TripAdvisor has announced the favourite icons – both in Australia and around the world – as voted for in the 2017 Travellers’ Choice awards for Landmarks.
And wouldn’t you know it, our beloved Sydney Opera House took out top spot for Landmarks in Australia – sorry Melbourne!
Coming in second was the Sydney Harbour Bridge, followed by the Australian War Memorial in third. Globally, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat clinched the title of top landmark in the world. And anyone who’s been there will vouch for that one.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for landmarks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period. The awards honour 706 landmarks in 82 countries.
TripAdvisor’s winning list of landmarks includes historically, architecturally or culturally significant attractions that are typically owned or run by a governmental or non-profit organisations. Registered national historic landmarks and UNESCO sites have also been included.
Suss out which of your faves made the cut, and which places you’re just going to have to take time off to visit, in the name of research, of course!
Top 10 Landmarks in Australia:
1. Sydney Opera House – Sydney
With 8.2 million visitors a year, the iconic landmark has been home to many world-class artists and sees over 2,000 performances organised in its concert halls, theatres and studios annually.
Discover this landmark with a behind-the-scenes tour of the performance centre and access to off-limits parts of the house. Tours start from $371 per person.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge – Sydney
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s tallest steel arch bridge, with its highest point at 134 metres above the harbour. Affectionately known by locals as the ‘coat hanger’ due to its arch-based design, the bridge plays an integral part in the city’s transport infrastructure, connecting over 200,000 cars daily from the northern suburbs of Sydney to the city centre.
Discover this landmark by conquering the bridge with a climb, with tours starting from $158 per person.
3. Australian War Memorial – Australian Capital Territory
The Australian War Memorial is a national memorial dedicated to citizens who have participated or sacrificed their lives in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia. The memorial brings together a museum, a shrine and an extensive archive, intended to commemorate, interpret and understand the experience of war and its lasting impact on Australian society.
Discover this historic landmark as part of a guided day trip from Sydney, with tours starting from $179 per person.
4. Shrine of Remembrance – Melbourne
Opened in 1934, the Shrine is Australia’s memorial of citizens who served in global conflicts throughout the nation’s history. The landmark’s classical architecture was designed and built by veterans of the First World War and pays a moving tribute to the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers.
Discover this historic landmark with an in-depth look at its history. Half-day tours start from $66 per person.
5. Queen Victoria Building (QVB) – Sydney
The Queen Victoria Building, better known by locals as QVB, has over 180 fashion boutiques, jewellery shops, cafes and restaurants. Around since 1898, Sydney’s most prominent shopping centre occupies an entire block on George Street and features a central dome, stained glass windows and an original 19th-century staircase.
Discover this historic landmark as part of a half-day tour of Sydney city, starting from $125 per person.
6. Block Arcade – Melbourne
Conveniently located at the central business district of Melbourne, The Block is one of the city’s most recognised heritage shopping arcade. Inspired by Milan’s iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, The Block boasts intricate mosaic-tile flooring, a glass canopied ceilings and carved stone pillars, transporting any visitor back to the 19th-century.
Discover this historic landmark as part of a three-hour sightseeing coach tour of Melbourne, starting from $182 per person.
7. Port Arthur Historic Site – Port Arthur
Once a major penal colony used to house Britain’s worst offenders, Port Arthur Historic Site has since been restored and features more than 30 buildings, ruins and period homes set amongst in 40 hectares of landscaped Victorian gardens.
Visitors are encouraged to set aside at least four to six hours in order to immerse themselves in the rich history of the site.
Discover this historic landmark with day-tours detailing its storied past starting from $125 per person.
8. Fremantle Prison – Fremantle
Built by its very first convicts, Fremantle Prison is a six-hectare site that includes cellblocks, gatehouse, cottages and underground tunnels. The UNESCO World Heritage has recognised the landmark for being the last and most preserved of the British colonial prisons in Australia.
Discover this historic landmark with a self-guided audio tour. Tours start from $27 per person.
9. Australian Parliament House – Canberra
A visit to the Australian Parliament House not only offers travellers a glimpse of local democracy in action but also a display of Australia’s finest historical treasures and contemporary art. Visitors can climb up to the roof terrace for a sweeping view of Canberra.
Discover this historic landmark with a comprehensive day tour of Canberra. Tours start from $179 per person.
10. Cape Byron Lighthouse – Byron Bay
The Cape Byron Lighthouse is the country’s brightest lighthouse, standing tall at 23 metres on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. From the top, travellers can enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean and hinterland on the entire coast, including common sightings of dolphins, turtles and humpback whales.
Discover this historic landmark with a day trip from Gold Coast, with tours starting from $110 per person.
Top 10 Landmarks in the World:
- Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Sheikh Zayed Mosque – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba – Cordoba, Spain
- St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City, Italy
- Taj Mahal – Agra, India
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood – St. Petersburg, Russia
- Great Wall at Mutianyu – Beijing, China
- Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu, Peru
- Plaza de Espana – Seville, Spain
- Duomo di Milano – Milan, Italy