Drenched in sunshine and glowing with affable charisma, Australia is an enticing land of vast beaches, pulsating cities and reams and reams of bushland. One of the country's greatest lures is its sense of space; a beach, patch of tropical forest or piece of sandy desert all to oneself is an easy reality. This, the world's largest island, encompasses a range of stunning landscapes, from barren deserts to tropical rainforests and rugged mountains.
Australia has an abundance of unique animal life - cuddly koalas, bounding kangaroos and wallabies, darting dingoes, and ungainly emus - while the hulking form of Uluru (Ayers Rock) soaking up the reds and oranges of the outback's fiery sun, is the country's most iconic image.
Glossy Sydney and arty Melbourne provide much for the city-lover; Brisbane is gateway to the tropical northeast with sandy stretches including Surfer's Paradise further south; restful Adelaide is perfect for a few days' rejuvenation, while Perth is young, brash and alluring; and Cairns is the stop-off point for one of Australia's top attractions, the Great Barrier Reef.