With a land mass of about 7.7 million square kilometres, it’s no surprise that Australia, the world’s only country-continent, offers a diverse landscape and a boatload of activities. Cairns in the northeast is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, while Sydney to the south is a bevy of culture and beachfront real estate. Inland, the Northern Territory invites visitors from around the world to make the hike around to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and watch its colours change with the sun’s movement. Whether you’re an adventure traveller or seeking R&R, you’ll find a healthy dose of things to do without leaving the southern hemi.
When to Visit
With so much coastline at your fingertips, you might assume summertime is the best season for travelling to and around Australia. However, between November and March you are apt to encounter a lot of humidity and precipitation on your travels. Meanwhile, September and October are lovely times for a journey. The best resorts in Australia don’t book up as quickly in the spring, and temperatures are comfortable—you can even spend time on a southern beach.
What to See and Do
What can you do in Australia? A better question might be, “What can’t you do?” Relax in Western Australia’s Swann Valley, climb the Harbour Bridge in Sydney on the east coast, or hike Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. No matter which region you explore, there are opportunities for art, culture, cuisine, and more. Even better, car rentals in Australia allow you to see beyond the beaten path.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most famous barrier reefs in the world. This reef is known for its beautiful sea life and vibrant coral. The Great Barrier Reef is large enough to spend several days exploring. Most divers leave from Cairns, but if you leave from the lesser-known Port Douglas, you can find dive spots that are less crowded.
Also known as Ayer's Rock, Uluru is one of the oldest rocks in the world, and it is also one of Australia's most iconic attractions. The best time to view Uluru is during sunrise or sunset as the sky looks as though the sun exploded into a burst of breathtaking shades of red and orange. The aborigines of this area consider the rock to be sacred, but they do allow visitors to scale the rock.
Australia has over 50,000 kilometers of coastline. The east coast tends to be busier than the western coast, but both coasts are gorgeous. And with so much coastline, it's easy to find a spot to relax by yourself.
While Australia didn't invent surfing, the sport is deeply ingrained in Australian culture. The east coast is considered by many to be one of the best surf experiences in the country. Beginners and professional surfers alike may find that Noosa Beach is a great place to surf together.
Although France may be more well known for its wine, Australia has its own wine regions, and it produces fine wines. One such region is Margaret River near Perth. A trip to the vineyards is usually a simple day trip from nearby major cities.
Another iconic site in Australia is the Sydney Opera House in Sydney Harbor. This large city is filled with great sites such as the Chinese Garden. There are also some excellent parks and surf spots in Sydney as well.
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