Australia, the world’s sixth-largest country, is arguably one of the world’s most interesting travel destinations. The diverse landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, unique wildlife, and rich cultural heritage of Australia mean travelers can visit the country again and again, experiencing a new side to the nation each time.
Our new country-intensive voyages help guests completely immerse themselves in the wonders of a particular nation. With so much to see and do, Australia is a natural fit for this kind of itinerary. Embarking on January 21, 2018, we’ll set sail for an 18-night Australian Explorer Voyage. We’ll call on nine different Australian ports, from the west coast’s adventurous city of Exmouth to stunning, iconic Sydney on the east coast.
During this incredible voyage, don’t miss these seven things to do in Australia.
A turtle at Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth, Australia.
Opportunities for underwater adventures abound on this voyage. The water surrounding Australia is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world.
In Exmouth, spend the morning at Turquoise Bay where you can snorkel at Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing reef in Australia. A “fringing reef” is a coral reef that lies close to the shore. The one at Turquoise Bay stretches for more than 120 miles!
If snorkeling isn’t your style, you don’t have to miss out on seeing the Ningaloo Reef’s incredible underwater wonders. Try a more relaxed Glass Bottom Boat Tour instead. The boat’s huge viewing panels provide plenty of opportunities to witness schools of tropical fish, eels, rays, and stunning coral gardens.
An Australian vineyard.
Australia isn’t just for adventurers. It’s also a favorite destination among wine lovers. Several of the nine ports on this itinerary provide the opportunity to visit some of the country’s best wine regions.
First, there’s the Swan Valley, near Perth. This is one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions, having produced wine for over 180 years. The warm, dry climate results in excellent Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, and Petit Verdot varieties.
Join our Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail shore excursion and pay visits to Houghton Wines, Sandalford Caversham Estate, and Upper Reach Winery.
Calling on Adelaide means a visit to the famous Barossa Valley. This region, known for producing big, earthy Shiraz wines, has a rich viticulture history of 150 years.
Join our “A Day in the Barossa” shore excursion and visit Jacob’s Creek, Chateau 1847, Lyndoch Hill, and Seppeltsfield wineries.
Australia's Barossa Valley.
In Bunbury, explore the relatively newer wine region of Margaret River. This region dates back just a few generations but has developed a reputation for great Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays.
Join our Southwest Wine Experience shore excursion and sample wines at Aravina Estate and Palmer Wines.
Albany, also in southwest Australia, offers the chance to explore the Great Southern wine region. This large region has five smaller sub-regions: Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup, and Albany. Don’t miss trying Shiraz and Riesling wines while here.
Join our Southern Wineries and Albany Sights shore excursion for the opportunity to visit the region’s acclaimed Wignalls Winery.
Interested in learning more? Check out this handy infographic featuring fun facts about Australian wine!
Brighton Beach in Melbourne, Australia.
During an eighteen-night voyage, it’s important to take time to relax and recharge. That’s easy in Australia! The country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Perth boasts some of the best in the country, and we’ll spend two full days there.
If you’re interested in surfing or body-boarding (or just people-watching), Scarborough Beach is the place to be. For a more relaxing environment with sheltered swimming, City Beach is a perfect choice. If you’d prefer to end your day with a stunning beach sunset, there’s nowhere better to be than Cottesloe Beach. You can take a dip in the Indian Ocean, enjoy a picnic on the sand, or enjoy a sunset cocktail at a beachside restaurant.
In Southern Australia, visit Back Beach in Bunbury, Middleton Beach in Albany, or Lucky Bay in Esperance. Lucky Bay is known as having the whitest sand in all of Australia.
If you’re more of a museumgoer than a sunbather, Australia still has plenty to offer. In fact, Melbourne is on our list of the best travel destinations for art lovers. “Australia’s Culture Capital” is home to incredible galleries, museums, and public art. Join the shore excursion “Aboriginal Art at Art Yarramunua” and learn about indigenous culture and history from aboriginal Australian artist and gallery owner Stan Yarramunua himself.
In Sydney, don’t miss the renowned NSW Gallery. And on Kangaroo Island, the “Art and Wine Culture Tour” allows guests to sample local wines at two wineries and explore the colorful local art scene.
A kangaroo in Australia.
Australia is home to incredible wildlife by land and by sea. Nearly every port on this itinerary offers the chance to get up close and personal with animals! Did you know that approximately 90% of animals native to Australia are found nowhere else? Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney are all home to wildlife parks, sanctuaries, and zoos that host some of Australia’s most interesting animals.
In Esperance, partake in a wildlife cruise around the Recherché Archipelago, during which you’ll likely see seals, sea lions, birds, and whales. On Kangaroo Island, a four-wheel drive tour will showcase the incredible wildlife that can be seen along the coast and throughout the island’s parks and Eucalyptus forests. Finish by visiting the koalas at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
Want to learn more about Australian wildlife? Check out the fun facts on this handy infographic.
Yardie Creek Gorge in Exmouth, Australia
The terrain of Australia is unique, varied, and absolutely stunning. And, a country-intensive voyage means there’s time to soak it all in.
Outside Perth, the Nambung National Park is home to the amazing Pinnacles Desert. This otherworldly landscape features thousands of limestone spires, each millions of years old, rising from the sand.
The Pinnacles in Australia
In Albany, the Torndirrup National Park boasts several geological wonders. “The Gap” is sure to impress—and we don’t mean the clothing store. The ocean’s pounding surf carved the granite crevasse over millions of years. Nearby, the Natural Bridge is a rock archway shaped by the waves.
Speaking of waves, Wave Rock in Esperance is another stunning photo opportunity. Located in the middle of the Outback, this geological formation in the shape of a wave is 46 feet tall and 360 feet long.
Our country-intensive Australia voyage concludes with an overnight stay in Sydney. And luckily, we’ve already created not one, but two incredible ways to spend 36 hours in Sydney.
For a great view of the city, you won’t do better than the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. For the artistic souls, the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery NSW, and Royal Botanic Gardens are must-sees.
Then, of course, there are Sydney’s many incredible beaches. Manly Beach is most popular and most iconic, with great surfing. Bondi Beach is another famous beach and located just eight kilometers from the city center, while the nearby Coogee Beach is calmer and ideal for swimming.
However you spend your time in Sydney, you’re bound to enjoy it. It’s a vibrant, trendy, and sunny city with no shortage of great shopping, great food, and great culture.
Click here to learn more about our Country-Intensive Voyages.