Great landscapes and fascinating cultures
Located in the southern hemisphere, the vast land of Australia meets the waters of the Indian and South Pacific Ocean. With a highly urbanized population, nine of the country’s 25 million inhabitants live in two major cities: the iconic Sydney and the stylishly eccentric Melbourne. Whether you choose the underworld waters of the Great Barrier Reef or the mighty sandstone of Ulura that’s held sacred by Aboriginal people, you’ll find that few places on earth can compete with the authentic experiences on offer when heading "Down Under".
Off the coast of Queensland, you can snorkel the rainbow colors of the Great Barrier Reef. An underwater ecosystem of coral, it houses everything from microscopic plankton to 100-ton whales. Or immerse yourself in the ancient forests and centuries-old sand dunes of Fraser Island. But no trip to Australia would be complete without a journey into the Outback. A remote interior, it’s rich with colossal sights such as the copper colored Ulura, a place where you can be bedazzled by vivid sunsets and endless landscapes.
Take a road trip along the 150 miles of the Great Ocean Road across Australia’s southeastern coastline. Divine findings such as the craggy limestone of the "12 Apostles" or a Koala spot at Kennett River encapsulate so much of Australia’s natural charm. At Bells Beach, the surf is up—witness waves collide with coastline sands.
Open cellar doors and enter the "Great Wine Capital" of the world found in South Australia. The Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills are perfect spots to lay back and enjoy a bottle as vineyards roll out of view. An hour by car is Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city, which offers world class chefs, chic Parisian styled bars, and cosmopolitan lanes.
90 minutes by car from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a relaxation wonderland, emotive and meditative in equal measure. Aboriginal guides provide full day walkabouts through the valleys and caves of this sacred place. Visit the popular Three Sisters rock formation and catch a breath as you take in a view of a region that will leave you gasping.
One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef is also the largest living organism on earth. With a versatile marine life, diving and snorkeling opportunities, and effervescent coral, the Great Barrier Reef is a must see stop on any Australian trip. Enter another world full of one-off original wildlife, and seemingly bottomless blue waters.
With soaring domes and rock-solid formations, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s centerpiece is Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), an oval shaped rock that rises upwards of 1,200 feet above Australia’s Outback. Watch as it changes a blood-red with the turning of the sun. Then, enjoy a walk through Walpa Gorge (approximately one mile), a desert refuge for plantation and animals, and feel the welcomed breeze.
70 miles from the mainland of South Australia is Kangaroo Island, home to an abundance of wildlife (kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and more) and extraordinary vegetation. At sea, you’ll find dolphins and seals splashing around. Each day presents an opportunity to deeper explore these fertile lands, as well as take part in supervised sessions that allow you to hold and feed wildlife.
Within the crevices of Karijini National Parks walls is two billion years of history. Hike the Hancock Gorge and weave your way through this historic rock, described as a "journey to the center of the world". Cool off with a swim in the freshwater pools found among a cavernous gorge. The depths and high peaks of this ochre-red inland has had a profound historical significance on local indigenous people.
Due to Australia’s size, the climate varies by region. Generally, the country can be described as dry, with the interior hot year-round. In the north and north-east, the rainy season begins around November and lasts until April. Year-round rain is more common in the southeast, with a cooler climate found in the southern states. Spring (September to November) and Summer (December to February) are considered fine months for traveling the country both in terms of climate and volume of tourists.
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