australia-at-a-glance

Highlights

  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Bondi Beach
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Whitsunday Islands
  • Yarra and Barossa Valleys
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • Australia Zoo
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Fraser Island

You can do anything in Australia… it’s an island, a country and a continent! Deserts, coral reefs, tall forests, beaches, mountains, multicultural cities… You shouldn’t ask yourself what you CAN do on a trip to Australia, you should ask yourself what you really HAVE to do, because you won’t sadly be able to do it all. Unless you move there…

Why not snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef? It’s the world’s largest coral reef! It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space!

Taste some of the best wines in the world in the Barossa Valley, a major wine-producing region in Australia. Feel the warm sunrays on your skin, taste an incredible shiraz, make some new friends … Or why not see the region from a helicopter or even better, a hot balloon?

I know: you want to see the outback! You have a picture in your head of deserted land, Ayers Rock (also known as Uluru), the sandstone formation in the middle of the bushes that turns red at dawn and dusk, and that is higher than the Eiffel Tower. You’re right! It is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks. It is breathtaking! The best place to meditate about our tiny presence in the universe! I would also recommend Purnululu National Park, with its rugged web of gullies, cliffs, gorges, domes and ridges that holds many Aboriginal art and burial sites within extraordinary landforms.

Animal lover? Australia is THE destination for you! Since there are so many unique animals that you cannot find anywhere else! Kangaroos, koalas (my favourite), platypuses… to name a few!

You are an adrenaline junkie, borderline suicidal? Australia is the country with the most dangerous animals on earth: snakes (the 10 most venomous snakes in the world all live in Australia), spiders, the box jelly fish, salt water crocodiles, killer ants, sharks, the cassowary… even the snail is dangerous down under! But ‘don’t worry about it’, told me my hostel attendant: ‘if you get bit, we have antivenin’!! That’s our way of saying you should come visit that amazing country anyway!

If you’re still too scared, go to safe place: the country’s most recognisable icon, Sydney’s Opera House. You will enjoy a concert, dance or theatrical performance, and then you will have one of the best view of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. Shopping, fine dining, clubbing… all within a walking distance.

Ok, you just want to relax and have fun! Head to Byron Bay for superb beaches and New-Age awakenings. Then continue north to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast for the parties and fantastic surf. The east coast is perfect for a road trip! Have I mentioned the picture perfect postcards that are the beaches of Fraser Island or the ones on Whitsunday Islands? Or at Cape Tribulation? OMG! You will postpone your flight back home! This is paradise on earth!

If a campervan road trip is what you’re looking for, drive the Great Ocean Road in southwest Victoria. If you can’t stop at the end of that 273km, then continue all around the country! Why not?!

You prefer the unusual? Did you know that it gets so hot in South Australia mining town of Coober Pedy that almost everyone lives underground. People have dug homes, churches and even motels into the dirt. Golf is a popular sport, but to escape the heat, you would play it at night, above the ground, with glowing balls!

I have to admit that if I could, I would move to Australia. That’s how much I fell in love with that country when I visited. People are friendly, nature is amazing, wine is incredible… you will understand when you’ll go! And this trip has only been possible because of my dear friend Phil, who helped me a lot since I never had traveled before! Thank you so much Phil!!

Here’s the itinerary of my 25 days down under… there were so many possibilities, but I had to choose. So will you!

SAMPLE ITINERARY

  • Day 1 to 4: Visit of Sydney’s Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the well renowned Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Sea Life Aquarium, the Rocks, Circular Quay where men were playing didgeridoo… so exotic!
  • Day 5 to 7: We rent a car and drive north to Treatchery Camp (Seal Rocks, New South Wales), where we camp, surf and barbecue… Aussie style!
  • Day 8 to 10: We continue our trip north to Byron Bay, then we go to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, to tan our pale skin, shop and have fun!
  • Day 11 to 12: We visit Brisbane, take a cruise on the river and shop
  • Day 13 to 15: We head to the Sunshine Coast, visit Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s zoo), where I take a koala in my arms (I was so excited); then we go to Noosa Heads with its fabulous beaches
  • Day 16 to 18: We go up to Airlie Beach where we take a cruise to see the Great Barrier Reef. Wow!!! It is amazing! (I wish we stayed a little longer to see the Whitsunday islands)
  • Day 19 to 20: We go back down south to Coolum Beach, where the waves are huge; then we head to Caloudra and spend the day at Kings Beach and get my picture taken with a hot surfer guy
  • Day 21 to 22: We make our way back to Sydney, but stop at Coffs Harbour; the beach is (again!) beautiful
  • Day 23 to 25: We drive back to Sydney, visit the Royal Botanical Garden, perfect my tan at Bondi Beach and then fly back home. That’s an incredible journey!
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