So much of Australia’s boisterous personality is simply over the top, making it all but impossible to single out one feature or location. Even so, this is an expansive country that captivates from the very first encounter.
It has cosmopolitan cities, the great stoic Outback, and the staggering Great Barrier Reef. Australia offers a wealth of diversity in its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the Uluru (Ayers Rock) to the Kimberley. From old, family vineyards of Hunter Valley to the remarkable island of Tasmania, from lush old-world rainforests to unique railway journeys, a cornucopia of extravagant scenery and cultural encounters are all layered one upon the next on this brilliant canvas. But there is still more. It is Australia’s new frontier, one that is as much about attitude as it is about place. It takes to heart the real meaning of sustainable tourism and authenticity. It opens up new areas for exploration, while at the same time being mindful of the importance of preserving traditional cultures, and the unique wildlife and landscapes that make Australia such a dazzlingly diverse destination. For example, hidden amid the harshly beautiful and rugged coastline of the Kimberley in northwestern Australia is some remarkably rich and diverse habitat, almost untouched by the modern world. Big Five has sought out partners who share our vision of a sustainable future that still allows our guests to explore well off the tourist track, introducing you to this Australia and its powerful charms that will call you back time and again.
Australia is roughly equivalent to the U.S. in size, with many variations in climate. Summer, the rainy season in the tropical north, lasts December to February. November to March is hottest. Spring and autumn are mild and the best time for bush walks. Winter, June to August, is mild with snow in southern mountains and balmy temperatures in the north. In general, April to September temperatures are between 18°C/66 °F and 31°C/88°F. September and October are warm but not extremely hot.
Eastern Standard Time GMT +10 NSW, ACT, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania
Central Time GMT +9.5 Northern Territory and South Australia
Western Time GMT +8 Western Australia
Australian Dollar (AUD)
220 / 240 volts AC, 50Hz.
Australia Active 16 Days Precious Journeys® College Edition Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $9,970
Explore Australia’s remarkable landscapes during trekking adventures in both the ancient Flinders Range and in the Scenic Rim region outside Brisbane. Join in active conservation projects to help conserve to valuable species - the koala and the Tiger Quoll. Experience sophisticated Sydney and take the Sydney Bridge climb challenge and scale stairs and catwalks never previously opened to the public for stunning panoramic views of the city and harbor. This journey is just the right mix of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast.
President’s Picks: Adventure Australia 13 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $13,000
“I have been traveling to Australia for more than a decade now, and it keeps drawing me back again and again because I discover more to enjoy single every time. The country is vast and has so many facets, so many nooks and crannies as yet unexplored by travelers that the opportunities to find something unique, something off the beaten track are almost endless. This journey fits in well with our other adventures in this country in terms of Big Five being fully sustainable in Australia.”
Classic Australia & New Zealand 29 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $29,000
This distinctive Australia and New Zealand exploration takes you into Australia's cities from iconic, sophisticated Sydney to Melbourne with its mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture, trams and boutique shops. Enjoy a jaunt to Kangaroo Island to discover the vast wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park. New Zealand's stunning islands encompass the South Island's beautiful Christchurch and continue to Queenstown, where you savor a hot air balloon with views of the Southern Alps. North Island's Rotorua is a thermal wonderland is one of New Zealand's most colorful volcanic areas. Stay in some of the most exclusive and luxurious lodges in the South Pacific that offer adventures ranging from star gazing, to jet boat journeys, to trekking and wildlife viewing.
Australia’s Abundant Adventures 15 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Australia’s adventurous personality shines in this journey that takes in breathtaking lands, unique flora and fauna, and adventure activities from diving the Great Barrier Reef to climbing Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. Explore Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast, with its white sand beaches, dramatic wilderness and breathtaking vistas. Enjoy the cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney, and so much more. Experience Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake, from Pumphouse Point, where explore by canoe or hike the internationally known Overland Track hiking trail in the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Wilderness.
Australia’s Primeval Landscapes 11 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $7,700
Australia offers unique natural wonders including Ningaloo Reef, an extraordinary yet largely unknown jewel, where you can, depending on season, swim with the giant whale shark, the world’s largest fish, and witness turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs in summer. Discover Flinders Ranges, a timeless terrain molded by hundreds of millions of years of geological activity resulting in some of Australia’s most spectacular outback scenery during guided excursions highlighting the geology, history, wildlife and pastoral heritage of the region. Experience sophisticated Sydney with its eccentric history, beautiful harbor, fine dining, galleries and Adelaide's elegant tree-lined streets, stone churches, Central Market. Sample wines from more than 60 wine regions across Australia at the National Wine Center.
Wild Australia 14 Days New Reality Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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Travel off the well trod path to explore the wilderness character of Northern Australia - from horseback riding in the Kimberely, to diving Ningaloo Reef, to exploring Bamurru Plains.
Southern Australia & Tasmania 12 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $12,950
Enjoy a roster of adventures from hikes on Tasmania’s beautiful coast, to a twilight climb up Sydney’s Habour Bridge, to mountain biking on Kangaroo Island.
Australia 18 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel
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Discover Australia's cityscapes and landscapes - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane contrast with the iconic natural sites such as Uluru (Ayes Rock) and the towering granite outcrops of the Flinders Ranges. Savor wine touring in the Barossa Valley.
Custom Australia Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $11,700
From the legendary Outback to cosmopolitan Sydney to the traditional lands of the Northern Territory, opportunities for adventure never end in Australia. Indeed, singling out one feature, locale or adventure that stands outs in the country is all but impossible. Expansive Australia captures and captivates you from the very first encounter.
Northern Australia 10 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $13,290
Australia’s Top End offers unique landscapes and cultures to discover.
Kao Gu Australia 12 Days New Reality Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Explore Arnhemland's ancient culture, Ayers Rock, and the site of Jurassic-era dinosaur tracks.