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.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Former Continent of Prisoners now the Land of Dreams?

It is safe to assume that Australia is one of the most sought after countries to live in in the world today. For almost 40,000 years, people have been migrating to Australia in search of a better future, life and lifestyle with their own families. And as of today, Australia has never failed these immigrants yet, thus the end result is more and more people are getting interested in the Land Down Under and the promises it offer.

Australia is now prospering, thanks to its great natural wonders and the steps they do to conserve everything they have. Now people are not only thinking of Australia as a tourist destination but also the place where they'd want to have their children grow up and spend the rest of their retirement years on. However, it has never been like this, in fact Australia was not known to the Western world in the 17th Century, it did exist in late medieval European logic and mythology: a "Great Southern Land", or Terra Australis, was thought necessary to balance the weight of the northern landmasses of Europe and Asia. Terra Australis often appeared on early European maps as a large, globe-shaped mass in about its correct location, although no actual discoveries were recorded by Europeans until much later. Indeed, the European exploration of Australia took more than three centuries to complete; thus, what is often considered the oldest continent, geologically, was the last to be discovered and colonized by Europeans.

During those times, Australia have never been attractive for Europeans to settle in most probably due to its location on the south. However, Great Britain made a very fine use of the continent by pinpointing the strategic and socio-economic strengths that it represents. Control of the continent would provide a base for British naval and merchant power in the eastern seas, supporting Great Britain’s growing commercial interests in the Pacific and east Asia. It also offered a solution to the problem of overcrowded domestic prisons. Food shortages, a harsh penal code, and the social upheaval caused by rapid industrialization and urbanization had led to a sharp rise in crime and the prison population. Great Britain’s defeat in the American War of Independence meant that it could no longer relieve the pressure on prisons by shipping convicts to America.

In 1786 the British government announced its intention to establish a penal settlement at Botany Bay, on the south-east coast of New South Wales. Mindful of British economic interests and keen as always to save public expenditure, the government planned that Botany Bay would become a self-financing colony through the development of its economy by convict labour. Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy was made commander of the expedition. He was to take possession of the whole of Australia, including Tasmania and islands off the east coast, east of the 135th meridian, and given near absolute powers over the territory as governor.

One would agree if you say that Australia has been through the worst things that could ever happen to any country, but then again, look at where they are standing now, look at how proud they are with their heritage and where exactly they cam from. The pride in their heritage and the ways they do to preserve it is but one of the most charming traits that Australia have that makes them very viable for people with big hopes, dreams and aspirations for their future but would never want to leave their past way too behind them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Australia: The Melting Pot to Dive Into

If there's one thing that CAN'T be said about living in Australia despite its being an island, (okay, a continent too)—it’s that no man is an island.

Pardon the political incorrectness for a moment. But this is really what's nice about Australia. Australia is probably one of the sweetest melting pots in the world, a point of convergence for cultures and peoples who wish to live harmoniously. Just go out on any busy market street or any of the teeming, warm beaches, and you'll see what we mean. People from all over the world being friends with everyone else, all differences banished. It's as if everyone just recently got washed ashore with a mission to spread goodwill. Australian immigration is plainly the loveliest there is. Aussies welcome their visitors as if they’ve been waiting for each other the whole time.

Australia is indeed a free country where everyone gets equal opportunity. Lebanese mingling with Brits, Chinese mingling with Italians, Aborigines hanging out with Germans, New Zealanders laugh with Filipinos: it’s a welcome clash of culture. Interestingly, Australia has one of the lowest population density of any country in the world. We’re talking 2 people per square kilometer here.

But so what? Petty statistics isn’t going to stop Aussies and immigrants alike from going over their fences just to holler “G’day, mate!” And oh yeah, have we mentioned Australia, with almost no murder rate, is one of the safest places in the world?

Australian Outback: The Last Frontier

The air is fierce and enjoyably biting, the dust is alive under the wheels of your 4WD, and the vista of beautiful, untamed nature shrieks on your face. Welcome to Australia's outback. Here, at the Back of Beyond. The limitless frontier. The other extreme of Australia, untouched by skycrapers and city lights. This is the amazing outback, where the sky is wild, the grasses breakdance in a fever, kangaroos hop in wild abandon, and the ground fizzles like a magic carpet.

Pardon the poetic license. But to explore the Australian outback is to involve yourself in poetry. And there is no other way to take it all in but with awe. It's a communion with nature, it's a plunge into freedom.

Pay homage to the Australian bustard, the emus, and camels, and other beasts in their own mecca. At sunset, watch mountain rocks glow like coal, and then smell the secrets of the eucalyptus trees. At nighttime, plop on the grass with your safari-mates, listen to the crackling of the campfire, and sleep under the ballad of the stars. Dust storms, desert winds, mudtraps, and all kinds of danger lurk, but they're all worth it. The Australian outback is vast but it is never lonely.

So what are you waiting for? We dare you to charge your way into the outback. Let the planet tell you its tale firsthand. And carve your own tracks in this unknown territory like a true, fearless aborigine.

Australia Tourism

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