Travelling to Australia
Home to exotic wildlife, pristine beaches and the ever intriguing Outback, Australia is the ideal destination for more than nine million travellers each year. From backpacking and camping to diving adventures on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is an adventurer's wonderland. The spiritual connection Australians have with the land and what it offers adds to the mystique and charm. In the Northern Territory, there are many opportunities to explore the Indigenous culture. There, visitors can see ancient rock paintings, experience a guided Dreamtime walk and explore the lush rainforests. But there’s more to the Land Down Under than outdoor wonders and wildlife adventures. Cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are brimming with lively cultures, incredible landmarks and eclectic spirits; all sure to satisfy any traveller’s palate.
When is the Best Time to Visit Australia?
The peak season for travel in Australia is during summer, from December to February. This is when many Australians enjoy their own holidays over the Christmas and New Year break. Airfares to Australia can be more expensive during summer, so it’s worth keeping an eye on early-bird deals and specials, or booking your travel in advance. Given its size, the climate and seasons in Australia vary greatly and the best time to visit will be determined by which places or destinations you want to see. As a rule of thumb, the further north you travel, the warmer the weather. Generally speaking, the weather during spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) brings consistent temperatures for travelling. There are parts of Australia that are categorised as having a tropical climate, so the seasons are divided into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. This includes Tropical North Queensland and areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The wet season in these parts is from November to April and sees intense humidity and high rainfall. Time your visit to any tropical part of Australia for the dry season.
What Should Know I Know Before Visiting Australia?
- Be sure you haven’t packed any forbidden items. As Australia has strict biosecurity laws, certain outside items such as foods and drinks, seeds and skins, wooden items, and non-prescription hormones are not allowed into the country
- Brave enough to try Vegemite? Don’t make the mistake of scooping an entire teaspoonful. Vegemite is strong stuff and isn’t meant to be eaten straight from the jar. Instead, spread a thin layer on a piece of toast
- If you’re renting a car, remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road and familiarise yourself with Australian road rules.
- Always put on sunscreen when heading outdoors. Due to the hole in the Ozone layer, it is easy to get sunburned after only a few minutes in the sun-especially in the summer. Embrace the ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide’ rule.
- If you are a smoker, make note of designated smoking areas as many public spaces, restaurants and outdoor areas have a ‘No Smoking’ rule. And never toss a cigarette butt: tot temperatures combined with strong winds can mean a simple spark from a cigarette butt ignites a brush fire.
What Are the Best Places to Visit in Australia?
Sydney in New South Wales is as famous for its beaches as it is for its easily recognisable landmarks. Make the most of beautiful weather with a stroll along the six-kilometre path from Bondi to Coogee beaches. Experience more than 4,000 species of wildlife at the Taronga Zoo Sydney. For an incredible view of this harbourfront city, take a walk across, ride a bike over, or climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a guided excursion. Visitors can also plan ahead and book a spectacular tour of the Sydney Opera House.
Regarded as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne is rich in culture, history, and innovation. Explore along the laneways lined with coffee shops, boutiques and exceptional eateries. Take in a grand view of Victoria’s capital from one of the many rooftop restaurants and bars, or get an arty fix by visiting one of the art galleries across the city. Melbourne is known for its love of sports and plays host to a variety of sporting and entertainment events year-round, including the prestigious Melbourne Cup.
The Gold Coast in Queensland tends to be known for two things: its beaches and its theme parks. Surfer’s Paradise is one of the Gold Coast’s most glittering areas, home to a world-renowned stretch of white sand, towering skyscrapers and vibrant night-life. Move away from the water and explore the Gold Coast Hinterland. Walk through the unspoiled Lamington and Springbrook National Parks and mountain villages, or pass the ancient Tweed Volcano on a three-day hike through parts of the Gondwana Rainforests. With man-made and natural attractions at every turn, the Gold Coast offers as much entertainment as it does beautiful beaches.
As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane is an vibrant city that is rich in culture. Take in the view of the Glass House Mountains from atop the Brisbane Story Bridge. Or explore world-famous art at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and the Institute of Modern Art (IMA). For water adventures, book a trip to one of islands off of Brisbane’s coast. Explore the famous Tangalooma Wrecks along Moreton Island, or visit North Stradbroke Island between June and October to spot migrating whales.
Adelaide is bursting with flavour and flare. Wander between stalls selling fresh fruits, veggies and homemade cheeses at the Adelaide Central Market. Or, stroll along tree-lined North Terrace Boulevard to see some of the city’s most beautiful buildings. Take a quick drive up the Adelaide Hills to experience the vineyards and wine tastings. Or simply relax on one of Adelaide’s excellent beaches. Adelaide truly has something for everyone.
What Are the Best Things to do in Australia?
Great Barrier Reef
One of the world’s greatest natural treasures, exploring the beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef is only a boat ride away. Tourists can experience the abundant marine life up close by snorkelling or scuba diving. Other means of exploration include helicopter tours, bareboat and glass-bottom boat tours. Visitors can also book a whale-watching tour or a trip to swim with dolphins.
Sydney Opera House
One of the most iconic buildings in Australia, the Sydney Opera House has entertained guests of all ages since opening in 1973. The kid-friendly atmosphere encourages learning through entertainment. Culture abounds with food, backstage tours and performances available to the public nearly every day of the year. The Opera House has a wide range of tour options available to accommodate most guests needs.
Located in Ulur̠u-Kata Tjut̠a National Park in the Northern Territory, Uluru, or Ayers Rock as it was formerly known, is like no other. Considered one of Australia’s greatest natural wonders, this massive sandstone monolith is home to more than 415 native plants, birds and mammals. Visitors flock to the rock at both sunrise and sunset to witness the colour shift from orange to bright red. Climbing up Uluru is strongly discouraged, but tours and walking trails exist to take visitors around the base and are accessible to wheelchairs.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
An unforgettable experience awaits guests at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the iconic city from atop the bridge platform and can take in the sights and sounds of what lies 134 metres (440 feet) below. The Bridge Climb tour provides all the elements necessary for reaching the top of the as well as historic information regarding this world-renowned landmark. Multiple climbing tour packages are available.
With white sandy beaches calling ever reliable waves to shore, Bondi Beach is a surfer’s paradise. The laidback lifestyle surrounding this world-famous beach beckons travellers from across the globe. Visitors can enjoy a scenic coastal walk stretching from Bondi to Coogee. Golfing and whale-watching are also popular activities at this year-round beach.
Flights to Australia vary greatly on departure destination and season of travel. A well-planned trip can save time and money. Australia’s top eight international airports are listed below:
- Sydney Airport [SYD] in New South Wales
- Melbourne Airport [MEL] in Victoria
- Brisbane Airport [BNR} in Queensland
- Perth Airport [PER] in Western Australia
- Adelaide Airport [ADL] in South Australia
- Gold Coast Airport [OOL] in Queensland
- Canberra Airport [CBR] in Australian Capital Territory
Hobart International Airport [HBA] in Tasmania