TripAdvisor's toughest critics rate Australia's top sights

Australia has some of the most beautiful and unusual natural sights in the world. People travel to see Sydney's spectacular harbour, our diverse wildlife and relax on our beaches, but some visitors still don't find them up to scratch.

Here are some of the most scathing reviews written by TripAdvisor's toughest critics.

Sydney Harbour Bridge: "An iron monstrosity"

One of Australia's most celebrated landmarks, 'the coathanger' has been fondly monikered for its arched shape, and is the largest of its kind in the world. But its appeal has been lost on some.

"Oppressive mass"

"This massive structure, which has served to welcome visitors to this wonderful harbor for decades, is a huge disservice to this city.

"The sight itself is jarring, the polar opposite of the opera house. Its oppressive mass was perfect, no doubt, for futurism and art-deco, with their deification of the industrial age, but that time is gone. Bridges now seek to appear light and elegant. I hope this great city will find the means and will to do something about this (as they have in another part of the city, one, unfortunately, much less visible)."

"Just a bridge"

"There is nothing grand about it once you are walking across it. It did allow for some nice photos of the opera house and harbor from some different angles, but if you are short on time and have to choose whether to walk across the bridge or do something different - I would chose the "something different." It was quite windy when we were there and I was told that is common so keep that in mind if you do decide to cross. Also, the traffic was very loud."

Opera House: "Looks better on TV."

The iconic UNESCO world heritage site is one of the world's most recognisable and distinctive buildings from the 20th century, and a famous centre for performing arts. However, several critics of the building found some flaws.

"Nothing special"

"When we arrived at the opera house it was very disappointing. Of course, the architecture is nice, but the roof itself was almost yellow and not white as known from the television. Since we were in Sydney anyway, it was not a big deal to visit the opera house. But I would not go there only because of the opera house."


"It's a pretty awful 1960's style concrete building. It's really nothing special at all. Save yourself the effort and view it from the bridge or harbour - the further away you are the less awful it looks."


"Silly damned egg carton"

"Damned waste of money from it's inception. Too far from the city proper and more often than not, the shows are elitist rubbish. Poor parking."

Right, then.

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland: "Ok to look at for 5 minutes! "

Voted by Tripadvisor's reviewers as Australia's most beautiful beach, this white sand strip located in the much-revered Whitsunday Islands is high on sunseekers bucket-lists. It failed to leave everyone satisfied, what with its lack of shopping facilities and shade.

"Ok to look at for 5 minutes!"

"While the white haven beach is pretty that's about all there is to say. There aren't any shops, restaurants, bars or even toilets on the beach so very limited. Nice but overall disappointed with whitsundays the other islands were less pretty and just green with trees in comparisons to all the other islands in Queensland offering far more!"

"Full of massive biting flies!"

Whitehaven Beach is full of massive flies that sting and itch for days afterwards. Overrated. Lack of shade and nowhere to escape the heat or flies!

Great Ocean Road: "Stay home and watch the tourism ads instead!"

Unfortunately, Victoria's treasured coastal road trip left some disappointed. It was so bad, it even made one person sick. Bit of a shame, that.

"Rather done a Neighbours set tour"

"the scenery never became any more spectacular the further we drove. In fact, it wasn't even that amazing in the first place.

"I had expected the drive to be an easy one, but the road eventually becomes quite narrow and winding for many, many miles, which is not great for those who suffer from motion sickness. In fact, we had to stop the car so I could go and throw up. Bit of a shame.

"The Great Ocean Road is my one big regret. If I could go back in time I would have rather done a half day Neighbours set tour and half a day enjoying the city of Melbourne itself.

"Australian Yawnfest!"

I'm an Australian and having travelled some of the most visually stunning coastlines in the world (The Cornish Coast in England,Amalfi Coast,California) the Australian Coast is but an ugly sister. Sure it's nice but it won't blow your mind. I would generally skip Australia and go to Vietnam or New Zealand,both of which have much more outstanding natural beauty.

"Stay home, please"

I cringe whenever my family want to go to the great ocean rd. You can only cram so many tourists into one box, and when there are about 20 of those boxes full travelling in front of you, slowing, stopping, turning, trying to park where they shouldn't because some thoughtless tools have parked in all the bus parks and blocked the entrances to the all too scarcely available parking spots AARRGGHHH! Stay home, please.

Uluru, Northern Territory: "What planet are you people on?"

Australia's most famous natural landmark attracts tourists from over the globe and it holds great significance to the local Aboriginal people. It's best seen at sunset or sunrise when the colours over the rock change spectacularly. It's so large it can be spotted from your plane window if you're lucky enough to fly over; some would argue it is best seen from the plane seat.

"Plagues of flies"

"Either this is the worlds biggest conspiracies or maybe I'm the alien. The heat at this place in March (when I was there)is oppressive... And I mean 100 degrees in the shade heat. But honestly you barely notice the heat because the plagues of flys that will attack you are of biblical proportions from sundown to sunset. You absolutely cannot walk outside without a head net. And the price of everything is insane... Not to mention the 7 hours of air transit from Sydney (3+ each way). For at best mediocre Accomodations and food. All this to see a Rock...with classically overhyped tours and dinners etc. Please bring some sanity to this and a buy a couple of postcards clue them to the wall of a convenient sauna and import a thousand flys at home and save a couple grand."

"Skip it"

"We landed at noon and flew out the following day at 5 pm. It's a rock. Everything is expensive. We had 2 weeks in Australia and wish we had used this time to go to Tasmania instead. Needless to say, we were not impressed."

"A big red rock"

"Totally over hyped by the Aussies. Big deal - watching the sun rise and set on a big red rock. Not worth the expensive and long treck to the outback. If you want to see spectacular red rocks, go to Sedona or the Garden of the Gods or Bryce Canyon. Now those are something to behold - even without champagne. And there is more than one of them AND there are no annoying flies AND not over hyped."

Bondi Beach, Sydney: "Don't understand the hype"

You don't always find amazing beaches in the heart of a city. Bondi is a notable exception: this well-attended stretch of sand is nestled alongside our largest city that often boasts perfect weather. In the late afternoon you can watch dolphins swim by while you're waiting for the sun to set. Admittedly it can get rather busy, but there can't be too much else to complain about, surely? Wrong.

"The number one place responsible for skin cancer"

"Bondi disappointed and it disappointed big time, I was expecting a lot since it got so much hype but it just wasn't mind blowing. Getting down to the beach it is extremely hilly, up down, up down and steep, once you're down there, there isn't much... The beach is nice, don't get be wrong but the "esplanade" was filled with over priced cafes trying far too hard to be hipster and it just looked so... Bland. With all the cement and not a tree in sight it just seemed to "concrete jungle" which brings me to my biggest issue with Bondi Beach... SHADE! Where is it? If Bondi isn't the number one place responsible for skin cancer then I don't know where is. Once you get down to the beach front with all the shops There is no shade, no trees, nothing, I could feel myself getting extremity burnt (and also felt severely dehydrated) I spent a good 15 minutes searching around for somewhere where I could purchase sunscreen with no luck. Not to mention there is not one sign telling people to be sun smart around the place.

"Overall, very disappointed and wouldn't go back. Anyone and everyone would be better off catching a ferry over to manly where there is plenty of shade, less tourists, better food and a much more relaxed vibe."

"Ridiculously hot sand, freezing cold water"

"There's just no in between. Your feet are burning hot on the sand. But the water is freezing cold. And that's if you can find some space to yourself with all the tourists around. It's overrated."

The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW: "Buy a postcard at the airport!"

Renown as the most beautiful point in the Blue Mountains National Park, the mysterious Three Sisters has most people wondering about the legend behind the rock. Except for these notable exceptions, who were just wondering where to find a park.

"Lumps of stone"

"I suppose if you can put up with the frustration of the traffic you need to really want to be crowded out, pay too much for parking if you can find a spot, pay five bucks for an ordinary cup of coffee then, ok, by all means go and have a look at the three lumps of weathered sandstone."

"Appalling over developed tourist site ruined the whole thing"

"Really really disappointing. Honestly I would suggest giving it a miss.

What annoyed me even more was a little notice saying (something like) 'please respect and pay the parking fees as it finances the tourist centre'.

It ruined my whole morning. We left PDQ."

Parliament House, Canberra: "Bomb shelter"

Parliament House in Canberra has a jaw-dropping setting amongst the capital's gumtree-laden grounds, and in the late afternoon is often visited by kangaroos - you can't get any more Australian than that. But the carparking theme reignited anger amongst visitors, especially those burdened with kayaks. And taxes.

"Shame the tax payers aren't allocated parking"

Drive around for half an hour all parks taken by cars with act number plates. Presume staff. Underground carpark didn't allow for kayak on roof. Thought we would try again today but surprise surprise no parking for visitors with caravan in tow. Went to Canberra to see this and unfortunately due to disability couldn't walk from closest available parking mms away. Oh there is lots of parking for lilies and staff.

"An abomination"

"Where all the gutless people will hide when the @@@@ hits the fan. An abomination. All that money. All that planning. All off the limits of the scale. Pretty at a distance. Give us a real Parliament. In tents."

Cable Beach, Broome, WA: "Just another beach"

A whopping 22 kilometre stretch of white-sand beach at the north-western tip of Australia, a quiet place where many go to relax and witness the sun as it famously sets over the Indian Ocean.

"Completely overrated"

"We visited cable beach because we read that this is a must. My opinion is that this is a must not and completely overrated. Go ahead to Gantheaume Point wich is not far away or visit the Eighty Mile Beach which are both much nicer."

"What is so great here."

"No waves, tide out, 500m walk to get toes wet. 700m to waist deep. sea stingers, sea lice. Very expensive snacks. $12 for an orange juice and ice cream. Perth beaches are so much better not to mention Durban and Cape Town South Africa."

Australia Zoo, Queensland: "Not even rateable"

Steve Irwin made the zoo famous, but it's been a long-running tourist destination, wildlife refuge and conservation centre. Despite winning numerous awards for tourism, it's not been everyone's cuppa.

"Boring, big time"

"This was the most disappointing trip of a lifetime. Nothing short of thieving daylight robbery. Not that many animals to see and the main midday show was boring, big time. I went to a zoo in norther Tasmania that was sooooo much better. Come on Irwin Family time to put some of the money back into the zoo and make Steve proud, as I am sure at the moment he would cringe."

Mt Wellington, Tasmania: "Absolutely the most horrible drive"

A peak that dominates Hobart's landscape, snow capped in winter, the reserve can be reached in twenty minutes from the city centre, full of wildlife, where you can enjoy views across the city from its summit, it's also a haven for sports fans and picnickers. Sure, it can get chilly, but can't most mountains?

"Cold and unpleasant"

"The views maybe "worth it" but we disliked a long and most tedious drive to get to the summit of Mt Wellington. Choose a warm day if you inisist on going. Otherwise you may find it freezing and windy, like we did. It is cold and unpleasant. The view might be worthwhile, but we certainly wont be doing the drive which is long and tedious, again. Good luck to you."