When you hear of “the land down under,” you are bound to think of Australia. Though many people know only of Wallaby Lane in Sydney thanks to Finding Nemo and the Crocodile Hunter, Australia has much, much more. Repeatedly highly appraised by travelers and locals alike, Australia is a country of outdoor splendors, scrumptious multi-ethnic foods, and amazing arts. Regardless of your personal tastes, hobbies, age or budget, Australia has someplace that is perfect for you to visit.
Oceans and Lakes
Australia has amazing beaches, and not just because it’s an island. The biodiversity of the waters is expansive. Take a dip in the waters of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef for a rainbow of corals and fish or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Bondi beach in Sydney. If you love the feel of sand beneath your feet, then the dreamy white silica sand of Whitehaven Beach will have you asking to be pinched.
If you love surfing, then there’s no reason not to go to Australia. The waves here are great! Australian has a huge surfing community (and schools are everywhere), so whether you are new to catching waves or a seasoned pro, the waters welcome everyone.
As if the beaches weren’t enough, Australia has astounding lakes. Take Blue Lake, for example. On the foot of the proud Mount Gambier, the stunning color of the water will blow your mind. Another would be Lake McKenzie, a place of turquoise water and diamond-like sand. Picnicking by the lake will never be the same once you spend the day along McKenzie’s shore.
But do remember to be eco-friendly and conscious of your actions. The natural environment needs to be maintained carefully or else it will waste away.
Forests and Mountains
What other place do you know has rainforests that are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Australia is home to the Godwana Rainforests, a stretch of land that encompasses over 50 nature reserves and parks. The plant and animal life you will discover here is ancient, giving you a glimpse of a time when dinosaurs walked the Earth. There are also the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and the Tasmanian forests that are considerably temperate in climate but just as beautiful as Godwana.
And if hiking on flatland or going on a walkabout seems too easy, consider the challenging peaks Australia hosts. Kosciuszko Mountain in Kosciuszko National Park is the highest mountain in the country and offers some breathtaking visuals from the peak. Some favorites in the international community include Rams Head (2190 m), Alice Rawson Peak (2160 m), Mount Warning and Mount Dubious (northwest of Mount Twynam).
While not considered “mountains,” the rock formations around Australia are indescribably beautiful. Take, for one, the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road that connects Allansford and Torquay together. Another would be the huge sandstone rock of Uluru outside of Alice Springs.
Of course, experiencing these outdoor locations means being able to come up close and personal with the wildlife. New South Wales and Queensland have places like the pelican feeding site and a park where you can eat lunch with kangaroos. You will encounter crocodiles on walks through parks and see koalas chilling in trees. It’s a real National Geographic experience that will make for everlasting memories.
The Metropolises (and What You Find There)
Hello, Sydney! Probably one of the most famous cities on the planet, this highly populated city is for those with a love of life and the arts. Taking pictures of the harbor might sound boring when compared to shark cage diving or hitting up a bar, but once you see the night lights, you will be awestruck by the city’s glow.
Australia also brings in someone of the biggest names in entertainment. Vivid Festival ring any bells? Aside from that, there’s the Australian Ballet, the Australian Grand Prix for racecar lovers, the Australian Open, soccer, Stereosonic (an electronic and dance music festival), and the Future Music festival.
Food, Glorious Food
Hungry? Australia has no shortage of ethnic dishes from various global influences. Nor is it lacking it the burger-and-fries department. Whatever you are used to, you can find it. Check out the shops around Sydney Harbor for seafood, Gertrude Street in Melbourne for cafes, the Adelaide Central Market for bread, cured meats and produce, and when in Darwin head to the Parap Village Markets for tropical fruits and other delights. All of these places over groceries and meal sets for less than 15 USD (20 AUD).
Since 1788, Australia has been producing some of the greatest wine flavors known to man. You might be thinking you will find nothing to top your Tuscan red or German Riesling, but you might be surprised by the sheer volume of wine produced—along with the types and flavors available to taste test.
From Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat to Semillon, Australian wines are unique and finely crafted. Check out Barossa Valley in southern Australia if you like Shiraz. For Pinot Noir, the recommended stop is Coldstream Hills Winery in Yarra Valley.
Lastly, it’s Great for Backpackers and Budgeters.
Australia is far, not going to lie. Yet, once you set foot on the continent, you will find yourself appalled by how easy it is navigate.
Public transportation comes cheap and with many options. Whether you are looking to rent a car, take a bus or taxi or using the subterranean train lines in major cities, there are ways to get to where you need to go without emptying your wallet. Melbourne has street trams. Sydney has ferries and rail line.
Should you be looking to get a first-seat Australian cultural experience and discounted travel, consider going the campervan route. Some relocation companies will even pay you to travel the country (without petroleum allowances).
Australia is an indescribable experience. People who visit become spellbound by the magnificence of the land and the generousness of the locals. Whichever way you turn there’s fantastic natural wonders and entertainment. No matter what your hobbies are, you can find enriching excursions and once-in-a-lifetime events. There is really no reason not to go to Australia.