With plenty of flights to choose from and more affordable options than ever before, Australia isn't just a dream destination – it can be your next destination. Here are eight reasons why a fascinating, thrilling and (above all) fun Australian adventure should be next on your list.
1. It's closer than you think
Long-haul flying is faster and more comfortable than ever before, and a stop-off on route can add a fascinating extra element to your Australian adventure. Our expert tips can make the journey even more rewarding. Australia isn't around the corner, but its unique charms are far closer than you might think.
2. It's the definition of diverse
You might like city breaks or beach holidays, road trips or wilderness adventures, wildlife spotting or spectacular scenery. You might go on holiday to sample delicious local cuisine, or enjoy local art and culture. In Australia, you can have it all, even in the course of a two- or three-week trip. With every region boasting a wealth of diverse attractions, an Australian holiday is as varied as you want it to be.
3. There are breaks for every budget
Australia offers chic boutique hotels and luxurious scenic spas, but you can have an equally wonderful time touring the country in a comfortable camper van. Similarly, you can sample delectable modern Australian cooking at one of the best restaurants in the world, or grab some just-caught seafood from the market and throw it on the barbie. Australia can be as luxurious or affordable as you want it to be, and the wonderful thing is that, whichever you choose, you won't feel like you're missing out.
4. It's like a perfect cake (or pizza)
By which we mean, you can do it slice by delicious slice. Australia is a big place – a country the size of a continent - but you can have a wonderful holiday by choosing one manageable chunk and really giving it your all. The truth is, you won't miss a thing. Every region has a wealth of adventures for every taste, whether you choose Sydney and the glorious New South Wales coast, Melbourne and the spectacular Great Ocean Road, or Brisbane and the Great Barrier Reef. There are countless more. Why not devour one slice now, and come back later for another?
5. It's reassuringly familiar – and like a different planet
You can enjoy a cool beer and hot pie, and then watch the sun go down over the astonishing sacred Aboriginal site of Uluru. You can chat about cricket to the locals in a friendly pub, and then enjoy a close up encounter with the kaleidoscopic marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. Australia is a little bit familiar, and also utterly, astoundingly unique.
6. You can choose the weather
If you like it hot, Australia certainly won't be a disappointment. But Australian weather is far more varied than you might realise. Adelaide, for instance, basks in the sort of delightful summer weather you might call Mediterranean, while it's often said that Melbourne can cycle through four seasons in a single day. Even during the Australian winter, Tropical North Queensland has perfect weather, with sunny swimsuit days sliding into starlit shirtsleeve evenings.
7. Australia does 'inside' too
There's perhaps no better place in the world for water sports, beach life and outdoor adventure. But don't think for a second that's all Australia has to offer. Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, to name just three, possess a wealth of cultural attractions, from fascinating historical exhibitions to astonishing Aboriginal art. Rottnest Island – a ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle on the west coast - is a perfect example of Australian contrasts: a home to unique wildlife, picture perfect beaches, and a wonderful little museum dedicated to the island's colourful past.
8. Its food glorious food
Burgers, barbies and beer. That's Australian food, right? Well yes, but it's also freshly caught seafood in Fremantle or Lorne, the internationally celebrated wines of the Yarra Valley, and the incredible backstreet Asian eateries of Melbourne. We could go on and on. Australia – in a word – is a foodie paradise internationally acclaimed by some of the world's best chefs and sommeliers.