We’re mad about Australia, which is why we put together this epic planning guide. After all, there's gorgeous beaches, great weather and a bunch of weird and wonderful wildlife – what’s not to love? The landscapes here are almost otherworldly too – think russet-red Outback in the Northern Territory, road trip-worthy coastlines in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and even snow-capped peaks in Tasmania. And then there’s the wine! Whether you’re sipping full-bodied reds in the Hunter Valley or crisp whites in the McLaren Vale, the grapes Down Under are simply delicious. Most importantly, our Travel Consultants will create an amazing travel experience that’s designed to suit you, your travel style, and your budget. From hotels, to car hire, to flights (of course!) – we'll take the hassle out of your trip planning. For inspiration check out our guides below, browse our tailor-made Australia holidays or, for a specific itinerary, talk to our friendly Travel Consultants today. Let us tailor make it easy.
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Australia Holiday Ideas and Advice
Ready for some serious wanderlust-fuelled inspiration? Check out the best tips, advice and imagery from some of our favourite travel writers below:
Australia Holiday Planning Guide
This where you can get your creative, planning juices flowing! When you're ready to book, pop in-store, give us a call or chat to us online, and let us tailor-make it easy.
- Top things to do
- Top places to see
- When to go
- Extra info
- Stop overs
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef
- Explore Sydney Harbour
- Watch the sunset at Uluru
- Drive along the Great Ocean Road
- Watch wildlife on the Coral Coast
- Get to grips with laid back urban centres such as Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane
- Laze on one of the 10,000 beaches
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top Places to See
Cosmopolitan, outdoorsy and effortlessly laid back Sydney is a dream whatever your taste in urban environments. So comprehensive is the cities appeal that even those that despise metropolitan environments will find something to love. Situated on the world's largest natural harbour and blessed with a plethora of delicious eateries this city is the perfect base to start your Australia adventure from. To make the most of your time in Sydney see this 72 hour itinerary put together by our concierge or this 3 day guide by Aussie native Lauren.
In many ways Melbourne is perceived as Sydney's little brother. At Flight Centre we know that couldn't be further from the truth. Melbourne is, above all, effortlessly cool. The trendy side-streets lined with coffee shops and artful murals are more akin to a scene you may expect to see in a Mediterranean city. It is consistently listed as one of the world's most liveable cities, make it part of your itinerary (possibly on a road trip) and see exactly why.
Further up the coast from Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane sits proudly as the capital of Queensland, the Sunshine State. The city is used as a base from which to explore this corner of Australia's extensive natural riches but is worthy of a visit in itself. If you're visiting with family check out this guide of things to do with children.
From surfing to sun-worshipping to 'throwing shrimps on the barbie' it's impossible to escape beach culture in Australia. Almost all of the population of Australia lives within 1 hour of the coast and with good reason. Whatever your beach taste there is something for you. Here are three of our favourites.
Let's start at the most famous beach in Australia, and perhaps the world. This sweeping stretch of sand is surrounded by the chic Sydney suburb of Bondi. It is very popular due to it's proximity to Sydney city centre but is still worth a visit, for a quieter experience walk around the headland to Coogee beach and crack open some cold ones in the pavillion.
The architypal pin-up beach Whitehaven beach is picture perfect. Found on one of the Whitsunday islands this beach is perfect for relaxation and, surprisingly, exfoliation. The sand is so pure and fine that it is fantastic for cleansing yourself and your jewellery.
Well known amongst the backpackers that travel up and down the East Coast this resort in the North of New South Wales is a surfing Mecca. Grab yourself a board and pick your spot to ride waves ranging from beginner to advanced. The town is packed with trendy cafe's and bars, perfect for relaxing in after a hard days toil.
- Summer: December to February
- Autumn: March to May
- Winter: June to August
- Spring: September to November
No matter what time of year you visit Australia, there’s always a warm and sunny day to be found somewhere in the country. Indeed, there’s never really a bad time to visit the land Down Under. If you have a region or activity in mind though, some months are better than others.
Summer in Australia is a fantastic time of year to visit, not just for the warm and sunny weather but also for many of the country’s events. While it’s not the best time to visit the north of the country (tropical storms and high humidity are common during this time), south of the country is where you’ll find ideal weather and a huge range of events including New Year’s Eve celebrations, Australia Day celebrations, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the cricket, the Australian Open Tennis, and the popular music event Falls Festival in Victoria.
Best places to visit in summer:
If the thought of 40-degree weather in summer is too much to bear, autumn is an ideal time to visit Australia. Though temperatures begin to cool off, weather can still be warm and sunny, providing perfect conditions for road tripping in Australia’s countryside, visiting wine regions and going bushwalking.
Best places to visit in autumn:
- The popular wine region of the Barossa Valley near Adelaide
- The Blue Mountains near Sydney
- The tropical waterfalls of Litchfield National Park in the Top End
- The beloved beach town of Broome in Western Australia
While winter sees cold and wet weather hit Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, perfect conditions arrive in Tropical North Queensland and the Northern Territory. The season in the north of Australia is known as the dry season and while the temperatures remain warm, there’s less humidity, fewer storms and better visibility for snorkelling and diving.
Best places to visit in winter:
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park
- Kakadu National Park in the Top End
- Hervey Bay near Brisbane for whale watching
Spring is a fantastic time to visit much of Australia, with temperatures and humidity still mild enough to visit places like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, while the cities like Sydney and Melbourne also experience good weather. Spring is also a fantastic time to see baby wildlife in the country’s abundant rainforests and national parks.
Best places to visit in spring:
More about Australia
Capital city: Canberra
Currency: Australian Dollar
Vaccinations: Extra vaccinations are not required.
Visas: British citizens require an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa which can be arranged by your Flight Centre consultant at no extra cost.
Going down under is no longer an arduous process. There are more and more transport routes opening up which make the journey easier AND allow people to benefit from 'two holidays in one'. Why not tack on a stay in a Middle Eastern or Asian gem on your way to 'the lucky country'.
Get some 'pre-sun' sunshine in on a visit to this Middle Eastern metropolis. Explore the cultural delights such as the Grand Mosque and Al Ain - one of the oldest permanently inhabited settlements on the planet.
Alternatively, visit a different desert oasis where they like things big, very big, very very big. You can see both the world's largest mall and the world's tallest building right here.
Get a taste, quite literally, of Asia in this buzzing, street food obsessed Capital city. Take in the King of Thailand's residence, the Grand Palace. then perhaps cruise down the Chao Phraya River and top your day off with some authentic Phad Thai cooked before your eyes. The options are endless.
Hong Kong, which translates as 'the fragrant harbour' is an exceptional place to stop off and experience a manic taste of Asian life. Sample Dim Sun, take in the sights, possibly even have a suit tailored but make sure that you don't miss out on seeing this concrete jungle for yourself. See our guide for first timers or 5 essential experiences for advice on things to do.
Get a taste for a completely different iconic Asian settlement in Singapore. This squeaky clean cosmopolitan city state offers up outstanding shopping, beautiful, wide-open spaces and one of the best hotels in the world.