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As the world's sixth largest country, Australia has plenty to see and do, from visiting the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to watching the sunset over Ayers Rock.

Why go?

There are so many places and activities in Australia that your only problem will be fitting it all into one stay... Read more

Divided into six states, the central area of Australia is made up of desert land, grassland and tropical rainforests with the city of Perth to the west; Darwin to the north; the Great Barrier Reef and Brisbane to the east; Sydney and the capital, Canberra, to the south east; and Melbourne and Adelaide to the south. Australia has a unique blend of cultures, including the native aboriginal culture. The island is surrounded by three oceans and most of the population live along the coastline resorts and main cities.

Where to stay?

When it comes to travelling here and finding hotels in Australia, there is plenty of choice... Read more

If you are planning a holiday to Australia, there are a range of hotels across the country, whether you want to spend time in the city, head to the coastal resorts or explore the outback and central areas.

Expect to pay more for certain locations, such as a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge. In Australia, hotels range in price and size from well-known hotel brands to smaller guest houses and boutique hotels. Budget is also well catered for, from luxury five-star resorts to cheaper backpacker hostels.

When it comes to exploring the country, public transport links are good for reaching destinations just outside of the city, but to truly discover everything on offer, car hire is essential.

For those wishing to see the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, they should ideally stay in the city. Sydney is also a spectacular sight on New Year's Eve, with a fantastic fireworks display across the harbour. If you plan to visit over the New Year be sure to book a hotel in advance, as the city is very busy with visitors hoping to watch the display.

If you wish to visit Ayers Rock you will need to book your hotel in Alice Springs and take one of the many guided tours, some of which include camping, or hire a car and drive there independently.

To discover the Great Barrier Reef you need to head to Queensland and stay in one of the coastal towns such as Port Douglas. Here you can take in a range of water sports, including diving amongst the coral and sea life.

For relaxation in the city, head to Perth on the west coast. There is plenty to see and do in the city, although it is worth hiring a car and exploring the surroundings. Find wilderness in the nearby Kimberley outback or discover history in the extraordinary gold rush towns. The city often hosts international cricket events, including the Ashes. If you are heading here to watch cricket, book your hotel well in advance as these events are very popular.

What to see?

Australia dishes up a bit of a dilemma when it comes to seeing its attractions... Read more

This huge country has such a varied menu of delectable attractions that it's difficult to narrow it down to a few manageable highlights. You'll just have to come back again, and again, and again...

Top five attractions

Great Barrier Reef

The world's largest coral reef system sits temptingly in the ocean off the east coast of Australia and is easily accessible from the state of Queensland. You can swim, snorkel or dive in the area. Life under the waves is simply unforgettable: you can see turtles, a huge range of brightly-coloured fish, small sharks and a dazzling array of coral. 

Uluru

Journey to the heart of Australia to see Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, and spend a night under the stars to see the shifting colours as night becomes day and the sun once again reveals this magnificent rock.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The attractions of this city are endless: think the zoo, the opera house, Bondi Beach. But the iconic harbour bridge stands out in most visitors' minds for its impressive contribution towards the city skyline. Memories are made even more incredible when you book a bridge climb and walk to the peak of the structure (with guides and harnesses of course).

Great Ocean Road

Two hours south of cosmopolitan Melbourne is this 150-mile stretch of coastal road - one of the greatest drives in the world. Worthwhile stops along the way include the 12 Apostles, Cape Bridgewater, Bells Beach and a whole host of fascinating towns, villages, restaurants and attractions. If you love the great outdoors, you'll fall in love with the Great Ocean Road.

Gold Coast

This is the ideal place to take first family holidays in Australia. Peppered with resort hotels, theme parks, waterparks and pristine beaches, this is coastal Australia in a neat little package. Situated on the east-coast borders of Queensland and New South Wales, it's easy to combine time in this subtropical holiday spot with trips to other treasures of the coast.

What's on?

There's plenty happening throughout the year in party-loving Australia... Read more

The annual calendar is packed with sporting, outdoors and gastronomic events and every town and city has a different piece to add to this national jigsaw of cultural pride. For major events, such as New Year's Eve in Sydney, you should book hotels as far in advance as possible in order to secure your stay.

Events

Australia Day; January 26: Patriotic zeal is on display across the nation and anyone not extolling the virtues of how great Australia is will definitely be frowned upon. Join in the fun and make your way along to any of the free events that take place, from barbecue breakfasts and beach parties to parades and displays of fireworks.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival; March: Comedy lovers are certain to be rolling in the aisles at any of the events that make up this three-week festival. Sides will be split in theatres, on the street, at cinemas and wherever else funny men and women take the spotlight. Book tickets early for top-name acts.

New Year in Sydney; December-January: See in the New Year before your friends and family in the UK and watch as the sky above Sydney explodes with colour and light at midnight. Famed the world over, seeing the actual display in the harbour is never to be forgotten.