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  • Seeing the Great Barrier Reef (QLD): It’s a glorious 2,000 km-long (1,240-mile) underwater coral fairyland with electric colors and bizarre fish life—and it comes complete with warm water and year-round sunshine. When you’re not scuba diving, calling at tropical towns, lying on deserted island beaches, or snorkeling over coral and giant clams almost as big as you, you’ll be trying out the sun lounges or enjoying the first-rate food.
  • Experiencing Sydney (NSW): Sydney is more than just the magnificent Harbour Bridge and Opera House. No other city has beaches in such abundance, and few have such a magnificently scenic harbor. My advice is to board a ferry, walk from one side of the bridge to the other, and try to spend a week here, because you’re going to need it.
  • Exploring the Wet Tropics Rainforest (QLD): Folks who come from such skyscraper cities as New York and London can’t get over the moisture-dripping ferns, the neon-blue butterflies, and the primeval peace of this World Heritage rainforest stretching north, south, and west from Cairns. Hike it, four-wheel-drive it, or glide over the treetops in the Skyrail gondola.
  • Bareboat Sailing (QLD): “Bareboat” means unskippered. That’s right, even if you think port is an after-dinner drink, you can charter a yacht, pay for a day’s instruction from a skipper, and then take over the helm yourself and explore the 74 island gems of the Whitsundays. It’s easy. Anchor in deserted bays, snorkel over dazzling reefs, fish for coral trout, and feel the wind in your sails.
  • Exploring Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) & Uluru (NT): This sacred, mysterious, and utterly unforgettable landscape may well be the highlight of your time in Australia. Uluru and Kata Tjuta demand at least 3 days to see everything there is to offer.
  • Taking an Aboriginal Culture Tour: Seeing the landscape through the eyes of Australia’s indigenous people, hearing the creation stories of their ancestors, and learning more about Aboriginal culture will give you a different perspective on Australia, no matter which part of it you are in.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.