Australia offers an incredible diversity of travel experiences; in every corner of this wide, brown land there's something to inspire and delight you. This Australia travel guide features a handy state-by-state round-up of the must-sees and dos.
A three-hour drive south from Sydney will bring you to Canberra — the nation’s fabulous capital. Nominated by Lonely Planet as one of the ten must-visit cities in the world in 2018, the capital effortlessly blends imposing monuments and grand edifices with glorious gardens and open green spaces.
Art lovers, history buffs, foodies, and fashionistas will all enjoy their time in Victoria. Criss-crossed by a network of European-style laneways and arcades (that harbour amazing street art), capital city Melbourne is renowned as Australia’s cultural, culinary, retail, and sporting epicentre. Regional Victorian-era cities like Bendigo and Ballarat brim with gold rush heritage, while the era of the paddle-steamer can still be experienced in the Murray River port towns of Echuca and Mildura.
A subtropical climate draws homegrown and international holidaymakers to Queensland’s shores all year round. You’ll find golden beaches from tip to toe, and a laid-back vibe to match. Situated in the state’s south-east corner, cosmopolitan capital Brisbane has changed beyond all recognition in recent decades and offers an array of world-class museums, galleries, and attractions. The neighbouring Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast boast some of the finest stretches of sand in the land, alongside glitzy resorts and thrilling theme parks.
South Australia is a mecca for food and wine lovers, but there’s much more to this delicious part of Oz. Capital city Adelaide offers a genteel feel, a rich culture and history to explore, and easy access to the state’s renowned wine-producing regions — including the incomparable Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hills.
Further afield, marvel at the mouth of the mighty Murray River, soak up the seaside vibe in Victor Harbor and Robe, be amazed by the geological oddities on display in Mount Gambier, and go below in the famous Naracoorte Caves. Heading north into the outback will eventually bring you to characterful Coober Pedy, where many residents reside underground. Epic landscapes like the Flinders Ranges, Nullarbor Plain, and Lake Eyre beckon to the hardiest of holidaymakers.
Western Australia is the largest state in Oz and offers myriad opportunities to ‘get away from it all’. Capital city Perth is packed with great things to do, but even there you’ll find plenty of options for getting in some quality me-time. Soak up the beauty of the city’s beaches, explore Kings Park (one of the largest inner city green spaces in the world), and spend a day on gorgeous Rottnest Island.
Heading south will bring you to the celebrated Margaret River wine region and wider South West (don’t miss seeing the emotive National Anzac Centre in Albany). Up on the Mid West coast, hear tales of seafaring triumph and tragedy in Geraldton, marvel at the ancient stromatolites in Shark Bay, and snorkel the shimmering Ningaloo Reef.
Gold rush history comes alive in Kalgoorlie, while a palpable sense of adventure permeates the far northern Kimberley region. You’ll never forget your first glimpse of the beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles, or riding a camel along Broome’s sweeping Cable Beach at sunset.
Pristine landscapes can be found right across the island; bush walk around Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, cruise the incomparable Gordon River, and smell the wildflowers in Freycinet National Park (home to much photographed Wineglass Bay). Bruny Island mixes an artisanal food scene with yet more scenic magnificence.
The Northern Territory’s Top End and age-old Red Centre are imbued with a rich Indigenous cultural heritage and pioneering spirit. This is the Australian outback in all its fiery glory, and a sense of adventure is omnipresent. Darwin is the capital of the Territory and the gateway to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks — home to plunging waterfalls, rivers and wetlands teeming with bird and wildlife (including salt and freshwater crocodiles), and caves harbouring ancient rock art.
Head down the transcontinental Stuart Highway to Katherine and cruise through soaring Nitmiluk Gorge. Continue heading south to characterful Tenant Creek, before discovering why there’s no town like Alice (a camel trek and balloon flight over the outback at dawn are must-dos). Finally, sit and soak up the majesty of mighty Uluru as it changes colour and personality throughout the day. The famous Field of Light art installation brings the desert to life after dark.
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