Australia Travel Guide
Australia is a very popular travel destination, thanks to its incredible beaches, world-class diving at the Great Barrier Reef, many lush wine regions, the allure of the Outback, abundance of cute koalas and kangaroos, and its outstanding food. Whatever you go there for, you’ll surely arrive back home with a million stories to tell.
This guide includes information about to see and do, eat and drink. It’s fairly simple to plan your own trip to Australia, but if you want to get the most out of your time, you might want to consider an escorted tour with an experienced guide and a well-planned itinerary. Remember, it’s a big country and distance between cities will eat up a lot of your time.
Read ABout Australia
WHEN TO go
Since Australia is so large, there isn’t really just one best time to go. Your visit also greatly depends on what you want to do there. Of course, when planning, you’ll want to keep in mind that Australia is in the southern hemisphere and thus has opposite seasons from the United States and Europe.
In the tropical areas, you’ll find that summer are warm with burst of high temperatures at times. The heat can be much worse inland during the summer. Nonetheless, the spring, summer and fall months (April-November) are a good time to explore and enjoy all the coastal cities in the north have to offer.
The southern part of the country experiences the typical four seasons more so than other areas. The best time to visit the south is during the summer months (December-March), when the days are long and the weather is nice, although you may be sharing the beaches with bigger crowds.
The interior of the country has much more extreme weather during the summer and winter, so the best time to visit inland is in April, May, October and November.
WHERE TO GO
WHAT TO DO
Where to stay
In Sydney, a popular area for tourist is near Darling Harbor, where you’ll have a great view of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. As this is a popular area, it’s always best to book as far in advance as possible, and if you want a harbor view, be sure to ask for one.
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney: Trip Advisor | Expedia
- Intercontinental Sydney: Trip Advisor | Expedia
- SPLURGE: Park Hyatt Sydney: Trip Advisor | Expedia
One of our favorite places on the Gold Coast is Surfer’s Paradise. It’s a town bustling with tourism, due to its prime beach location and fantastic surfing. There are all kinds of things to do nearby.
Great Barrier Reef
A good launching off point for exploring the vast area of the Great Barrier Reef might be Cairns or Port Douglas. From there, you can charter boats and flights to visit the islands, or drive between the towns that are located nearby for a change of scenery. If you want to stay on an island surrounded by beautiful scenery, we recommend Bedarra Island Resort. It’s a splurge, but very much worth it!
What to Eat
There are many culinary delights to experience in Australia. To fully experience the culture through food, expect to spend some time searching for and trying some of the countries favorites. Make sure you try these Australian foods while you’re there:
- Australian meat pie, which has a flaky crust and a mince meat filling.
- Vegemite is a salty vegetable and nutritional yeast spread that’s popular to eat on bread.
- Kangaroo fillet might not be at the top of your list, but you’ll find it on many menus.
- Lamingtons are little square sponge cakes covered in chocolate frosting and coconut.
- Sausage roll is exactly what it sounds like: a sausage rolled in a pastry and baked.
What to drink
Australia’s Wine Regions
You’ve probably had an Australian Shiraz or two. Shiraz is one of the most popular grapes in Australia and since they export around 60% of their wine internationally, it’s easy to find in wine stores everywhere. Australia has more than 60 designated wine regions, mostly located in the temperate climate of the South. Wine tourism is alive and well in many of the area’s wine regions. Try these:
- Barossa Valley focuses heavily on red wines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s one of Australia’s most popular wine regions, with some of the biggest and most well known wineries located here.
- Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling, It has a Mediterranean-style climate that lends itself well to the production of white wine styles. Clare, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills are located in the South Australia wine region.
- Hunter Valley is close to Sydney, which makes it a convenient day trip for tourists. It is most widely known for Semillon, though many varietals are produced there.
- Yarra Valley is located just outside of Melbourne and features some great wineries, with lovely views.
- The Margaret River wine region can be found near the city of Perth. It boasts a coastal environment and has great Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Want to try something different? How about glamping among the grapevines?