With its vast expanses of nature and thriving cities, Australia is a country of technicolour. Hip metropolises, lush red earth, the vast outback and the incredible phenomenon that is the Great Barrier Reef combine to make Australia the perfect country for the adventure of your dreams. So, choose a location, plan your stay, and discover the unique beauty of this magical country.
Australia is a country rich with history. The Aboriginal people are one of the oldest cultures on earth; it is estimated that the original Aborigines arrived in Australia by boat over 50,000 years ago. For millennia, Aborigines lived in hundreds of clans across the country. Each spoke a different language, but the clans shared their deep connection with their land and were largely nomadic, travelling across the country for food, water, and ritual gatherings. In the late 18th Century, James Cook chartered Australia’s east coast, claiming it as British soil. The area was used as a prison colony and, in January 1788, 1,500 people, half of whom were convicts, arrived in Sydney Harbour. Australia was used as a penal colony for nearly a century, at the end of which more than 160,000 convicts had been relocated to the world’s largest island.
Today, Australia is home to people from more than 200 countries and over 300 languages are spoken by its inhabitants. Despite the original decimation of many Aboriginal tribes, the beliefs of country’s founding people are respected and are still a fundamental part of this magical country’s allure.
Direct flights to Australia will depend on your preferred location; the world’s sixth largest country accounts for 5% of the world’s land mass. Australia’s most popular airports include Sydney Airport, Melbourne Airport, Brisbane Airport and Perth Airport.
Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere, with winter June – August and summer December – February. Contrary to popular belief, Australia’s climate isn’t hot and arid; temperatures vary across the country from season to season. The south experiences its heaviest rain in the winter, while the northern regions see wet season which runs from November-April. In the south, seasonal temperatures tend to be a few degrees warmer than the UK, whereas northern regions are consistently warmer. If you are looking for cheap flights to Australia, choose wisely, depending on when you are going; Sydney is most definitely best enjoyed when it is warm and relatively dry!
With more than 22,000 miles of coastline and nearly 15,000 miles of island coast, there are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. With so much coast comes an abundance of secret, white sand beaches and water sport opportunities. You don’t have to be a certified diver to enjoy the incredible under water scenery; to the uninitiated, snorkelling is equally magical. Of course, if you are on the east coast, a trip to The Great Barrier Reef is probably on the cards; here, you will experience the mesmerising kaleidoscope created by over 1,400 species of coral and 200 types of fish. If you are staying on the west coast of Australia, head to Ningaloo Reef, the only fringing barrier reef on this side of the country. With over species of fish and 200 of coral, it is quite simple awe-inspiring.
The coastline is packed with once-in-a-lifetime surfing opportunities, from the iconic Byron Bay on the east coast, to Yallingup in Western Australia. If you are daunted by the impossibly large swells, you can always stay on the shore and watch the pros at work.
If you don't fancy going in the sea, you can see wildlife and sea life without getting your feet wet. Due to its vast area, Australia is home to a plethora of native animals, including the iconic kangaroos, platypi and koalas. Watch sea turtles hatching in Queensland, go whale-watching at Cape Byron, or search for wombats in New South Wales. Australia’s creatures seem to have leapt out of legend and are unrivalled in their mystic beauty.
As can be expected from the world’s largest island, there is plenty of lush coast and vast areas of arid land inland. Barely populated, your first sight of the Outback is something you will never forget, simply for its vastness. Rich, sun-scorched earth, dotted with heather and lush green waterholes stretch endlessly. Like a giant sandpit, the Outback holds countless treasures: dinosaur footprints, Aboriginal carvings and, of course, some of the best sunsets and sunrises in the world. The Outback isn’t all empty space; they may be few and far between, but there are plenty of villages and towns, where you will find a rustic pub and a few eccentric characters. Here, isolated in inland Australia, you will feel as though you have stepped back in time. Take a road trip through the Outback, or you can join an organised tour of popular spots and authentic communities.
If the almost brutal beauty of the Outback doesn’t appeal to you, with its relentless sun and eternal plains, plan a coastal road trip and create unforgettable memories. The Great Ocean Road is a 151-mile route, which leads you along the southern coast of Victoria. Some travail the great Ocean Road (GOR) just so they can say they do it; others go for the incredible scenery, which includes the Twelve Apostles; would-be historians can discover Australia’s extensive maritime history; and the more active can stop for a hike, surf, scuba or kayak along the way.
Due to its cultural diversity, Australia offers you the opportunity to experience cuisines from around the world. Delicious Greek, Cantonese and Mediterranean fare is on offer; the problem will be choosing what to eat!
Most of Australia’s population hug to the coastal areas, so fresh seafood features heavily on the menu and, of course, with a ratio of 8 sheep per person,lamb is a must-try on your trip to Australia. Nothing quite beats a barbeque on the beach as you watch the sun go down – washed down, of course, with a locally brewed beer, or delicious local wine.
Bondi Beach in Sydney may be far from secluded and quiet, but its 24-hour, party-like buzz makes it a great place to hang out for a few hours. Go there for breakfast, where you will see people working out or just chilling out, on one of Australia’s most famous beaches.
Whatever you see, do, eat or drink in Australia will be complemented by blue skies and lashings of wholesome sunshine. From the ancient rites of the Aboriginals to rich colonial architecture and modern culture, Australia is laidback yet cosmopolitan. Matching yourself to your favourite region is like pairing fine wine with food; you need to take time to discover the unique character of each city before deciding which one resonates with you.
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