Touring Holiday Highlights: Australia

With its busy cities, ochre deserts, lush rainforests and rugged coastlines, vast and varied Australia is an incredible destination for an other-side-of-the-world touring adventure. Use our Touring Holiday Highlights guide to help plan your perfect trip down under.


Where To Go


#1 Sydney

Often wrongly assumed to be Australia’s capital city, Sydney attracts tourists in their millions each year. And it’s not difficult to see why. Not only does this cosmopolitan city have a long list of must-see landmarks and attractions – including the Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanical Gardens and, of course, the iconic Sydney Opera House – it’s also a stone’s throw from one of Australia’s most popular beaches, Bondi Beach.

Sydney features on many of Destina’s touring holidays including the epic 19 day Best of Australia itinerary which covers the length of the country from Darwin in the north to Melbourne in the south.

Don’t Miss: The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney and its historical paths lined with quaint buildings, bars, boutiques and bistros are well worth a wander. The weekend market is a great place to people watch, and there’s a ‘Friday Foodie Market’ too.

#2 The Outback

If you want to explore some of Australia’s best natural attractions, its rough and ready Outback beckons. There’s an endless choice of trails for hikers to tackle, including the popular rim walk at Kings Canyon, and an extensive list of remote National Parks boasting the full spectrum of landscapes from desert dunes and looming rock formations to rushing waterfalls and vast lakes. Adelaide is a great jumping off point for an Outback adventure, with popular itineraries taking in the time-warp towns of Alice Springs, Quorn with its historical Richi Pichi Railway, and Coober Pedy with its amazing cave-like houses carved into the hillsides. Kangaroo Island, the Devils Marbles boulders and, of course, Ayers Rock, are also Outback highlights.

Don’t Miss: A cruise down the Katherine Gorge will take you sailing through the heart of Nitmiluk National Park, flanked by spectacular red sandstone cliffs.

#3 Melbourne

Known as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne has much to offer those who pay it a visit. Crammed full of interesting museums and attractions like the patriotic Shrine of Remembrance that sits within the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, the National Gallery and the State Library of Victoria, it offers a whistlestop education in history, art and architecture. Plus sports fans will be in their element with the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Rod Laver Tennis Stadium, Flemington Racecourse and the National Sports Museum.

Don’t Miss: The Victorian-era Block Arcade is an atmospheric place to stop for an elegant afternoon tea or a browse of the charming boutiques. Those with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the flagship store of Haigh’s fine Australian chocolates or the delicacies on offer at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

#4 Cairns

Known as the gateway to Queensland’s ‘Tropical North’ Cairns epitomises the laid back, outdoorsy lifestyle that Australia is known for. It boasts a relaxed holiday vibe due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, its smart resorts and the lush rainforest that surrounds the city. The beaches are around 15 minutes outside of the city centre, but the fantastic ocean-side Esplanade lagoon swimming pool is a great alternative for hot days.

Don’t Miss: For the best views of the rainforest area to the north of Cairns, take the Kuranda Scenic Railway one way and the Skyrail Cableway to return.


What To Do


#1 Watch the sun rise over Ayers Rock

Also known by its Aboriginal name, Uluru, Ayers Rock is at the heart of Australia’s Aboriginal Dreamtime mythology. Whether you want to visit to gain insight into this ancient indigenous culture, for the opportunity to hike around this epic landmark or to watch the sun rise or set behind the rock, it’s a must-see on any tour that takes in the Outback territory.

#2 Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

This breathtaking natural attraction is the largest coral reef in the world and an essential experience for snorkelers and scuba divers of all abilities. Destina’s Sydney, Rock and Reef tour will whisk you from Cairns by catamaran to the Low Isles, an idyllic coral island where you can swim and snorkel in an unspoilt tropical paradise.

#3 Drive the Great Ocean Road

Australia’s Great Ocean Road is a 243km stretch of coastal road running alongside the Southern Ocean past astonishing sea views, thick pockets of rainforest, towering cliffs, pretty towns and some of the country’s best surf spots. At Destina we offer several self-drive and escorted tour options, including the Drive the Great Ocean Road itinerary going from Melbourne to Adelaide, taking in the Twelve Apostles landmark, Apollo Bay, and the Coonawarra and Barossa Valley wine districts.

#4 See the Sea Lions at Kangaroo Island

Wildlife lovers will be in their element during a visit to Kangaroo Island. From dolphin spotting on the ferry crossing to the wild sea lion breeding colony at the Seal Bay Conservation Park, it offers many opportunities to get close to its animal occupants. Kangaroo Island pairs well with Outback and Great Ocean Road adventures, making it an easy essential stop-off to add to many of our Australia tours.

Where To Stay

#1 Ayers Rock Resort Desert Gardens Hotel

The key feature of this hotel is that it only offers rooms with views of Ayers Rock, making it a truly magical place to stay. The Ayers Rock Resort is an oasis of hotels, restaurants and attractions designed with careful consideration of the natural environment that surrounds it. A fantastic accommodation choice for an up-close Ayers Rock experience.

#2 Holiday Inn Old Sydney

Another hotel selected by Destina for its fantastic location, the Holiday Inn Old Sydney boasts unobstructed views of the Harbour, Opera House and Harbour Bridge from its rooftop. And the rooftop pool is the perfect place to take a cooling dip after a day’s sightseeing in the city.

#3 Amora Hotel Jamison

If you’re looking for a more luxurious hotel option in Sydney, the five star Amora Hotel Jamison ensures a stylish stay. With a pool, spa, restaurants and bars, and beautifully decorated rooms, this hotel in Sydney’s Central Business District is so good you won’t ever want to check out!

#4 Melbourne on Collins

The Novotel Melbourne on Collins sits on one of this city’s most stylish shopping streets, close to many of Melbourne’s prominent landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Town Hall, and numerous theatres and art venues. The rooms are modern and comfortable, with iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs, and there’s pool, fitness centre, bar and restaurant for guests’ convenience.

What To Eat

Australians are well known for throwing a good BBQ, so sitting outside at a grill restaurant is an essential eating experience down under. Whether you choose to try the kangaroo or not is up to you! For a sweet treat, you’ll find a traditional vanilla slice in every bakery across the country.

Key Facts

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

Language: English

Flight Time: 23 hours (London to Sydney)

When To Go: Australia’s summer is our winter, and visa versa, but even the coolest months of June, July and August typically hover around the 15 degrees mark. It’s warmer in the north of the country, so Melbourne and Sydney in the south see lower temperatures than Darwin in the north. If you don’t like it hot, January and February should be avoided.

Health and Safety: Sun protection is an important consideration when travelling to Australia – take care to protect yourself and stay hydrated. Travellers should ensure they’re up to date with UK recommended vaccinations. Those travelling without a guide should be cautious when hiking, swimming, approaching wildlife and exploring off the beaten track.

Passports and Visas: A valid passport and visa are required for entry to Australia. Destina can advise you on obtaining an electronic visitor visa.

Say G’Day to a Destina touring holiday expert today and let us help you plan your holiday of a lifetime to Australia.

T: 01562 883795