Credit: Tourism Australia
February 2018

Take your next Australian holiday to new heights, as you discover rolling vineyards, technicolour reefs and windswept coasts — all while you are thousands of feet in the air

Sure, a night exploring Melbourne’s snazzy suburb Fitzroy and its many hidden underground bars or a day spent traipsing Sydney’s sparkling harbour is fun. But why limit your experience of Australia to on-ground activities when you can see some of the country’s most iconic landmarks from thousands of feet in the air. You’ll be guaranteed a bird’s-eye view of some of the most spectacular sights in the country. 

Strap in and buckle up; you are about to experience some of Australia’s most popular regions as you never have before — via a thrilling helicopter ride, floating leisurely in a hot air balloon or soaring along on a grand seaplane adventure.  The best part? While they may seem expensive, they really are affordable experiences so you can blow your mind without busting your budget.  


1. Great Ocean Road, Victoria


You’ve probably seen the majestic limestone stacks that make up the Twelve Apostles from land, but why not take home bragging rights by gazing at them from breathtaking heights in a helicopter?  

This once-in-a-lifetime experience, offered by 12 Apostles Helicopters, begins at the Great Ocean Road, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre. Soar over the Twelve Apostles, a smattering of islands, peach-hued cliffs as well as London Bridge, an impressive rock formation that once formed a natural archway above the Southern Ocean. Choose between a brisk 15-minute flight or an hour-long adventure that will take you further along the Shipwreck Coast all the way to the Cape Otway lighthouse at the southernmost point of Western Victoria. Ensconced in a luxurious, air-conditioned cabin that can accommodate up to seven passengers at a time, you’ll be lapping up spectacular views without scrimping on comfort and style.  


2. Hunter Valley, New South Wales


Fancy a champagne holiday at affordable prices? Take to the skies in a luxurious hot air balloon ride over Australia’s oldest wine region. 

Set your alarm early and admire the sunrise from an unparalleled vantage point floating over Hunter Valley, a convenient two-hour drive from Sydney. Be rewarded with uninterrupted views of sprawling vineyards and olive groves glowing in the early morning’s golden light, and watch as the wine region stirs to life, preparing for a brand new day. Cap off the perfect morning with a gourmet breakfast and some bubbly after the one-hour balloon flight. Just top up a few dollars to enjoy these after-flight perks! 


3. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland


If you find yourself itching for a bucket-list experience, then a seaplane tour over the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is an experience not to be missed.  

Admire the stunning blue-green hues of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet in a 25-minute flight over the Whitsunday Islands by GSL Aviation. For a more extensive flight experience, join Air Whitsunday’s three-hour tour, which comprises a one-hour flight to and from the Great Barrier Reef, taking you over Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island and the world-famous natural wonder that is Heart Reef, a heart-shaped coral in the Whitsundays. As part of the tour, the pilot will stop over at Hardy Reef. Once there, explore the reef’s diverse marine life in a sheltered lagoon or, if you prefer not to get wet, from a glass-bottom boat. 


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