Discover paradise Down Under with the Great Barrier Reef and Australia's best beaches and islands

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made the most of the Oscar-winning actress's current filming location as she directs her latest film, Unbroken, this Christmas – taking their six-strong Jolie-Pitt brood on a magnificent trip Down Under.

Inspired by the Jolie-Pitt brood, we take a trip to Australia, the birthplace of pop princess Kylie Minogue and where Prince George is set to fly with mum and dad Kate and William in April when he makes his first ever official trip abroad, to discover some of the world's most beautiful beaches, the famous Whitsunday islands and the underwater treasure of the Great Barrier Reef.


First things first. It's a long way to go, but don't let the distance put you off. Lie back, relax and lap up the luxury of travelling with Royal Brunei. Travel in Business class for second-to-none service, three-courses of fine dining in the sky and super comfortable seats that extend to horizontal beds complete with snug duvets – all at a great price.

Fly to Melbourne. After a couple of days of culture in the city – which offers exquisite food from all corners of Asia in Chinatown, a look back at the country's history of arrivals with the Immigration Museum, and the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere and Melbourne’s shopping mecca, the Queen Victoria market – take a drive along the Great Ocean Road.

Along with iconic surf breaks and splendid waterfalls, one of the world's most scenic rugged coastal drives will unveil the famous 12 Apostles, magnificent rock stacks that rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean on Victoria's dramatic coastline.

If that wasn't breathtaking enough, the Whitsunday Islands are sure to leave you speechless. A short internal flight will lead you to the group of 74 islands which make up this stunning archipelago and tropical paradise off the northeast Queensland coast. Sail the Whitsundays to enjoy sparkling crystal, aqua, blue and indigo shades of the Coral sea and pristine white silica sandy beaches, including the famous 7km-long Whitehaven beach – known as one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Along the east coast is the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef – one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the best places for snorkelling, scuba diving, reef walking, bird, whale and turtle watching. Cruise Whitsundays offer a wide range of cruises, sailing and reef adventures for you to really discover Australia's most remarkable natural gift, and the world's largest coral reef system.

Next stop: the world's largest sand island, Fraser island. But don't forget to stop on the way for the best steak in Rockhampton, the 'beef capital' of Australia, and at 1770, where Captain James Cook first discovered Australia.

Once at Fraser, for those with more time, two and three-day trips are available. For those short on time, a day trip with Viator will allow for swimming in the island’s pristine waters, spotting dolphins, dingoes, turtles and sea eagles, go bushwalking on the dunes, and learn about the island's history and wildlife.

Fly from London Heathrow to Melbourne with Royal Brunei. Prices start at £726.45 Economy and £2508.45 Business class.

Report by Miriam Foley