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Asia Pacific & Australia Travel Guide

Travelling to Australia and the Asia Pacific region is the ultimate long-haul adventure and one that can take some serious planning. Whether you're going to work overseas for a year, journey into the unknown to discover new cultures or kick back and relax on some of the world's best beaches, this part of the world is guaranteed to fulfil your wanderlust.

Australia Travel Tips

It's no secret that Australia is a vast land and, though travel is easy and every convenience is on offer to tourists, it can be hard to decide what to do, in the time you have. For a 4 week trip, it's feasible to base yourself in 4 different cities, for a week each, in order to explore the area's attractions at large.

Fitting more destinations in is possible if you take advantage of regional flights, depending on your budget. If you have more time up your sleeve, consider hiring a car or a campervan, as it's very easy to travel on Australian roads and you'll see more of the country as you go.

To make the most of your time, it's useful to categorise possible destinations based on the sights you want to see, the activities you enjoy and the type of holiday you're after.

Adventure and Scenery

World famous for dramatic outback scenery, the Great Barrier Reef and soaring rainforests, Australia is heaven for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The natural splendour of the 'land down under' abounds wherever you base yourself, but here are the top picks to help you choose:

  • The Great Barrier Reef and The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland. The best bases to explore them from are Cairns, Airlie Beach and Port Douglas.
  • Ayres Rock and Kakadu National Park in The Northern Territory. The best bases to explore them from are Alice Springs and Darwin.
  • The Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales. The best bases to explore it from are Sydney and Katoomba.
  • The Kimberly Region in Western Australia. The best base to explore it from is Broome.
  • Tasmania. The best bases to explore it from are Hobart or Launceston.

Beaches and Relaxation

Most Australians live on the coast and it's not hard to see why, with more than 10 000 beaches to choose from. Depending on what you're into, here are some of the top picks.

  • Bells Beach, Victoria, for surfers and thrill seekers.
  • Bondi Beach, Sydney, for culture, sunbaking and celebrity spotting.
  • Byron Bay, Northern New South Wales, for relaxation, hippy-inspired culture and backpackers.
  • Fraser Island, Southeast Queensland, for natural wonders and scenery.
  • The Whitsunday Islands, North Queensland, for tropical paradise.
  • Cable Beach, Western Australia, for stunning sunsets.
  • Noosa Beach, Southeast Queensland for families, couples and luxury.

Nightlife, Culture and Attractions

Australia's cities are multi-cultural, filled with architectural delights and home to trendy restaurants, bars, shops, museums, art galleries and fun-filled attractions.

  • Sydney, New South Wales, is home to the famous Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and world-class shopping, dining and entertainment.
  • Melbourne, Victoria, is for culture vultures, with historic alleyways, a thriving arts scene and a mad passion for Aussie Rules football.
  • Brisbane, Queensland is the bustling gateway to theme parks on the Gold Coast, beaches of the Sunshine Coast and a cultural hub for entertainment and nightlife.
  • Perth, Western Australia, combines the sophisticated and cosmopolitan vibe of a big city with beautiful beaches and the Margaret River wine region.
  • Adelaide, South Australia, dubbed 'The City of Churches', is the gateway to the Barossa Valley Wine region and a cultural mecca for arts and events.

New Zealand Travel Tips

New Zealand is an unforgettable land of rugged islands, soaring forests, glaciers, mountains, fiords and the traditional Maori culture, mixed with cosmopolitan cities and quaint villages. Travel is easy, the locals are friendly and the array of adventure activities available is staggering.

The top tip for travel in New Zealand is to hire a car or campervan, or take advantage of the system of hop-on, hop off buses, to see as much of the country as you can, for the best possible price. Alternatively, either choose the North or the South Island for more in-depth exploration of one region.

Top Picks For New Zealand Travel

  • Milford Sound, in the South Island, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, accessed via the Fiordland National Park. It boasts stunning coastal scenery, sheer rocky cliffs, glass-like lakes, waterfalls and mystical forests.
  • Queenstown, in the South Island, rests on Lake Wakatipu with dramatic mountain views and endless activities for adrenalin junkies and snow-skiers
  • The Bay of Islands, on the North Island, is a haven for marine life, sandy beaches, secluded coves and sailing enthusiasts.
  • Rotorua, on the North Island, is home to geysers and hot springs in beautiful parks and reserves.
  • Auckland, on the North Island, is New Zealand's largest city and from here you can check out the famous Sky Tower, indulge in fine dining and explore the surrounding region of volcanos, wine country, beaches and forests.

East and Southeast Asia Travel Tips

The East and Southeast Asian Pacific countries comprise of some of the world's most popular tourist destinations, including Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Fiji. Many of the holiday hotspots are easy to explore, given the close proximity of places and attractions to each other, great value for money and perfect for holidays of one, two or more weeks, from the UK.

Here are some of our top picks to help get you started, based on ease of travel for couples, families and singles alike, tourist infrastructure, fantastic deals available from the UK and activities on offer to suit every holiday desire:

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a tropical paradise with something for everyone, including stunning beaches, lush jungles, a vibrant night scene and accommodation ranging from 5-star luxury villas to family resorts and secluded beach huts.

Phuket, Thailand

From elephant trekking in the jungle to lazing on a beach with lapping, turquoise waves, Phuket is a holiday dreamland. You can get off the beaten path to explore the magical Thai culture, or join the lively crowd at Patong Beach for daytrips to pristine islands, wining and dining, adventure activities and cocktails by the pool at a huge array of hotels, resorts, villas and apartments.

Tokyo, Japan

The bright lights of Tokyo capture the senses in a unique blend of futuristic concepts and old-world traditions. Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world, offering tourists the magic of Japanese pop-culture, sci-fi cityscapes, phenomenal sushi, traditional festivals and non-stop action.

Hong Kong

Asia's top culinary capital literally bursts with opportunities for holiday fun. You can shop until you drop, explore the traditional Chinese roots of the city, visit museums, galleries, concert halls and exhibitions or explore villages, beaches and islands on the outskirts of the city.