Great Barrier Reef, Heart Reef
WONDERS OF AUSTRALIA
Home to under 25 million people Australia’s “wide brown land” is full of unique wildlife & a contrasting natural beauty. From the lush green rainforest of the north, through the red centre to the cool climate of the south the 3,700 kilometres that separate the Top End with the southern island state of Tasmania show a landscape as diverse as its people.
Blessed with more than 10,000 world class beaches it is easy to see why Australia’s main cities line its extensive coast. The cooler climates of the south have produced many wine regions just ripe for exploring with the red ochre sands of the interior showing its indigenous cultural heart.
1. Kangaroo Island, South Australia
There is an unmistakable sanctity about Kangaroo Island. Nearly half of the islands native scrubland has been preserved which makes it one of the best wildlife spotting locations in Australia. Home to many species & rare sub species of native animals it is an extraordinarily unique island. It has a raw and rugged 509km of coastline, impeccably clear waters, natural wonders, and abundant wildlife yet it is a mere 155km from its East Coast to its West Coast. With pristine beaches, local food and wines & glorious sunsets all on your doorstep, discovering this natural playground will take longer than you think!
Fly 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide or enjoy a scenic drive to the ferry at Cape Jervois, Kangaroo Island can be visited as a day trip or you can make use of the many accommodation options for a multi night stay.
@Photo Credit -Tourism Australia
2. Sydney Harbour, New South Wales
Sydney Harbour, one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours, has it all; sparkling blue waters, iconic tourist attractions, hidden beaches, pristine bushland, pretty botanic gardens brimming with native flora and charming islands that are made for exploring. No matter the weather Sydney Harbour glistens like a jewel. It is also home to two of Australia's biggest attractions, the Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Enjoy spectacular birds eye views from atop the bridge or from the safer confines of the Pylon Lookout & Museum. Walk over the bridge on the designated pedestrian walkway or walk under it towards Barangaroo & Darling Harbour.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a stroll through the wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens where the views of the water are always stunning. The gardens also provide a great avenue to approach the iconic Sydney Opera House. You can also easily walk to Mrs Macquarie's Point, with its convict carved sandstone chair and make sure to go back in the evening for an iconic sunset view as the city lights begin to sparkle.
There is plenty of options to be on the harbour itself with Circular Quay being a major transport hub for ferries that leave every few minutes to different parts of the harbour, including Manly, Watsons Bay, Mosman and Taronga Zoo; water taxis or harbour cruises. Vibrant and always throbbing with activity the Quay is full of eateries and acts as an entrance point to The Rocks, the historic centrepiece of Sydney.
@Photo Credit - Daniel Tran Photography
Harbour View at Sunrise
3.ULURU, NORTHERN TERRITORY
World Heritage Listed & one of Australia’s most iconic symbols, Uluru is a sacred site to the indigenous Anangu people, who request individuals not to climb the sandstone monolith. Situated in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 450km south west of Alice Springs, this stone monolith is a spectacular sight each day at sunrise and sunset when it is bathed in different hues from the changes in surrounding light.
Once known as Ayers Rock, Uluru rises 348 meters in height with a circumference of 9.4 kilometres & is the world’s largest monolith. No two views are the same & there are many ways to experience its majesty & the beauty of this desert landscape. The most popular is to enjoy one of three walks in the area. Your tour with an Aboriginal Guide will see you learn about ancient traditions, bush tucker, traditional medicines, sacred Aboriginal rock art and how animals formed the Uluru.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to two of the country’s most amazing natural monuments, Kata Tjuta and Uluru. Imbued with spirituality and a rich Indigenous history, the heart of the Red Centre is must-see.
Photo Credit - Tourism Australia
4.Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania
The Tasman Peninsula will appeal to those who like spectacular coastlines, blowholes and caves, not to mention world heritage listed convict sites. An easy and very pretty 70 min drive from Hobart, the peninsula is best known for the famous Port Arthur Historic site, one of Tasmania's five World Heritage listed convict sites. Over its long history, Port Arthur has been a place of hardship and punishment, a place of opportunity, and a place of leisure. Now it is one of Australia’s most important heritage destinations, where the story of Australia’s colonial history is written in stone and brick.
Photo Credit - Hype TV
Turtle & Reef
5.Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The 25 million-year-old, World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing visible on Earth from space. However, you do not have to travel that far to see it! The world’s largest coral reef system, home to the most amazing & diverse marine life, is located off the coast of Queensland and there are several locations from which you can reach the reef including Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach and Bundaberg.
There are many unforgettable ways to experience the reef. Take a day trip to iconic attractions like Heart Reef and Vlasoff Cay, or snorkel in the warm waters of one of the many islands of Tropical North Queensland. You can sleep under the stars on the deck of a boat or scuba dive amongst 400 types of coral & 1500 species of tropical fish. View the reef from a glass-bottomed boat or semi-submersible, enjoy a cruise for whale watching or swimming with dolphins, you can even enjoy a helicopter tour.
One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts the tropical beauty of the Great Barrier Reef has seen it become one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations.
Photo Credit - Tourism Pt Douglas & Daintree
6. Margaret River, Western Australia
Flanked by national parks that include towering forests, pristine coastlines and rugged granite outcrops, the Margaret River region is the quintessential Western Australian holiday destination. The region is a scenic 3 hour drive south from Perth and is full of sheltered bays to the north, vineyards and surf coast along its length, and two mighty oceans meeting at its southern tip.
Known around the world for its top-quality wines there are more than 120 world-class wineries to explore. Among the many vineyard tours there are also tours that get you behind the scenes to meet winemakers, have a barrel room testing, and potentially even blend your own bottle of wine, coupled with a long lunch. Margaret River is also home to a range of craft breweries and distilleries.
Vines & Grapes
7. Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road is permanent memorial, carved in rock, to those who died while fighting in World War I. Built by returned servicemen, it winds around Australia's rugged southern coast and was a huge engineering feat that ended decades of isolation for Lorne and other coastal communities. It is one of the most iconic road trips for a traveller to have while visiting Australia. As the road winds its way along the Southern Ocean some of the most impressive sights along the way are Loch Ard Gorge, the iconic 12 Apostles (now eight in number), Gibson Steps and London Bridge. Hire a car and explore the many picturesque beachside towns, craggy cliffs, and bountiful wildlife over the course of a few days. With epic surf and unforgettable hikes, you'll find plenty of adventure around every corner.
Photo Credit - Tourism Australia
Sinkhole from within
9. Umpherston Sinkhole, South Australia
Five-hours drive south east from Adelaide, the Umpherston Sinkhole is in the border town of Mt Gambier. Once a limestone cave that has now collapsed and been transformed into a stunning sunken garden the beauty of the Umpherston Sinkhole must be seen to be believed. It is free to wander around this natural phenomenon and you can appreciate its size and depth from the viewing platforms at the top before walking down into the sinkhole, along the terraces and behind the hanging vines. You can even pack a picnic and have lunch while you enjoy the surrounds.
Originally beautified by James Umpherston around 1886, the sinkhole is open at all times and from dusk each evening the area comes alive with possums as they venture into the floodlit gardens to feed.
Photo Credit - South Australian Tourism
10. Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania
Freycinet is a picturesque peninsular known for its pink granite mountain range, The Hazards, and its sheltered, white sand beaches that surround the calm, blue waters of Wineglass Bay. The peninsula is the location for Freycinet National Park, the first national park to be declared in Tasmania, which is rich in stunning landscapes, hiking trails and wildlife opportunities.
Beyond its natural beauty it is also famous for succulent grass-fed beef and lamb, full-flavoured game meats and fresh-off-the-boat seafood, including crayfish, scallops and oysters.
Located 2.5 hours north of Hobart or 2 hours south of Launceston means it is easily accessible as a day trip. Or stay for longer as you explore this beautiful island on an extended road trip.
Photo Credit - Rob Burnett / Tourism Australia
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8. Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Experience fresh mountain air as you rise above Sydney and enter the spectacular Blue Mountains. This rugged region, 50km west of Sydney, is known for its dramatic scenery, steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries and gardens. Katoomba, a major town in the area, borders Blue Mountains National Park and its bushwalking trails. Echo Point affords views of the storied Three Sisters sandstone rock formation.
With sensational views over the deep valley troughs, formed over millions of years, the lookouts at Wentworth Falls, Govetts Leap and Echo Point are all spectacular.
Tours run daily from Sydney or you can travel by car or train for a longer stay.
Photo Credit - David Ireland - Tourism Australia