'The land down under' is a world favourite - here's why
Both the word's largest island and its smallest continent, Australia keeps challenging South Africans, be it Wallabies vs. Springboks or Vegemite vs. Marmite. But ‘The land down under' also intrigues, excites and attracts South Africans with its vast deserts, coral reefs, rainforests, beaches, mountains and bushland. There is simply so much to see and to do! Check our deals, because you are likely to find out that Australia's far reaches are more accessible than you might think.
From the Blue Reef to beyond the Black Stump
With so many attractions on offer, looking to find a starting point is difficult. The Great Barrier Reef
stretches more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coast. It is a World Heritage Listed site - being the world's largest coral reef system. Start your Australian journey the Great Barrier Reef, snorkel, dive or observe the multicolour coral and marine life from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat. You can also hike the magnificent Daintree Rainforest, believed to be the oldest in the world, features unique plants and animals found nowhere else. People say that the Daintree Rainforest is 'easy to find but hard to leave' because of its sheer beauty.
The Australian outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia. It is also known to locals as the land "beyond the Black Stump". The ultimate outback adventure takes you to the so-called 'Red Centre', so named because of its red soil and total lack of greenery. Visitors to the Red Centre can spot rock wallabies hopping through the West MacDonnell Ranges -- Australia's largest interim bioregion, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. Each bioregion is made up of a group of interconnected ecosystems. A great way of escaping the heat is to cool off at Glen Helen Gorge - an old cattle station that is now a thriving tourist resort. Locals believe that the gorge is home to the legendary Rainbow Serpent. When the rainbow is seen in the sky, they say, it is the Rainbow Serpent moving from one waterhole to another, making sure some waterholes never run dry, even during the longest periods of drought.
The 8 Capitals and other popular urban destinations
Australia's 8 capital cities exemplify the country's vastness and its incredible variety. From Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge to Perth's beaches and Adelaide's wineries. Melbourne's Yarra Valley with its famous offerings of food and wine, and South Australia's beautiful Adelaide with wine lover's Barossa Valley destination nearby. Queensland's capital Brisbane offers family specials at the Australia Zoo, created by animal champions Bob and Lyn Irwin and then managed by their son Steve, famously known as 'The Crocodile Hunter '. It is now owned by Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin's widow. At the zoo you can see native animals like wombats and koalas. The famous crocodile show is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe encourage you to become a wildlife ambassador yourself!
Lodged between Sydney and Brisbane is the beachside town of Byron Bay - extremely popular with surfers and sun-chasers. The area is known for its massage and yoga beach-specialists. More earthly needs can be accommodated a little further north, at the retail hub on the Gold Coast
. Tasmania's capital Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. This swanky city is home to one of Australia's newest contemporary art gallery, the enormously successful Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Finally, there is Darwin, the laid-back tropical capital of Australia's Northern Territory, with its Aboriginal art galleries, Adelaide River and its crocodiles, and the Litchfield National Park with its incredible tropical waterfalls and swimming holes.
Choosing Australia's top beaches is, well, impossible
Australia is sixth among countries listed by length of their coastline. It offers an unbeatable number of beaches to choose from - nearly 12,000 in total, stretching along thousands of kilometres of sun-kissed coastline. Aussie culture is often centred on the beach, with the need to escape summer heat and extraordinary surfing conditions as major incentives.
Even following famous names will leave you spoilt for choice. Whitsunday Island's Whitehaven Beach in Queensland has been named the Number One Eco Friendly Beach in the world by global news network CNN, offering swirling silica sands and perfectly clear water. Broome's Cable Beach offers unforgettable sunset camel rides along the Indian Ocean beach. Then, famously, Sydney's iconic Bondi, Melbourne's St Kilda and surfing Mecca Bells Beach all vie for visitors' attention. In addition, there are an unlimited number of secluded bays and popular waterfronts you can enjoy around Australia.
Take your taste buds on a holiday
Hatted seafood restaurants in Port Douglas and thriving farmers' markets across the Bass Strait, Brisbane's cafe culture vs. the coffee-infused laneways of Melbourne: the Australia foodie scene is as vibrant as ever. Enjoy fine dining in inner and north Sydney, match your meal with a quality drop in Adelaide and support the budding micro-breweries in Perth. Australia's multicultural palate can be experienced everywhere, whether you choose to chow down on a roo burger under the stars or opt for four-course meal. Take your taste buds on a holiday with fresh, flavourful dining on offer across the country.
Hit the bitumen trail
The bitumen trail of Australians roads snakes its way around thousands of kilometres of untamed landscapes, offering an irresistible attraction for travellers. Single tourists, couples on a discovery journey, groups and families hit the bitumen trail to experience the country's limitless natural splendours firsthand. Long or short, inland or coastal, inner city or off-road, road tripping is a quintessential Australian experience. Whether you cruise around Victoria's Great Ocean Road to visit charming seaside towns along the southern coast, meander through the desert from Cairns to Broome on the rugged Savannah Way, or enjoy a taste of Tassie with a lap around the Apple Isle, the country's roads, from superhighways to local, simply make it easy to get around.
Getting there and around
Let the travel experts take care of all your holiday needs, courtesy of our great range of Australian holiday packages
. We combine flights with hotels and added bonuses like tours, transfers and even extra nights' accommodation, leaving you free to enjoy your holiday. Australia's vast scale means it is an ideal place to explore on a tour
. Discover the tropical wetlands of Kakadu National Park, explore exotic marine life on the Great Barrier Reef or go bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, the choice is yours.
One of the best ways to see this continent-sized country is in your very own hire car
. Flight Centre can arrange a set of wheels to have you on the highway in no time, from where you can enjoy a picture-perfect view of some of Australia's most recognisable landscapes.