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With thousands of miles of beautiful beaches, vibrant cities bursting with Aussie character, and natural landscapes unlike anywhere else on the planet, Australia is in a league of its own.
Famed for its epic coastline, Australia is a top destination for a beach holiday. From the surf scene of the Gold Coast to the remote beaches of Western Australia, there’s a beach for everyone here. Head to K’gari (Fraser Island) for wild island escapes, the Sunshine Coast for long, golden beaches, or the shimmering white sands of the Whitsundays for a once-in-a-lifetime sailing holiday.
Australia’s cities, meanwhile, are packed with culture and entertainment. Catch a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House, watch an Aussie Rules football match in sports-mad Melbourne, and bar hop your way around Brisbane’s electric Fortitude Valley.
When it comes to natural wonders, Australia smashes it for six, too. Off the Queensland coast, you can swim with rays and sharks in the Great Barrier Reef. In the centre, hit the red earth of the awe-inspiring outback to discover remote waterfalls, ancient rock art and learn about Australia’s Indigenous culture.
Travelling with the family? From cuddly koalas to jumping kangaroos, an animal adventure is always a winner with little ones. Known for its leaping crocs and wildlife cruises, the Northern Territory is teeming with curious creatures. Kangaroo Island in South Australia and the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland are other great options.
Australia’s charms extend to its dinner table. Feast on regional specialities, such as wild abalone from Tasmania, Moreton Bay ‘bugs’ (a type of lobster), and nationwide classics, like meat pies, salt and pepper squid, and grilled barramundi fish. Wash it down with a glass of wine from the Barossa Valley in South Australia or a creamy flat white from a Melbourne cafe.
Whatever your kind of adventure, you’re sure to find it Down Under.
The Gold Coast has around 57km (35 miles) of coastline and the country’s best theme parks, including Warner Bros. Movie World and Dreamworld. For non-stop fun, Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise includes a waterpark, ice skating rink and kids’ club.
Sydney is another great shout for a mix of beach and the city. Taronga Zoo has a host of exotic animals, and the Harbour Bridge climb will excite little and larger thrillseekers. For simpler delights, there are more than a hundred beaches to enjoy.
A collection of 74 dreamy tropical islands, the Whitsundays are home to some of the world’s finest white-sand beaches. The largest inhabited island is Hamilton Island, which offers everything from luxury resorts to humble holiday homes. Meanwhile, Daydream Island is a family-friendly choice with Daydream Island Resort & Living Reef featuring an underwater observatory and various accommodation packages.
On the east coast, Byron Bay is a serene beach town where you can take in the ocean views from the Cape Byron Walking Track. Accommodation ranges from backpacker hostels to beachfront resorts.
Australia isn’t known as a budget destination but there is cheap accommodation to stretch your dollars further. Sydney offers inexpensive hostels, often with free wi-fi and sometimes breakfast. There are plenty of cheap eateries, and some key landmarks – like Sydney Harbour – are free. Even better, so are the beaches.
Brisbane also has central hostels and budget hotels. The Queensland capital boasts free entrance to museums and galleries and activities like Brisbane Riverwalk. You can also admire local flora and fauna at Roma Street Parklands.
Melbourne, Australia’s foodie capital, is full of charming coffee shops and independent bars. The strong influence from Italian and Greek communities means you can find excellent pasta and moussaka, as well as the iconic chicken parmigiana – many pubs claim to offer the city’s best.
Adelaide and the surrounding area have some of Australia’s finest wine regions, such as Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley. Pair a bottle of red with local cheeses from Adelaide Central Market. Go for an apartment in the city or a B&B nestled among the vineyards.
Sydney and Melbourne compete to be Australia’s hottest nightlife hub. In Sydney, going out is often glamorous with waterfront cocktail bars, clubs and lounges. Inner-city Kings Cross is home to many backpacker bars, restaurants and clubs.
Melbourne is more laidback but has just as many options for a late night. You’ll find trendy bars dotted around the city centre, as well as lively nightlife in the suburbs, such as Fitzroy and Prahran. Both cities have a range of accommodation options, from hostels to five-star hotels.
While you can’t stay in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, there are lots of options nearby, such as Ayers Rock Resort, only 20km (12.4 miles) from Uluru. Accommodation includes a campsite, boutique hotels and the luxurious Longitude 131˚ desert camp.
To access the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Port Douglas or Cairns in North Queensland have various accommodation options. These range from budget backpacker hostels to high-end eco-retreats and family-friendly resorts with on-site pools.
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