From the desert beauty of Uluru to the wilderness of the remote Outback and the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland, Australia is an extraordinarily diverse country. Its first inhabitants were the Aboriginal people, who arrived around 60,000 years ago; European settlement began after Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay in 1770, south of Sydney. Today, Australia is one of the most multicultural societies in the world, with people from more than 150 countries calling it home.
What To See in Australia
There are countless sights to see on a trip to Australia, both natural and man-made. The best places to visit include Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, home to more than 1,500 colourful species of fish and a variety of coral.
Sydney’s iconic Opera House and the dramatic gorges of the Blue Mountains are two of the best places to visit in Australia. The breath-taking Twelve Apostles on the coast, west of Melbourne are not to be missed.
What To Do in Australia
Fringed by the Indian and Pacific oceans and more than 8,200 islands, Australia is world-famous for its surfing; head to Bondi Beach in Sydney or Bells Beach in Victoria to catch the waves.
All Australian vacations should include a wine tasting. Along with Barossa Valley in South Australia and Margaret River in Western Australia, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales produces some of the country’s best wines. Renowned for its fine white Semillons and Shiraz reds, it’s home to more than 150 wineries, most with cellar doors open for sampling prize vintages.
For fun and culture all in one, you’ll always find festivals somewhere in Australia. Head to Sydney for its three-week artistic bonanza in January, or join in celebrating performing arts in Melbourne in October. Adelaide, the sophisticated capital of South Australia, also has a summer programme of festivals showcasing theatre, comedy and dance.
And when you’re done with sightseeing, relax in Sanctuary Cove, an hour south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast, and bask in sunlight amid its tropical gardens, golf course and yacht marina.
Where To Eat in Australia
Thanks to its diverse culture, Australian cuisine is some of the best in the world. The coastal cities are packed with restaurants – from Chef’s Hats award winners to casual cafés – serving Pacific Rim fusion dishes influenced by fresh Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and local flavours. Where better to taste chilli-roasted crabs than on the waterfront in Sydney’s chic Double Bay, enjoying sunshine and harbour views?