Northeast and the Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s northeast corner is best known for the Great Barrier Reef but hosts some hidden gems as well. Stretched over 1,200 miles, the Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than 3,000 individual reefs and 900 coral cays. Nearby Daintree National Park is a pristine jungle populated by a diverse group of wildlife, fringed by golden beaches and calm blue waters. Queensland Territory is also home to the Gold Coast and nearby celeb-magnet Byron Bay. Bring binoculars to watch the sea from your ship’s deck keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales, especially in summer when dwarf minke whales arrive from Antarctica to give birth.
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Southeast and the Capitol Cities
New South Wales and Victoria Territories are where you’ll find the capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. Port activities in Sydney include a tour of the iconic Opera House, a visit to world-famous surfing beach, Bondi, and perhaps a float plane flight over beautiful Rose Bay. Discover the UNESCO-recognized Blue Mountains, located only 90 minutes west of Sydney. “Blue” refers to oils from eucalyptus trees that create a misty haze above the protected forest of scenic, low-elevation escarpments, deep canyons and crashing waterfalls covering more than 2.5 million acres.
Laid-back Melbourne evokes European charm, and its collection of restaurants offer a thrill for foodies with celebrated tasting menus, the freshest seafood and a variety of native flavors.
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This is the region for wildlife and wine! With wide, leafy streets and elegant architecture, Adelaide is South Australia’s largest city. Food festivals and some of Australia’s finest wine regions draw travelers here to sample the robust tastes and distinctive vintages. Kangaroo Island is one of the country’s greatest places to view wild animals in their natural habitats thanks to the island’s National Parks and Wilderness Protection Areas. Book a 4-wheel drive tour into rugged bushland to spot koalas perched high in the treetops and see one of the country’s most celebrated animals, the kangaroo. At Seal Bay Conservation Park, take a memorable walk along the beach where you can snap some great photos of the endangered Australian sea lion from a safe distance. At North Terrace, visit the South Australia Museum, which showcases Aboriginal artifacts and offers a contemporary context of one of the world's oldest continuous living cultures.
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Holland America Line offers a 69-day epic voyage that departs San Diego, California, and circumnavigates Australia before concluding in stunning Sydney. Your first stop is Hawaii, where you can spend a few days on Oahu and the Big Island soaking in the Aloha spirit before heading deeper into the Pacific and across the equator. You’ll visit islands in French Polynesia including Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti where you can snorkel unspoiled coral reefs or arrange a supervised shark or stingray encounter. Book your circumnavigation tour of Australia in a Pinnacle Suite, the ultimate extravagance in accommodation with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private verandah with whirlpool and a king-size Mariner's Dream™ bed.