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Australia is a wild and beautiful place, a land whose colour palette of red outback sands and Technicolor reefs frames sophisticated cities and soulful Indigenous stories.
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 the glamorous poster child with world-class beaches and an otherwise glorious setting. Melbourne is all arts, alleyways and a stellar food scene. Brisbane is a subtropical town on the way up, Adelaide has festive grace and pubby poise. Boomtown Perth breathes West Coast optimism and Canberra showcases so many cultural treasures, while the tropical northern frontier town of Darwin, and the chilly southern sandstone city of Hobart, couldn’t be more different.
Australia is an extraordinarily beautiful place, as rich in rainforest (from Far North Queensland to far-south Tasmania) as it is in remote rocky outcrops like Uluru, Kakadu and the Kimberleys. The coastline, too, beset as it is with islands and deserted shores, is wild and wonderful. Animating these splendid places is wildlife like nowhere else on the planet, a place of kangaroos and crocodiles, of wombats and wallabies, platypus, crocodiles, dingoes and so much more.
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.
There’s a 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 and classic desert tracks from Birdsville to Cape York have adventure written all over them.
For more information on private jet charter and helicopter flights to or within Australia please contact our team on +44 (0)207 993 8368 or email email@example.com
Sydney, spectacularly draped around its glorious harbour and beaches, has a visual wow factor like few other cities. Scratch the surface and it only gets better.
National parks ring the city and penetrate right into its heart. Large chunks of harbour are still bush-fringed, while parks cut their way through skyscrapers and suburbs. Consequently, native critters turn up in the most surprising places. Clouds of flying foxes pass overhead at twilight and spend the night rustling around in suburban fig trees; oversized spiders stake out corners of lounge-room walls; possums rattle over roofs of terrace houses; and sulphur-crested cockatoos screech from the railings of urban balconies. At times Sydney’s concrete jungle seems more like an actual one – and doesn’t that just make it all the more exciting?
After a lazy Saturday at the beach, urbane Sydneysiders have a disco nap, hit the showers and head out again. There’s always a new restaurant to try, undercover bar to hunt down, hip band to check out, sports team to shout at, show to see or crazy party to attend. The city’s pretensions to glamour are well balanced by a casualness that means a cool T-shirt and a tidy pair of jeans will get you in most places. But if you want to dress up and show off, there’s plenty of opportunity for that among the sparkling harbour lights.
Defined just as much by its rugged Pacific coastline as its exquisite harbour, Sydney relies on its coastal setting to replenish its reserves of charm; venture too far away from the water and the charm suddenly evaporates. Jump on a ferry and Sydney’s your oyster – the harbour prises the city’s two halves far enough apart to reveal an abundance of pearls. On the coast, Australia ends abruptly in sheer walls of sandstone punctuated by arcs of golden sand.
Compared to its Australian sister cities, Sydney is loud, uncompromising and in your face. Fireworks displays are more dazzling here, heels are higher, bodies more buffed, contact sports more brutal, starlets shinier, drag queens glitzier and prices higher. Australia’s best musos, foodies, actors, stockbrokers, models, writers and architects flock to the city to make their mark, and the effect is dazzling: a hyperenergetic, ambitious, optimistic and unprincipled marketplace of the soul, where anything goes and everything usually does.
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Stylish, arty Melbourne is both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and it’s proud of its place as Australia’s sporting and cultural capital.
It’s long been commented that Melbourne’s inner city is the most European of any in Australia; the leafy eastern section of Collins St was dubbed the ‘Paris end’ in the 1950s. There’s a bit of New York in the mix as well, thanks to the city’s well-ordered grid and scattering of art-deco high-rises. But Melbourne is uniquely Melbourne and a lot of that’s down to the more than 230 laneways that penetrate into the heart of the city blocks. It’s here that the inner city’s true nature resides, crammed into narrow lanes concealing world-beating restaurants, bars and street art.
Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its diverse collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy South Yarra versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders.
It’s not the high-rises and bridges that strike you when you first visit Melbourne but the vast sporting edifices that fringe the city centre. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football (‘footy’), cricket and horse racing, while grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing draw visitors in droves. Sport is a crucial part of the social fabric, taking on something of a religious aspect here.
Melbourne has long had an artsy, liberal, bohemian and progressive strand to its subculture, and coffee and food have been obsessions here for decades. Word spreads about interesting new eateries and, before you know it, queues are forming outside. The international trend for faux-speakeasy bars is redundant in Melbourne as the city has had edgy places hidden down laneways and on warehouse rooftops for many years. Melbourne doesn’t have to try hard – it just is.