Australia is one of the highest-ranking countries in many areas, including health care, life expectancy, and public education, making it an extremely popular destination for travelers and expats.

Ask anybody for trip ideas in Australia, though, and you’re likely to get a limited range of answers that includes a trip to the beach, petting a kangaroo, and taking a photo in front of the Sydney Opera House. But with a land mass twice the size of Europe and climates ranging from sweltering desert to tropical rainforests, there’s much more to Australia than koalas and a souvenir didjeridoo. Matador has compiled firsthand knowledge about volunteer opportunities in the country, favorite road-trip routes, and nightlife guides to Australia’s metropolitan areas to help you learn more.

The articles and photo essays below can get you started on planning your own trip to Australia.