Australia’s kaleidoscope of landscapes – comprising centuries-old forests, pristine marine environments and widespread areas of outback – create an idyllic natural playground for outdoor adventures. A few highlights include surfing in Victoria, sailing in the Whitsundays, diving off the Great Barrier Reef, long-distance walking in the Blue Mountains, 4WD safaris around Uluru, white-water rafting in Tasmania, and much, much more!
Each state has a small patch of outback, but Northern Territory’s ‘Red Centre’ lies slap bang in the middle of Australia, home to Uluru or Ayers Rock, the country’s sacred heart. This massive Australian Outback is a wilderness in the truest sense, a landscape that changes from barren to deserted to rugged, with orangey-red, sandstone monoliths protruding from the sun-parched ground. These huge, dust-swirled spaces reveal the stories of exploration, settlement and the country’s wonderful pioneering spirit. Enjoy 4WD adventures, walks through spectacular gorges, tours to Aboriginal sites and extraordinary stargazing.
Wildlife & Nature
Australia’s topography is uniquely diverse and wherever you go you’ll find unusual wildlife in magnificent settings - including a plethora of national parks and World Heritage-listed areas. Wildlife-lovers should head to Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory, a sprawling region of stone country, floodplains, coast and woodlands abundant in wildlife and birds – species include wallabies, dragonflies, frogs, fish, dingoes, flying foxes, snakes, crocodiles, 280 species of birdlife and many other animals. Thrilling ways to explore include airboat tours, river cruises and 4WD safaris. Other highlights are, of course, the Great Barrier Reef for sea turtles and Phillip Island for penguins.
Australia is home to over sixty wine regions, in which iconic wineries produce premium wines known across the world. Connoisseurs may wish to explore the Margaret River region south of Perth, blessed with wonderful vineyards, a host of micro-breweries, as well as boutique producers of cheese and chocolate. Alongside the Yarra Valley close to Melbourne, the Barossa Valley in southern Australia is famous for its top-class wineries and farmer’s markets selling local produce. Wherever you choose, there are plenty of opportunities for wine-tasting or wine-paired lunches amid breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
Unearth the secrets of Aboriginal life, an intriguing culture that goes back at least 50,000 years. The Northern Territory is a great place to find out more, offering a range of fascinating sights and tours. You can walk around the base of Uluru with a local Anangu guide, look at Aboriginal artwork in Alice Springs and visit rock art galleries in the World Heritage Kakadu National Park. Otherwise, you can follow recommended driving routes, like the Red Centre Way or the Savannah Way, that are dotted with alluring Aboriginal sites. Or, why not plan your luxury escape around a festival of Aboriginal arts and culture? A fabulous way to immerse yourself in this unique way of life.
Coast & Islands
Australia offers a prime collection of coastal attractions. The star of the show is the iconic Great Barrier Reef, world-recognised for sensational diving and snorkelling, whilst the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of the most spellbinding coastal routes on the planet. There are city-front spectacles, like Sydney Harbour, as well as stunning golden sand beaches along the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. For a taste of tropical paradise, head to the Whitsunday Islands or Lord Howe Island, each blessed with turquoise waters and pristine sands. Tasmania is ringed with impressive coastal scenery and this pretty island state makes an interesting stopover, featuring fine illustrations of Australia’s colonial and maritime past, as well as wonderful wildlife.
The Blue Mountains
Combine a city stay in Sydney with the sublime Blue Mountains, a sweeping and breathtakingly scenic landscape of lofty forests, deep canyons, gushing waterfalls and sandstone cliffs. A listed World Heritage Site, the misty blue horizon of the eucalyptus trees promises to awe you as you set out on an outdoor adventure. Join Aboriginal guides on bushwalks along 140km of trails, listening to their stories along the way.
Sydney is a colourful coastal city, boasting a wealth of sightseeing attractions and activities. Chill out on the beaches, sample superb cuisine in award-winning restaurants, or venture under the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House for world-class music, dance and theatre. For lovers of the arts, Melbourne is home to numerous galleries, tours and festivals, as well as an incredible line-up of international sporting tournaments. On Australia’s quieter western shores, the cosmopolitan city of Perth offers a blissful mix of trendy restaurants, flamboyant street art, beautiful parks and unspoilt beaches.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas from London Heathrow (via Singapore) to Sydney and Melbourne, with onward connections across Australia with Qantas, Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow and Manchester and Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
From London to Melbourne: 22 hours (excludes touchdown time in Singapore).
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Visas are required for travel to Australia. Elegant Resorts can provide Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for which we'll require: full name (including middle names), passport number, nationality, date of issue, date of expiry, place of issue, your date of birth, your home address in the UK and an email address in the UK as well as an address in Australia (this will be your first hotel or the Southern Crossings head office address, which our Travel Consultants will provide at the time of booking). Alternatively, you can apply for the visa online yourself through the Australian Government website at www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/ there is no charge for the visa but a service charge of approximately AUD$20 per person will apply.
Please note, from 1 September 2015 a new Environmental Management Charge (EMC) will be introduced for The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. All visitors will be charged 6 AUD per person, per day up to a maximum of 18 AUD per stay.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.