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World-class cities, wide-open spaces, natural wonders, stunning beaches and dense forests with abundant wildlife define Australia – the world’s 6th-largest country with a history dating back to tens of thousands of years. Australia is a highly urbanized country but its adventurous spirit is still intact and people love the outdoors. Go on a road trip, hit the beach or explore its national parks to discover the land of kangaroos and koala bears.
With the vast Outback covering most of Australia’s interior, it is not surprising that almost every Australian city lies on the coast. Australia’s cosmopolitan capital Canberra, however, does not. Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and features vast open spaces with a cluster of excellent museums and government buildings, several great restaurants along with a lively nightlife.
Sydney – in the state of New South Wales, is the beating heart of the country. The UNESCO world heritage listed Sydney Opera House in the city’s picturesque harbour is the most distinguishing landmark – not only of Sydney but the entire country. Other notable highlights include the Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park and Queen Victoria Building. Sydney is also renowned for its stunning sandy-beaches – Bondi Beach, Manly Beach and Shelly Beach to name a few.
Australia’s second city Melbourne – in the state of Victoria is a coastal city and a vibrant destination with great cultural importance and excellent eating options. The city’s love for sports can be seen from various sports events including the prestigious Australian Open and Australian Grand Prix, whereas the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is a cricket lover’s delight. Some highlights of Melbourne are Federation Square, Flinders Street Railway Station, Queen Victoria Market and Eureka Tower.
The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is another top tier city in Australia and offers a subtropical climate. The city is known for its outdoor activities, museums and lip-smacking culinary experience. Not far from Brisbane, Queensland’s Gold Coast, is a surfing paradise with idyllic sandy beaches. In Western Australia lies one of the most isolated cities on the planet – Perth. It is an excellent destination in the region to experience great beaches, striking street-arts and a cluster of small bars and restaurants. In South Australia, Adelaide is the biggest city. The city lacks a long list of tourist attractions, but its beaches, multicultural population and festivals, museums and affordable accommodations are the major drawcard.
Australia’s true beauty lies in its natural treasures like the world’s largest coral reef – Great Barrier Reef offering other-worldly diving and snorkelling experience or Uluru – the world’s largest monolith. When you are in Victoria, don’t miss the unique stone structures of 12 Apostles and Grampians National Park. The rocky mountains of the national park are home to diverse flora and fauna and ancient rock-art, offers amazing views, excellent hiking and camping opportunities. In New South Wales, around 60km northwest of Sydney, lies the Blue Mountains – a UNESCO world heritage site that offers great hiking amidst forest-covered terrain. The area is marked with numerous waterfalls, villages and guesthouses. Other important natural sites in the country include the unique limestone covered Pinnacle Desert in West Australia and the world’s largest sand island – Fraser Island, which is located on eastern Queensland coast.
Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of wine. You can go on wine tours and tasting at some of the best wine regions in the country like Yarra Valley – located in Victoria around 30km from Melbourne, Hunter Valley – located in New South Wales and South Australia’s Barossa Valley.
Australia is a country with unlimited possibilities. Here, one day you’re driving on the world’s longest national highway and on another you may find yourself diving in the pristine waters of the world’s largest coral reef system. It is a destination for explorers. Come with plenty of time in hand to experience the most of it.
The UNESCO world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and offers other-worldly diving and snorkelling experience.