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Coastal Journeys

The coastline of Australia's mainland stretches more than 30,000 kilometres (18,000 miles) making for some of the world's most scenic drives.

Travel along the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Brisbane at your own pace, via laidback Byron Bay and the glittering lights of the Gold Coast. Or, instead, head south and follow the spectacular coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne, then the Great Ocean Road to Bells Beach, lush national parks and the majestic Twelve Apostles. Discover the vastness of Western Australia and take in historic Fremantle on your way from Perth to Margaret River, or Esperance's sugar-white beaches on a journey through the state’s southwest. Sail through the idyllic Whitsundays or immerse yourself in the uncrowded beauty of Tasmania's rugged West Coast.

DISCOVER AUSTRALIA’S BEST COASTAL DRIVES

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Experience one of the world's most scenic coastal drives, along the south-west coast of Victoria.

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Circle Tasmania

Circle Tasmania

Soak up Hobart's convict history before heading to Freycinet National Park and the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay. Swim in St Helens and do the Bay of Fires Walk in Mount William National Park. Look over Launceston from Cataract Gorge and cycle along Devonport's waterfront. Soothe your soul in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park. Stay in Strahan and cruise the Gordon River or white water raft the furious Franklin. Walk from waterfalls and fern forests to ski fields in Mount Field National Park. From the tranquil beaches of Tasmania's east to the rugged mountains flanking the west, this circle will leave you spellbound.

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The BIG Pacific Coast Touring Route

The BIG Pacific Coast Touring Route

Australia is a big country with a fondness for Big Things - super-sized sculptures commemorating everything from prawns and pineapples to native animals and Ned Kelly. You'll find them all along the spectacular Pacific Coast Touring Route, which stretches all the way from Sydney to Cairns. Weave through the Hunter Valley, Byron Bay, the glittering Gold Coast and see the World Heritage-listed wonders of Fraser Island and Great Barrier Reef. Stop to snap the Big Banana, a giant gumboot, a herculean pelican and many more larger-than-life monuments along the way. Whether you consider them highway art or just humourous, the Big Things are worth spotting on this stunning Australian road trip.

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Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Sydney - Nowra - Batemans Bay - Eden - Bairnsdale - Wilsons Promontory - Phillip Island - Melbourne 7 days drive Swim from white beaches in Jervis Bay, eat fresh oysters in Pambula and spot whales in Eden. Feed sea eagles in Mallacoota and experience the precious eco-systems of Croajingolong National Park. Go boating on the vast, tranquil Gippsland Lakes. Then walk along the sweeping expanse of Ninety Mile Beach and to the southernmost tip of Australia's mainland in Wilsons Promontory National Park. On Phillip Island, you'll find friendly fur seals and a daily dusk parade of little penguins. This blockbuster drive takes you to sleepy seaside towns, national parks teeming with wildlife and long, solitary beaches where your feet are the only ones on the sand.

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Indian Ocean Drive

Indian Ocean Drive

Discover white beaches, coral reefs, salty fishing towns and rugged national parks on this spectacular journey along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Head north to taste fresh crayfish in Geraldton and mouth-watering tropical fruits in Carnarvon. Swim with the huge whale shark on Ningaloo Reef and four wheel drive through the canyons of nearby Cape Range National Park. On your way back down the coast, meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia, along with whales, manta rays, turtles, sharks, dugongs and fish in the wider Shark Bay World Heritage Area. See seasonal wildflowers break out their brightest colours all along the coast, from Cape Range to the cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri National Park.

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TOP BEACH GETAWAYS IN AUSTRALIA

Three Great Days on the Gold Coast

Three Great Days on the Gold Coast

Roll with the vibrant energy of the Gold Coast, where there are beaches, rainforests, restaurants, theme parks and shopping strips to visit. Swim, surf or dine alfresco in relaxed, glamourous Main Beach and shop up a storm beneath the towering Surfers Paradise skyline. Learn to surf here or in Burleigh Heads, where afterwards you can explore the national park. Enjoy thrills, spills and animal interactions in any of the many huge theme parks. Then get back to nature in the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the national parks, including Lamington, Border Ranges, Main Range and Nightcap.

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Byron Bay

Byron Bay

Unwind in Australia's easternmost town - home to sweeping surf beaches, lush rainforests, great regional dining and new-age retreats. Walk the Cape Byron Track to the trademark lighthouse, kayak with dolphins, trawl the markets and indulge in a day spa. Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney or Brisbane, and explore the surrounding national parks on the Rainforest Way.

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Great Sunshine Way

Great Sunshine Way

Drive from the surf beaches, thrilling theme parks and lush hinterland of the Gold Coast to the vibrant capital of Brisbane. Cruise down the Brisbane River, climb the Story Bridge and satisfy your culture cravings in South Bank. Soak up sunny sophistication on Noosa's Hastings Street or meet koalas in the coastal rainforest of Noosa National Park. Watch whales from Hervey Bay and explore the sandy attractions of Fraser island by four wheel drive. End your journey in Bundaberg, a historic sugar and rum city where you can walk endless beaches and dive from the southernmost coral isles of the Great Barrier Reef.

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Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches and well-known worldwide. It has probably featured on more postcards and more television shows and films than any other in Australia.

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The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route, Ne...

The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route, New South Wales

Explore the sparkling beaches and lush hinterland of the Central Coast, the wineries of the Hunter Valley and the picturesque inlets of Port Stephens. Work on your swing in a rainforest golf course on the Coffs Coast and your aura on the beach in Byron Bay. Dive with brightly coloured fish in Solitary Islands Marine Park or into the bright lights of the Gold Coast. This scenic drive takes you from Sydney to Brisbane, offering sweeping beaches, sleepy villages, mossy rainforests, adventure and relaxation along the way.

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UPCOMING SURFING AND SAILING EVENTS

Australian Open of Surfing
February - March

Australian Open of Surfing

Noosa Festival of Surfing
March4 - 11

Noosa Festival of Surfing

The largest surfing event in the world by competitor numbers, the Noosa Festival of Surfing celebrates everything from longboard to dog surfing.

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Cairns Airport Adventure Festival
June

Cairns Airport Adventure Festival

Tropical North Queensland has become a superhero on the world’s IRONMAN calendar, hosting the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship during this nine-day festival.

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Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
August19 - 26

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Join one of Australia's favourite yachting events on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

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Rip Curl Pro
April12 - 24

Rip Curl Pro

Historical Bells Beach, comes alive as the best in the world compete in the longest running surf competition in the world.

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Aquatic Australia is your comprehensive guide to some of the country's best aquatic, coastal and beach destinations and experiences.