Australia is the largest country in Oceania. It covers an entire continent in the Southern Hemisphere and is washed by three oceans — the Indian, the Atlantic, and the Pacific Oceans. People here do not live upside-down as our ancestors once imagined. But the monolith of Uluru, bloody red in the rays of the setting sun; the picturesque scenery of the Great Ocean Road; the azure of the sea surface and the foam crashing upon the cliff of the Twelve Apostles; the fantastic mix of snow-white beaches, dry bushes, lush colors of the Barrier Reef, tropical forests and lifeless deserts definitely blow the minds of every tourist. Aboriginal traditions, colonial culture, and modern technology blend seamlessly together here.
Why is Australia called the Land of Oz?
Australians don't like long words, so they often shorten complex names. So, Australia is short for Aussie, and that's how we have got the Oz. And the city of Brisbane sounds like Brissy.
A spot on a map and the largest cities in Australia
Where to go and what to see
Canberra is the capital of Australia. It doesn't have its own international airport, so many tourists don't even come here. They are pretty much satisfied with Sydney and Melbourne. However, they make a huge mistake, as Canberra is the embodiment of Australia's true spirit. It's a peaceful, measured, green city, where every street is designed in detail. Canberra's main task is to govern the country fairly. That's why there are no toxic industries, no bustling business quarters, and no indefatigable resorts. First of all, it's worth visiting the Parliament Building buried in luxurious gardens, the Australian National Gallery, the Botanical Garden which occupies 50 hectares and displays unique species of plants, the Australian War Memorial and Black Mountain, which offers a great panoramic view of the city.
Sydney is the business center and financial capital of Australia. It seems like the postcards come alive here: the Harbour Bridge floating over the harbor, the petals of the Sydney Opera House, the sparkling wheeled ferries and the beautiful surfers of Bondi Beach. The Rocks district in Sydney literally marks the beginning of a new history in Australia. Here you can eat delicious dinners and simply stroll the streets laid down by the first colonizers; try on the bohemian mood in modern museums and art galleries of the Darling Harbour district; relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city in the Royal Botanic Gardens; watch hilarious sea lions performing in Taronga Zoo and attend an organ concert in St. Mary's Cathedral.
Melbourne is Australia's cultural and sports center, located on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. It has been recognized as the most comfortable city to live in and deserves this status. Believe us, you don't want to leave a kind, clean, intelligent Melbourne. Here you can admire the mystical glow of thousands of mirror balls during the White Night, bet on the Melbourne Cup Carnival and laugh from the heart at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. You can also check out the colorful graffiti at the Rutledge Lane open-air gallery, drink cocktails at the bars on Chapel Street and support your favorite on Australia's Formula 1 Grand Prix tour.
Brisbane is the largest city on the east coast. Despite its charm, the state capital of Queensland has a transit function. The local airport hosts many local and international airlines, so tourists usually stay in Brisbane waiting for a flight or spend a day or two before heading to the Gold Coast. But since you are here, do not waste your time in a hotel. Visit the largest koala sanctuary in the world called "Lone Pine", Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Brisbane Riverfront, an old windmill and make a lap on the Ferris wheel in the South Bank Parklands. If you have some extra time, take a day trip to the paradise Fraser Island and the rainforests of Lamington National Park.
Adelaide is a green oasis of Australia. The city floats in the parks of the Lofty and Montefiore hills, fragrant with the flowers of the Wittunga Botanic Gardens, refreshes with the full-flowing waterfalls of Morialta Conservation Park and spins your head with the best wineries in the country. Here you will find the South Australian Museum, the most visited one in the country. Its unique exhibition reveals the continent's history and culture. It is also worth visiting the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute where you'll learn about Australia's Aboriginal traditions. If you're bored of bohemian life, take a ferry to Kangaroo Island. Here you can spot long-legged marsupials in the wild, as well as New Zealand seals, koalas, and sea lions.
Why should you come to Australia?
The Land of Oz offers many leisure options. If you are looking for lazy beach holiday resorts, welcome to the Golden Coast or the wild beaches of the Fraser, Bruny and Trinity Islands. The Great Barrier Reef is a true Mecca for divers. Here you can admire underwater coral castles, colorful fish, sharks, whales, and huge turtles all year round. The lands of Australia are also full of amazing places. On a safari tour, you can visit the red Macdonnell Ranges, Barramundi Gorge, and hot springs, see blood-thirsty crocodiles in the Crocodylus Park, kangaroos and black-footed wallabies cutting through the desert. And how can you not surf in a country where it is almost a national sport! Here you'll find soft waves on Long Reef Beach for beginners and closed tubes on South Curl-Curl Beach for kamikaze surfing. And for dessert, Australia offers you the snowy slopes of the Great Dividing Range, where you'll find the Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Falls Creek, and Buller ski resorts.
Flora and Fauna of Australia
Australia's flora and fauna have been forming in isolation from other continents for a long period. So the continent is populated by more than 75% of endemic plants and animals. Teddy-like pandas, perky kangaroos, funny platypus and wombats, long-legged emu ostriches, loud cockatoos, Tasmanian devil, and Dingo wild dog — you won't find all these animals on other continents except for zoos. Australia's plant world is also rich in unique species: dense eucalyptus groves, slender bamboo forests, giant curry and jarrah trees, acacia that exhale fragrance along the entire northern coast, screwpine and much, much more.
What should you mind before going to Australia?
- Australia's airports will meet you with strict customs controls: medications must be prescribed by a doctor, cigarettes must not exceed 50 pieces per passenger, and under no circumstances should you bring food with you. Animals and plants (yes, even a small piece of coral) are not allowed to leave Australia.
- It's easy to get heatstroke in Australia. So don't forget about hats, sunglasses, and cream with high SPF levels.
- Don't forget to put an adapter in your suitcase: Australia uses Type I receptacles for plugs with three flat pins.
- Smoking in public places is strictly prohibited but you can bring your alcoholic beverages to almost all cafes and restaurants.
- Choose a beach for swimming responsibly. You can easily encounter a shark and crocodiles on a wild coast. On land, tourists are also in danger. So, it is better not to tease kangaroos, Dingo dogs, and duckbills. Walk on the grass only in shoes to protect your foot from an accidental sting of a scorpion, spider or centipede.
- Sale of alcoholic drinks is limited in time: you can get ready for a party from Monday to Saturday from 17:00 to 00:00.
- Australians are very passionate about their continent. This means that any resident will report you to the appropriate authorities if you throw garbage past the bin, smoke in an inappropriate place, harm an animal or do any other illegal activity.
Cities in Australia
Australia is a cocktail of colonial and modern architecture, dead deserts and mangroves, Aboriginal traditions and progressive ideas. The uniqueness of this continental state and its inimitable flora and fauna evoke an unbelievable burst of emotions.