Insta-worthy Destinations: Beautiful Photo Locations in Australia

Moving to Australia to study? Get ready to make your friends and family back home jealous with your Instagram feed. There are so many opportunities to take sweeping shots of awe-inspiring nature, vibrant cities and exotic animals, it’s hard to know where to point your camera lens!

So you can get all the best photos to send home, we’ve rounded up some of the most beautiful photo locations in Australia. Make sure to take some memorable photos at these spectacular locations.

Great Ocean Road

A trip along the Great Ocean Road with the wind in your hair and the Victorian coastline stretching out in front of you is a must whether you’re visiting or living in Australia. The road is set above the cliffs, providing sweeping vistas of golden sand beaches along the way.

Although there are many great places to take pictures, most people visit the Great Ocean Road to witness the 12 Apostles. The limestone stacks pierce the sea and are dotted majestically across the coastline about a four-hour drive from Melbourne. Try to catch them at dawn or dusk to photograph the changing colours.

This journey's best photography sites are incredibly diverse, with lakes, shipwrecks and koala-clad gumtrees to swing by along the way. Head to the Loch Ard Gorge cliff top view for midday, with the sun shining brightly above it for vivid shots, then make your way to Lake Elizabeth and the Mait's Rest rainforest circuit walk at night to capture ethereal images of glow worms.

Bunyip Tours offer innovative, eco-friendly trips in small groups along the Great Ocean Road. You can enjoy the feeling of contributing to the environment with the added bonus of having fewer people get in the way of your photos!

Sydney Harbour

No visit to Sydney is complete without a glimpse of the Harbour. Once you’ve visited the famous photo locations of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, you can move on to the clandestine coves and lesser known spots.

There is plenty great places to take pictures on the foreshore, from the stunning plant life at the Botanical Gardens to sandstone architecture of the historic Rocks precinct. Take a ferry to Manly or meander along the paths at one of the many harbour walks.

Australian Luxury Escapes, a company that offers tailored tours of the city, says that the best time to photograph the harbour is early morning. The sun rising over the water means that the scene changes colour constantly. Australian Luxury Escapes offer tours at this time – see how many ‘likes’ you get from back home.

Sydney CBD

If you’re planning to study in Australia, you’ve probably already heard that Sydney is one of the world’s most vivacious cities. With vibrant neighbourhoods, bustling shopping districts and dazzling beaches to explore, you’ll find plenty to keep you amused – and to take pictures of – in this sunshine-filled metropolis.

When they’re not photographing the iconic harbour, Sydney residents simply love to fill their Instagram feeds with photos of their latest culinary experience. The Butler in Potts Point with its highly photogenic indoor foliage is a great place to practice your foodie photography. Inspiring images are simple to capture in this bar and restaurant, which also offers vistas of the city skyline.

Northern Beaches

21km of golden beaches span from Sydney Harbour to the city's northernmost tip backed by the natural haven of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Needless to say, the whole area is brimming with stellar photo opportunities – and it’s just a short stint away from the city. Whether your preference is for action, nature or landscape photography, you’ll have no shortage of options along the stunning coastline.

Not sure where to start or how to get there? Sydney OutBack – Tour Experiences by Land and Water offer a thorough exploration of this area. They emphasise the legacy of its traditional owners, the Guringai people, as well as the plants and animals. This owner-operated group also offers private charters. They can help you hunt out those landscapes on a bespoke trip or you can choose one of their group tours. They adjust their itinerary to ensure visitors are at the right places at the right times to make the most of their experience – including gauging when it’s the best time to take photos.

Blue Mountains

A fantastic day trip from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a sight to behold. Their name is taken from an optical illusion that makes the mountain range look blue from a distance. Up close it seems to be one of those places just made for photography. Expect seemingly endless valleys full of native plants and wildlife a gorgeous vista that will pep up your Instagram feed in a second. The area is also famous for its intriguing caves, plunging canyons and opportunities for adrenaline-filled activities like rock climbing and abseiling.

At just under two-hours drive from Sydney, you can enjoy a bespoke trip to the Blue Mountains with Your Sydney Guide. The company’s tours are customisable. You can hit all the main sites, such as the Three Sisters rock formation at Echo Point, or have them plan a bush walk if you fancy a spot of trekking. It also offers helicopter tours so you can see the landscape from the skies – and take those rare bird’s-eye view pictures of this premier photo location.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is a particularly special photo location because of the multitude of different environments all in one place. One minute you can be on a white-sand beach taking impromptu images of the infamous dingos. The next you’ll be under a rainforest canopy honing in on a macro photograph of fungi.

Prepare yourself for a whole gamut of marine life too, from whales to turtles, and enjoy surveying coastal scenery that ranges from deep black rocks dotted across golden beaches to mineral sand enclaves. Without a doubt, some of Australia’s most photogenic scenery comes in the form of the fresh water lakes that dot the island. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters and white sands of Lake McKenzie before conquering the large golden sand dunes that frame Lake Wabby.

Australian Sunset Safaris are 4WD adventure experts of Fraser Island. They advise that because of the stark contrasts of photography options here, it pays to come prepared. Know what you’re aiming for and bring equipment/lenses to suit. They suggest you start your photography quest in the rainforest for the morning light before hunting down the perfect dingo shot in the afternoon when they are out scavenging.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast conjures up images of quintessential Australia: sandy beaches, overgrown rainforests and superb surfing culture. It’s the perfect place to visit for capturing those memories you’ll have for years to come. As one of the country’s more northerly and warm destinations, the light here is as gorgeous as the weather.

It’s also a great destination for starting off on a whale watching tour – a memorable, spine-tingling opportunity. As it has the longest whale-watching season on the East Coast of Australia, it's privy to the whales' entire migration.

Whales in Paradise recommend choosing a midday trip to this unique photo location as this is when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, showing off the creatures as they breach and play in the water. As experts in whale watching, Whales in Paradise also recommend using a single-focal point in automatic mode. Otherwise, your camera is more likely to focus on the water in the foreground than the whale in the background.

After visiting each of these out-of-this-world destinations in Australia, you'll have a treasure trove of memories and images as diverse as the country itself. Beyond making your friends and family jealous of your time in Australia, these photos can also serve as a wonderful reminder of the time you had when you return home. Where will you go first?