There is much to see in Australia that you can't see easily in its natural setting anywhere else:
Australian flora and fauna is unique to the island continent, the result of having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Amongst Australian animals are a large group of marsupials (mammals with a pouch) and monotremes (mammals that lay eggs). Just some of the animal icons of Australia are the kangaroo (national symbol) and the koala. A visit to Australia would not be complete without taking the chance to see some of these animals in their natural environment.
Wildlife parks and zoos
In the wild
- Kangaroos and wallabies reside in national parks all around the country. You won't see any kangaroos hopping down the street in Central Sydney, but they are abundant not too far from the centre of the nation's capital
- Wombats and Echidna are also common, but harder to find due to their camouflage and tunnelling. See lots of Echnida on Kangaroo Island.
- Koalas are present is forests around Australia, but are very notoriously hard to spot, and walking around looking upwards into the boughs of trees will usually send you sprawling over a tree root. Best seen during the day, there is a thriving and friendly population on Raymond Island near Paynesville in Victoria. You have a good chance on Otway Coast, on the Great Ocean Road, or even in the National Park walk near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
- Emu are more common in central Australia. You will certainly see some if you venture to the outback national park at Currawinya
- Platypus are found in reedy flowing creeks with soft river banks in Victoria and Southern New South Wales - seen at dusk and dawn - you have to have a bit of luck to see one. Try the platypus reserves in Bombala or Delegate in New South Wales, or in Emu Creek at Skipton just out of Ballarat.
Australia has many landmarks, famous the world over. From Uluru in the red centre, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.
Sport is an integral part of the Australian culture from the capital cities to country towns. The majority of games are played over the weekend period (from Friday night to Monday night).
In the winter in Victoria Aussie Rules (Australian Football) is more than just a sport, it is a way of life. Catch a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The national competition has teams from Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth as well.
In summer, international cricket is played between Australia and at least two touring sides. The games rotate around all the capital cities. To experience the traditional game catch the New Year's test match at the Sydney cricket ground played for 5 days starting from the 2nd of January, or the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. Or for a more lively entertaining form, that only takes a few hours, try a twenty-twenty match. The final form is "One Day" Cricket, international matches generally start at 1PM and finish at 10 or 11PM (a "Day-Nighter"), with most domestic and occasional international matches played from 11AM to 6PM. The Australia Day One Day International is held in Adelaide every January 26th.
The Australian Open, one of the tennis Grand Slams, is played annually in Melbourne. Or the Medibank International in Sydney Olympic Park in January.
Catch a rugby union Super-14 game, with teams playing from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Perth during late Summer/Autumn. The Australian national team, the Wallabies, also host international teams during winter, including New Zealand and South Africa for the Tri-Nations tournament.
Rugby League is a winter game played mainly in New South Wales and Queensland, with the National Rugby League competition. Teams include Melbourne in Victoria, Brisbane, North Queensland and the Gold Coast in Queensland, a team from New Zealand, with the rest of the teams coming from suburban areas in Sydney, and some in regional areas of New South Wales such as Newcastle and Canberra.
- The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are the beachside and national park playgrounds, north and south of Brisbane.
- The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland, easily accessible from Cairns, and even as far south as 1770
- Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), are iconic rock formations located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory. (also known as Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), are iconic rock formations located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory.
- Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
- The Great Ocean Road is a spectacular coastal drive in Victoria past many scenic icons including the 12 Apostles.
- The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region in New South Wales, including The Three Sisters.
- Kings Canyon a mighty chasm reaching a depth of 270 metres in Watarrka National Park, Red Centre. , a mighty chasm reaching a depth of 270 metres in Watarrka National Park, Red Centre.
- The amazing Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine.