Australia Land Tours from Sydney
Before setting off on an Austrlalia vacation, learn something about its background and history. Is it an island or a continent? Australia is the sixth largest landmass in the world which explains in some ways the reasons why it is so diverse. There are 6 states and 2 territories, all offering a wide range of attractions and landscapes to entice the visitor. Consider the different terrains – tropical rainforests, red desert, coral reefs, snow-clad mountains, wetlands, winelands, national parks, bushland and so much more. On top of these are a number of cities with plentiful culture to compete with any other destination.
And bear in mind, Australia was once a penal colony – perhaps it was the convicts who gave the Aussies their unique humour! Australia’s nickname is “Oz” which dates back to the early 20th Century.
To list the reasons for taking an Australia vacation, it is necessary to include the beaches, nature and wildlife (think of the indigenous animals that exist there such as the Kangaroo, the Koala, the Wallaby, the Wombat and the Tasmanian Devil plus the Kookaburra and Emu birds), availability of numerous sporting activities including surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling, food and wine (some of the world’s best wines are to be found here), adventure activities and cultural pursuits.
It may be an island but it could be difficult to decide on where to go and how long to stay in order to experience the true Australia. Most trips to Australia will probably start in Sydney, the country’s largest city known as “The Harbour City” due to it being mainly built around Sydney Harbour. It has been recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful metropolises. Probably the two most iconic and outstanding and dominating landmarks are the huge Sydney Harbour Bridge (also known as the “Coat Hanger”) and the Sydney Opera House with its sail shaped structural design.
Sydney is situated on miles of ocean coastline and has a number of sandy surf beaches within easy reach of the centre. Some of the best known are Bondi Beach and Manly Beach and a visit to them should be included in your Australia vacation. A very popular activity is to take a harbour cruise which takes in not only the skyline of Sydney but also the attractive nearby suburbs spread out around the harbour. The city boasts several very beautiful and scenic parks such as The Domain which contains both the interesting Royal Botanical Gardens but also the resplendent Government House. Nearby are the National Art gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Sydney and the Australian Museum. Interesting neighbourhoods to stroll around are The Rocks with its Art Deco buildings and Paddington with its grand Victorian homes and its lively café and restaurant scene,
Worth a visit from Sydney are the Blue Mountains 2 hours from the city. They offer remarkable scenery and are a UNESCO world heritage site. The unique formations of dramatic scenery encompass steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and small villages. The mountains include the Three Sisters, awe-inspiring pinnacled peaks. There are 140 kilometres/75 miles of walking trails as well as a cable railway which is purported to be the steepest anywhere. Should one wish to spend time here, the best place would be Katoomba, a small town offering arty boutique shops. Another region not too far away from Sydney is the Hunter Valley, a wine producing region with over 120 wineries. The Hunter Valley Gardens here has 25 acres of colourful flowers.
Melbourne, Sydney’s “rival”, is a sophisticated metropolis and should be included on all Australia vacations. It is the most European of Australia’s cities and is its cultural capital. Its unique character includes its streetcars and its Victorian era architecture. Melbourne offers excellent shopping and cultural sites such as art galleries and museums. It has colourful neighbourhoods such as Fitzroy and St. Kilda, the latter a beach resort as well as a trendy suburb. Side trips from Melbourne can be to Phillip Island to watch the Penguin activity at sunset and the scenic Great Ocean Road including the unique rock formation of the Twelve Apostles.
Adelaide is an easy going, relaxed and garden-like city, home to the biannual Arts Festival and is a wonderful centre from which to visit the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine districts, Kangaroo Island with its abundance of wildlife and Cleland Conservation Park where you can get up close to many of the country’s indigenous animals.
Canberra, the serene unhurried and purpose-built and planned capital, is located around the attractive artificial Lake Burley Griffin. Some of the major landmarks are the old Parliament House, the traditionally designed Parliament Building and the Australian War Memorial. Canberra has a several interesting art galleries and museums.