An entire continent almost in itself, this island nation – the world’s biggest by far – contains diversities of wildlife and scenery to which few other lands can compare. Over 80% of the country’s wildlife exist nowhere else on earth. Snow falls in the Blue Mountains while afternoon temperatures average 30.C in the Top End. Queensland has the world’s largest coral reef, the world’s biggest rock lies right in the heart of Australia, and Humpty Doo the world’s massive-est statue of a Boxing Crocodile (Take that, world).
Outside of central Australia, things are no less impressive. What was once thought a fitting place to send the British colony’s criminals is these days one of the world’s most multicultural, affluent and peaceful countries. Australia’s urban centres are attractive, easygoing, sports-obsessed places where the arts thrive, the architecture’s iconic and the wining and dining world-class. Whatever the adventure you’re after, be it red centre adventures or otherwise, Australia provides.
- The life aquatic in the highest definition possible. Queensland has the world’s largest coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef, Western Australia the world’s largest fringing reef at Ningaloo. Snorkel with turtles, rays and dugongs, float over iridescent coral and swim alongside migrating whale sharks.
- Rocks rock! Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa, Wave Rock and the Pinnacles, Karlu Karlu and the Bungle Bungles, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles – Australia’s natural arena plays host to some seriously spectacular rock shows.
- Of the world’s 334 marsupial species, approximately 70% can only be found on the Australian continent (kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats and Tasmanian Devils being the best known). As for the world’s still-surviving monotreme species, Australia houses them all: echidnas and platypuses. Of the world’s 25 most poisonous snake species, 20 can be found in Australia. If you wanna see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
- When your country’s girt by 25,000 kilometres of coastline and three of the world’s five major oceans, you’re gonna score some swell. From the mellow beach breaks of Byron Bay and the Gold Coast to the grinding offshore reefs of WA and Tassie, Australian beaches cater to wave-riders of every level.
- Advance Australia fare. Aussie cuisine has come a long way since the days of Chiko Rolls and the old ‘dog’s eye with dead horse’. Thanks in major part to generations of migrant influence, wining and dining in Australia these days is a treat. Quaff world-class vino while touring the vineyards of the Barossa, sit down to an oyster and abalone lunch in Tassie or chow into a bush tucker spread of ‘roo steak and witchetty grubs.
- It’s no coincidence that Indigenous Australian culture is one of the world’s longest enduring: to survive in an environment as harsh as this takes a particular wisdom and skillset. Spanning back some 40,000 years, Indigenous culture is one of profound connections to clan and country.
- Over 28 million hectares of land are encompassed as national parkland within Australia. National Parks serve as a treasure of flora and fauna within changing landscapes from coastlines, deserts, alpine regions and the Australian red centre.