Put simply, it’s heaven. It’s also multicultural, breathtakingly beautiful, open-minded, extremely laid back and young. There are over 10,000 beaches, more sheep than people and some of the deadliest animals in the world…no, really. But don’t let that stop you. It may not have the history of some other countries, but is full of enthusiasm and opportunities. Be warned though, many have come to Australia and never left. Once you fall for it, you fall hard.

New South Wales has rainforests, beaches, deserts, mountashutterstock_215506225ins, bushland and outback. It has Sydney as its capital which is famous for its beautiful beaches (Bondi being the most popular), stunning harbours and iconic landmarks, including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Explore the World Heritage- listed Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley wineries or drive north to the pristine coastal jewels of Coff’s Harbour and bohemian Byron Bay. Go South to swim with the dolphins of Jervis Bay and don’t forget to snow ski down gum tree lined slopes at Perisher in winter.

Queensland is the ‘sunshine state’ and is more likeshutterstock_63895207 a giant living postcard. Its temperate to the South and tropical up North. The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is located right in the middle of the East Coast and is Australia’s third largest city. Wear your shorts all year round here, the winters are very mild and it has a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. 45 minutes South is the Gold Coast, home to the world-class theme parks and yet more pristine beaches, the reason why it’s called ‘Surfer’s Paradise’. Put the world’s largest Natural Wonder, the Great Barrier Reef, on your bucket list, go camping on the world’s largest sand beach at Fraser Island or experience the characters and cowboys of the dirt-clad outback.conv332

Victoria includes Melbourne, the capital of Victoria and is a cultural hub of bars, boutiques, secret laneways, home of rugby union and one of the most famous horse races in the world, the Melbourne Cup. It’s the gateway to globally recognized wineries and some of the most spectacular coastlines you may ever see.  Go watch the daily migration of the black and white penguins from the ocean to their nests at Phillip Island, try your hand at gold panning in Ballarat, or drive the Great Ocean Road and see the towering Twelve Apostles, which words fail to describe.

Australian Capital Territory includes Canberra, Australia’s capital and is surrounded by forests, farmlands and nature reservconv159es. The city itself is open spaced and buzzing with the nations politics, as its home to Parliament House. Explore its superb monuments, galleries and lookouts. It may not have the excitement of a big city, but it is well served with cultural institutions and is extremely clean, tidy, efficient and safe.

South Australia is a refreshing change of pace from the hustle of the larger cities, and Adelaide has been voted on numerous occasions as Australia’s most ‘liveable city’. It has a pumping live music and arts scene, festivals galore, rolling hills to the East and beaches to the West. Church spires are aplenty (it’s alsoconv61 known as the City of Churches), but they are outnumbered by the hip bars and pubs tucked away in lanes. Accessible by ferry and just two hours away from the city is the must-see Kangaroo Island. Surprisingly, you will find plenty of Kangaroos, penguins, seals, koalas and other animals in their natural habitat. Check out Mount Gambier, a city located on the slopes of an extinct volcano, or cage dive with the Great White sharks of Port Lincoln.

The Northern Territory has to be seen. As the slogan goes ‘If you’ve not done the outback, you’re not done with Australia’. From the tropical beaches of the Top End (that you can’t swim in because of the crocodiles and jellyfish), to the iconic landmarks of tconv233he Red Centre, you will be amazed. If you think the rest of Australia is laid back, Darwin has a very, very, very, relaxed lifestyle. It has a unique multiculturalism where people from over 50 different cultures live and work side by side. Asian-style markets form an important part of the everyday Darwin landscape. Music, seafood, language and culture from just about every Asian nation, mix in with ‘crocodile hunters’, local Aboriginal artists and families. It is such a unique blend that it has been recognized as a “multicultural icon of national significance” by the Australian National Trust. In Australia’s Red Centre, the town of Alice Springs in the portal to the inspiring Ayres Rock, the McDonald Ranges, and Kings Canyon. Soak up Aboriginal culture, hike the Larapinta Trail, ride a camel in the Simpson Desert or take a ride on the famous Ghan train journey from Darwin or Adelaide.

Western Australia is a state of mammoth proportions and made mostly of arid, outback terrain with its population concentrated in the fertile, southwest corner. Perth, the capital, is known for its pristine parklands, bconv322eaches, snorkeling sites and its 19th-century architecture. Enjoy its relaxed vibe with a sunset swim on Cottlesloe Beach, seek out the live music in inner-city enclaves, picnic in Kings Park or visit Fremantle, whose streets are abuzz with buskers, trendy cafes and bars, and a cracking night scene. Broome is a beach resort town in western Australia’s Kimberley region. Along its Indian Ocean coastline, the white sands of 22km-long Cable Beach offer a dramatic backdrop for sunset camel rides.

Tasmania is the isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, known for its clean air, and some of the best scenery in the world. It has managed, however, conv136to turn this is remoteness into an asset. With its gothic landscapes and beaches with white sand, it is a haven for those who love the thrill of adventure. With humble beginnings as a penal colony, Hobart, the capital, is now a small and intimate city, renowned for its historic buildings and is one of the five gateway cities to Antarctica.