AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDE
If you've ever wanted to go to the land down under then there has never been a better time to go or a better group of people to help you out than Dream Trip. We love our home country of Australia, and we're dedicated to giving you the lowdown on the greatest spots in this old place.
Population: 25 million
Capital City: Canberra
Size: 7.692 million km²
Currency: Australian Dollar ($ AUD)
Largest City: Canberra
Number of States: 6 & 2 Mainland Territories
THINGS TO DO
Scroll through our images to find out the top 10 things you simply must do when you visit Australia
What's the best way to get to Australia?
The easiest and most popular way to arrive into Australia is via plane. Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE) & Perth (PER) all boast major international airports that are serviced by flights from all around the world. As Australia is so large, all major populations centres have their own airport, some are international airports and some are purely domestic. Book your flight now!
How can I get around in Australia?
The quickest and easiest way to get around in Australia are the many domestic flight routes that operate in the country. Tiger & Jetstar are the cheapest options while Virgin Australia & Qantas are more expensive. The other airline that operates within Australia on a regular basis is Regional Express (RegEx) which covers routes to more regional areas.
What if I don't want to fly?
You can get to each of the major cities (excluding Tasmania) by train from one another, although several changes can be expected. For details on the various train lines that run across Australia, visit the Rail Australia website for route planning and ticketing. Some interstate services can be comparable to the price of the same flight but cross-country trains are extremely expensive. Two of the more famous routes are The Ghan, an epic journey across Australia’s red centre that runs from Adelaide to Darwin, via Alice Springs.The other epic route is the Indian Pacific, named for its winding route from one-side of Australia to the other taking in the cities of Sydney, Adelaide & Perth
How can I travel by water?
All of Australia’s major cities, Canberra excluded, have been formed by the water and as a result many have public transit ferries that operate within the city - Brisbane & Sydney are two of the busier routes. One of the busiest long distance routes in Australia is the Spirit of Tasmania that sails between Melbourne & Tasmania. P&O Cruises also sail many routes to and from Australia if you are interested in taking in some of the beautiful Pacific Islands.
What about the famous buses in Australia?
All major population centres operate their own public bus networks that also head into many regional areas. The most popular private bus network is operated by Greyhound who run many routes around the country for which you can buy passes that cover distances and many different routes.
New South Wales
Visitors to Australia will usually begin their journey in the state of New South Wales and its capital city, the world famous Sydney. Another popular hotspot for visitors is the buzzing oceanside town of Byron Bay, a town known for its easy-going vibe, backpackers and beautiful beach. Other popular beaches include the towns of the Central Coast, as well as Botany Bay.
If you like getting outdoors the Blue Mountains National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery and mountains in Australia and for something a little different, visitors may want to visit Kosciuszko National Park in the winter months to experience its alpine climate and skiing.
While in Victoria, there are two places that draw the attention of most tourists. The first being the capital of Melbourne, the second being the driving route known as the Great Ocean Road. Heading south from the city of Geelong, through the beautiful seaside towns of Lorne & Torquay, the main highlight of the winding oceanside route is the Twelve Apostles, a group of freestanding cliff formations that sit strikingly in the ocean.
Across the bay the other side of Melbourne, is the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, which is worth visiting for the rugged scenery of Cape Schanck or the indulgent relaxation of the Peninsula Hot Springs.
Heading inland away from the shore are the former gold mining towns of Ballarat and Bendigo that offer a unique insight into the history of Australia as well as some stylish colonial architecture and the chance to try your hand at panning for gold. If you want to get outdoors and try your hand at some hiking, head to the Grampians National Park or Mount Buller. The Yarra Valley is known throughout the world as an incredible producer of wine, and is worth a visit to sample some wine first hand from one of the amazing vineyards.
Brisbane is the largest city in Queensland and draws the most visitors but there are plenty of other reasons why this is the most visited state in Australia by tourists.
One of the most popular tourist trails in Australia is the Cairns to Brisbane route. Beginning in the tourist city of Cairns, known for its beautiful scenery and beaches with some heading north to Port Douglas to explore the stunning Four Mile Beach, while most will head south to begin the trail. One of the most popular things to do on this route is the world famous Great Barrier Reef, this vibrant ecosystem is in danger of fading away forever so it really is worth visiting and diving while you still have the chance. The Whitsunday Islands, Fraser Island & Hamilton Island are all known across the world for their white sandy beaches, beautifully blue oceans and panoramic views. If you can visit each one of these, we highly recommend them.
The Daintree Rainforest is another highlight in this part of the world, with the chance to walk across a 10-metre high canopy platform is one not to be missed.
If you’re not tired of beaches by now, you should also pay a visit to the Gold Coast and the world famous Surfers Paradise. Enjoy the golden sandy beaches, fantastic views from the SkyPoint Observation Deck and the fun of the Warner Bros. Movie World. One final highlight for Queensland is visiting Australia Zoo, the zoo made famous by the pioneering Steve Irwin.
The entry point to Western Australia for the vast majority of visitors is the cosmopolitan city of Perth, but you’d be foolish to let your exploration end there. There is plenty to see in the state and one of the best examples of this is The Pinnacles, this scenic desert area just a few hours from Perth is home to a mass of limestone formations that stand out from the baron landscape.
If you want to visit the wilderness then the place for you is the Karijini National Park, hidden among the wilderness are some delightful desert pools and a number of indigenous desert animals such as ring-tailed dragons and desert tree frogs. Standing at 15m tall and having an age that is in the billions Wave Rock, in the wilderness of the central areas is an imposing and unique sight that has to be seen to be believed.
Closer to the border of South Australia is the scenic Lucky Bay that has delightful blue oceans and accompanying white sand beaches. If the wilderness isn’t for you, the towns of Exmouth & Broome are home to friendly communities and some great luxury resorts.
One under appreciated city within Australia is the city of Adelaide. Sitting in the state of South Australia this vibrant city is very up and coming. A unique culture is developing within the city that has strong Melbourne vibes thanks to its laneways and cafes. There is also the great Glenelg Beach which is close to the city but gives you the perfect place to relax. The Adelaide Central Market is a vibrant hub where locals meet to buy excellent local produce. Adelaide Zoo is a great place to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most intriguing animals too.
With plenty of protected parkland on offer, South Australia is a paradise for those who love to get outdoors and in touch with nature. The Flinders Chase National Park is famed for its rugged and unique geological formations and excellent camping opportunities. It is situated on Kangaroo Island, the third largest island in Australia, and is a great place to see some incredible animals in the wild. The Coorong National Park is quite different to this but is equally stunning.
With large saltwater lagoons and sand dunes that spread over 130 km, this is a sight that is not to be missed. The beautiful colours of the aptly named Blue Lake are simply beautiful and something that will not be easily forgotten. One thing that you simply must do is to see a wild sea lion colony and you can do this by visiting the unique Seal Bay Conservation Park. The Barossa Valley is also home to some of the best wine and vineyards in the country.
The offshore state of Tasmania and its capital city Hobart, is home to one of the world’s most iconic museums in MONA (Museum of the Old and New Art). This collection of beautiful, awe-inspiring and downright weird art pieces is not to be missed and would be recommended to any visitor to Australia. Other things to do include the stunning Royal Botanic Gardens and the popular Salamanca Market.
It would be a mistake not to explore more of this incredible island, with the northern city of Launceston also having a unique vibe, exemplified by the striking Cataract Gorge that offers incredible abseiling. Visitors to the state will be wowed by its majestic natural landscapes that are as diverse as they are beautiful. Freycinet National Park is the perfect example of this with a striking natural scenery that encompasses forest, mountains and white sand beaches. There isn’t much development in this part of the country so you can often find the beaches here deserted and picture perfect.
Some of the best hiking in Australia is available here with Mount Wellington & Cradle Mountain offering challenging but doable hikes to hikers of all experience. Dove Lake & Lake St Clair also are great places to go camping and enjoy some spectacular natural landscapes.
Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and is a severely underrated and under appreciated city in terms of tourist visitors. It is a wonderful place to visit, and filled with amazing people who will always want to make sure tourists feel welcome in their city. For visitors to Australia who want to get to know the unique landscape of the country they could do worse than visit Crocosaurus Cove or the George Brown Botanical Gardens. The city is also home to some of the best museums in the country the Darwin Military Museum and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
The Northern Territory is one of the most sparse and unpopulated regions in the world but there is plenty of culture here. This is the traditional heartland of Australia and is still home to the majority of Australia’s indigenous population. This should be understood and appreciated before any visit here, but it is definitely recommended to learn more about this ancient and fascinating culture while you’re here. One of the main attractions of the territory is the world famous Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). This is an incredibly important sight for Indigenous Australians and the best way to appreciate its beauty is from the air and remember: please, do not climb it, no matter how much you want to.
The Litchfield National Park in the north of the state is a beautiful example of a desert oasis that is filled stunning waterfalls and abundant wildlife. The Kakadu National Park is diverse national park with a tropical climate that is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is also home to the huge, plunge waterfall known as Jim Jim Falls. The Tiwi Islands are a group of islands just off the Northern Coast of Australia and is home to one of the largest Indigenous communities. In addition to the capital of Darwin, the city of Alice Springs is known around the world as one of the most isolated places in the world but this charming place is worth visiting for its stunning Desert Park and poignant ANZAC Memorial.
You can find great places to stay in Darwin here as well as finding amazing things to do throughout the Northern Territory.
Australian Capital Territory
In the heart of Australia’s smallest territory is the nation's capital city of Canberra. Often unfairly derided as a town that is only for politicians, there is plenty to do here for visitors. Of course, no trip here is complete without seeing the imposing Parliament House building or the Australian War Memorial. The National Gallery of Australia is home to possibly the countries finest collection of indigenous art, while Lake Burley Griffin is a wonderful place to relax and take in the scenery.
While the highlight of visiting the Australian Capital Territory is the Australian capital Canberra. Although interested in the outdoors there are a few sights of note that you may be interested in visiting. The Booroomba Rocks offer excellent rock climbing while Gibraltar Point & Mount Tennent offer great hiking opportunities for those who love getting out and about.
One of the most popular ways to explore Australia is to see it from the road. It is quite a common occurrence to see tourists driving rental cars and vans up and down the vast highways of Australia. With plenty of great things to see, it is no wonder that many people choose to drive the beautiful roads around the country.
Important to Know
Australians drive on the LEFT and have RIGHT hand drive cars
Many highway roads have no services or stores so it is important to have enough supplies for any journey that you go on
Car Insurance is mandatory and it is illegal to drive without it
Pay attention to speed limits, if you are caught you can be fined on the spot
If you are caught speeding you can be blacklisted by car rental companies
000 is the universal emergency number
Be careful for wildlife on the roads as they can endanger you and themselves
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
,Melbourne - Geelong - Torquay - Lorne - Apollo Bay - Warrnambool - Otway Ranges - Melbourne
Distance: 718 km
Driving Time: 10hr 29mins
States Visiting: Victoria
Number of Stops: 7
Recommended Time: 8 days
Cape Tribulation - Port Douglas - Cairns - Mission Beach - Townsville - Airlie Beach - Rockhampton - Bundaberg - Sunshine Coast - Brisbane
Distance: 1950 km
Driving Time: 24hr
States Visiting: Queensland
Number of Stops: 10
Recommended Time: 15 days