Australia What is known for



With more than 1,500 miles of Great Barrier Reef to explore, the real question is where to start? Dive centers in Cairns and Port Douglas are one option, and liveaboard dive boats another. But may we suggest island hopping? Several of the more than 1,000 islands scattered across the GBR have dive operations. A six-pack of the best: Lizard, Fitzroy, Orpheus, and Hayman, and a pair of coral cays on the southern part of the reef, Heron and Lady Elliot Islands.


For a look at Aussie perfection (and some of the world's best surfers), head for Surfer's Point near Margaret River and Bell's Beach at Torquay; both sites annually host world class surf contests. And both are gateways to remote breaks of South and West Australia, where the waves are fantastic - and often without a surfboard in sight.


Get your bearings in Sydney by spending a day exploring the magnificent harbor, heart of Australia's oldest city. Hop a ferry (or better yet, a sailboat) and sit back and enjoy a landscape of cliffs, islands, beaches, and the occasional architectural wonder (think Opera House). If you're in the mood to play tourist, visit The Rocks (a modernized look at the Aussie past, where cobbled streets meet new art galleries), refuel at the time-honored Hero of Waterloo pub in Millers Point, and make your way to Darling Harbour, where you can stroll gardens and tour museums (including the award-winning Powerhouse Museum), and work up an appetite for dinner - with a view of the harbor, of course.