From Darwin to Sydney and Perth to Melbourne, the beautiful sun-baked country of Australia is dotted with vibrant multicultural cities as well as remote landscapes where nature calls the shots. Pack your sunscreen and set off on an adventure into the great wilderness of the outback, or head to a nature reserve and check out the bounding kangaroos and wallabies. And you'll get a hearty welcome from the laidback population, who always make holidays in Australia so enjoyable.
Things to do
There are hundreds of fascinating tourist attractions in Australia. In Melbourne you can stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens or hit the excellent aquarium. Up north in pretty Darwin, the Jingili Water Gardens make a scenic setting for laidback picnics, and in Alice Springs you can take a tour at the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. Down south you can cruise the Great Ocean Road for fabulous coastal views, and in Sydney don't miss the harbour and Sydney Opera House.
Food & restaurants
Ask the locals where to eat as you travel around this awesome country, and pick up tips on the best restaurants in Australia. Melbourne's diverse population means it offers great choice when it comes to dining out – try Flower Drum for excellent Chinese cooking. In Sydney you tuck into Greek cuisine at The Apollo, or choose tasty and cheap Mexican food at El Loco. In Darwin try the lemongrass oysters and great cocktails at classy Hanuman.
Australia has tons of great hotels and hostels. In Sydney there's the simple and well-priced Springfield Lodge, and there are plenty of lively hostels for the party set, such as Noah's Bondi Beach. The Langham in Melbourne offers classy décor and all the facilities you'd expect from one of the best hotels in the country. To enjoy the timeless majesty of Ayers Rock and the Australian outback, book into Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.
Australia shopping offers great variety. Peruse the bohemian shops along Brunswick Street in Melbourne for jewellery and ceramics. In Sydney it's all about the markets: try the Chinatown Nightmarket, Kirribilli General Market or Bondi Beach Market. There's also the Pitt Street Mall for the best in high street shopping, and Red Eye Records for collectable vinyl. In Brisbane shop fashions for all ages at the Wintergarden and the Queens Plaza, and in Perth try King Street for designer labels.