With breathtaking fjords, glittering skylines, stunning natural attractions, and a diverse and protected wildlife scene, New Zealand and Australia are often found at the top of most people’s travel wish lists.
While travel might be limited for the time being, there are still plenty of places to visit in New Zealand and Australia from the comfort of your own home. Here are 22 destinations, from the famous Sydney Opera House to Fiordland’s Milford Sound, that you can discover virtually in the meantime.
Best Places to Visit in Australia
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Take a spectacular interactive journey around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough (environmentalist and host of the BBC special Planet Earth). Join him around five key locations of the reef, which spans over 2,300 kilometers (or roughly the size of Italy) and learn all about this complex ecosystem that is home to more than 1,500 fish species and 600 different types of coral.
This fun project includes engaging features such as a time-lapse video that shows exactly how coral grows, a visual recreation of what it’s like to have the vision of a mantis shrimp, and audio of parrotfish, sea urchins, and other marine animals having a feast underwater.
Plus, learn all about the environmental factors that are threatening the Great Barrier Reef, including ocean acidification, overfishing, and coral bleaching.
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Experience the Sydney Opera House in this lovely 360-degree tour, where you’ll see the gorgeous exterior of the opera house at dawn, art-filled rooms, and the perspective from the stage looking out to the audience.
Watch young soprano Nicole Car perform one of her moving songs and listen to the soothing music of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as they rehearse under the direction of the chief conductor.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney
Admire the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest steel arch bridge in the world, from a number of angles in this jaw-dropping 360-degree video.
Nicknamed “the Coathanger” by Australians, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is open to visitors who wish to walk or bike across it and climb to the top to see stunning views of the harbor and skyline. Admire the view of Sydney from the highest point of the bridge, 440 feet above water.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
If you need a break, try watching this calming visual tour around the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. Let the swaying palm trees, lush green fields, and tranquil lakes lower your stress levels.
Try and name some of the many flowers and trees you’ll see along the way (the park has over 8,500 different species) including poinciana trees, hydrangeas, and succulents. Unwind and go on a forest therapy session around the garden’s Fern Gully, or let the little ones practice their drawing by taking a class with a nature author and illustrator.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Boasting over 70,000 works of art, the National Gallery of Victoria is one of Australia’s oldest and most comprehensive art museums. See some of the works of art that make up the National Gallery of Victoria’s impressive collection in this Google gallery of the museum, which includes works by aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, too.
See some of the best places to visit in Australia from high up above in this aerial 360 tour of Sydney. Spot the famous curved exterior of Sydney’s Opera House and the engineering beauty of Harbour Bridge.
Take in the skyline of North Sydney and the tranquil waters of Farm Cove or the boat-strewn Lavender Bay. You’ll feel as if you’ve taken a chopper ride around the city.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
Visit the furry animals at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a refuge for sick, injured, and orphan koalas. Watch the friendly mammals through live webcams, including one focused on the sanctuary’s Koala Forest exhibit, where all of the female koalas live; another at the center’s “koala train” habitat, which is a popular meeting spot for koalas to gather together; and one from the koala bachelor pad, which is where those koalas who prefer to be solo tend to hang out.
Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
Pretend like you’re strolling through the shops of the Queen Victoria Building by watching this walking video tour that takes you inside the late 19th-century building, where you’ll be able to admire the glass-stained windows, Romanesque architecture, and colorful glass domes.
Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
The Queensland Arts Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art are home to a global collection of contemporary art from Australia, Asia, and the Pacific. Join the curator of the QAGOMA in a walkthrough tour of the museum, watch time-lapse videos of experiential works of art (such as Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room), and allow the kids to engage in a series of fun activities and games focused around art on their website.
Best Places to Visit in New Zealand
Sky Tower, Auckland
Towering over 1,000 feet over Auckland is Sky City, a cloud-grazing entertainment complex featuring two hotels, over 20 bars and restaurants, and a casino.
See what it’s like to take in the view of the New Zealand city from way up above in this virtual tour of the building. Head up to the Sky Deck on the 60th level of the Sky Tower and take in 360-degree panoramic views of Auckland.
JRR Tolkien fans rejoice! Hobbiton™, the film set for movies like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” series, is now available to tour online.
Start your journey at Hobbit Cutting, then stroll past the green door of Bag End, Frodo and Bilbo Baggin’s tiny hilltop home, and enter the Green Dragon Inn where you can imagine enjoying handcrafted ales, ginger beer, and other treats.
Finish off your tour by re-watching the blockbuster film and seeing how many set pieces you can spot.
Royal Albatross Centre, Dunedin
Birders will want to check out this live feed from the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin, the only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross in the world. Albatross traditionally breed on remote islands and spend most of their time at sea, which is why the Royal Albatross Centre is such a special place.
The birds typically breed from September through November, and chicks hatch from late January to early February. However, chicks can take up to eight months before they are able to take flight, so you can expect to see a little bit of bird action on the feed throughout the year.
Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, Waiomio
Go deep below the hills of North Island and step inside the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, where a colony of tiny luminescent worms creates a spectacular light show in the dark.
Learn more about these carnivorous insects and how they use their twinkling powers to attract prey in this 360-degree video with informative descriptions from National Geographic.
Rainbow Falls and Cathedral Cove, Bay of Islands
Get an up-close look at two of New Zealand’s most beautiful natural attractions in the Bay of Islands: Rainbow Falls and Cathedral Cove. Shot by a drone from high above, this short clip showcases the single drop waterfall near Kerikeri that is over 88 feet tall, and the picturesque cavern on The Coromandel.
Larnach Castle, Dunedin
Take a virtual tour inside New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle in Dunedin. Built in 1871, Larnach Castle has a colorful history full of scandal and tragedy. It was eventually bought by the Baker family, who underwent massive efforts to restore the sprawling castle to its former glory days.
Enjoy video tours of the opulent home and its gorgeous gardens, and allow the bright florals and tranquil classical music to relax you.
Fiordland National Park, Fiordland
Discover the wonders of Fiordland National Park, the country’s largest natural and wildlife reserve, and home to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes including crystalline lakes, towering cliffs, and lush rainforests.
In this 360-degree photo tour, see Lake Manapouri and its surrounding hills from several different angles in the sky, and later explore the rugged terrain and rocky cliffs of the national park from down on the ground.
Doubtful Sound, Fiordland
Doubtful Sound, a pristine natural fjord over 1,300 feet deep, is often referred to as “the sound of silence” because it is one of the most serene places on Earth. Get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit this paradise by watching this 360-degree video tour which includes views from aboard a kayak, underwater, and at a campsite at night, where you can gaze at thousands of stars above.
Milford Sound, Fiordland
Watch in awe while watching this beautiful video that compiles some of the top sights at Milford Sound, one of the most popular places to visit in the country.
See cascading waters, fur seals lounging on top of craggy cliffs, snow-capped mountains in the distance, secluded turquoise lakes, verdant hills, and more of Mother Nature at its best. You’ll soon see why New Zealand’s fjords draw visitors from around the world.
Go on a virtual visit to Zealandia, a conservation project in New Zealand’s capital of Wellington. This interactive map takes you to the lush valley of the nature reserve, where wingbeats, squawks, and precious birds are now thriving.
See 360-degree views of Zealandia and learn more about native flora and fauna, like the red-beaked takahe or the ground-dwelling North Island robin, through descriptive captions and close-up photos of all of the residents of this natural haven.
Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland
Learn all about New Zealand and its people during a virtual visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. With over three million objects and the world’s most comprehensive collection of Maori artifacts, the museum has a mixture of everything including botanical specimens, early newspapers, original letters and diaries, decorative arts, musical instruments, and ceramics.
Don’t miss the online exhibit on traditional cultural objects described by their authentic Maori names.
Now that you’ve finished exploring all of these fascinating places to visit in Australia and New Zealand online, it’s time to start planning your next vacation there. Explore all of our New Zealand and Australia cruises on our website.