Experience in-your-face Sydney with its great food and beaches, blessed weather, big art and electric fashion, and also the state of which it is capital, New South Wales. The latter is a top spot for family holidays, with pristine beaches and funky seaside towns, and beyond it the Outback, rich in Australian colonial history.
Venture to the vast north-eastern state of Queensland – more than seven times the size of the UK and covering more than a quarter of Australia’s total expanse. Both lush and tropical and desolate and harsh, garish and refined, it's another great place for a family holiday, with one of the world’s best conservation zoos, rainforest to explore, the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, and spotlessly clean and child-friendly sub-tropical and tropical beaches with the softest sand imaginable. The Gold Coast here is Australia's favourite family holiday destination, with 300 days of sunshine a year, 70km of beaches and fantastic themeparks.
Explore Victoria in the south-east corner, Australia’s smallest mainland state – sophisticated yet unspoiled, with a dramatic coastline, lush ski-fields, country towns rich in gold-mine history, a passion for great produce, and an arty capital, Melbourne.
Discover the dynamic cutting-edge city of Perth, one of the most cosmopolitan and interesting cities in the country, its low-key and bohemian sister-town, Fremantle, and the Margaret River region as a whole, with its top surfing, great wineries and gourmet food. They're on the very edge of Western Australia, the country's largest state and the real deal, with isolated mining towns, cattle stations, burnt orange skies, wildflowers and canyons, coral reefs and 12,500km of deserted beaches.
With older kids, venture into the vast central and northern-central Northern Territory to walk on the red soil of a vast camel-studded desert, guided through a timeless landscape by a living representative of the oldest continuing culture on Earth. A trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a once-in-a-lifetime must-do.