Visiting Australia is not as difficult as anyone could think. A 16+ hour flight around the globe to arrive down under is a small price to pay compared to the wonderful experience getting to know that exotic country. A warm, charming society living in such a vast and rich territory that for moments seems to be endless.
Adventure tourists, dream-filled students or job professionals, whatever the visitor’s reasons might be, Australia welcomes them open-hearted and offers all its gorgeous places to see, meals to enjoy and an incredibly rich culture to admire.
People interested in traveling down under should know that nationality plays an important role in filling out the australian visa application. European citizens only need an eVisitor visa, while many other countries need a visa Australia ETA (acronym for electronic travel authorization). Both types of visa allow a 90-day limited period to spend in Australian territory, and they’re valid for one year.
Regarding health, it is advisable to have your routinary vaccination up-to-date before going to Australia. These include varicella (aka chickenpox), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines. Polio vaccine and the yearly flu shot are recommendable as well.
Also, some immunization against common tropical diseases it is advisable if traveling through the northernmost territories for more than a monts. Rabies vaccination could be necessary in some cases as well.
Such a vast country encompasses almost any geography and weather conditions. So, the tourist will have the chance to enjoy endless landscapes, from arid rocky deserts to snowy mountains to wild rainforests. A pleasure to anyone looking for wonderful outdoor experiences. An almost 3-million square miles paradise on Earth.
European and North-American tourists must be aware that Oceania is located in the southern hemisphere, that is below the Equator, which means the seasons of the year are the opposite. Winter extends from June to September, while summers go from December to March. A traveler boarding an airplane in hot July in Europe, for instance, will surely have to deal with temperatures below 10 degrees Centigrade (50 F) upon arrival in Sydney or Melbourne.
More than a summer sport, surfing is an all-season culture in Australia. With 10 of the world’s best surfing places, this country welcomes thousands of surfers every year from different parts of the globe. Many of the technological advances in different types of surfboards during the last decades came from australian companies that have been investing large amounts of money in R&D to bring the best to the enthusiasts.
Beaches like Byron Bay, in the province of New South Wales, Bells Beach in Victoria and the so-called Surfers Paradise in the province of Queensland are a must to any surf aficionado, as well as to any lover of the sand and sea.
Australia is one of the world’s top-five territories with most wilderness. This gives tourists a long list of places to visit that the real adventure lover would have the chance to spend weeks without stepping on a city street.
The whole country offers incredible places to enjoy wildlife and nature, and experts recommend three must-be-seen spots:
- Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory: The best place for wetlands tourism. Extremely rich in native wildlife. The Yellow Water billabong is the preferred site to see those huge saltwater crocodiles, whistling ducks, sea eagles and amazing buffalos.
- Daintree Rainforest, Queensland: This is a World-Heritage site, and inspired the landscapes for the award-winning movie Avatar. Tourists get stunning sights over the treetops and out to the Great Barrier Reef.
- Seven Peaks Walk in Lorde Howe Island, Tasmania: Although somewhat far from the coast, the island’s rugged natural gorgeousness is worth the 2-hour flight from Sydney. A truly trekking paradise.
Something not to be dismissed by anyone who visits Australia is its delicious food. Being Australia’s people a blend between the native aborigins and the immigrants that populated all Oceania afterwards, a truly multi-cultural society rapidly formed. And of course, traditional aussie food is a mixture of different traditions.
Some meals worthwile to enjoy are:
- Grilled kangaroo: Not surprisingly, kangaroo is not only one of the typical aussie animals and national icoon but one of the finest and healthiest meats as well. Steaks are advisable to cook carefully since they may dry out easily if left on the grill too long. Kangaroo meat has more iron and protein than beef, but fewer fat content, and with a good amount of omega-3.
- Barramundi: A fresh river fish, barramundi means “large river fish” in the natives’ tongue. Fried or grilled, it’s a healthier option to battered fish, and a true aussie dish. The best barramundi is caught in the Queensland province.
- Pumpkin soup: Seafood and grilled meats aren’t the only choices down under. There’s a lot of options from vegetarian meals too, including the praised pumpkin soup. Best served in winter months, and of course in the southern regions, it’s truly satisfying to savor a warm pumpkin soup by the fire.
Australia has a lot to offer to the visitors, and will take their breath away , many many times, while showing them its amazing beauties.