INTRODUCTIONREGION |5GETTING AROUNDThere are many options for getting aroundAustralia, but the sheer distances involved oftenmake it best to combine air and ground travel.Whilst these sections may help you make yourdecisions, the best thing to do is call one of ourspecialists as they will use their on-the-ground-knowledge to tailor-make an itinerary that bestfits your wishes and requirements. RAILAustralia has some spectacular rail journeys,including the epic Indian Pacific (Perth toSydney) and The Ghan (Adelaide to Darwin) -page 56. Both trains offer sleeper carriages for acomfortable, stylish journey. A good network ofrailway lines extends up along the entire eastcoast, with the spectacular thousand mile routebetween Brisbane and Cairns being covered bythe advanced Tilt Train, offering business classseating with airline-style entertainment systemsand restaurant car dining. Australia's trains arean excellent way to cover great distanceswithout taking to the air and it is well worthmaking a rail journey part of your visit.SELF-DRIVEDriving is a pleasure on Australia's scenic, safeand uncrowded roads. We usually arrange foryou to be met at the airport and taken to yourhotel, where a hire car will be delivered. Self-drive combines well with internal flights: weensure a car is waiting so you can be on theroad as soon as you land. We will book all ofyour accommodation in advance and provideyou with clear driving instructions and a goodroad atlas, leaving you to enjoy the drive. Someroads may be worse than they look on the mapand car insurance is invalid in certain areas sowe recommend discussing routes and drivetimes with our Australia specialists.MOTORHOMESThe freedom to explore at your own pace andstop wherever you want make motorhomes aperfect way to see Australia. We have details ofthe many options, including size of van,insurance cover options and suggesteditineraries. It is worth remembering that you donot need to commit yourself to motorhome hirethroughout your trip: it can be a good optionfor a week touring the Margaret River area orthe Great Ocean Road, while in other parts ofthe country you may wish to drive aconventional car or consider other transportoptions. Our specialists can talk you through thechoices and practicalities but the one essential,especially in high season, is to book in advance.RESPONSIBLE TOURISMWe are passionate about the countries wespecialise in and naturally take a responsibleapproach to the way we operate in theseregions, and try to maximise the benefits thattourism can bring to the local community. Weare working with AITO's Responsible Tourismteam and other organisations to ensure that ourown policies and commitments are effective. Wehave been awarded three stars, the maximumachievable, by AITO in recognition of ourresponsible tourism policies. We have drawn upa comprehensive 'Responsible Tourism' policywhich summarises our commitments andactions, with more details available on ourwebsite or on request. If you are interested invisiting a community tourism project or a localcharity, please contact your specialist, who willbe happy to try to fit it into your itinerary. Manypeople find that a trip to a small communitytourism project is a good way of getting off thebeaten track and really learning somethingabout the country and its people.FINANCIALSECURITYYou can book with us in confidence, knowingthat we are fully bonded with the Civil AviationAuthority and hold an Air Tour OperatorsLicense (ATOL 4817). This fully covers allholidays that involve air travel. If you are usingAudley to arrange the 'land only' part of yourtrip then you will be protected by our TravelOrganisers Failure Cover insurance policy.TERMS AND CONDITIONS,AND TRAVEL INSURANCEYour booking is subject to the Terms andConditions of Audley Travel, which are detailedin a separate leaflet. It is vital that you haveadequate travel insurance and we are able tooffer a number of policies either for theduration of your trip or on an annual basis.Driving through the Goldfields
CairnsNEW SOUTH WALES This superb introduction to 'The Lucky Country'is a land of rolling farmlands and beautifulnational parks with surf beaches extendingalong a coast centred on the beautiful harbourof its capital, Sydney. Public transport is a goodway to get around Sydney, with the Manly Ferrya cheap way to take a tour of the bridge andharbour. You can also explore the waters byluxury yacht, helicopter or seaplane flights, ortake a walking tour and Harbour Bridge climb.The Blue Mountains or the wineries of theHunter Valley lie close by, but we also suggestless-visited places such as Kangaroo Valley andPort Stephens. Stay in the city and daytrip out tosurrounding areas, or find a more rural locationand zip in to see Sydney's sights. There arerewarding self-drive routes including a loopthrough Port Stephens, the Blue Mountains andthe Hunter Valley, the drive to Brisbane via theHunter Valley and famous surf beaches, or toMelbourne. New South Wales can be visitedyear-round as the winter is mild, spring andautumn are ideal and the summer suits thosewho like the heat.QUEENSLANDThis huge, dramatically beautiful state extendsfrom its temperate border with New SouthWales up into the tropical north, much of it stillbarely explored or settled. The capital isBrisbane, Australia's fastest-growing city and adynamic urban centre basking in 300 sunnydays each year and within easy reach of theGold Coast beaches and Lamington NationalPark. Most of the state's great attractions are upalong the coast: the huge Daintree Rainforest,the Outback oases of the Atherton Tablelandsand the kaleidoscopic colours of the GreatBarrier Reef. Palm Cove and Port Douglas makeexcellent bases, with small-boat cruisesexploring the reef, or you can head into themountains that hug the coastline. There are alsoluxury resorts on a few Great Barrier Reef islandsand character accommodation in the heart ofthe rainforest. It is worth taking time to explorethe Outback, with a few nights on a stationgiving a flavour of this pioneer world. Brisbaneand the south are glorious all year round, whilein the tropical north, the wet season runs fromJanuary to April, drenching the countryside daily.Audley in Australia6Australia is so massive and varied acountry that it is not possible to see allof it at once. The guides to the states onthese pages are designed to give you aflavour of what there is to see and do.The suggested itineraries are there togive you a feel of how they linktogether into facinating, but achievablejourneys. They have been designed toappeal to first-time visitors andreturning travellers alike.