When it comes to taking a HOT Holiday overseas, there are few (if any places) that are quite as long haul as Australia.
Should you have the opportunity to take a break ‘Down Under’ then it’s one you would certainly be wise to take up, with the country being one that provides an almost unrivalled number of things to see and do.
Given how vast Australia is, covering a total of more than three million square miles, the best time to visit will largely depend on where exactly in the country you are visiting.
As a general rule however, the Australian summer (our winter) will be warm and hot in the south of the country and humid and wet towards the north.
In the Australian winter (our summer), the reverse is true – with drier conditions towards the north and wetter weather to be found down south.
For something in between, spring and autumn are pretty comfortable temperature wise no matter where you decide to go.
Such is the sheer size of Australia, it’s a fantastic destination for anyone with a nose for exploration and for some, the chance to hire a car and head off to see the many and varied sights are all part of the fun.
However, should you want to simply head for one place for the duration of your stay, you also won’t be left wanting for things to do.
Anyone who wants to visit the big cities will be somewhat spoiled for choice, with the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney, the galleries and museums of Melbourne and the cosmopolitan surroundings of Brisbane being just three you might want to consider.
Head away from the big cities, and the Red Centre is a destination like no other with the vast open expanses of the outback being in total contrast to the scenic surroundings of the greenery that makes Tasmania famous.
Add in the tropical regions to the north, the iconic beaches reefs along the Gold Coast and the stunning coast of South Australia and you’ll soon discover why a holiday to Australia is one that is sure to deliver.
Great Barrier Reef
If there is one thing that draws people to Queensland then it is probably the Great Barrier Reef. Running for well over 2,000km along the coast, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and is regarded as one of its true natural wonders. Diving and snorkelling is understandably popular for those who want to explore the reefs, with glass bottomed boat trips also being popular. The various islands that are found along the reef are also worth exploring to get close to nature.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic buildings in Australia and is known across the world as a symbol of the country. Located alongside Sydney Harbour in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge, the opera house is made up a number of performance venues that play host to all manner of events across the year. Guided tours of the building – which is designed as a UNESCO World Heritage site - are also available.
The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters is a rock formation located within the Blue Mountains, close to the town of Katoomba in New South Wales. Formed by erosion across thousands of years, the rocks are one of the most visited attractions within the scenic area and can be accessed via walking trails that include the 800 step Giant Walkway.
Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is one of the most famous Australian landmarks and is recognised all around the world. The large sandstone rock formation is sacred to the Aboriginal people who live in the local area and is one of the most visited sites in the country. Uluru sits around 280 miles from Alice Springs and can be accessed by road or by air if arriving from elsewhere in Australia as part of a multi-centre trip.
Australia Zoo is one of the top wildlife parks in Australia and became famous around the world thanks to the TV show The Crocodile Hunter with the late Steve Irwin. Situated near to Beerwah, the zoo is one of Queensland’s top visitor attractions and is home to more than 1,000 animals. The award-winning zoo is involved in a range of education and conservation programmes and plays host to various shows on a daily basis.
Kata Tjuta, more commonly known as the Olgas, is another famous rock formation that is located in the Outback and is just 20 miles away from Uluru. Part of the sacred Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the ancient formations are one of Australia’s most spectacular sights and well worth a visit.
Pin Oak Court in the suburb of Vermont South, Melbourne might not be a street that rings a bell but rename it as Ramsey Street, Erinsborough and it’ll suddenly become instantly recognisable. The real life home of the hit TV show Neighbours, you can visit the street on official tours that also give the chance to meet members of the cast and visit exterior sets in nearby Global Studios.
One of the most famous places in Tasmania, Port Arthur is located on the Tasman Peninsula to the south of Hobart. The site was once home to a penal colony that housed some of the most dangerous convicted British criminals who had been taken to Australian shores. Whilst the prison was closed in the late 1870s, the remains are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites – which is made up eleven such sites across Australia. You could also visit the Coal Mines Historic site where prisoners would be put to work.
The Hunter Valley sits to the north of Sydney and is famous for being one of the top wine producing regions in Australia. Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are all produced in the region but it is Semillion for which the area is perhaps best known. A range of tours are available throughout the region that allow you to visit some of the vineyards and sample the produce.
The third largest of Australia’s islands, Kangaroo Island is easily accessible from the mainland via a ferry that sets sail from Cape Jervis to the south of Adelaide, Victoria. Much of the island is made up of protected areas with kangaroo, wallabies, sea lions and seals amongst the wildlife you can expect to see. Special nocturnal tours also provide the chance to possibly spot Little Penguins.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The MCG is one of the most famous sporting venues in Australia and the largest stadium in the country with a capacity of more than 100,000. Opened in 1853, the stadium hosts a range of other sports every year and is the home of the National Sports Museum – including exhibits on everything from cricket and Australian Rules football to basketball and netball.
Monkey Mia is located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area close to the town of Denham in Western Australia. If you want to see dolphins during your trip to Australia then this is the place to, with the chance to interact with wild bottlenose dolphins that live in the waters. Visitors are invited to feed the animals by hand under the watchful eye of rangers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.