Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. Australia is a land of excitement, bursting with colour, friendly people and fabulous things to see and do. It’s a magical destination, full of unique natural wonders and an astounding variety of wildlife.
Wine lovers will also be spoilt for choice by the many acclaimed `wine road’ tours available. The `roads’ go through award winning wine growing areas such as Yarra Valley, the Barossa, Hunter Valley and Margaret River to name but a few Tastings can be informal cellar door affairs or world renowned expert-conducted experiences to talk about forever.
Accommodation includes beautiful spas, five star luxury resorts, fully serviced apartments and romantic rainforest hideaways as well as other categories.
Getting to Australia from India is easy, there are specially-trained Aussie Specialist agents who can tailor the itinerary as per your requirements. There are regular flights from India to all the key cities. By the time you enjoy the in-flight movies, a couple of meals and a quick stopover in Asia, you’ll be in Australia and ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Shopping fantasies spread wings in the Pitt Street Mall, the pedestrian plaza between King and Market streets in central Sydney. Running off the plaza are five multi-level malls, including such shopping sensations as the Mid-City Centre and Skygarden – a striking, futuristic complex that houses some of the most famous names in haute couture and accessories.
Double Bay reigns supreme for ‘posh’ designer labels, sandwiched between European-style pavement cafes. Castlereagh Street near King is the place to go for upmarket extras (Hermes, Louis Vuitton). Queen Street, Woollahra is the place to look for colonial antiques, or browse for bargains in the antique markets of Woollahra and Surry Hills. The Queen Victoria Building has the best of the chains (Esprit, Ralph Lauren, Country Road) and the most fetching facade.
Oxford Street is for clothes with a difference, cafes strong on modern Mediterranean flavours and cappuccino with attitude. Paddington markets on Saturday is for patchouli oil and tie-dyes from the past generation and clothes for the coming one.
A MUST BUY
Australia is known not only for its quantity of sheep, but the quality of wool they produce. Merino in particular yields the longest wool fibres in the world. When buying, always look for the Pure New Wool label to guarantee quality.
The name Akubra in Australia has almost become the general term for hat. Over the years, Akubra hats have adorned the heads of prime ministers, US presidents, sporting greats and film stars. A piece of Australian history! The Akubra is available in most major department stores, retail outlets and online.
Sydney, capital of New South Wales, Australia’s largest and oldest city!
Sydney is arguably one of the most colourful, cosmopolitan and sophisticated cities in the world. For a remarkable eighth year in a row, she is voted the world’s number one tourist destination by Conde Nast Traveller.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House, a landmark building at Bennelong Point, is home to Australia’s opera, ballet and theatre companies and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Sydney Tower Observation Level is located in the AMP Centrepoint Tower. The tower provides compelling 360-degree views of Sydney from both the observation level and its revolving restaurant.
Darling Harbour is a place where Sydney celebrates. This modern waterside harbour, five minutes from the city centre is accessible by car, ferry, bus, lightrail and monorail. Browse through the 200 shops in the Harbourside
With four national parks, Sydney offers a superb environment to get back to nature with opportunities for bushwalking, picnicking, and adventure activities, and are all easily accessible from the city.
Quay. The City of Penrith is located on the Nepean River at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Attractions include the Penrith Lakes, selected as the venue for the rowing for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. On the way to Penrith from Sydney, at Eastern Creek, is Australia’s Wonderland, a major fun and theme park for Sydney, together with the Australian Wildlife Park where visitors discover the beauty of Australia’s flora and fauna.
Melbourne is Australia’s most stylish capital. Beautiful architecture, a rich combination of arts, culture, good restaurants, shopping and its famous trams give the city a diverse charm and distinct cosmopolitan atmosphere. Melbourne, situated on the Yarra River, is an elegant, cosmopolitan city with diverse charms. It is generally regarded as Australia’s art capital and is host to many cultural festivals each year.
In the city of Melbourne, there are a number of fascinating places that one can visit and it will take a few days just to discover them all.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
# Australia’s most famous sporting stadium
# Home of the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum;
# Tours of the MCG leave regularly between 10am and 3pm from the Gallery Foyer (Members’ Entrance) on non-event days
# Operating hours – from 10am to 4pm daily except Christmas Day & Good Friday
# Public transport access via train and tram.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Brisbane, with an area of 1,220 sq km and a population of 1.6 million, is the state capital of Queensland and the 3rd largest city in Australia. It is known as the “Koala Capital of Australia”. Attractive tropical homes with wide verandahs stand alongside modern skyscrapers. It is also the starting point for tours to the nearby Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast resorts as well as other parts of the state.
The Treasury Casino
– a grand heritage building which offers more than 100 gaming table and 1,200 gaming machines.
The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is set in tranquil bushland on the banks of the Brisbane River and is Australia’s largest koala sanctuary.
For a panoramic view of the city, Mt Coot-tha is THE place to go ! For a breath of fresh air, explore the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens which is open daily from 8.30am – 5pm. You may also want to explore the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planeterium also known as the “Cosmic Skydome”, the largest planetarium in Australia.
CAIRNS AND GREAT BARRIER REEF
North Queensland is blessed by two of nature’s most magnificent ecosystems – the Great Barrier Reef and the Rainforest.
Both are awesome, tranquil and unspeakably beautiful Cairns is a cosmopolitan resort city catering to visitors from all over the World. It is an ideal setting-off point for reef cruises to the Reef, Green and Fitzroy Islands, white water rafting expeditions, as well as Four-Wheel-Drive safaris into the heritage rainforest.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
It is approximately 2,900 individual coral reefs including 760 fringe reefs stretching over 2,000km along the Queensland coast and covering 350,000 sq km.
It is the largest structure on earth made by living creatures.
The Great Barrier Reef is regarded as the “eighth wonder of the world” and is on the World Heritage Listing of our planet’s unique and precious places.
You can visit the Great Barrier Reef at any time of the year but June to August (winter) is the driest and least humid time, while September to October will have fewer trade winds.
The hottest and wettest months are January to March. The coldest month is July with average temperatures of 17 C – 26 C.
Flanked by the sparkling Indian Ocean and the tranquil waters of the Swan River, Perth, the cosmopolitan Capital City, is Australia’s Western Gateway.
It offers the perfect location from which to start your Western Australian holiday, with its al fresco cafe society, easily accessible beaches, seven days a week shopping and lively evening entertainment
Perth enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other Capital City in Australia, with an average of eight hours of sunshine per day. The winters are short and mild. Its warm sunny climate, clear blue skies, first-class golf courses, and casual friendliness of the people add the feeling of leisure and pleasure. In the spring months (August to November), the countryside is carpeted with delicate wildflowers. As a matter of fact, Western Australia is also known as the “Wildflower State”.
Home of government, parliament house and a host of diplomatic residences, Canberra is a stylish, modern city situated on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Set in the heart of glorious bushland and within reach of some of Australia’s most spectacular countryside, it is a city like no other.
The spacious planned streets, the imposing modern architecture and the advantages of its natural setting are immediately obvious.
THINGS TO SEE
AUSTRALIAN REPTILE CENTRE
Come face to face with some of Australia’s largest, deadliest and most colourful reptiles in the Australian Reptile Gallery with thematic exhibits encompassing the tropical, temperate and arid zones. In the Prehistory Gallery, the ‘Reptiles in Space and Time’ exhibition graphically portrays the evolution of reptiles through the fossil record. ‘Snake Tales’ educational programs in the Auditorium offer a hands-on opportunity to meet a friendly python close-up.
CANBERRA SPACE DOME
Planetarium and virtual reality star theatre. Explore the wonders of deep space, view magnificent star fields, or visit other planets.
The Carillon is one of the largest musical instruments in the world. The 53 bronze bells are controlled by hand batons and foot pedals on a keyboard. The Carillon was a gift from Great Britain to the people of Australia to mark Canberra’s 50th birthday in 1963.
THE CAMBERRA WINE COMPANY
Australia’s newest urban winery and the biggest ever new vine planting in the ACT. The Kamberra Wine and Tourism Complex is a focal point for the region’s wine industry. Facilities include the Cellar Door, the Meeting Place Winery Cafe, the Federation Centre Boardroom, a working Winery and vineyards.
Acknowledged as the Festival City and the Australian capital of Food & Wine, Adelaide offers much more if you are prepared to unlock and share its special secrets. It’s an exciting city for anyone who enjoys the good life – fine dining and wining, the arts, entertainment, or simply taking a stroll along the Terrace or an elegant boulevard.
Just an hour from mainland Australia, Tasmania is a land apart – a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly welcoming people; pleasant, temperate climates and a rich history and relaxed island lifestyle.
And that’s not all. Tasmania’s deserved reputation as the clean and green Australian State (what more do you need to know than that Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world) has provided fertile soil, for food and wine producers. And the waters around Tasmania are home to some of the best fish in the world. Nothing beats a plate of Tasmanian oysters or salmon.
According to experienced travellers who’ve criss-crossed the globe in search of excellence, Tasmania has:
# one of the world’s ten best beaches (Wineglass Bay, US-based Outside Magazine),
# the best island in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific (Travel + Leisure US-based Magazine)
# the world’s best little town (Strahan, Chicago Herald Tribune), and is rated as ‘the world’s best temperate island’ (Condé Naste Traveler).
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Hobart is nestled between Mount Wellington and the sea. White beaches on its outskirts, historic buildings at its heart, Australia’s 2nd oldest city has a lifestyle of its own.
Browse through antique stores, discover stunning arts and crafts, linger over a coffee in one of the street cafes, explore the fishing harbour but whatever you do, don’t miss Salamanca Market on Saturday morning. On Saturdays, the umbrellas go up and two blocks of stalls and shops are bustling with people and street buskers offering you some of the finest arts and crafts found in Tasmania.