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Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and is a vast country, touching both the Indian and Pacific oceans. The country is so vast, in fact, that it is also considered a continent! Most Australians live in major cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne as well as a few others along the coasts. This means that extensive areas of Australia (especially inland) are dominated by nature. Therefore, those travellers looking for a remote getaway could hardly choose better.
Surrounded by beautiful, tropical coastlines and offering a fascinating diversity of natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), it is hard for other destinations to compete with the diverse beauty of Australia. Those looking for authentic and educational holidays will be delighted with the amount of Aboriginal cultural experiences available. Of course, not to be forgotten are the world-famous wine regions of southern Australia and the diverse wildlife found throughout Australia (and often nowhere else on earth).
Australia’s east coast is a true paradise for divers and snorkelers. If you find yourself in tropical, northeastern Australia, be sure to take a boat tour out to Upolu Cay, part of the Great Barrier Reef. The Cay’s protected, shallow waters make it an ideal location to explore the reef for snorkelers and beginner scuba divers.
Not far from Brisbane, a tour to Fraser Island, also known as K’Gari (meaning paradise in the local Aboriginal language) is always a trip highlight. From ancient rainforests with King Ferns to white-sand beaches and even freshwater lakes, Fraser Island is a heritage-listed jewel of eastern Australia.
Located near Cairns, the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience at the Rainforestation Nature Park is a must. Here you’ll learn how to play the unique digeridoo, as well as throw a boomerang and a spear on the Dreamtime Walk. The daily Pamagirri dance is wonderful entertainment, showing traditional performances depicting animals, food gathering and hunting.
One of the world’s great driving routes, the Great Ocean Road runs for 150 miles along Australia’s southeast coast. The most well-known attraction along this coastal road is the limestone rock formation called the “12 apostles” located just off-shore. Also the
Otway National Park, which showcases dense forests of eucalyptus and ferns is sure to delight nature enthusiasts.
Known as a great wine capital of the world, South Australia is home to the famous Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills wine regions which feature many of the renowned wineries that call South Australia home. The biggest town and capital of South Australia is Adelaide. Home to diverse cuisines, world-class chefs, lively bars and of course nearby wineries.
Not far from the bustling city of Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer locals a wonderful way to relax and get back to nature. People often describe their experience in the Blue Mountains as emotional, meditative or deeply moving. Aboriginal guides are available for full day walkabouts, taking hikers through valleys and caves and past sacred cultural sites deep into the rainforest.
The world-famous Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and the largest living organism on earth - it is even visible from space! Owing to the amazing abundance of diverse sea life, coupled with the beauty of its many coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is a top destination for all travellers to Australia - especially snorkelers and divers.
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, forms the basis of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and is one of Australia’s best-known attractions. Sacred to the local Aboriginal people, it towers 1200 feet above the Australian Outback. Enhancing its spectacular and unique, oval shape, it also changes colour depending on the position of the sun - at sunset, this huge rock shines a fiery red! While Uluru can be time-consuming to reach, it is well worth the trip!
Australia's third largest island, Kangaroo Island, is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. It is home to a plethora of native wildlife, including, of course, kangaroos, as well as koalas, seals, dolphins and penguins. Due to its isolation from the mainland, the island has suffered less from the effects of European colonization and as a result, has retained more than half of its original flora and fauna.
Located in north-western Australia, visitors will experience a journey through two billion years of the Earth's natural history at this geologic wonder. Investigate cavernous gorges and paddle in crystal-clear waterways before cooling off with a dip beneath spectacular waterfalls. Be sure not to miss the heart-shaped spa pool at Hamersley Gorge, featuring striking blue waters fed by a wondrous waterfall.
While the seasons are the reverse of what we experience in the northern hemisphere, due to the size of the country, the climate varies quite a bit by region, regardless of the time of year. Overall, Australia is generally a very dry country, so even somewhat high temperatures can be pleasant. The interior of the country (the Outback) is hot all year round. In the north and northeast, the rainy season begins around November and lasts until April when it becomes quite dry. Rain is more common year-round in the southeast regions. In general, the Australian spring and summer are good months to travel the country.
Every January, Sydney celebrates the Sydney Festival, showcasing a diverse array of concerts, theatre and cultural events over three weeks. Recently there has been a strong emphasis on celebrating Australia's indigenous cultures during the festival, with opportunities to learn the basics of local Aboriginal languages and sing traditional Aboriginal songs.
If you find yourself in Sydney for New Year's Eve, you can be among the first people in the world to ring in the New Year. Here you will enjoy what is considered one of the best and biggest, New Years Eve celebration in the world.
An experience like no other, the Enlighten Festival, is held in March, over several weeks in the country’s capital of Canberra. This festival has many highlights, including, Enlighten Illuminations, where local buildings are illuminated with light displays. Visitors will also enjoy the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, unique interactive art installations and the Feast at the Night Noodle Market, with street food and family-friendly events.
Throughout September, the Kings Park Festival in Perth presents amazing spring displays of wildflowers and many free events including outdoor exhibitions, photography displays and family activities.
In Adelaide, one of the most diverse arts festivals in the world takes place - the Adelaide Fringe. This festival is a month-long party starting in mid-February. Anyone can perform here and everyone does!
In the north of the country, the Darwin Festival is an 18-day celebration of music, theatre, visual art, dance, cabaret and more in the beautiful tropical city of Darwin. Enjoy the free performances at Festival Park and various venues across Darwin, as the Festival gets locals into the party mood every August.
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