What is it about Australia that arrests a tourist’s attention? Is it the challenge for mountaineers to scale the rocky Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the rugged outback of the Northern Territory, or the excitement of scuba divers to explore the Great Barrier Reef? Or, is it the history of Aboriginal communities, which provides a keen insight into the continent’s ancient local culture? Whether you’re after adrenalin-pumping escapades, historical sightings, lazing on sun-kissed beaches, exploring underwater parks, or indulging in a night of clubbing, Australia is undoubtedly a front-line tourist destination.
Other attractions on the continent include fields of wildflowers across Western Australia and untamed wildlife on the island of Tasmania. Wine connoisseurs must make a trip to the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, arguably the nation’s foremost winemaking region, which is incidentally best known for its Shiraz.
However, no trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the Goldfields; steeped in history and outback legend, the Goldfields is dotted with historic settlements, ghost towns, and tales of fortunes. For many, Goldfields is the “real” Australia. Here you can experience Aboriginal culture in close quarters and spot kangaroos and other unique wildlife in their natural environment.
Tourist attractions notwithstanding, Australia is buzzing with activity year-round. In January, Tamworth features the Country Music Festival, while Sydney plays host to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in February. The Adelaide Festival of Arts introduces the SA capital to culture in March, while in April, Victoria, Melbourne tickles your funny bone with the International Comedy Festival. In July, don’t miss the Beer Can Regatta held in Darwin; there’s nothing quite like it. Lastly, aboriginal music is the highlight of Stompen Ground, held September to October in Broome.