Thursday, February 15, 2007

Take a Sight-Seeing Tour to Australia

If you haven’t been to Australia or are planning to visit it a second time, then you must have all the information about the places to visit so that you can fully experience the wonderful land that is Australia.

Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and is divided into 6 states and several territories. The 6 states are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The two major territories are the Northern Territory (NT) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid, but the south-east and south-west corners have temperate climate and moderately fertile soil. The northern part has tropical climate, which is part tropical rainforest, part grassland and part desert.

When you go to Australia, you just cannot miss seeing The Great Barrier Reef. It is the world’s largest coral reef and extends for over 1,200 kms! It lies a short distance from the north-east coast.

Another spectacular place to visit is Uluru. It is the second largest monolith in the world and is located in central Australia. You can also visit the Great Artesian Basin, which is the world’s largest and deepest fresh water basin. Along with its beauty, it also serves as an important source of water in the parched outback.

You sure can’t miss going to Sydney if you visit Australia. Sydney is located in a coastal basin situated between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Blue Mountains to the west. You can enjoy all the activities associated with beaches because there are more than 70 beaches in Sydney! If you have limited time, then you can only go to the famous Bondi Beach of Australia.

Sydney has more amazing landmarks for you like Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Both are located in Sydney Harbour. If you are interested in rowing, boating, recreational fishing, racing small yachts and Dragon Boat racing, then you can get all that in Sydney Harbour.

The city also boasts of musical, theatrical and artistic activities which come under one roof in the Sydney Festival which happens every January. More information can be found here - Sydney Australia.

Melbourne is another major city of Australia which is situated in the south-east corner of the mainland Australia. It has a large and vibrant cultural life along with a chain of pubs, bars and nightclubs. Fashionable nightclubs, ubiquitous faux-Irish pubs, serious jazz venues on Bennetts Lane, massive pickup joints like The Metro on Bourke Street are all part of the city’s magic.

If shopping is what tempts you the most, then there are many reasonably priced shopping places where you can go and shop till you drop. Melbourne has innumerable clothing shops for every budget and various outlet stores in Bridge Road, Richmond for bargain hunters too!

Perth is a city known for the pristine quality of its beaches. Unbroken stretches of golden sands run through the entire length of the city’s coastal suburbs. If you are a nature lover, then you got to see this place.

Adelaide or the ‘City of Churches’, as it is often referred as, is a coastal city situated on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The name City of Churches is a reflection of Adelaide’s past rather than its present. The city has many wine growing districts such as the Baroosa valley.

Food lovers can taste traditional Australian cuisine which consists of grilled chops, Sunday roasts etc. Some English trends are still evident in domestic cuisine like hot roast turkey, chicken or ham with all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding. Australia’s two most traditional takeaway dishes are the meat pie and sausage roll.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What Happens When You Travel Australia in the Summer

First things first: summer in Australia is the direct opposite of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Yes, you heard right. In Australia, summer actually happens from December to February. Which means Aussies celebrate their Christmas at the height of summer. Which means they get to do more things they otherwise couldn't do if they were in the wintry, arctic regions on the Northern Hemisphere. Blessed be the Australian summer.

But watch out: the Australian summer can be very hot and unforgiving, but this is just fine as long as you keep a handy bottle of sunscreen with you and arm yourself with a good pair of UV-proof sunglasses. For Aussie families, summer generally is the time to hit the beach and frolic in the waters. Summer also marks the mid-year break for students; instead of springbreak, they enjoy summer holidays or Christmas holidays. And for backpackers who roam and travel Australia, the Aussie summer can be a liberating experience. Even businesspeople who like to keep busy with work even during the holidays prefer to leave their freezing homelands and travel Australia to seek its cosy warmth.

Before you get any misplaced ideas about Australia as being just pure hard summer, you have to realise that Australia is such a large country that each region experiences different weather patterns. Up north where the tropical rainforests reign, it's mainly high temperatures and high humidity and distinct wet and dry seasons. In the centre of the country, where the Outback sprawls, it's dry, desert regions with high daytime temperatures and occasional bursts of rain. In the south are the temperate regions with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from hot to cold.

To travel Australia in all its entirety is to witness nature's awesome and breathtaking display of colors, heat, frenzy, and vibrance. It's a land of extremes: one moment you could be enjoying a runny pistachio ice cream under the scorching sun, the next, you could be snuggling tight with a loved one under the velvety pouring rain. There's no perfect weather in which to travel Australia. After all wherever we go, we all bring along with us our pieces of sky and sun and climate.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Australian Wines 101: Travel Australia in Just One Sip

Okay, we admit, Australians are generally a beer-guzzling nation. Aussies like beer with everything—or as it is called there, piss. One almost automatically thinks the Auld Lang Syne is always sung while lifting a mug of piss.

But Aussies are also a wine-loving nation. In fact, when it comes to wine-making, Australia is the New World, with its undeniably gorgeous offering to world: the Shiraz wine. Named after that city in ancient Persia (now Iran), which 7,000 years ago transformed the local grape into a magnificent sparkling beverage, the Australian shiraz is a delicate, subtle, yet powerfully spicy experience swirling in a long-stemmed glass.

In Australia, Barossa Valley is where the most uninhibitedly full-bodied Shiraz wine comes from. From a mere five vine cuttings of the Shiraz brought to the country by James Busby in 1832, the Shiraz wine has indeed come a long way. A taste of the Shiraz wine is always an amazing plunge into something sophisticated and at the same time laced with the wilderness. Sophisticated wilderness. Which is perhaps why the world has come to equate the shiraz wine with all things Australian.

The shiraz wine is a carnival of notes, from the fruity to the spicy to the earthy. Every sip of this deep red wine tells a bold story, puts forward a complex but brilliant statement. If anything, the whole point of the Shiraz wine is a reminder not to deprive yourself of the best and most exquisite things life has to offer.

When you travel Australia then, don't just get enamored with beer. Sit down to a lovely goblet of bubbly shiraz, take a bottle or two with you back home for your relatives, and tell them about one of the wondrous wonders you've discovered about the Land Down Under.

It's about time you travel Australia and get drunk in its loveliness.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Travel Australia, and then Bargain Hunt at its Many Wondrous Markets

Chances are, when you're visiting Australia, Sydney's the first place you'll be landing at. After all, Sydney is the first port of call for ships and is home to the major airports in the world. Of course, you simply must tour the unmissable and spectacular Sydney Opera House, and the parks too, and the museums—with matching photos and footage caught on cam. But after that, what's next?

It's time to hit the markets, mate! Here's a rundown of some of the finest and most flocked markets in the city.

Bondi Market
Bondi is most famous for its luminous beach and amazing waves. But when you're not doing any surfing/sailing/swimming, you might want to consider the good 'ol Bondi Market to catch up on your shopping. Bondi Market has just about everything in one go. Bargains abound there, from knick-knacks to second-hand books, from kitchenware to carpentry tools. As the cliche goes, there's something for everyone. And there's also always a friend to meet and get to know, fellow shoppers and shop owners. Just be conscious of how you spend; you'll realise soon enough you want everything on site.

Balmain Markets
The Balmain Markets has that frenzied bazaar air, just like Bondi. Regularly held at the grounds of the local church, the Balmain Markets are an eclectic and dizzying collection of pre-owned goods. Figurines, boomerangs, pottery, hand-knitted merino wool, leather boots, books, booze, etc, etc. (Yes, there are booze too, of course. Although in Australia, beer is called piss.) So when you're done shopping, grab a hearty lunch at any of the cosy bars and pubs within the market, and be prepared for the Big Burp.

Paddy's Markets
This is Sydney's biggest market so far, although somewhat more mainstream than the Bondi and Balmain markets. More new items are sold here than the used ones, sometimes directly coming from the retailers themselves. But because there's no overhead costs of shop rent, they manage to keep their prices pocket-friendly. The Paddy's Markets is the bargain-hunter's mecca.

Sydney Fresh Markets
Of course, the best thing about being situated right next to the ocean is the fresh catch of fishes. And you can be sure all of Sydney's great restaurants and wondrous chefs know how to transform these wriggling, fresh-as-fresh-can-be seafood into a gastronomic carousel on your plate. How do you say sumptuous and mouth-watering, again? Or if you want, you can bring home a fresh catch yourself straight from the market and whip up a nice recipe no cookbook can ever reproduce.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Most Happening Places You Shouldn't Miss When You Travel Australia

When you travel Australia, you aren't just a straw-hatted, sandal-footed tourist daintily stepping out of your comfort zone. Of course, you can be like that, but once in Australia, you'll realise soon enough that you want to be someone else braver.

To travel Australia is to be an explorer, brave, daring, uncompromising, and wide-eyed at every new thing that'll come your way. To travel Australia is to loosen your belt and jump into the unknown. Here's your itinerary mate!:

The 12 Apostles
One of Victoria's pride, the 12 Apostles are magnificent towers of limestone rocks jutting out of the ocean, formed over thousands of years ago by waves at their feet. They can be seen along Great Ocean Road, although currently, only eight of the original 12 Apostles remain.

The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the last frontiers on earth. Both mysterious and generous, it consists of more than 1,000 islands, from sandy cays to rainforest isles. The Great Barrier Reef is home to a diverse and kaleidoscopic marine life amidst a expanse of perfect and serene blue water that is worth plunging into any time. You haven't really snorkeled or scuba dived unless you've been in the Great Barrier Reef.

Kakadu National Park
East of Darwin, the Kakadu National Park is a throbbing, pulsating menagerie of wildlife set in a rich backdrop of waterfalls and sandstone cliffs. Herons, ospreys, jabirus and many other creatures greet you with their unabashed freedom. As well as snoring crocodiles and flighty Jacana birds flitting from one lusciously green lily pad to another. Be in your own National Geographic episode every time you travel Australia.

Uluru (Ayer's Rock)
Uluru is a behemoth stone mountain located in the centre of Australia, changing colors at different times of the day. Spanning 3.6 kilometres long, 2 kilometres wide, with a 9.4 kilometre circumference and made of arkosic sandstone, Ayer's Rock undoubtedly has a flair for color and exhibition. For one silent giant of a rock, that's quite a feat.

Bungle Bungles
Simply beholding the Bungle Bungle in Purnululu National Park is both stupefying and ticklish to the senses. The Bungle Bungle is an unabashed waltz of orange and black stripes of silica and algae, flanked by beehive-like mounds posing with their chins up. A crazy but wondrous trick of geography. Bungle Bungle breathes new meaning to the word “marvelous.“

Daintree Rainforest
One of the oldest rainforest in the planet, the Daintree Rainforest is home to an inexhaustible number of plants and wildlife; 65% of Australia's bat and butterfly population roam freely here. The Daintree Forest lies north of Cairn and spans some 1,200 square kilometres.

Tasmanian Wilderness
The Tasmanian Wilderness is as grand as its official name goes: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Spanning 1.38 million hectares, it is one of the largest conservation reserves in Australia. Simultaneously, a true refuge, a playful temple, and solemn carnival of rare and endangered wildlife.

Fraser Island
When the camping bug strikes you, then head for Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world accessible by a ferry and a four-wheel drive. With its immaculately white pure silica beaches, incredibly pristine lakes, and stunning rainforests, Fraser Island is the perfect campsite. Don' t forget to ask the locals about the legend of the island according to the aborigines!

So there! Eight miraculous and breathtaking places to dive into when you travel Australia. Don't just get settled in Australia; go for the unsettling.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Things You'd Be Celebrating When You Travel Australia

It's not a secret anymore that Australia is a hodgepodge of countries and culture. Blame it on the inviting and alluring appeal of the Land Down Under, or blame it even on the very democratic Australian visa system. Whatever it is, Australia enjoys a rich tapestry of culture and breathtaking kaleidoscope of people from all walks of life. Australia is indeed a sweet melting pot, and this is especially evident during festivals and holidays. In fact, even if you travel Australia entirely, you'd be surprised that a year isn't enough for you to participate in everything. In Australia, the whole year round is peppered with colorful festivals and frenzied celebrations that each country has brought along with them.

The Chinese New Year, for one, is a fiery explosion of bursting dragons and dancing fireworks, whereas Laotian Buddhists celebrate amidst a shower of flowers and restless gongs. Even the Greeks and the Brits have their own awesome festivals to share, and for that matter, every other nation that travel Australia and settle there makes Australia one bit more colorful than it already is with their smörgåsbord festivities.

Of course, Australia too has its own distinct gamut of festivals, from the artistic (like the Adelaide Festival of Arts or the Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures), to something as petty as brick-throwing contests, which just goes to show that Aussies are the most fun-loving, outdoorsy people there ever was. For the Australian flavor of the Mardi Gras, there's even Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras every February, flocked by tourist from all over the world.

Even when the calendar isn't busy and bustling with festivals and parties, you'll find out soon enough that to travel Australia is to lose track of time and to plunge into the world.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Top Eight Must-Buys When You Travel Australia

When you travel Australia, you will definitely want to take a piece of it with you. Not just by way of photographs or video footage, but by buying some of the best souvenirs that will remind you of the Land Down Under back home. It's time we deviated though from the usual kangaroo-printed T-shirts, and bought something more rooted to the great Aussie spirit and culture.

Then you can say you didn't just travel Australia, but really embedded yourself in it.

Wines. Blame it on the great climate, the rich generous soil, the amazing grape varieties, and the discriminating and relentless expertise of Aussie winemakers. Indeed, Australia is now considered the New World in producing wines. Olive Grove Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir; the list goes on, each one of them exquisitely flavored for every unique situation. Australia may be largely a beer-drinking nation, but its wondrous wines are taking centerstage too.

Didgeridoos. The didgeridoo is a musical instrument of the Aboriginal peoples, consisting of a long hollow branch or stick that makes a deep drone when blown. The stick is made out of a log hollowed out by termites, cleaned, and then covered with beeswax or resin for the mouthpiece. The Aborigines used didgeridoos both for recreational and ceremonial purposes, often accompanied by a pair of clapsticks that establish a precise beat for the songs. The didgeridoo is indeed sound of the earth.

Moleskins. Your Outback safari apparel wouldn't be complete without a moleskin clothing. Moleskins are densely-woven 100% cotton cloth with a soft, velvety feel like that of a mole. Whereas before, moleskins were mostly worn by stockmen, shearers, and graziers, now suburban people have also embraced the warm cozy garments.

Merino wool. Australia's 101 million merino sheep yields the longest wool fibres in the world. The lusciousness of Merino wool is transformed into the most gorgeous of clothings including hand-knitted sweaters and jackets as well as beautiful soft blankets and bedding. When buying, always look for the Pure New Wool label to guarantee quality.

Akubra hats. When you're in sunnny Australia, it makes sense to arm yourself with sunscreen and one of these wide-brimmed rabbit fur felt hats called the Akubra. Akubra hats have been around since 1870's, and have become an inseparable apparel for the Outback. In fact, in Aussie culture, when you mean “hat”, it's almost always an akubra. Ask Indiana Jones.

Boomerangs. Another great legacy of the Aborigines dating some 10,000 years ago, the boomerang is a wooden implement used a weapon, for hunting, digging, music-making and ceremonial purposes. The most popular boomerang is the returning kind which if thrown properly, travels a curved path and returns to its point of origin. Great care is taken to select the branch or tree root to achieve the correct angle and grain for boomerangs. They are often finely engraved or painted with artwork.

RM Williams. When it comes to durability married with classic style, nothing beats RM Williams. Indeed, Reginald Murray Williams is the bush outfitter, with his premium range of leather boots and shoes, workclothes, moleskin clothing, belts, saddles, and many others. Every RM Williams product is invested with sense and strength, two essential virtues needed in the Outback, which inevitably have become fashionable among city-dwellers as well.

The Driza-Bone. Just like the Akubra hat, the Driza-Bone is inseparable in Australian history. The driza-bone is a raincoat made of waterproof oilskins, natural oil and cotton fibres that keeps its wearer “dry as a bone”. The Driza-Bone is usually knee or ankle length, and designed to keep a rider and saddle dry during long cattle musters in the bush. Driza-Bones are your best mates during the toughest of rainfalls in Australia.

Don't just travel Australia. Rather, explore, plunge, get involved. Then take its whole down-underness with you back home.

Travel Australia Now!

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to travel Australia and plunge into the the loveliest melting pot of all. Australia is home to most vibrant cities in the world, promising equal opportunities to everyone.

Australia Tourism

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