Discover Australia’s destinations, starting with icons such as the Red Centre, Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. These natural treasures cover a breathtaking diversity of landscapes, from the mountainous Australian Alps to Fraser Island’s sand dunes, rainforest and lakes. Just as distinct are Australia’s cities, where our laidback lifestyle and cosmopolitan culture meet.
From beach-fringed Sydney to elegant Adelaide, you’ll find a melting pot of cultures and a medley of theatre, restaurants, nightlife and events. Australia has so much for you to explore, whether you want nature, wildlife, outback adventure, islands, rainforest or reef. Australia’s unique beauty is spread across eight states and territories, so find out more about the distinct attractions within each.
Did you know Australia is the sixth largest country in the world? It's about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world - only two people per square kilometre. No wonder the Aussie’s love company! Come and visit us soon.
Summer: December to February. Autumn: March to May. Winter: June to August. Spring: September to November
Even though the four 'official' calendar seasons have the same names as the northern hemisphere seasons, the weather during these seasons is very different to northern hemisphere weather patterns. Australia is generally a very dry place, so summers can get much hotter. The pattern of rainfall is also distinct - some places have abundant rain at one time of the year and almost none at other times.
Because Australia is such a large country, its weather varies significantly in different parts of the continent.
The tropical regions of Australia are in the north of the country. They include the central and northern parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland, and the northern parts of Western Australia. The weather in the Australian tropics has two very different seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season lasts about six months in summer and spring, between December and March. It is hotter than the dry season, with temperatures between 30C/86°F and 50°C/122°F. The dry season lasts about six months in autumn and winter, usually between May and October. Temperatures are lower and the skies are generally clearer during the dry. The average temperature is around 20°C /68°F.
The driest regions of Australia are found mostly in central Australia, stretching from most of central and southern Western Australia, through the southern parts of the Northern Territory and most of South Australia, to the far west regions of Queensland and New South Wales, and the north-western parts of Victoria. The dry and desert regions of Australia are characterized by intense heat during the day and intense cold at night. Temperatures range from around 40°C /104°F in the summer to between 16°C /61°F and 24°C /75°F in the winter. At night the temperature can vary from 19°C /66°F to zero degrees. These areas receive little rainfall.
The temperate areas of Australia are found on the south-eastern coast, reaching south from Tasmania through most of Victoria and New South Wales into the southern parts of Queensland. Temperate regions are also found in the southern most parts of South Australia and the south-western tip of Western Australia. The weather in temperate Australia is quite changeable throughout the year, with an average temperature of around 30C/86°F in the summer, and cool to cold winters with an average temperature of around 15°C /59°F.
NEW SOUTH WALES
The historical “Rocks” precinct is the birthplace of the Nation. A great way to explore Sydney is on foot. And the Rocks provide the perfect place to do this. Unlock Sydney’s fascinating past and see convict built dwellings. Of course no visit to Sydney is complete without a visit to Bondi Beach. One of Sydney’s most recognizable destinations, Bondi oozes charm. The Eastern Suburbs feature some of Sydney’s finest real estate. The suburbs of Darling Point, Double Bay and Watsons Bay are absolutely stunning.
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
While in Sydney you may be in the mood for tasting wine. Just north of Sydney are the world class wineries of the Hunter Valley and to the South of Sydney you will find the Southern Highlands with stunning forests that are rich with wildlife.
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (A.C.T.)
Canberra is a highly planned city, its primary design conceived by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, built on the shores of an artificial lake (Lake Burley Griffin). Populated at first largely by politicians and public servants, it took time to develop its own identity and culture.
Floriade festival of flowers, a yearly event held in spring (September-October), not to be missed. Tulips are the main feature but many other colorful flowers and floral displays are featured. There are also sculptures, garden stalls, makeshift restaurants, activities, live music by local performers and sometimes there is even a gnome or scarecrow festival where children (and some adults) paint gnomes or make scarecrows and enter a competition to choose the best. Great for a photo opportunity!
The majority of the Australian Capital Territory is actually not Canberra city and there is a large area of national park. While most people don't spend any time outside of the city there is plenty to do if you want to get away from the museums and attractions for a while.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
While Cairns is popular, the 2 northern villages of Palm Cove and Port Douglas offer a more secluded experience for holiday makers. The Great Barrier Reef can be reached in less than an hour by boat. And the Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation are around an hour North by road. Cairns also serves as a starting point for people wanting to explore Cooktown, Cape York Peninsula and the Atherton Tableland.
There are many things to do in and around Cairns as the city’s surrounds take advantage of the natural landscape. Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural park is a must see along with Kuranda and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Maybe a visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures to feed some of the friendly locals.
The city itself has wonderful cafes and restaurants and a beautiful esplanade featuring a swimming lagoon.
Melbourne is Australia’s centre for the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, sport and tourism. It is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian Film, Australian Television, Australian Rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue. Melbourne is also a major centre for contemporary and Australian music. It is often referred to as the “Cultural Capital of Australia”.
The 12 Apostles Great Ocean Road
On the outskirts of Melbourne you can visit destinations such as Philip Island to marvel at the famous “Little” Penguins. Or maybe travel down the Great Ocean Road to experience the wonderful 12 Apostles rock formations.
Melbourne has been ranked as one of the top three Worlds Most Livable Cites. And when you visit Melbourne, you will find out why.
Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney and as such, has an amazing past. Originally set up as a place to house convicts, Hobart now features beautiful architecture to compliment its beautiful landscapes.
Further North is the town of Launceston. A perfect place from which to discover Cradle Mountain and Strawn on the wild West Coast. Maybe check out the wineries in the Tamar Valley. Hobart and Tasmania is the perfect place to spend 3 or 4 days driving around admiring the sights.
The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, and also serves as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations.
Named in honor of Queen Adelaide, the German-born consort of King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parkland. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to world-first reforms.
From Adelaide you are close to Australia’s premier wine growing region, The Barossa Valley, home of the famous Penfolds Grange. Kangaroo Island is also just a short flight or ferry ride away. Kangaroo Island features some of Australia’s best wildlife spotting regions, rich with Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallaby’s and Australian Fur Seals.
As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area.
Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food, wine and culture, its long beachfronts, and its large defense and manufacturing sectors. It continues to rank highly as a livable city, being in the Top 10 in The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities index.
Perth is the capital and largest city of Western Australia. The metropolitan area is located in the south-west of the continent between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the Swan River.
Cable Beach sunset
Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free-settler Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource rich state, Perth has grown consistently faster than the national average.
Another great adventure to the North of Perth are the fascinating rock formations known as the Pinnacles. Large limestone rocks that are embedded into the ground.
Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.
The Northern Territory has two very distinctive climate zones. The northern region starts the year with warm, tropical rain then moves to warm and sunny days and cool nights mid-year. The end of the year is pre-monsoonal season, which produces amazing lightning storms.
Central Australia is semi-arid and experiences Australia’s four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. The monsoon rains do not extend this far south so the weather is quite different to the Top End in that there is no tropical rainy season.
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Darwin has an international airport and there are domestic airports at Alice Springs, Uluru/Ayers Rock, Katherine and Tennant Creek. The Ghan train links Darwin with Adelaide and stops at Alice Springs and Katherine en route. Darwin is a major cruise port destination.
The Red Centre in Australia’s Northern Territory is home to the real Outback and to Australia’s most recognizable icon, Ayers Rock (Uluru).