Together with New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Australia forms the smallest continent on the planet. Yet, it’s one of the largest countries – and extremely diverse in terms of landscape, culture, and activities. These are seven unique vacations in Australia to choose from.
Wine connoisseurs with a thirst for exploring the world’s top wine destinations should journey to South Australia and Victoria where cooler climates moderated by the Southern Ocean pave the way for a powerful wine portfolio. Australia prides itself on its Shiraz (Syrah) and Cabernet Sauvignon. The overlooked city of Adelaide is the jumping-off point to touring the wine regions of the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale.
Travel to the Northern Territory to connect with Aboriginal culture and customs in Australia. Uluru marks the heart of Australia in the southern reaches of this vast region. Darwin is abundant in museums such as the flagship Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory whereas Kakadu National Park is home to the rock art sites of Nourlangie, Nanguluwur, and Ubirr. Consider traveling in conjunction with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair or Desert Mob for an even richer experience.
Great Ocean Road is as iconic a road trip as Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway in the US. The route stretches between the surf city of Torquay and Allansford although most trips start in Melbourne. Unmissable sights include the 12 Apostles and Great Otway National Park. Anticipate at least three full days but consider additional nights in order to surf, hike, and tour the cellar doors along the way.
The Sunshine State of Queensland is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest underwater ecosystem. Around 3,000 individual reefs provide habitat to such marine life as whale sharks, dugong “sea cows”, humpback whales, manta rays, green turtles, and giant clams. Cairns, Airlie Beach, Townsville, and Port Douglas are the main gateways for snorkeling, diving, sailing, and seaplane flights. Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays provide the offshore experience.
Tasmania floats across the Bass Strait and offers an Australia-in-miniature experience. Over 40% of the land is protected wilderness, with the topography ranging from plunging coastal cliffs to alpine ranges and temperate rainforests where Tasmanian devils dwell. The climate lends itself to exceptional whisky production while the salmon is first-class.
Rural Australia is a haven for nature lovers and the landscape becomes all the more purer in the westernmost territory. Western Australia accounts for a third of the country. Head north to Kimberly to see ancient Aboriginal rock etchings that exceed 15,000 years. Limestone spheres rise out of the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Visit during the day and consider a stargazing tour with a barbecue supper
All cities provide a different perspective on Australian contemporary culture. The museums of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, explore the history of Australia and shine a light on Aboriginal heritage. The Australian Museum is dedicated to both ethnography and natural history whereas the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) exhibits works by Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander artists. Remember – tucking into Sydney rock oysters on a sunny day in the harbor counts as culture.
Contact me or reach out via the Darby’s Destinations Virtuoso portal when you are ready to book your trip to Australia.