The spectacular and diverse ‘Down Under’.
Mainland Australia is the largest island in the world, but also the smallest continent and home to one of the world’s lowest population densities.
The country is divided into six states and two territories and has a climate which varies greatly throughout these areas, with four seasons across most, and a wet and dry season in the tropical north. Australia teems with many unusual animals and plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Encounters with wildlife can be enjoyed on tours throughout the country and are always a highlight.
Top visitor locations contrast between bustling cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, and smaller unique communities such as Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock).
Many visitors combine trips to Australia and New Zealand to make a complete South Pacific experience as you can see in our sample itineraries.
Great Ocean Road – Take a ride through nature on the spectacular Great Ocean Road, which winds alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean and is home to the world-class surf at Bells Beach and the craggy limestone spires of the Twelve Apostles. This dramatic region also offers fishing villages, migrating whales, shipwrecks, golden beaches, rainforests and national parks. Tackle the Great Ocean Walk or drive the Great Southern Touring Route between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Melbourne – Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is a vibrant hub of style, sport, culture and dining. Discover the city’s secret laneways and rooftops, the cultural hub of Federation Square, buzzing bars, boutiques and eateries, and the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground . Experience St Kilda, the Royal Botanic Gardens, bohemian Brunswick Street and the nation-stopping excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival. Join world-class events such as the Australian Grand Prix. Day trip to the Mornington Peninsula or to Phillip Island for fairy penguins.
Kangaroo Island – Kangaroo Island, easily accessible from Adelaide, is one of the best places in Australia to see native wildlife and majestic scenery up close. Meet Australian sea lions on the beach, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, penguins, echidnas and diverse birds. Discover rugged rock formations, underground caves, bush-cloaked national parks, and beaches and bays where you can swim, snorkel, dive and fish. Drive here on the South Australian Loop or add the Eyre Peninsula to your coastal journey.
Adelaide – Discover Adelaide, South Australia’s elegant and cultured capital. Soak up the city’s colonial elegance in the spacious green parklands, bustling Adelaide Central Markets and the museums and libraries of North Terrace. Swim with dolphins in Glenelg, explore Hahndorf and other picturesque villages in the Adelaide Hills, and sit back and relax at world-class wineries in the nearby Barossa and Clare Valley. Visit for international events such as the Santos Tour Down Under.
Byron Bay – Unwind in Australia’s easternmost town, home to sweeping surf beaches, lush rainforests, great regional dining and new-age retreats. Walk the Cape Byron Track to the trademark lighthouse, kayak with dolphins, trawl the markets and indulge in a day spa. Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney or Brisbane, and explore the surrounding national parks on the Rainforest Way.
Blue Mountains – You’ll love the blue-hazed beauty of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area – one million hectares of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and bushland. Visit Wentworth Falls and the Three Sisters and go underground in Jenolan Caves. Do short bushwalks or longer hikes such as the Six Foot Track to Katoomba. Enjoy restaurants, retreats, and vibrant arts and events.
Sydney – Discover Sydney, Australia’s famous harbour city and capital of New South Wales. Experience natural beauty and culture around Sydney Harbour and the historic Rocks. Explore famous beaches such as Bondi, Bronte, Coogee and Palm Beach. Bushwalk through Sydney Harbour National Park, dine at world-class restaurants, or enjoyr one of Sydney’s vibrant events – from Mardi Gras to the New Years Eve Fireworks.
Great Barrier Reef – Explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, which stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coastline. Snorkel, scuba dive or even take a scenic flight over the reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space. Sail the palm-topped Whitsundays, trek the ancient Daintree Rainforest or relax on luxurious tropical islands such as Hayman and Lizard.
Fraser Island – Embrace nature on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island just a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay on Queensland’s Fraser Coast. Activities on the island include off-roading next to coloured sand cliffs, hiking through rainforests, meeting native wildlife, whale-watching and swimming in freshwater lakes ringed with gold.
Gold Coast – Australia’s Gold Coast is a modern city of glittering high-rise buildings, built around superb beaches, including the world-renowned ‘Surfers Paradise’. Dive into lively nightlife, international theme parks and designer boutiques. See the coast from a Spitfire plane, experience the opulent Palazzo Versace or head to the Hinterland for rainforest walks and spa retreats.
Brisbane – combine art and outdoor activity when you discover Brisbane, the sunny, sophisticated capital city of Queensland and gateway to its many famous attractions. Take a paddle steamer or ferry down the Brisbane River, abseil Kangaroo Point cliffs and bike ride through the City Botanic Gardens. Day trip to Moreton Island or add Noosa, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast Hinterland to your itinerary.
Canberra – Discover Canberra, Australia’s capital city and a treasure trove of national attractions. Explore and absorb Australian culture and history at superb monuments and galleries in this city surrounded by parklands and native bushland. Visit Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Experience the Balloon Fiesta in autumn, Fireside Festival in winter, and Floriade in spring. Explore the Australian Alps or Tidnbinbilla Nature Reserve and Murrumbidgee River Corridor, just a short drive away.
Uluru – There are many ways to experience the majesty of Uluru and the beauty of this unique desert landscape. World Heritage-listed Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. Located in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru is an ancient landscape, rich in Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime. Take to the skies in a helicopter or hot air balloon for a bird’s eye view. Ride across the ochre-coloured desert on a Harley Davidson motorcycle or on the back of a camel.