Malibu Pier at sunset
Malibu Pier
California

From catching a cotton-candy sunrise in Joshua Tree to enjoying sundowners in Malibu, California is a state of diverse beauty. Boasting more national parks than anywhere else in America, you'll find dramatic coastlines, unexpected deserts, and ancient forests dotted all over the “Golden State”. So, stop California dreaming and start planning your Californian adventure with the help of our travel guide.

Northern California

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Redwood National Park

To find the tallest and some of the oldest trees on earth head to Redwood National Park. While best known for preserving the world's most beautiful coast redwoods, the park also has inspiring views, remote beaches, and fern-filled canyons.

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Lake Tahoe

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, lies the clear blue Lake Tahoe. In winter, fresh powder and bustling ski resorts, like Squaw Valley, turn Tahoe into one of the Golden State’s rare snowy playgrounds. In summer the area is a popular spot for hiking and biking.

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Napa Valley

Home to some of California's most famed vineyards, Napa Valley is a wine lover’s paradise. The region offers everything from castle-like wineries and luxury hotels, to spas and Michelin-star restaurants. The valley’s wine tasting experiences range from urban tasting rooms to tuk-tuk tours, and the Napa Valley Wine Train.

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is an explorer’s dream. Hike beneath the shadows of ancient sequoias and mammoth granite domes. Chase the rainbows of Vernal Falls or the Firefall at Horsetail Fall. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife or watch climbers ascend the dizzying heights on El Capitan.

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Road trip: Highway One

Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway is quintessentially Californian. Stretching from San Francisco to San Diego, the scenic drive hugs the rocky coast, dipping in and out of charming towns and big cities. Take it slow by stopping in at retro restaurants, hidden beaches and world-class wineries along the way. Passing through Big Sur, where the redwoods meet the waves, is a truly unforgettable part of any trip. 

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Cool California cities

Scattered along the Northern California coast you’ll find cool cities like San Jose, California’s oldest Spanish civilian settlement and the heart of Silicon Valley. Just to the south is the surf town of Santa Cruz, famed for its big waves and even bigger trees. 

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From the canyon's in Los Angeles, Big Sur's winding roads, Sonoma's soaring Redwood's and San Francisco's vibrant colourful city. Get to California in more comfort, more space and more style with Qantas. Qantas flies to Los Angeles from Sydney and Melbourne, schedule subject to change.

Southern California

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Joshua Tree National Park

In Joshua Tree National Park, two diverse ecosystems collide, creating one of California's most epic landscapes. The Mojave and the Colorado deserts are home to fascinating plants, challenging hikes, surreal rock formations and stunning vistas.

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SoCal Beach cities

Start your next sunny getaway along the shores of Southern California. Nicknamed "Surf City", Huntington Beach is a sweet spot to roll out your towel. Dive into the Hollywood hideout, Malibu, where killer hikes and cool restaurants come with ocean views. Or eat your way through San Diego’s famous Baja-med scene.

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Palm Springs

Loaded with mid-century eye candy, old-school restaurants and stylish stays, Palm Springs is a glamorous desert oasis. As a playground for Hollywood types, past and present, the VIP treatment is always on offer here. Coachella music festival, art-filled hotels and antique shops have also made the city one of Southern California's cultural hot spots. 

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