Australia immediately conjures images of the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, big-wave surfing, miles of Outback and a rather strange, and endearing, assortment of animals. While the country’s main cities offer charm, glamour, unique festivals, a well-preserved historical heritage, fabulous beaches and fun events, it’s also a land of immense contrast and captivating nature. The nation offers something for just about everyone – from water lovers, desert wanderers and canyon climbers, to arts and culture buffs, historians, and foodies. The country’s vast size makes it almost impossible to take it all in during a single visit, but you can pick and choose a perfect holiday according to your personal preferences.
Days 1 - 2
Perth is Western Australia’s star attraction. Hailed as the country’s ‘sunniest' capital – and blessed by the lapping waters of the Swan River as well as miles of coastline – it attracts foodies, fashionistas and fun lovers alike. Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden; the city’s splendid cultural precinct where you’ll find art galleries, the Western Australian Museum, and the State Ballet and Opera; head down to the beach to swim with dolphins; saunter down the King Street precinct for a taste of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and company; and if you’re into anything vintage, visit Guildford for some retro retail therapy.
Days 2 - 3
Affectionately known by locals as ‘Rotto’, Rottnest Island lies approximately 20 kilometres off the coast of Perth. The island’s primary attractions are undoubtedly the long white stretches of golden sand beaches, as well as the excellent marine-rich reefs and caves which form an ideal playground for swimmers, divers and snorkelers. Much of the island's quirky charm lies in the fact that it’s largely car-free and visitors typically rent bicycles in order to get around. Cycling around the small island is a real pleasure, and it's relatively easy to find your own secluded beach. You're likely to encounter quokkas, the island's only native land mammals. Also relatively common are New Zealand fur seals, dolphins, and – in season – whales. Don’t miss the Rottnest Island Museum showcasing the history and ecology of the island.
Days 7 - 10
Once known as the ‘City of Churches’, today Adelaide is better recognised for its sophistication, charm and cosmopolitan feel. South Australia’s capital is a hub of festivals and art galleries; it enjoys a vibrant nightlife and live-music scene; plus there is plenty of shopping, including gorgeous opals, to be done; and gastronomic delights to be enjoyed. Pop into the Art Gallery of South Australia to view indigenous art, or the South Australian Museum devoted to natural history; take an amble in the Adelaide Botanic Garden; or if you’re up for a hike, find out about the trails on the Mount Lofty Ranges.