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.
SydneySydneyis a multicultural city known worldwide and very touristy. Its population, including the urban area, is 4.6 million and represents 20% of Australia's population. Most of the tourist and business life is organised around the bay (Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, The Rock...) and the City (CBD - Central Business District), two closely linked geographical areas. The contrast with the tranquility that reigns in Bondi, the coastal suburb a few miles from the city, offers a most surprising change of atmosphere. The city has a fairly vibrant nightlife, especially in the eastern part, and offers countless festivals throughout the year, including the Sydney Festival in January and the Vivid Sydney from late May to mid-June.
Great Ocean RoadTheGreat Ocean Road, which borders the coast of the Barwon South Western Region, was built between 1916 and 1932, first enlisting soldiers returning from the Great War in Europe, then 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 known as the 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 who watch over the waves from Antarctica off Port Campbell, are the most famous. Do not hesitate to travel the Great Ocean Road on cloudy days. Indeed, the change of lights on the different sites is simply wonderful. On the other hand, whatever the season and the weather, meet the Twelve Apostles before noon. Afterwards, there are many tourist buses from Melbourne. Then take your time to discover the other natural beauties of this route.
Tasmania Located240 km south of Melbourne and separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait, Tasmania is Australia's smallest state (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 rugged coastlines, the island is reminiscent of old England, an Argentine pampas, an African savannah, or the Great Rockies. Ancient glaciers have shaped majestic mountains and dug deep lakes on the island's central plateau.
Most of the western part, covered with impenetrable vegetation, is inaccessible. It is a region of mountains crowned with fog, untamed rivers and humid gorges... and one of the last temperate virgin territories on the planet. Tasmania has unique tree species (Huon pine, celery leaf pine, nothofagus, sassafras...). We find all the marsupials specific to Australia but also species specific to the island such as the Tasmanian devil.
Ayers Rock-UluruEnigmatic Monolith, Ayers Rock's sacred mountain (Uluru) is in the middle of the Australian continent, 440 km southwest of Alice Springs. This large red stone, which is in the carmin and violet at sunset, is more than 9 km of circumference and 348 m high. It is about 600 million years old and welcomes over 450,000 visitors every year. Like an iceberg, only one tenth of its mass emerges. Ayers Rock remains the largest sacred site for Aborigines.
The rock was first seen by explorer Ernest Giles in 1872 through the heat haze of the salt lake Amadeus. Even a European will be sensitive to the sacred appearance of the place and the complex mystery of this powerful monolith, with smooth crevices and inspired Aboriginal mythology. His name was awarded to him in tribute to 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
Telling the Great Barrier Reef means aligning coral reefs forming a long chain decorated with white atolls standing out against a turquoise background. Underwater, they offer a magical spectacle where fish and multicoloured corals undulate according to the currents. Some surround themselves with 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 northern Bundaberg. It can be divided into different sectors. The south, composed of islets and coral reefs scattered up to 300 km off the coast. To the north, the depth decreases, the core of the barrier thickens and the reef approaches the coast. In short, an invaluable 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
Perth Witha population of over 1.8 million, Perth, the capital of Western Australia and the fourth largest city in the country, is 4,000 km from Sydney. Crossed by the Swan River (which shelters a colony of about twenty dolphins that it is not uncommon to see), the agglomeration extends over approximately 80 km from north to south. It is made up of more than 350 "suburbs", most of which are equipped with parks, schools, shopping centres, etc. Every suburb has its own character. In the 1960s, successive discoveries of huge deposits of various minerals in the northern part of the state led to a real mining boom that gave the state all its wealth. Today, Perth has become a modern city whose skyscrapers reflect an ever blue sky and where you can feel a daily serenity. While the city is known to be 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