The first known landing in Australia by Europeans was by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. Twenty-nine other Dutch navigators explored the western and southern coasts in the 17th century, and dubbed the continent New Holland. Macassan trepangers visited Australia's northern coasts after 1720, possibly earlier. Other European explorers followed until, in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook charted the east coast of Australia for Great Britain and returned with accounts favouring colonization at Botany Bay (now in Sydney), New South Wales.
Australia's famous harbor city and capital of New South Wales. Plan your Sydney holiday with beautiful sundrenched beaches and much more.
Sydney's combination of surf beaches, a sparkling natural harbour and the Sydney Opera House is irresistible. In addition to its man-made wonders, Sydney is blessed with many natural assets, such as beautiful public gardens, harbour islands and unspoilt foreshores. An excellent transport system and tailor-made tours make Sydney a joy to explore.
Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. With more than 240 kilometres of shoreline and meandering waterways, there’s plenty to explore and discover. Sydney Harbour is one big aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, and on a warm sunny day, the harbour is a vibrant blue and dotted with hundreds of sailing boats, cruise boats and ferries.
Explore the harbour, beaches and inner-city precincts of this exuberant city. See dawn break from the top of the Harbour Bridge or the sun set on the Opera House. Fine dine along the Woolloomooloo finger wharf or experience theatre and dance along the redeveloped wharves of Walsh Bay.
A little over an hour's drive from the city, Palm Beach is at the exclusive end of Sydney's long stretch of northern beaches. It sits at the end of a long peninsula, with surf on one side and Pittwater on the other.
Sydney enjoys a sunny, Mediterranean-style climate all year round with more than 340 sunny days per year. Summers are warm to hot and winters are mild, with rainfall spread fairly evenly throughout the year.
Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches and well-known worldwide. It has probably featured on more postcards and more television shows and films than any other in Australia.
Discover some of Sydney's 70 sparkling beaches, from secluded bays to world-famous strips of sand. Sydney's beaches will be beckoning before you even land in Botany. You might see them flying in - a long, golden chain split across both sides of the harbour and fringed by green bush and sea.
With a shimmering beach, magnificent coastal walk and protected marine reserve with excellent surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving, Coogee sums up the classic Australian beach lifestyle. Coogee Beach has a sweeping stretch of golden sand, historic ocean baths and plenty of green parks for barbecues and picnics, all only 20 minutes from the busy centre of Sydney..
Sydney in summertime is all about its coastline, and few stretches are as iconic as the sea-sculpted section from Bondi to Bronte. Learn to surf at Bondi, join the beautiful people in Tamarama and swim in Bronte's family-friendly rock pool. See all three beaches on the Bondi to Bronte walk - a short, spectacular coastal trail along epic sandstone cliffs.
Manly Beach is another of Australia's most popular suburban beaches along Sydney's long stretch of northern coastline. Manly Beach was named in 1788 by Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, because he was impressed by “the confidence and manly behaviour” of the area's original Aboriginal population.
Beyond its landmark buildings, Sydney Harbour National Park shelters secluded beaches, picturesque islands and rare pockets of native bushland. Swim, picnic and bushwalk along the spectacular foreshore or visit harbour islands on a ferry.
Sydney's early convict days live on in the Rocks, a jumble of cobblestone streets and cul-de-sacs just five minutes from Circular Quay. You only have to step off the harbour foreshore to find the sandstone terraces and cottages and some of Sydney's oldest pubs.
Find ideas and ideals in Sydney's bookwormish inner-city village. Glebe is the bookwormish and often overlooked sister amongst Sydney's glamorous inner-city suburbs
'There's nothing like viewing the silhouette of the Sydney Opera House as it emerges from the harbour at daybreak.'
The 2,300-kilometre Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. Home to diverse marine life of the most vivid colours, experiencing the Reef is a life-changing adventure, whether you do it in luxury or on a budget. See the Reef by scuba, snorkel, glass-bottom boat, jet ski, semi-submersible, sail boat, from the air or even skydive to completely immerse yourself in this wonder of the world.
You can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space.
As well as an international party destination, the Gold Coast boasts some of Australia's best, most consistent waves and hosts many international surfing competitions. The 35 beaches are patrolled year round by professional lifeguards and have surf to suit all levels of experience. If you're a surfing novice, the Gold Coast is an ideal place to learn. Sign up with one of the many surf schools, where accredited teachers will help you to stand up on your board and catch your first wave fast.
Trek the 32km Thorsborne Trail along the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island - an untouched tropical paradise on the coast between Townsville and Cairns. Over four days you'll traverse cloud-cloaked mountains, jungle-like rainforest, melaleuca swamps and pristine white beaches. See a panorama of wildlife, from bright butterflies and birds to crocodiles, sea turtles, dugongs and dolphins.
Just a 20 minute ferry ride off the coast from Townsville, Magnetic Island's relaxed tropical lifestyle, quiet secluded beaches, unspoilt nature, abundant wildlife and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, make it an ideal place for a day trip or longer stay.
The coastal village of Airlie Beach is a vibrant town filled with palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco dining restaurants. You are sure to instantly warm to its bohemian charm and carefree and relaxed attitude.
10 days sailing It's hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsundays - 74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air.
As an adventurous traveler, you might just be eager to don a mask and flippers and take this assignment on. It's not a bad one, when you consider the silent, technicolour paradise awaiting you under the sea. Whether you are an experienced diver or have never taken an underwater breath, you'll love this secret agent scenery: a kaleidoscope of reefs, shoals, coral cays and shipwrecks teeming with tropical marine life.
It's been spring more than 135 million times in the World Heritage-listed Daintree, which lies two hours north of Cairns. But the repetition certainly hasn't dulled nature's creativity. As well as the world's oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree is home to the earth's largest range of animals and plants. Experience them at their most vibrant during spring, when temperatures are pleasant and the wet season storms have yet to start. Hear migratory birds join the dawn chorus, swim at calm beaches and see orchids bloom on the forest edge.
Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town, located mid-way between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Overlooking the cobalt waters of the Coral Sea, Mission Beach has more than 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches.
The Whitsunday Islands is a group of 74 islands bordered by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the sheltered waters of the Coral Sea. With palm-fringed secluded white sand beaches surrounded by clear blue waters, the Whitsunday Islands are the epitome of a tropical paradise.
Hervey Bay, around 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, is an aquatic paradise and one of the best places in Australia to experience nature in the wild. The safe, sheltered waters of Hervey Bay make it ideal for year round water-sports from swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving to sailing and fishing.
Step into paradise on One&Only Hayman Island, a private sanctuary at the northernmost point of the Whitsunday archipelago, on the doorstep of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Take a ride through nature on the spectacular Great Ocean Road, which winds alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean from Geelong to Portland. This diverse and dramatic region takes in surf beaches, historic ports, whale lookouts, breathtaking mountain ranges, rainforests and national parks.
Discover the experiences and attractions that await you at every turn along the Great Ocean Road to make your journey memorable.
The Great Southern Touring Route turns the romance of the road trip into a grand love affair. Drive along the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from the historic town of Warrnambool.
You can have all kinds of seaside sun in Torquay, but this picturesque holiday town is most famous for the surf beaches that surround it. Sitting south-west of Melbourne at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is fringed by some fantastic breaks with fairytale names.
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country's breathtaking south-east coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool.
There's no better place to lose life's daily trivia than the dramatic, rugged and windswept coastline where the world-famous Twelve Apostles sit.
'There's nothing like being surprised and consumed by the great expanse of this beautiful land, where even a running kid stops in his tracks.'
You can't miss the Grampians, a majestic island of mountain and forest rising out of flat farmland in Victoria's west. Its national parks are home to a huge array of native plants and animals and a rich and continuing Aboriginal history.
Exploring Melbourne's laneways is just one aspect of this diverse city. Get a cricket or football fix. Soak up art and culture. Go high-end dining or grab the best pub burger. Shop for local designer fashion or cycle the bayside. Whatever you fancy, Melbourne is a city of choices.
You never quite know what's in store when you wander off Melbourne's grid of city streets into the maze of gothic laneways behind them. Even the locals find surprises here, where the venues for food, fashion and art are small, quirky and sometimes hidden.
The Australian Open tennis tournament is the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year, with the world’s best slugging it out to hold the coveted trophy aloft. There is also plenty of action off the court with an entertainment precinct that includes live music and the opportunity to get up close with your favourite tennis stars at autograph island.
There's no time for sleep in Melbourne, a city where culture buffs, sport nuts, fashion lovers and foodies all have their niche. Discover cafes, bars and boutiques in city laneways sprawling secretly off ordered streets. Soak up the vibrant riverside atmosphere from Southbank and visit Federation Square, where creative and café culture meet.
Victoria's climate is marked by a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry regions of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne has a reputation for its changeable weather, often referred to as having ‘four seasons in one day'.
A short distance from Melbourne you'll find the rolling hills, orchards, olive groves, historic mansions, and more than 200 vineyards of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. In this food lover's region, you can buy organic vegetables from roadside stalls or pick your own strawberries, berries and cherries from orchards.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is located a short distance from Melbourne's city centre in the Melbourne Sports Precinct at Yarra Park, which also includes the Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and AAMI Park. With a total capacity of 100,000 people, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the largest stadium in Australia, the tenth-largest stadium in the world, and the world's largest stadium for playing cricket.
Boredom isn't an option on Brunswick Street, the vibrant Melbourne strip where people from all walks of life go to shop, eat, drink, meet and dance.
Opening the Formula One World Championship series, the Australian Grand Prix is the most watched sporting event held in Australia, with a huge global audience. But the best spot is trackside at the challenging Albert Park street circuit, which has a range of great viewing spots from high-end hospitality sites to relaxing grassy hills.
For inventive use of city space, look no further than Melbourne, where bars, cinemas and restaurants roll out across the rooftops each summer. Drink in the city skyline from all angles as you listen to live music, relax in balcony bars and watch movies beneath the stars.
27 February – 15 March 2015 Victoria From World’s Longest Lunches in breathtaking places to avant-garde tasting dishes from global culinary superstars, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has it all. Indulge the senses over 17 days as a diverse program of one-off events unfold throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
From March to September Australian Rules Football (AFL) teams fight it out to make the top eight and qualify for the final series held in Melbourne in September. AFL is Australia’s most attended sporting league, with passionately-supported teams in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Close to 95,000 fans pack the stands of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the grand final while millions watch it worldwide on television.
Just six kilometres from the CBD, St Kilda is Melbourne's seaside playground. St. Kilda is part of the City of Port Phillip which includes the suburbs of Port Melbourne and South Melbourne.
Federation Square is Melbourne's meeting place. It is a unique cultural precinct which brings together a creative mix of attractions, museums and galleries, along with many restaurants, cafes and bars
See native wildlife in the wild in the ecological haven of Kangaroo Island.
Be inspired by the experiences and attractions that await you on Kangaroo Island to make your holiday memorable.
A Remarkable Australian Holiday
'There's nothing like a sense of wonder at the natural beauty of the Remarkable Rocks, while bathing in the southerly breeze.'
Take in fine food and wine in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, explore the rugged Flinders Ranges and meet wildlife galore on Kangaroo Island. Taste wine made by Jesuit priests in Sevenhill, climb the huge natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound and visit the historic copper-mining town of Burra. Swim, surf, snorkel and bushwalk along the Fleurieu Peninsula before getting up close to penguins in Penneshaw and a colony of sea lion at Seal Rocks on Kangaroo Island
From wildlife to wildflowers, from September to November, spring delivers an action-packed show on Kangaroo Island. The best part is, the many walking trails give you dress circle seats. Spot dolphins from Cape Borda and migratory birds in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park. Hike past casts of colourful wildflowers at Hanson Bay.