The Best Experiences on Sea, Land and Air, from East Coast to West Coast Australia

The Best Experiences on Sea, Land and Air, from East Coast to West Coast Australia

Australia is the land of plenty. With a huge diversity of landscapes, climates and cultures, there is so much to explore across this vast country. In fact, you’ll probably need to visit multiple times to really get under its skin. On a recent trip Down Under, in Tropical North Queensland, Sydney and Perth, Meg, our Asia and Australasia Specialist, had the chance to discover Australia’s east and west coast from every angle. With striking coastlines, ancient rainforests and scenic cityscapes, here are some of the best experiences in Australia on sea, land and air.

  1. The Great Barrier Reef
  2. Daintree Rainforest
  3. Sydney
  4. Perth
  5. Swan Valley

Sail away on the Great Barrier Reef

Best for: Couples

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is not just a highlight of Australia, it is one of the great wonders of the world. It’s the largest coral reef system on the planet and its beautiful outline can even be seen from space. But the best way to explore reef is on water. Enjoy an idyllic day on a luxury glass bottom catamaran with Sailaway Port Douglas, where a nature based and eco-conscious focus provides a responsible insight into the marine environment of the reef. Snorkelling is guided by qualified marine biologists and comes with exclusive access to some of the reef’s most protected sites and a behind the scenes look at some of the restoration and conservation efforts. Soak up the sun as the boat soars across the sea to the Outer Reef or nearby Low Isles, and snorkel with sea turtles and an abundance of sea life over brilliantly colourful coral. Lunch on deck provides an opportunity to chat with the onboard experts who are more than willing to share their knowledge of the reef and how your tour helps to contribute to their ongoing projects. Finish the day at golden hour with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer as you sail back to Port Douglas, lightly salted and sufficiently mesmerised.


Hike, drift, and snorkel in the Daintree Rainforest

Best for: Families

Tropical North Queensland is home of the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest lowland tropical rainforest in the world. A walk through its landscape is like wandering back to the Jurassic period and Backcountry Bliss tours are just the people to guide you through it. Walk over accessible boardwalks that lead you deeper into the jungle as you discover the weird and wonderful plant species indigenous to the forest. Stop for a swim in the river where orange and blue butterflies flutter nearby and river perch swim below your feet Before stopping for lunch in a local Port Douglas café. After, it’s time to snorkel and river drift on the mighty Mossman Gorge. Spot river turtles, eels and water dragons, and enjoy the rapids as you drift down the river on your lilo-like raft. The final part of the river slows, and you can turn on your back to look up at the canopy as you drift gently back to land.


See the Splendour of Sydney from every angle

Best for: A bit of luxury

Sydney has something for everyone. From foodie excursions to hiking in the national parks, and visiting art galleries, museums and the iconic Opera House, there is plenty to explore in this unique city. Splendour tours offer completely bespoke and tailored experiences led by expert hosts who strive to provide immersive and original excursions. Take to the air and enjoy a scenic flight over Sydney’s skyline and bays, spotting whales migrating at sea as you swoop overhead. For another perspective, embark on a harbour cruise complete with lunch sourced fresh from the Fish Market and washed down with a cold glass of bubbles. On land, enjoy a walking tour through Sydney’s chic neighbourhoods and city parks. Taste your way through the best restaurants in the city, sip your way through the nearby Hunter Valley vineyards, take a surf lesson on Bondi beach and even enjoy a morning yoga session at the Sydney Opera House. Whatever your style, Splendour will bring Sydney to life for you.


Fly over the Swan River in Perth

Best for: Adrenaline junkies

For a scenic flight to remember, soar over the Swan River and Rottnest Island with Swan River Seaplanes in Perth. There is something exciting about stepping aboard a tiny floating aircraft, that jets across the water on a liquid runway, before lifting itself with all but a few bumps, into the air. Peer out the thrillingly thin windows to see Perth and the Swan River sparkle below as you make your way out of the estuary towards Rottnest Island. Watch in awe as the island’s coastal waters appear like a sudden turquoise gem in the sea of deep blue. Look down on white sand beaches and secluded coves as you fly over the island before landing for a day on Rottnest. Spot whales migrating in the winter season, and in the summer, enjoy the ride and the view.


Taste your way through Swan Valley, WA

Best for: Foodies

Discover the flavours of Western Australia’s Swan Valley just a short drive from Perth. Begin the morning at Mandoon Estate where Dale Tilbrook, a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman from the Margaret River, will take you on a journey of tales and tastes of her bushtucker harvest. Enjoy a wine tasting at Mandoon Estate before lunch at Old Young’s Kitchen, where ingredients from Dale’s harvest are used to elevate seasonal produce and recipes. Seal it off with a gin and vodka tasting at Old Young’s Distillery before heading back to Perth for a well-earned snooze.