Say g’day to Australia: eight reasons your next trip should be Down Under
Australia is big in size and in character. From the bucket-list worthy coral reefs and rugged outback adventures to the laid-back hospitality and multifaceted culture, Australia has much more to offer vacationers than (the admittedly awesome) kangaroos and surfing. You’ll find Michelin-quality dining, world-renowned wineries and fantastic festivals, not to mention breathtaking coastal road trips, celebrated sporting events and unforgettable national parks and UNESCO World Heritage listed areas.
Canadians have many choices when it comes to travelling to Australia—with direct flights from Vancouver or the option of flying via New Zealand or Fiji. The expert team at Downunder Travel are here to create and tailor your ideal trip and make it easier than ever to realize that once-in-a-lifetime vacation. They have been in the business 19 years and are experts in all things Australia, with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
Here are eight reasons your next trip should be Down Under:
The call of the wild is louder in Australia
The island continent of Australia is filled with animals you won’t find anywhere else—they’re famous for their kangaroos, koalas and wombats—meaning an encounter with wildlife is inevitable. Get a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island, a nature reserve off the coast of Perth, take a pit stop at the Kennett River Walk along the Great Ocean Road to spot a koala or head to Tasmania to see the famous Tasmanian devils. There are also lots of guided excursions to see the wildlife in their natural habitat, such as snorkelling with whale sharks in the Ningaloo Reef or visiting Kangaroo Island, known as “the zoo without fences” to locals.
It’s beach time in the wintertime
While Canadians are shivering their way through January and February, Australians are hitting the beach for summer. With the greatest stretches of sand on earth (Lucky Bay in Western Australia was just named the world’s best beach) and more than 25,000 kilometres of coastline, there’s plenty of variety when it comes to surf, sand and the fantastic beach life. For surf culture and great waves, those in the know head to Byron Bay. To find theme parks and seaside pubs, the Gold Coast is a must, and sunbathing at bustling Bondi Beach is pretty much mandatory when visiting Sydney. Remote beaches like Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Islands and Vivonne Bay Beach on Kangaroo Island offer flawless photo-ops and pristine waters.
The barbie is just the beginning
When it comes to food in Australia the menu seems endless; aside from the very serious (and very good) coffee culture paired with brunch and the traditional barbecue, fine dining and culinary experiences abound. Australian fine dining in restaurants like Melbourne’s Attica and Sydney’s Quay, which have both ranked on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sampling local bushtucker (otherwise known as native food) on an Aboriginal food tour is a unique and unforgettable way to taste more of Australia’s rich tapestry of flavours, or enjoy dinner under the stars in the outback where you’ll wine and dine on a dune top overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
World-class wine pairs well with vacation
With more than a hundred grape varietals and a plethora of different terroirs, it should come as no surprise that Australian wine is ranked amongst the best in the world—and they’ve got the wine culture and tourism to match. There are more than 2400 wineries across this vast country offering up tastings, restaurants and behind-the-scenes tours. You can sip Chardonnay in the Yarra Valley where they’ve been winemaking since the 1830s, sample Shiraz in the Barossa Valley north of Adelaide or grab a flight of Grenache in McLaren Vale, the birthplace of South Australia’s wine region.
Check off more than one bucket-list spot
There are more than twenty UNESCO World Heritage sites across Australia, ranging from pre-historic rainforests and ancient Aboriginal settlements to iconic modern architecture and treasured natural wonders. Marvel at the world’s largest living thing, the Great Barrier Reef, an ecosystem filled with coral reefs, mangroves, fish and whales; stand in awe of rocky Uluru located in the centre of the country in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; experience the flora (and the humidity) of Daintree Rainforest in the Wet Tropics of Queensland’s World Heritage Area; and snag a backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognizable structures in the world (and the youngest to make the World Heritage list) that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Once-in-a-lifetime journeys abound
In Australia, you can choose from a myriad of memory-making journeys-of-a-lifetime. Those in search of an adrenalin rush will love climbing to the apex of the beloved Sydney Harbour Bridge, while a road trip on the Great Ocean Road is a journey filled with the world’s most scenic vistas, sandy beaches and charming towns. Try an expedition cruise along the rugged Kimberley Coast for a true wilderness experience in the remote northwestern corner of Australia or take a multi-day train ride deep into the heart of the Australian outback aboard The Ghan, which traverses the heart of Australia between Adelaide and Darwin.
There’s always something to celebrate
It’s always party time in Australia, where arts, food and music festivals flourish all year long and you’ll always be invited to something fun. Soak up the artistry at Vivid Sydney, the annual creative arts festival which sees the city alight with giant art displays, or head to Canberra to marvel at the colourful Floriade, the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Every March the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras fills the city with rainbows, LGBTQIA+ pride and a fantastic parade on Oxford Street, while in June foodies head to the Sunshine Coast for the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival.
Cheering on the team is more fun
Sport is a big part of the Australian way of life and there’s no shortage of world-class events to attend. There are professional Australian Rules Football games to enjoy all year-round in cities across the country, while The Ashes Series will make a cricket fan out of anyone. Tennis fans celebrate one of the biggest parties of the summer in January at the Australian Open in Melbourne, while those who want to ride in the fast lane will love cheering on drivers at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix. Head to Hamilton Island in August for the annual race week and experience the country’s largest offshore sailing regatta, or attend the Melbourne Cup in November, one of the most treasured sporting events in the country, to experience horse racing, tiny hats and Champagne at its best.
Ready to go? Check out this Essential Australia vacation package including flights from Downunder Travel.