Australia is a dream destination for many travellers. This huge, red continent has an amazing variety of attractions to offer. From the trendy urban feel of Sydney to the stunning beaches of the Whitsunday Islands and Fraser Island, to world class diving at the Great Barrier Reef and the wild spiritual heart of Uluru at the centre of its forbidding interior desert. Australia’s landscapes need to be seen to be believed…
Located about 900km north of Brisbane, the Whitsundays are a small cluster of stunningly beautiful and pristine islands off the north east coast of Australia. The islands are connected to The Great Barrier Reef and offer unsurpassed diving, snorkelling, sea kayaking and sailing. White sand beaches are backed by lush green jungle and framed by a turquoise sea. The islands are part of a national park built to preserve their outstanding beauty. Tourism is carefully managed and the islands offer accommodation to suit every pocket.
Uluru, formerly known as Ayer’s Rock, is the name the Aborigines gave the red rock monolith at the very heart of Australia. Situated in an otherwise mainly flat desert, Uluru rises 863m above the surrounding area. Its spiritual significance for the Aborigines can easily be understood when walking around and experiencing Uluru’s sense of silence. Depending on season and time of day, Uluru is bathed in different shades of light, which changes its colour in subtle ways. Explore Uluru with the help of a native Aborigines guide and immerse yourself in Australia’s ancient past.
The Great Barrier Reef
Australia is as stunning below the water as it is above. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest continuous system of coral reeves extending over 2,600km along Australia’s eastern coastline. It is the biggest structure made by living organisms on Earth and can even be seen from space. The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see destination for divers, snorkellers and sailors. Even less adventurous travellers will enjoy a day out in a glass-bottom boat or comfortable catamaran to experience this unique, but fragile, ecosystem.
Sydney and Sydney Harbour
Australia’s first city is a relaxed and friendly metropolis set around Sydney Harbour Bay. The oldest parts of Sydney are located directly at the waterfront. They have been carefully renovated and now house trendy restaurants, shopping malls and relaxed cafes. Sydney Harbour Bridge frames the bay to the north with its iconic outline. It is open to pedestrians to scale its heights even at night. South of the old harbour is the equally famous Sydney Opera House with its distinctive ‘sail’ motif design. Other attractions are the Sydney Aquarium and frequent boat trips around the harbour.
Fraser Island, made entirely of white sand, is the largest island in Queensland. It has an amazing 120km long white sand beach, but is only about 24km wide. In its interior Fraser Island is covered with exuberant, verdant jungle, including a number of freshwater lakes. No wonder the native name for the island is ‘K’Gari’, meaning paradise! Fraser Island is protected as part of the Sandy National Park and was named a World Heritage Site in 1992. It is an excellent place to get closer to Australia’s wildlife.