Reasons to Visit
Driving is a pleasure on Australia's scenic, safe and uncrowded roads. We usually arrange for you to be met at the airport and taken to your hotel, where a hire car will be delivered. Embark on one of the world's most scenic drives including the Great Ocean Road or Gibb River Road.
Australia's Red Centre has one of the country's highest concentrations of Aboriginal culture while in the north, Arnhem Land is Aboriginal owned and home to Australia's most extensive and significant collection of Aboriginal rock-art.
You don't need a surf board to appreciate the endless white sands that ring Australia. From the hustle and bustle of Bondi beach to the idyllic shores of the Whitsundays or remote beaches of the west, each has its own appeal.
From the world-famous Sydney in the east with her iconic Opera House and bridge, to the gleaming buildings and sandy shores of Perth, Australia offers the visitor endless opportunities to enjoy the fast-pace and excitement of city life.
Australia has one of the largest and greatest national park systems in the world, covering over 24 million hectares. With such diversity as lush rainforest to arid desertscapes the wildlife that call these national parks home are equally diverse.
The vastness of Australia is something truly to behold and there is nowhere better to take this in than in the outback itself, where beautiful desertscape stretch for as far as the eye can see.
Whatever your fitness level, there are plenty of opportunities to head out into the Australian countryside and enjoy the remarkably-varied landscapes during your trip. Choose from leisurely strolls to more strenuous, multiple day hikes.
Australia is well-known for its kangaroos and koalas, but delve a little deeper and you may come across some of the country's more unusual and interesting wildlife, such as the dugong or thorny devil.
Australia is fast-becoming one of the most highly-regarded wine producers in the world, and with the likes of the beautiful and picturesque Barossa, Yarra and Hunter valleys, as well as Margaret River region to explore, we can understand why.
The kaleidoscopic colours of the fish and corals that inhibit the world's largest offshore reef, the Great Barrier Reef to the east, and the world's largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef to the west, are a must-see.
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Our Australia specialists are experienced and passionate about the country - between them they have spent many weeks a year researching new experiences and ensuring everything is of the highest standard. They know Australia inside out.
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Australia is so massive and varied a country that it is not possible to see all of it at once. The guides to the areas on these pages are designed to give you a flavour of what there is to see and do.
A land of contrasts, Australia has much to offer from the desert landscape of the Red Centre that meets the rainforests of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo reef renowned for their diving opportunities, to the Aboriginal culture near Uluru or the Opera House in the modern cosmopolitan city of Sydney.
Australians speak English, and although there are some definite peculiarities in the vernacular from state to state, it is easy to communicate once you have adjusted to the laconic and sometimes colourfully coarse and playful lingo.
The influence of Asian culture combined with Australia's breezy lifestyle and position on the Pacific Rim has led to the development of a distinctive, fresh and modern Australian style of cuisine. The emphasis is on freshly produced ingredients, often concentrating on the excellent local seafood and beef.
Australian wine now has a formidable international reputation and makes a fine complement to any meal. The Hunter Valley and the Barossa Valley are just two of the many wine growing areas. Not to be forgotten, Australia also has many fine beers with James Boag and Cascade from Tasmania and Castlemaine XXXX from Queensland being amongst the most popular.
Tipping is not generally a custom in Australia. Most Australians will either round the amount up or simply leave the change. In more formal places it is becoming customary to leave about 10% if you feel the service is worthy.
The official currency is the Australian dollar. Australian dollar traveller's cheques can be exchanged at international airport and foreign exchange bureaus and all international credit cards are widely accepted. You will be able to access Australian currency from Maestro and Cirrus ATM machines (cash point machines) as long as you have a four-digit pin-code.
Australian culture is far more diverse than people expect, with the country boasting a rich tapestry of European and Asian influences. However, it is the Aboriginal culture that is uniquely Australian. In remote communities bear in mind that local people may speak English as a second or third language, may not read or write it at all and don't necessarily use the same verbal and body language as non-indigenous people. Always ask before photographing a person or group. Reputable tourism operators are sensitive to all these issues and plan their tours so as not to clash with cultural sensitivities.
'The Fatal Shore' by Rob Hughes - a fascinating insight into the harsh and brutal history of white Australia. With many first hand accounts, including several from the First Fleet, the earliest days of convict life in Australia are brought vividly to life.
A lot of some of Australia's better traditional aboriginal music is difficult to purchase anywhere but from the performers themselves, but you should be able to find music from Yothu Yindi, which is arguably Australia's most successful Aboriginal band and combines traditional Aboriginal music with modern Western instrumentation.
'The Dish'. Based on a true story, The Dish is a comical recount of the four-day Apollo XI mission in July 1969 and the extraordinary role that Australia played in televising the historical lunar landing to the world. Located on a remote sheep farm in the rural town of Parkes, inland New South Wales, this movie will give you an interesting insight into Australian rural life, with a healthy does of 'aussie vernacular' to prepare you for your trip.
It's hard to go by freshly caught seafood by the beach, but for the more adventurous try your hand at a unique take on native australian cuisine, such as kangaroo or wallaby fillets with an pan-asian twist.
Forget the familiar export brands and get stuck into some proper Australian lagers and wines. For beer go straight for the fine Tasmanian lagers of 'Cascade' and 'James Boag', or the flavousome brews by 'James Squire, 'Little Creatures' and 'Coopers' breweries; for wine, each state has its highlights - from shiraz in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, to cold climate pinot noirs in Tasmania.
Like anywhere, a few helpful tidbits of the local language can help you whilst travelling in Australia from common words of approval, ripper (great), fair dinkum (great, with disbelief); words to help you in the outback bush (forest), billabong (watering hole), swag (single person canvas tent, for camping under the stars); to the country's marvellous cuisine, damper (campfire cooked bread) and snags (sausages).
Variety, dramatic scenery, breathtaking beaches, aboriginal culture, unique wildlife, beautiful vast arid nothingness, pulsing cosmopolitan cities.
Opal jewellery, Aboriginal arts and craft and local produce from city markets.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Australia by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in AustraliaRegions of AustraliaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationCountry Guides
Other countries in Australasia:New ZealandFrench PolynesiaSamoaThe Cook IslandsFiji
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