Covering a total area of 7.69 million square kilometres, mainland Australia is the world's largest island - but smallest continent. That said, Australia is big - in distance, the continent stretches about 3700 kilometres from north to south and 4000 kilometres from east to west, making it the sixth-largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil.
Because it streches through numerous climate zones - from tropical to temperate - Australia offers a diversity of environments, scenery and climatic conditions rarely found elsewhere in a single destination. Whatever your areas of interest - sightseeing, natural attractions, historical places, outdoor activities - chances are you can see it or do it somewhere in Australia.
Best Time To Go
Because Australia is so large, it has many different climate zones, some of which are best avoided by visitors at certain times of the year. We identify those zones, and nominate the best time of the year to travel to and through them. These equate to each region's peak tourist season.
As a very broad rule of thumb, the northern parts of Australia are best visited between April and October. Treat the southern parts of Australia as all-year-round destinations with Summer (December to February) the hottest, and Autumn/Fall (March to May) and Spring (September to November) the most temperate.
Australia is a nation of car drivers and in our day to day lives, we'd rather jump in the car to get from A to B ahead of any other mode of transport available. This in part is because of the small populations in many regional areas and the high cost of building transport infrastructure there. Road is often the only means of access to such places, therefore to get there you have to either go by coach (if the locality is on a major transport route) or drive there in your own (or hired) vehicle.
Australia is comprised of six states and two territories. Each has a capital city, and these are ideal stepping off points from which to explore that state's attractions.
Planning Your Visit
Ready to start planning your visit? Sydney and Melbourne are Australia's two largest cities and they are also the most popular arrival and departure points for overseas visitors. But don't think that by seeing them you have seen it all - they are simply the gateways to a continent full of interesting destinations - from snowfields to hot deserts; coral reefs to inland mountain ranges; tropical jungles to temperate rainforests. Australia For Everyone has websites covering every state and every capital city to help you discover what each has to offer. Access them via the links below.
If you've never been to Australia before, we suggest you plan to go to either Sydney or Melbourne first and then travel to other destinations from there. Visiting one or preferably both of them will give you a real taste of what Australia is about. Allow a minimum of 3 days in each city and a day to travel between them. As well as detailing what to see and do there, our Sydney and Melbourne websites both have sections containing information about destinations beyond those cities, including not only regional towns but also all the other states and territories. There is a summary of what each has to offer, and travel information about how to get there from Melbourne or Sydney. Links to those pages are included here for your information.