Located in the South Pacific, south of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and northwest of New Zealand, Australia is the world’s sixth largest country by total area. Australia offers numerous landscapes including major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, breathtaking coasts teeming with pristine and vast coral reefs, and an expansive Outback with deep Aboriginal roots. Revered for its iconic landmarks, such as Ayers Rock, Sydney Opera House, and The Great Barrier Reef, Australia offers a diverse set of activities and backdrops that everyone can appreciate.
Things to Do in Australia
Due to the sheer size and diversity of landscapes in Australia, there are endless activities for even the most restless travelers! If you venture into Sydney, be sure to take in the iconic sights! Visit the Sydney Opera House and be sure to check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge! (We recommend The Bridge Climb, or for those afraid of heights, kayaking under the Bridge!) Be sure to explore the cobblestone cul-de-sacs of The Rocks and take in the boutiques and pubs of Paddington! The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is another traveler favorite, and offers views of the beach, bays, rock pools, and cliffs.
Interested in something a bit more aqueous? Head north to the Cairns area and snorkel The Great Barrier Reef. This underwater paradise boasts the largest coral reef on the planet that can even be seen from space! Explore the different corals, vast array of colorful fish, and revel in the beauty beneath the sea! For another interesting seaside sight, take in the famous 12 Apostles limestone rock formation near Victoria. This is a great day excursion if you’re in Melbourne!
Love animals, but water isn’t your thing? Australia is home to some of the world’s best zoos. The Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Melbourne Zoo, and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary will definitely satisfy your urge to see creatures cute and furry. What better place to check out koalas, kangaroos, and Tasmanian devils than in their motherland!
A visit to the Australian Outback is another activity worth mentioning. Home to fascinating aboriginal culture, picturesque views, and Ayers Rock, the Outback symbolizes the essence of Australia.
Australia Weather & Seasons
Australia experiences temperate weather throughout most of the year, but due to its sheer size, weather can vary considerably from region to region. While the northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, southern states enjoy cooler winters. Australia is also one of the driest continents on Earth, with an average annual rainfall of less than 24 inches. Like all countries in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s seasons are opposite those in the northern hemisphere. December through February is summer, March through May is autumn, June through August is winter, and September through November is spring.
In general, average maximum temperatures in Sydney range from 61°F in the wintertime to 79°F in the summertime. Melbourne is just a few degrees cooler than Sydney with average temperature maximums ranging from 57°F in the winter to 77°F in the summer. Temperatures in the Cairns area are much the same, but this area does experience a wintertime monsoon season in the north.
Spanning nearly 3 million square miles, Australia is the world’s largest island, 6rh largest country, and world’s smallest continent. Australia is also the only continent that is governed as a single country.
More than 80% of Australians live within 62 miles of the expansive coastline, which covers more than 4.5 million square miles. The world’s largest coral reef, The Great Barrier Reef, lies a short distance off the northeast coast and extends for over 1200 miles.
Australia is divided into six states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania) and two territories (Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory). The sheer size of Australia gives it an enormous vairety of landscapes, including tropical rainforests, mountain ranges, and dry desert.
Getting to Australia & Local Travel
Many airlines fly to Australia’s main cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Cairns. Direct flights from Los Angeles to Sydney are approximately 13 hours in duration. Anyone who is not an Australian or New Zealand citizen will need a visa to enter Australia. You can apply for a tourist visa at your local Australian consult or obtain one electronically from the Australian government.
All of Australia’s international airports have regular public transportation, including buses, trains, taxis, rental cars, and private connections. While flying is the best way to cover large distances in a short time, you may want to explore some of the touring routes, which are some of the most scenic places in the world. Remember that Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car.