An island, country and continent, the vastness of Australia will impress anyone. The diversity of its landscape from deserts and rain forests to coral reefs and snow covered mountains, it’s easy to feel like you have visited several continents in a matter of days. It’s difficult to know where to start but here are some of the main places to visit:
There are few people that visit Sydney and don’t feel that they’d like to live there! With the attractions of city nightlife and culture as well as the sun, sand and sea you have a city break and beach holiday all in one. Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most highly populated city in Australia. Visiting the Sydney Opera House is usually at the top of most people’s list. Simply having a coffee sitting outside this magnificent piece of architecture, soaking up the sun and views of Sydney Harbour is enough to make you feel immersed in Australian urban life. The fusion of cultures is reflected in the food served in restaurants right through to the art in galleries. You can be active in the day and experience the cafes, bars and restaurants by night; this is a city where everyone lives outdoors. If you are feeling energetic you can get your kicks by walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Affectionately known as the Coathanger, staircases cross the bridge from both sides and a footpath runs along the eastern side. You will see spectacular panoramic views of Sydney but this climb is not for the faint hearted or those afraid of heights. If you wish to spend a more sedate afternoon then relaxing on Bondi Beach is the ultimate Sydney experience. One of the world’s greatest beaches, the Pacific rolls into the sand in great swells for the ultimate surfing experience.
Australia’s natural icon, Ayers Rock also known as Uluru, is one of the oldest rocks on Earth formed over 500 million years ago, located in the middle of the Simpson Desert in the Northern Territory. It is the world’s largest monolith and an aboriginal sacred site. Made of sandstone and standing 348 m tall (and extends further underground), it has a total circumference of 9.4 km. Tours are given by local Aboriginal guides around the base where you can learn about Uluru’s history, legends and flora and fauna. Watching Uluru change colour to a glowing red at dawn or dusk is a stunning sight and reminds you of the power this monument has to capture the world’s imagination.
Great Barrier Reef
One of the Seven Wonders of the World the Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s greatest natural treasure. It stretches over 3000 km almost parallel to the Queensland coastline. The reef is between 15-150 km off shore and reaching around 65 km wide in some places. The reef comprises of more than 400 different types of coral and divers will relish the experience of swimming amongst the world’s largest collection of corals. A breeding area for humpback whales and habitat for a few endangered species including the dugong and large green sea turtle makes the Great Barrier Reef one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
When travelling I stand by luxury travel, preferring quality over quantity every time. When travelling, personally I prefer to use a personal car service rather than risking the trials and tribulations of public transport.