Australia has six states and two territories. With a multi-cultural population, Australia offers it all. From the world-class city of Sydney and points beyond in New South Wales, to the modern capital city of Canberra. From the amazing beaches and resorts of the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland, to the rugged nature of Tasmania; from the wonderful wine regions of Victoria, to the dramatic parks of Western Australia. From the culture and festivals of Adelaide, to the world-famous outback of the Northern Territory. No matter what you look for in your vacations, Australia is sure to deliver. In surveys conducted with recent visitors to Australia, an amazing 96% indicated that their Australia vacation met or exceeded their expectations.
New South Wales
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is one of the finest cities in the world. Plan on spending time in this very ‘livable’ city. All too often, people simply fly into Sydney and leave for points beyond. Do not skip this great city.
New South Wales is also home to some wonderful nature. The Blue Mountains is a wonderful day trip from Sydney. The Hunter Valley Region is just 2 hours from the city, and offers some wonderful wineries. Drive out for the day, or plan on overnighting in one of the romantic guest houses dotted through the area. Want to go skiing? The Snowy Mountains provide winter skiing – but in our summer! (June through October).
Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, if full of Victorian architecture, traditional trams, theaters, art galleries, and restaurants galore. Melbourne is also the sports hub of Australia, as it is the home of the Grand Prix, the Presidents Cup, the Australian Open, the Australian Rule Football Grandfinal, and the Melbourne Cup, the most prestigious horse race in Australia (it is even its own holiday!). Outside of Melbourne, you can travel down the amazing Great Ocean Road and visit the 12 Apostles, which are stunning rock formations along the shore. Yarra Valley has become world famous for its many excellent wineries. Philip Island, an hour south of the city, has a very unique experience – the nightly parade of fairy penguins coming out of the water. Healesville is the home of a wonderful wildlife reserve and sanctuary.
With a population of just over 1 million, Adelaide is a wonderful city to explore, with great architecture, restaurants, and fun cultural events. Adelaide is home to the Arts Festival, held every two years. Check out the Barossa Valley for some wonderful wineries. Take a ferry or plane ride to Kangaroo Island and experience beautiful parks, abundant wildlife, and a colony of sea lions. Want to purchase some opals at the source? Travel to the opal mines atCoober Pedy.
More than one-third of Tasmania is protected as a World Heritage Site, so if you are looking to experience some amazing nature, this is the place. Before heading out into the bush, check out Hobart, a great city with a beautiful harbour. A relaxing walk around the harbour gives you a great feel for the city. Outside of Hobart, you can experience the historic penal colony at Port Arthur. Fly fish the scenic central highlands, or hike some amazing pristine trails.
The vibrant city of Perth, a 4-hour flight from Sydney, is a walking city, with wonderful parks. The Wildflower Festival is held every year at the end of September. The colorful port town of Fremantle is just southwest of Perth and has a great maritime feel to it. For water enthusiasts, a visit to Monkey Mia will provide you with an experience of a lifetime, as there are many friendly ‘wild’ dolphins. For scuba divers, the whalesharks of Ningaloo Reef can not be missed.
Looking for a true Outback experience? Well, this is what you think of when you imagine the outback.Alice Springs is a great outback town and the starting point for many outback adventures. Travel down to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and see one off the most unique monoliths in the world, and one that is sacred to Aborigines. Travel north to Darwin and experience the world famous Kakadu National Park. Here you can hike or drive and experience another of Australia’s World Heritage Sites teaming with wildlife and ancient Aboriginal rock art.
With the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Daintree andCape Tribulation National Parks and more, Queensland is the perfect destination for sun seekers and adventurers alike. With amazing beaches, unmatched scuba diving, and phenomenal rainforests, this beautiful land must be included in your itinerary to Australia. Choose to stay in the cities of Brisbane or Cairns, or venture out to one of the Whitsunday islands.
Australia Capital Territory
Canberra, the nation’s capital, has the climate and sights to attract people year round. This very well thought out city is home to the Parliament House and the many diplomatic missions. However, government isn’t the only game in town. There is also some wonderful sailing, fishing, bicycling, and other outdoor adventures. Among the must see sights include the Australian War Museum, theNational Gallery, and the Australian National Botanic Gardens.