Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Peek over the pickets and find out. This vast country is affluent, multicultural and laced with natural splendor.

Why I Love Australia

By Charles Rawlings-Way & Meg Worby, Writers

I’ve been living in this great southern land for 30-something years, and there are still places I haven’t explored. Australia is just so damn big. Even if we spent the next 30-something years on an endless round-Australia road trip, there’d still be surprises out there. And that, for a restless road-addict, is a very comforting reality.

Arts & Culture

No matter which city you’re wheeling into, you’ll never go wanting for an offbeat theatre production, a rockin’ live band, lofty art-gallery opening, movie launch or music festival mosh. This was once a country where ‘cultural cringe’ held sway – the notion that anything locally produced simply wasn’t up to scratch. But these days the tables have turned. Aboriginal arts – particularly painting and dance – seem immune to such fluctuations and remain timelessly captivating.

Food & Drink

Australia plates up a multicultural fusion of European techniques and fresh Pacific-rim ingredients – aka ‘Mod Oz’ (Modern Australian). Seafood plays a starring role − from succulent Moreton Bay Bugs to delicate King George Whiting. Of course, beer in hand, you’ll still find beef, lamb and chicken at Aussie barbecues. Don’t drink beer? Australian wines are world-beaters: punchy Barossa Valley shiraz, Hunter Valley semillon and cool-climate Tasmanian sauvignon blanc. Tasmania produces outstanding whisky too. Need a caffeine hit? You’ll find cafes everywhere, coffee machines in petrol stations, and baristas in downtown coffee carts.

Hip Cities

Most Australians live along the coast, and most of these folks live in cities – 89% of Australians, in fact. It follows that cities here are a lot of fun. Sydney is a glamorous collusion of beaches, boutiques and bars. Melbourne is all arts, alleyways and Aussie Rules football. Brisbane is a subtropical town on the way up; Adelaide has festive grace and pubby poise. Boomtown Perth breathes West Coast optimism; Canberra transcends political agendas. While the tropical northern frontier town of Darwin, and the chilly southern sandstone city of Hobart, couldn’t be more different.

The Wide Open Road

There’s a heckuva lot of tarmac across this wide brown land. From Margaret River to Cooktown, Jabiru to Dover, the best way to appreciate Australia is to hit the road. Car hire is relatively affordable, road conditions are generally good, and beyond the big cities traffic fades away. If you’re driving a campervan, you’ll find well-appointed caravan parks in most sizable towns. If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a 4WD and go off-road: Australia’s national parks and secluded corners are custom-made for camping trips down the dirt road.

SourceLonely Planet

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - Arrival in Brisbane | Brisbane to Moreton Island

Arrive at Brisbane International Airport or Domestic Airport and meet a Yatra representative for transfer to Brisbane Holt Street Wharf on seat-in-coach (SIC) basis. Brisbane is a lively town spread along the banks of the namesake river. It features amazing cafes, art displays, restaurants and historical buildings, among which, City Hall, Museum of Brisbane and Mt Coot-tha Forest are the most significant ones. Once you reach Holt Street Wharf, board the Tangalooma Launch and reach Moreton Island. Upon arrival, check-in at the resort. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to enjoy various activities at the island. Located approximately 25 km off Brisbane’s shore, Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world. Spend some time amidst the unspoilt natural beauty that this place offers, ranging from pristine beaches, crystal clear lakes to sand dunes. In the evening, be a part of the Wild Dolphin Feeding program, and enjoy feeding the playful bottleneck dolphins with your hands.

Day 2 - Desert Safari and Sand Tobogganing Tour | Moreton Island to Brisbane

After having a tasty breakfast, check-out from the hotel, and head out for an adventurous Desert Safari and Sand Tobogganing Tour. While you are on the desert safari, enjoy the enchanting views of the vast sea and explore the regional topography of Moreton Island. The rugged and road free terrain of this island is sure to give you a thrilling experience. After having an adventurous ride in a vehicle, get ready for riding a board on the sand hills. Sand Tobogganing is an activity in which you lie down or sit on a wooden board while it slides down a sand dune. With a plenty of high sand dunes, Moreton Island is an ideal place for this activity. Later in the evening, travel to Brisbane and reach Holt Street Wharf. From here, depart for Gold Coast and transfer to your hotel SIC basis.

Day 3 - Visit to Dreamworld

Have a filling breakfast and then transfer to Dreamworld on ISC basis for an adventurous day. Dreamworld is a theme park in Gold Coast that was opened in 1981. The biggest arena of its kind in Australia, you can enjoy some adrenaline pumping rides and explore attractions like animal exhibits, food outlets, merchandise shops and shows. The amusement park also has a wildlife attraction called Tiger Island, where you can take a walk with or even feed a tiger.

Day 4 - Sightseeing around Gold Coast

Following a delicious breakfast, transfer to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 27 hectares of lush eucalyptus and rainforest, this place is home to diverse birds and animals. It is an iconic tourist destination and a wonderful site to explore the vibrant regional wildlife. It provides a collection of presentations, shows and animal displays for visitors' entertainment. Here, you can indulge in various interactive activities with animals like the crocodile, kangaroo, koala and various species of birds. After spending half the day here, head towards Sea World. This park located in Gold Coast, comprises a theme park, marine mammal park and oceanarium. Various themed rides, animal exhibits and activities here keep visitors entertained. It also features daily shows that include marine animals like penguins, seals, polar bears and dolphins.

Day 5 - Visit to Movie World

After a sumptuous breakfast, transfer to Movie World on SIC basis. It is a movie-related theme park, located on the eastern coast of Queensland. This park offers movie-based rides, ranging from roller coasters to slow rides. For tourist's entertainment, there are performers dressed as characters from popular movies like Scooby Doo and Batman. Apart from various rides, this place regularly features singing performances and street shows. For an insight into the various effects involved in making movies, pay a visit to the movie studios located in Movie World. Later, return to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Day 6 - Brisbane to Cairns

Post breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to Brisbane or Gold Coast Airport on SIC basis, and depart to Cairns. A major Australian city, Cairns was founded in 1876 and named after William Wellington Cairns, the erstwhile governor of this city. In the past, it was a mining town, and nowadays, it serves as a major export hub. Being a gateway to Great Barrier Reef, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. Upon arrival in Cairns, transfer to the hotel and check-in. Spend rest of the day at leisure or explore this city. Later, return to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 7 - Cairns to Green Island Reef | Watersports

Following the breakfast, head out for cruise tour to Green Island Reef. Enjoy the scenic tropical landscape on this approximately 45 minutes long ride from Cairns to Green Island. Surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef, this island is known for its biodiversity. It features amazing white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and lush rainforests. While on the cruise, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. Explore the natural surroundings and biodiversity of this island through a semi-submarine, glass-bottomed boat or Snorkelling.

Day 8 - Green Island to Cairns | Cairns to Sydney

After having a hearty breakfast, transfer to Cairns Airport on SIC basis for departure to Sydney. The attractions like Opera House and Harbour Bridge, make Sydney one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country. This city visited by thousands of globetrotters every year, also features one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Upon arrival in Sydney, transfer to the hotel and check-in for an overnight stay.

Day 9 - Sightseeing in Sydney

After having a tasty breakfast, embark on a half-day sightseeing tour, which includes the views of Opera House, Harbour Bridge and a visit to Bondi Beach. Sydney Opera House is an iconic building and perhaps the most famous one in the country. Built in 1973, it has been the subject of worldwide acclaim for its design. Resembling a sailing yacht in appearance, it has five different performance spaces for events such as dance, concert and opera. The world's largest steel arch bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge was officially opened in 1932. The bridge has a maximum height of 134 metres above the harbour. Because of its design, it is often called the Coat-hanger by the locals. Bondi Beach is the name of a beachside neighbourhood in the eastern part of Sydney. It is a lively place that stays abuzz with the locals and tourists all along the year. People come to this beach for surfing or watching playful whales. The tour ends in the afternoon at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. From here, reach Sea Life Aquarium near King Street Wharf on your own. Upon reaching here, exchange Combo 2 Pass voucher for admissions in Sea Life Aquarium and Sydney Tower Eye. With more than 700 species of aquatic animals, Sea Life Aquarium is a massive public aquarium. At around 14 different themed zones like Tropical Bay of Rays, Mangrove Swamps, Dugong Island and Shark Walk, you can see sharks, octopus, dugong, penguins and platypus. After spending some time amidst mysterious underwater creatures, proceed to Sydney Tower Eye. This tower is approximately 300 metres in height and provides panoramic views of Sydney and its surroundings. Here, you will have an unforgettable 4D experience, wherein you will be showed the underwater and aerial view of the city, marked by theatre effects of fire, water and wind. Thereafter, reach the King Street Wharf near Darling Harbour on your own to join the Sydney Showboat cruise. End this eventful day by spending a relaxing evening on-board and enjoying the colourful views of the city's harbour along with delicious Indian dinner. Later, return to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 10 - Hunter Valley Wine Tour

After breakfast, take an approximately three hours drive to reach the Hunter Valley. Located at a distance of around 250 km in the north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in Australia. Take a refreshing trip to this place, which is filled with vast expanses of farmlands, river valleys and highlands. Apart from the Hunter River, after which the place is named, there are a number of other rivers providing enough water for irrigation purpose. While you are here, visit some of the Wineries in the region and enjoy a delicious gourmet style lunch in a pristine natural setting. Later, travel back to Sydney and reach your hotel for a good night's sleep.

Day 11 - Departure from Sydney