Australia may be big – we're talking the sixth largest country on the planet, stretching the same distance as Spain to western Russia – but it's not as daunting as it may seem. In fact, pick what you'd like to cover, and you can see the best of it in two weeks without any fears or worries. Still not sure where to begin and what to see? Enter our Aussie Experts, who have not only curated a list of things to do in Australia, but created holiday itineraries to help you actually do them.
See the Great Barrier Reef
It's undoubtedly one of nature's greatest wonders. But don't just take our word for it – Sir David Attenborough also used the same phrase when he visited the Great Barrier Reef recently. If you watched him delve beneath the ocean's surface, you would have enjoyed just a glimpse at how spectacular this aquascape is. If you've snorkelled the reef in person, you'll know nothing can quite compare to being there. The sheer size alone of the reef will astound: all in, it covers 133,000 square miles and is home to 1,625 species of fish, 133 species of sharks and rays, 30 species of whales and dolphins and 600 types of hard and soft coral.
How to do it: The most popular way to see the Great Barrier Reef is via a day cruise to a pontoon from which you can snorkel, dive or even reef walk. If you don’t fancy getting wet you can also get a glimpse via glass bottom boat, submarine or even with a helicopter flight over the reef. For the ultimate experience though, consider our Great Barrier Reef holiday itinerary which includes a four-night cruise of the reef.
Explore Sydney Harbour
If Australia had a worldwide stage, Sydney Harbour would be it. As the focal point of many of the country's celebrations, Sydney Harbour is no stranger to fireworks, yacht races, world-famous entertainment and top-class restaurants. On New Year's Eve in particular it's the place to be.
How to do it: The most common way to see the harbour is by cruise. If you’d prefer a challenge you can also climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which, if you can handle the 1,000 or so steps, will reward you with panoramic views of the harbour and Sydney city. For something even more unique, try soaring over the harbour in a seaplane on our Highlights of New South Wales holiday itinerary.
Australia's other famed icon, Uluru, is a monolith that's truly worthy of a visit. In fact never is Australia's vastness as palpable as it is on a Journey to the Red Centre. As the beating heart of the Outback, Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and the nearby town of Alice Springs is where life runs at a slower pace, wildlife flourishes and age-old Aboriginal culture endures.
How to do it: Uluru is found in the arid centre of the country, specifically in Kata Tjuta National Park. To reach it, you’ll need to fly there. Once there, one of our favourite ways to discover this unique region is via the Sounds of Silence experience, where you'll watch the changing colours of Uluru at sunset accompanied by canapés, followed by an Australian-style dinner under the stars, lulled by the bellowing sounds of a didgeridoo. The dinner is included in our Sydney, Rock & Reef holiday itinerary.
Drive along the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a scenic coastal highway which is part of a popular road trip that travels along Australia’s southern coast between the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide. The road is famed for incredible scenery which includes rugged cliffs, the towering 12 Apostles, famous surf beaches and surrounding wineries.
How to do it: To do the full road trip, we recommend starting in Melbourne and allocating around seven days to drive to Adelaide. Experience the ultimate itinerary on our Great Ocean Road holiday.
Watch wildlife on the Coral Coast
Located on the western coast of Australia, the Coral Coast is home to over 600 miles of pristine beaches, nature reserves and marine parks. As much of the region is protected, the Coral Coast is a veritable haven for wildlife watching, with common marine life sightings including dolphins, manta rays, turtles, whales, dugongs, coral and most notably, whale sharks. In fact the Coral Coast is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the world’s largest fish. Another famous animal unique to the Coral Coast is the quokka, a very cute and photogenic marsupial which can be seen when visiting Rottnest Island.
How to do it: The Coral Coast is a fantastic region to explore by car with a number of wildlife-watching tours available. Our Coral Coast holiday itinerary includes 13 days car hire as well as a tour of Rottnest Island and a Whale Shark Discovery tour.
Experience Australia on a Tailor-made Holiday
We can tailor-make any of these experiences into one itinerary for you. The below Tropical North Queensland video is just one example of the kind of holiday you can experience in Australia.
For more ideas on what to see and do in Australia, see our Australia holiday itineraries.