OK, you’ve arrived in Melbourne. What next? Join the locals for a coffee and some people watching, or get a bird’s-eye view of the city from a hot-air balloon. Known for its museums, parks and galleries, Melbourne is also the food, fashion and design capital of Australia. But there’s plenty of outdoor adventure on the doorstep – how about some hiking in the Grampians and scuba diving in Port Phillip?
Fly to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Known as the “20-minute city” because of its compact size, Adelaide is a great place to explore on foot. Or take advantage of its free bicycle hire scheme. Explore the food and wine scene – Peel Street is a great place to start. Then it’s off to remote and beautiful Kangaroo Island, just 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide. Meet some sea lions and visit the Remarkable Rocks.
The Outback beckons. Drive north from Adelaide to the magnificent Flinders Ranges and then on to Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in the very centre of the continent. For a real adventure, hire a 4WD vehicle and follow the Explorer’s Way, a remarkable 1,865-mile journey across the continent, which includes some off-road driving options. Alternatively, there are guided tours that will take you into the desert. Uluru has plenty of accommodation options, but highly recommended is booking one of the air-conditioned pavilions at Longitude 131 – each has stunning views of the rock.