Australia is one of the most exciting destinations in the world to visit. Packed with unique wildlife, natural and man-made wonders, it’s hard to know where to start when planning a trip to this island-country-continent. From its modern high-rise cities to the remote emptiness of the outback, it has something to satisfy every taste.
Along the extensive eastern shoreline, Australia has endless miles of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Evidence of Captain Cook’s epic voyage of discovery linger in names such as Cooktown, Cook Island, Danger Point, Cape Tribulation and the Endeavour River.
Surfing, deep sea fishing, kite surfing, sailing, snorkelling, diving and whale watching can be enjoyed along this stunning coastline. Go bushwalking in the national parks and rainforest of North Queensland, take a sailboat trip around the beautiful Whitsundays or go snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Glass bottomed boats reveal shoals of fish the size of dinner plates (and just as colourful!) in the stunning corals and anemones of this 1600-mile long natural wonder of the world. Back on dry land, the wildlife is just as mind-boggling. Kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, kookaburras, cassowaries and other endemic wildlife can only be found on this thrilling continent.
Further south, the riverside city of Brisbane separates the Sunshine Coast from the Gold Coast, both known for their stunning beaches, sunny climate and seafront communities such as Surfer’s Paradise and Coolangatta. “Barbies” on the beach are a local tradition along with bowls clubs, which incidentally are a great place for dining out on local “bush tucker” at sensible prices.
Sydney, Australia’s largest and most famous city, attracts tourists from all over the world to see its impressive natural harbour, the largest in the world, along with Sydney Opera House with its iconic sail-like roof and Harbour Bridge. These present new opportunities for visitors such as behind-the-scenes tours of the Opera House, visits to the Botanical Gardens, a rest with a view on Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair or the chance to climb the 1,332 steps to the upper arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view from the top will take your breath away – literally!
Canberra, Australia’s long-overlooked capital city rarely gets a mention but visitors will find it is a beautiful planned city of parks. The famous Australian wineries can be found stretching from Melbourne to Adelaide. Visit the penguin colony in Melbourne and discover the city’s British past with St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exhibition Building. Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world, on the way to absolutely nowhere. Freemantle, with its convict history, and King’s Park are the main attractions while quad driving or sandboarding down the dunes will satisfy any adrenalin junkie.
Other highlights to add to your Australian bucket list may include Uluru, the sacred red rock monolith; the desert town of Alice Springs in the middle of nowhere, the unspoilt island of Tasmania and Darwin with its rich indigenous history.
No-one can seriously consider themselves a world traveller until they have visited Australia and experienced some of these diverse wonders for themselves!