Australia

With bright blue skies, immense red deserts, sun-bronzed beaches and vast green wetlands, Australia is big, bold and full of contrasts. Come and experience the kaleidoscope of brilliant colours this country proudly showcases.

Australia Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Australia

Abreise Days Preis USD
1 Jun 2015 3 Day Uluru Safari 3 $616
1 Jun 2015 3 Day Uluru Safari ex Yulara 3 $616
1 Jun 2015 3 Day Uluru Explorer ex Yulara 3 $531
1 Jun 2015 3 Day Uluru Explorer 3 $531
2 Jun 2015 3 Day Uluru Safari 3 $616

All our Australia trips

3 Day Uluru Safari

3 days from
USD $479
CAD $497
AUD $486
EUR €336
GBP £280
NZD $542
ZAR R4,872
CHF FR406

Uluru Safari is the ideal short trip for those wanting to experience the Australian outback in a narrow time frame....

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4 Day Red Centre Safari ex Yulara

4 days from
USD $708
CAD $732
AUD $716
EUR €492
GBP £412
NZD $796
ZAR R7,168
CHF FR596

Explore the rugged Australian outback and beauty of the Northern Territory from the magnificent Uluru, through the...

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4 Day Red Centre Safari

4 days from
USD $708
CAD $732
AUD $716
EUR €492
GBP £412
NZD $796
ZAR R7,168
CHF FR596

Explore the rugged Australian outback and beauty of the Northern Territory from the magnificent Uluru, through the...

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3 Day Uluru Safari ex Yulara

3 days from
USD $479
CAD $497
AUD $486
EUR €336
GBP £280
NZD $542
ZAR R4,872
CHF FR406

This 3 day Uluru Safari is the ideal short trip for those wanting to experience the Australian Outback in a small...

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3 Day Uluru Explorer ex Yulara

3 days from
USD $413
CAD $423
AUD $416
EUR €287
GBP £241
NZD $465
ZAR R4,172
CHF FR346

The Uluru Explorer is the perfect trip for those wanting to experience Australia's Outback in a narrow time frame....

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3 Day Uluru Explorer

3 days from
USD $413
CAD $423
AUD $416
EUR €287
GBP £241
NZD $465
ZAR R4,172
CHF FR346

This 3 Day Uluru Explorer is the ideal short trip for those wanting to experience the Australian outback in a narrow...

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4 Day Red Centre Explorer

4 days from
USD $628
CAD $648
AUD $636
EUR €436
GBP £368
NZD $708
ZAR R6,368
CHF FR528

Explore the rugged Australian Outback and beauty of the Northern Territory, from the magnificent Uluru through the...

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4 Day Red Centre Explorer (ex Yulara)

4 days from
USD $628
CAD $648
AUD $636
EUR €436
GBP £368
NZD $708
ZAR R6,368
CHF FR528

Explore the rugged Australian Outback and beauty of the Northern Territory, from the magnificent Uluru through the...

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9 Day Nullarbor Unleashed

9 days from
USD $1,242
CAD $1,278
AUD $1,255
EUR €864
GBP £724
NZD $1,399
ZAR R12,568
CHF FR1,044

Traverse the map of Australia from Perth to Adelaide on a wildlife adventure trip across the Nullarbor Plain, passing...

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10 Day Perth to Broome

10 days from
USD $1,507
CAD $1,557
AUD $1,525
EUR €1,048
GBP £882
NZD $1,701
ZAR R15,273
CHF FR1,269

Soak up the laidback lifestyle on Australia's West Coast from Perth to Broome. From isolated beaches to vibrant reefs...

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21 Day Perth to Darwin

21 days from
USD $3,280
CAD $3,388
AUD $3,321
EUR €2,286
GBP £1,921
NZD $3,699
ZAR R33,246
CHF FR2,767

The Aussie outback is calling on this awesome 4x4 tour of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Explore the...

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5 Day Tassie Explorer

5 days from

Travel to Tasmania and tour Hobart, Port Arthur, Launceston, Cradle Mountain and Strahan. Adventure through the...

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Wild Kimberley

9 days from
USD $2,218
CAD $2,290
AUD $2,245
EUR €1,543
GBP £1,296
NZD $2,502
ZAR R22,473
CHF FR1,872

Overloaded with natural wonders and steeped in history, the wild Kimberley region of Australia is the ideal place for...

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Fraser Island and Reef Experience

6 days from

Tour through the remote, pristine paradise of Fraser Island and soak up the spoils of paradise on the Great Barrier...

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Broome to the Bungle Bungles

5 days from
USD $1,557
CAD $1,606
AUD $1,575
EUR €1,084
GBP £909
NZD $1,755
ZAR R15,763
CHF FR1,309

Travel to the outback of north-west Australia on a tour from Broome Beach to the Bungle Bungles on an unforgettable...

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Cape Leveque Experience

3 days from
USD $886
CAD $913
AUD $895
EUR €616
GBP £517
NZD $999
ZAR R8,964
CHF FR747

Discover the beauty of Cape Leveque and the Dampier Peninsula on a getaway from Broome's beaches through the dusty...

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Southern Ocean Wildlife Adventure

3 days from

Head out on an exciting Southern Ocean Wildlife Adventure from Adelaide to experience the marine life of the area. Go...

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9 Day 4WD Darwin to Broome

9 days from
USD $1,773
CAD $1,831
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,237
GBP £1,039
NZD $1,998
ZAR R17,973
CHF FR1,494

Jump on an epic 4x4 tour from tropical Darwin across the wild Australian Outback into the Kimberley to the glistening...

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10 Day Broome to Perth

10 days from
USD $1,507
CAD $1,557
AUD $1,525
EUR €1,048
GBP £882
NZD $1,696
ZAR R15,268
CHF FR1,269

Soak up the laidback lifestyle of Australia's West Coast. From isolated beaches and vibrant reefs to red desert...

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21 Day Darwin to Perth

21 days from
USD $3,280
CAD $3,388
AUD $3,321
EUR €2,286
GBP £1,921
NZD $3,699
ZAR R33,246
CHF FR2,767

Discover the wild heart of the Australian Outback through the mighty Kimberleys and down along Western Australia's...

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9 Day 4WD Broome to Darwin

9 days from
USD $1,773
CAD $1,831
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,237
GBP £1,039
NZD $1,998
ZAR R17,973
CHF FR1,494

Travel on an epic 4x4 tour from the glistening beaches of Broome, across the wild Australian Outback into the...

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10 Day Western Wildlife Experience

10 days from
USD $1,480
CAD $1,525
AUD $1,495
EUR €1,030
GBP £865
NZD $1,665
ZAR R14,960
CHF FR1,245

Explore the southern map of Australia from Adelaide to Perth on a wildlife adventure trip across the Nullarbor Plain,...

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6 Day Taste of Tasmania (Hobart to Hobart)

6 days from
USD $706
CAD $729
AUD $715
EUR €490
GBP £414
NZD $796
ZAR R7,159
CHF FR594

Travel to Tasmania and visit Cradle Mountain, Freycinet, Launceston and Port Arthur. See little penguins and...

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Cloud 9 Explorer Alice Springs to Darwin (ex Yulara)

9 days from
USD $1,444
CAD $1,489
AUD $1,462
EUR €1,008
GBP £846
NZD $1,629
ZAR R14,643
CHF FR1,219

Journey from outback Yulara via Uluru, Kings Canyon, Litchfield and Kakadu to the eclectic city of Darwin on this...

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2 Day Alice Springs to Darwin Express

2 days from
USD $320
CAD $330
AUD $325
EUR €225
GBP £185
NZD $360
ZAR R3,255
CHF FR270

Travel from Alice Springs via Daly Waters to Darwin to discover the beauty of Australia's Red Centre. Explore...

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4 Day Kakadu/Katherine/ Litchfield Explorer

4 days from
USD $796
CAD $819
AUD $805
EUR €553
GBP £463
NZD $895
ZAR R8,064
CHF FR670

Set out on a camping safari through captivating Kakadu National Park. Experience the astounding beauty of the Top End...

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Port Arthur Day Tour

1 days from
USD $110
CAD $110
AUD $110
EUR €75
GBP £65
NZD $125
ZAR R1,100
CHF FR90

Set out on a full-day tour from Hobart to the former convict settlement of Port Arthur, stopping by the historical...

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2 Day Kangaroo Island Explorer (Ferry Return)

2 days from
USD $430
CAD $445
AUD $436
EUR €300
GBP £250
NZD $485
ZAR R4,360
CHF FR365

Travel to Kangaroo Island by ferry and enjoy natural stunning sceneries, myriad wildlife-spotting outings and...

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Earthwatch Wildlife of Australia's Rainforests

7 days from
USD $2,170
CAD $2,240
AUD $2,195
EUR €1,510
GBP £1,270
NZD $2,445
ZAR R21,970
CHF FR1,830

Travel out to the rainforests of Northern Queensland. Help out with fieldwork, learn some handy new skills and get up...

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Cloud 9 Explorer Alice Springs to Darwin

10 days from
USD $1,444
CAD $1,489
AUD $1,462
EUR €1,008
GBP £846
NZD $1,629
ZAR R14,638
CHF FR1,219

Journey from outback Alice Springs via Uluru, Kings Canyon, Litchfield and Kakadu to the eclectic city of Darwin on...

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4 Day Kakadu Katherine Litchfield Safari

4 days from
USD $913
CAD $940
AUD $922
EUR €634
GBP £531
NZD $1,026
ZAR R9,234
CHF FR769

Set out on a camping safari through captivating Kakadu National Park, and experience the astounding Top End beauty of...

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3.5 Day West Coast Explorer (Hobart to Hobart)

4 days from
USD $423
CAD $436
AUD $427
EUR €292
GBP £247
NZD $477
ZAR R4,279
CHF FR355

Embark on a circuit journey of Tasmania that begins and ends in Hobart. Visit Lake St. Clair, Ocean Beach, the Gordon...

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2 Day Adelaide to Melbourne Explorer

2 days from
USD $261
CAD $270
AUD $265
EUR €184
GBP £153
NZD $297
ZAR R2,655
CHF FR220

See the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge on a journey along the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to...

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3 Day 4WD Kakadu Unleashed

3 days from
USD $486
CAD $499
AUD $490
EUR €337
GBP £283
NZD $535
ZAR R4,914
CHF FR409

From Darwin, undertake an exciting journey through Australia's largest national park. Learn about Aboriginal culture,...

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2 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Explorer

2 days from
USD $261
CAD $270
AUD $265
EUR €184
GBP £153
NZD $297
ZAR R2,655
CHF FR220

See the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge on a journey along the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to...

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4 Day Adelaide to Melbourne Explorer incl Kangaroo Island

4 days from
USD $770
CAD $795
AUD $780
EUR €535
GBP £450
NZD $870
ZAR R7,810
CHF FR650

Enjoy a fun-filled small group adventure that starts in Adelaide, finishes in Melbourne and takes in Kangaroo Island,...

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5 Day Darwin to Alice Springs Explorer incl. Kakadu

5 days from
USD $1,040
CAD $1,070
AUD $1,050
EUR €725
GBP £605
NZD $1,170
ZAR R10,510
CHF FR875

Set out on an Australian adventure from Darwin through Kakadu down to Alice Springs. Explore Litchfield National Park...

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3 Day Rock the Centre

3 days from
USD $351
CAD $355
AUD $355
EUR €243
GBP £207
NZD $396
ZAR R3,555
CHF FR297

Travel into Central Australia and see Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. Take a ride on a camel, take a dip in the...

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5 Day Top End Explorer

5 days from
USD $886
CAD $913
AUD $895
EUR €616
GBP £517
NZD $999
ZAR R8,964
CHF FR747

On a round trip from Darwin, travel to Kakadu National Park, Katherine, Nitmiluk National Park and Mt Bundy Station....

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2 Night Rock to Rock Explorer

3 days from
USD $448
CAD $460
AUD $452
EUR €312
GBP £260
NZD $504
ZAR R4,524
CHF FR376

Travel from Uluru to Watarrka National Park and back again. Walk the rim of Kings Canyon, visit a working outback...

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10 Day Coast and Karijini

10 days from
USD $1,332
CAD $1,372
AUD $1,345
EUR €927
GBP £778
NZD $1,498
ZAR R13,464
CHF FR1,120

Embark on a 10 day adventure that starts and finishes in Perth and takes in Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef and...

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5 Day Alice Springs to Darwin Explorer incl Kakadu

5 days from
USD $1,040
CAD $1,070
AUD $1,050
EUR €725
GBP £605
NZD $1,170
ZAR R10,510
CHF FR875

Journey from Alice Springs up through the Red Centre's rugged interior to Darwin, visiting Karlu Karlu and Nitmiluk,...

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6 Day Alice Springs to Adelaide Explorer

6 days from
USD $619
CAD $640
AUD $626
EUR €430
GBP £360
NZD $696
ZAR R6,272
CHF FR521

Journey from the Red Centre to Adelaide. Watch the sun set over Uluru, trek through Kings Canyon and visit the ‘Opal...

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4 Day Tassie Highlights

4 days from

From Port Arthur to Freycinet and Cradle Mountain national parks, this trip reveals the lush natural landscape of...

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7 Day Adelaide to Alice Springs Explorer

7 days from
USD $689
CAD $710
AUD $696
EUR €479
GBP £402
NZD $777
ZAR R6,972
CHF FR581

Explore the city of Adelaide and the landscape of South Australia before crossing into the Northern Territory. See...

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5 Day Perth to Exmouth

5 days from
USD $751
CAD $774
AUD $760
EUR €522
GBP £441
NZD $846
ZAR R7,614
CHF FR634

Departing from Perth, travel through Western Australia's prime attractions up to Exmouth. Visit Murchison Gorge,...

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3 Day Fraser Island Eco Tour

3 days from
USD $385
CAD $395
AUD $389
EUR €265
GBP £225
NZD $435
ZAR R3,895
CHF FR325

Travel to the sandy shores of Fraser Island. Trek through Rainbow Gorge, swim in Champagne Pools and drive along 75...

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6 Day Alice Springs to Adelaide Explorer ex Yulara

6 days from
USD $619
CAD $640
AUD $626
EUR €430
GBP £360
NZD $696
ZAR R6,272
CHF FR521

This is the ideal short trip for those wanting to experience the Australian Outback in a narrow time frame. Visit...

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5 Day Alice Springs to Darwin Explorer incl Uluru ex Yulara

5 days from
USD $796
CAD $823
AUD $805
EUR €553
GBP £463
NZD $895
ZAR R8,064
CHF FR670

Embark on a small group adventure that starts in Alice Springs and finishes in Darwin. Explore Kata Tjuta, be...

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2 Day Red Centre Explorer

2 days from

Travel from Alice Springs to Uluru and visit Kata Tjuta, camp out under the stars and enjoy a camel ride.

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3 Day Rock the Centre (Yulara to Alice Springs)

3 days from
USD $351
CAD $364
AUD $355
EUR €243
GBP £207
NZD $396
ZAR R3,555
CHF FR297

Departing from Yulara, visit the Northern Territory's Kata Tjuta, Uluru and Kings Canyon, finishing up in Alice Springs.

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7 Day Perth to Exmouth (& Return)

7 days from
USD $972
CAD $1,003
AUD $985
EUR €679
GBP £571
NZD $1,098
ZAR R9,864
CHF FR819

Embark on an outback adventure from Perth up to Exmouth and back again along the stunning West Australian coast....

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2 Night Rock to Rock Safari

3 days from
USD $524
CAD $544
AUD $532
EUR €368
GBP £308
NZD $592
ZAR R5,328
CHF FR444

Travel from Uluru to Watarrka National Park and back again. Walk the rim of Kings Canyon, visit a working outback...

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2 Day Darwin to Alice Springs Express

2 days from
USD $320
CAD $330
AUD $325
EUR €225
GBP £190
NZD $360
ZAR R3,250
CHF FR270

Journey from Darwin to Alice Springs on a short trip that visits Katherine Gorge, Edith Falls and Karlu Karlu.

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9 Day Territory Unleashed North

9 days from
USD $1,179
CAD $1,215
AUD $1,192
EUR €819
GBP £688
NZD $1,327
ZAR R11,934
CHF FR994

Journey from Alice Springs up to the Top End. Hike around Uluru, through Kata Tjuta and down into Kings Canyon....

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9 Day Territory Unleashed North ex Yulara

9 days from
USD $1,060
CAD $1,130
AUD $1,175
EUR €815
GBP £705
NZD $1,390
ZAR R10,695
CHF FR1,005

Journey from Alice Springs up to the Top End. Hike around Uluru, through Kata Tjuta and down into Kings Canyon....

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13 Day Adelaide to Darwin Explorer

13 days from
USD $1,773
CAD $1,831
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,237
GBP £1,039
NZD $1,998
ZAR R17,973
CHF FR1,494

Take in the history, culture and stunning red landscapes of the Australian Outback on this trip that takes you from...

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2 Day Fraser Island Eco Tour

2 days from
USD $285
CAD $295
AUD $289
EUR €200
GBP £165
NZD $320
ZAR R2,890
CHF FR240

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12 Day Darwin to Adelaide Explorer

12 days from
USD $1,647
CAD $1,696
AUD $1,665
EUR €1,147
GBP £963
NZD $1,854
ZAR R16,668
CHF FR1,386

Embark on an overland journey from Darwin down through Australia's Red Centre to Adelaide. Visit Kakadu National Park...

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9 Day Alice Springs to Melbourne Explorer ex Yulara

9 days from
USD $1,140
CAD $1,175
AUD $1,155
EUR €795
GBP £665
NZD $1,285
ZAR R11,560
CHF FR960

Embark on an outback adventure from the remote outpost of Yulara to the metropolitan hub of Melbourne. See Uluru,...

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7 Day Top to Tail (Launceston to Launceston)

7 days from

Travel to Tasmania and encounter this stunning island's natural beauty and fascinating history. Visit the Bay of...

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16 Day Melbourne to Darwin Explorer

16 days from
USD $2,101
CAD $2,169
AUD $2,128
EUR €1,462
GBP £1,228
NZD $2,371
ZAR R21,303
CHF FR1,773

Travel along the Great Ocean Road, to Uluru, through the Mary River Wetlands and into Kakadu National Park on this...

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3 Day East Coast Explorer (Launceston to Hobart)

3 days from
USD $391
CAD $405
AUD $396
EUR €270
GBP £229
NZD $441
ZAR R3,964
CHF FR328

Travel to Tasmania and see the Bay of Fires, meet penguins at Bicheno, visit glorious Wineglass Bay, encounter...

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Cloud 9 Explorer Darwin to Alice Springs

9 days from
USD $1,444
CAD $1,489
AUD $1,462
EUR €1,008
GBP £846
NZD $1,629
ZAR R14,643
CHF FR1,219

Travel from the seaside city of Darwin through the Mary River Wetlands, the lush rainforest of Kakadu and the...

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9 Day Alice Springs to Melbourne Explorer

9 days from
USD $1,140
CAD $1,180
AUD $1,155
EUR €795
GBP £670
NZD $1,285
ZAR R11,560
CHF FR960

Embark on an outback adventure from the remote outpost of Alice Springs to the metropolitan hub of Melbourne. See...

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3 Day 4WD Kakadu/ Litchfield Explorer

3 days from
USD $616
CAD $639
AUD $625
EUR €432
GBP £360
NZD $697
ZAR R6,264
CHF FR522

Discover the beauty of the Litchfield and Kakadu national parks on this 4WD safari through Australia's wildly...

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10 Day Melbourne to Alice Springs Explorer

10 days from
USD $1,206
CAD $1,242
AUD $1,219
EUR €837
GBP £706
NZD $1,359
ZAR R12,204
CHF FR1,017

Embark on an adventure from Melbourne into the Red Centre. Drive along the Great Ocean Road, see the Twelve Apostles,...

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3 Day West Coast Explorer (Hobart to Devonport/ Launceston)

3 days from
USD $373
CAD $387
AUD $378
EUR €261
GBP £216
NZD $418
ZAR R3,784
CHF FR315

Embark on a Tasmanian adventure that begins in Hobart and ends in Launceston. Visit Lake St Clair, Ocean Beach, the...

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3 Day East Coast Explorer (Hobart to Hobart)

3 days from
USD $391
CAD $405
AUD $396
EUR €274
GBP £229
NZD $441
ZAR R3,960
CHF FR328

Travel to Tasmania and see the Bay of Fires, penguins of Bicheno, glorious Wineglass Bay, Tasmanian devils and the...

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15 Day Darwin to Melbourne Explorer

15 days from
USD $2,170
CAD $2,240
AUD $2,195
EUR €1,510
GBP £1,270
NZD $2,445
ZAR R21,970
CHF FR1,830

Travel from Darwin to Melbourne via Kakadu National Park, Alice Springs, Uluru, Coober Pedy, Adelaide and Halls Gap....

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3 Day 4WD Kakadu/ Litchfield Safari

3 days from
USD $706
CAD $729
AUD $715
EUR €490
GBP £414
NZD $796
ZAR R7,164
CHF FR594

Set out on a camping safari through captivating Kakadu National Park, and experience the astounding Top End beauty of...

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West Macdonnell Ranges DayTrip

1 days from
USD $130
CAD $135
AUD $133
EUR €90
GBP £76
NZD $148
ZAR R1,332
CHF FR112

Venture into the Northern Territory's Western MacDonnell Ranges and visit Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek and Simpsons Gap.

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Australia trip reviews

Our Australia trips score an average of 4.57 out of 5 based on 42 reviews in the last year.

5 Day Top End Explorer, April 2014

9 Day 4WD Darwin to Broome , May 2014

Video

Articles on Australia

Overcrowded and ugly: how the world’s least attractive sights can teach us more than the highlights

Posted on Wed, 21 Jan 2015

People don’t have a lot of time for 'ugly' travel. But why not? It's time to celebrate the world for what it is, not what it should be.

Read more

The ultimate guide to Australian slang

Posted on Tue, 20 Jan 2015

For those wanting to master this distinctive lingo, Intrepid is here to help with our very own ( and very unofficial) guide to speaking Australian.

Read more

An earth worth watching: inside our new Earthwatch Rainforest Expedition

Posted on Fri, 16 Jan 2015

It’s got the biggest natural diversity of any place in Australia, and it’s where you can go in 2015 with a team of leading environmental scientists to help study the effects of climate change.

Read more

Australia on show in Intrepid’s August photo competition

Posted on Wed, 3 Sep 2014

For August - month two of our Intrepid photo competition 2015 - we shifted the focus to Intrepid's homeland of Australia in an attempt to encourage our travellers to capture everything we love about 'the lucky country'. And we weren't disappointed.

Read more

Transport

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Of course, there are times (like in the wide open spaces of the outback) when travelling in our own custom-built all-terrain vehicle is the most practical and flexible option. Depending on which trip you're on while in Australia, you may find yourself travelling by:

Accommodation

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in Australia you may find yourself staying in a:

About Australia

At a glance

Capital city: Canberra (population 307,000)
Population: 21.7 million
Language: English
Currency: AUD
Time zone: (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
Electricity: Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)
Dialing code: +61

Best time to visit Australia

Being such a large place, Australia has a wide range of climates so all year round there is somewhere great to visit.

Summer (December to February) can get very hot, but is perfect for beach-going and other outdoors activities. In the far north it is also the wet season, which can get quite humid and some beaches may be closed due to jellyfish or 'stingers'.

Winter (June to August) is pleasant and dry in the north but can get quite cold in the south, especially in Tasmania and Victoria where snowfall is common.

Spring and autumn are great times to visit Australia as the weather is milder, but still warm enough for swimming in northern areas.

Regardless of daytime temperatures, nights can get very cold in the desert areas of Central and Western Australia, so prepare accordingly.

The main school holiday period is from Christmas to late January, and is considered the peak travel time within Australia; expect popular tourist spots to be crowded during this time.

Adelaide weather chart Darwin weather chart Sydney weather chart Alice Springs weather chart

Culture and customs

Aboriginal boy
With a strong history of immigration, modern Australia is made up of people from many different cultural backgrounds. This mix makes Australia an endlessly fascinating place to visit as travellers will be exposed to a variety of different customs and cultures during their stay. From the ancient, spiritual ways of the indigenous population to the wide array of faiths, foods and festivals on display in the big cities, Australia is a cultural melting pot.

Despite the differences, there are many things that unify the people of Australia. Sports, in particular cricket, soccer and football (Australian Rules) are played and watched by the masses, irrespective of age, race, gender or income. Large sporting events like the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup Day and the Boxing Day Cricket Test have universal appeal for Australians.

Australians relish public holidays, with national and state holidays offering locals time to relax with friends and family over a barbecue or picnic. Making use of Australia’s natural environment is also paramount during this time, with outdoor activities like bushwalking, swimming at the beach or lazing in the park popular with locals.

Eating and drinking

Eating oysters

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways of experiencing a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Australia is a land that has been built by immigrants and these multicultural influences are evident in the wide array of food available. In the cities it’s possible to find world-class Vietnamese, Turkish, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Indian restaurants, as well as excellent gastro-pub fare. Head to the outback and you’ll find authentic 'bush tucker', simple campfire meals and sizzling barbecues.

Things to try in Australia

1. Fresh Seafood

With such an impressive coastline, it’s no wonder fresh oysters, prawns, mussels and ‘balmain bugs’ are devoured by locals and savoured by visitors. For those on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with eating fish and chips on the beach.

2. Wine

Australia creates some of the best wines in the world at South Australia’s Barossa Valley, Western Australia’s Margaret River and New South Wales’ Hunter Valley. Don’t miss the chance to taste some.

3. Beer

Whether you’re downing a can of VB in Victoria or sipping micro-brewed ale in Sydney, sharing a beer with mates is a social experience not to be missed when in Australia

4. Hot Pies

An Australian classic – savoury meat pies (or vegetable pies for the vegetarians) are best eaten with tomato sauce, and are easily found served in city cafes, country bakeries and football matches around Australia.

Geography and environment

Koala Outback
The continent of Australia is known for being one of the flattest, hottest and driest places on earth; but despite this there are an astounding variety of terrains and environments on this island nation. While large areas of Australia are covered in desert, there are also tropical rainforests, alpine snowfields, dense bushland, beaches, gorges, lakes and rivers to be found. Australia’s national parks are home to many species of birds and mammals not found in the wild anywhere else in the world including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and wombats. Boasting many stunning white sand beaches, Australia has a coastline like none other. From busy Bondi to surfing icons like Bell’s Beach and Tasmania’s stunning Wineglass Bay, there are endless places to swim, surf, snorkel and paddle.

Despite Australia’s large landmass, most people tend to live in urban, coastal cities. Faster-paced cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne hold much of the population, as do regional satellite cities such as Albury, Dubbo, Bunbury, Townsville, Newcastle and Geelong.

Outback towns have a unique flavour and a distinct way-of-life; things are slower here and due to smaller populations, space is plentiful with most locals relying on agriculture for a living. Venturing away from the city to visit the outback and rural areas of Australia is highly recommended as it gives travellers the chance to see a different side to Australia.

History and government

Bush tucker Aboriginal rock art

Early History

The land now known as Australia was inhabited by an indigenous population for thousands of years before white settlement and colonisation. Aboriginal tribes lived an independent lifestyle with the land providing all that was needed for survival; hunting, fishing and the gathering of berries and other edible plants provided sustenance for people. Tribes were largely nomadic – this allowed them to move around to find game and water and enable the land to regenerate in their absence. Tribal groups had different customs, rituals, music and language dialects, although the concept of ‘Dreamtime’ is a common theme in aboriginal culture and spirituality.

Rock paintings, middens (shell heaps) and other archaeological sites give us clues to ancient dreamtime stories, daily life, rituals and even the arrival of the white man. Central and Western Australia are particularly rich in ancient rock art and paintings, with some sites open to the public for viewing.

Recent History

Naval explorer Captain James Cook set foot on Australian soil in 1770, claiming the eastern coastline as British Territory. Australia was soon seen as a solution to overcrowding in British prisons and a way to expand the reach of the British Empire.

In 1788, 11 ships arrived from Great Britain carrying convicts, marines and settlers. The arrival of white settlers changed the face of Australia almost instantly. Much of the indigenous population fell victim to starvation and disease, with foreign diseases like small pox and loss of land devastating the aboriginal population. Colonisation soon expanded throughout Australia, with separate colonies being set up in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria. Thousands of convicts and settlers arrived to populate the new colonies, essentially giving birth to modern Australia. Convict life was hard, with long days spent toiling in a harsh environment with the unforgiving climate making life difficult. Brutal physical punishment, public hangings and death from disease and malnutrition were commonplace. The free settlers also suffered, as limited access to healthcare and fresh produce created medical problems and malnutrition.

In the 1850s, Australia experienced a new wave of immigration due to the Gold Rush. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from China, Britain, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Germany and France flocked to the Victorian goldfields to find their fortunes in the gold frenzy. This new wave of multiculturalism would be the first of many for Australia.

In 1901, the separate colonies united to form the Federation of Australia, meaning the nation was then governed under one constitution. Sir Edmund Barton became Australia’s first Prime Minister, governing the Commonwealth of Australia until 1903 when he stepped down to become a judge of Australia’s first High Court. A little more than a decade later, World War I was declared. Australia’s participation in World War I gave birth to the Anzac legend – the spirit of mateship, courage and honour that embodies the Australian way of life. Later on, Australia also participated in World War II, as well as the Korean War, Vietnam War and other conflicts and peacekeeping missions.

More recently, Australia has prospered with a strong economy based on tourism, agriculture and the export of resources and minerals like coal, iron and gold.

Top Picks

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Uluru Twelve Apostles Kimberley

Top 10 Places To See in Australia

1. Uluru

Nothing will prepare you for seeing Australia's most famous landmark for the first time. An important part of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, this ancient monolith is a photographer's dream as it changes colours with the sun; from dazzling orange to dusty purple.

2. Great Barrier Reef

See the world's largest reef system - so big it can be seen from outer space! This World Heritage site, just off the coast of Queensland, is home to whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks, colourful coral and more than 1,500 species of fish. Go scuba diving or snorkelling to explore this incredible underwater world.

3. Twelve Apostles

Although there's actually only eight 'Apostles', these spectacular limestone rock stacks are a popular tourist spot along Victoria's Great Ocean Road. Formed by erosion that began 10-20 million years ago, the stacks rise majestically from the churning Southern Ocean. Hit the boardwalks, tracks and viewing areas for spectacular views.

4. Kakadu National Park

This region is a place of breathtaking beauty and incredible biodiversity. Steeped in Dreamtime history, Kakadu nurtures a staggering variety of landscapes and wildlife. Venture deep into the wilderness and discover gushing waterfalls, deep gorges, shimmering waterholes and rocky outcrops adorned with 20,000-year-old art.

5. Sydney Opera House

Set against a backdrop of that famous bridge which spans the sparkling harbour, the Opera House is one of Australia's most iconic sights. Those familiar sails, adorned with more than a million white tiles, host thousands of events and performances each year. Catch a show to admire the ornate interior, or take in the spectacular view from a ferry.

6. Kimberley

From deep gorges and dusty outback roads, and lush rainforests to idyllic billabongs, the landscape of this beautiful region is truly enchanting. A trip to the Kimberly can be as active or relaxing as you wish - hike past the strange 'beehive' domes of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, explore underground caves at Tunnel Creek or simply relax on white sand beaches.

7. Daintree

With verdant tropical rainforest stretching to white, sandy beaches, the Daintree is nothing short of spectacular. This complex ecosystem in Far North Queensland is home to a prolific amount of wildlife including frogs, reptiles, bats and butterflies, as well as the highest concentration of primitive plants species in the world. Australia's largest rainforest is a true natural wonder just waiting to be explored.

8. Wineglass Bay

With its white sand, crystal-clear water and distinct crescent shape, Wineglass Bay on Tasmania's gorgeous Freycinet Peninsula is a pristine paradise. It's easy to see why it's often voted as one of the top 10 beaches in the world! Hike a trail to the summit overlooking the bay for breathtaking views, or descend to the beach and set up camp. Go snorkelling to discover colourful fish and perhaps some playful dolphins.

9. Clare Valley

This beautiful wine-producing region is famed for its delicious local produce, picturesque scenery, friendly people and, of course, its fabulous wine. Explore back roads lined with vines and go wine-tasting to sample the very best drops this region has to offer.

10. Blue Mountains

Covering over one million hectares, the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains is rich in verdant rainforest, dramatic waterfalls, looming forests and an abundance of wildlife. Greet the iconic Three Sisters and wander the boardwalks to soak up this breathtaking area of Australian bush.

Shopping

Aboriginal art

From large malls and boutique shopping strips to weekend arts and crafts markets and vintage shops, Australia is a top place to shop. Shopping in Australia may not be cheap, but there are plenty of unique finds and original souvenirs to bring home.

Before heading home, check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to import certain items back into your home country. New Zealand, for example, has strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Australia

1. Indigenous Art

The quality of Aboriginal art is excellent in the Top End and Central and Western Australia. Be sure to buy from reputable galleries and organisations to ensure authenticity and fair prices for artists. Community-run organisations are typically the better choice.

2. Opals

If you’re looking for one, Coober Pedy has the best quality and variety on offer.

3. Pearls

These precious gems are plentiful in Broome due to the booming pearling industry.

4. Modern Art

Melbourne and Hobart are modern art and craft hot spots, making them great places to pick up one-of-a-kind mementos.

Festivals and Events in Australia

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

This festival reaches a colourful crescendo with a dazzling street parade full of camp icons, vibrant costumes and energetic dancing.

Darwin Beer Can Regatta

Only in Australia can you find an annual regatta full of boats made of beer cans! Darwin’s Mindil Beach comes alive each year with music, beer can boat racing and thong-throwing contests (flip-flop for you non-Australians) – an event unique to the ‘Top End’.

AFL Grand Final

Anxiously anticipated by many – the Australian Rules Football Grand Final is a great time to be in Melbourne. Tickets are notoriously scarce but pubs, clubs and backyards overflow with people watching the ‘Big Game’ and celebrating (or commiserating) afterwards.

FAQs on Australia

AUSTRALIA:
Belgium: Yes - required in advance
Canada: Yes - required in advance
Germany: Yes - required in advance
Ireland: Yes - required in advance
Netherlands: Yes - required in advance
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - required in advance
Switzerland: Yes - required in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance
USA: Yes - required in advance

All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/index.html
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Australia; however, rounding up the bill or leaving spare change is common practice. Restaurant staff, taxi drivers and other service workers welcome tips for good service.
Internet access is widely available in most parts of Australia, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots commonly found in urban areas. Please note that internet access won’t be available in outback and remote areas.
Mobile phone coverage is excellent in most parts of Australia, especially in large cities and urban areas. Remote, rural and mountainous places may have limited to no coverage, so be aware of this before venturing away from the city. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving your home country if you want to use your mobile.
Western-style flushable toilets are the norm in Australia, although may not be available when camping in remote areas (where ‘drop toilets’ are more common).
Newspaper = AU$2.00
Cup of coffee = AU$3.50
Pint of beer in a pub = AU$6.00
Basic lunch at a mid-range cafe = AU$10-20
Drinking water from taps in Australia is considered safe, unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.
Credit cards are widely accepted by shops, restaurants and cafes in Australia. Smaller establishments may only accept cash or require a minimum purchase for credit card use, so be sure to carry enough cash for smaller purchases.
ATMs are commonly found in large cities and regional towns in Australia. ATM access will be very limited in remote areas so be aware of this before heading into national parks or the Outback.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

Australians are not required to be covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation for trips within Australia. However we strongly recommend that you have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 26 Australia Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
March 30 Holy Saturday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
Apr 25 Anzac Day
Jun 10 Queen’s Birthday
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2012 and include nationwide holidays only. There are several other holidays celebrated by the individual states. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/australia/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Australia Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Australia

1. Be considerate of Australia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

3. When camping or visiting national parks, refrain from feeding native animals or leaving food out.

4. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

5. Try to use public transport wherever possible.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. Refrain from touching or interfering with ancient monuments, relics or historic sites.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
TracksRobyn Davidson
The Secret RiverKate Grenville
CloudstreetTim Winton
In a Sunburned CountryBill Bryson
The Floating BrothelSian Rees
Rabbit Proof FenceDoris Pilkington
SonglinesBruce Chatwin