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There are few places in the world quite like Norway. With majestic geological beauty akin to New Zealand's, along with quaint towns and breathtaking scenery, there's no way that Aussies will find it easy to leave once they've explored this incredible country. From the folkloric city of Alesund to the sophisticated opera house in Oslo, this Scandinavian nation will leave travellers in a state of dream-like wonder from the moment they step off their flight.
Curious about how to explore this illustrious country? Here's a taste of a little bit of everything:
1. Pulpit Rock
Hikers are rendered speechless once they arrive at Pulpit Rock, which juts out precariously more than 600 meters above the bright blue waters of Lysefjord. This lookout attracts big crowds of daring travellers who test their wits by leaning over the edge as far as possible before getting spooked by the sheer drop. To get here, adventurous travellers will have to set aside a full day to drive up from Stavanger before hiking for two hours to reach the picture-perfect point.
The densely packed city of Alesund looks more like a Disney movie setting than a real city. The charming waterfront town boasts pastel-coloured buildings that were built 100 years ago following a devastating fire that destroyed nearly everything in its path. Today, these art nouveau structures, made mostly of stone to prevent another disaster from happening, feature elaborate ornamentation that represent local folklore and legends.
Just outside of the city, spanning for more than 30 kilometres, the Valldal Valley creates a natural path to the Trollstigen Mountains to the north. Teeming with wildflowers, cherries, raspberries and apple trees, the valley is a perfect place to have a picnic with family and friends.
If Aussies are going to Norway during short breaks, they should make Oslo their first and only stop. This once-quiet city is becoming a cultural center of Norway, and with the recent completion of the Oslo Opera House, galleries and museums have been popping up everywhere. For the next 10 years, the entire waterfront will be transformed to welcome savvy visitors from all corners of the globe.
4. Oslo-Bergen Railway
Seeing all of the landscapes in Norway might seem to be a daunting task, but Aussies who decide to book a train tour from Oslo to Bergen will have the chance to see dozens of kilometres of stunning scenery. Travelling through the Hardangervidda Plateau, the train tour will weave in between numerous mountain ranges and deep valleys, where passengers will have ample opportunities to take panoramic photographs and simply smell the fragrant fresh air.
Numerous travel connoisseurs consider this rail journey to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
Although thousands of tourists flock to Canada to catch a glimpse of polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, about one-sixth of the world's population live in Svalbard. There are more wildlife creatures than people in this gorgeous Arctic region, where glittering ice-capped waters and snow-covered mountains surround fjords created millions of years ago. Visitors can even attempt dog sledding - with a trained guide, of course - or take a helicopter tour of the remote and untouched mountains.
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