As the world's sixth largest country, Australia is the wonder down under. Each of eight states is unique and has a mix of memorable visitor experiences. Chances are, your exploration of Australia will begin in Sydney, a hub for international flights. Flying to the city, it's difficult not to be awestruck by your first glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge alongside of the Sydney Opera House, one of the most stunning beautiful buildings anywhere. Sydney is a first-class city, so even if you're travelling further afield do spend some time wondering its streets and meeting the local folks. They really do say "G'day" and are quick to strike up conversations. You'll learn quickly that the Aussies are among the friendliest people around and they are very proud of their country. It's easy to understand why. Australia has a wealth of well-known sights that rank high on any globetrotter's "must-see list," including the Great Barrier Reef, and Ayer's Rock. And like South Africa, fine wine and gourmet cuisine is very much part of really getting to know the destination. Take a hot-air balloon trip at sunrise over the Yarra Valley for a bird's eye look at a handful of the 55 wineries in the state of Victoria.
The geographic diversity of Australia lends itself to itineraries that can be tailor-made to every visitor. Skiiers and hikers can head to the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, while diving and snorkeling enthusiasts can venture out into the Pacific Ocean for a closer look at the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Accommodations are plentiful and span the gamut from five-star eco lodges to home stays on a cattle ranch in the Outback. With so much packed into this island nation, you'll be grateful for the expert guidance of your personal Travel Counsellor who can guide you to the best spots and put together the ideal Australian holiday package for your budget. And why not extend your stay and visit New Zealand, Australia's neighbour?
What we love about Australia
It's tough not to ooh and aah over koalas. They are impossibly cute.
The wide open expanses of land as far as the eye can see are treasures that remind us what unspoiled natural beauty looks like.
Off-the-beaten journeys are plentiful and it's not difficult to find places that other tourists don't often see, from Tasmania to the star-filled skies of Western Australia.
Hamilton Island "The Great Barrier Reef"
Friday 8th May 2009
Travel Counsellor: Mark ter Stege
I enjoyed five days on Hamilton Island sponsored by Tourism Australia as part of "Corroboree Europe 2009". I joined up with 300 other travel agents from all over Europe who attended this Educational / Familiarisation trips to various locations in Australia.
Hamilton Island is one of 74 Islands on The Great Barrier Reef. It is the perfect location to enjoy on that island getaway experience or dream honeymoon. The flying time from Brisbane to Hamilton Island is a short one hour flight or from Sydney to Hamilton Island is only a two hour and a 20 minute flight.
The first day we spent at leisure exploring the island. I spend the day jet skiing, I enjoyed a sunset cruise and that evening we attended a function where the winner of the "Best Job in the World" was announced. There were over 36 000 applicants worldwide that applied for the position of "Island Caretaker".
On the second day we went out to the reef with Fantasea Cruises. We enjoyed an hour and a half trip on a... view full story
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