A country and continent in one – will delight visitors with its cosmopolitan cities spread across the vast unforgiving bush, fantastic weather and famously beautiful coastline, as well as the friendly nature of the locals.

Everything about Australia is big, bold, bright and beautiful. Whether it is watching the sun set on Uluru or sailing in the Whitsunday Islands, these experiences will last a lifetime. A good place to start is Sydney, a vibrant, multi-coloured city that provides excellent food, culture and great sporting events. Whether lunching at Doyle’s, climbing the Harbour Bridge, taking in a concert at the Opera House or enjoying a boat trip in the Harbour, you will undoubtedly be enthralled by the sights. Out of the city, The Hunter Valley is a superb wine region whilst The Blue Mountains offer a tempting combination of sublime scenery, romantic accommodation and fine restaurants.

On the coast of New South Wales is the world renowned Byron Bay. Here one can luxuriate on the beach, catch the surf or just sit back in one of the many cafes. Whale-watching and walking up to the lighthouse are highlights of the area. With a definitive laid back vibe, Queensland is best known for ‘Surfers Paradise’ with its legendary golden beaches. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef with its subterranean splendour and majestic beauty is a world class experience. In the heart of the Reef, Whitsunday Islands offer excellent sailing trips, snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities. Fraser Island is blessed with tropical rainforests, gorges, freshwater lakes and a huge variety of wildlife including whales, turtles, sharks and dolphins. In the northern most corner is Cape Tribulation – home to some of the oldest rainforests on the planet. The Daintree Rainforest is said to be the only place in the world where the rainforest meets the reef. Exploring the forest you will be entranced by the rare examples of fauna, ferns and conifers.

Geographically Australia’s smallest state, Victoria is perfectly formed with its top sporting events, snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, vast deserts, wineries, rainforests and the country’s largest inland waterway. Melbourne is the cultural heart of both Victoria and Australia itself. Federation Square is the hub of the city where business, art galleries, fashionable restaurants and upscale bars jockey for position. Sport plays a major role in the city’s life with the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Tennis Open, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Australian Grand Prix. One of the most iconic things to do in Australia is to journey down The Great Ocean Road. This is a once in a lifetime road trip that takes in the renowned 12 Apostles, Bells Beach and 52 wineries that dot the route. The sheer cliffs and impossible twists overlooking the ocean make this an awe inspiring journey.

Known as the ‘Festival State’, South Australia appeals to wine lovers, culture vultures and those who enjoy a good dose of nature. Adelaide, the state capital, is renowned for its jazz, ballet and theatre. For those who enjoy the finer things in life, The Barossa Valley is a must – producing some of Australia’s best known and finest wines. Equally peaceful is the legendary Murray River, with red gum trees lining the banks and orchards and vineyards sprouting from the waters. In total contrast from city life is the mighty outback.

The Northern Territory is a land of harsh and stark contrasts, bursting with wild rivers and some of the reddest earth you will encounter. Discover Australia’s Wild West where adventure can be had on crocodile spotting trips, bush walking, safaris and 4WD trips through the wilderness. Forming part of Kata Tjuta National Park, the must see site in the Northern Territory is Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. Uluru is the world’s largest monolith and an important part of Aboriginal Mythology. Aboriginal culture is at the heart of the Northern Territory and this is illustrated in its music, magic, medicine and arts. <

Flinders Ranges and Outback offers you one of the best gateways to experience nature in its most vital and rugged form with open plains, gorges and desert. Western Australia’s state capital Perth is famous for its laid back lifestyle and colonial buildings. The excellent waves and wineries around the Margaret River are well worth a visit. At the southernmost tip of Western Australia is Albany. Here the Southern Ocean has battered the shoreline creating a dramatic landscape with impressive stone arches and pillars – a perfect spot for whale watching. Away from the coastline is the rugged landscape of The Kimberley Region, an ancient and remote wilderness displaying flora and fauna in all its natural greatness.

Off the beaten track, Tasmania is the inland state of Australia. Enchanting forests with some of the tallest trees in the world add to this beautiful and incredibly scenic spot. The island has a host of National Parks where you can encounter wombats, platypus, wallabies, fairy penguins and the infamous Tasmanian Devil. Wallow in the sublime scenery of Cradle Mountain and experience Australia at its rawest and most diverse.

While modern-day Australia might have started life as a British prison colony, it has evolved into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.


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