Australia will delight in its exciting cosmopolitan cities, fantastic weather, and famously beautiful coastline, as well as the friendly nature of the locals!
Australia has a wealth of natural attractions begging to be explored. From the monolithic rock at Uluru; to the wild, untamed and unforgiving Outback; to the colourful wonder of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland's sun-soaked Gold Coast, Australia possesses some unique and unforgettable sights.
Active types will love Australia's 'outdoors culture', and a huge array of sports and activities, including swimming, diving, snorkelling, surfing, bush walking, hiking, mountain biking and even skiing, are popular with locals and available to tourists.
Australia's cities will certainly not disappoint either. Clean, cosmopolitan and youthful, Australia's urban centres (including Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne) are world-class. Famous cultural attractions in Australia include the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Australian Museum and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Australia also boasts an impressive and fast-moving restaurant culture.
Whether you schedule a lot of sightseeing in Australia, or plan to spend most of your time relaxing on the great beaches and sampling some of the local beer you are bound to have a splendid time in the Land Down Under.
Best Time to visit Australia
There really isn't a bad time to visit as temperatures even in Winter are mild however in Summer (December to March) you expect Southern Australia to hit temperatures in the high 30's. Spring (September - November) and Autumn (March - May) are generally considered pleasant. For Northern Australia the best time to visit is April through to September when it is driest.
Where to Visit in Australia
Sunny, seductive Sydney is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean, the neighbourhoods and busy pedestrian precincts pristine, the parks sublime, the water in the huge harbour blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking. Sydney's population is approaching five million, but it is easy to leave the frenetic urban pace behind with just a simple ferry ride to the North Shore for a bush walk, enjoy a stroll along the harbour beaches or take any one of a number of daytrips to explore the 'real' Australia on the city's doorstep.
Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches. Visitors find it exhausting to take it all in, even though the tourist precinct where most of the interesting attractions are to be found is concentrated in quite a small area around the downtown waterfront and harbour area.
The fact that Sydney is a thriving seaport and industrial city has been cleverly concealed behind attractive pleasure and leisure grounds and residential suburbs, making full use of the scenic, watery geographical location. The harbour area is dominated by the span of one of the world's largest arched bridges, backed by towering skyscrapers. It is all a far cry from the remote penal colony established by the British back in 1788.
Another plus for visitors is that compared to most big cities Sydney offers excellent, reasonably priced food, accommodation and public transport. The city also has an excellent suburban rail network, with its hub at Circular Quay in the city centre, and full use is made of the waterways with ferries and passenger jet boats plying to and from various points.
Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, capital of Victoria, is the most European in style with trams rattling through streets past Victorian buildings, parks and outdoor cafes. The city centre is laid out in a simple grid pattern, the long, wide north-south streets gently sloping down to the Yarra River, crossed by a mix of narrow lanes, and the main shopping streets such as Bourke and Collins Streets. The CBD is easily navigable by foot, and if a rest is needed after a session of sightseeing or shopping there are numerous parks nearby, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and Carlton Gardens. Alternatively, you can take one of Melbourne's signature attractions, a tram. The burgundy-coloured City Circle tram is free, and is a good way to get your bearings as well as explore the inner city, while for those wanting to go further afield the tram network extends about 10 miles (15km) into the Melbourne suburbs.
Melbourne's population of over three million is made up of a variety of cultures, including Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Greek, who have all added their touch to this thriving city. A fierce rivalry exists between the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, but local residents bask in the satisfying knowledge that Melbourne beats Sydney hands-down on the cultural front, noted for its wide variety of high standard performing arts, as well as its sport.
Australia's third largest city has a relaxed, easy-going ambience that is well suited to its moniker: 'The City of Sundays'. As the capital of the state of Queensland, however, it has a serious side too, and despite it's laid-back aura it is filled with the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of a major urban hub. Brisbane has several interesting districts, a good selection of street cafes, a wonderful riverside park, a very full cultural calendar, and a vibrant nightlife. Culture vultures should head for the South Bank, home to the Queensland Museum with its interactive displays; the Queensland Art Gallery with its magnificent collection; and the Performing Arts Centre, where international theatre companies and performing artists take to the stage.
Situated on Australia's fabled Gold Coast, a holiday in Brisbane means fun in the sun, providing easy access to Australia's east coast resorts and theme parks on the Pacific Motorway. A sub-tropical climate ensures that a holiday in Brisbane will be a sunny experience no matter what time of year is chosen. Most of the rain falls in summer, but not enough to deter holidaymakers. Most of those who travel to Brisbane come for leisure and pleasure. It is an ideal destination for a family holiday, a surfing holiday, or as a good base for anyone wanting to visit the nearby National Parks.