7 January 2015 by Gary Stevens
Australia is a vast country. Covering three time zones, an area of almost 3 million square miles and with more than 22,000 miles of coastline, travelling here can, at first glance, be a daunting proposition, especially if you're short on time.
Yes, the distances can be huge, but scale down your ambitions and there's so much of Australia that you can see in as little as two weeks. What's more, with the exchange rate currently at its most favourable for many months, now is a great time to travel to Australia.
Each region, from the bush-flecked deserts and escarpments of the Red Centre to the reefs and rainforests of North Queensland, offers something unique, something unexpected. The chances are, the less you try to see the more you'll actually experience. And to really know a place, to get under its skin, to meet the locals, to embrace the culture and to step off the beaten path is, in our experience, the most rewarding way to travel.
If you're happy to fly, the iconic sights of Sydney, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef can all be explored in a fortnight or less. But if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, travelling by car or luxury train, picking a state, a region or even just a city can open up a wealth of unique opportunities and unforgettable experiences that many visitors may never encounter.
We've rounded up a selection of our favourite itineraries, which perfectly showcase the beauty and diversity of this amazing country. They'll show you awe-inspiring landscapes, incredible wildlife, stunning beaches, ancient forests and palm-fringed islands; take you on spectacular rail journeys and stunning coastal drives; and open a window to Australia's unique heritage, history, culture and cuisine.
Combine the iconic sights of Sydney, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef on this 14-day tour of three Australian icons.
On this 9-day tour see the wildlife of Kangaroo Island and the renowned wineries of Barossa Valley, where cellar-door sales, tours and tastings will acquaint you with award-winning Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Outstanding food and wine, coupled with some of the country's most spectacular national parks, set the scene for this 8-day tour of Tasmania, Australia's smallest state.
Journey through the wilds of Australia's rugged North West and discover the Aboriginal treasures of Arnhem Land on this 11-day outback adventure from Perth to Darwin.
Explore the cobbled laneways of cosmopolitan Melbourne before heading west on this 9-day self-drive through quaint coastal villages and the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia's most spectacular self-drives.