Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.
Australia is a vast island continent, divided into 6 states and 2 territories. It is a land of contrasts: the narrow coastal strip to the east of the country is bounded by the Great Dividing Range, west of the range lies the dry inland heart of the country, where the rainfall is slight, the vegetation is sparse and the lakes are usually dry. In the south west, there is a fertile coastal plain, while further north along the west coast, the dry country runs right down to the sea. In the north of the country, a tropical region is home to some of the oldest rainforests on Earth.
Sparsely populated and geographically isolated, Australia showcases some of the world’s most pristine natural environments including 16 World Heritage Listed Sites from Uluru to Kakadu, the Great Barrier Reef to the Tasmanian Wilderness.
Australia’s colourful history has bred a very multicultural population, with most Australians still either born elsewhere, or the children of people who emigrated to Australia – most commonly from the UK, Europe and South East Asia.
50 million years of isolation has led to a unique evolutionary sanctuary of plants and animals. Australia has an exceptional range of species with more than 80% of the native mammals, frogs, reptiles and flowering plants found nowhere else in the world. Endemic mammals include the kangaroo, koala, platypus, echidna, possum, wombat and dingo. There are also a number of interesting birds, such as emus, brightly coloured parrots, cockatoos and the laughing kookaburra.
- Melbourne – Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and Australia’s second-largest city. It’s known for its lively, cosmopolitan centre set on the northern banks of the Yarra River as well as a fanatical love for the creative arts and good living.
- Great Ocean Road – The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre (151 m) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I.
- Mornington Peninsula – Approximately a one hour drive from Melbourne CBD, the Mornington Peninsula has long been known as Melbourne’s summer playground. Framed by two spectacular coastlines, the region offers some of Australia’s best food and wine, golf, adventure and leisure activities.
- Victorian High Country – High Country is probably famous to most Australians for its skiing, with major downhill ski resorts in Mount Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham. But out of snow season, it also offers visitors three classic reasons to visit: beauty, action and great food.
- Gold Coast – The Gold Coast radiates a holiday glow, with Surfers Paradise – the world’s number one surf beach – the centre-piece of 70kms of uninterrupted coastline. Sailing, game fishing, golfing, surfing, sunset cruises and the widest variety of water sports are immediately accessible.
- Brisbane – From the sun and sand drenched islands in the east, to its cool and crisp mountain rainforests in the west – and all the attractions of a vibrant, modern city in between – Brisbane offers the best of both worlds.
- Cairns, Port Douglas & Daintree – Port Douglas is one of Australia’s most fashionable resort destinations with five-star restaurants, art galleries and designer boutiques. It’s located at the end of a peninsula, benefitting from tranquil waters and famous Four Mile Beach
- Great Barrier Reef – The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system comprising nearly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands – it is also the planet’s biggest single living structure made by billions of tiny organisms known as coral polyps. It stretches for over 2,600km, covering approximately 350,000 square kilometres.
NEW SOUTH WALES
- Sydney – Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city, and ranks alongside Vancouver, Cape Town and Rio as one of the world’s most stunning ocean-side cities. Its laid-back outdoor lifestyle and physical attributes make it the easiest and most pleasant of cities to visit.
- Blue Mountains – Visitors to Sydney are always amazed when they make the drive into the Blue Mountains region – Australia’s most accessible World Heritage listed wilderness. It covers over one million hectares and features some of the most breathtaking vistas in Australia, an inspiring mix of rainforest, blue-hazed valleys, golden sandstone escarpments, eucalypt forest, canyons and windswept heathlands.
- Lord Howe Island- This exceptionally beautiful island is World Heritage Listed for its rare collection of plants, birds and marine life. Born from a volcanic eruption some seven million years ago, the island is 11 kilometres long and barely two kilometres at its widest point. The crystal waters boast the southern-most coral reef in the world harbouring spectacular marine life.
- Hunter Valley – The Hunter Valley, NSW, is one of Australia’s premier wine-growing districts and a varied and interesting destination in New South Wales. Lovers of gourmet wine and food, wildlife enthusiasts and keen golfers all head for the Hunter.
- Uluru & Red Centre – Framed by the MacDonnell Ranges and an intense desert landscape, the township of Alice Springs is Australia’s most famous outback town. Alice Springs desert climate and landscapes encourage a healthy outdoor lifestyle and set’s a great scene for outback adventure.
- Darwin – Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost. It’s also a gateway to massive Kakadu National Park. Its popular waterfront area has several beaches and green areas like Bicentennial Park.
- Adelaide – Adelaide is a charming beachside city complete with a blend of exceptional food, wine, art, picturesque parklands and world-class events. Adelaide today is a beautiful combination of the old world and new – a place to relax and discover the good things in life
- Kangaroo Island – Kangaroo Island is famous for its abundant wildlife species and natural beauty. Covering almost 4500 sq km (a third of which is conservation land), the island is relatively free of feral species allowing animal and bird populations to thrive.
- Limestone Coast – The Limestone Coast region is located south of Adelaide and stretches down the coast from the Coorong National Park to the Victorian border. From there, many travellers link up with the Great Ocean Road. It is the ideal combination of amazing beaches, caves, stunning coastline and delicious food and wine.
- Barossa Valley – The Barossa is the wine capital of Australia, home to world-famous producers including Wolf Blass, Grant Burge and Peter Lehmann. Today, it is home to over 100 wineries, with more than 60 of these hosting cellar doors.
- Australian Red To White Sands – A 12 night’s journey from the Red Centre of Australia to Tropical North Queensland. Enjoy the sophistication of Sydney, the iconic red sands of the central Australian outback, the vast and pristine lands of a working cattle station in the top end, and the grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef in one fantastic hand-crafted journey.
- Travel Australia like a Rockstar – An adventure around Australia fit for a Rockstar! This hand-crafted journey offers the ultimate Australian experience traversing across the continent aboard a brand new private Pilatus PC-12 aircraft charter, a masterpiece of Swiss craftsmanship.
- Luxury Yachts Ghost II – One of the newest additions to the Sydney Harbour scene is the luxury super yacht Ghost II. With its striking black hull and sleek design, few yachts present such an imposing and impressive sight.
- Adelaide Hills cycling with Olympian Stuart O’Grady – A day on the road with cycling legend, Stuart O’Grady. Join Olympic and Paris-Roubaix champion, Stuart O’Grady for an unforgettable cycling experience.
- Off the Beaten Track in Style – A journey allows you to get off the beaten track and explore the Top End and Kimberley region. Discover Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land and Cobourg Peninsula with the chance to view amazing ancient Aboriginal Rock Art.
- Australia’s Hot Spots – A program showcasing Australia’s incredible hotspots. Starting in Sydney, see what this cosmopolitan city has to offer, visit the icons including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Indulge yourself and sample some of South Australia’s finest food and wine in the Barossa Valley, and then go outback and explore the ancient Flinders Ranges.
- Lap Of Luxury – An exclusive program including the ultimate luxurious stay in Australia. Beginning in iconic Sydney, enjoy a luxurious cruise on breathtaking Sydney Harbour. Continue to the Blue Mountains, one of Australia’s most accessible World Heritage listed wilderness areas. Lastly relax at qualia, an island paradise located in the Whitsundays.
- Food, Wine and Island Dining – Enjoy the sights, sounds, and importantly, the tastes of an enchanted Orpheus Island escape, with this exclusive culinary package
- The Ghan Great Southern Rail – Great Southern Rail presents The Ghan, one of the world’s great rail journeys – an experience of luxury, discovery and romance that literally crosses the heart of the world’s largest island continent.
- Angorichina Station- Angorichina Station is a working sheep station with 140 years of history, 64,000 hectares and a warm welcome for just six discerning guests. Experience an authentic slice of outback life with Ian and Di Fargher, whose family has worked the beguiling red lands of the Southern Flinders for four generations.
- De Coudie Beach House – De Coudie Beach House is nestled in a series of sand hills overlooking pristine Island Beach on Kangaroo Island. Designed by Sydney architect, Prue Murdoch, it affords true indoor/outdoor luxury, with light from sapphire seas and white sands playing on stainless steel fixtures and polished timbers.
- Lifetime Private Retreats – Spectacularly set amongst cliffs and beaches, Life Time Private Retreats offers five secluded private havens in a remote corner of Kangaroo Island. Immersed in the stunning natural scenery of Kangaroo Island, each of the private luxury villas offers its own unique coastal view and comfortable yet sophisticated design, with the option for an extraordinary full-service dining package complete with your very own chef.