The jumping-off point for the wildlife-filled Nature Coast and the world-famous beaches of the Gold Coast in Southern Queensland, Brisbane is a city that's undergone huge changes in the last couple of decades.

Not only has it leapt onto the food scene with everything from food trucks to top-end restaurants, but its attractions have hit new heights, too. Between the Brisbane Wheel and the Story Bridge Adventure Climb, you've got enough adrenaline-filled fun and epic cityscapes to keep even the most avid adventurer happy, while Australia Zoo and the verdant City Botanic Gardens will bring you back down to earth with their bright colours, amazing animals and floral aromas.

Outside the city limits, there's even more to experience, too. To the south of Brisbane you'll find the Gold Coast, home to the aptly named Surfers Paradise beach. Located on the edge of Lamington National Park, it's a real haven for adventurers, because you can spend your morning hanging ten and your afternoon checking out the local wildlife.

North of the city, meanwhile, is the Sunshine Coast, where you'll find enough rainforests, beaches and sand dunes to decompress, chill out and feel the full force of relaxation take hold in an instant.

Keep your eyes peeled, because Australia's Nature Coast is home to more than 150 rare species

Once you're done deciding whether you'd rather be kicking back in the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast – a truly tough decision with names so tempting – there's the Nature Coast to explore, too. Here, surrounded by the volcanic peaks of the Glasshouse Mountains and the turquoise waters around Moreton Island, there's plenty to do, from kayaking the mangroves to taking a dip in the water or heading out on a paddleboard. Keep your eyes peeled, too, because Australia's Nature Coast is home to more than 150 rare or endangered species.

Austravel are the leading Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific specialists, creating tailor-made holidays to these destinations for more than 40 years. Each of their Travel Designers spends at least a month each year exploring these countries and scoping out the best things for travellers to see and do, so you know you’ll be in the safest hands. Get inspired at

When you're done in the water, you should definitely make some time to explore the outlying islands along the Queensland coast, whether it's an adventure to the pristine beaches of Fraser Island, a stay or a day trip to Lady Elliot Island or a longer tour of Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays, wild Australia really doesn't get any better.

Find out more about Austravel's itineraries here.

Getting There

When you're travelling that far, who you choose to fly with really matters. Etihad has partnered with Virgin Australia to help create multi-centre itineraries and offers a variety of services to help you get the most out of your holiday. Etihad offers three daily flights from London Heathrow and a twice-daily service from Manchester to Abu Dhabi with fast onward connections to Australia. On its state-of-the-art aircraft you'll enjoy hundreds of hours of entertainment including live news and sports channels with destination-inspired on-board dining.

For greater levels of comfort, upgrade to Business Class and enjoy spacious full flat beds, all with aisle access and a Dine Anytime menu presented by a Food & Beverage Manager to enjoy at your preferred time – a real benefit as you change time zones. Elsewhere, First Class offers a truly luxurious experience with spacious apartments on the A380 aircraft and an Inflight Chef. With flights to key Australian getaways and working in partnership with Austravel, Etihad is the perfect choice for your big adventure down under.