Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Conservation - Wild koala climbing up a tree in Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Australia

A vast expanse of bustling cities, rich aboriginal culture, sought-after sceneries and iconic animals. Create a bespoke itinerary to enjoy all of this – and much, much more – on your travels down under.

Vast swathes of outback rub shoulders with tropical rainforests teeming with wildlife, vibrant cities, remote islands, and an indigenous population rich in ancient traditions and culture. Good food and world-class wine only add to any adventure.

The extensive coastline ranges from dramatic and rugged to idyllic sandy beaches, wild mangrove-lined swamps and hundreds of islands with the waters rich in life, from crocodiles to penguins, whales and turtles. A finely tuned holiday itinerary is essential in order to see the highlights as well as the lesser-known experiences and attractions.

Rainbow Lorikeet on Boab tree nest, The Kimberley, Western Australia
Rainbow lorikeets

What to expect on your Australian holiday

A holiday to Australia can combine all the facilities and sophistication of a modern-day nation with a huge and extraordinarily beautiful wilderness area. One day enjoy a production in the plush interior of the Sydney Opera House and the next sit around a campfire listening to Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. Self-drive, travel by train, cruise the coastline or explore on foot – all are possible and all add another dimension. An adventure with the kids, seeking out romantic boltholes, in search of wildlife or getting off grid, it is all possible.

Where to stay...

Accommodation in Australia is extremely varied, ranging from private homesteads to bush camps, luxury lodges as well as private islands and plenty of boutique hotels. Here are a few of our tried and tested favourites.

More luxury accommodation

Explore Australia

  • Sydney and the Blue Mountains
  • Lord Howe Island
  • Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road
  • Flinders Ranges
  • Tasmania
  • Uluru
  • Perth & Margaret River
  • The Kimberley
  • Kakadu and Arnhem Land
  • Queensland

Experiences

A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Australia.

Australia by Train

Cross the country by train onboard the Ghan or the Indian Pacific.

Swim with Sea Lions

Meet playful sea lions at Bairds Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.

Australia on Foot

Escape the modern world for a few days and explore on foot on one of Australia’s Great Walks – a wonderful insight into a more hidden Australia.

Australian Wildlife

View amazing wildlife including wallabies, dingos, crocodiles, wild pigs and buffalo.

The Red Centre by Air

Take to the skies by helicopter or hot air balloon to witness the true vastness of the Red Centre.

Swim with whales

Stay at Sal Salis and swim with whale sharks or humpbacks on the Ningaloo Reef.

Conservation Work

Join in with conservation efforts from relocating koala to tracking feral cat, identifying manta ray and monitoring camera traps.

‘Swag’ Out

‘Swag’ out under the stars for the night, a truly Australian experience.

Great Barrier Reef Experience

Snorkel or dive in the ultimate underwater world on the Great Barrier Reef.

Aboriginal Culture

Gain access to remote parts of Arnhem Land, home to a thriving Aboriginal culture and ancient rock art.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Amy Waters

After my degree in Fine Art I didn’t really know what career I wanted or what path I would take. The only thing I knew is that having spent a summer in America it had given me the desire to explore and see as many places as possible before becoming a grown up and entering the real world.
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  • 01285 601 784

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.
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Let’s chat

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Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

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Amy Waters at Steppes was excellent. She was totally responsive to any questions and really listened to our wishlist to build a fantastic itinerary which more than met our expectations.

Australia

Amy was exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful and with a good sense of humour. Our holiday would not have been as successful and enjoyable without her guidance and input.

Australia

Frequently asked questions about Australia

I keep hearing about 'stinger season' in Australia - what is this?

Stinger season is a time of the year when coastal areas of Australia are affected by the arrival of stinging jellyfish. This generally happens in tropical north Queensland between November and March, during which time swimming from mainland beaches and islands inside the reef is not recommended unless wearing a stinger suit. Islands such as Lizard Island which is outside of the reef are generally okay.

Is it possible to travel by train in Australia?

There are a number of nice train journeys possible in Australia which make a lovely addition to any holiday and offer a nice alternative way to cover some of the vast distances while also taking in so much more of the country. The Ghan is an iconic journey over three days between Darwin in the far north of the country and Adelaide in the south, passing through Alice Springs in the Red Centre.

The Indian Pacific route crosses the country from Perth to Sydney and vice versa over four days. Service levels on both of these journeys range from a standard reclining seat known as Red Service to Gold Service and Platinum Service, the latter two offering comfortable overnight sleeping accommodation. Meals and sightseeing are included.

What are the highlights for a first-time visit to Australia?

From the breathtaking underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef to watching the sunset over the red sandstone monolith Uluru, Australia has an infinite list of things to see and do. Sydney is a buzzing city with fantastic restaurants, busy Harbour and Opera house, and miles of sandy beaches. For those who are looking to get away from it all and enjoy some of the country’s local produce, then the scenic Hunter, Barossa and Yarra Valleys are the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the fantastic wines on offer.

What are the rules on tipping in Australia?

On the whole, tipping is not the norm in Australia and is only now becoming more popular in some of the more expensive restaurants and bars. Tips are only usually made in cases of good service by the locals for around 10% of the bill, but this is, of course, discretionary and a personal choice.

What is the best way to travel around Australia from the UK?

Self-drive is hugely popular in Australia, with easy roads and plenty of places to stop off at during those longer journeys. For long distances, internal flights are the best way to travel without being too time-consuming. There are also lovely train journeys available between Darwin and Adelaide and Perth and Sydney. When in the city getting around on foot is the best way to explore, and is inevitable when you will come across those hidden gems. If self-driving we advise avoiding driving late at night, as this is when many native animals become active which can make driving quite dangerous.

What local food should I try in Australia?

Australia does not have one specific national dish, but a number of different dishes throughout the country varying from state to state. With its close proximity to Asia and even closer one to the sea, Australia is the perfect place to try the combination of local and Asian dishes included Salt & Pepper Squid, which is fast becoming a popular choice.

Are there any specific vaccinations I need for travel to Australia?

You should always check with your GP before travel and ensure you are up to date with basic vaccinations such as tetanus, however, there are no mandatory injections required for entry into Australia. Australia is also malaria free.

What wildlife could I hope to see on a holiday to Australia?

Australia is rich in wildlife and much of it is unique and endemic to the country. Expect to see kangaroos aplenty as well as other marsupials including wallabies, koala and wombat. Mammals include dingo as well as quoll and Tasmanian devil, both of which are notoriously shy and best seen in Tasmania. Another unusual animal group for which Australia is unique are monotremes or egg-laying mammals such as echidna and the duck-billed platypus.

Home to over 800 species of bird including an array of colourful parrots, penguins, kookaburra, emu and the prehistoric-looking cassowary plus a range of seabirds. Snakes, crocodiles and turtle also make Australia their home and that is before we even touch on the oceans surrounding the continent which are rich in life, both big and small, from clownfish to whales.

Do I need a visa to travel to Australia?

A visa is required for British Nationals travelling to Australia. Visitors must apply for an ETA or an eVisitor visa in advance which is easy to do online. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay and must contain at least two blank pages, side by side.

When is the best time to travel to Australia?

Australia is huge and as such, there is no one time of the year that is best to visit as the weather varies greatly from region to region. In brief, below is our advice on the very best time to visit specific regions. Travel outside of these times is of course possible:

October to March is great for: Sydney and New South Wales, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road, Perth and Margaret River

October to May is great for: Adelaide and South Australia Tasmania

April to September/October is great for: Queensland Ningaloo Reef

June to September is great for: Northern Territories including the Red Centre The Kimberley

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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