How to enjoy a two-week stay in Australia – Pt.1

Covering an area similar to Europe, Australia is just too huge for you to squeeze in all the top-line attractions even over a fortnight. But, with some meticulous planning, you can fine tune an ideal trip to suit your interests. Whether an Outback adventure, some sun and sand, big-city lights or sumptuous food and wine, we have a few suggestions for your trip Down Under.

Blessed with an enviable climate, the east coast of Australia offers the classic sun-and-surf holiday experience. Most visitors to the continent start their trip in Sydney, which blends cosmopolitan allure with a sun-drenched coastline. It’s best to spend the daytime taking in the city sights that include the Opera House, Habour Bridge, and the many museums and galleries. Or you can also choose to unwind on one of the city’s numerous beaches.

You can also hop on a flight north to Brisbane, to enjoy the colonial architecture and easy-going charm of the inner city, and also a visit to the world-class Gallery of Modern Art. The resort mecca of the Gold Coast lies a short journey by train with its miles of sand and a thriving selection of restaurants and bars.

Fly further north, and you reach the Whitsunday Islands with its white-sand beaches. Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, it’s the perfect spot to laze away time by turquoise waters and snorkeling amidst colorful sea-life.

To wind up, you can move onto the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree National Park. Venturing onto the aerial walkway to admire the cornucopia of flora and fauna is a must to explore the pristine beauty of this remarkable area.

In spite of vast, sparsely populated landscape, the Outback is popular among travelers due to its unique charm and exotic Aboriginal culture. It gives way up north to some of the best green national parks in the country.

The relatively smaller city of Adelaide also makes a great starting point for your journey. A tour of the bustling Central Market and a jaunt in the manicured Botanic Gardens is a must before heading inland for a quick wine-tasting detour.

A flight inland or – a 1,864-mile train journey through the arid interior will take you to the remote town of Alice Springs in the heart of the country. The major attraction close by is the iconic sandstone monolith – Uluru that soars 1,100 ft above the surrounding red earth. Experience the indigenous lifestyle of the local Anangu tribe and be sure to take in an unforgettable sunset.

You can continue onto Darwin, the Northern capital by air or via train. The Parap Markets that serve up authentic Asian cuisine, a sunset cruise around the Harbour and dine by the waterfront at night are essential experiences to savor.

To wind up your trip, head on the road or rails to the Kakadu National Park. Be sure to allot enough time to tour this enormous reserve, an oasis of biodiversity that is also rich in Aboriginal history.

Next Up – The Southeast Region