21 Mar 2014 Australia – The Place to Go

Ask me, “Why go to Australia?” and my response would be “How could one not want to go to Australia!?” As both a country and a continent, Australia is gigantic, encompassing an area of 7.692 million square kilometers/ 2.97 million miles squared, or five percent of the world’s land mass. What it packs into that land, or rather spreads out, is stand alone world class attractions, animals found no where else on the planet, diverse ecosystems and the unceasing Australian smile.

Grey kangaroo with her joey.

With such a grand expanse of land, 32 times bigger than the United Kingdom, it can take a considerable amount of effort to get yourself from point A to B, especially if you are on a shorter trip and do not plan on renting or buying a car. If you are looking for the ultimate touring experience, take away logistical hassles and book one of Scenic Tours award wining guided tours of Australia. Treat yourself to the luxuries of the best highlights of the land down under, or pick one (or more!) regions to dive into more deeply.

It would take life times to explore all the territories, and as recent a February 2014 a new species of mouse was discovered in Queensland’s Springbrook National Park. There is so much for a visitor to try and behold. If you don’t have life times, here’s some of the highlights from the main land to get a taste of it all.

Perth: Don’t let the world’s most isolated capital city fool you, it has everything you want plus more. Go out of your way to ask around and find a place that serves Matso’s Mango Beer. Crafted up in Broom, this is one of the best type of beers you may ever try. Check out funky Freemantle and take a day trip to Rottnest Island, where it’s almost guaranteed to get up close viewings the the Quaokka, a small macropod about the size of a cat. Remember although they look so cute and will ask for food with their pleading little eyes, don’t feed the quokkas. Step into the past and visit the World Heritage Freemantle Prison and learn about the underground aqueducts. 

Quokka sleeping.

Cairns and the Tropical North: Welcome to the Sunshine state – don’t forget the sunscreen as you dig your toes into their sandy beaches. Queensland’s diverse geography, lush rain forest and long stretch of coast line offers something for everyone. Try to get up into the Daintree area and look for Cassowaries, an endangered bird upon viewing will have you feel like you stepped into the movie Jurassic Park.  Take full advantage of all the fresh fruit and veggies from local markets and eat as many mangoes as you can. Embrace the easy going pride of Queenslanders and try going to the supermarket barefoot, it will save time when you jump into the ocean to swim in one of the seven wonders of the world, The Great Barrier Reef.

Blue spotted ray.

 Melbourne: Enjoy artsy streets and take a wander down the back alleyways. There you’ll find vibrant, bustling cafes. Wanting to give suggestions for the best cafes, I recently asked my dear friend Leanne which coffee shop was her favorite and her (I’ll give you the abbreviated response) was, “…Melbourne is a love affair waiting to happen for any visitor, be it the coffee, the culture/food or the passionate, talented people. As for a favorite coffee shop, too many to mention. So many great baristas, Melbourne is so spoilt. It doesn’t matter where one is, they are never far from the perfect cup of coffee.” With that said, you can’t go wrong, enjoy your own adventuring and choose a different spot each day for your afternoon cuppa, Ozzie lingo for a tea or a coffee. And please, go for a real coffee, order a cappuccino, latte or try the flat white, an Australian specialty.

A thorny devil crossing the path.

Alice Springs: The heart of the country surrounded by red earth. There’s a certain energy that comes from this vast, red expanse. A city where the history of the past is still struggling to find it’s place in the present. Here is a place to ask questions and listen to the stories of the lives of the Aboriginals who have inhabited the continent for at least the last 40,000 years. If you are looking to buy a piece of Aboriginal art, this is the place to do it. Ask around and find a gallery that ensures they are paying a fair percent to the artist. A must do is to attend Andrew Langford’s sounds of star light show.

Quietly go to Uluru and experience in person what no photo could ever show you. Prior to going I had seen hundreds of images of Uluru, yet nothing came close to what I saw viewing the massive rock with my own eyes for the first time. Walk around the base and keep your eyes out for thorny devils and legless lizards.

Sydney: Talk about one amazing gateway city! Sydney’s got it all, the Harbor Bridge, which is the world’s longest steel arched bridge, museums, dining, art and infamous Sydney Opera House. Take a tour and learn of it’s controversial building history (keep your receipt and you should be able to get a discount for a future performance). Stroll through Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens along the water and see hundreds of flying foxes hanging upside down in the trees. To see the sights from the water, grab a ferry to Manly Beach and watch surfers catching waves.

Flying foxes hanging out in Sydney.

After living in Australia for two years, it still felt like I had only scratched the surface as there are so many regions I want to explore more thoroughly. I would go back in heart beat. If you have been debating on where to go for your next trip, now is the time to get to Australia. The country is thriving, the people are happy and ready to welcome you. If you are looking for your next hassle free vacation, don’t hesitate and book a guided tour of Australia today.

Please comment below and enjoy these related articles

Tiffany Soukup

After her first year at university, Tiffany moved to Wyoming in the spur of the moment decision to live on the floor next to a washer and dryer. She has never looked back since embracing a life of travel, exploration and endless curiosity. Fortunately, she met her life partner early on as her and her husband Chris share the same dream of living on all seven continents. Follow their story as they venture from sorting potato's, picking cherries, living as Inn Keepers, hiking into remote jungles and planning their next adventure. Be sure to get more pictures and stories from their site at www.vagabondway.net.

6 Comments
  • Jim
    Posted at 18:03h, 08 April Reply

    Nice, a whirlwind tour of Australia with recommendations. Great wildlife photos! Are they all yours?

    • Tiffany
      Posted at 19:23h, 08 April Reply

      Thanks, yes, all the photos we took. If you’re looking for a trip to see a little bit of it all, hitting up these spots will give you a great taste of Australia.

  • Laura Shephard
    Posted at 20:12h, 08 April Reply

    What a great story about Australia! It seems like a wonderful place to go. Any time I talk to some one who has been there, they love it. Very interesting fact about the author; on a whim one summer she went halfway across the US to sleep on the floor of some one she never knew and from there the need to explore never stopped.

  • Tiffany
    Posted at 06:04h, 09 April Reply

    Thanks. I don’t know anyone I’ve talked to that has not had a marvelous time in Australia…it definitely is the place to go! 🙂

  • Sebastien
    Posted at 00:39h, 13 March Reply

    The great barrier reef is what sells it for me. We are planning to go to Australia in October – November this year, how is the weather at that time of the year? Is it still a good time to visit, especially for the great barrier reef ?

    • Tiffany Soukup
      Posted at 03:00h, 14 March Reply

      Hi Sebastien! Thanks for the comment. I was at the Great Barrier Reef in July so I can’t personally say. Oct/Nov is right at the time between the wet and dry. What I can tell you about is we went diving off Lady Elliot Island, which can type that into the search box and check it out. The reef stretches such a far distance north to south, what I would do is see what area you might be in and contact some tour companies there. I don’t know if you are snorkeling/diving/want to go on boat tours ect, just ask them what the conditions are like, water visibility, ect and that would probably give you the best guide as to what location of the reef to go to. I can tell you this much, get an underwater camera before you leave home! The panasonic lumix works great for a pretty inexpensive multi-purpose camera. And make sure you put sun screen on at least 30 min before going in the water to allow the lotion to be absorbed into your skin and not affect the water so much. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with. Let us know how the trip goes! 🙂

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