Any of the following countries can be combined to make a fabulous itinerary.

AUSTRALIA is a young and free-spirited country. It’s exciting, adventurous, stylish and friendly. With its iconic attractions, its weird and wonderful wildlife, fantastic climate and enviable ‘beach and barbeque’ lifestyle, Australia is consistently voted the worlds most desirable destination by UK travellers. Around 130 nationalities call Australia home making it one of the most multicultural countries in the world. It’s a colourful country too, enjoy discovering the blues and turquoises of the Great Barrier Reef, the deep red soils of the Outback and every imaginable shade of green in its tropical rainforests.

New South Wales is where the first settlers landed, and as such is the birthplace of modern Australia. You won’t want to miss the vibrant urban charms of Sydney one of the worlds favourite cities, but do allow extra days to explore the rest of the state. The wine-producing region of Hunter Valley and the stunning Blue Mountains both have definite appeal, or head up the coast to discover laid-back seaside resorts where the days main decisions depend on whether the surfs up.

Why not … Step into your grey jumpsuit and safety harness and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge which you are rewarded with stunning views of one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbour.

Queensland Known as the Sunshine state; Queensland offers something for everyone; from the popular holiday resorts of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, to the beautiful unspoilt scenery of the Whitsunday Islands; and from the lush tropical rainforests and sugar-cane plantations around Cairns and Port Douglas, to the stunning Great Barrier Reef lying just offshore. Its stunning spectrum of colours has to be seen to be believed, and no visit to Australia would be complete without a visit to this underwater paradise.

Why not … Dive at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natures greatest wonders and come face to face with a giant maori wrasse. They may not be pretty but they are friendly!

South Australia is a best kept secret. It boasts the oldest wine-growing region, the finest nature reserve (Kangaroo Island), the only underground city (Coober Pedy) and the smallest Australian town on the world’s working cattle station (William Creek). You’ll also find some of Australia’s most diverse wildlife and be amazed by the planet’s oldest landscapes, all easily accessible from the elegant and graceful gateway city of Adelaide.

Why not … take a scenic flight across the Flinders Ranges, as from the air you can comprehend the vastness and colour of the Australian outback.

Northern Territory Stretching from the desert heart of Australia (the Red Centre) to the northern tropics around Darwin (the Top End), the Northern Territory offers some of the most breathtaking and contrasting scenery. The towering presence of Uluru casts a magical spell, but is rivalled by other Outback destinations such as dramatic Kings Canyon, and the World Heritage wilderness and wetlands of Kakadu National Park. Full of ancient Dreamtime legends, the Territory boasts balmy tropical beaches, lonely deserts, lush rainforests, stunning gorges, massive monoliths, a huge array of wildlife and colourful outback characters.

Why not … watch a magical sunset over Uluru and dine alfresco under the stars of the Outback sky.

Victoria Compared to the other states, Victoria is compact which makes it easy to visit all its sightseeing and touring highlights. The cosmopolitan city of Melbourne rivals Sydney in the fields of culture, shopping, dining and entertainment. Victoria is also blessed with one of the greatest scenic coastal driving routes in the world, the Great Ocean Road, featuring dramatic coastline once attached to Antarctica. With no fewer than 10 national parks and world-famous Yarra valley wine region amongst its other attractions, Victoria does reign supreme.

Why not … take a day trip to the historic goldrush town of Ballarat. Sovereign Hill is a splendid recreation of frontier life in those days. There are underground mine tours and panning for gold.

Western Australia is by far the largest of the states. There are remote tropical islands; dry red dusty desert land on Aboriginal soil; sheer rock formations in the form of deep gorges whose waterfalls plunge into refreshing swimming holes; and wild coastline home to whale sharks, dolphins and ancient stromatolites. Visit the historic town of Freemantle, go wine tasting in the famous Margaret River region, swim surf, fish, windsurf and sail in beautiful Perth. All this beauty is shared with free-roaming kangaroos, and 2.5 million inhabitants in this sparsely populated corner of Australia.

Why not … From April – July at Ningaloo Reef, follow the whale shark by boat, then jump in the ocean and snorkel just inches away from these large but friendly and harmless mammals.

Tasmania is an island state of great scenic beauty with a rugged coastline, snow-capped mountains, deserted beaches and fabulous gourmet cuisine. The island is roughly the same size as Ireland, which makes it a manageable size for a touring or self-drive holiday. It lies just 150 miles off the southeast coast of Australia. With 2,000 kilometres of walking tracks, 18 national parks, extensive tracts of virgin rainforest, and a scientific proof of having the purest air in the world, this untouched temperate wilderness is a very special destination.

Why not… take the Gordon River Cruise which visits one of the world’s last great wilderness areas, departing from Strahan you’ll cruise upriver to the World Heritage-listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

NEW ZEALAND

A visit will reward you with living landscapes like nowhere else on Earth. Known locally as ‘God’s own country’ you’ll experience nature at its most raw and varied. Constantly changing, its geology being some of the most recently formed on Earth, this exceptional wonderland also boasts a rich cultural diversity. Its charming towns and vibrant cities offer unique Kiwi Hospitality. No matter where or when you travel around New Zealand you’ll always be rewarded with an amazing experience every day of your journey. Although summer months are an excellent time to visit, Spring and Autumn are also highly recommended as temperatures are pleasant and tempting off-peak rates can be had. Spring or ‘waterfall season’ is when New Zealand bursts into new life with colourful blooms and baby wildlife and Autumn offers long sunny days under a canopy of golden leaves.

North Island
New Zealand’s North Islands is an essential part of any visit to New Zealand, and its dramatic landscape is dominated by the vast volcanic and geothermal areas around Rotorua and Taupo. 3 touring routes link the Central North Island, The Thermal Explorer Highway, The Pacific Coast Highway and the Volcanic Loop. The wild shoreline has an abundance of marine life, and the rolling countryside is dotted with fruit orchards and world-class vineyards. The 2 main cities, Auckland and wellington, deserve a few days of anyone’s time, bustling with activity and events year-round.

Why not … Take a tour to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand, where you can drive along the deserted expanse of Ninety-mile beach and enjoy an adrenalin-pumping sledge ridge down the sand dunes.

South Island
The outstanding feature of New Zealand’s stunning South Island is the Southern Alps, mountains which form the island’s backbone, and create a dramatic landscape of glaciers, lakes, rivers and fiords. To the east of the mountains lies the fertile patchwork of the Canterbury Plains, whilst the rich soils to the north are rewarded with one of the world’s finest wine-producing regions, Marlborough. There’s a real flavour of home in the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch, and in Scottish-influenced Dunedin, whilst Queenstown is the activity and adventure capital.

Why not … fly by helicopter over the great ice sheet of Franz Josef Glacier and see the formations of ice from above. You can land on the ice and explore the huge crevasses and ice caves. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

SOUTH PACIFIC

The delightful islands of the South Pacific are charming and delightful and definitely worth visiting on a round the world trip or on route to New Zealand or Australia.

Fiji comprises of no fewer than 330 islands, the beautiful Fijan archipelago boasts a thousand miles of pristine, palm-fringed beaches, tropical rainforests leading down to turquoise lagoons, and magnificent underwater coral gardens. This is a truly idyllic South Pacific paradise.

Cook Islands Yet to be discovered by mass tourism, the Cook Islands remain pure and serene. The main island of Raratonga is lush and tropical with volcanic peaks covered in rainforest. Just 50 minutes by seaplane is the paradise of Aitutaki, boasting a spectacular lagoon teeming with marine life.

French Polynesia The most well-known island in French Polynesia is Tahiti, the perfect stopover destination, with stunning waterfalls and verdant mountains. The nearby heart-shaped island of Moorea has vertiginous mountainsides plunging into emerald waters. Meanwhile Bora Bora is a fairytale creation of jagged volcanic peaks and crystal-clear aqua lagoons.