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Continuing our series of the best places to travel in 2017, we look at the continent of Australia which has far more to offer than the over-publicised Great Barrier Reef. Whether you are after a beach escape, an outback adventure, visiting iconic rocks, or sunbathing in a tropical paradise, Australia has it covered and here is my list of the top five best places to travel in 2017 in Australia.

1. The Wilderness, Tasmania

Get away from it all in 2017 at the spectacular World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania. Cradle Mountain is the crowning glory of this National Park. This perfect new-moon curve of rock which reflects in mirror-still waters (pictured above) has become an icon of Tasmania. The park’s glacier-sculpted mountain peaks, profound river gorges, lakes, tarns and wild alpine moorlands extend from the Great Western Tiers in the north to Derwent Bridge in the south. Cradle Mountain is also a fabulous wildlife-watching destination with wombats, Bennett’s wallabies and pademelons almost guaranteed, along with Tassie devils and platypuses. Stay at the award winning Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, one of Australia’s iconic wilderness experiences. Guest cabins with magnificent views are dotted around the rustic style luxury lodge.

2. The Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Forget the Great Barrier reef, if you are searching for a non-commercialised reef where you can wake up and paddle straight out to the reef, head to North Western Australia and the less well known Ningaloo Reef. You don’t even need to dive. Stay at Sal Salis where your tent is just moments from the shoreline. This bush camp is nestled snugly in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park next to the Ningaloo Reef. Sleep under canvas, dine under the stars and spend the days snorkelling and swimming with fish, turtles, manta rays and reef sharks – magic!

3. The Kimberley, Western Australia

The Kimberley is Western Australia’s sparsely settled northern region. It’s known for large swaths of wilderness defined by rugged ranges, dramatic gorges, semi-arid savanna and a largely isolated coastline. Stay at El Questro Wilderness Park, East Kimberley near Kununurra. This Homestead oozes luxury. Stay in a cliff side retreat overlooking the Chamberlain River and soak up the baking landscape and glorious sunsets from the bathtub-with-a-view. Explore gorges, waterholes and hot springs but make sure you have a local guide to help you avoid the many crocodiles in this region.

4. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

If you have ever seen Crocodile Dundee you will already know what the Kakadu National Park is like. Nothing beats experiencing the real thing, exploring bushland, camping out under the stars, taking a dip in a nearby billabong. Situated on the beautiful Mary River Wetlands, Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers a luxurious escape with stylish eco lodge and safari tent accommodation. Just two hours east of Darwin, on the fringe of Kakadu National Park, the lodge offers the ultimate in bush luxury, nestled in the lush Mary River wetlands area.

5. Uluru, Northern Territory

Ride a camel and sip champagne while watching The Rock’s sunset glow, explore the mystical Kata; Uluru is all about adventure and outback escapism. Longitude 131° offers luxury tented pavilions floating over rust-red dunes. Enjoy the stillness and beauty in this desert landscape. Experience unparalleled views of fabled icon Uluru (Ayers Rock). This massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre” should not be missed.

You can also read my other top five best articles to discover the best beaches and luxury hotels around the world including my best destinations for a magical Christmas and my pick of the best destinations in Europe for 2017.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.