Australia’s major cruise ship port, Sydney, is included in many a world cruise and South Pacific itinerary. But if you really want to explore Australia, take a look at the coastal cruises that visit multiple ports around this vast island. These itineraries provide excellent opportunities for you to enjoy excursions to Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, national parks, historic communities, wineries, beaches, and many other attractions.
Cruises of coastal Australia often focus on a certain portion of continent. For example, some will take you to the sunny, beach-strewn shores of Queensland in northeastern Australia, also known as the Sunshine Coast. Port calls may include Newcastle, Brisbane, Cairns, and Moreton Island, as well as emerging destinations like Mooloolaba, the Whitsunday Islands, and Port Douglas, adjacent to the Daintree Rainforest.
Cairns is a base for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest and most spectacular coral reef. If you would like to spend more than a day or two exploring this natural wonder, there are seven-day cruises of the reef that offer a more immersive experience. These cruises offer multiple opportunities to take guided snorkel or glass-bottom boat tours along the reef, and to visit some of the beautiful nearby islands.
Cruises of Southern Australia begin in Sydney, Melbourne, or occasionally in the western capital of Perth. Popular ports along the southern coast include Adelaide and Port Margaret, which are both gateways to Australian wine regions and aboriginal culture sites. There’s also Kangaroo Island, which is occupied by lots of kangaroos, koalas and other wildlife, as well as artists, artisans and winemakers.
Another choice for Australian cruising is a voyage that focuses on Tasmania, where you can tour historic Port Arthur, formerly an infamous penal colony; and explore the historic waterfront of Hobart. Your best opportunity to see the endangered Tasmanian devil may be an excursion to the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, a conservation park where the marsupials – which are very cute, but known for aggressive behavior – live in safety.
For the ultimate Australian cruise, you can also circumnavigate the continent. Circumnavigation cruises are very popular with both visitors and Australians, so they tend to sell out well in advance.
To explore all of your options for a cruise around part of all of Australia, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal travel expert.
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