Planning your holidays and study breaks in Australia

Explore Australia’s natural wonders, beautiful beaches, and cosmopolitan cities.

A group of international students enjoying a holiday on an Australian beach.

One of the best things about studying in Australia is getting the chance to explore a country filled with unique landscapes, plants and wildlife. While you might not have the time to travel too far during the semester, breaks between semesters and academic terms are a great chance to adventure beyond your study location.

Whether you’re planning to snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, climb mountains in Tasmania or meet quokkas in Western Australia, we’ve narrowed down some amazing options for you in every Australian state and territory.

South Australia

Kangaroo hopping, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

There’s so much to discover in South Australia. The capital city, Adelaide, is known for its exceptional food, cultural festivals, pristine beaches, art and wildlife.

If you travel outside of the capital city, you can explore ancient craters and cliffs in the Flinders Ranges, hike nature trails or visit some of the world’s finest wine regions.

If you love the beach, then Eyre Peninsula is a beautiful spot where you can even swim with dolphins. Another popular place is the Yorke Peninsula known for its delicious fresh seafood.

Another one of South Australia’s highlights is Kangaroo Island. Often referred to as the ‘zoo without fences’, the island offers a wealth of Australian wildlife, bushwalks, secluded beaches, restaurants and wineries to experience. While you’re there, make sure you meet the seals at Seal Bay and the little penguins at the Penneshaw Penguin Centre

Kangaroo Island is best explored over a few days, so we recommend booking a campsite, hostel or holiday house for your stay. To get there, you can take a ferry from Cape Jervis or a short flight from Adelaide Airport. 

If you’re interested in exploring or studying and living in South Australia, find out more here.


Storm brooding over 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

The capital of Victoria, Melbourne, is known for its vibrant arts and culture, restaurant and coffee scene, shopping and nightlife. But there is so much more to Victoria!

You can find beautiful beaches and some of the best surf spots in the world like the famous Bells Beach.

There are lush nature walks in the Dandenong Ranges and awarded wineries in the nearby Yarra Valley. And about three hours from Melbourne, the beautiful Grampians Region also offers trails and nature experiences rich with Aboriginal history.

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives. Its spectacular 243-kilometre length covers some of Victoria’s most picturesque seaside towns and natural attractions. The highlight of the drive is the 12 Apostles, a collection of seven towering limestone rock stacks, but there are plenty of wildlife parks, beach cafes and cute boutiques to check out along the way as well. The drive can be done in less than a day, but if you have the time, a three- or four-day trip will give you more time to experience the best sights. If you don’t have your own vehicle, don’t worry – there are many tour services you can join.

To learn more about studying, living or travelling in Victoria, click here.


Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

There are many adventures on offer in ‘Tassie’. The capital city, Hobart, is the perfect place to enjoy great coffee, world-renowned art galleries, produce markets and delicious food – all beside a picturesque harbour that launches ‘icebreaker’ ships to Antarctica.

The beaches in Tasmania are pristine, with clear blue ocean and white sand. On the east coast, Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary where you can experience Tasmania’s native wildlife, beautiful beaches and cliff formations.

Cradle Mountain in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park rises to 1,545 metres above sea level. The mountain is both a scenic attraction and a physical challenge if you choose to tackle the 13 km walk to the summit. You can drive to the national park from Launceston or Hobart, and take the shuttle bus from the visitor centre to reach the mountain. If you don’t have a car, there are also day and overnight tours that depart from both Launceston and Hobart

There’s plenty of wildlife, lakeside walks and majestic alpine landscapes to experience in Tasmania. Just remember that it can get quite cold and in the winter months. You might even get the chance to see snow!

Want to know more about studying, living or visiting Tasmania? Click here.


Heart-shaped coral reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

‘Sunny Queensland’ is a large and diverse state. The vibrant capital city, Brisbane, has warm weather and a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle. You can catch the ‘CityCat’ ferry along Brisbane River and visit beautiful spots like Southland Parklands or Kangaroo Point where you can have a BBQ or picnic with a sweeping view of the city. There are also many trendy restaurants and bars overlooking Brisbane River to check out.

Queensland is known for its beautiful beaches, so if you enjoy swimming or water sports, then the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are perfect for you.

If you head up to northern Queensland you’ll have the chance to experience one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The Great Barrier Reef is made up of about 3,000 individual reef systems and is home to thousands of species of marine life. 

You can experience the Great Barrier Reef by hopping on a snorkeling tour from one of the towns located along the reef’s coastline, or spend a few nights on one of the reef’s beautiful tropical islands. To get there, you can fly into Townsville or Cairns. If you are coming from Brisbane, you can hop on the Spirit of Queensland train or one of the many bus connections and coach trips available.

Find out more about living, studying and visiting Queensland here.

Western Australia

A quokka smiles for the camera, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, has stunning beaches, scenic parks, arts, culture and sunny weather. Then just 30 minutes from Perth City, is the port city, Fremantle. It has an eclectic mix of people and buzzing streets filled with music, art and trendy cafés and bars.

If you head up north you’ll find the Kimberley region where you can discover wildlife, majestic canyons and freshwater swimming holes.

If marine life is more your thing, then visit the stunning Ningaloo Reef where you can snorkel or even swim with whale sharks!

Located off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is one of Western Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. The island is best known for its abundance of quokkas- small, friendly and very cute mammals that enjoy taking a selfie or two. With no cars allowed on the island, you can hire bikes and spend the day (or week) riding to the many pretty beaches and sparkling blue bays. To get to Rottnest Island, you can take a short ferry ride from Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour. 

Discover more about living, studying and visiting WA here.

Northern Territory 

Uluru, Northern Territory

If you want the real Aussie outback adventure, then look no further than the Northern Territory. Darwin is the capital city where you can experience warm tropical weather all year-round. The city is rich with indigenous culture and has some stunning national parks where you can view native plants, birds and animals.

The Northern Territory has two of Australia’s natural wonders: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Kakadu National Park. Uluru is one of the largest rocks in the world - 348 metres high, 3.6 km long and 1.9km wide. It‘s located in the heart of the desert with the nearest town being Alice Springs which is 468 kms away. You can take a sunrise or sunset camel-train tour or a 10.6km walk around the rock. It’s truly a magic site!

Kakadu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Kakadu’s ancient geological formations and Indigenous rock art offer a deep insight into a key part of Australia’s natural and cultural history. Inside the park, there are waterfalls, rivers, birdlife and even crocodiles to spot. In and around the park, there are campsites, glamping tents and lodges to stay at. As the environment inside the park can be harsh, it’s best to join a tour group with a knowledgeable guide. There's a wide range of cultural, walking and boating tours you can join, depending on your interests. 

Learn more about studying, living and travelling in the Northern Territory here.

New South Wales 

Surfers at sunrise, Byron Bay, New South Wales

Sydney needs no introduction with its iconic Harbour Bridge, Opera House, stunning harbour and pristine beaches. There are endless things to do and see when you’re there.

About 90 minutes out of Sydney, are the Blue Mountains where you can explore eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, galleries and gardens.

NSW has some incredible beaches along its coastline. Some popular spots include Coffs Harbour and the white sandy beaches of Jarvis Bay. But if you had to put one beach town on your Australia bucket list, then take a visit to Byron Bay.

Byron Bay is known for its incredible surf breaks, yoga studios, alternative culture and celebrity residents. When you’re there, make sure you try out the local cafes where you can often find delicious organic and vegan food, take a surf lesson at the local beach, and explore the surrounding hinterland. With its touristy appeal, you will find plenty of holiday houses, campsites and fun hostels to stay at. 

The closest airport to Byron Bay is Ballina, however you can also fly into the Gold Coast airport and get a bus from there which takes around one hour. You can also take a bus to Byron Bay from Brisbane or Sydney.

Check out more information about travelling, living or studying in NSW here.

Australian Capital Territory 

Parliament House, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

It’s worth visiting Australia’s capital city, Canberra, for its arts and culture. Spend the day strolling through some of Canberra’s many museums and galleries, including the National Museum of Australia, National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Australia, and take a trip to the political centre of Australia at Parliament House

Scooters are everywhere and are legal to ride in Canberra. Just find a scooter that’s parked on the street, scan the QR code to download the app and off you go! Helmets come with the scooter and price is around $0.50 a minute. It’s a great way to zip around the town centre and to see Parliament House.

Canberra is surrounded by lush nature reserves with wildlife that you can see in their natural habitat. You can take a walk through stunning places like Tidbinbilla where you can see waterfalls, gorges and rivers. Or you can hike (or drive) up Mount Ainslie and enjoy the scenic view of the city.

You can fly into Canberra from most major Australian cities, or access the city via bus from Melbourne or Sydney.

Want to know more about studying, living or visiting Canberra? Click here.

If you haven’t yet chosen where you want to live and study in Australia, use the Study Australia Course Search tool to explore your options.

So many adventures await you!

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