30 October 2015 by Daniel Wright
If you've holidayed in Australia before you'll know all about its wonderful wildlife, rich heritage, awe-inspiring landscapes and friendly locals. What's more, you'll probably have ticked off a few highlights from the standard Australia bucket list.
However, there's so much more to Australia than the reef and that rock. It's about looking beyond the icons and making the kind of memories that will stay with you forever, whether it's swimming with whale sharks off Ningaloo Reef, spotting Tasmanian Devils in the wild or blending your own wine in the Barossa Valley.
Our Australia destination specialists know this because they've travelled extensively and regularly to Australia, meaning that they can help you tailor a trip that caters to your interests. Browse below and talk to our destination specialists on 020 7590 0605 to discover suggested itineraries, hidden hotel gems and exceptional experiences in parts of the country that are often overlooked.
What's more, you can request our brand new Australia brochure guide – click here to order.
Australia gateway cities
Australia has some of the most captivating cities on the planet, from the silver sails of Sydney's Opera House to the famous Melbourne cricket ground. However, for every iconic attraction in these main gateways, there are dozens of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.
Australia great journeys
Travel in Australia is all about the journey, the people you meet, the places you see, the discoveries you make and the experiences you encounter beyond the icons. Travelling in Australia isn't about getting from A to B. It's about celebrating the places you pass through and revelling in the threads that tie the country together.
Short or long, by road or rail, there's a wealth of possibilities. Read our round-up of the Best Journeys in Australia for inspiration or see a sample of suggested itineraries including a classic self-drive tour of the south and the essential coastal drive from Sydney to Melbourne. Alternatively ride the rails on The Ghan or The Indian Pacific Railway to see great swathes of Australia's diverse landscape in a single, unforgettable journey, stopping en route at remote locations that you might otherwise miss. Alternatively set out on foot to follow ancient songlines and see the country up close with our guide to Australia's great walks.
Australia boasts landscapes like nowhere else on earth, from the two giant coral reefs that run down each flank to ancient rainforests, pristine beaches, Outback deserts and rugged mountain ranges; 16 of these landscapes are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Some, like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru have become cornerstones of countless Australian holidays, yet many, such as the opportunity to see the Outback and swim with whale sharks off Ningaloo Reef, combine wine and wilderness in South Australia or walk for days through the Tasmanian countryside on The Overland Track fly under the radar of visiting travellers.
Kangaroos, koalas and wombats...Australia is synonymous with several species, yet there are many more critters to see here than the stereotypes will have you believe.
Western Australia, with national and marine parks covering more than 20 million hectares is a top spot for wildlife; watch dolphins at Monkey Mia and humpback whales close to the Kimberley coast. Kangaroo Island and Eyre Peninsula are South Australia's wildlife hotspots, whilst there are numerous opportunities on Tasmania to encounter animals including endemic birds, pademelons and of course Tasmanian Devils.
Australia food & wine
Australia has a wealth of excellent local produce that gives rise to a great food and wine scene. Wherever you go you'll eat well, and not just on the traditional barbie.
Australia's coast & islands
With 50,000km of coastline, Australia is the perfect destination for those wishing to hit the beach. From the corals, cays and sandy isles of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands to lesser known highlights like Lord Howe Island and Kangaroo Island, there are masses of stylish coastal resorts to choose from.
Read our round up of Australia's best islands or chat to our destination specialists about their favourites, such as The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa in Byron Bay, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island and Thala Beach Lodge in Port Douglas. Then there's Silky Oaks Lodge in Daintree and Hayman Island Resort on the Whitsundays...so many places, so little time!