Australia

Things to do in Australia

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park has sandstone and water vistas merge to form a spectacular landscape. Relics of Aboriginal life are preserved with artifacts including rock paintings, middens and cave art. The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the finest in the world. The gardens feature a global selection of plantings and specific Australian gardens. In addition to the landscape features, the Observatory offers nighttime tours of constellations and the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, a whimsical, child-scaled area that invites kids to explore their natural surroundings. The Sydney Opera House, arguably the most recognizable icon of Australia, holds six auditoriums where dance, concerts, opera and theater are staged. A bar and restaurant are attached nearby, so visitors can take a break and enjoy the view of the Harbor Bridge.

St. Kilda Foreshore features lively promenades. The breakwater near the pier was built in the ‘50s as a safe harbor for boats competing in the Olympic Games. Today, it is home to a colony of penguins that have, incredibly, chosen the city’s most crowded suburb in which to reside. Bondi Beach is quintessential Sydney, and one of the best things to do in Australia. Its bright blue waters and perfect waves are ideal for local surfers and beachgoers looking to cool off. Finally, head up to Mark’s Park for a view of the beach from the cliffs nearby.

Excited about: Thomas recently developed a nature tour, following Maori sacred paths in the northern Rotorua region; the journey includes a visit to the holy Hinehopu’s Tree.

The temple belongs to the Taiwanese Fo Guang Shan sect. Said to be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Buddhist shrine, it’s billed as an international tourist attraction; busloads of Asian visitors mill the grounds yet the temple maintains an overwhelming sense of serenity, almost solitude.

Meadowbank Estate, a temple to the progress the island's wine industry has made over the past 30 years, is an open-plan building with massive windows overlooking the vineyards of the Coal River Valley and the glinting blue-black estuaries of Barilla Bay.

Must-try: 2008 Sexton Vineyards Pinot Noir.

Every Saturday, Sydney’s fashionistas make a beeline for this sprawling collection of market stalls, known for showcasing the work of up-and-coming designers.

From the tip of the peninsula, you can see black wallabies, blue-winged parrots, and long-nosed bandicoots.

The Transport Hotel's Taxi Dining Room may get top honors from the press, but its rooftop terrace, Transit Lounge Garden, is what delivers, with killer drinks and views to die for.

Top tip: In Hobart, Tasmania, she suggests a visit to the Salamanca market, where more than 300 producers peddle artisanal foods. Years as agent: 32. Other specialties: Culinary tours, Australia, New Zealand.

Officially christened in 2005, this stretch along the Tasman Sea is part of a government effort to redirect leisure travelers south of Sydney onto a coastal highway.

Tasmania's most prominent organic vineyard.

With four bars and a Thai restaurant, this nightlife spot combines an Art Deco background with the vibe of a 21st-century dance club.