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 - 4
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 7 - 10
Set along Australia's southeastern coast, Sydney is one of Australia's largest cities and serves as the capital of New South Wales. No matter what you fancy – shopping, the arts, the outdoors – you’re likely to be bewildered by the scope of choice available here. First up, there are the must-sees – iconic Sydney Opera House; Harbour Bridge, where visitors can climb while hearing about Sydney history; and the Sydney Tower which provides spectacular 360-degree views of the city. Explore the photogenic waterside hubs of Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and the Rocks district; or delve into the larger-than-life music and food scenes of the metropolis after dark. For more laid-back diversions, head down to the beach or hop on a ferry for an extensive tour of Sydney Harbour and the gorgeous Parramatta River.
There aren't many places on this planet where travellers are so well catered for – in terms of both man-made enticements and splendours of the natural realm. New Zealand is bigger than the UK, with one-fourteenth the population size. Filling in the gaps are sublime forests, majestic mountains, and the stunning lakes, beaches and fjords that have made this country one of the best hiking (locals call it 'tramping') destinations on Earth. It’s renowned worldwide for having a relaxed, friendly, spacious and outdoor adventure lifestyle (think sport, walks, BBQs, and beaches). When you combine this adventurous outlook with a stunning backdrop you start to see why travellers rate New Zealand as the action/adventure/adrenalin capital of the world!
Days 10 - 11
Auckland, the biggest city in Polynesia, is situated in the north of North Island between two harbours. The city has been named the most multicultural one on earth and boasts a lively modern centre as well as spectacular natural attractions. At the Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere, dine in a revolving restaurant or get involved in pulse-quickening base jumping or Sky Walking. Further adrenaline can be found at the famous Rainbows End theme park, as well as along the harbour (with watersports), at diving spots the (Great Barrier Reef and Goat Island Marine Reserve) and among the string of 45 volcanoes found here. Explore superb art galleries, live music venues, restaurants, and shops or picnic at the gorgeous Auckland Botanic Gardens. Animal lovers will enjoy visiting Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World.
Days 11 - 13
The city of Rotorua has been a spa town since the 1800s, thanks to the many geysers, hot springs and mud pools that can be found in what is one of the world’s most active geothermal fields. The Maori, who considered the region sacred, make up 35% of the population and a popular attraction is discovering their rich culture and traditions. Rotorua is surrounded by lakes, mountains, forests and other natural features that afford visitors the opportunity to try out a number of outdoor activities between relaxing sessions in the hot springs and pools.