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Extended Journeys to Australia

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Have more time, second trip to Australia or looking for something specific? Here are some additional highlights when creating your custom Australia travel plan. If this is your first taste of Australia, visit our Essential Australia page to discover must-see sites, attractions and travel destinations.

Queensland:

Fraser Island

Spend a few days at this UNESCO World Heritage island, the world's largest sandbar and a gorgeous haven for lovers of the natural world. A mind-boggling variety of ecosystems and animals are to be found, as well as a fabulous eco-lodge from which to enjoy it all.

See the humpback whales that congregate here annually. If you visit Australia between August and October sightings are virtually guaranteed - a thrilling experience as the huge whales and their young often come within touching distance.

The Whitsundays

This chain of 74 continental islands off the coast of Central Queensland presents one of the most beautiful land and seascapes in the world. Most of the islands are uninhabited and feature soaring, rainforest peaks and blisteringly white sand beaches. This is Australia's premier sailing destination and there is no better way to appreciate the area than via private yacht.

Outback Retreats

The luxurious Wrotham Park Lodge enjoys a spectacular setting on a sprawling 600,000 hectare working cattle station. Catering to no more than 20 guests at any one time, activities such as nature walks, fishing, picnics, stargazing, mountain biking, cooking demonstrations, Bocce, cattle mustering and yard work viewing are all part of the Wrotham Park experience.

The more low key Tyrconnell Outback Retreat lies at the site of a former gold mine. Guests can pan for gold, scale nearby Mount Mulligan and visit with the local Kuku Djungan Aboriginal tribe - all in the company of your family hosts at the retreat.

Conservationists and those with a sense of adventure may visit Carnarvon Station. At nearly 150,000 acres, the station is one of the largest pieces of land ever acquired privately with the goal of conservation and regeneration. Adjacent to Carnarvon Gorge National Park, this reserve contains 17 regional ecosystems, seven of which are endangered and in the midst of major restoration activities. Learn about the work of the Nature Conservancy, the Bush Heritage Fund and the local Bidjara Aboriginal tribe to maintain and preserve this great wilderness area.

Victoria:

The Great Ocean Road

There is no more spectacular coastal drive in the world. Majestic limestone cliffs, crashing waves and those picture-postcard rock formations of Port Campbell National Park with names like the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge.

Try our great inn-to-inn walking program, along the Great Ocean Walk, arriving each evening at a cozy B&B with spectacular ocean views. Or drive inland a ways for a homestead stay in Grampians National Park with its bizarre rock sculptures, aboriginal paintings and tumbling waterfalls.

South Australia:

Adelaide

Stately, stylish and graceful, Adelaide is civilized sophistication, Australian style. See the Botanic Gardens, and don't miss the Migration Museum.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley is Australia's premium wine region, rich in European tradition. Taste the fine vintages, meet local producers and discuss the development of the valley's wine tradition. Browse through the art, craft shops and galleries that dot the towns and hamlets throughout the valley, and savor excellent regional cuisine.

Kangaroo Island

Geographic isolation from the mainland has allowed native wildlife to flourish here. There are no traffic lights and no predators. This allows a treasure trove of rare and endangered species to flourish, including Australian sea lions, kangaroos, Cape Barren geese, echidnas, fur seals, black cockatoos, koalas, platypus and fairy penguins to name a few. The wildlife enjoys protected status: the animals are unafraid of humans and allow close approach. In addition, spectacular rock formations, specialized vegetation and sweeping coastal scenery make the island truly unique. Overnight at a lovely eco-lodge or enjoy a homestead stay.

Flinders Ranges

Visit the famous underground opal mining town Coober Pedy. Stay at an Outback station on Angorichinna Station and tour with an Aboriginal guide of the Adnyamathanha people, deciphering the local Aboriginal rock art, introducing you to some of the local fauna and encouraging you to try some of the steps of a traditional Aboriginal dance.

Tasmania:

Freycinet Wilderness Area

Visit the Freycinet Wilderness Area, a stunning coastal national park where you can hike, cycle or sea kayak, and watch for black cockatoos, wallabies, wombats and fairy penguins.

The park's signature feature is Wineglass Bay which was recently named the world's most beautiful beach by Conde Nast Traveler. Stay at an award-winning eco-lodge for a unique and relaxing Australia getaway.

Cradle Mountain

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain/Lake St. Clair area. Stay at a superb, award-winning eco-lodge, or enjoy spectacular hut-to-hut trekking.

Hobart

A bounty of scenic blessings and a bustling harbor make Hobart a very pleasant stop. Enjoy a coffee on the waterfront with its beautiful sandstone warehouses, then meander through streets lined with neo-classical and Georgian-period pieces, intriguing for the architecture buff and neophyte alike. Don't miss the well-done Maritime Museum, which provides for an insightful glimpse into Australia's colonial legacy.

Port Arthur Penal Colony

We suggest a visit to this historic area to see the former prison area and lunatic asylum. The colony was also a center of many a characteristic 19th century industry, including shipbuilding, coal mining and brick making.

Western Australia:

Perth

This charming city is the jumping-off point for the Painted Desert, Sand Dunes and mystical Pinnacles. In springtime the desert explodes with wildflowers. Fly in or take a luxurious three-day train journey from Sydney across the entire vast expanse of Australia.

Margaret River

Western Australia's premier wine country. Stroll through delightful countryside and sample local produce, cheese, jams and olive oils at quaint shops. Stay at any number of beautiful B&Bs.

Ningaloo Reef & Shark Bay

A mini version of the Great Barrier, it's closer to shore and deserted by comparison. Swim with the massive, majestic (and vegetarian!) whale shark and frolic with the endangered dugong in this ocean playground. This has to be one of the best marine experiences to be had anywhere in the world.

Kimberley Coastal Wilderness

One of the world's last great wilderness areas, the Kimberley region is as stunningly beautiful as it is remote. Dramatic canyons, towering escarpments and classic white sand beaches-out of your dreams-dominate a wild landscape home to huge migratory bird populations. Bungle Bungle National Park should not be missed. Explore inland by 4WD for a true getaway adventure or troll along the coast on a luxury cruiser. Stay at beautiful resorts or working ranches.

Indian Pacific Railway

This luxury train adventure takes three days to cross the vast Nullarbor Plain from Adelaide to Perth. Picture Nevada's salt flats times 100.  Springtime brings a profusion of wildflowers to the scrub Outback of Western Australia.  This is experiential train travel in Australia at its best.