Mountain. Jungle. Scrubby outback. From the walkabouts of the Aborigines to the spread of settlers across the land, the need to journey, both on a small and an epic scale, are woven into the Australian identity. Your options for travels in Australia are as diverse as the country itself.
From a couple of hours to weeks at a time, your ideal journey awaits. Outback, mountains, jungle and scrubby outback-Australia is flat, it’s vertical, it’s soaking wet and bone dry. Choose the mainland or sail between any of 12,000 islands. Tailor your journey to the Australian experience you’re seeking, whether you’ve got ten days in the cities or six months in a camper van. Drive, fly, sail, take a train or tackle an epic walk. Following are suggestions that will suit any length of stay.
Hop between Sydney’s beaches and harbor or Melbourne’s laneways and St Kilda Beach. Mix national monuments with Namadgi National Park in Canberra or aboriginal art with desert adventure in Alice Springs. Do Darwin’s marina, markets and harbor and Adelaide’s galleries, gardens and beaches. Wander Salamanca Place and climb Mt Wellington in Hobart or visit the Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda Rainforest from Cairns. See dinosaur footprints and Cable Beach in Broome or combine shopping, beaches and theme parks on the Gold Coast.
Discover Australia’s vast interior on our epic outback journeys. Four wheel drive the rugged Gibb River Road, stopping to swim in cool, rocky gorges and overnighting at outback stations. Follow the Savannah Way right through the outback from the Pacific coast in the east to the Indian Ocean in the west. Fossick for gold in Croydon or canoe through Katherine Gorge in the Northern Territory. Fly over the beehive-striped Bungle Bungle rock towers or vast Lake Argyle in Kununurra in Western Australia. Drive the Explorers Way from Adelaide to Darwin, past the underground opal town of Cooper Pedy and the Red Centre hub of Alice Springs. Or cross Australia from south to north via the Red Centre on the legendary Ghan rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin.
Journeys with Aboriginals
Many of Australia’s journeys bring you closer to the world’s oldest culture. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are important spiritual sites deep in the country’s Red Center. You’ll find Aborigine-guided tours of a couple hours to several days involving the sites, and you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about their animistic spirituality and the way that they interact with the world. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding nearby Gosse Bluff, or Tnorala in the Western Arrernte Aboriginal dialect. It’s a circular mountain range formed by the impact of a meteor...something the Aborigines intuited, as their legend surrounds a fall from the heavens. But Aboriginal culture is not limited to the Outback; the Great Southern Touring Route will take you to the Victoria’s Grampians, home to around 60 rock art sites, and you can find Aboriginal settlements and tours offered right across the land.
With 50,000 kilometers of coastline, Australia is the perfect place for a coastal journey. Popular driving journeys include the Great Southern Touring Route, typically a four-day adventure starting and ending on Australia’s south coast in Melbourne. You’ll drive past the surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent rock spires of the Twelve Apostles rising up from the Southern Ocean. Walk through waterfalls and forest in Otway National Park and spot whales from the historic town of Warrnambool. Away from the wild and windswept Southern Ocean, you can explore the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Brisbane via bohemian Byron Bay and the neon-lit Gold Coast, or follow the spectacular coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne. Or get off the tarmac and sail through the incomparable Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
From deserted islands to actual deserts, you’ll find the perfect backdrop for romance in Australia. Poacher’s Trail is a leisurely three-day drive starting in Canberra that will take you past some 140 vineyards, 33 wineries and many country inns dotting the countryside. Team fine wine and food at the cool-climate wineries in Hall and Murrumbateman and buy handmade art, glassware and pottery from galleries in the Yass Valley. Hire a sleeper berth on the classic Indian-Pacific train journey and watch Australia dance by your window or turn a road trip into romance on the Great Ocean Road. Whatever your taste, whether it’s bush trekking or wine tours, you’re sure to find the ideal romantic journey in Australia.