Australia is known for more than just its famous exports: Fosters, XXXX and Neighbours… Baz Luhramann’s film might have brought Australia to the centre of the world stage yet there is so much more to the land down under than Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, cuddly koalas and kangaroos.
Oz, as it is affectionately known, is incredibly diverse and truly offers something for every traveller. From rolling vineyards to spectacular cities such as Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. From pristine beaches and islands, world heritage listed tropical rainforest to mountainous landscapes. Whatever it is you’re after, Australia has it covered.
However for those of you wanting to get off the beaten tourist track, head through the outback to the territory for a taste of the ‘real’ Australia. Here you can try your hand at sheep shearing, yabbying or bush camping. Alternatively take a camel ride or visit the Flying Doctor base and the School of Air in Alice Springs – the original outback town.
Feeling more adventurous? Try white water rafting on the Tully River (Queensland) or climb Mount Connor (Northern Territory) for a stunning view of ‘scared’ Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock). Forget any thoughts of scaling Uluru though: it’s against the wishes of the Aboriginal people to climb the rock who liken it to Aussies climbing on top of a church in Blighty.
Sail around the Whitsunday Islands or snorkel along the Great Barrier Reef or off Rottnest Island (Western Australia). Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for an unrivalled sight of arguably the most beautiful harbour in the world (New South Wales) or swim with dolphins which makes for a magical experience (New South Wales or Western Australia).
For local culture, be sure to partake in a surf lesson; Scarborough (Western Australia), Bondi (New South Wales), Noosa (Queensland) or Bells (Victoria) – any beach will do. And not to be missed is a game of ‘Aussie Rules football’ – the players on the pitch are more famous than the cast of Neighbours.
Yet ultimately, the winning combination of the climate, the friendly and easygoing manner of the Aussies and the breathtaking landscape ensures that whatever state you visit, you will have a ‘bonza’ time.
Australia is ‘hot’ in every sense of the word and now is the time to go. But be warned: don’t skimp on time. Australia is a continent not a country…