27 February 2019
Australia is a vast land of discovery and adventure, with everything from incredible red deserts and rock formations to coastal beauty and thriving urban centres. The land down under is home to a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cities jam-packed with global icons, shorelines studded with golden beaches stretching as far as the eye can see and stunning natural attractions including tropical rainforests and colourful coral reefs.
To coincide with the airing of ITV’s Australia with Julia Bradbury, we have selected some of our favourite Australian destinations that she visits.
Join presenter Julia Bradbury as she traverses Australia, documenting her incredible journey as she searches for the experiences and scenery that makes the country one of the world’s finest travel destinations. See a variety of striking landscapes, from rainforest to red desert, where Julia encounters wildlife including emus, platypus, koalas, crocodiles and bowerbirds.
TC tip: Watch Australia with Julia Bradbury every Thursday at 20:30 on ITV1. If you miss an episode when it airs on television, you can catch up online with ITV Hub.
Perth is Western Australia’s lively urban hub and has plenty to keep you occupied including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Freemantle Prison, The Bell Tower observation deck and beautiful Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Perth also has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia, many of which have been awarded for their commitment to food excellence. The city is also the perfect place for bar hopping, with nights usually ending up at one of the city’s many rooftop bars such as the elegant terrace at Wildflower atop COMO The Treasury, Perth’s most acclaimed boutique hotel.
“Our first stop in Perth was a tour of King’s Park and a walk along the SkyWay, which was beautiful. The botanic gardens and river were also stunning, and then we then took part in a little bell ringing at Elizabeth Quay. Dinner that evening was taken overlooking the Indian Ocean at the Blue Duck at Cottesloe Beach, which was absolutely lovely.
“From here, we headed inland to the Lancaster winery for cheese and wine tasting before visiting Caversham Wildlife Park. I loved it here – getting up close with the native animals such as wallabies, koalas, and even getting to hold a wombat. We then continued to Freemantle, which was like stepping back to Colonial times. The architecture of the buildings and the feel of the place was just something else.”
Angela, Travel Counsellor
Just a three-hour, 110-kilometre drive south of Perth , the Margaret River Region is one of Australia’s most compact, yet diverse, holiday destinations and is renowned for its wine, beaches and sense of adventure. With more than 120 world-class wineries to explore, including Evans & Tate, Flinders Bay Wines and Flying Fish Cove, the opportunities to try fine wines and discover what happens beyond the cellar doors, with vineyard tours that get you behind the scenes to meet winemakers and have a barrel room tasting, are aplenty.
With hundreds of miles of coast fringed by rugged bushland, the region has plenty of off-the-beaten-track adventures to enjoy. As well as wines, there are excellent surf beaches on the Indian Ocean, mountain biking along old forest logging tracks and kayaking on Margaret River itself.
Darwin is the unhurried capital of the Northern Territory with stunning sunsets, beautiful scenery and welcoming locals. Here, you’ll find strong Aboriginal cultures, evidenced by the array of languages spoken in the street, while vibrant Aboriginal art fills the city’s museums and galleries. Check out the lively Mindil Beach Sunset Market which runs on Thursday and Saturday evenings from April through to November. The markets feature street performers, rides for children, live music performances, craft stalls and an eclectic range of Asian and Australian food.
Just like Julia, come face-to-face with crocodiles in Darwin. Both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles can be found in the waters and river systems around the city, with the larger saltwater species growing up to seven metres long.
At Crocosaurus Cove, you can take a tour through the park to watch some of the largest crocodiles being fed, while you can join in on the action and feed the babies with a fishing rod. There are plenty of underwater viewing opportunities too, but you can also swim with the crocs in the Cage of Death – a crocodile swimming experience in which you are lowered into the crocodile’s water in a Perspex enclosure. While at Crocodylus Park, you can also join a crocodile feeding tour, as well as take the Croc and Eco cruise with the chance to hold baby crocodiles, baby turtles, snakes and lizards.
“Our Australian adventure started with a stay in Darwin, the smallest and most tropical of Australian cities, where we were taken on a tour to acclimatise and see the sights, ending the day with a spectacular sunset over the sea.
“We did a day trip to Litchfield National Park, and I’d highly recommend it, with great hiking, fascinating magnetic termite mounds and clusters of weathered sandstone pillars at the Lost City. It is also a great place to take a dip with several stunning waterfalls and Buley Rockhole, a series of connected swimming pools.”
Elaine, Travel Counsellor
Queensland’s headline act is the natural masterpiece of the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching for more than 2,000 kilometres along the state’s coastline, the world’s largest coral reef is home to beautiful marine life as well as over 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays. Visitors can explore this natural wonder on one of hundreds of experiences including snorkelling, scuba diving and aircraft tours.
Once labelled “the most extraordinary place on earth” by Sir David Attenborough, the world’s oldest rainforest, Daintree Rainforest, can be found in northern Queensland. The area is home to ancient ferns, emerald green vines and lush canopy which inspired the highest-grossing film of all time, Avatar.
Here, you can search for Australian wildlife during a guided walk through the jungle, look for crocodiles on cruise of the Daintree River, and zip-line through the trees for a bird’s-eye view.
The fast-paced, cosmopolitan city of Sydney is undoubtedly one of the country’s premier destinations. Colonial history, stunning architecture, picturesque waterways and friendly people epitomise the vibrancy of this spectacular city.
Head to Sydney for world-renowned sights such as Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, while nearby Bondi Beach is a great spot for sunbathing, surfing and a variety of other watersports including paddleboarding and kitesurfing. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is the place to go for stunning views out over the harbour and for some midday refreshments, head to the café and pub-laden Paddington district.
Follow in Julia Bradbury’s footsteps and challenge your Travel Counsellor to create an incredible Australia itinerary just for you.