More UK holidaymakers are choosing a break in Australia, with visitor numbers up by 4.5 per cent last year, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
So why the love affair with Oz? Tourism Australia (TA) believes the increase is the result of various factors including major sporting events such as the British & Irish Lions Tour and the Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series.
Innovative promotional campaigns such as ‘The Best Jobs In The World’ to promote Australia to travellers aged 18-30 have also heightened Australia’s profile and attracted a new wave of visitors.
The tourist board has been tempting two specific holidaymaker demographics lately – the over 50’s and working holiday visitors in the 18-30 age group.
Meanwhile Masterchef’s John Torode will be helping boost the ongoing Oz love affair soon when his new ten part TV series starts on the Good Food Channel.
With its “opposite climate to the UK”, Australia is an obvious winter holiday favourite, highlighted by Christmas lunch on the beach, while the rest of us are eating turkey with the central heating on.
Topping the three most popular attractions in the country are:
The Great Barrier Reef
With more than 2,000km (1,240 miles) of mostly pristine coral gardens and rich aquatic life, a visit is a near magical experience.
Sydney Harbour – The Opera House
One of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, the Opera House is a UNESCO-protected building and at its most beautiful at sundown, or when the firework displays at midnight mark the start of another New Year.
You’ll recognise it from many a movie, and Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a sacred site for Australia’s native aborigines.
Byron Bay, one of the best places in the world to live, with its spectacular beach setting and laid back lifestyle.
And a visit to Oz’s world famous wineries – Margaret River and Barossa are two regions with the finest wineries in the country.