With its intriguing contrast of vast, open landscapes and modern, vibrant cities, Australia offers travelers unique experiences and once-in-a-lifetime adventures from every point on the continent. Through its spectacular natural environment, rich ancient culture, and strong economy, this continent has quickly become a world treasure.
Australia is home to one of the world’s oldest living cultures, with the indigenous Australian Aboriginals inhabiting the land some 50,000 years before European settlement. A well-preserved election of Aboriginal art is scattered throughout the country with images depicting the history ands culture of the regions. A visit to Australia’s Red Centre allows an opportunity to walk around the base with a local Anangu guide, or take a Dreamlike walk in Sydney to learn about the history of the city from the indigenous prospective.
Sydney, known as the Harbour City, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an abundance of history, nature, culture, fashion, art, and cuisine. Two of the world’s most iconic features share a home here in Sydney: The Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Sydney Opera House. Tourists can even book to climb the bridge, allowing for a chance to see the city from a whole different, yet beautiful, perspective or learn to surf on the renowned Bondi Beach.
The cultural capital of Australia is Melbourne. With an abundance of Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks, the city also is renowned for having the largest Greek population out of Greece. The multicultural city is a hub for major sporting events and plays host to the Australian Open in January. Melbournians, as they are known, are particularly passionate about their Australian Football League in the winter months, and all cricket followers in the summer. Take a trip along the Great Ocean Road, a stunning scenic drive built as a work project for WWI veterans that winds 151 miles to Warrnambool.
Located 451 miles west of Melbourne, on the edge of the Great Australian Bite, lies the quaint city of Adelaide. Celebrated for its wine and food, the city is rapidly undergoing transformation with an emerging bar scene, world-class festivals, and spectacular eco-adventures. Take a day trip across Australia’s own Galapagos, Kangaroo Island and see kangaroos, koalas, and seals in their natural habitat. Travel inland to Cooler Pedy and learn about the history of opals and stay in an underground hotel.
For water lovers, beach goers, and adventure seekers alike, Cairns is a must-see destination. The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef o’s on the doorstep, where you can swim, snorkel, dive, sail or stay dry and view the reef from a glass bottom boat. Two hours north of the city is the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree, with diverse plants and animals unique to the area. Visitors can walk through the rainforest, spot wildlife on a Daintree River cruise, pipeline, ride a horse, and take a scenic drive to explore the ancient area.
Perhaps the centerpiece of the country sits the great monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock), which rises some 1400 feet from the desert and has a circumference over 5 miles. The rock is considered sacred and spiritually significant to the Aboriginal people, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site hosts a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings, offering a unique look inside the culture of Australia and its many treasures.
Australia has far more to offer than any one article could account for, and nothing could do this spectacular country justice other than a trip Down Under!
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