Top Australian Historical Sites

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Are you curious about Australia’s past? Then take a glimpse at its rich history on your next holiday. If you’re a history buff or you just want to know what life was like hundreds of years ago, there are several tourist spots across Australia that are just oozing with old-world charm. Make sure to include these places in your itinerary and travel back in time even for just a day or two.

Sydney

The Rocks

Displays at the Rocks Discovery Museum (https://www.therocks.com)

You don’t have to travel that far for a glimpse of Sydney’s vibrant past. At The Rocks, you have plenty of options when it comes to historic sites and monuments. After all, this is the home of the Aboriginal Gadigal people, and it is where Europeans first settled when they came to Australia. Start off your historic holiday and visit the Rocks Discovery Museum. Filled with artefacts, interactive displays, and touchscreens that tell centuries of history, learning more about the Aboriginal group Gadigal and the area’s early European settlers is guaranteed to provide you with hours of fun.

Aboriginal Art Galleries

Aboriginal Art Galleries (https://www.therocks.com/)

If you can’t get enough of the Aboriginal culture, you can also head to the Aboriginal Art Galleries for authentic artefacts, artworks, and musical instruments. From didgeridoos to colourful wooden sculptures, you’ll find the best souvenirs here. You can also join tours and watch theatre performances for a more interactive way of learning about the area’s history.

Brisbane

Newstead House 

Newstead House

Newstead House

Experience life in Australia during the 1840s by stepping inside Brisbane’s Newstead house. The oldest residence in the city, this home retains its late Victorian furnishing and is now a museum. Once you open the wide, wooden doors, let the antique carpets, cabinets, furniture, and window dressings transport you to the past.

St. Helena Island

St. Helena Island (tripadvisor.com)

Don’t forget to check out St. Helena Island, Brisbane’s most well preserved historical spot. A penal colony during the 1800s, it’s now a tourist spot filled with historic ruins, picnic areas, and tour routes that are used day and night. If you have a thing for beautiful churches, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane’s CBD is an ideal spot to take a break. Head to the cathedral grounds and enjoy your lunch as well as the scenic views and majestic architecture.

New South Wales

Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves

Traces of history aren’t just found in archaeological artefacts and cultural displays. They can also be found on the oldest natural formations. The Blue Mountains is the place to be if you want the best of nature and history. Trek across ancient underground rivers, and take a close look at primeval formations found inside the oldest underground caves in the world, the Jenolan Caves. Travel back to the prehistoric ages and see with your own eyes the Wollemi pine, a living fossil that was discovered in 1994. Thought to be extinct, this rare and endangered plant can be dated back to the dinosaur age.

Greater Blue Mountains

Blackheath (from http://www.visitnsw.com/ by Ben Pearse)

For an unforgettable experience, take a drive through the Greater Blue Mountains. This majestic drive trails around the entire Blue Mountains World Heritage site. Along the path are destinations such as Blackheath, The Mounts, and Kurrajong. These destinations feature amazing views and spectacular mountain landscapes.


One of the best ways to enjoy these historic sites is to go on a self-drive tour. Once you’ve planned your itinerary, book a cheap car hire so you can easily drive to any of these destinations without busting your budget.