South Pacific / Australia
Australia
Ayers Rock
South Pacific / Australia
Australia
Cape Tribulation
South Pacific / Australia
Australia
Whitsunday Islands
South Pacific / Australia
Australia
The Great Barrier Reef
South Pacific / Australia
Australia
Sydney Opera House

Australia

People who've been to Australia will tell you that going "down under" is like going to another planet. They'll point to the animals: the huge, flightless emu; the bounding, boxing kangaroo; the simply surreal duck-billed platypus. They'll describe the land: massive, mysterious Ayers Rock, set at a point where four deserts converge; the Great Barrier Reef, an underwater explosion of color and energy; Cape Tribulation, where the rain forest teems with primordial creatures. They'll talk of the people: the new immigrants, descendants of English convicts, who in 200 years have created one of the world's freshest and most dynamic cultures; and the old ones, who have been in Australia for some 50,000 years, living from the land and honoring the Dreamtime. Then they'll smile and tell you that, really, you have to go there yourself. As soon as possible.

Once you arrive you'll discover that what you've heard is true. Australia is an amazing land, a land of extremes. It is the only country in the world that has a whole continent to itself, with the world's largest rock and longest reef. Australia's cities are cosmopolitan metropolises where you'll find five-star and small boutique hotels, great restaurants and internationally acclaimed arts centers. Its national parks, from the Blue Mountain forests with their koala bears to Kakadu's crocodile-filled rivers, are spectacular wilderness preserves. Its outback, setting for the country's favorite song, "Waltzing Matilda," is a terrain of harsh beauty where you'll see age-old Aborigine rock paintings and baby kookaburra birds. Its offshore islands along the Queensland coast are sun-splashed landfalls set in the middle of a marine wonderland. And through it all are the people, individuals every bit as interesting and unique as the land they inhabit.

To get to the land down under, you don't have to travel to the stars or even quite to the ends of the earth. In fact, in no time at all, really, you can soon find yourself in a spectacular new world-it's all waiting for you on the other side of the planet

 

 

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