Top 10 things to see in Australia
Australia is a vast land that looks like a single continent lost in the middle of the ocean, and is a country apart. This territory, twelve times larger than France but also three times less populated, is a true symbol of freedom where landscapes as far as the eye can see are all more different from each other. This unique diversity, the result of a life apart for millions of years, attracts thousands of travellers every year who want to taste the scent of deliverance as they explore these wilderness areas, or simply enjoy the peaceful pace of life that prevails in Australia's major cities. Here are the "unavoidable among the unavoidable" of this wonderful country because you will have understood it one life would not be enough to explore every nook and cranny of it.
Sydney is a world-famous multicultural city and a major tourist attraction. Its population, including the agglomeration, represents 4.6 million inhabitants and constitutes 20% of the Australian population. Most of the tourist and business life is organized around the bay (Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, The Rock...) and the City (CBD - Central Business District), two geographical areas closely linked. The contrast with the quietness that reigns in Bondi, the coastal suburb a few blocks from the city, offers a surprising change of atmosphere. The city has a great nightlife, especially in its eastern part, and offers countless festivals throughout the year, including the Sydney Festival in January and Vivid Sydney from late May to mid-June.
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road, which runs along the coast of the Barwon South Western Region, was built between 1916 and 1932, first by soldiers returning from the Great War in Europe, then by the unemployed from the Great Depression of the 1920s. This spectacular road runs along 320 km of cliffs and deserted beaches, from Torquay to Warrnambool. On this coast, also called Shipwreck Coast because of the many shipwrecks that occurred there, the sea constantly reshapes the landscape and leaves only the hardest rocks. The Twelve Apostles, stone sentinels that watch over the waves coming from Antarctica, are the most famous. Don't hesitate to travel the Great Ocean Road on a cloudy day. Indeed, the change of lights on the various sites is simply marvellous. On the other hand, whatever the season and the weather, go to the Twelve Apostles before noon. Afterwards, the tourist buses coming from Melbourne are very numerous. Then take your time to discover the other natural beauties of this route.
Located 240 km south of Melbourne and separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait, Tasmania is the smallest state in Australia (68,331 km²) after the Australian Capital Territory. Its geographical diversity nevertheless ensures a total change of scenery. With a succession of hills, valleys and plateaus, volcanoes and jagged coastlines, the island is reminiscent of old England, the Argentine pampas, the African savannah and the Great Rockies. Ancient glaciers have shaped majestic mountains and carved deep lakes on the island's central plateau.
The westernmost part of the island is covered with impenetrable vegetation and is inaccessible. It is a region of fog-capped mountains, untamed rivers and wet gorges... and one of the last temperate wildernesses on the planet. Tasmania has unique tree species (Huon pine, celery pine, nothofagus, sassafras...). There are all the marsupials specific to Australia but also species specific to the island such as the Tasmanian devil.
An enigmatic monolith, the sacred mountain of Ayers Rock (Uluru) sits in the middle of the Australian continent, 440 km southwest of Alice Springs. This large red rock, which turns carmine and purple at sunset, is over 9 km in circumference and 348 m high. It is about 600 million years old, and welcomes more than 450,000 visitors each year. Like an iceberg, only one tenth of its mass emerges. Ayers Rock remains the largest sacred site for the Aborigines.
The rock was first seen by the explorer Ernest Giles in 1872 through the heat haze of the Amadeus Salt Lake. Even a European will appreciate the sacredness of the place and the complex mystery of this mighty monolith, with its smooth crevices, which has inspired Aboriginal mythology. It was named after Sir Henry Ayers (1821-1897), Prime Minister of South Australia in 1863.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park remains a safe haven for the Gagudju Aboriginal people. An undecided area, floodable to the west and bordered to the north by the cliffs of the Arnhem plateau, it is a paradise for wildlife. There are more than 50 species of mammals (mostly marsupials), 75 reptiles and 275 birds (one-third of Australia's bird species). While there are many rock painting sites, only two are accessible to visitors who come at a rate of 200,000 per year, disrupting the lives of Aborigines. Significant uranium deposits have been discovered under the ancestral lands of the Gagudjus tribe.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a long chain of coral reefs with white atolls standing out against a turquoise background. Underwater, they offer a fairy-tale spectacle where fish and colourful corals undulate with the currents. Some are surrounded by small islands of white coral with lush vegetation where tropical birds nest. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef and the largest World Heritage Site. It stretches 2,500 km long and 2 km wide, from the tip of Cape York to north of Bundaberg. It can be divided into different sectors. The south, made up of islets and coral banks scattered up to 300 km off the coast. Towards the north, the depth decreases, the heart of the reef thickens and the reef moves closer to the coast. In short, a priceless nature reserve.
The Whitsunday hosts more than 70 mainland islands between Mackay and Airlie Beach. The remains of a mountain chain were isolated from the continent when sea level increased at the end of the ice period. Today is the largest island group on the coast of Australia, one of Queensland's major tourist attractions. They are mostly uninhabited and without freshwater. The Grande Barrier is about 60 km away, and Hook Reef is its closest part. The Whitsunday offers an idyllic holiday environment. Browse the crystalline waters between the deserted islands or relax in the sun on the forest-lined beaches. Practice sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, etc.
Melbourne, the state capital and Australia's second largest urban centre, has a population of just over 4.5 million. It is a major commercial and industrial centre in the country. It is home to major automotive manufacturing plants and the headquarters of about one-third of Australia's major multinational companies. The city also hosts several renowned universities such as the University of Melbourne, Monash University or the Victoria University of Technology. Melbourne is known as a great place to live with over 3,000 restaurants, cafés and bars serving over 70 national dishes. In 2011, it was voted the best city in the world to live in. It is finally established as one of the most creative cities in the country but is also known for its diverse and gourmet cuisine. It is undoubtedly one of Australia's best places to discover art in all its forms
With a population of over 1.8 million, Perth, the capital of Western Australia and the country's fourth largest city, is 4,000 km from Sydney. Crossed by the Swan River (which is home to a colony of about 20 dolphins that are not uncommon to see), the city stretches about 80 km from north to south. It is made up of more than 350 suburbs, most of which have parks, schools, shopping centres, etc. Each suburb has its own character. In the 1960s, the successive discoveries of huge deposits of various minerals in the north of the state gave rise to a real mining boom which gave the state all its wealth. Today, Perth has become a modern city, with the skyscrapers of the City reflecting the ever-blue skies and a sense of daily serenity. While the city is renowned for being the sunniest on the continent, it is also the most isolated in the world, with 80% of the state's population living in and around Perth.
126 km south of Adelaide, this island discovered and named in 1802 by Matthew Flinders is known worldwide for its ecotourism and wonders: splendid bush, spectacular steep coasts, hilly or desert landscapes. This third largest Australian island is a zoological sanctuary: walruses, seals, koalas, kangaroos, emus, black cockatoos, sea eagles, penguins, etc. For the record, the German August Fiebig brought 12 hives from Liguria (Italy) around 1880 and began beekeeping. Today, the bees of the island are fiercely protected by the 1931 law and the restrictions concerning quarantine (quarantine) must be respected
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