Australia, it’s pretty bloody enormous – bigger than Pluto even! So in a country that is bigger than a (former) planet, it can be hard to know where to start. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you simply can’t see it all in one trip, it takes most Aussies a whole lifetime to see all of this country. So go slow and allow yourself to really experience some of the amazing places you’re in.
New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory
NSW is the most populated state in Australia, so it’s a pretty good place to start your adventure. This is of course where Sydney is, and you need to dedicate at least a few days here in Australia’s largest city. While you’re at it, take a day trip to the World Heritage Blue Mountains for some unrivalled views, mountain villages, and spectacular nature walks. South of Sydney lays Wollongong and the NSW South Coast, a great place for a spectacular coastal road trip to some of the whitest sand in the world. And if road trips are your thing, then we would also recommend heading up north towards Byron Bay, a favourite among locals and visitors alike. This beach town is famous not only for its coast line and surfing opportunities, but also that the relaxed, hippie vibe of the town will have you wanting harem pants and dreadlocks in no time.
Within NSW is Capital Country, better known as the ACT. This is where you find the nation’s capital city of Canberra, an often underrated city. If you visit during Floriade Festival or the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, you’ll wonder why that is!
Sunny Queensland is where all of your Australian fantasies are kept. Start in the capital city of Brisbane, and then pick a direction to head on towards. South will take you to glitzy Gold Coast, where skyscrapers line the golden coast line and visitors feed their inner child at the many theme parks. Or head north from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast if you’re after a bit of a quieter experience with more emphasis on getting back to nature. Far North Queensland is all about the Great Barrier Reef. When you are visiting from any of the beautiful FNQ towns such as Cairns, Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island, make sure that your visit helps to protect and preserve this fragile and irreplaceable place of beauty. We have never been so close to losing the reef completely as we are now, so it is truly a visit that you need to respect.
Victoria & Tasmania
Victoria sits at the very south of the Eastern mainland states and is probably best known for the city of Melbourne; art & culture capital of Australia, dining and shopping mecca, and fierce rival with Sydney. Melbourne feels like all your favourite European cities in one, with world-class galleries, little art filled laneways hiding the best Italian food of your life, and picture perfect river flowing through the middle of it all. After Melbourne, drive along the Great Ocean Road for one of Australia’s best road trips.
Tassie is often overlooked by people, but this little island is packing some of the biggest punches in Australian landscapes. Fly into either Hobart or Launceston; both historic cities, before heading out to explore some of the amazing World Heritage areas. Best picks are Wineglass Bay, Bay of Fires, Three Capes Walk, or the utterly majestic Cradle Mountain National Park.
Central and Western Australia
Welcome to The Outback; it doesn’t get more Australian than this. The roads seem to stretch forever, a dead straight line parting the red (sand) sea. If you’ve come out this way, chances are you’re here to experience Uluru and Kata Tjuta. If you choose to drive, make sure you stop by Cooper Pedy, the underground opal town. Darwin is found at the top of the Northern Territory, an intriguing city and great base for exploring Kakadu National Park. Over in Western Australia, Perth and Broome back onto some world-class beaches, whilst Adelaide in South Australia is known as the City of Churches, as well as a wine tasting capital of Australia. It takes a bit more effort to explore out here, but rest assured, you will more than rewarded.
Hopefully you’ve gotten some inspiration for a trip to Australia from this!
Where would you most like to visit from the list? Let me know in the comments