Australia Destination Guide
Be inspired by Oz's iconic landscapes and sun-kissed cities
There really is no place like home, especially when your home is an eclectic mix of fiery red deserts, world-renowned coral reefs, towering mountain ranges and golden beaches. See your own backyard and embrace the work hard and play harder mentality resonating throughout cosmopolitan capital cities and laid-back rural towns.
Settled by Great Britain, English is Australia's de facto national language but has morphed into 'Australian English' with a distinct accent, vocabulary and colourful trademark slang. Australian Aboriginal language has leant itself to many place and animal names and can be tricky to wrap the tongue around (e.g. Coonabarabran in New South Wales).
Discover why the world loves the land down under
Australia is the word's largest island but its smallest continent. A wide brown land, it's home to Vegemite, jackaroos and Kylie Minogue and filled with so many deserts, coral reefs, rainforests, beaches, mountains and bushland you'll need our Australia travel guide to get your bearings! With a huge range of cheap flights regardless of time of year, Australia's far reaches are more accessible than you might think.
Kick off your great Australian escape at one of the country's most famous World Heritage Listed sights, the Great Barrier Reef, stretching more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coast. Snorkel, dive, or just take in the technicolour coral and marine life from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat. Afterwards, a hike in the magnificent Daintree Rainforest will further bring your senses to life.
At no time is the country's vastness as palpable as it is on a journey to the Red Centre. Spot rock wallabies hopping through the West MacDonnell Ranges before going for a dip in Glen Helen Gorge. Take in the incredible natural light show on a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu / Ayers Rock, surrounded by spinifex and desert sands – while you're there, learn about 20,000 plus years of Aboriginal history. At Kakadu National Park your breath will be taken away by the enormous variety of native animals and plants around.
Ultimate outback adventure to inner-city indulgence
Hit the open road and experience the changing landscapes on a roadtrip from country trails to city streets. The nation's cities hold many wonders from Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge to Perth's beaches and Adelaide's wineries. Food and wine lovers will relish a trip to the exquisite Yarra Valley, an hour from Melbourne, South Australia's Barossa Valley or Margaret River in Western Australia. If culture is more your flavour, Tasmania's chic capital Hobart is home to one of Australia's newest contemporary art gallery, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
On the NSW and QLD coastline is Byron Bay, a popular destination for surfers and anyone chasing sun-drenched time out. Treat yourself to a massage or yoga on the beach from one of the many specialists living in this new age hub. Once you're feeling zen, venture a little further north for some further therapy (of the retail variety) on the Gold Coast.
Keeping things in Queensland, consider treating the family to a stopover at Australia Zoo, located along the Sunshine Coast's Steve Irwin Way. Just a short trip from Brisbane, the zoo will see you face-to-face with native animals like wombats and koalas, keep you on the edge of your seat with the famous crocodile show and encourage you to become a wildlife embassador too. Wildly beautiful and entertaining, there's no place like Oz.
Life's a beach
Entirely girt by sea, Australia is blessed with thousands of kilometres of sun-kissed coastline. Going to the beach is a big part of Aussie culture, especially in summer when the mercury rises and the warm surf rolls in. Choosing the top beaches in Australia is an impossible feat, with nearly 12,000 in total and each more uniquely beautiful than the last. Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island consistently ranks among the best in the whole world, with swirling silica sands and perfectly clear water, while Broome's Cable Beach boasts an unforgettable sunset over the Indian Ocean. Of course, Sydney's iconic Bondi, Melbourne's St Kilda and surfing mecca Bells Beach warrant a mention too. There's really no limit to the secluded bays and popular waterfronts you can enjoy around Australia.
Hit the open road
Australia's untamed landscapes and wide open roads lure travellers from all walks of life. For backpackers, retirees and locals alike looking to experience the country's limitless natural splendours firsthand, the best option is to take to the bitumen. Long or short, inland or coastal, inner city or off-road, road tripping is a quintessential Australian experience. The network of highways around this vast land makes it easy to get from Point A to Point B, and on to Points C, D and E! Cruise along Victoria's Great Ocean Road to visit charming seaside towns along the southern coast, meander through the desert from Cairns to Broome on the rugged Savannah Way, or enjoy a taste of Tassie with a lap around the Apple Isle.
The foodie scene in Australia continues to sizzle, serving up gourmet bites wherever you turn. From hatted seafood restaurants in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, to well-established farmers' markets across the Bass Strait, your tastes buds will be taken on a holiday with fresh, flavourful dining on offer across the country. Brisbane's cafe culture continues to grow – perhaps looking to outshine the coffee-infused laneways of Melbourne – and even the pubs are receiving a gastronomic facelift. Enjoy fine dining in inner and north Sydney, match your meal with a quality drop in Adelaide and support the budding micro-breweries in Perth. Australia's multicultural palate can be experienced everywhere, whether you choose to chow down on a roo burger under the stars or opt for four-course degustation with a sparkling city view.
Getting there and around
There's a reason the land down under remains one of the world's most popular travel destinations, thanks to many airlines offering flights to Australia on the cheap. Aussies can make good use of the affordable fares and become a tourist in their own country – who knows what you will find! Alternatively, swap the sky for the sea and take a cruise around Australia's coast. Cruises are becoming popular holiday options and it's easy to see why with beautiful ports like Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Broome dotting the country's fringe.
Let the travel experts take care of all your holiday needs, courtesy of our great range of Australian holiday packages. We combine flights with hotels and added bonuses like tours, transfers and even extra nights' accommodation, leaving you free to enjoy your holiday. Australia's vast scale means it is an ideal place to explore on a tour. Discover the tropical wetlands of Kakadu National Park, explore exotic marine life on the Great Barrier Reef or go bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, the choice is yours.
One of the best ways to see this continent-sized country is in your very own hire car. Flight Centre can arrange a set of wheels to have you on the highway in no time, from where you can enjoy a picture-perfect view of some of Australia's most recognisable landscapes. So what are you waiting for? Hit the frog and toad and start exploring Australia's big backyard!