Travel Tips - About Australia Archive

Swimming with Minke Whales in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: December 17th, 2018 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

Visit the Great Barrier Reef Between June & July to Swim with Minke Whales


First recognized by scientists less than 30 years ago, the dwarf minke whale is both elusive and super friendly.

There is so much we don’t know about these whales despite their proclivity to search out human company.

Scientists don’t understand why, but these whales are extremely curious and will often spend hours swimming around snorkelers and divers, giving quite a show! They are known to follow a boat around for hours, stopping for a look at each new dive site.

When to Swim with Minke Whales

Diver and minke whale credit deep sea divers den Jemma Craig Imagery

Minke whales are the most common of the great whale species, found in abundance throughout the world’s oceans. They are mostly found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.

They are found off the coasts of Australia and New Zealand between March and December, but the best time to see minke whales is in June and July.

Despite their wide reach, swimming with minke whales only happens in The Great Barrier Ribbon Reefs in Tropical North Queenland, Australia. The great thing about this is that minke whales in the Great Barrier Reef are very social and communicative. Expeditions out to the reef regularly report seeing multiple whales in one day!

These multi-day Liveaboard expeditions depart from Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. These expeditions visit unique reef sites each day, offering more opportunities to swim with these gentle creatures.

This is one of the only animal encounters in the world that is entirely on the animal’s own terms. When a pod is spotted, a rope is tossed into the water. Groups of up to 10 swimmers hold on to the rope and the whales can approach or leave as they like. The whales are very generous with their time and once a pod is spotted, its rare if someone on the boat misses out on the experience while waiting their turn.

Things to Know Before Swimming with Minke Whales

Divers with minke whale credit Deep Sea Divers Den Jemma Craig Imagery

Being in the water with these majestic creatures is described as a life-changing experience. It’s common for people to emerge from the water crying, screaming or just plain speechless.

If you want to add this encounter to your Australia bucket list, here are a few things you should know!


1. Every Australian winter, the minke whales make their annual migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef from May to August. Plan your trip between June to mid-July for the best odds of seeing a pod. Peak season is in early July.

2. This special experience might take a bit of effort and luck! Only a handful of tour operators have permits to swim with minke whales and you’re never guaranteed an encounter. Increase your odds of swimming with the genial giants by taking a 3-7 night Liveaboard Excursion. In June and July, you’ll have a 98% chance of encountering the whales. It is recommend that you pre-book your excursion.

3. If you’re not keen on spending nights at sea, you can take a day-trip out of Port Douglas. These day-trips have an encounter rate of about 18%. This decreases your odds quite a bit, but if you do encounter them, you will feel as though you won the lottery! Either way it’s an amazing day out on the Great Barrier Reef. These day-trips often give discounts for multiple days out on the boat and they usually end up at different dive sites each day. So, you could stay a few nights in lovely Port Douglas and increase your odds by taking multiple trips out to the reef without feeling like you’re doing the same thing every day.

4. If you go in July, you might even have a chance to see and/or swim with Humpback whales too!

5. You can contribute directly to ongoing research including photo-identification, behavior research and conservation efforts from your minke whale encounter.

6. Dwarf minke whales are the smallest of the baleen whales. Like Humpback whales, they have no teeth, but a series of baleen plates that they use to trap and filter the food krill.

7. There is still much to be learned about these whales. For example, they have never been seen feeding on the Great Barrier Reef so it is assumed that they feed in Open Ocean while in the tropics, but no one really knows!

Diver with two minke whales credit Deep Sea Divers Den Jemma Craig Imagery

8. They are one of the fastest whales. They can travel at speeds greater than 20 knots or about 23 miles per hour.

9. Minke whales seem to prefer snorkelers to divers. They tend to get closer to and hang around longer when humans are not wearing large air tanks.

Want a chance to cross this amazing experience off your Bucket List?  Visit Australia with the help of a Destination Specialist at About Australia.  We can make your once in a lifetime trip Down Under fun and easy!

Add Swimming with Minke Whales to My Trip

Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).


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14 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling to Australia

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling to Australia

Many first time travelers to Australia feel a mixture of all sorts of emotions right before their trip. Excitement, anxiety, fear. You’re either scouring the internet for every single tip on traveling in Australia, or your plan is just to wing it.

Your best bet is to embrace a little bit of both attitudes. Australia is such a dynamic country full of incredible sights. We promise there’s very little you should fear, and so much you should be excited about.

To make your planning a little easier, here’s our list of 14 common mistakes to avoid when traveling to Australia.

1. Underestimating the Size of Australia

For some reason people have this idea that Australia is a rather small island. People think they can hop in a car and drive around the whole country in about a week.

The problem is, Australia is about the same size as the U.S. Hitting the major hotspots such as Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne is like traveling from Miami to New York then Houston. Definitely not a road trip you want to blast through in just a week.

2. Not Being Familiar with the Seasons

Australia’s seasons are opposite to ours in the U.S. Their summer is our winter. The weather also varies throughout different parts of Australia. Up north in Cairns and the tropics the summer season is marked by frequent rains while winters are mild and dry. Down in the southern states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, the winters get a little colder.

If you’re planning to hit up the beaches in Sydney in June, you might be in for a surprise!

Check out our guide on the weather in Australia for a detailed look of the average weather throughout different regions of the country.

3. Not Planning in Advance

It’s true that some of the joys of traveling to some place new is discovering its local delights on spontaneous adventures.

While this holds true for many parts of Australia, you’ll want to pre-book your bucket list items or you’ll risk missing out. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, visiting Sydney during New Year’s, riding The Ghan and other famous Australian rail journeys – these are things you absolutely need to book in advance before your trip. You’re traveling all the way to the other side of the world for some of these spectacular experiences. The last thing you want is to be disappointed on what should be the trip of a lifetime.

Not sure if your must-do adventure should be pre-booked? Talk with your About Australia Destination Specialist.

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Australia

4. Having No Down Time

It’s hard to resist the urge to cram a ton of things to do every day of your trip. We totally get it – you want to see as much as you can with the amount of time you’ve got in Australia.

But some down time is so important to pace your journey and take it all in. You don’t want to stretch yourself thin by being on the go all the time with no breaks in between. You’ll get easily stressed by trying to keep track of everything you have to do.

It’s great to make sure you get to meeting points on time and not miss any departures. But you don’t want your head to be completely filled with logistics when you should be enjoying the moment.

5. Not Budgeting for Australian Prices

There’s no way around it – Australia is expensive. People tend to get sticker shock when they see the prices throughout Australia. Keep in mind, Australia is home to several cities that are consistently rated as the most liveable cities in the world. Prices will reflect that demand. You’ll want to save up a fair bit of money to use while traveling, as well as carry extra cash.

Eating out ranges on average around $30 per meal, not including drinks. On the upside, tipping is not generally customary in Australia. The minimum wage starts at about $18.29 an hour and service workers don’t tend to expect tips.

Definitely splurge here and there and let yourself have fun, but you’ll want to be careful about your spending while in Australia. For more about the currency and using credit cards in Australia, check out our guide on Australian currency.

6. Skipping Out on Travel Insurance

This is something you absolutely do not want to skip out on for any trip, not just Australia.

Travel insurance covers a range of unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, travel delays, bad weather, lost luggage and much more.

No matter how carefully you may plan your trip, sometimes things happen that are completely out of our control. Your trip is an investment – you don’t want to incur a complete loss should something happen.

Couple hike past 12 Apostles

12 Apostles, Melbourne

7. Not Allowing Enough Time for Each Destination

Imagine giving yourself one day to visit New York, then traveling to Chicago the next day, then San Francisco the next. You’d barely see anything!

Australia’s major cities – even its small towns – have so much to offer, and you could easily spend days just exploring one city.

You’ll also want to extend your stays to act as a base for exploring nearby regions. Sydney has the stunning Blue Mountains outside of the city and the Hunter Valley Wine Region a short road trip away. Explore the Great Barrier Reef one day in Cairns, then Daintree Rainforest – the oldest rainforest in the world – the next day.

Think about allowing yourself a free day as well to explore each destination on your own.

8. Leaving the Big Adventures at the End

A good rule of thumb is to schedule big ticket tours at the beginning of your stay rather than later. This is mainly due to the weather, especially important for weather-related excursions. If you’ve booked a Great Barrier Reef cruise at the beginning of your stay in Cairns but the weather causes a cancellation, you’ve at least got the rest of your stay available to reschedule the cruise.

Many tour operators are flexible in rescheduling your booking due to inclement weather, so it’s good to schedule these tours at the start of your stay just in case. Leaving these tours until the end of your stay poses the risk of missing out should anything happen.

9. Over Packing

If you’ve ever fallen victim to over packing, hopefully you remember the utter unpleasantness that comes along with it. Lugging extra bags everywhere you go, forcing all your weight down on your suitcase and praying you can zip it at lease most of the way. Not to mention having no extra room for any souvenirs!

But another pit fall of over packing is going over the airline luggage restrictions and risk having to shell out extra cash for your bags. We recommend booking all your flights within the U.S. and Australia on the same ticket which increases your luggage allowance to two checked bags. Australian domestic flights have strict carry-on limits, so an extra checked bag for free comes in handy. Your About Australia Destination Specialist will do this for you whenever possible.

Also, many hotels throughout Australia are apartment-style and include laundry units within their rooms. This way you can pack light and still have clean clothes throughout your journey.

10. Being Scared of the Wildlife

People hear “Australia” and think they’ll be coiled to death by snakes and eaten by spiders.

But you’re more likely to get injured by a horse than all Australia’s venomous critters combined. Even then, the only places you might actually come across these dangerous creatures are in carefully maintained wildlife parks and zoos.

You definitely won’t see any snakes or large spiders in the cities, or any kangaroos and koalas in the wild, either. There’s a chance you might spot some native wildlife in more open areas outside of city limits and in national parks. As with any wild animal, as long as you leave them alone they won’t bother you.

It’s important to only interact with wildlife in the presence of a professional wildlife handler. That’s how you’ll get those special opportunities to hand-feed kangaroos or take a picture with a koala. And no, drop bears are not real!

Kangaroos at Taronga Zoo, Sydney credit Tourism Australia

Taronga Zoo, Sydney. Photo: Tourism Australia

11. Not Applying Enough Sunscreen

It’s way better to overdo the sunscreen in Australia than to under-do it. It’ll save you a world of pain.

Australia receives extraordinarily high levels of ultraviolet radiation due to its close proximity to the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic. This lack of extra atmospheric sun protection makes sunscreen application essential. You’ll want to make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen protecting against both UVA and UVB rays.

If you’re heading to the reef, you’ll also want to be sure your sunscreen is reef safe.

Tip: When out on the reef, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the back of your knees!

12. Not Getting to Know the Locals

Aussies are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and let yourself open up. You’ll get the best tips on local secrets such as the best places to grab some food or drinks, as well as extra advice on any places to avoid.

Besides, a new Aussie friend is a great reason to plan a return trip!

Opera Bar, Sydney credit Anson Smart Tourism Australia

Opera Bar, Sydney. Photo: Anson Smart

13. Thinking You Can Catch a Train or Bus to New Zealand

There are no roads, bridges or tunnels connecting Australia to New Zealand. The only way to get there is on a flight, just about 4 hours long.

New Zealand is an incredible country on its own and deserves at least a two week trip to see the highlights. If you have enough time to see both countries, combing the two makes for a fantastic vacation.

But New Zealand is vastly different from its neighbor, and we recommend planning a separate trip if you only have a limited amount of time for your vacation.

14. Sweating the Small Stuff

Planning a trip is stressful enough, and sometimes the anxiety of being in a foreign country makes it easy to let the small stuff get to you. But you’re in one of the world’s top bucket list destinations – don’t let minor setbacks ruin your whole trip.

If you plan your trip with About Australia all the small details will be taken care of, and if you’ve got travel insurance, all the big stuff will be covered.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Traveling to Australia

Planning a trip to Australia may seem daunting at first, but it’s rather easy to avoid these common mistakes. As long as you keep these tips in mind, it’s actually quite difficult to ruin your trip.  It’s all a matter of researching your destinations and getting in touch with an About Australia Destination Specialist for extra insider knowledge. Once you’re ready to plan your trip, we’ll make sure the process is a breeze.


Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).


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Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Easier

Posted on: August 16th, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

 Packing a suitcase with a passport

Your trip is just a few days away! To make your travels easier, here’s a list of 15 travel tips from the pros at About Australia.

Are the butterflies setting in yet? With your trip just days away, we’d like to share a collection of our best and most useful travel tips. As experts in travel to the South Pacific, these are personal tips we’ve discovered on our own travels to help make your vacation completely stress-free.

1. Secure Travel Documents

My one travel tip would be to secure travel documents. An easy way to do so would be to take photos and keep digital copies on a Cloud or Google Drive or by emailing them to yourself.Lei, Destination Specialist

Keeping online digital copies of your important travel documents such as passports, trip vouchers, flight confirmations, travel insurance and important phone numbers ensures you can access them even if you lose them or your phone!

2. Be Sure You Can Stay in Touch

People using smartphones credit rawpixel.com

Check with your cellphone provider if your package includes an international roaming  package and check the cost for calls. Most providers offer free texting. If you prefer to switch your SIM Card, make sure your phone is unlocked to use an international SIM Card. SIM Cards let you keep almost all the same benefits you enjoy at home, but you pay local rates. And you can pay as you go!Ana, Destination Specialist

We like to recommend taking a break from your phone while on vacation, but we understand sometimes you need to get in touch back home. SIM cards are a great and easy way to stay connected while you travel.

3. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Card

Check the expiration date of your credit card and the amount of credit available to you. Do not forget any credit card purchases made just before you leave.Ana

Don’t forget to confirm your travel dates with your bank and credit card company so they don’t freeze your account when they see foreign transactions!

Keep in mind that Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, while American Express cards may not be as widely accepted. Discover Cards are generally not accepted.

4. Pack a Travel Adapter for Your Electronic Devices

If the hotel does not offer a hair dryer and you want to bring yours, make sure it is a dual voltage device that can accept both 110-240V and can be used all around the world using a travel adapter.Ana

Surprisingly, one question we often get is about hair dryers. Many hotels offer hair dryers, but sometimes it’s good to take your own just in case.

As with any of your electronic devices that requires plugging in to an outlet, you’ll need to make sure your device is compatible with the electrical power specifications in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Have a look at the plate on your electrical devices – if it says 110-240v you’ll just a need plug adapter. 

5. Bring a Waterproof Bag

Snorkelers

Have a waterproof bag of sorts so you can take it with you if you’re going to a beach destination or on water adventures such as snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. There are options they explain to you on the way out that you can upgrade to, but you need to have your wallet to do so!Chris, Destination Specialist

When traveling Down Under, it’s inevitable – you’ll often find yourself surrounded by water. Keep your important belongings such as wallets or phones safe with a waterproof bag that you can keep on yourself throughout your tours.

6. Prepare Your Home

Unplug all electrical appliances and remove all perishable goods. Arrange for the care of any pets. You may want to consider notifying your local police station that you will be away for a certain period of time and let them know who has a spare key.Ana

One thing that might not be at the top of your checklist is preparing your home for your absence. If you don’t have a house-sitter while you’re away, it’s important to take those extra measures to ensure the safety of your home.

And of course, the comfort of your furry friends.

7. Exhaust Yourself the Day Before Your Flight

Your flight is a red-eye, departing at night and arriving in the morning, so you’ll want to get as much sleep as possible. You’ll board, dinner will be served, then it’s lights out. If you take a look around, most people will be asleep.Darin, Destination Specialist

It really helps to tire yourself out the day before to make falling asleep on the plane that much easier. Even if you can’t imagine yourself ever getting comfortable enough to fall asleep on a plane, there’s no way you can resist sleep if you can barely keep your eyes open!

8. Make the Space Your Own

I like remove all the stuff I don’t need from the seat pocket and toss it up in the overhead bin. This gives me more space to store the things I want easy access to on the flight, like my iPad and book. I basically get rid of everything provided, except the sick bag, which I use to consolidate my trash. I also bring along some antibacterial wipes and wipe down my area. I don’t want to get a cold from that last person in my seat! That would totally ruin my vacation. Melissa, Marketing Manager

This is your new home for the next 12 – 17 hours – you’ll want to be as cozy as possible!

9. Get On Your Destination’s Timezone

Phone screen displaying time credit rawpixel.com

One of my favorite tips is to set your watch or phone to your destination’s time zone as soon as you board the plane. This helps with adjusting yourself to their time. I also found it extremely helpful for timing my sleep schedule on the plane so I’d be fresh and ready to go once I landed.Lizandra, Digital Marketing Specialist

This is a great way to prepare for the time difference during your trip and keep jet lag at bay.

10. Treat the In-Flight Crew

I get the best perks on flights because I always bring a little treat for the in-flight crew. We’re about to spend 15 hours together, so I like to start off on their good side.

I’ve done a basket of little soaps, a box of chocolates and even homemade trail mix – to name a few. I write a note with something like, “Hello fight crew! Thanks so much for all you do! Cheers, ____ (seat 45C).” It’s always a welcomed gesture and this simple act of kindness really goes a long way.Melissa

Aside from that warm feeling you get from being nice to people, you also might get a perk!

11. Bring Something to Keep Comfortable

Bring a blanket or a pillow. I also like to bring a good book. I get a lot of reading done when I fly.Darin

Little things like your favorite blanket and pillow, or even your favorite book, can help ease flight anxiety. Having something familiar with you on your trip can comfort you more than you might think.

12. Stay Hydrated on Your Flight

The Australian wines available on your flight are tempting, but don’t get carried away. Drink lots of water.Koda, Destination Specialist

Perhaps it’s your go-to for catching sleep on a plane, but trust us – you’ll want to keep the drinks to a limit. The air tends to be really dry on planes due to the cabin pressure, and waking up dehydrated is a terrible way to start your trip. Drinking plenty of water helps you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

13. Get Ready for Bed Just as Normal

It might help if you bring along a change of clothes and your toothbrush (if you forget this, ask for one). Performing your nightly ritual may help you sleep more soundly. Cuddle up with your airline provided blanket and pillow and try to get a full night’s rest. Most airlines will also have sleep masks available should you need them.Melissa

Getting ready for bed just as you usually would can help you fall asleep easier on your long-haul flight. We recommend getting ready for bed once the lights are turned down after dinner.

14. Stay Awake on Your First Day

If your body is just begging to take a nap, resist with all willpower! Powering through your first day in Australia is essential for overcoming jetlag.Lizandra

Just as it’s important to get a good night’s rest on your flight, you absolutely need to stay awake on your first day in your destination. Walking tours, leisurely sightseeing tours or even simply exploring your arrival city on your own are great ways to begin your first day. The fresh air alone after your long-haul flight makes these simple adventures worth it.

15. Don’t Lose Sight

Travel has come a long way. We used to travel by covered wagons for months and now we’re flying through the sky – it’s amazing. It’s what you make of it.Darin

You’re about to go on the trip of a lifetime to a bucket list destination. Sometimes the small details get in the way of the pure joy of traveling to another part of the world. But it’s important not to lose sight of the incredible journey ahead. Let your wanderlust take hold and your excitement lead the way.

As your Destination Experts, we’ve already squared away every detail of your trip. All you need to do is just enjoy the ride.

 

7 Reasons You’ll Love an Outback Journey on The Ghan

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

7 Reasons you'll love train travel on The Ghan Australian Outback

The Ghan train in Australia is one of the world’s great rail journeys, traversing the vastness of the Outback through Flinders Ranges and into the heart of the Red Centre from Adelaide to Darwin. It’s an elegant train with comfortable interiors and modern suites.

For first time train travelers, we usually recommend enjoying one leg of the journey by traveling from Alice Springs to Darwin or vice versa. It’s an easy way to experience the wonder without committing a bulk of your vacation to something you are unsure of. 

However, once you get on the train and start your journey, you might end up wishing you’d spent more time on The Ghan and here’s why…

The Ghan Amazing Train Adventure

The Ghan Is Comfortable

Gold Service on The GhanWhether you’re socializing in the Outback Explorer Lounge, relaxing in your Gold Service suite or dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, you are going to be comfortable.

The seats are wide, you have generous leg room and you can move from car to car with ease.

The attentive and professional staff will tend to your every need with a warm smile and friendly demeanor.

By night your cabin is prepared with comfortable bunks that will feel like you are sleeping on air.

With Gold Service, luxurious bathrooms and showers help prepare you for a restful night of sleep as you journey through the outback.

The Journey Is Relaxing On The Ghan

Relaxing on the Ghan Outback Adventure When you’re on The Ghan the only thing you need to do is sit back and enjoy the scenic ride. 

There is no traffic to deal with and no worry that you’ll get lost in the Outback.

On The Ghan you get to see the countryside without the responsibility of navigating the journey.

Instead, you’ll spend your time reading, sleeping, writing, eating and enjoying choice beverages all while taking in the views. 

Pass the time with fellow passengers as you trade travel stories and learn about each others’ home countries over a glass of wine and a plate of nibbles.

The Australian Outback Is Breathtaking

The View from The GhanSure, The Ghan delivers much more than an extended train ride when it comes to comfort and service, but the one thing that will leave you feeling truly inspired is the fantastic scenery. 

You’ll likely find yourself staring out the window for long stretches of time. 

But it’ll be difficult to tear your eyes away.

You’ll be transported from the lush green hills surrounding Adelaide into the rusty hues of the Red Centre, then on to the tropical splendor of Australia’s Top End.

Be on the lookout for wildlife hidden within the bush – you’re sure to spot kangaroos taking in the fresh, cool air at dusk!

Time to Explore Authentic Outback Destinations

Katherine Gorge Outback in AustraliaThe Ghan offers whistle stops where you can choose to catch a tour or explore on your own for a few hours. This gives you the opportunity to see and experience places off the beaten path. 

Going Northbound, you’ll first stop in the pioneer town of Alice Springs.

Alice Springs is a great place to immerse yourself in Aboriginal history. You can visit a working camel farm, see the region’s birds and wildlife or opt for the Spirit of Mt. Gillen Helicopter Flight, a scenic flight that takes you over Simpon’s Gap and the Larapinta Trail.  

Your next stop will be in Katherine. You can cruise down Katherine Gorge, hike in Nitmiluk National Park or maybe kayak down the Katherine River. You may just want to wander around town and explore the local attractions.

Travel Southbound and you’ll find yourself in Coober Pedy, the the opal mining capital of the world where more than half of the residents live underground!

It’s All-Inclusive!

All-Inclusive Luxury Train RideBook the Gold Service or above and you can put your credit card away while you’re aboard The Ghan.  

Enjoy three gourmet meals per day and have your fill of Australian wines, beers, base spirits and other non-alcoholic beverages. 

Your fare also includes various off train excursions and whistle stop tours! 

You can bring up to 110 pounds of luggage per person and you’ll receive complimentary shuttle service in Darwin.

Enjoy Some Privacy

Relax on the Ghan during your Australian VacationDuring a busy vacation, sometimes all you want to do is find a place where you can be alone, decompress, and take a breath. 

On The Ghan Gold Service, passengers can retire to their private sleepers, either a two-berth for traveling companions or singles-berth if you are traveling solo.

The sleepers are comfortable with freshly made-up beds in the evening and seats during the day.

Lay down and relax as the soothing sounds of those big steel wheels rolling down the track lull to you sleep.

The Food Is To. Die. For.

Amazing Food on the Ghan by Gary BembridgeThe Ghan serves fresh, regionally sourced Australian food, complemented by a range of all-inclusive wines, beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

You’ll taste everything from Top End barramundi, Margaret River cheeses, and native Australian fare including kangaroo, saltbush and wild rosella flower.

There’s no doubt many Aussie travelers rate the food in and of itself as a huge draw to experience The Ghan.

Journey Aboard The Ghan

The Ghan is one of the best ways you can experience the Red Centre in all its glory. It’s also a great way to travel to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Once you’re in Alice Springs, take a coach over to Uluru and experience the magic of this inspiring outback landscape.

Are you ready to plan your trip to Australia? Whether you want to include a journey on the Ghan in your Australia vacation or want to know more before you book, our travel experts will take care of all your arrangements.

We’ll make this once-in-a-lifetime rail journey happen.

Help Me Plan My Trip


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Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

 

Best Time for Whale Watching in Australia

Posted on: October 19th, 2017 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Whale Watching Season in Australia

Whale Calf Breaching

Whale watching in Australia has grown tremendously over the last decade. The long whale season in Australia – between May and November – no doubt contributes to its growing popularity.

But whale watching season differs throughout the country and so do the kinds of whales you’ll see.

In May, whale groups including humpbacks and southern right whales migrate from the waters of the Antarctic to the tropical waters of Australia for mating season. Minke whales and even the rare blue whale also make a stop in Australia’s waters throughout their migration.

The warm waters provide a safe habitat for delivering and nursing their calves, contributing to the growing whale population in Australia. With nearly 60 per cent of the world’s whales found in Australia’s waters, it’s no wonder this is a top whale watching destination.

Make your stop along the coasts of Australia – the best place to see whales – for an incredible opportunity to see these iconic gentle giants on your Australia vacation. Read our guide below to discover the best times to see whales during whale watching season in Australia.

Whale Watching in Victoria and South Australia

Southern Right Whales in Australia

Every year along the southern coast of Australia you’ll see southern right whales migrate to the bays of Victoria and South Australia to give birth.

Whale watching season for southern rights in this region is between June and October, when they swim closest to the shores. In Warnambool, Victoria, blue whales are occasionally seen in May.

Cross off two breathtaking experiences at once and journey along the Great Ocean Road on the southeastern coast of Australia. Cruise one of the world’s most scenic drives and stop at popular lookout points to stretch your eyes across the waters below your to spot whales frolicking and breaching. Southern rights are the most commonly spotted whale from different points along the Great Ocean Road, including at Cape Nelson, Portland Bay, and Warnambool.

These curious whales tend to venture close to humans, often swimming close to boats and ultimately lending to an incredible experience with these gentle giants of the sea.

Whale Watching on the East Coast of Australia

Whale Watching in Sydney

The east coast of Australia offers excellent opportunities for whale watching, especially along the coasts of New South Wales and Queensland.

The best time to see whales in popular destinations throughout the east coast ranges between May through July and September through November.

In Sydney, you’ll typically spot humpback whales close to shore making their journey toward Queensland. Humpback whales, like southern rights, are friendly and curious about boats and divers. Their inviting nature has given them the reputation of the most popular whales among whale watchers.

Venture out to the ocean and get a glimpse of humpbacks in their natural habitat with a whale watching cruise in Sydney.

These whale watching cruises typically combine whale watching with sightseeing and information on Sydney’s history. Cruise vessels provide an intimate experience by carrying only up to 11 passengers. You’ll enjoy a private, small group tour along the Sydney Harbor with personalized and knowledgeable commentary about the city and whales throughout your journey.

Luxury Whale Watching in Sydney

Soon you’ll be an expert on Sydney and whale behavior patterns.

If you like to cruise in style, Sydney offers luxury whale watching cruises complete with a gourmet luncheon served on-board and drinks to purchase. Comfortable indoor seating allows you to sip on a cocktail while watching the giants of the sea. Or you may take in the blue expanse of the ocean out on spacious viewing decks.

Whale watching has never been so luxurious.

Spot Whales on a Great Barrier Reef Cruise

From snorkeling to diving, glass bottom boat cruises to helicopter tours, there’s no end to the ways you can experience the truly breathtaking wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.

Take a cruise to the reef and not only will you experience the world’s largest living organism – the reef itself – but you may also see whales, the world’s largest animals.

Whale season attracts humpback and dwarf minke whales between May and September to the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The best time for whale watching in this region, however, is between July and September.

Whale Watching in Australia on a Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Whale Watching on the Gold Coast

If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground but still yearn for the special experience of seeing a whale, Australia’s east coast is the best place to spot whales from the beach.

The Gold Coast is rapidly becoming the premier whale watching site in Australia, with whales venturing as close as one or two kilometers from beach shores. Whales may be spotted all throughout the regular whale watching season in the Gold Coast, peaking in August.

Numerous lookout points along the Gold Coast provide great ocean views where you’ll spot humpback whales breaching and shooting big spouts of mist into the air. Point Danger, a headland on the southern end of the Gold Coast, is renowned as a premier spot for whale watching on land. Other great vantage points include Burleigh Hill and Miami Hill.

Whale Watching on Point Danger

Whale Watching in Hervey Bay

Humpback whales make a stop on their return migration to enjoy the waters of Hervey Bay. The clear waters allow you to easily see humpbacks as they frolic and breach, basking in the sheltered waters of Fraser Island with their young. The best time to see humpbacks in Hervey Bay is between July through October, right before they head south again for feeding.

Whales in Hervey Bay

You will typically begin spotting humpbacks twenty minutes into a cruise out on the waters of Hervey Bay – perfect for the eager whale watching enthusiast. Sometimes the whales venture close to the boats, a delightful treat for lucky passengers.

An even better treat is getting to swim with the whales.

Swimming with Whales

Swim with Whale Sharks

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo Reef Exmouth photo credit Tourism Australia

The once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with whales awaits at Ningaloo Coast. This World Heritage Site is located in the north-west coast of Western Australia. Here, whale watching adventures can combine a snorkel on the Ningaloo reef with whale watching and swimming on a full day tour.

Take a cruise between March and September for the chance to get up close and personal with these friendly giants.

And the giant you’re most likely to meet on a whale swim is the whale shark. Don’t worry though – classified as the world’s largest fish, these animals are more like whales in their behavior than sharks. These docile creatures are accustomed to swimming alongside humans, with a diet consisting of only micro-organisms such as plankton and krill. So there’s nothing stopping you from taking the plunge and swimming with whale sharks!

Meeting a new friend means first gaining their trust. The same holds true even for these enormous creatures.

You’ll enter the waters with an expert guide in a small group of up to 5 swimmers, so as not to scare off the whale shark. Gaining the animal’s trust may take up to half an hour, but that’s a small price to pay for such a grand experience.

To ensure this exhilarating experience goes as smoothly as possible, a spotter plane flies overhead and alerts the crew on board when a whale is spotted. A photographer joins the swim to capture unforgettable underwater moments you can look back on.

Swimming with Dwarf Minke Whales

Swimming with Minke Whales

Other friendly and inquisitive whales that you are likely to meet on a whale swim are dwarf minkes.

These whales hang around the Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef between May and September, peaking in early July. This region is the only place in the world where humans can interact with these whales. With a limited number of tours permitted to offer swimming with minke whales, you don’t want to miss out on this special experience! Day trips and even 3-7 night excursions onto the sea are available for enjoying minke whale watching and swimming.

If you are unsure about swimming with whales, minke whales are just gentle enough to try out the experience. They often seek out human company, swimming around snorkelers and divers and approaching boats just within a few yards. Just another reason why Australia is the best place to see whales – you’re able to experience whales in their natural habitat.

Whale Watching in Australia

All along Australia’s coastline are fantastic spots to see whales. Whether you’re a swimmer and ready for the once in a lifetime experience of swimming with whales, or if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground and see whales frolic in the ocean from the beach or a cruise, there’s a spot in Australia perfect for your style of whale watching.

Want to include whale watching in your trip to Australia? Contact one of our expert Destination Specialists. We’ll set up the perfect whale watching experience for you to see these majestic giants of the sea.


 Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).


About Australia Reviews

Rating of  Average of 4.92 on a total of 48 Ratings

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Australia Travel Hack – Using GPS for Free When Traveling Abroad

Posted on: September 15th, 2017 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

How to Use GPS For Free When TravelingIt’s no secret, data usage while traveling abroad is expensive. The problem becomes even worse when you travel to a country like Australia, which doesn’t offer endless options for free WiFi like we have in the United States. As we become more and more dependent on our phones and the information their connection brings, we find it harder and harder to function without them.  This is especially true when it comes to getting around.

I don’t know about you, but I use my maps app nearly every day!

You need a way to use GPS for free when traveling internationally!

In a foreign land it’s nice to know you can always turn to your phone when you want to find the nearest attraction, explore the area for the best restaurants, or ensure your taxi driver isn’t literally ‘taking you for a ride’. So today we share one of our most used travel tips…

How to use the GPS on your phone without using international data

Using your map app while roaming can incur heavy usage fees when traveling internationally.  This is not due to the use of your GPS. It’s because you have to download the map data in order to understand where you are and where you want to go.  Using the GPS to target your location is free. The simple solution is to download the map data before you travel.

We suggest downloading your maps a day or two before you depart so you have the most up to date information. You can do this using WiFi while in Australia, but you’ll save a lot of time if you download using the fast connection speeds you have at home. Shared WiFi in hotels and airports can be frustratingly slow!

Here’s how it’s done using the popular Google Maps app.

Step 1: If you haven’t already, download Google Maps. Apple | Android

Step 2: Type in the city you plan on visiting in the Search Bar.

Step 3: Tap on the little “hamburger” menu.

Use GPS for Free While TravelingStep 4: Tap on “Offline Maps”.

Step 5: Tap “Select Your Own Map”. If your screen only has “Home” or “Custom map” available, tap “Custom map.”

Use GPS for Free While TravelingStep 6: Zoom in or out and adjust your map to represent where you will be while on vacation.  The larger the area, the more memory the map will use on your phone. In Sydney, for example, you would likely want to include the CBD (downtown area) and areas along the Harbour up to Bondi Beach. By limiting the area, we’ll be saving 25MB of memory.

Step 7: Click Download

Use GPS for Free While Traveling

Now, when you are in this area of the map, you will be able to use Google Maps as you normally would without using any data or WiFi.  You might want to turn the mobile data off on your phone so you don’t accidentally use your data when you search outside your downloaded area.

Step 8: Repeat this process for every city on your itinerary.

Use GPS for Free While Traveling

Tip: If you’re driving and need a large area downloaded, the standard rectangle selection might create a map that is too large to download.  Instead, break up your trip with multiple maps. Download smaller, overlapping areas along your route. These will combine in your maps app and allow you to explore the region along your entire route.

Now that you can use GPS for free when traveling, you can travel carefree!

Safe travels from your mates at About Australia!

Places to Visit in Australia to Experience Aboriginal Culture

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

What places are on your Australian vacation wish list?

The Great Barrier Reef, our iconic Sydney Opera House and surrounding harbor, the breathtaking outback, the beautiful beaches or the luscious rainforests. These places are wonderful to visit and offer endless photo opportunities. But when they get home and return to normal life, most travelers find their most memorable moments not in ‘seeing the sights’, but in experiencing the culture.

The Aboriginal arts and culture are a very unique and interesting component of the Australian identity and one that can be experienced without traveling to remote locations. You can experience the human element of Australia in intimate and authentic ways in every state and not far from where you will likely already want to visit. Save on your trip to Australia with our deals on customized Indigenous vacation packages.

Aboriginal Australia is as diverse as the continent’s landscape; not one nation but many nation states speaking more than 250 languages. Each stop will provide you with a new and unique perspective and ground your tour of the infamous sites to the people of the land. You can also experience the culture by adding a few Aboriginal managed tours to your itinerary. Here are a few of our favorite places to visit in Australia to get a big dose of historic culture.

Places to Visit in Australia – New South Wales

Dreamtime Southern X Tour Sydney Australia

Image by Dreamtime Southern X

The Rocks (Sydney) – Take a 90- minute leisurely urban walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, the historic area of Sydney’s city center. Your Aboriginal guide with show you how the ancient wisdom of Dreamtime is continuously weaved into the modern city to create a unique Australian culture.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – The Royal Botanic Garden is a great place to learn how early Aboriginal inhabitants lived as hunters and gatherers. Intimately associated with the environment they made poisonous seeds edible, created fishing line from bark, wove leaves into mats and baskets, and much more in order to survive. During a one hour tour an Aboriginal Education Officer will help you explore the rich Aboriginal heritage of the garden and give you a first-hand perspective of the its significance.

Taronga Zoo (Near Sydney) – Just short drive from the harbor you’ll find the Taronga Zoo. An Aboriginal discovery tour offers a chance to enjoy interactive experiences with unique Australian wildlife and a chance to discover more about Australia’s rich culture. An Aboriginal guide will tell you stories of Australian wildlife, the binding relationships between flora and fauna, and the Dreaming (the creation of various creatures and landscapes). You’ll also get a great photo opportunity with a Koala and ride the Sky Safari cable to discover why Taronga is known as “The Zoo with a view”.

Places to Visit in Australia – Northern Territory

Uluru, Australia’s Red Centre (Ayers Rock) – Visiting the heart of Australia is about more than just seeing a giant red rock, it’s about experiencing the Outback; its majestic beauty, its heritage and its essence. As the traditional owners of Uluru Kata Tjuta and the surrounding land, who better to help you capture the moment than the Anangu? Unlike many of us the Anangu still possess a strong connection to the past and thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, wisdom and law. Their traditions are maintained and passed on through stories, rituals, ceremonies, songs, dances and art. There are many opportunities to experience their culture and learn more during your stay at Uluru. Here are a few Indigenous tours in Uluru. Your Vacation Planning Expert can help you select the best experiences for your trip.

Sounds of Silence Dinner– A unique award-winning gourmet desert dining experience complete with a didgeridoo welcome, a beautiful Outback sunset, Australian delicacies, and a tour of the stars.

Northern Territory Camel Ride Ayrer's Rock Australia

Image by AYQ

Camel Ride to the Sounds of Silence Dinner site (or just around the Outback) – Camel tours of Uluru are always an amazing experience. Friendly local guides teach and tell stories about the flora and fauna, the land, the indigenous people, their own lives and the history of camels in Australia in a fun and enjoyable way. The photo opportunities are always amazing and the camels, with their own unique personalities and cheeky nature, may also provide a bit of entertainment.

Tali Wiru Dinner – Another unique desert dining experience with a taste of Aboriginal heritage. This tour fills up quickly as only 20 people are allowed per night. You are taken to a large dune, well away from anything else. A majestic view of Uluru is in the distance as a local plays the didgeridoo and canapes are served as the sun sets. You will enjoy a three course meal with matching Australian wines, desert with port, and an evening of star gazing and Aboriginal stories.

Desert Awakenings Tour – This tour is a great way to view the landscape and learn about its history and its people. Travelers often describe their experience as powerful and spiritual as they learn the history of the land, take in the rock paintings and learn about the local lore of the Anangu people.

Places to Visit in Australia – Queensland

Queensland Daintree National Park Aboriginal Tour Australia

Image by: Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours

World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park (Pick-ups at Cairns, Beaches and Port Douglas) – This intimate tour allows you to not only learn about the Aborginal culture of the rainforest but also experience it. It’s a day full of excitement, learning, and fun. Some highlights include a smoking ceremony, mud crab hunting, a visit to your guide’s home to cook your catch, a lesson in ingenious art, and a swim in The Mossman Gorge.

Mossman Gorge Centre (A quick car ride from Port Douglas) – The Mossman Gorge Centre is managed by Aboriginal natives, Kuku Yalanji, whose natural history makes them perfect guides to the oldest rainforest in the world. Your guide will provide an entertaining narrative of the unique tropical environment while demonstrating traditional plant use, identifying bush food sources, and sharing their special relationship to the land. The Mossman Gorge Centre is a wonderfully pleasant way to enjoy the rainforest as you walk along a broad walk, swim in pristine water and cross the mighty gorge on a suspension bridge.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park (About 15 minutes from Cairns Airport) – Enjoy one of the most memorable dinner and shows in the world. This performance and tour truly takes you back in history and goes a long way to bring perspective to the culture’s 40,000 year history. The food is unexpected, abundant, tastefully prepared, and absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of opportunities for photos, fireside chats with the locals and a chance to take the stage and learn a traditional dance.

Places to Visit in Australia – Victoria

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Aboriginal Guide Australia

Image by: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Melbourne) – The word Bunjilaka is a word created from two local Aborginal languages and means “creation place”. It is a place where Victoria’s indigenous communities can express their own history within the Melbourne Museum. It’s also a place where you can understand the aboriginal history of belonging to the land on the Yarra River, populated by the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people before the first Europeans arrived.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – The award-winning walk through the Gardens is often described as one of the most interesting walks in the city. A local Aboriginal guide takes you on a journey through the traditional camping and meeting place the for Kulin nation. You’ll experience stories, culture, plant lore, tools and ceremony.

Places to Visit in Australia – Western Australia

Western Australia Tour

Image by: Koomal Dreaming

Ngilgi Cave (About 40 minutes north of Margaret River) – Not many American tourists make it out to Western Australia. If you do, it’s well worth your time to visit Wardandi and Bibbulman Country. You can experience this great landscape and the caves through the eyes of the traditional owners. Take a 3-hour private tour which includes a bush walk, a trip into the Ngilgi Cave where your Aboriginal guide will play the didgeridoo, and a live demonstration of spears and boomerangs. All of this will leave you with authentic insight into the indigenous way of life in historic Western Australia.

 

Australia’s landscape varies from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, from the desert outback to tropical rainforests and within each landscape is a unique historic culture, whose Dreamtime stories are as varied as the country they inhabit. A trip to Australia isn’t complete without experiencing at least a few of these ancient and mysterious cultures.

View Deals or Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-3592877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

 

Great Barrier Reef, Best Australian Beaches & Dives

Posted on: August 18th, 2015 by Lexie Cargile No Comments

Are you looking to soak up the sun on warm, salty beaches or go “under the sea” for some incredible scuba diving? Australia lends itself to some of the best scuba diving in the world. With over 27,000 beaches and being home to the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, it’s not surprising it’s a scuba divers and beach lover’s dream destination; the crystal clear waters are magnificently mysterious and provide out-of-this-world experiences. We have compiled a list of top Australia vacation spots, and the most popular and iconic beaches & dive locations; no matter your diving background, there are quintessential locations for everyone to explore.

Travel Tip: The seasons are reversed, making the weather in Australia different than the US.

The northeast region of Queensland yields the most diversity for travelers. Queensland is home to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Heron Island, Lizard Island and Brisbane, making it an ideal region for those looking to combine the best beaches, scuba diving, and a touch of urban culture.

The Great Barrier Reef is the most iconic scuba diving and snorkeling location in the world. The reef is surrounded by 900 islands and spans across 1,400 miles, roughly the size of 70 million football fields. You will come face-to-face with the world’s most unique and vibrant aquatic life.

  • Heron Island, one of the reef’s luxury resorts, allows you to fully experience the tranquility of the reef and all of its wonders. The leisurely island experience focuses on exploring the beauty of nature and leaving the hectic outside world behind.
  • Lizard Island, an exclusive Great Barrier Reef resort, accessible only by plane, is located directly on the reef. It is perfectly secluded from the world with private beaches you can unwind on and escape the “touristy” areas of the reef, as well as indulge in private, luxury spa treatments and 5-Star cuisine
True or False? Great White Sharks can be found on the Great Barrier Reef. FALSE. The reef’s waters are too warm and shallow for Great Whites; the most common shark found on the reef is a reef shark. These smaller sharks are extremely docile due to the warmer waters and the large amount of fish in the area, leaving you with nothing to worry about.

Liveaboard Sciba Diving Trip AustraliaHeron Island Scuba Diving AustraliaAustralia Beach Travel Destination

Cairns, the closest mainland entrance to the reef, is a tourism powerhouse with pristine beaches and an array of activities. PADI also rates Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as sites for the World’s Best Big Animal Dives. In addition to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns also has the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest, where you can embark on an award winning Skyrail Cableway tour across the rainforest and national parks for the “world’s most beautiful rainforest experience.” You can choose from over 600 tours a day, including: guided reef walks, scenic helicopter flights, glass-bottom boat & submarine tours, beach adventures, and fishing & sailing.

  • If you’re looking for a really authentic scuba dive experience, Cairns has various liveaboard divetrip operators that venture across the reef’s greatest dive spots for 2-7 days, where you can dive or snorkel between breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.

Port Douglas & Cape Tribulation are the perfect mixture of beach and scuba diving. You are still close enough to the Great Barrier Reef to scuba dive at your leisure, but far enough away from everything where you can lay out on white, sandy beaches and relax without the hustle and bustle of an urban city. Cape Tribulation is the only place in the world where two Natural Wonders of the World meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest.

Brisbane serves as a hub of Australian experiences for those with a short amount of time, and also provides easy access to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast & Hinterland- breathtaking beaches, adventure theme parks, the Australia Zoo (home of the Crocodile Hunter) and incredible rainforests. While in Brisbane you can explore the South Bank Parklands – a great place to take the kiddos, lay out at Kodak Beach – Australia’s largest man-made inland beach/pool, ride a “River Cat” (ferry) across the rivers, and shop ‘til you drop at the Brisbane Mall.

Sydney, located in New South Wales, is Australia’s number one travel destination. It is worldly famous for the Sydney Harbor, the Sydney Opera House, and some of the highest rated beaches in the world; our two favorites include Manly Beach & Bondi Beach. The critically acclaimed beaches are the perfect sandy getaway with views that stretch as far as the eye can see, and offer world-class surfing, friendly locals, an incredible seafood.

Port Lincoln, also known as the “Sea Food Capitol of Australia,” sits along the shore of the Boston Bay in South Australia and is a thrill-seekers paradise. You will have the opportunity to swim with sea lions & tuna, go game fishing, or take the plunge, if you dare, and cage dive with Great White Sharks. Unwind after all of the excitement with some retail therapy at one of the countless boutiques, or dine in at one of the exquisite restaurants.

Kangaroo on Kangaroo Island AustraliaSea Lion on Kangaroo Island Australia

Kangaroo Island, another South Australian treasure, is home to the extremely unique leafy sea dragon which can ONLY be found in Australia; it is a scuba-divers dream to dive with something so rare and fascinating. In addition to Australia’s favorite land animals – kangaroos, sea lions, and koalas -all these remarkable creatures are what make Kangaroo Island special. You can marvel at these Aussie natives in their natural habitat and explore the wonderment that Kangaroo Island holds, above and below the water.

Ningaloo Reef is located along the coast of Western Australia, and is a World Heritage Listed site. You’re able to dive with whale sharks (seasonal), snorkel through incredible coral lagoons, and watch dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales migrate (seasonal). You can explore several different national parks as well as off-road through sand dunes – another great stop on an adventure travelers bucket-list.

Australia has over 27,000 beaches – that’s a new one to visit everyday for 27 years. We’ve made it easy on you and listed the top 5: White Haven Beach, Turqoise Bay, Cable Beach, Burleigh Heads Beach, and Manly Beach. For a full list of the best beaches in Australia click here.

Similarly, Australia has just as many fantastic dive and snorkel sites, the top 5 include: Cod Hole on the Great Barrier Reef, Flinders Reef, Fish Rock Cave, Lord Howe Island, and Ningaloo Reef.

Annual seasonal events among these locations include: turtle watching, whale watching, festivals & events, and birding which add a little bit of special Australian culture to your adventure. We can accommodate to include any of these seasonal events to personalize your trip even more.

 

or Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-3592877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

 


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Rating of  Average of 4.92 on a total of 48 Ratings

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Australia Vacation Spots

Posted on: August 7th, 2015 by Lexie Cargile No Comments

Australia is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world; no matter where you are, there is always something to do. The most common questions we hear are: “How big is Australia?” “When is the best time to travel to Australia?” & “What to do in Australia?

Sydney Opera House| Top Australia Vacation SpotWhether you’re planning your first trip, your second trip, or maybe even your eighth trip, there are two things you need to know before you embark on your journey ‘down under’; Australia is roughly the same size as the continental US & the seasons are reversed.

Spring: September – November
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August

Understanding those facts is a vital component in planning your dream getaway. The country is so large it has developed to cater to every interest, and we have compiled a list of the best Australia vacation spots to to make your vacation planning that much simpler. These destinations encompass the true spirit of Australia and are filled with incredible sights, riveting wildlife, fascinating cultural experiences & thrilling adventures. Each region has attributes that make it unique and special. To help you orientate yourself, we’ve provided a useful link to a map of Australia.

 

Queensland: North Eastern AustraliaGreat Barrier Reef Australia

Cairns houses two “Natural Wonders of the World” – the Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef – making it one of the worldly famous best places to visit in Australia. Cairns is a great spot for adrenaline junkies, aquatic adventurers & wildlife enthusiasts, offering over 600 tours a day. It is the closest, and most convenient, mainland entrance to the Reef, giving you easy access to explore the ocean’s beauty. The World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest and is home to some of the most authentic aboriginal culture.

Brisbane is commonly known as the “river city” and is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. With twelve months of sunshine, it is no surprise it is one of the top Australian vacation destinations – the quintessential location for year-round outdoor activities. There is a variety of leisurely or exciting river cruises & tours, in addition to: thrilling theme parks, national parks that are home to the rainforest, world renowned zoo’s & koala sanctuaries, and seasonal whale watching tours.

Gold Coast is Australia’s 5th most visited destination by international travelers, one of the best vacation spots in Australia. It is known as the “surfer’s paradise” due to the consistent waves year-round, with pristine beaches, gorgeous rainforests, and a nice mix of urban culture. The Gold Coast offers energetic theme parks, exquisite dining, and critically-acclaimed retailers with an upbeat nightlife to give you the perfect mix of entertainment & pleasure.

 

New South Wales: South Eastern Australia

Sydney is the most culturally diverse and heavily populated area in Australia. It is most commonly known for the iconic Sydney Opera House and gorgeous Sydney Harbor. In addition, there are a tremendous amount of delicious 5-Star restaurants, magnificent beaches, and attractions that makes travelers drawn to the area. The beauty of Sydney is that you can kick-back on the beach; stroll through contemporary art galleries, aquariums & botanical gardens; cruise the harbor and tour the Opera house, or indulge in some world class retail therapy.

 

Victoria: South Eastern Australia

Melbourne, a close second to Sydney in population size, has an enormous amount of indigenous culture that begs to be explored. The Arts Centre Melbourne displays the most incredible indigenous art, cultural events, and performing arts. After a day of exploring the gorgeous landscapes and eating at authentic cafes, take a drive on the Great Ocean Road along the coast to witness the grandeur of the Twelve Apostles and relax at the stunning beaches.

If you’re looking for a little adventure and a few days of exploration, take a drive from Melbourne to Adelaide foran extended “Great Ocean Road” coastal drive that allows you to fully capture the essence and beauty of the beaches and surrounding towns.

Ayers Rock at Sunset in AustraliaNorthern Territory:

Ayers Rock (Uluru) is another one of Australia’s greatest treasures. The World Heritage Listed national parks, terrain, and aboriginal history is what makes this region a top Australian travel destination. Explore the culture, traditions, and landscapes while on a guided tour by a native Australian Aboriginal. The sunsets are breathtaking and can be best experienced in a hot air balloon or helicopter.

South Australia:

Adelaide, Australia’s food and wine city, is seamlessly vivacious and always has something going on. There are year-round events and festivals making it the perfect place to visit no matter the season. We suggest attending a sporting event or head to the wineries for tours and tastings, followed by an incredible dinner at one of the critically-acclaimed restaurants. There’s never a shortage of things to do.

australia-vacation-spots-kangaroo-islandIf you’re looking for a more “off-the-beaten-path” type experience, we recommend Kangaroo Island for its well-known scenery, wildlife, and adventure. In addition to Kangaroo’s you will also discover Sea Lions and other native critters roaming the gorgeous beaches and national parks. To optimize the adventure, take a hike through a national park, kayak along the coast, or perhaps take a helicopter tour for a birds-eye-view of this wildlife oasis. Whichever you choose, you will certainly be dazzled by the charming nature and adventure on Kangaroo Island.

 

The essence and incredible culture of Australia can never be fully explained, it is something you just have to experience for yourself. Let us plan your personal itinerary today so you’re guaranteed to receive an experience catered to your interests and you don’t miss a minute of what Australia has to offer.