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Venture down under, and you’ll discover that Australia is so much more than a sun-drenched convict island.From diverse landscapes to a profound Indigenous cultural history, unique native animals and friendly locals this great southern land needs no introduction, but in case you need a bit more incentive to fly halfway around the world here are 16 reasons why you need to visit Australia at least once in your lifetime.
Visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism stretching 344,400 square kilometres – roughly the size of 70 million football fields. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the reef comprises 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. The Great Barrier Reef is home to 1,500 different species of fish as well as mammals, reptiles, and birds which collectively form one of the most intricate ecosystems in the world.
For six years in a row, the prestigious Economist Intelligence Unit’s Liveability Index has rated Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city, scoring highly in education, health care, infrastructure, research and development, tourism, entertainment and sport. Melbourne is also known as a leading financial city in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s culture and sporting capital and is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature.
Australia’s geographical isolation has allowed for some fascinating feats of animal evolution and the best part is that you don’t even have to visit a zoo to see these unique native creatures. Kangaroos and emus are commonly seen in the outback, koalas are found in eucalyptus trees and on Rottnest Island, you can meet the meet the smiling quokka. From elusive marsupials to reptiles and oceans teaming with sea life Australia is paradise for animal lovers.
The Indigenous Civilization of Australia is the oldest continuous culture in the world, dating back between 61,000 and 52,000 years ago. Central to Aboriginal ceremonies and traditions is the spiritual connection to the land and the belief of the Dreamtime. Today, Ingenious Culture is preserved through sacred sites, music and art and there are a number of tours and experiences which provide an insight into Aboriginal history.
Located in Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour is a postcard perfect waterway brimming with life. Home to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House the picturesque harbour is the starting point for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. For the best views of the harbour catch a ferry from Circular Quay or for a bird’s eye view you can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.