Australian Experience with John Vlahides

Sydney Harbour, NSW. © Destination NSW

Australian Experience with John Vlahides

Lonely Planet writer John Vlahides explores five unique and distinctly Australian destinations, seeking out the best “only in Australia” experiences with the help of many locals along the way. Discover what Vlahides experienced during his journey by watching these new videos.

The centerpiece of Australia’s “Red Centre” is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. It’s sacred to the Anangu people, the traditional owners of the land, who have lived there for 30,000 years. Vlahides explores the “mystical place,” participates in an indigenous art workshop, and dines under a carpet of stars.

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Vlahides says that Kangaroo Island is “like a safari park but without fences, people or cars.” He watches kangaroos box, meets sea lions and koalas, and even sees an echidna, otherwise known as a spiny anteater. “Everywhere you look, you spot wildlife,” Vlahides says. “I’ve never seen another place like it.”

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Vlahides takes an insider’s tour of spectacular Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, even going for a swim in a salt-water pool that lies at the foot of the bridge. Then he drives just over an hour to the spectacular Blue Mountains, taking the steepest railway in the world to spectacular sweeping views.

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The next Sonoma? This island off the southern coast of Tasmania has spectacular beaches, incredible wildlife and amazing food. Vlahides visits an artisanal cheesemaker, an oyster farm, a berry farm and Australia’s southernmost winery, and samples spectacular food.

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At over 1,200 miles long, the Great Barrier Reef is the most extensive coral reef in the world. Vlahides stays at Hamilton Island, one of the only islands in the Whitsundays with accommodations, and luxuriates on beautiful Whitehaven beach on Whitsunday Island, and explores the area by helicopter and snorkel.

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Credit: Video content provided by Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet has produced this video for Tourism Australia. All views are Lonely Planet’s alone and reflect its policy of editorial independence and impartiality.

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