With statistics telling us it’s the world’s 6th largest Country, the world’s largest island and the only island that is a continent & country, distances between destinations are vast.
But what is it about Australia that has me and plenty of others talking about it years after they have visited?
Like I said, I could talk about how much I loved Australia all day but to give a less biased opinion, I decided to ask top bloggers who also have a fond affection for this Country for their views and experiences.
The amazing wildlife - by Tracy from Tracy’s Travels in Time
In my childhood Australia was all about “Neighbours” and “Home and Away”. I remember visiting my grandparents on holiday from South Africa one year to find them literally addicted to these two Australian soaps! So for me for a long time Australia meant sunshine, beaches, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan!
After settling in the UK in 1995 and spending too many winters in the intervening years wondering where the heck the sun had gone (I lived in Africa during my teenage years and early 20’s) I realised that my occupation and qualifications held the key to permanent residency of that country of endless sunshine and beaches!
So we applied and moved to Australia! We have been in Northern Queensland for three months and yes the sun shines every day and the beaches are beautiful. But for me what I love are the animals and birds!
Kangaroos – and one of the most beautiful spots to see them is Cape Hillsborough. All those stunning shots of kangaroos on a beach at dawn? That’s Cape Hillsborough!
Platypus – we took a trip to Eungella National Park and Broken River, we were able to get close to these bizarre but special animals.
Koala – OK so far I have only seen these beautiful animals in a sanctuary but I have passed signs by the roadside on the way to the outback saying to watch out for them as it is mating season!
Birdsong wakes me up every morning and I love spotting the coloured lorikeet and galah’s as I drive to work.
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Port Douglas - by Garth from Phil and Garth
We took a whirlwind “City, Rock and Reef” two week self-guided tour of Australia back in 2015, our favourite place was easily Port Douglas. Situated in the tropical North East tip of Queensland, this pretty coastal town is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling the reef had been on Garth’s bucket list for years, so having saved up, we were beyond excited to finally be realising our dreams in Port Douglas - a bucket list adventure of a lifetime with some rest and relaxation over three days.
As we landed into nearby Cairns, we were struck by the beauty of the rainforest covered mountains, this region is green and lush, a world away from the harshness of the Australian outback and busyness of the big cities.
Time for the main event of our stay in Port Douglas - our once in a lifetime experience to find Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef! We took the Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise - a full day experience aboard a giant sized catamaran that takes you to the only moored platform at the Agincourt Reef. On arrival we made a quick change into wetsuits to avoid being stung by jellyfish. Armed with a handful of noodles, we swam out and found a spot to float above some coral. It was a serene moment as we stuck our heads into the turquoise water for the first time, another world, we were rewarded with crystal clear waters teeming with marine life. It was enough to just float and watch the incredible scenes beneath us, the colour of the fish and coral was amazing too, I don’t think we were prepared for that. Before we knew it our whole day on the reef was up, It was a truly unforgettable experience! We were so happy on the way back to Port Douglas, that we’d experienced and achieved a big bucket list tick, as we've dreamt of doing this for years.
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Melbourne - by David of Travelsewhere
Despite always being on the move, there’s one place I call home – Melbourne. The city where I was born and lived in (with a few gaps) until I was 23 left an indelible mark that no amount of travel can scrub off. Having recently just returned for a visit, I was overwhelmed with reminders why I love Australia’s second city so.
In the end, I love my hometown for its bizarre eccentricities, its inflated self-confidence and ability to satisfy whatever worldly food I’m craving from the comfort of home.
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Adelaide & South Australia - by Kelly of Trippin’ Turpins
Although I was born in New Zealand I have spent the majority of my life, so far, in Adelaide, South Australia. The other Trippin’ Turpin was born in South Australia. In spite of the fact that we were very eager to leave South Australia, in May of 2014 to begin our world journey, it is still one of our favourite places. In fact, the more we travel, the more we realise how special South Australia is. Adelaide is a lovely city, and South Australia has beautiful beaches, the best wines, fabulous wildlife, scrumptious local products and it even has the Australian outback!
Adelaide is often overlooked as an Australian destination, probably because it was known as the ‘City of Churches’…. it does make it sound kind of boring! However, Adelaide has so much more to offer. Adelaide is a sophisticated city, jam packed with culture, a pumping live-music scene and beautiful beaches. This multicultural city has a plethora of international cuisine and the Central Market is one of Australia’s largest fresh produce markets, selling a huge range of fresh and multi-cultural products. Click here for more about Adelaide City.
Further afield you will find some of Australia’s best wine regions. South Australia has more than 15 wine regions, many of which are only an hour away. Barossa valley is only 60km NE of the city and the McLaren Vale is 41km south. Other superb winery regions include Clare Valley and the Coonawarra.
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island; furthermore over a third of this island is protected as nature reserves. It is home to native wildlife like sea lions, koalas and wallabies. It is also known for its striking coastal rock formations such as the sculpted Remarkable Rocks. However, what I want to tell you about is all the wonderful artisan produce made on the island.
Kangaroo Island produces some of Australia’s finest gourmet delights. Visiting one of the Farmer’s Markets on Kangaroo Island will unveil a profusion of produce including organic honey, sheep cheese and yoghurt, wine and liquors, olive oil, fig syrup, curry pastes, chutneys and relishes. As well as home-made soap, candles, and lavender and eucalyptus oil products.
Lastly I would like to mention the Flinders Ranges. If you want to explore the Australian Outback you can’t go past the Flinders Ranges. Popular for four-wheel driving, hiking trails and bush walks. This is also a great place to try some of the local food. The Prairie Hotel in Parachilna serves up kangaroo, emu and camel, using native herbs such as saltbush, pepper-leaf, and lemon myrtle.
The Flinders Ranges is also a fascinating geological area. The rocks of the Flinders Ranges are more than 500 million years old, and contain some of the earth's oldest fossils, representing the earliest evidence of complex life on Earth!
South Australia is really very special - don’t miss it when you visit Down Under!
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Uluru - by Angie of Feet Do Travel
The red centre, Uluru, Ayers Rock, people refer to this semi-arid desert in the middle of the Australian outback in many different ways. The land bakes all year round from the intense scorching heat, it’s a harsh and unforgiving land, a remote place miles from anywhere, but is a trip here worth it? You bet your bottom dollar it is!
I visited Uluru for an amazing long weekend back in 2002 when I was living in Brisbane on a year’s working visa. I adore Brisbane, it’s country-town feel, streets lined with charismatic Queenslander houses, the man-made beach in the middle of the City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Mount Coot-tha for amazing night time city views, this place holds a very special place in my heart, but I’m not going to talk any more about “Brissie”, I will leave that to Travel Lexx as he loves this place as much as I do! I want to share my trip to Uluru with Adventure Tours.
Flying into this vast area was spectacular, I was able to see just how remote it really is. I would like to quickly mention the indigenous people of Australia as they are often forgotten. For 40,000 years the Anangu have lived off this land and, despite being here for thousands of years before “modern day Australia”, it wasn’t until 1962 that they were recognised as Australian citizens. In the cultural centre, we learnt so much about the Anangu people, their beliefs, laws, behaviour, social interaction, how they use this harsh land to live and hunt, it was absolutely fascinating.
Our tour started with a visit to “the Olgas” or to quote its real name Kata Tjuta meaning "many heads". It was discovered in 1872 by explorer Ernest Giles who also “found” Uluru and King’s Canyon.
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Brisbane - by Alexei from Travel Lexx
Why do I love Brisbane? It’s a question that I haven’t really pondered over the last decade or so, during which I’ve studied, holidayed, lived and worked in the Queensland capital. For Brisbane is a place that’s been such a huge part of my life, that I never stopped to consider just what exactly it means to me.
Brisbane might not be the most beautiful city in the world. It doesn’t have an abundance of sights. It doesn’t even have a proper beach (it’s in Australia, how can it not have a beach, I hear you exclaim). What it does have, however, is something that I can’t quite put my finger on.
It could be the wind rushing through my hair on board the CityCAT ferry speeding up and down the Brisbane River. It could be the tennis courts at University of Queensland where I spent most of my free time. Or the soccer pitch at Tarragindi where I proudly put on my team’s jersey.
Was it driving to Mt. Coot-tha at night for ice cream and breath-taking views of the city? Or evenings spent laughing with friends at Tinbilly’s Hostel. Was it the day trips to Surfers Paradise, Sunshine Coast and hiking in the Glasshouse Mountains?
It could be any of those things. Or all of them. Or it could be the Streets Beach (Brisbane SORT OF has a beach). Yeah, it was probably the beach.
By Travel Lexx whose love for Brisbane is unconditional even though finding good food in the CBD after 9pm is an exercise in futility.
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Have you been to Australia? What was your favourite City and what impression did it leave on you? Tell us in the comments below - we would love to hear!
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