7 Amazing Places to Visit in Australia on a Cruise Holiday


Although many Australian cruise-goers are drawn by the exotic allure of the South Pacific, some are happy to set-sail on a cruise mere miles from the exquisite Australian coastline.

In recent years, Australian cruises have become increasingly popular, thanks in part to endless summer temperatures and the unique natural wonders offered at Aussie ports of call. Here, we explore 7 amazing places you can visit on a cruise holiday along the Australian coast.

Moreton Island

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As the world’s largest sand island, Moreton offers plenty of space for sunbathers. Located on the dramatic southeast coast of Queensland – just 36 miles from Brisbane – this 190 square kilometre island is a sun-baked paradise frequented by many a cruise ship. Several tour operators offer daytrips to Moreton, providing the perfect opportunity for passengers to bask on white sands and paddle in turquoise waters – bliss. 


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Stop off at the delightfully named Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, and you’ll be greeted with a restaurant-cluttered esplanade overlooking a glorious, sandy bay. Mooloolaba is an extremely popular holiday destination for many Aussies, combining a spectacular coastal location with a wealth of amenities, entertainment and things to see and do. Away from Mooloolaba’s world-famous beach, retail opportunities abound in the resort centre, whilst the celebrated Australia Zoo is just a short journey from the town.


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Heralded by many as the most beautiful coastal attraction in all of Australia, Whitsundays is a string of 74 islands on the east coast of Australia – located in a prime position for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays Isles are extremely popular with yachtsman and other sailors, who spend their days exploring Whitsundays’ secluded coves and unspoilt reefs. Whilst many of the Whitsundays isles feature a resort, most are uninhabited – offering complete peace and tranquillity.

Port Douglas

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For a slice of paradise beside the Pacific, book a cruise that anchors in the beautiful town of Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. Voted third best town in Australia by Australian Traveller Magazine, Port Douglas perches on the edge of the Pacific, enveloped by aquamarine waters and tropical flora. Despite having a permanent population of just 3,500 residents, Port Douglas receives ten times as many visitors thanks to its proximity to both the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest – both of which are World Heritage areas famed for their outstanding natural beauty.


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Tucked in the uppermost corner of West Australia, Kimberley is often regarded as Australia’s best-kept secret. Unless you fly, the region is difficult to get to – ensuring it has remained scarcely populated and beautifully untamed. Many cruise ships that circumnavigate Australia stop off in Kimberley to give passengers a glimpse of the raw natural beauty that still exists here. From Wolfe Creek to Kununuraa, one thing’s for sure: you’ll want your camera at the ready on a trip to this magnificent corner of Australia.

Mornington Peninsula

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Book a cruise that docks at Mornington Peninsula, and you’ll probably have some difficulty deciding what to do first. This beautiful spit of land is just a few miles from Melbourne – the cultural capital of Australia – and plays host to an endless array of things to see and do. From practising your swing on one of the region’s world renowned fairways, to spotting local wildlife on an invigorating wetland safari, Mornington Peninsula is the perfect place to escape your cruise ship and spend a few exciting hours on dry land.

Kangaroo Island

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As the name suggests, Kangaroo Island is teeming with native wildlife and rare, natural vegetation. Located off the southern coast of Adelaide, this is Australia’s third largest island, and one of significant ecological importance. Cruise ships visiting Kangaroo Island give passengers the chance to get up close to Australia’s most famous resident – the kangaroo. If wildlife and natural beauty are at the top of your itinerary, your first stop on the island ought to be the Flinders Chase National Park – a sanctuary for endangered wildlife that features several geological phenomena.

If you’re interested in visiting any of the destinations listed above on your next cruise, give the Cruise1st Australia team a call on 1300 857 345 and we’ll be happy to help you find an Australian cruise holiday. Alternatively, visit the Cruise1st Australia homepage and use the search bar on the left to search for cruises by location.

Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit:Aenneken, Roderick Eime, bunnicula, DuReMi, Go Holiday, brewbooks, Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble.

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  1. Could you please tell me where shops dock or tender into on Kangaroo Island? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Angela! The dock at Kangaroo Island is called Penneshaw, but it’s only suitable for smaller ships. Cruise vessels provide a tender to go between the ship and the port – note that only some cruise lines offer these excursions. Hope this helps!