A trip to Australia is a wonderful experience and on many people’s wish lists. You may be thinking of the buzzing cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin or Brisbane, or the entire stunning coastline with unique marine environments and all the water sports you can dream of. Perhaps it’s the untamed centre of Australia that calls you, with its wildlife and mystical Aboriginal culture. Whatever your reason is for visiting Australia, do remember to get a visa before leaving home. Here are our ideas of what to do on a trip down under.
This vibrant, waterfront city, with its iconic Opera House, is filled with traditions from its people who originate from across the globe, along with its own laid-back atmosphere. It has many Asian and European communities, so you can be sure of culinary delights, markets and festivals from all corners of the world. With architecture and arts of world-class standard, fabulous museums and theatre, culture vultures will be entranced. And for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle, with parks, beaches and the sea, those looking for an active holiday, will never be bored.
Discover Western Australia
A region of huge diversity, about the size of Western Europe, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Australia’s largest state. The city of Perth is the sunniest state capital and best enjoyed between September to March for its abundant wildflowers, pristine beaches and dolphin, whale and penguin watching. Inland, National Park tall tree forests offer a natural playgroup, whilst further north, the vegetation takes a tropical turn. For wine buffs, the Margaret River area is a must, with wineries and fine restaurants aplenty. If islands are your pleasure, visit the Abrolhos Islands for sensational marine life, fishing and bird watching. On land and under the sea, Western Australia is a breath-taking destination.
Take The Ghan
This has to be one of the ultimate train trips: this luxury train journeys from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north, travelling nearly 3,000 kilometres through the heart of the country, making stops in the outback, including Alice Springs, the heart of Australia’s Red Centre and aboriginal culture, where you take excursions to explore the unspoilt, remarkable interior. Visiting Ayers Rock, or Uluru to use its traditional name, is a must-do trip. Onboard the train, exceptional food and drink are served, with your accommodation being most comfortable. A rail journey never to be forgotten!
(And if you’re wondering about the train’s name, it so called after Afghan camel drivers who helped explore Australia’s interior.)
A self-drive road trip
You could spend a year or two exploring this vast country, however the options for 10/14 days self-drive holidays are almost endless. Drive north from Sydney to Brisbane along the coast, with a detour to the wineries of Hunter Valley or perhaps take a leisurely trip along the southern Great Ocean Road, from Torquay to Nelson, stopping for hikes along craggy cliffs on the way or a spot of surfing. The island of Tasmania offers a satisfying road loop, allowing you to witness its natural wonders. The choices for self-drive routes are almost unlimited, you have the freedom to explore!
Visit The Kimberley
In Western Australia, this region is known as one the last great wildernesses on earth. You can visit on a 4 WD tour, across rugged terrain, or take a splendid cruise to marvel at the coast. With waterfalls and a coral reef, extraordinary wildlife and astonishing rock formations: your inner adventurer will have much to marvel at. It is little inhabited, yet has a culture stretching back 40,000 years as the fascinating rock carvings show. Your surroundings may be nature in the raw, however you’ll stay in first class lodges with all the trimmings or cruise on a beautiful yacht.
How to obtain your visa
If you are travelling here for a holiday you will need a visa for Australia. These can be very simply applied for online and the visa requirements are straightforward: they include having a passport with at least 6 months until the expiry date. The visa is usually needed before an airline will let you check in or board from your departure airport.