From our stunning coast to sunburnt country, consider an Aussie destination in 2017
IT’S true, there really is no place like home. How far across our great sunburnt land have you traversed? From deserts to sandy shores, great reefs, lush rainforests, world-class wine regions, cosmopolitan cities and true-blue country communities, there’s so much to see, do, eat and enjoy right here in our backyard. It’s time you made a great Australian Bucket List, and here are just a few reasons why.
It’s said that Australians have better coffee than Europe. Our capital cities are now setting the latest trends and influencing countries across the world.
Australia’s cultural institutions are recognised as some of the most avant-garde: MONA has contributed to putting Hobart on the map with its ground-breaking exhibitions, festival and food and wine appreciation; while Brisbane’s GOMA is a bona fide cultural beacon that shines across the nation, having hosted several world-class travelling exhibitions and giving the ever popular NGV (Melbourne) and MCA (Sydney) a run for their cultural prowess.
With coffee and art under wraps, Australia now leads the way as a top shopping destination too. With international high street giants such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo establishing flagships around the country, you no longer need a passport to find the perfect outfit.
Come face to face with your Aussie mates. Australia has a long history with our weird and wonderful wildlife. Beyond cuddling a koala, you can meet a Tasmanian devil, swim with dolphins or whale sharks, feed a crocodile or watch the world’s smallest penguins waddle along the beach.
For penguin viewing, take a two-hour drive south of Melbourne and watch the daily sunset parade at Philip Island Nature Park.
If swimming with sharks is on your bucket list, the Nigaloo Reef that runs along the length of the north west cape of Western Australia is a great place to see these amazing animals.
From about mid-March to mid-May, you can dive with the world’s largest species of fish – whale sharks often grow to more than 12 metres in length and weigh more than 11 tonnes.
Australia has more than 60 designated wine regions across the country. The Hunter Valley (NSW) is Australia’s oldest wine region. Foodies will rejoice in the region’s fine dining, cooking classes and local produce. With more than 150 cellar doors to visit, you’ll have your work cut out for you, sampling wines in between playing golf, taking a spa day or a hot-air balloon ride.
South Australia is home to the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions. McLaren Vale is home to some of the world’s oldest grape vines. For lovers of full-bodied wines, take the Shiraz Trail, which follows an old railway line from McLaren Vale to Willunga.
The Barossa boasts some 150 cellar doors and is a great region to explore by bicycle. Alternatively, experience all that the Barossa has to offer by motorbike, vintage car or helicopter.
In Victoria, both the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley are a short distance from Melbourne. This region and the
Yarra are well known for their pinot noir, freshwater salmon and caviar.
Beaches are quintessentially Australian. They feature in classic television ads and are a common childhood beach-holiday memory for most. However, have you visited all of Australia’s most-loved beach spots?
Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island and Surfers Paradise, all the way down to the Great Ocean Road and as far as Cable Beach in Western Australia, we have some of the most incredible coast in the world.
Additionally there are offshore retreats. Kangaroo Island, located off South Australia, has small-batch distilleries and gourmet local produce. For award-winning local cheeses between fishing, diving and relaxing, visit Tasmania’s King Island.
Australia loves its “big thing” landmarks, from The Big Pineapple, The Big Mango and The Big Banana in sunny Queensland, to The Big Orange in South Australia and The Big Prawn in Ballina.
However, Australia’s most iconic giant man-made structure has to be the Sydney Opera House: a marvellous piece of architecture recognised worldwide.
Another legendary attraction is Uluru. Witnessing the rock at sunrise or at sunset when its terracotta colours change hues under the sun are purely spectacular.
The Great Barrier Reef, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island and Surfers Paradise, all the way down to the Great Ocean Road and as far as Cable Beach in Western Australia, we have some of the most incredible coast in the world.
Australia offers many exciting holiday destinations with unique wildlife to boot.
Make some time to head west and explore the Australian outback.
Our stretches of coastline are among the best in the world.
Australia has more than 60 wine regions throughout the country.