Australia Sydney Opera House
Australia Sydney Opera House

WONDERS DOWN UNDER

AUSTRALIAN CRUISES

From urban verve to outback wilderness, Australia is a year-round sunny paradise.

A large island nation, Australia delivers the best of both the city and the country, the beach and the bush. The locals here are a laidback and friendly bunch, with a dry sense of humor and their own slang language. Explore cosmopolitan Sydney, home to Bondi Beach's turquoise waters and the architecturally unique Sydney Opera House. Cruise to Australia and visit Queensland to experience the Whitsunday Islands, where you can snorkel to see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living organism. For an authentic Australian adventure, head to the outback: Check out Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with its red dome known as Ayers Rock.

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Incredible Beach and Water Formation Australia
Incredible Beach and Water Formation Australia

SURF'S UP

Join the throngs of sun-kissed Australian surfers and catch some of the world's best waves on Australia's beaches.

SWOON OVER SYDNEY

Visit Australia and tour Sydney's urban attractions like the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo. For outdoor fun, nap on the white sands of Bondi Beach or scale the magnificent rock formations of the Blue Mountains.

MEET MELBOURNE

Melbourne is a hipster haven and Australia's culture, coffee and sports capital. Grab a flat black (the Australian version of an Americano, with espresso and hot water) at Patricia on Little Bourke Street, then rent a car and start off on the Great Ocean Road, which will take you along sweeping views of Australia's southern coast.

HEAD TO THE OUTBACK

In the remote Northern Territory, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: See the famous dome-shaped red rock rising out of the Central Australian Desert. Or check out Kakadu National Park, where you can see ancient rock art at Nourlangie or hike to the hidden waterfalls at Motor Car, Twin or Jim Jim Falls.

Melbourne Australia River and Bridge
Melbourne Australia River and Bridge

TOWN AND COUNTRY

Get to know the different sides of Australia, from vibrant, modern cities to wild, untamed wilderness.

KING AMONG REEFS

Snorkel, dive and swim along the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef — you can even charter a glass-bottomed boat to stay dry while seeing the only living organism visible from outer space. The reef is accessible from places like Cairns, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Port Douglas in Queensland.

ISLAND HOP

In Queensland, take a day trip to the surrounding tropical islands: Check out Fitzroy Island and its National Park, where you can laze on the white sands of the coral beach or go bird-watching for for emerald doves and white-bellied sea eagles. See the colored sands at postcard-perfect Fraser Island, or explore the wild island state of Tasmania during your vacation.

PICK A BEACH

Explore Western Australia's Cape Le Grand National Park, which offers stunning coastline set against rolling heathlands filled with kangaroos. Check out Queensland's Gold Coast, where you'll find local favorite Nobby Beach (known colloquially as "Nobby's"). Or get lost in Tasmania's Freycinet National Park, where pink granite cliffs overlook white-sand beaches and clear blue waves.

Orange Canyon in Australia
Orange Canyon in Australia

EXPEDITIONS DOWN UNDER
SAY "G'DAY" TO AN OUTBACK ADVENTURE

Choose your Australian vacation adventure: Relax on a tropical island or one of thousands of beaches, hike in a remote national park or venture into the vibrant city.

SAMPLE SYDNEY

A sampler cruise from Sydney is a great way to experience both Australia's biggest city and an exciting cruise.

BE TANTALIZED BY TASMANIA

Tasmania is an underrated Australian state that's home to Cradle Mountain, the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site and the eccentric Museum of Old and New Art among other things to do.

INSIDER TIPS

1

In northern Australia, be aware that stingers (dangerous jellyfish) swarm the seas in the summer, from approximately October to March.

2

Tipping is not customary in Australia.

3

The universal phone number for taxi services across the country is 131008.

HOW TO
DINE DOWN UNDER

"Fair dinkum" — Aussie slang for "authentic" or "genuine" — Australian cuisine has been influenced by England, New Zealand and even Italy. However, there's nothing more Australian than throwing some steak and snags (sausages) on a barbie (barbecue) — no shrimps allowed.

POPULAR PUB GRUB

There are two dishes to order at an Aussie pub: a chicken parmigiana (called a parmi Down Under) or a burger, which will usually come topped with Australian specialties like beetroot or pineapple. Of course, you can always go for a classic steaks: Porterhouses are popular in Victoria, while rump steaks are particularly beloved in New South Wales.

THE REAL BISCUIT

Australia has some delicious sweet treats, but it's perhaps best-known for perfecting the biscuit. Try Anzac biscuits with oats and golden syrup, lamingtons — a sponge square covered in chocolate and coconut — and Tim Tams, the local favorite brand of chocolate-covered biscuits.

IT'S PIE TIME

Meat pies — with a flaky pastry crust baked around a savory filling of ground meat (typically beef or lamb) and spices — are a traditional Australian lunch or snack found in bakeries across the country. Another favorite is the Chiko Roll, similar to a large spring roll but filled with the signature Aussie ingredients of mutton, celery, barley, rice, carrots and spices.

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