Wonders in the Land of Oz
By M Witt
A holiday itinerary to Down Under (that's Australia, mate) that takes in the major cities will mean advanced planning on your part, especially if you are seeking budget rates at hotels.
Be it in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth or Darwin, smart budget travellers will first check out travel and tourism websites for the right information, make their bookings before flying off to the Land of Oz.
There are a number of such holiday websites on the Internet for you to consider and make price comparisons and other information you may need before your trip.
Cheaperthanhotels.com.au is one such website that have the information if you're looking for cheap accomodation in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Darwin. They offer advance discount contract rates, so you save money and secure your hotel reservations. So how about an Australian adventure that will remain as fond memories?
The Australian continent offers a remarkable landscape. If you are travelling to see some of the great Australian tourist locations you will not be disappointed.
The Gold Coast
The Great Barrier Reef is one location you will not want to miss. When you think of lazy holidays on sunny beaches, Queensland's regions such as the Gold Coast - a holiday spot of wonderful contrasts - and Whitsundays come to mind. Surfers' Paradise is a favourite for many who are looking for an enjoyable time on its famous beach. In these places you will find the perfect clime and seaside towns that give you the experience of relaxed Australian culture at its best.
Known as the Sunshine State, Queensland offers a rich, diverse experience for vacation trippers. From pristine beaches to lush rainforest wonderlands, you can consider it an ultimate holiday destination. The state capital Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia.
New South Wales
NSW is Australia’s most diverse state. The state capital, Sydney, is the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city and it boasts the world famous Opera House which is a sight to behold. It is one of five World Heritage sites. The vibrancy of Sydney with its spectacular beauty will stretch your imagination. From shopping to dining and other activities catering to all your desires will leave you breathless in Sydney.
Like the other Australian states, NSW can boast its own sparkling beaches stretching from north to south, a vast, colourful outback, Australia’s highest mountain offering every type of snow sport, and meandering waterways.
Yarra River, Melbourne
In size Victoria is a small state but it has some of the best sightseeing and most fascinating places in the country. There are surprises everywhere. Melbourne, the state capital, is a great place for those who love food and wine - a paradise for the connoisseur. It is an exciting, multi-cultural city with a rich heritage and culture. There are great sporting, fashion and cultural events. Be the adventurous type and discover the eclectic boutiques in the city.
Discover the beauty and diversity of Victoria's regions - From towering rainforests, ski resorts and endless golden bays, to craggy ocean cliffs, rolling green hills and red sandy deserts. Victoria was the main attraction for thousands of gold prospectors in the mid-19th century because of its goldfields, and today the gold mining towns are modern cities.
Shades of autumn - Adelaide Hills
The state is wine country. South Australia carries on the tradition of more 160 years of winemaking that began in 1841 when the first vintage was recorded in the Adelaide Hills.
From Shiraz in the Barossa, Riesling in the Clare Valley to the big reds of the Coonawarra, it's a great sparkling journey across some of the most famous wine regions in the world. Adelaide itself is a vibrant southern city with great cultural events going on and shopping buffs will not be short of places to go.
One of the best places to be is Kangaroo Island which is just a "stone's throw away" from the coast of South Australia. The island is seven times the size of Singapore. This unique place is a microcosm of different landscapes and environments, with desert dunes, stunning beaches, forests, and farmlands.
Kangaroo Island was voted top tourism and environment island in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine for its natural attractions and sensitivity to the environment.
For the authentic Australian experience visit Perth, Australia's western gateway and the capital of Western Australia. It's a great place to start your holiday. Perth City has an easygoing lifestyle. Experience the beauty of Swan River and the inner-city parks and get that easy, peaceful feeling like having a cold beer on a sunny afternoon at an open-air pub.
In WA, as in all the other states, fantastic beaches abound and amazing marine adventures are just waiting for you. For entertainment and other activities, there's plenty of nightlife, bustling markets, inner-city parks and outdoor dining.
Western Australia's history is tied to the ocean. It is a land of great contrasts. The state boasts a rugged and beautiful Outback - from the vast open Nullarbor plains to the colourful marine wonderland of Ningaloo Reef. It's the best of both worlds.
Swan River with Perth's skyline in the background
Tasmania is a green island of wild, mountainous and beautiful landscapes, separated from mainland Australia by the 240 kilometres (150 miles) stretch of Bass Strait. Hobart, its capital, enjoys a busy arts scene, thanks to its creative arts community. The city folks are friendly displaying a relaxed lifestyle. Settled in 1804, the town grew rapidly as the clearing house for British and Irish convicts. Its place on the Derwent River became the perfect protected deepwater harbour, and now every December and January it welcomes weary and exultant contenders from the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
The Northern Territory is a land that is full of surprises - from the lush rainforests of Kakadu and Katherine to the arid red plains of the Red Centre in Alice Springs and the great rock, Uluru (Ayers Rock). Darwin, the state capital, enjoys influences that are as much Asian as they are western with dozens of nationalities sharing an easy-going lifestyle.
The Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Northern Territory
The state is one of the most sparsely populated regions, spanning more than 1.4 million square kilometres from the centre to the northerly coast of the Australian continent. It's a place where ancient woodlands meet sandy beaches and escarpments tower above lush billabongs. If you are a photography buff, you will not want to miss some great shots while watching the sunsets and the storms that are something of a local pastime.
Cool time at the Lichfield National Park, Northern Territory