AUSTRALIA HOLIDAYS IN 2015/16
Holidays to Australia are a dream for many and with the country having an incredibly diverse landscape it is easy to see why. With snow-capped mountain peaks as well as the arid dryness of the central desert regions, Australia’s climate ensures that the country is perfect to visit all year round.
Australia is deceptively large and it goes without saying that once there, there are some fabulous destinations for you to visit. Australia is home to the world’s largest coral reef system in the form of the Great Barrier Reef, which enthrals all. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World making it high up on the list of attractions for tourists to visit as well as locals who want to witness the sheer beauty.
For those who want something different than an Australian adventure holiday, Australia also provides spectacular city breaks with vibrant destinations just waiting for you to explore. Cities such as Adelaide, the capital of South Australia or Brisbane the capital of the state of Queensland, offers visitors a prime blend of culture and entertainment.
Of course, Australia is famous for its sunshine and beautiful sandy beaches so if you’re looking for a holiday that involves sheer relaxation visit the iconic Bondi Beach in Australia’s gem city of Sydney. The city itself has plenty to offer holidaymakers, including a fascinating cultural scene and amazing attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as mouth-watering cuisine that accompanies the list of attractions the city has to offer.
In Australia, there is nothing like being able to combine a city break with a nice, relaxing beach getaway, this is exactly what you can when you visit Australia’s Gold Coast where the magnificent beaches combine with a fantastic city to create the ideal and most splendid holiday destination. The Gold Coast is home to beaches, theme parks, cultural attractions and fantastic heritage that you can explore ensuring it is a place that the whole family can enjoy.
Map of Australia
Travelling to Australia comes with certain guarantees; one is that the land of Australia is so vast and varied that it is destination which will excite and inspire wonder in equal measures.
Explore the iconic city of Sydney where you can see the undoubtedly beautiful Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Visit Melbourne, where the cultural scene is simply breath-taking or visit Brisbane where the city simply won’t be intimidated by Sydney’s allure.
Alternatively, you could take a trip to the outback and visit the mysterious and spectacular Ayres Rock with its unbelievable red colour bathing the natural beauty. Australia has numerous diving opportunities and there is no better destination than the Great Barrier Reef located off the northern coast.
There are also amazing cultural events in Australia. In January on the 26th of the month, Australians celebrate Australia Day, which is a celebration of the past, present and future of the country. You can head to Sydney for the Sydney Mardi Gras in February and March or head to Adelaide in November for the Feast Festival and the subsequent Christmas Pageant.
Things to do in Australia
- Witness the splendid attractions of Sydney with your very own eyes.
- See the amazing colours that sunset brings in the outback with a visit to the outstandingly mysterious Ayres Rock.
- Immerse yourself in the Australian culture with visits to the numerous festivals that are held throughout the year.
- Relax on the outstanding beaches of the Gold Coast.
If you would like to know more about Travelbag’s excellent tailor-made holidays to Australia, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0871 703 4244 Costs 13p/min + network extras.
Australia Packing tips
Going Down Under is your archetypal trip of a lifetime. Known for adventure, you don’t want to leave anything behind for this trip. So, start a checklist, research your destination and start preparing for your trip to Australia.
With such a vast country, there are bound to be different things required, depending what region you go to, and the time of year. Whether you need sturdy boots for a hike around Ayers Rock or a swimsuit for the Great Barrier Reef, be sure to take your time to pack correctly.
Remember that the seasons are the other way around in the Southern Hemisphere so if you are going in July then it may be more winter jacket than snorkel weather. In the summertime, it can be intensely hot so a hat, sunglasses and sun cream are all essential items.
A common clothing list is likely to include a: rain jacket, warm jacket, jeans, shorts, shirts, t-shirts and a sweater with going out shoes, flip flops and comfortable footwear for activities. Overnight and day bags are common because there are trips available across the country. Oh, and have your visa handy!
Essential Australia Information
- Capital– A common quiz question, Canberra sits between the country’s two largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Not always on the radar for those travelling to Oz, it is a planned, green city with interesting museums.
- Currency– The Australian Dollar is the official currency and these colourful notes come complete with some of Australia’s famous people. An expensive country, it has notes of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 it is a currency that tends to be immediately available from airports, hotels, banks and any bureau de change.
- Language– English. While having no official language, Australians speak English. There are a few indigenous languages left in some parts and the country has many migrants meaning that languages like Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian and Mandarin are fairly common in the cities.
- Time Zone– Due to the size of Australia, there are a number of time zones across the country. Western Australia, with its capital of Perth, is GMT +8 hours, the middle part (incorporating Northern and South territories) with Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide is GMT +9.5 hours while Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania with the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne is GMT +10 hours.
Weather in Australia
Australia is a large continent and the weather can vary depending on regions. A lot of the mainland is desert and this leaves a northern tropical climate with temperate weather in both the south-west and south-east.
Experiencing annual rainfall below 600 millimeters, it is one of the driest parts of the world and, being in the southern hemisphere, they have opposite seasons to the UK. This means that their seasons are:
- Winter: June to August
- Spring: September to November
- Summer: December to February
- Autumn: March to May
Let’s take a look at some of the popular tourist areas:
- Sydney – Boasting sunshine for 340 days each year, it gets hot (26ºC) and humid in the summer months while dropping to 16ºC during the summer.
- Melbourne – The city gets changing weather that goes from cooler winters (14ºC) to mild springs and warm summers (29ºC).
- Adelaide – The driest city in Australia, summer months sometimes don’t get any rain at all while hitting 29ºC and the pleasant winters see temperatures around 16ºC with some rainfall (June gets around 80 millimetres).
- Brisbane and the Gold Coast – Popular for the Great Barrier Reef, this part of the country comes with a subtropical climate. You can get upwards of 250 days of sunshine a year here and the summers tend to be hot and humid with a risk of rain and thunderstorms. Winters have blue skies with dropping temperatures in the evening.
By Winsor Dobbin
There are few destinations in the world that offer as much excitement and diversity as Australia.
From high-rise, eclectic and multicultural cities like Sydney and Melbourne to natural wonders including the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the heart of the outback, unique wildlife and man-made attractions like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, there really is something for everyone.
Sydney, which hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, is Australia's largest city and a "must" for every visitor. Set on magnificent Sydney Harbour (take a ferry across to the beach suburb of Manly for a cut-price harbour cruise); there are few cities as dramatically beautifully.
Enjoy fine local seafood and wines at Quay restaurant, seek out authentic ethnic cuisine ranging from Vietnamese to Italian in suburbs like Cabramatta or Leichhardt, or head to recently gentrified inner-city destinations like Surry Hills, Newtown and Darlinghurst for a huge range of bars, pubs, clubs and dining options.
Bondi, in the eastern suburbs, is the most famous of Sydney's many beaches - and the most popular with visitors. You can walk along the cliffs to equally pretty and less-frenetic Bronte, or choose from several spectacular stretches of sand along the much less crowded northern beaches (Palm Beach and Newport are perennial favourites).
Visit Taronga Zoo, enjoy a game at the Sydney Cricket Ground, stroll through the historic The Rocks district, go for a pub crawl through the waterside suburb of Balmain - or take a day trip to the Blue Mountains to the west of the city. Sydney offers myriad possibilities.
Melbourne is Australia's "second city", although most of its residents would tell you it has as much, if not more, to offer to visitors than Sydney. It is regarded as the sporting, shopping and fashion capital.
Many of Australia's big-name chefs are based here, but the city is also dotted with small eateries, often serving exotic ethnic dishes, and hole-in-the-wall cafes and coffee shops.
Travel on one of the iconic trams to watch an Australian Rules football match or arrive in January to watch the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Melbourne is surrounded by several vineyard regions and the two closest to the city (and easily accessible by public transport), are the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula, both within an hours' drive of downtown and famous for their cool-climate chardonnays and pinots noir.
Another great experience in the state of Victoria is the drive along the dramatic Great Ocean Road.
Back in town, browse the many small boutiques in city-fringe suburbs like Richmond and Fitzroy, or explore the vibrant and cosmopolitan Southbank and Docklands precincts and the grunge-chic St KiIda.
Travelling in Australia can be immensely time consuming so it pays to plan well in advance. Perth is not "on the other side of the island" from Sydney – it is an arduous drive, largely though desert, of almost 4,000 kilometres.
Australia is the sixth-largest country on the planet, similar in size to mainland US. Most visitors will have to choose between a visit to the outback or sun and surf.
The remote desert city of Alice Springs and the sacred aboriginal monolith of Uluru are a doable combination for those who wish to experience searing heat and learn about the local indigenous culture, but beach lovers should head for Far North Queensland and visit one of the many Whitsunday island resorts on and around the Great Barrier Reef, which offer diving, snorkelling and partying in equal measure.
Adelaide, the capital of South Australia (with the wine regions of the Barossa and McLaren Vale on its doorstep), and Perth, the lively West Australian capital, are both full of interesting destinations and the Gold Coast offers glitz, glamour and many great surf beaches. But for those looking for a more intimate destination then quaint Hobart in Tasmania is well worth a one-hour flight from Melbourne.
Founded in 1803 as a penal colony, Hobart has long been a magnet for visitors who enjoy its working waterfront, historic buildings and rich colonial and convict heritage.
Over the past five years Hobart has been transformed to a city with a lively cultural scene, many gourmet options and a host of festivals. Hobart's metamorphosis has seen the low-rise city dotted with whisky and elder bars; funky restaurants focusing on local produce and the arrival of new hotels (with several more on the way).
The catalyst for the change was the opening in 2011of MONA, the controversial privately-owned Museum of Old and New Art, in the city's northern suburbs. It is regarded as one of the world's major galleries.
You'll need to head out of the major cities to see kangaroos, wombats and possums; although they are not that hard to spot in rural areas. If you are determined to see a koala or crocodile then a wildlife park might be your best bet. They are notoriously hard to find in the wild.
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