Australia is a land of dreams. From the sacred legends of the aboriginal Dreamtime when the great spirits conjured the coral reefs, rainforests, and scorched, red deserts, to armchair travelers who describe Australia as their dream destination, the Land Down Under deserves all the hype. Australia is also a land of staggering contrast and spectacular beauty.
“Sydney, Australia” and most people think of the Opera House. Shaped like huge shells or billowing sails, this breathtaking building on Sydney’s Bennelong Point graces the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the world’s great architectural icons. The location is stunning. Water surrounds the structure on three sides and the Royal Botanic Gardens border it to the south.
The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest living structures on the planet. In 1975 the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established to protect its fragile ecosystems, which include more than 3,000 coral reefs; 600 continental islands, including the beautiful Whitsunday group; 300 coral cays; and inshore mangrove islands. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the park stretches for 2,300 km along the state of Queensland.
3.Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park:
Deep in the heart of the Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith forms the centerpiece of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Area jointly managed by Parks Australia and the traditional landowners, the Aṉangu people. Uluru, meaning “shadowy place” in the local aboriginal dialect, rises to a height of 348 m from the surrounding plain with most of its bulk hidden beneath the earth’s surface.
4.The Great Ocean Road:
The Great Ocean Road, located in Victoria, is arguably one of the best scenic drives of the world. Its official length is 243 kms (approximately 150 miles), but it will take you a full day to enjoy it due to the narrow and windy traffic lanes (only one in each direction). It hugs the coast line with panoramic views of the ocean and cliffs, and it winds its way through cool climate rain forests.
There are many beaches that you can stop and swim at along the drive, and also numerous townships, hikes, and other attractions for you to partake in.
The Cairns is one of Australia’s most popular vacation destinations. Located on the northwest corner of Australia, Cairns is a provincial but stylish city with a population of around 150,000 people. Few coastal destinations feature more wildlife diversity and more opportunities for travel adventures than pretty Cairns.
The small island of Bora Bora (just 6 miles long and more than 2 miles wide) overflows with beauty. Dormant volcanoes rise up at its center and fan out into lush jungle before spilling into an aquamarine lagoon. In fact, author James Michener, who wrote “Tales of the South Pacific,” called Bora Bora “the most beautiful island in the world”.
Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is a popular stop on many Australia itineraries. Galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops, and a distinctly European feel are the main draws of this sophisticated city on the Yarra River. It’s also a green city with parks, gardens, and open spaces occupying almost a third of its total area. Highlights of the city include the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground where sports fans can watch cricket in the summer and Australian Rules football in the winter.
Daintree Rainforest Located in northern Queensland, approximately 110 kms north of Cairns (and don’t forget to stop at Port Douglas on your way, it is stunning), the rainforest is a nature wonderland. It is Australia’s largest rainforest, about 30% of Australia’s reptile, marsupial and frog species, 65% of the country’s bat and butterfly species, and 20% of Australia’s native bird species can be found within the Daintree. And let’s not forget it is also home to a prehistoric bird, the Cassowary.
Perth is the country’s fourth-largest city and the capital of Western Australia. Isolated from other major cities in Australia, Perth has developed its own unique character. Although the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, there’s a youthful atmosphere and a fun-loving attitude in this city of nearly two million people.
10.Freycinet National Park / Wineglass Bay:
Down in pristine Tasmania, sticking out into the sea on Tasmania’s mild east coast is the rugged and beautiful Freycinet Peninsula, home to Wineglass Bay. The peninsula is home to numerous other bays which provide beautiful secluded swimming beach, snorkelling and scuba areas, rock pools, and many other attractions.