Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country, with only a tiny population for its size. This abundance of space means that koalas, wombats, kangaroos, emus and the truly exceptional platypuses still thrive. From the ancient eucalyptus forests and snowy peaks on the island of Tasmania in the far south to the red deserts plains and rainforests of the Northern Territory and Queensland, Australia’s natural treasures are plentiful. A stunning coastline encircles this bounty of beauty, home to a reef system so big that you can see it from outer space.
As you tour the country, look for the remnants of an ancient culture and settlers’ history. Aborigines have lived here in harmony with nature for over 60,000 years and continue to do so today. Early European and Asian settlers have tapped into the country’s bounty of natural resources, focusing on farming, fishing and mining. Today, Australia features in the Top 20 of the world’s strongest economies and is a peaceful cultural melting pot.
It is this more polished, vibrant side of Australia that awaits you in the modern and laid-back capital cities. As the national capital, Canberra has the country’s major national museums, government buildings and memorials, while Sydney has all the famous landmarks and the most popular beaches.
The sport-minded and artistic city of Melbourne is heaps of fun, while South Australia’s fertile valleys have turned Adelaide into a foodie’s hotspot. The immense state of Western Australia is a destination all of its own, home to wonderful wineries, deserted cattle stations and unspoiled beaches.
Brisbane and Perth both make for comfortable stopovers on Australia’s seemingly endless east and west coasts, with heaps of fun and fascinating attractions. Cruise to stunning nearby islands to swim with dolphins and turtles, spot whales or go fishing.
Winter is great for skiing in the southeastern states, especially on the slopes of Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko.
Or, why not make the most of the dry season in the tropical capitals of Darwin and Cairns. Admire Aboriginal rock art, cruise crocodile-filled creeks, swim under waterfalls or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Before you leave, fly to Alice Springs in the deserted Red Centre to see the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset.
Throughout your Australian adventure, you will find wonderful places to stay, mouthwatering treats, and of course, that laid-back Aussie spirit that accompanies you every step of the way.