghan and South Asian Muslim cameleers in the 19th century. Once you’ve done your prayers in this historic mosque, fuel up for the day ahead at halal eateries like the Indonesian Pondok Daun (Muslim-owned) and Warong (Halal-certified ingredients only) restaurants, or treat yourself to authentic Moroccan cuisine at Marrakech (Halal-certified meats, alcoholic beverages served).

Credit: Tourism Australia

Adelaide’s Metro Network makes getting around the city and its surrounds easy, so you can work in as many day trips to the countryside as you want. The Adelaide Hills are a gorgeous flower-filled road trip with lots of scenic sights. If you visit between November to April, make a pitstop at the Beerenberg Family Farm in the Hills where you can pick your own strawberries for a small fee. The Cleland Wildlife Park is also home to various wildlife experiences, including breakfast with local birdlife, cuddling with koalas, and feeding wombats and kangaroos.

Credit: Tourism Australia

At the end of the day, relax on any of Adelaide’s stunning beaches and watch the beautiful sunset. Popular spots such as Aldinga Beach, Glenelg Beach, and Brighton Beach are just a short journey from the city centre - each with their own unique charm.

6. Perth & surrounds

Visit the lively city of Perth in Western Australia for an upbeat trip that’s full of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities and lots of iconic Australian activities.

Credit: Tourism Australia

Lose yourself in Perth’s lively art scene with a tour around its laneways and alleys, or visit Elizabeth Quay for an Instagram-worthy shot with its iconic ‘Perth’ sign. Another landmark you need to visit is the shopping haven of Fremantle Markets, where you can find Muslim-friendly eateries like Fluffy Lamb (Halal-certified), and the famous honey cake from The Honeycake (Vegan-friendly, alcohol-free options available) that’s a great souvenir to bring back home.

P.S. The Honeycake’s cakes are vegan-friendly but do note that alcohol-free whole cakes must be pre-ordered as they are only available upon request. It is advisable for you to contact them via their offices directly 3 days in advance (we recommend a week!) to place your order. Check out our Muslim-friendly guide to Fremantle Markets to find out more.

Spend a day or two out in Swan Valley getting up close with native Australian wildlife and deliciously fresh Australian produce. Caversham Wildlife Park is the place to be for hands-on photos with wombats, hand-feeding opportunities with kangaroos and koalas, and even an interactive farm show. Once you’ve cuddled with a koala, shop for yummy souvenirs at the nearby House of Honey (Some honey products may contain alcohol so do ask the staff before tasting), Morish Nuts, and Mondo Nougat (Some nougats may contain alcohol so do ask the staff before tasting) for a taste of Australia’s signature snacks.

Credit: Tourism Australia

A Western Australian must-do is Rottnest Island where you can spend a fun-filled half-day away from the busy city. Snap a selfie with a quokka before relaxing on the beautiful shore, or go snorkeling and cycling to get your heart rate up. You can pack a picnic to enjoy amongst the scenery - we recommend getting a box of authentic fish and chips from Kailis Fish Market (Non-halal chicken meat and alcohol served, but seafood is fried in a different oil and fryer to avoid cross-contamination) from Fremantle Markets to enjoy amongst the seaside breeze.

Before you leave, it’s time to end your trip with some adventure. Head out to the Pinnacles Desert to explore its unique rock formations, or to the Lancelin Sand Dunes for some sandboarding. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you can even rent your own boat in Mandurah to venture down the gorgeous waterways and try your luck at seeing wild dolphins.

Solo adventurers

From the Australian outback to the country’s breathtaking natural forests and seas, Australia has unique adventures around every corner for the traveller who’s looking for something different in their next trip.

7. Darwin

Australia’s Northern Territory is ideal for adventurous travellers who want to see a different side of the country, and Darwin is a great place to start.

Credit: Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory on Facebook

Explore this vibrant and dynamic city’s rich Aboriginal culture and history at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory which showcases artefacts from the Territory dating back to the early 20th century, as well as some of the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from around the country. Step back into the city’s past at heritage sites like the Myilly Point Heritage Precinct, Burnett House Museum, and Darwin Military Museum to learn about the colonial and military history of the area.

Credit: SeaLink NT - Tiwi Islands, NT

Continue your exploration of Darwin’s Aboriginal culture with a day trip to the Tiwi Islands. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from Aboriginal residents, and you can learn more about traditional fabric-making and Aboriginal art. After you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to the city for mouth-watering halal cuisine such as familiar Indonesian-style nasi padang dishes at Ayuriz Cafe (Halal-certified ingredients only).

Credit: Nick Dunn on Unsplash

Venture out of the city to see what else the Top End region in the Northern Territory has to offer. Thrill seekers will have to look out for native birdlife and marine creatures on a Darwin Airboat Tour. For nature-lovers who want to experience the beauty of the outdoors without getting too much adrenaline pumping, visit Australia’s biggest national park at Kakadu National Park to admire its stunning landscapes. Or take a detour to Litchfield National Park to cool off at its plunge pools like the Wangi Falls or Florence Falls.

Credit: Deckchair Cinema on Facebook

At the end of a long day, unwind with a late-night screening at Deckchair Cinema. The movie screening takes place near the Waterfront Precinct, and the open-air cinema concept transforms it into a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience as you bask in the sea breeze.

8. Scenic Rim & Brisbane

See a whole new side of Australia’s wildlife and nature parks in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, an easy one hour drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, before ending your trip in the busy and exciting city of Brisbane.

Credit: Spicers Retreat / Great Walks of Australia

See how Main Range National Park is bouncing back from bushfires with its Wallaby Walkabout tour and education about bush regeneration. Experienced bushwalkers looking for some quiet solitude away from the city can venture onto its Scenic Rim Trail, a 4D3N hike that will take you through the rugged mountains of the park. Lamington National Park is another park that provides an escape from the city. Climb to the top of Moran Falls to see the sprawling forests, spot bright and beautiful native birdlife, and trek to the awe-inspiring rock pools and mountain streams of the Lost World Valley to cool off.

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No visit to the Scenic Rim would be complete without a trip to Tamborine Mountain. Surrounded by lush rainforest and a cooler climate, experience outdoor fun at natural attractions like exploring the TreeTop Challenge and Rainforest Skywalk, or venturing to the Glow Worm Caves. Stop by The Fountain of Juice (Vegetarian and vegan restaurant) to refuel with freshly-baked pies and local coffee from the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation.

Credit: Brisbane Marketing

Head back to Brisbane to end your trip in the city. As the state capital, there’s a never-ending selection of activities and attractions to do. Visit acclaimed museums and galleries like the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in the cultural neighbourhood of the South Bank located along the Brisbane River. Step into Queensland’s oldest mosque at the Holland Park Mosque to do your prayers, before refuelling for the day with Dapur Dahlia’s (Muslim-owned) authentic Malaysian cuisine.

Credit: Nasi & Mee on Facebook

For a shopping extravaganza, travel out of the city to Harbour Town which houses dozens of international and local brands. Harbour Town has a prayer room on-site with washing facilities which makes it a convenient place to spend your day. If you don’t want to leave the city, there are markets like the Fortitude Valley Markets which showcase local produce and independent designers. Pick up handmade jewellery, sustainable fashion, and even skincare products you can’t find anywhere else. At the end of a long day, treat yourself to Malaysian dishes like Roti Canai and Nasi Goreng at the nearby Nasi & Mee (halal ingredients only).

No matter what kind of holiday you’re looking forward to, you’ll definitely find something you love in Australia! It’s time to start planning your Australian adventure today - and start uncovering all of the stunning experiences this beautiful country has to offer.

This article is brought to you by Tourism Australia.