in the middle
Washed with frothy surf and baked by the sun, Australia is a colossal place. In the north are its tropical reaches, peppered with palm trees and banana plantations. In the south are the blustery bays of Kangaroo Island. In the west, the vast desert gives way to canyons and the cliff-backed coves of D'Entrecasteaux. And in the east there are the seaside meccas of Bondi, Gold Coast and the gorgeous Whitsundays.
And that's not even mentioning the bucket-list-busting cities. Check out cool and quirky Melbourne for hip drinkeries, art and coffee shops. Head to Perth for laid-back living in the west, and check Sydney for the majestic opera house, the historic Rocks district and more, all cascading down from the escarpments of the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Wave riders are magnetised to the sun-kissed streets of Gold Coast in the east of Australia. They settle in the beach shacks, guesthouses and luxury resorts of appropriately-named Surfers Paradise, or go for the quieter reaches of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. Further in the north is Cairns, surrounded by tropical rainforest, and the favoured jump off point for trips into the Great Barrier Reef.
Outback holidays are becoming more and more popular, with oodles of travellers now embarking on intrepid journeys through the vast wildernesses in the heart of Australia. Many go to the red-hued deserts of Alice Springs, others to the hoodoos of Kimberley, but most for the mystical rock and Aborigine relics of Uluru.
Australia isn't just about the mainland either. Each year thousands of people head to Tasmania. A patchwork of rugged mountains and vineyards, highlights here include the cellar doors of the Tamar Valley, historically-rich Hobart, the wild peaks of Mount Wellington and the windswept beaches on the Bay of Fires.
Use dealchecker to get the best value on cheap hotels in Australia and hit the legendary metropolis of Sydney. Crowned by the shimmering Opera House and fringed with beaches like Bondi and Coogee, this one offers the perfect balance between relaxation and sightseeing. To be right in the heart of the action, think about grabbing accommodation in The Rocks, or close to the quays of Sydney Harbour.
Meanwhile, art and culture booms from the streets of stately Melbourne. Victorian and Georgian townhouses line the Yarra River, and there's the acclaimed Arts Precinct and National Gallery to check off the list.
Perth also has a great range of Australia hotels. Travel here to flit between cool beer bars in the historic area of Fremantle, hit the undulating vineyards of the Swan Valley, and party the night away in Northbridge.