1 The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of Australia’s definitive wonders, a dazzling, heart-stopping, 150-mile drive along the hemline of the continent. The climax is the Twelve Apostles, where the raging Southern Ocean has gnawed the limestone cliffs to leave tall pillars of more resilient rock stranded out at sea.
2 Towards the end-of-year dry season, the birds and reptiles of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory are crammed into ever shrinking wetlands. The most spectacular is Yellow Waters Lagoon, which becomes an open-air zoo. Sign up for a cruise, and expect close encounters with white egrets, brolgas, jabirus, sea eagles, jacanas, pelicans, snake birds, goannas and crocodiles.
3 Take a BridgeClimb to the dizzying heights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a 360-degree panorama of the world’s greatest harbour. Wearing a special Bridgesuit, harness and communication gear, climbers ascend the bridge’s arch for the ultimate city view, 440ft above sea level.
4 A luscious, soul-stealing journey, the 120-mile drive between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia knits together national parks, vineyards and a coastline of extraordinary beauty in a showcase of Australia’s diversity. At its best in spring, when the landscape erupts with wild flowers, but the Margaret River wineries dazzle all year round.
5 Operated by the local Aboriginal community, the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk offers an indigenous perspective on the rainforest wonders of the dramatically beautiful Mossman Gorge in Queensland’s tropical north, a source of food, medicine and spiritual sustenance for the local Kuku Yalanji people.
6 Experience sunset in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Evening brings a crowd to the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna for a sunset that draws a multi-coloured curtain across the desert sky. The Prairie is known for its wicked humour, a menu that relies on “the feral mixed grill” and a clientele that ranges from cowboys to filmmakers in search of outback vérité.
7 The Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast is one of Mother Nature’s most dazzling creations, a labyrinth of coral cays, islands, lagoons, channels and caverns furnished with an amazing variety of marine life. All you need do is put on a mask and snorkel, lie face down in the water and remember to breathe.
8 Nothing distinguishes a city like a tram, and Melbourne’s No 96 does it beautifully. In its nine-mile journey from the north of the city, across its heart and south to beachside St Kilda, the ride stitches together some of the city’s icons, including the Melbourne Museum, Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, State Parliament, the Bourke Street Mall and Luna Park.
9 Sunset over the rust-red flanks of Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre is a magic moment, and better still when viewed from a camel’s back. Your mount can even deliver you to a Sounds of Silence dinner where you’ll enjoy a romantic meal in a sea of darkness beneath a canopy of stars.
10 Breakfast at Bondi – Australia’s most famous beach is where Sydney sheds its clothes and most of its inhibitions. Get there early to see the workout tribes in action, stay for breakfast at one of the beachfront cafés and top it off with a swim, or even a surf lesson.