Australia’s name traces back to the Latin concept of Terra Australis, meaning a “great, unknown Southern land”, and its sheer size, diversity and cultural richness both draw in and wait to humble the traveler. The lushly forested east coast features innovative and cosmopolitan cities and stunning beaches and islands, and its interior gives way to the endless red earth of the Outback once beyond rolling mountain ranges. Land, sea or sky, charming and unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world inhabit this island continent and are a delightful part of Australia tours. Come along as we explore the Land Down Under!
Australia first became known to Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries, and continues to represent one of the oldest continuing group of human cultures: the 60,000 year old Aboriginals. Considered a megadiverse country for its landscapes and endemic flora and fauna, its biodiversity is unlike any other in the world. While nature and traditional culture abound in this country, so too do modernity and urban adventures in its coastal cities.
Australia covers an area of just under 3 million square miles, just over three quarters the size of the United States or Canada. Divided into the six states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the island of Tasmania, there are also two mainland territories, being the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
Though endowed with a broad array of ecosystems, Australia’s location close to the equator ensures a warm climate across the whole of the continent. While the southern coast is temperate with a Mediterranean climate, and the east coast tropical and humid, the majority of its land mass is grasslands and deserts. It is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, and nearly all of its population lives in just a handful of cities along the coasts: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Between these lie many smaller towns that have a local country charm, and adjoin beautiful natural areas.
On the northern coast of Queensland facing the Coral Sea, the cities of Cairns and Townesville serve as gateways to points beyond. Options for travel activities in the marine environments that traverse the Great Barrier Reef, the largest of its kind in the world, are beyond number. Travel to the sand island of Michaelmas Cay by sailing catamaran for sun and snorkeling to your heart’s content, and don’t worry: adventurers of all ability levels and inclinations can have an amazing experience of exploration shallow water marine biodiversity along with glass bottom boats and semi-sub, a type of submarine that allows for amazing undersea views without totally going under. Hamilton Island is another ocean paradise, located in the Whitsunday Islands off of Airlie Beach, where you can depart on a catamaran sailing adventure to explore this incredible archipelago. Enjoy private, air-conditioned couples cabins, delicious food and a marine wonderland of reefs and beaches on a three day cruise, including a stop at the blinding white sands and turquoise waters of Whitehaven Beach.
To the far north, the town of Port Douglas leads the way to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Get ready to feed your hunger for adventure travel as you cross the Daintree River using its awesome vehicle barge, and seeing crocodiles along with soaring birds and flying fox fruit bats as you explore the forested river shoreline by boat. Aboriginal stewards of Mossman Gorge World Heritage National Park will be your guides for a “Dreamtime walk”, describing their cultural heritage as it lives on amongst the most ancient rainforest on the planet at 135 million years old!
Australia’s urban highlights by no means take a back seat. Sydney’s breathtaking harbor is relentlessly packed with sailboats, inspiring the visionary architecture of its Opera House. Tour the harbor by boat, cross the graceful arch of the Harbor Bridge to Bondi Beach, and stroll the Tamarama and Bronte Cliffs and the shopping districts’ QVB and Centerpoint.
Not far from Sydney lies the Blue Mountains Heritage Region, a day trip into jagged sandstone rock formations like the Three Sisters and vistas Eaglehawk Lookout and Govetts Leap, set among precipitous waterfalls and swaying stands of eucalyptus forests. Enjoy a classic Australian bush lunch and a visit to the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens as part of this special travel tour that gets you back to Sydney before dusk.
Melbourne is another fantastic travel destination, both in and of itself and serving as a jumping off spot for taking one of Australia’s key road trips - the Great Ocean Road, leading to the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations - and its prized wine country. If you’re looking for fine food and drink, your search is over: Yarra Valley’s wineries offer top pinot noir and chardonnay, along with sumptuous fare for the perfect lunch out amongst the vines and cellars.
Of course, traveling to Australia isn't complete without an expedition to the Outback. A tract of sparsely inhabited lands occupying nearly stretching for 2.5 million sqaure miles, and is considered one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the world. Featuring an array of ecosystems, it is mostly desert, grassland and scrub, and retains a special place in Aboriginal culture. Home to both native animals, including birds like the galah parrot, kangaroo and many reptiles, so too is it inhabited by nonnative feral animals like the wild dog and camel.
The Outback’s most famous icon is Uluru (Ayers Rock), a massive monolith of sandstone rising to over 1,000 feet tall from the desert floor. It and Kata Tjuta, a massive formation of sandstone boulders nearby, are found several hours’ flight from the East Coast and are of vital cultural importance to the Aboriginal Anangu people. Activities while at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park include education about the area by Aboriginal hosts, such as at the award winning “Sounds of Silence” dinner. Enjoy a meal of bush foods such as kangaroo and barramundi fish while learning about Aboriginal creation myths and astronomy under perfectly clear sky conditions, while listening to didgeridoo music and enjoying sundowners or hot drinks in the crisp night air. Eat, drink, travel and learn to your heart’s content!
Australia’s highlights are so many that even years of traveling wouldn’t allow time to see all the country offers … it’s no wonder Australia tours remain such a popular choice for international travelers. If you want to travel Australia, don’t leave your planning up to chance … leave it up to us! Let us put together the perfect itinerary and find the highlights and deals you’ll love the most, creating a unique and personal trip you’ll cherish for a lifetime! Travel isn’t just our business, it’s our passion! We’ll help you check out, choose and book all the best activities and accommodations, and discuss the needed logistics for your holiday from flights, travel insurance, visa and other services to make your stay just right and your money go the farthest.
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