A cruise around the world wouldn't be complete without a visit to the pristine beaches and glorious landscapes of Australia. If you're a nature fan like me, the country will be a must-visit, as you'll also have the opportunity to get close to animals like penguins and kangaroos.
The flora - as well as the fauna - is simply breathtaking, and I'd really enjoy admiring the rugged mountains and picturesque rolling hills, but head underwater and you'll find another world just waiting to be explored. Read on to find out more about my top three Australian locations to visit on a world cruise.
The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef – Cairns
Situated in North Queensland, the city of Cairns is known as the closest gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system. Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular activities to try out in the local area, so if you fancy heading beneath the surface it's worth having a go at an underwater pastime.
If you don't want to get wet, you can always take a trip on glass-bottomed boat or a semi-submersible, which will allow you to see the coral and the many creatures that live in the water without having to get a drop of water on you.
As well as providing access to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns boasts a number of highlights, such as the Esplanade Lagoon, which comprises a beautiful beach, pool, skate park and public barbecues. Walsh's Pyramid is another landmark worth visiting, if you don't mind climbing almost a thousand metres, that is! The structure is the world's tallest natural freestanding pyramid and affords exceptional views of the surrounding area, so bring your camera along.
A secluded paradise - Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island in South Australia is a beautiful spot characterised by vast pristine beaches and bush-land that are the habitats for a wide spectrum of animals. Head to the town of Penneshaw to spend some time relaxing on the glorious beach at Hog Bay and take a guided tour of the area after sunset to catch sight of the colony of fairy penguins that lives here.
As well as the penguins, there are many other animals to be seen on the island. Kangaroos can be spotted in summer and winter, which is between December and February and June and August respectively, while sea lions can be seen all year round at Seal Bay Conservation Park.
You can enjoy a relaxing barefoot walk among the sand dunes at Little Sahara or head to Cliffords Honey Farm to learn all about the local Ligurian bees and sample some the honey they produce.
The natural beauty spot - Exmouth
Located on Western Australia's north-western cape, the town of Exmouth is renowned for its natural beauty. Rugged cliffs and vast sandy beaches can be found here, and the town is also the gateway to Ningaloo Reef -a world heritage site.
The marine park's most famous resident is the whale shark, and if you head underwater between April and July you might catch a glimpse of the graceful creatures feeding, while manta rays can be seen here all year round. If you decide to visit between June and November you might be lucky and catch sight of a humpback whale during a diving excursion.
Back on dry land, you can climb limestone cliffs and explore canyons at Cape Range National Park, or head to Yardie Creek to get close to kangaroos and emus.