Top 10 most disappointing attractions in Australia

Uluru Australia

From iconic landmarks to unforgettable experiences, Australia undoubtedly boasts some of the world’s most stunning tourist attractions, drawing in millions of visitors and locals each year.

However, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm when visiting these famous sites, with some finding the attractions less impressive than anticipated. To help you decide which tourist spots are worth your time, the language learning experts at Preply analysed Tripadvisor reviews to examine the language used by visitors to describe both positive and negative experiences at major destinations. They started by compiling a list of Australia’s top 25 most popular and renowned landmarks and then analysed the number of 1, 2, or 3-star reviews to identify which attractions may leave you feeling underwhelmed.

Disappointing landmarks

1) The Ghan, Adelaide to Darwin

Disappointing for 20% of visitors

Taking the top spot as the most disappointing landmark in Australia is The Ghan, with a surprising one-fifth (20%) of visitors left feeling underwhelmed. 

Running between the northern and southern coasts of Australia, The Ghan is famed for being one of the world’s most renowned passenger train journeys.

Although an overwhelming number of reviews boast an ‘excellent’ experience, those who rated the experience between 1-3 stars highlighted the overcrowdedness, lack of sleep, and the experience not being ‘up to scratch’ for the luxury cost.

2) Bondi Beach, Sydney

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Disappointing for 18% of visitors

Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, claims the title as the second-most disappointing tourist attraction in the country, with a staggering 18% of reviews deeming it disappointing. 

Famous for its clear blue ocean, soft golden sand, surf culture, and vibrant spirit, the beach didn’t seem to live up to expectations for several visitors, mostly commenting on the area becoming a ‘tourist trap’ and the beach itself being ‘much smaller’ than you’d imagine. 

That being said, the beach boasts over a whopping 3,300 ‘excellent’ reviews, many of which praise its ‘great atmosphere’ and ‘iconic coastal walks’.

3) Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

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Disappointing for 16% of visitors

Completing the top three most disappointing landmarks in Australia is Kakadu National Park. Covering an incredible 20,000 square kilometres of the Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park is Australia’s biggest national park.

Although the park boasts mostly positive reviews, 16% of visitors felt let down by the long distances travelled to explore the park and received little in return for an expensive entry fee. 

4) Hyde Park, Sydney 

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Disappointing for 11% of visitors

The fifth-most disappointing landmark in the study is Hyde Park, the oldest public parkland in Australia, with 11% of visitors deeming their experience at the park to be underwhelming.

Some of the main reasons behind the disappointing reviews include the park feeling neglected, overgrown, and outdated. However, the majority of visitors praised the park for its beauty and being ‘a fantastic oasis’ in the midst of a city.

5) Melbourne Skydeck, Melbourne

Disappoint for 11% of visitors

Melbourne Skydeck is the southern hemisphere’s highest observation deck. Located on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, the Skydeck has become one of the city’s most popular attractions, welcoming over 500,000 visitors every year.

With over 4,100 reviews praising its excellence, just over one in 10 (11%) visitors were left disappointed by the landmark, which primarily commented on the long queues and ‘poor’ customer service.

6) Great Barrier Reef, North-East Coast

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Disappointing for 10% of visitors

It may be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but The Great Barrier Reef surprisingly also ranks as one of the most disappointing attractions in Australia for 10% of visitors.

Several low-rated reviews mostly highlight the reef’s lack of colour and vibrancy, with one reviewer describing its appearance as ‘sad’.

7) Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Kangaroo Island

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Disappointing for 10% of visitors

Up next on the list is Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in South Australia. A perfect day out for all ages, visitors can get up close with many of Australia’s native animals, including kangaroos, koalas, penguins, and reptiles.

Although the majority of reviews reflect on the ‘excellence’ of the attraction, one in 10 (10%) of visitors left feeling slightly disappointed, mostly commenting on the wildlife park being overpriced and ‘feeling more like a zoo’, due to the enclosures being too small for the animals. 

8) Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast

Disappointing for 9% of visitors

Located in Queensland, Australia Zoo is one of the largest in the world, with over 1,500 animals. The zoo attracts more than 1.3 million visitors each year, making it one of Queensland’s top tourist attractions.

However, it seems the zoo doesn’t live up to expectations for 9% of visitors, with most of the low-rated reviews commenting on long queues, high ticket prices, and lack of animals for the size of the attraction.

9) Melbourne Museum, Melbourne

Disappointing for 9% of visitors

Melbourne Museum is one of Australia’s most popular and loved museums, showcasing Australian social history, Aboriginal cultures, science, and the environment. The museum boasts over 2,500 excellent reviews, but it seems 9% of visitors didn’t have as positive an experience. 

Several of the disappointed reviews comment on the museum being overcrowded, ‘boring’, and not as good as it used to be.   

10) Paronella Park, North Queensland

Disappointing for 9% of visitors

Paronella Park is a heritage-listed tourist attraction created by José Paronella in Queensland, Australia.

An overwhelming majority of visitors deem their experience at the park a positive one, however, 9% of people felt it is a ‘waste of time’, highlighting that the park is ‘overpriced’ and lacks accessibility for less mobile visitors.