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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What to see Down Under - the wonderful land of OZ

Kata Tjuta or the Olgas is a rock formation ne...Image via Wikipedia

Australia as a country, and indeed as a continent, has a lot to offer a tourist. The sheer diversity of the country makes it one of the best places to visit, as there will be something which suits everyone. As Australia is so large, it lies in various different climate zones, which makes it a fantastic destination weather-wise. If it is rain season in the north, the chances are that the weather will be beautiful further south. All you need to do is to decide on the time of year to visit, pick an area or town and start exploring one of the world’s greatest countries. If you are looking for adventure, history, nature and sheer experience, these 5 places are not to be missed:

1. Uluru / Ayers rock: go on an amazing road trip through to Australia’s red centre and visit the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. This World Heritage site is a sacred place to the local Aboriginal people. Uluru, or Ayers rock as it is sometimes referred as, is the most famous of all the sights at this national park. It is a large sandstone rock formation, which appears to change colour as different light strikes during different times of the day. The Uluru is particularly beautiful at sunset and many tourists sit on their cars and watch the extraordinary transformation when day becomes night. There are plenty of small, informative walks to take and you will learn about the Aborigines and their dreamtime. Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas as they are often called, is another rock formation, 25 km west of Ularu. Not as famous but nevertheless a place to visit. The nearest town, Alice Springs 450 km north-east of Ularu, is a desert town not to be missed.

2. Tasmania: an often forgotten destination, but one of the most beautiful and serene places in the world. Take a ferry or a quick flight over to this island and prepare for a treat. Join in the fun in Port Arthur with the nightly ghost tours, go hiking around amazing Wineglass Bay or visit Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. This is a place to enjoy the nature and all that it has to offer. Head up to the north-eastern corner to watch penguins come out of the water for the night, look for platypuses or take a boat trip to the remote national parks. Perhaps you will be the one to see the Tassie devil.

3. Sydney: although not the capital of Australia, the city is the most popular destination of the country and the heart of Australia. There is plenty to do and see here and fantastic places are only a day-trip away. Stroll around the harbor and soak up the atmosphere or perhaps take a ferry cruise. If you feel adventurous, you can climb the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge. The famous Opera house is a major tourist attraction as is the Taronga Zoo. If the sun is shining, head out to popular Bondi Beach or take a day-trip to the Blue Mountains. In Sydney you will not be short of things to do.

4. Perth: Western Australia is very different to the rest of the country and the same can be said for Perth, as this little gem is nothing like the towns on the east coast. Perth has developed its own charm and it is very pleasant to stroll around this peaceful and laid-back main town on the west coast. Once you are in this part of the country, go down to Freemantle or take a day-trip out to Rottnest island. A little further afield, but well worth a stop-over, is famous Monkey Mia where you get up close and personal to a few dolphins. There are plenty of places where you can go whale watching, snorkeling or swimming with the manta rays. Perth makes for the ideal base and if you are planning on heading back over to the east coast, why not take the train? It is a real adventure where you go through the desert and stop over at one of the deserted towns along the way.

5. Kakadu National Park: the most talked about national park is Australia apart from Uluru, and one of the most interesting places to visit. To make the most of the park, go on a guided 3 or 4 day trip. Start by visiting the informative Bowali Visitor Centre and then stroll the Nourlangie Rock Art Site Walk. Here you will see ancient aboriginal rock paintings in its original environment. One of the things Kakadu is famous for is the alligators and crocodiles that live there, and you can go on alligator river cruises if you want to see them up close. Depending on the season, you also want to head over to see the Twin falls and the Jim Jim fall. These famous waterfalls only open after extensive crocodile searches are access depend on the level of rain during the rainy season.

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  1. Hi pal nice travel blog.... Mine is also a travel blog... shall we xchange links.... http://beautiful-tourist-places.blogspot.com

  2. Hi, thanks for liking my blog. I hope to write more soon / Travelbug