Endless horizons, tropical rainforests, and beaches. Australia is a beautiful country. I thought of Australia, as forgotten country “down-under”. But this country is so much more!
I went to Australia, and I wanted to see everything this gorgeous country could offer, the opera house in Sydney, rare animals, the outback, with Ayers Rock and Great Barrier Reef. Australia is on the other side of the planet, it is almost as far from Norway as you can come. I sat on a plane to Sydney, looking forward to this trip to Australia, only 32 hours and 15 minutes left to fly.
First I visited Sydney. Many people think that Sydney is the capital of Australia. It could be, because it is Australia’s most famous city, and the economic powerhouse of the nation, and Australia’s oldest city.
Sydney has amazing shopping opportunities, nice restaurants and great tourist attractions. The Sydney Opera House is the most famous building in Australia. This magnificent sail-like house contains almost 1,000 rooms and many different performance spaces, halls and theatres linked together. Every year people perform different theatres, musicals, operas, contemporary dances and ballets. Many people visit the Opera House just for the sake of watching the building.
My travel went to Canberra. This city is famous for its architecture and art. The National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia have hosted some of the world’s greatest artworks. After visiting the beautiful buildings and museums, I rented a bike and went to the huge Lake Burley Griffin. This was an amazing experience. I saw kangaroos, koalas, platypus and plenty of birds. Canberra is often called the Bush Capital because of the nearby Canberra Nature Park and Namadgi National Park.
After the great nature experience, I moved on to Melbourne witch is called the capital of fashion. The stores in Melbourne has something for any budget, international couture at the ”Paris end” of Collins Street, outlets along Bridge Road, or the young and funky retro clothes shops around Fitzroy. Melbourne is also the capital of sports in Australia. This city is the home to world-famous sporting events such as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open Tennis and the Qantas Australia Grand Prix.
The next city I visited in Australia was Adelaide. A perfect way to start my day was to visit the Adelaide's famous central market. I had homemade muesli with stewed rhubarb and yoghurt for breakfast, together with a giant latte, just like the native Adelaide’s does it. It was a great experience, sitting there, eating breakfast and listening to the sounds and aromas of this lively marketplace.
After this little marked visit, I went outside the city to the Adelaide Hills. This hills offer spectacular views, and is an amazing place in spring and summer time, when the flowers are in full bloom.
After visiting this fresh, Adelaide Hills with lovely country air, I continued my trip to Alice Springs. This city has, been for more than 40 000 years a traditional meeting place for trading of knowledge, art and culture by the Arrente people. The Arrente people want to show visitors how their people have lived during the years. They share their art, craft, food, and legends that give meaning to their culture. I even learned to play a didgeridoo and to throw a boomerang. An Arrente man showed me how to discover the symbolism behind central Australian art.
I went to see the Uluru, also called the Ayers Rock. It was easy to see why the rock has such huge spiritual importance for the Anangu Aboriginal people. The rock is 9.3 kilometres in circumference, and the green and grey vegetation is perfect for wildlife. The rock is enormous, but yet more than two thirds of the rock is hidden beneath the ground. It changes colour from black to purple, blue to brown, orange and red throughout various times of day and weather. It makes a great contrast with the flat sand plain that surrounds it.
After seeing this wonderful, holy rock, I travelled on to Cairns, to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest. This region is recognised for its great wildlife.
I was looking forward to experience the Great Barrier Reef. I have read about it, and when I saw it, it stunned me with its magnificence. It is as big as the total combined area of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and contains more than 1,000 islands, from sandy cays to rainforest isles. I used a water taxi to reach the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 6,600 species, plants and beasts, home to rare animals like the green loggerhead turtle, and a breeding site for humpback whales. The reef is protected, but there are many ways to enjoy it, diving, snorkelling, renting boat and guided tours.
My visit to Australia showed me that Australia is an amazing country. The one thing that surprised me most, was the big distances, Darwin, for example, is closer to Jakarta than it is to Sydney, and closer to Singapore than it is to Melbourne! But despite the distances, I strongly recommend a visit to this fantastic country. It should be seen by everyone.