Quick Guide to Australia: Red outback sands, colourful reefs and modern cities

2019-06-13 22:00
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Warm morning light on high-rise towers in Melbourn

(Photo: Warm morning light on high-rise towers in Melbourne CBD above Princes bridge across Yarra river, iStock)

Our neighbours in the global south truly do live in a exhilarating, wild and beautiful land. From the red sands of the outback reminiscent of Mars to the multi-chromatic reefs along the coast, it is a story of contrast and extremes. 

These wild areas are offset by incredibly modern, cosmopolitan and well-developed cities where as much as 89% of the population resides. With that many people staying in the cities it is no surprise that cities from Perth to Sydney offer up some of the most fantastic experiences in this post-convict, post-gold-rush modern country. 

The wild areas of the country also offer the intrepid traveller plenty of unique experiences and encounters to enjoy. Due to its geographical isolation, many species here evolved to be unique and indigenous to the continent. From kangaroos to wombats and wallabies, dingoes and beyond - there are plenty of great experiences to be had in one of the cities or out of it. 

Just make sure to check your attitude at the door of that Melbourne rooftop speakeasy and empty your boots of spiders in the Outback and everything should be good mate.  

6 Guide essentials + Things you should know:

  • 1. Visa requirement – Visa required for South African passport holders. Find info here.  
  • 2. Currency - Australian Dollar
  • 3. Key Airport hub - Sydney Airport
  • 4. Peak Season - The summer months from December to February
  • 5. Language - English is the national language
  • 6. Time-zone - Australia has three main time zones: Australian Eastern, Central and Western Standard Time. Sydney is on AEST, which is GMT/UCT plus 10 hours.

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Top Cities:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide
  • Perth

SEE: 6 Memorable things to do in Sydney

Top Sights:

  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • The Great Ocean Road
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Sydney Harbour
  • Bondi Beach

SEE: Australia offers cash for Great Barrier Reef rescue ideas

What to do:

  • Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Take a swim at one of Sydney's beaches
  • See, snorkel, dive or fly over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit the Daintree Rainforest

PICS: These lakes are tickled pink Down Under

What to eat:

  • Tasmanian scallops
  • Bush tucker
  • Kangaroo fillets
  • Vegemite
  • Lamingtons

WATCH: The Top 5 Best Wine Regions In Australia

Destination drawcard:

Kangaroos, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. All itinerary-firsts when heading to Australia. But there is so much more to land down under.

  • Rich history
  • Modern development and cosmopolitan cities
  • Landscapes
  • Culture highlight
  • Outdoor lifestyle
  • Animals and plants

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