A country, a continent and an island in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia is an extraordinarily diverse and vibrant destination. At its heart, Australia is laden with history, with its rich indigenous culture and powerful ancient landmarks. For some, it's a once-in-a-lifetime destination, one that would be fitting as part of an adventure of a lifetime or part of a world wide trip. Beyond this country’s heritage is a treasure trove of world-class beaches, sophisticated cities, exceptional ecosystems and exotic wildlife, so incredible and diverse, it’s unlike anywhere else you can imagine in the world.
With the visual wow factor of the iconic harbour front at its centre, Sydney is the loud, ambitious and unforgettable capital city of New South Wales that, much like its renowned firework displays, dazzles with its urban beach lifestyle and iconic attractions like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. In dynamic Victoria, artsy Melbourne is the stylish state capital, a city with a stellar food and café scene, and a sporting dream for fans of the AFL, cricket, horse racing and tennis. The gateway to the wine country, Adelaide is South Australia’s popular capital city known for its heritage architecture and lush emerald parklands, while in Western Australia, easy-going Perth is a quieter alternative to these busy central hubs, a haven of cool bars, historic streets and one of the largest inner-city parklands in the world.
Laid-back Queensland is an assault on the senses, and is Australia’s first-class beach state known for its dazzling white sands and turquoise waters. Off the coast, the Great Barrier Reef is the world-famous underwater ecosystem that offers some of the best diving and snorkelling you’ll ever experience. Exceptional coral waters are home to a staggering assortment of marine life, and breathtakingly beautiful islands conceal lush rainforests and mesmerising national parks. Beside the reef, the Whitsundays archipelago is a hypnotic palette of white sand beaches and castaway islands, while Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, home to the infamous native dingo and over 100 incredible lakes. Beyond the big-name beaches, you’ll find stretches of palm-fringed sands all around Australia’s coast, from Sydney’s urban beaches to remote swathes of burnt orange dunes near Broome.
Nature & wildlife
Burnished-orange wild landscapes, indigenous cultural territories and an impressive portfolio of iconic landmarks make the Outback a must-see on any trip to Australia. The Red Centre is the Northern Territory’s remote desert setting where you’ll witness extraordinary sacred Aboriginal rock sites and the 600-million-year-old monolith of historic Ayers Rock. 200 miles away, Kings Canyon is the spectacular red rock gorge, a jaw-dropping site within the barren landscape of Watarrka National Park. Other national treasures include the rugged scenery of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains in New South Wales, and the stunning coastal landscape of Victoria’s penguin-haven, Phillip Island. And then there’s the Great Ocean Road. Victoria’s world-famous ocean drive, this road trip will take you past charming fishing villages and pristine golden sands to some of the most incredible, and natural, landscapes to be found in the whole of Australia.
Nature lovers flock to visit Australia’s smallest state of Tasmania, a rugged wilderness haven where nearly half the island is protected by remote reserves and captivating national parks. Separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait, Tasmania enjoys a slower pace of life than Australia’s major cosmopolitan cities and will stun you with its colonial-rich heritage, primeval forests, spectacular coastlines and sweeping bays. Back on the mainland, Kangaroo Island sits just off the coast of South Australia, and is the country’s very own protected Galapagos, where you can bump into an exceptional array of wildlife like the ubiquitous kangaroo, sea lions, wallabies, echidnas and koalas. In Australia’s largest state of Western Australia, Rottnest Island is a car-free island getaway where you can discover a rich collection of exotic marine life and shipwrecks, as well as the chance to spot a quokka in its native environment.
The wine regions
With Australia a real wine lover’s paradise, connoisseurs will fall in love with its selection of world-famous wine regions. While Sydney is without doubt the standout star of New South Wales, this state is also a treat for its beautiful Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s most well-known and oldest wine regions that’s home to an award-winning Sémillon and indulgent Shiraz. For a change of scenery, the scenic Yarra Valley in Victoria produces some of Australia’s finest sparkling wine, while Southern Australia is a real wine lover’s haven with world-famous regions here including the beautiful Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills.
With Australia such a huge island to explore, it’s best to think of the country in terms of what you can do and where. For gourmet food, iconic landmarks and a fantastic café culture, while away hours people-watching in the vibrant cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Discover natural beauty at its finest and experience the wild and rugged landscapes of the Northern Territory’s extraordinary Red Centre, or jaw-drop at the phenomenon of the Great Barrier Reef, where a hypnotic colour palette combines with secret island beaches and exceptionally exotic wildlife. Indulge in food, wine and rolling emerald hills in an impressive wine region like Hunter Valley or the Adelaide Hills, or spend time getting lost in remote wildernesses like the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and Tasmania’s magnificent national parks.
A Night at Field of Light – Outback / Northern Territory / Uluru
Savour canapés and sparkling wine as the sun slowly sets over Uluru, with the sound of the didgeridoo setting the scene. Watch the coloured lights of 50,000 glass spheres illuminate the vast night sky while enjoying a three-course bushtucker-inspired buffet menu. Learn about the background and significance of the installation before following illuminated paths through the field. Return to the viewing area to enjoy a sweet treat, hot chocolate or port.
A Town like Alice – Outback / Northern Territory / Uluru
Tour the sights of ‘The Alice’ including the historic telegraph station which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and discover how this excellent facility operates, as well as the School of the Air. At the Alice Springs Reptile Park you will see unique Central Australian reptiles, then finish the day with panoramic views of Alice Springs and the ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.
Barossa Food & Wine Experience – Adelaide and South Australia
This small group tour travels to South Australia’s premium wine region. You’ll visit three cellar doors; TeAro Estate − a heritage-listed 1850s barn in the main street of Williamstown, Lambert Estate at Angaston, and finally the award-winning Pindarie, which feels more like an Australian Homestead than a cellar door. The tour also includes a visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and a delicious two-course lunch at Lambert Estate.
Blue Mountains Wildlife Day Tour – New South Wales
Encounter wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and emus at Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park before journeying to the spectacular Blue Mountains region. Visit the picturesque Wentworth Falls and admire views over the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters. Continue to Blackheath and Mount Wilson to enjoy views from a number of lookouts before visiting the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens.
Bondi Local Tour & Surf Experience – Sydney / New South Wales
Discover the joys of surfing on famous Bondi Beach. Learn how to safely get out and up onto your first wave, with plenty of hands-on help. Your instructor will provide lots of feedback and specific instruction, helping you to surf at your best possible pace. Once you’ve built up your confidence and technique, hit the surf and have fun! This half-day experience also includes a tour of Bondi with your instructor, with a visit to a surf life-saving club and a casual beachside lunch.
Calypso Outer Barrier Reef – Queensland / Tropical North
Travel in comfort on board Calypso – a custom-designed motorised catamaran, complete with day bed-style seating and spacious decks, to 3 different Outer Barrier Reef sites that showcase the reef’s colourful marine life just a few metres below the surface. There’ll be the opportunity to listen to interpretive reef talks and enjoy guided snorkel tours. Departs from Port Douglas. Maximum passengers: 75.
Cape Tribulation & Daintree – Queensland / Tropical North
Explore Cape Tribulation’s rainforest before crossing the mighty Daintree River. Enjoy morning tea and a tour at the Daintree Discovery Centre. Move on to Cape Tribulation Beach and its boardwalk for lunch in a stunning rainforest setting before re-crossing the river and cruising along its tranquil mangrove-lined waters. Visit the stunning Mossman Gorge before returning to Cairns.
Daily departures from Cairns' northern beaches and Port Douglas
Dolphin Watch Experience – Adelaide / South Australia
Journey to the seaside suburb of Glenelg and board the ‘Temptation’ catamaran – a sleek and stable platform for spotting marine wildlife. This cruise takes you out onto the blue waters of the Gulf of St Vincent which are home to over a thousand common and bottlenose dolphins. Watch these endearing creatures at play or enjoy the unique chance to swim with them in their natural environment.
Fraser Island Luxury Hummer Tour - Queensland / Tropical North
Depart from Hervey Bay by ferry for this thrilling full-day adventure on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Explore the island’s unique environment in a 4x4 Hummer and discover highlights including Lake Mackenzie, Eli Creek, the Central Station rainforest, 75 Mile Beach, the stunning coloured sands of The Pinnacles and the iconic Maheno Shipwreck, which was beached during a cyclone.
Great Ocean Road Full Day Tour – Melbourne / Victoria
Discover breathtaking coastal views on the famous Great Ocean Road. Snap a photogenic lighthouse en route and try to spot wildlife including whales and dolphins (dependent on season). Stop for lunch (payable locally) then you’ll venture out on a Eucalyptus Forest Walk for a chance to see kangaroos and koalas. Continue your tour to visit the iconic Twelve Apostles and the stunning shipwreck site, Loch Ard Gorge.
Hunter Valley Vintage Winetasters – New South Wales / Hunter Vakker
Depart from Sydney for a tour of the beautiful Hunter Valley and some of its renowned wineries, stopping en route to visit the Australia Reptile Park. Enjoy a selection of perfectly paired wines and cheeses along with stunning views at Mount View Estate and visit Brokenwood Wines which is home to the famous Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz. Enjoy lunch and wine under the vines and further tastings.
Kakadu National Park Explorer – Outback / Northern Territory
Explore Kakadu National Park, home to Aboriginal Rock Art, wildlife and natural panoramas. After an early departure from Darwin, head south down the Arnhem Highway across the Adelaide River. Drive through the Marrakai Plains and stop at Nourlangie Rock. Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong to observe saltwater crocodiles and visit the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Discovery – South Australia
Take the ferry from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island for an ultimate, small group 4x4 wildlife experience. The island’s various habitats provide a haven for 267 species of birds including the rare Kangaroo Island Glossy Black cockatoo, as well as mammals including echidnas, bandicoots and wallabies. Stroll along the beach at Seal Bay where sea lions bask on the sand and enjoy lunch in a bush setting. There’s also the option to upgrade to a flight, either one-way or both ways.
Kings Canyon & Outback Panoramas – Outback / Northern Territory
Rise early and journey through sandhill country from Ayers Rock Resort to Kings Creek Station.After breakfast, continue to Kings Canyon and hike to the rim for superb views over Watarrka National Park. Follow the rim of the canyon to lookout points for views down into the gorge. Visit the beautiful Garden of Eden oasis (3½ hours) or opt for a easier walk along the canyon creek bed (1½ hours). Visit Kings Canyon Resort before your scenic journey to Ayers Rock Resort.
Litchfield National Park & Waterfalls Tour – Outback / Northern Territory
Journey to stunning Litchfield National Park and admire the enchanting main falls before enjoying scenic bush and monsoon vine forest walks. View Florence Falls before descending stairs to the plunge pool below for the chance to swim. Continue to Tolmer Falls followed by Wangi Falls for another opportunity to swim and an optional steady climb through the forest to the top of the falls.
Day Wine Tour – Perth / Western Australia
The Margaret River area is Western Australia’s best known wine region and it is famed for its elegant premium white wines and distinctive premium red wines. On this full-day tour you will visit some outstanding wineries and enjoy some quality tastings. Admire the beautiful scenery and indulge in a delicious winery lunch with a range of choices from a contemporary menu featuring local produce and a complimentary glass of wine.
Philip Island Ultimate Eco Tour with Penguin Plus – Melbourne / Victoria
Encounter some of Australia’s most adorable residents in this all-day tour. Meet wallabies, koalas and pint-sized endangered marsupials like the Eastern Quoll at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and visit the historic Churchill Island. See koalas in their natural habitat at the Koala Conservation Centre before going to Summerland Beach to catch the enchanting Penguin Parade as hundreds of little penguin make their way home across the sand.
Reef Sleep Experience – Queensland / Tropical North
Reef Sleep is a unique adventure, offering the chance to sleep under the stars on the Great Barrier Reef! By day, Cruise Whitsundays’ ‘Reefworld’ pontoon at Hardy Reef is used by day trippers as a base to explore the marine-rich waters. After 3pm, it’s an exclusive spot for a small number of guests. Enjoy quiet snorkelling time, sip Champagne at sunset, and watch as the reef comes alive. Then let the waves lull you to sleep in your cosy swag, set up out in the open-air on the top deck of the pontoon.
Sailaway Sunset Sail – Queensland / Tropical North
Board your Sailaway vessel at Port Douglas Marina and set off on a sunset sail cruise along the Port Douglas coastline on board the luxury 'Lagoon' catamaran. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea with spectacular mountain views, and enjoy a complimentary glass of Champagne, wine or beer, alongside a selection of canapés.
Departs from: Port Douglas. Maximum passengers: 40.
The Rocks Walking Tour – Sydney
Local guides and skilled narrators will tell you all about the past and present of Australia's oldest neighbourhood on this fascinating tour. Hear entertaining accounts of Sydney’s colourful past, discover the narrow alleyways and cobblestone lanes, and view some of Sydney’s oldest dwellings. Visit the gothic Garrison Church, George Street, the Suez Canal and Rocks Square, as well as pubs once frequented by locals, sailors and rogues!
Ultimate Adelaide and Hahndorf
Enjoy a full day tour, driving through Adelaide’s cultural precinct and historic North Adelaide, stopping to see St Peters Cathedral or the Adelaide Oval and visit Haigh’s Chocolates Visitor Centre for a tour and tastings. After lunch (not included), drive to Mount Lofty Summit and wind your way through the Adelaide Hills villages before arriving at Hahndorf. Explore the main street before afternoon tea or a traditional German beer tasting at the popular Hahndorf Inn.
Uluru Morning Guided Base Walk – Outback / Northern Territory / Uluru
Rise early and travel to the base of Uluru for breakfast before beginning your guided six-mile base walk of Uluru as the sun rises. Learn about the landscapes and Aboriginal rock paintings and hear traditional stories as you walk from Kuniya Piti, an Uluru sacred site and continue to the Mala Walk which includes a visit into Kantju Gorge. If it’s been raining you can see water cascading over the side of Uluru. Continue along the Lungkata Walk and the Mutitjulu Waterhole before your return.
Walkabout Cultural Experience – Queensland / Tropical North
From Port Douglas, head off on this personalised and engaging small group tour to spend the day with a local Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal guide. Visit a number of culturally significant areas and learn about the amazing relationships that the Kuku Yalanji have with their land. Walk through the rainforest and coastal habitats to learn about the flora and fauna, stop at a freshwater creek to enjoy lunch, try traditional Aboriginal hunting practices and cool off in a freshwater stream.
Wavedancer Low Isles Sailing Cruise – Queensland / Tropical North
Quicksilver’s 30-metre luxury sailing catamaran, Wavedancer, offers the excitement of big ship sailing combined with a more sedate and luxurious small group experience. Depart Port Douglas on an hour’s cruise to Low Isles – a jewel in a Great Barrier Reef lagoon with a wide sandy beach and clear, calm waters. Arrive mid-morning and spend your day snorkelling, scuba diving, exploring on guided beach walks or simply relaxing on the beach. Departs from Port Douglas.
West MacDonnell Ranges – Outback / Northern Territory / Uluru
Depart from Alice Springs on this full-day tour where you will experience the spectacular landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges, the dramatic deep red cleft of Standley Chasm, the stunning scenery of Ellery Creek Big Hole and the cultural significance of the Ochre Pits. Enjoy a Ploughman’s lunch before visiting Glen Helen Gorge and Ormiston Gorge. See the towering cliffs of quartzite at Simpsons Gap where you can spot black-footed rock wallabies.
Whale Shark Swim – Perth / Western Australia
Head out into the Ningaloo Reef's crystal-clear waters for a magical swim with a whale shark. Accompanied by experience dive masters who can teach your the basics of snorkelling if it's your first time, you'll get into the water and get close to the ocean's largest fish. Whale sharks are bigger than great whites, but thanks to their diet of small fish and plankton, they're safe to swim with. As part of your full-day experience, you'll get lunch, refreshments and all the equipment needed.
Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour – Melbourne / Victoria
Explore Yarra Valley’s sprawling wineries on this exciting tour through breathtaking scenery. You’ll visit Yering Station, Yering Farm and Rochford Wines for cellar door tastings before enjoying lunch at Rochford over a glass of estate wine. Then take a private guided tour through the award-winning Domaine Chandon winery, learning how this world class bubbly is made and savouring a glass of wine and nibbles in the magnificent Green Point Room.
This is just a small sample of what Australia can offer you. There really is something for everyone, any age and any ability. From thrill seekers to wine buffs, train touring to self driving, let Emma help you plan your perfect itinerary utilising her wealth of knowledge and destination experience.