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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Yosemite National Park

Famous for its plunging cataracts and massive granite formations, Yosemite National Park dazzles with unforgettable natural beauty. Most visitors head directly to Yosemite ValleyOpens external site, a 4,000-foot-deep trough lined by sheer cliffs of glacially sculpted rock but another amazing feature is the Mariposa Grove of Giant SequoiasOpens external site.

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Sonoma County

Just 50 km north of San Francisco with acclaimed food and wine, relaxing spas, towering redwoods and stunning natural beauty. With its varying array of landscapes, Sonoma County offers lodgings that range from luxury resorts to quaint B&B’s, all framed by spectacular surroundings. 

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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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Road trip: Amazing views

This inland route will take you through some wondrous scenes. Think tall trees, deep canyons, roaring rivers, and some of the world’s tallest waterfalls. The route between Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and Avenue of Giants includes 10 stops, covers just over 1,300 kms, and should take you between 4-6 days.

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Road trip: Highway One

This ruggedly-beautiful route follows the coastal road between San Diego and San Francisco, where you can stop in places like Huntington Beach, Santa Barbara, and Monterey. It includes 10 stops, covers just under 1,000 kms, and takes between 4-7 days – depending on how fast you need to travel. 

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Road trip: Top surfing spots

As you travel between Windansea Beach in La Jolla and Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, you’ll experience a variety of waves and surf culture. You may even catch a glimpse of – or a wave with – some of the world’s best surfers. This route takes between 4-7 days and includes 14 stops as you travel just under 1,000 kms.

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From the canyons in Los Angeles, Big Sur's winding roads, Sonoma's soaring Redwoods 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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Disneyland Resort

In 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park in California with hopes that it would become “a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” Since then, the Disneyland Resort has welcomed guests from around the globe, expanding to an approximately 500-acre, world-class family destination. It features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland Park (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park, three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood is at the cultural and geographical heart of the Los Angeles region, surrounded by must-see hotspots in every direction. This walkable city is a mecca for rooftop bars, cutting edge restaurants, great design and galleries galore. 

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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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