Enjoy the Land Down Under! As an Australia Travel Specialist, Lisa has traveled all over Australia numerous times and, as an avid diver, she has gone SCUBA diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Her first-hand knowledge and expertise will ensure that planning your Australian adventure will be fun and exciting, with little hassle or effort on your part.
The country of Australia, commonly referred to as The Land Down Under, is its own continent. So you can imagine there is a lot to experience here.
Sydney is where most visitors choose to start their vacation. Upon arrival you may recognize the iconic Sydney Opera House where musical performances still take place. The Harbor Bridge is another landmark. You can even climb it during the day or at night.
Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth?
It’s true! This marvelous example of biodiversity lies as little as 10 miles off the coast of Australia in some spots. It is the world’s largest coral reef system with 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea. It is environmentally protected to ensure marine life is healthy so that one can continue to see whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles and a whole host of colorful tropical fish swimming in these waters. You can even do what’s called a reef sleep, where you spend the night on a boat over the Great Barrier Reef.
Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats, Oh My!
It’s not just about what’s in the water. The animal life on land is unique too! Kangaroos are perhaps the most well-known of all Australian creatures. But this continent is home to a range of other fantastic land animals such as Tasmanian devils, wallabies, wombats and cassowary birds.
Kangaroo Island, just southwest of Adelaide, is noted for its impressive variety of native wildlife. Nearly half of the Island remains uncleared of native vegetation, providing a sanctuary for Australian Sea Lions, Short-beaked Echidnas, kangaroos and many other animals. The local wildlife is so unique the island is often referred to as Australia’s Galapagos.
Did you know that Australia is home to seals and sea lions too?
There are 10 species of seals and sea lions found in Australian waters. Three species of seal and sea lion are currently listed as threatened by the Australian Government so they take the protection of these animals seriously. Seal Bay Conservation Park on Kangaroo Island is a sanctuary for over 1,000 Australian sea lions. Visitors to the park can enter the seal colony and take guided tours.
Cultural Tours with the Aborigines & the Australian Old West
Come for the wildlife, stay for the culture. Australia’s indigenous people, the Aborigines, can trace back their culture 50,000 years. Aborigines have survived harsh desert conditions and therefore have a detailed knowledge of the plants, animals and water sources available in the outback. For the traveler who wishes to gain an insight into their culture there are a number of tours that can be arranged in conjunction with Aboriginal communities.
If the Old West of the United States is a time period that fascinates you, then Australia might have America beat. Western Australia occupies the entire western third of the country. In nineteenth century, the discovery of gold in Western Australia caused large influxes of prospectors and, consequently, classic gold rushes just like what the United States experienced.
Australian Opal Mining Tours
Australia has opal mines too. The mining town of Coober Pedy is located half way between Adelaide and Alice Springs. If you’re driving up to Alice Springs you’ll probably stop here. Don’t rush because this town is truly unique. Everything here is underground: lots of the shops, the hotels, a swimming pool, the churches, there is even underground camping. Visit the Old Timers Mine from 1916 with valuable opal deposits still lodged in the cave walls.
Australia Vacation & Travel FAQs
Yes, you will need a VISA even though you hold a U.S. passport. Lisa Hoppe Travel Consulting can assist you with obtaining a VISA if you booked your trip with us. Otherwise there are many reputable VISA processing agencies that can assist you with getting an Australian VISA. It’s called an ETA and is entirely electronic. There’s no need to print anything out. Just show up at the airport and they’ll look you up in their computer by scanning your passport.
The north is tropical and the south is cooler. To most travelers, the best weather is during the Spring and Fall seasons. If you are looking for cool temperatures then consider travel during their winter season. Australia’s seasons are as follows:
Spring: September – November (lovely)
Summer: December – February (hot)
Autumn: March – May (lovely)
Winter: June – August (cool, but not really cold)
It’s huge! Unless you are going to spend 6 months exploring, you will not get to see it all. That’s what multiple vacations are for. To demonstrate just how large this country is please take this into consideration; It takes 6 hours to drive from Sydney to Melbourne, a flight from the east coast to the west coast is 5.5 hours long and leisurely road tripping from Cairns to Brisbane can take up at least 3 days.
Yes, sometimes it snows. Snow is found primarily in the southern part of the country during their winter months. The regions of New South Wales and Victoria frequently see snow during this time. There’s even ski resorts and winter activities like snowshoeing.
No, you do not. However, if you have traveled from a country where yellow fever is found, you’ll need to show proof of vaccination.
Think Australia is too big to drive around?
Someone else had the same idea. That’s how The Ghan was born. This famous train takes you across Australia in comfort and style. You can ride it from Adelaide to Darwin, from Darwin to Alice Springs or from Adelaide to Alice Springs. Each route is also available in reverse.
Head down to the island of Tasmania where European influence is evident in quaint cottages and colonial mansions. There are many fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture. Around the harbor of the capital city of Hobart the area is lively and colorful. Disused warehouses have been converted into dockside cafes, artist studios and restaurants. Take a drive up to Mount Wellington where you can have a bird’s eye view of the whole surrounding area.
Not sure where to start with this great country?
Lisa happens to be an Aussie Travel Specialist. Let her plan your next great getaway to Australia with ease!