Australia, a country and continent of its own, is surrounded by the Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Its major cities–Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide–sit along the coastlines. Beyond its cosmopolitan areas, Australia is endowed with natural attractions. The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is in Queensland. Another is Uluru, the world’s largest monolith, in the Red Centre.
While most tourists see Australia as a surfer’s paradise, there are actually periods of snow, heavy rain, and extreme heat across the wide land throughout the year.
WHEN TO VISIT
The four seasons in Australia give travellers opportunities to explore more of the country. From September to November, Spring and its favourable weather is at its peak. Natural attractions such as rainforests and national parks are full of colours. The scorching heat of the sun blazes in December and lasts until February. At this point, people hit Sydney’s Bondi beach or head down to Tasmania.
From March to May, Autumn transforms the usual destinations into charming attractions. Plenty of food and wine festivals are on schedule amid the spectacular landscapes. The low season from June to August is the best time to ski in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory.
The major Australian cities are along coastal areas, and most of them are in the eastern regions of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Interstate flights are the fastest way to get from one city to another since the island is so extensive. Transportation within the regions entail train and bus rides. For tourists wanting to discover the Outback, it’s advisable to go with a group because these are vast desert lands; only a radio frequency receiver can work well in the rough conditions. Finally, travelling to the beautiful island of Tasmania is a short ferry ride away.
There’s no shortage of great food in Australia, contrary to what some people might say. The menu doesn’t only have fish and chips, steaks, barbecues, but a wider variety of culinary delights. The contemporary Australian cuisine has multicultural influences and the use of high-quality ingredients is a standard. There are only a few street foods because of strict food handling laws.
High on the must-try list are meat pie, grilled kangaroo, and pavlova, a popular dessert. When it comes to beverages, Australia has some of the best vineyards and wineries in the world. And since most of the cities are along the coast, fresh seafood is always part of the menu.
Australia has a slew of festivals enough to keep an entire month busy. Most of them are modern celebrations like Vivid Sydney and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. In the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, visitors have four days to indulge in the food and wine of Western Australia. As for ancient celebrations, the Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart has rituals and fire-burning ceremonies in time for winter.