Both the smallest continent and the sixth-largest country in the world, Australia is impressive by status alone. This extreme vastness brings diversity to its land that is observed from the vast ochre plains that played host to some of the oldest cultures, the extraordinary blue waters teeming with wildlife and almost every landscape imaginable in between.
Australia is a one-stop-shop for exceptional travel destinations. Between tracing rock art in the Kakadu National Park, cycling through Melbourne’s impeccably stylish laneways and diving famous reefs from Ningaloo to the Great Barrier, Australia trips do not disappoint.
With decades of migration comes a diversified palette and a thriving food scene that differs with each city and region. It would be a crime against your taste buds to leave Australia without sampling a kangaroo steak in a high-end Melbourne restaurant, slurping on fresh oysters in Tasmania or sipping a crisp white in the Barossa Valley.
Not only does Australia look appealing from the outside, its domestic travel market booms with Aussies each working through a bucket list of their own without even leaving the country. From weekends away in the Blue Mountains, coastal Queensland getaways to driving through the heart of the Red Centre; Australians have a playground in their backyard.
Choosing to travel Australia won’t ever be something you regret. Read on to discover everything you need to know when planning your Australia itinerary or skip these steps and connect with one of our Local Designers on the ground who can design your Australia tour today.
- The Best Time to Visit Australia
- The 10 Best Places to Visit in Australia & Unique Experiences
- Dive the Great Barrier Reef
- Explore the Island State of Tasmania
- Hunt Down 20,000-Year-Old Rock Art in Kakadu National Park
- Drive the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne
- Watch the Sunrise at Uluru
- Snap a Picture in Front of the Sydney Opera House
- Discover a Rainforest Twice as Old as the Amazon at Daintree
- Experience the World’s Largest Sand Island, Fraser Island
- Soak Up that Whitsunday Magic!
- Wine Tasting in the Barossa Valley
- The Best Way to Get Around on Your Australia Holiday
- Where to Stay in Australia
- Must-Try Foods & Drink on Your Australia Tour
- Cost of an Australia Tour Package
- Festivals & Special Events to Experience on Your Australia Holiday
- I Want to Go on an Australia Tour!
The Best Time to Visit Australia
You can travel to Australia at any time of the year. However, to ensure you have the best time possible, it’s essential to choose the right season for the places you want to visit.
Firstly, be sure to keep in mind that the seasons are reversed if you’re coming from the Northern Hemisphere. Similar to Southern Africa and South America, Australia enjoys a hot Christmas; December to February is generally known as summer. If you plan to visit the famous Gold Coast, the summer months are best.
Temperatures remain warm in Australia’s arguably most popular state, Queensland, all year round, however, the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is during summer or spring. Wine lovers will find that the best time to visit Australia’s abundant wine regions is between April and June (autumn).
For those wanting to visit the Red Centre, also known as the Outback, it is best to avoid the Australian summer months as it sees significant rainfall and extremely high temperatures. The best time to do an Alice Springs to Uluru self-drive trip is between May and September.
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The 10 Best Places to Visit in Australia & Unique Experiences
An almost impossible task, we’ve rounded up the best ten experiences and places to visit in Australia;
Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Spanning 3,000 kilometres along the coast of Australia’s Sunshine State, Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. Its size is colossal encompassing hundreds of islands and over 2,900 coral reefs. To put it simply, the Great Barrier Reef is a diver’s dream.
Avid divers can choose from hundreds of dives sites and spend their time below the surfaces floating along with 1,500 fish species and incredible marine animals like whales, dolphins, turtles and more. Even if you’re not an experienced diver, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming on the surface at some of these spots is an experience not to be missed!
Immerse yourself in the beauty of this spectacular part of the world on this 4-day Great Barrier Reef trip!
Explore the Island State of Tasmania
While it is isolated from the rest of the county, Tasmania, protected by preservation laws to keep its natural riches thriving, is one of the best places to visit in Australia. Its moderate climate lends itself to fertile lands and plentiful local produce, making it one of the most sought-after foodie destinations in the country.
With an eclectic mix of festivals held throughout the year as well as abundant wilderness, stunning beaches and forests to keep you busy, you won’t regret adding Tasmania to your Australia trip.
Be blown away by adventure on this 9-day wild Tasmania trip!
Hunt Down 20,000-Year-Old Rock Art in Kakadu National Park
A place of immeasurable historical and cultural significance, Aboriginal people have occupied Kakadu National park for over 40,000 years. Spread across the park are 5,000 ancient rock art sites which make for fascinating places to visit.
As well as ancient rock art, the diverse ecosystems and stunning natural sights of the park all make it well worth a visit.
Explore two of Australia’s most famous national parks on this 6-day Kakadu Wilderness and Litchfield Park tour.
Drive the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne
One of the most popular day trips from Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road is where you’ll find the iconic Twelve Apostles – a true landmark of Australia. Voted as one of the 10 ten most scenic coastal drives in the world, when visiting Melbourne, this should not be missed.
Hire a car and hit the road or forget the hassle of driving and embark on a private tour with a local guide taking you to the best spots on this iconic strip of coast.
Drive the Great Ocean Road and sample the delights of Victoria’s capital on this 6-Day Melbourne City to Surf Coast tour!
Watch the Sunrise at Uluru
Instantly recognisable as Australia’s world-famous landmark, Uluru is a giant red rock in the heart of the Red Centre of Central Australia. Sitting in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the rock is said to be 550 million years old and is sacred to indigenous Australians.
Today, the rock is one of the most popular landmarks to visit in the Red Centre. For those that are visiting, gazing upon the rock as its hue changes during sunset and sunrise is a must-do activity.
Marvel at Uluru and more naturally beautiful sights on this 8-Day Wonders of the Outback, Adelaide to Uluru Self-Drive Tour!
Snap a Picture in Front of the Sydney Opera House
Arguably one of the most sought-after places to visit in Sydney, if not Australia, the Sydney Opera House is an iconic landmark recognised all over the world.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Opera House sits in the Sydney Harbour. Its unique roof structure, representative of blowing white sails, has resulted in it being one of the most photographed buildings in the world.
See the Sydney Opera House and many other key places to visit in Sydney on this 5-Day Iconic Sydney trip.
Discover a Rainforest Twice as Old as the Amazon at Daintree
Another of Queensland’s gems, the Daintree Rainforest is one of Australia’s most treasured natural wonders. Spread over 1,200 square kilometres and approximately 180 million years old, Daintree is s a vast wilderness area characterised by dense tropical rainforests including the oldest rainforest on the planet.
The best way to experience this unique rainforest is on a tour which will take you to Mossman Gorge and the Cape Tribulations area with its rainforest-clad mountains sweeping down to long stretches of glorious white sandy beaches.
You can explore the best of Queensland including the Daintree Rainforest on this 7-Day Rainforest, Reefs & Rivers in Queensland trip.
Experience the World’s Largest Sand Island, Fraser Island
World-famous for its 75-mile long sandy beach, Fraser Island is a truly unique island home to beautiful scenery. Most interestingly, Fraser Island is the only place on Earth where rainforests grow on dunes and lakes form in depressions made in the dunes.
If you choose to spend a few days on the island like on this 3-Day Fraser Island Escape, you’ll head out on guided ranger walks, explore the mangrove forests and watch some beautiful sunsets with a beer in hand.
Soak Up that Whitsunday Magic!
Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia’s sunshine state, the Whitsundays is a 75-island archipelago made up of beautiful white sand beaches and swirling crystal clear waters.
If you plan to visit the Great Barrier Reef on your Australia trip, then the Whitsundays are a must! You’ll spend your time here relaxing on the beaches, going on snorkelling and diving adventures and encountering the creatures and colours of the Great Barrier Reef.
This 6-Day Whitsunday Magic trip is perfect for those that want to experience the Whitsundays!
Wine Tasting in the Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley is one of the best places in Australia to go wine tasting; it is home to Australia’s most famous wineries, including Wolf Bass, Penfolds and Lehmann.
Clare and Barossa Valley are high up on the list of South Australia’s holiday destinations and on this 8-day self-drive trip from Adelaide to Uluru, you’ll spend a day in the fertile and welcoming Barossa Valley. Accompanied by beautiful views and culture heritage, you’ll spend the day tasting renowned Australian wines and enjoying the beautiful countryside.
Just an hour from the city, Barossa Valley makes for the perfect day trip from Adelaide.
The Best Way to Get Around on Your Australia Holiday
Australia is enormous. This means that getting around takes some planning if you are looking to visit more than one state; however, it is not difficult to get around Australia.
If you do plan to visit several destinations in different parts of Australia, it is worth noting that you will have to account a few days of your trip to travelling time. These are the best ways to get around Australia;
Self-Drive Australia – The Most Experiential Way
Australia’s vast network of well-maintained highways and roads makes it a destination home to some of the world’s most beautiful road trips. Whether you plan to self-drive Alice Springs to Uluru in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, take a trip up to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road or go on a self-drive wine tour in South Australia, hiring a car gives you this freedom.
Travelling at your own pace, you can afford to stop and explore remote areas or places that weren’t on your original itinerary. There are places to visit in Australia that have no access to public transport so driving yourself enables you to visit them.
All major airports and central city locations will have an array of car rental companies awaiting your arrival. Depending on your route, they will advise whether you just need a standard car or a 4WD. To take the hassle out of trying to plan your Australia self-drive trip, you can connect with one of our Local Designers on the ground in Australia who can design the perfect trip for you.
Australia by Plane – If You’re Short on Time
If you’re looking to cover several Australian destinations then flying is the best way to cover these vast distances in a short time. Australia is well-equipped with domestic airlines serving all destinations and making it easy to hop between Australia’s iconic cities.
It’s worth bearing in mind that while the competition means the domestic flight prices are low, they are not as low as the likes of Europe and Asia. So make sure to take this into account when planning your Australia trip.
Travelling Australia by Train – The Most Scenic Option
Not cheap, fast or convenient, train travel in Australia is something you do for the experience and the scenery. However, it is not worth considering if you are short on time and looking to pack lots of destinations into your itinerary.
Travelling Australia by train is much more comfortable than buses and affords you the ability to tick off some of the must-do bucket-list rail journeys that the country is home to.
Australia by Bus – The Cheapest Way to Travel
Bus travel in Australia is reliable, and there are plenty of frequent, well-serviced long haul services to get you from point A to point B. Having said that, you’ll get a good sense of just how big this country is by the distance you’ll travel by bus.
Most Australian buses are fitted for comfort with relaxed seats, proper toilets, air-conditioning and some even have Wi-Fi and USB chargers!
Where to Stay in Australia
Australia accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes. As a country, it certainly doesn’t shy away from incredible accommodation that showcases its superb natural assets. From quaint eco-lodges to boutique hotels and stunning island resorts, the choices are numerous.
Whether you’re young and budget-conscious, looking for a family-friendly getaway or the perfect couples retreat, there’s a choice of accommodation for you.
Eco-Tourism Lodges & Retreats
Isolated sanctuaries of complete exclusive seclusion are something Australia does well. The bustling city life is great, but when you want to switch off, lodges and retreats nestled in the wilderness are the places to go.
Due to their remote locations, they are often on the higher end of the budget scale. However, most will include meals, guided activities and pampering. If you’d still like to get the wildness eco-accommodation feel, then glamping in Australia is another option.
These are our favourite trips with a taste of eco-lodge and exclusive retreats;
- 3-Day Spicers Peak of Perfection
- 3-Day Ultimate Hunter Valley Retreat with Wine Tours
- 4-Day Exclusive Beach Camp on Ningaloo Reef
Hotels in Australia
Hosting an array of the big-name chains such as InterContinental, Marriott and Hyatt, there is no shortage of hotel stays in Australia. If you’re looking for a five-star international hotel, a boutique escape or a mid-range comfortable hotel, there’s something for you.
Designing your trip with one of our Local Designers on the ground in Australia will ensure you get access to the most beautiful hotels within your budget.
Here are our favourite trips with a taste of the hotels in Australia;
- 6-Day Melbourne City to Surf Coast
- 8-Day Western Australia’s Wine and Nature
- 5-Day Dreaming of NT from Darwin to Alice Springs
Australia Beach & Island Resorts
With tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, there are plentiful beach resorts in Australia. Due to the proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and major cities, the coast of Queensland and New South Wales have the lion’s share of these resorts.
From five-star adults-only resorts to all-inclusive, multi-pool, family-friendly hotels, there is a huge supply of accommodation lining Australia’s popular coasts. In addition, with over 600 islands off the coast of Queensland dotted throughout the Great Barrier Reef, island resorts are in plentiful supply.
Here are our favourite trips featuring beautiful beach and island resorts in Australia;
- 4-Day Whitsundays Heaven on Hamilton Island
- 7-Day Outback, Forest and Beach Self-Drive
- 9-Day Queensland Family Fun
Must-Try Foods & Drink on Your Australia Tour
From farm-to-table innovative fine dining and picnics with fresh market produce to must-try chocolate biscuits and a meat selection that you wouldn’t find at a supermarket elsewhere in the world, Australian cuisine keeps any foodie’s tastebuds busy.
While Vegemite and Tim Tams deserve a mention, we are going to dive into Australia’s top foodie regions and what you should be eating on your Australia tour.
Coffee in Melbourne
But first, coffee.
Melbourne is renowned as a foodie destination, so it’s no surprise that every cafe in Melbourne has made it its mission to finesse coffee drinking. You can sample the ever-changing coffee culture of Melbourne on this 6-Day Melbourne City to Surf Coast trip.
The Freshest of Fresh in Tasmania
A playground for avid walkers, hikers, wine lovers and foodies, Tasmania blows away every visitor with what it offers. Fresh produce being the biggest draw.
From oysters fresh from the catch on the Freycinet Peninsula to ocean-to-plate experiences in Bruny Island and fine dining seafood restaurants in Hobart; tie these incredible food experiences into a tour packed with adventure and wine tasting on this 9-Day Wild Tasmania trip.
Taste Delights on the Fleurieu Peninsula
South Australia’s hidden gem, the Fleurieu Peninsula, an easy day trip from Adelaide, is home to award-winning wineries and unforgettable dining experiences.
On this 6-Day Wonders of Fleurieu trip, you’ll encounter a number of the area’s distinct flavours perfectly paired with the region’s wine varieties.
Bushtucker Trial Style in the Northern Territory
Experiencing Aboriginal culture is a key part of any trip to Australia, especially if you choose to visit the Northern Territory.
On this 5-Day Self-Drive Alice Springs to Uluru trip, you’ll experience this unique bush cuisine and the culture that has been cultivating it for over a thousand years.
Al Fresco Dining in Western Australia
Margaret River, south of Perth, is one of the top wine-producing regions, responsible for over 25% of all Australian wines produced.
Spectacular coastal landscapes, untouched ecosystems and outdoor dining just steps away from where all of the ingredients are cultivated is part and parcel of visiting Western Australia, just like on this 8-Day Western Australia’s Wine and Nature tour.
Cost of an Australia Tour Package
There’s no denying that Australia has a reputation for being expensive. However, there are several different aspects of your Australia trip that can affect the overall cost;
- Length of your trip
- Season or month you choose to travel in
- Accommodation class and type
- How many places you visit during your trip
- Number of activities or tours you take part in
- Expenditure on shopping and dining out
Factoring all these different elements and trying to make sure your Australia tour is within budget can be a little overwhelming. That’s where Designer Journeys’s on-the-ground Local Designers in Australia come in. With great connections and having designed custom trips for many years, our Local Designers can take your dreams and desires and design a trip that suits your budget, interests and activity level.
Follow the simple steps to begin the process to design your own Australia trip with Designer Journeys and relax in the knowledge that every detail has been taken care of.
To give you an example of what is possible, this 8-Day Wonders of the Outback, Adelaide to Uluru Self-Drive trip costs AU$2,715 per person and includes:
- 4- and 5-star accommodation
- 8 activities
- Airport transfers
- Rental car
- 7 breakfasts and 1 lunch
- Entrance fees
By adjusting certain parts of a trip, you create a more budget-friendly trip. Where you choose to stay, how often you decide to move and how you choose to travel will all affect the price of your Australia trip.
Everyone has different interests, priorities and preferences when it comes to planning a trip to Australia or anywhere else in the world for that matter. With Designer Journeys, you can forget the off-the-shelf package tours and know that what you are getting is a truly special custom itinerary designed just for you.
Festivals & Special Events to Experience on Your Australia Holiday
Events and festivals in Australia come in all shapes and sizes. Australians love a reason to celebrate or crack a beer with friendly faces so you’ll be sure to encounter some type of event or festival on your Australia tour.
From key sporting events in Melbourne to foodie events in South Australia and everything in between, here’s a quick breakdown of what Australia’s events schedule looks like.
Arts & Cultural Events
Embrace all things weird, wonderful and colourful with a range of events in Australia. Celebrate Australia’s aboriginal history with Garma in Arnhem Land or engage in some quirky outback fun at Alice’s Spring’s Henley-on-Todd, a sailing regatta on a dry river bed!
Australian food and wine culture grows and diversifies by the day, so it’s no surprise that food festivals are abundant in this country. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a key date for the diary as well as events like the Sydney BeerFest and South Australia’s Tasting Week.
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, grab a pie and indulge in the infectious atmosphere that surrounds most Australian sporting events. From riding waves to Formula 1 and the Australian Open, there’s something for everyone with Australia’s sporting calendar.
Soak up the easygoing atmosphere, world-renowned musical performances and more often than not, incredible locations at several Australia’s music festivals. A key date for the diary is the Byron Bay Bluesfest, the country’s largest blues and roots festival.
If you’re not sure where to start but know you would like to time your Australia tour with one of these events, then connect with one of our on-the-ground Local Designers in Australia who can organise the perfect tour for you.
I Want to Go on an Australia Tour!
There are so many wonderful places to visit in Australia that deciding where to go can be difficult. This is where Designer Journeys’s Local Designers in Australia come in. On the ground in Australia, our Local Designers are masters at designing custom trips to meet your budget, interests and travel style.
Whether you’re looking to self-drive through the Red Centre, take a chauffeured trip up the coast in Queensland or take a romantic break to the Barossa Valley, our Local Designers can make your perfect Australia tour happen!