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Australia's vast coastline gives it an unparalleled array of aquatic treasures. As well as the wonders of the world's longest coral reef, The Great Barrier Reef, its coast includes spectacular stretches of sea-carved cliffs, sheltered bays where whales give birth, splendid beaches and a wealth of marine life.

From the tropical islands of the Queensland coast, the wildlife rich islands of the south, and the unique island cultures of north, Australia's islands offer a richly rewarding experience away from the bustle of the mainland.

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Recognized as one of the world’s best beaches, Whitehaven Beach is found on Queensland’s Whitsunday Island. Perfect for swimming, its pure white silica sands slope to the clear tropical warm blue water.

Formerly just a pearling town, the tropical city of Broome is now the gateway to the Kimberley region in north Western Australia. It is blessed by sunny days, balmy nights and beautiful scenery.

Great Ocean Road
Whitsunday Islands

Winding around dramatic cliffs with the surf of the Southern Ocean swelling below, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road passes beaches and coves, quiet seaside villages and spots to enjoy brilliant sun and surf.

Queensland’s Gold Coast has 70 kilometres of coastline and many canals and tidal rivers to explore. You can swim and surf safely all year at 35 patrolled beaches on Australia’s largest expanse of calm water. 

Australia's largest marine park is the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, stretching more than 2000 kilometres along the Queensland coast. It has the most diverse animal and plant ecosystems on earth. Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, covering 5,000 square kilometres of ocean, is famous for whale shark diving and in Shark Bay you can hand-feed wild dolphins.

Australia's Islands

When it comes to natural island getaways, Queensland has a well-deserved worldwide reputation. Choose from coral cay islands on the Great Barrier Reef, explore the world's largest sand islands, surf, walk along kilometres of rolling beaches or unwind at a remote hideaway.

Tasmania is an island jewel of unique natural wonders, colonial heritage and friendly people. The southern isle also has islands of its own which offer abundant wildlife, convict history and world class produce.

Kangaroo Island is fresh air, pristine beaches, dramatic scenery and thriving native wildlife. Small tours, cycling, horse riding, diving, farming, walking and fishing all adhere to the rules of eco-friendly treatment. Walk close to wildlife. Delight in the abundance of wildflowers. 

Fairy penguins, koalas, Australian fur seals, migrating birds, diving, and spectacular coastal cliffs are just some of the reasons to visit Phillip Island, an easy day trip from Melbourne. The Gippsland region is a natural wonderland of lakes, forest, dramatic coastline, historic townships and gourmet food.

Why get on another plane if you've travelled all the way to Sydney? Ask that question to anyone who's experienced the wonders of Norfolk or Lord Howe islands and they'll tell you it's well worth it. Though quite different, these sub-tropical getaways are among the world's most fabulous natural heritage destinations.

Visit the Official Australia Tourism web site for all there is to see and do in Australia.

Australia State & Territory Summary

Territory: Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Capital City: Canberra

Canberra, Australia's capital, was purpose-built in a location selected for its central position between Sydney and Melbourne. The first parliamentary meeting in the new capital city was held in 1927.

State: New South Wales (NSW)
Capital City: Sydney

New South Wales is the most populated and industrialised state in Australia. Its capital city Sydney is Australia's most popular tourist destination and our oldest and largest city. Sydney is renowned for its beaches and diverse cultural calendar.

State: Victoria (VIC)
Capital City: Melbourne

Victoria is Australia's second smallest state and is home to 26 per cent of the population. Melbourne is recognised worldwide for its cultural and artistic diversity and is often compared with Europe for its architecture and style.

State: Queensland (QLD)
Capital City: Brisbane

Queensland is the second largest state and its capital city Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia. Known for its fabulous weather, Queensland is a major tourist destination for both Australians and international visitors. The world-renowned and World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef lies directly off the coast.

State: Western Australia (WA)
Capital City: Perth

Western Australia is the largest state (an amazing 2.52 million square kilometres or twice the size of western Europe!), yet accounts for only 8 per cent of Australia's population. Its abundant mineral wealth contributes 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

State: South Australia (SA)
Capital City: Adelaide

South Australia, blessed with a Mediterranean climate, has unspoiled beaches and a landscape as diverse as it is beautiful. North of Adelaide lie the fertile vineyards of the Barossa Valley which produce 30 per cent of Australia's wine.

Territory: Northern Territory (NT)
Capital City: Darwin

The Northern Territory covers nearly 20 per cent of Australia and is home to Uluru (Ayers Rock), the town of Alice Springs, and the remarkable World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Darwin is the NT's capital.

State: Tasmania (TAS)
Capital: Hobart

The island of Tasmania lies south of the Australian mainland and is surrounded by several smaller islands. With what has been said to be the cleanest air in the world, Hobart, Tasmania's capital city and Australia's second oldest city, was once a
dreaded penal colony.


Other Territories

In addition, the Federal government manages the territories of Christmas, Norfolk and Ashmore and Cartier Islands, as well as the Cocos (Keeling) and Coral Sea Islands. It also manages the sub-arctic territories of Heard and McDonald Islands and the Australian Antarctic Territory