International visitors are spoiled for choice when they visit Australia. There are so many different places to see and experience, but the geography of Australia can make it challenging to pick the region that is right for you.
If you are planning a trip to Australia, here are four distinct regions to consider that each offers its own unique experiences – so you can pick the perfect destination for your holiday needs.
Why The Sunshine Coast Captures The Diversity of Australia
A common dilemma for visitors to Australia is which regions to visit in a limited time. There is no other place on earth where you can experience the same levels of diversity in Australia, but a Sunshine Coast holiday (located about 100km north of the Queensland capital Brisbane) will give you a pretty good taste.
This region spans around 60km of gorgeous Australian coastline where you can discover local seafood, breaking waves, fishing and boating experiences, world-class golfing facilities and a cluster of townships including Coolum, Noosa, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Caloundra and more.
The entire region is nestled in the cradle of the Glasshouse Mountains and you can also explore the hinterland for sweeping views of the ocean and islands, unique villages, farm-fresh produce, markets and so much more.
The Sunshine Coast is also the gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island) and you can easily get away for reef trips, deep-sea fishing adventures, whale watching and so much more. If you are looking to cram as much Australian culture and diversity into a short international trip as possible, it is hard to go wrong with the Sunshine Coast.
Melbourne Is The Home Of Australian Culture
If cultural and dining experiences entice you, there is no better place than Melbourne. The local cafes and restaurants treat their craft very seriously and you can experience the best food, beer, wine and coffee in Australia for every meal. But that is really just scratching the surface of what Melbourne has to offer.
If you are an art lover, The National Gallery of Victoria boasts the largest permanent collection of Australian art in the country while you can also take in performances at Arts Centre Melbourne. Even just roaming the streets and laneways of Melbourne is a cultural experience, with unique street art to be found in every corner.
Melbourne is the sports hub of Australia as well, with the storied Melbourne Cricket Ground (home of the Boxing Day Cricket Test and Australian Football League grand final), Flemington Racecourse (home of the richest Australian horse race the Melbourne Cup) and Rod Laver Arena (home of the Australian Open) just some of the venues that you need to explore – even if there are no events on.
Discover Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef
Some people want to avoid the capital cities, crowds and the rat race when they go on holiday. Fortunately, there are plenty of experiences in Australia that offer a more laid back holiday that is perfect for individuals, couples and the entire family.
One of the most popular regional centres for international visitors is Cairns in Far North Queensland and it is easy to see why. Cairns is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef so it is simple to get away for day trips full of snorkelling and natural experiences you won’t get anywhere else in the world.
Cairns is also where the rainforest meets the reef, so you can easily head up into the Daintree Rainforest to explore, camp and enjoy the most picturesque walking tracks in the country. You can even get there by on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which will deliver you sweeping views of the forest and the ocean from the air.
Just north of Cairns is Port Douglas, a beachside paradise where the celebrities love to play and holiday, while just south is Mission Beach with its outstanding fishing and genuine North Queensland flavours when it comes to food and local beers.
Take The Time To Explore New South Wales
Sydney is a must-visit destination for overseas visitors so they can soak up Bondi Beach, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House (for starters). It is a thriving Australian city with so much to see and do for people from all walks of life.
But it is important to not limit yourself to just Sydney. There are glorious beaches to explore in Newcastle and wineries in the Hunter Valley. The Blue Mountains are a perfect place to visit all year round, but really come alive in winter when ski season kicks in. Byron Bay offers a more relaxed way of living and couples glorious beaches with World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park.
Norfolk Island offers a look at Australia’s colonial heritage with authentic buildings, preserved relics and museums – all with the crystal blue ocean as the backdrop. And for those that love adventure, The Snowy Mountains present the best ski resorts and Australia’s tallest summit in Mount Kosciuszko.