Outback scenery near Alice Springs, Australia.

Australia

Explore Australia: ‘The Lucky Country’

Book Australia flights and get back to nature to discover the essence of Australia in the vast desert outback. Here, wide-arching blue sky meets horizon-stretching terracotta landscape, far from the coast-hugging cities. Ancient granite outcrops come alive with hot-pink wildflowers outside Perth. A billabong camp under the stars is your home for the night in the Kakadu wetlands. After your flight to Australia, come back down to earth in the presence of sacred Uluru, an ancient sandstone monolith that glows deep red at sunset.

Adrenaline rush

Set your pulse racing on your Australia holiday. Scale the dizzying heights of Sydney's tower-top Skywalk and iconic Harbour Bridge. Swim with giant rays along the Great Barrier Reef or dodge falling rocks on Victoria's wave-lashed limestone coast. Crew your own swanky charter yacht to tropical inlets and powder-white beaches in the Whitsunday Islands, or abseil craggy Grampians outcrops.

Get cultured

The eerie calm of Australia's signature red rock overwhelms when you enter dreamtime at Uluru. Guided by the Anangu – Uluru's traditional 'owners' – you’ll spy vivid rock paintings of kangaroos and serpents etched into spooky caves. In Cairns, hear campfire tales of cattle-herding jackaroos. Old Melbourne Gaol is where you’ll discover how original Aussie larrikin bushranger, Ned Kelly, met his maker. Witness Aussie sporting culture at its wildest at raucous Australian Rules football matches.

Eat and drink

Australia has shrugged off its meat-and-two-veg heritage. Melbourne morphs into Little Saigon thanks to a bowl of spicy pho, and Italian waiters say 'ciao' when you order spaghetti pesto in Sydney’s Leichhardt district. Colonial Australians were raised on spring lamb, and wagyu beef fills your plate at Hunter Valley vineyards. But it's Tasmania’s prized Pacific oysters and Queensland's Moreton Bay bugs (lobsters) that ensure seafood remains Australia's perennial culinary darling.

Fast facts

Where? Massive Australia extends from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Tasman Sea in the east. From Darwin, in the north, it's a quick hop across sea to South East Asia.

Population: It's true: Australia has more sheep than New Zealand! The human population is nudging 22 million and only the Brits top the Kiwis for the number of expats here.

Key dates: On 25 April both Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day, remembering the soldiers who died in WWI battles at Gallipoli.

Getting about: Rail journeys rule in Oz. Take the Indian Pacific across the continent from Sydney to Perth, or traverse The Outback aboard the Ghan.

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