Australia is high on many people's list of places they most want to visit and as the world becomes ever smaller, that dream comes ever closer to becoming a reality. So what are you waiting for? From ancient Aboriginal culture to the natural world, the infinite Outback, amazingly diverse cities, a myriad of natural wonders, wonderful wildlife, laid-back coastal living, superb food and world-renowned wines, a trip to Australia is more than just a holiday – it's an experience to be savoured!
Australia's state capitals are gateways to the glory of the individual states, so try to visit at least a couple of them. We all know Sydney's iconic Opera House, but there's more to an Australia holiday than this. The nation's sports capital, Melbourne, blends mid 1800s architecture with modern glass skyscrapers to offer a surprisingly diverse cityscape. Adelaide is a magnet for art lovers, whilst the beaches seem to stretch into infinity. Brisbane is the hub of a huge holiday region with surf beaches, mountains and rainforests. If adventure is on your list, head for Darwin. With a harbour twice the size of Sydney's, this truly multi-cultural city is closer to Jakarta than Canberra, the nation's capital. Far out west, Perth is a place for relaxed and easy living where blue skies, friendly people and uncrowded beaches are the order of the day. And last, but by no means least, try to fit in a visit to Tassie's port capital, Hobart, Australia's second oldest city.
When it comes to the great outdoors, an Australia holiday is hard to beat. With over 30,000 miles of coastline, it's no surprise that beach living rules, and who can imagine a better way of life than sun, surf, a stroll along the sands followed by a barbie! Surf beaches like Bondi, Manly and Surfers Paradise are iconic and the 1,500 mile long Great Barrier Reef is probably the most famous coral reef in the world.
Let's not forget the Australian Outback either. Dotted with amazing landforms, this is a place of glowing red sunsets, rich ochre soil, deep black night skies, treeless plains, empty tracks, unique wildlife, tall tales and larger than life characters.
The indigenous Australians are part of the world's oldest continuous culture. Believed to be at least 50,000 years old, man is thought to have lived in Australia before Western Europe was populated. Whether you're talking about the Aborigines or the Torres Strait Islanders (the two indigenous groups in Australia), they all love to share insights into their culture through art, storytelling, dance and music. Whilst the heartland of the Aboriginal world is Uluru, pretty much every place offers opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture - even in the cities. Be sure to embrace modern Australian culture too, where sport is king and a barbie at the beach is the way to spend your weekend.
While Australian cuisine has developed over the years, driven by the arrival of immigrants from all over the world, traditional Aboriginal food also appears on many restaurant menus. Don't panic though, we're not talking about bugs and creepy crawlies, rather herbs, fruit and vegetables! New World wines have also made quite a name for themselves in recent years and Australia has been at the forefront of that revolution. And, of course, there's something rather special about cracking open a cold beer on a blistering hot day whilst sitting on the veranda of the local pub - the Aussies would probably say that it's about as near to heaven as you can get!