Australia: 80 Blogs Around the World.
Australia: 80 Blogs Around the World.
It’s home to a mammal that looks like a duck, lays eggs, and proves that if there is a creator, He or She has an incredible sense of humour. It’s where you’ll find some of the greatest beaches in the world. It’s where you’ll experience rowdy humour and refined culture all in one city, Sidney. And it’s where if you’ll find a unique take on the frisbee. If that frisbee had a habit of boomeranging back. It’s Australia, mate, where their version of the great outdoors is Outback, and promises plenty of adventures. The beer is good, the company easy-going, and the regulators for video games are stricter than your parents after the time you broke curfew by underage joyriding dad’s car into a concrete wall.
There’s so much to love about Australia. And in fact, it can be a home away from home if you’ve relatives there. South Africans aplenty have brought their own unique culture with them, and if you’re craving biltong, it shouldn’t be too hard to get.
Here are some of the highlights of the country.
The Great Barrier Reef.
Renowned for its exquisite beauty, the reef has built up varied, colourful coral life over millions of years. Its home to fish and marine species of all shapes and colours. Including the deadly great white shark. If you’re the adventurous sort, you can get into a cage and dive with them. There’s something spectacularly adrenalin-filled about being separated by only a few bars from one of nature’s most efficient, vicious killers. In fact, generally swimming the reef comes with a gas tank’s worth of warnings. There are lion fish, spikes which might not kill you (they might) but you’ll wish it. Still, it is like an underworld safari, and with plenty of accredited scuba diving outfits to go with, you’ll be in safe hands.
The Sydney Opera House.
Oh, the majesty. The sheer cultural pleasure. One of the world’s most spectacular centres for shows and events, the Opera House is a must for everyone. Over 40 shows, events, and concerts take place a week on its stages. It is the pride of Sydney, a megalith structure with one of the world’s most striking architectural designs. The Opera House is not a venue, but a host of venues, with bars, cafés, and restaurants, as well as a recording studio. It has several performance venues: the Concert Hall, with contains 2679 seats. The Hall also houses the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, which is a spectacle itself. The organ is the largest of its kind in the entire world and has over 10 000 pipes. Imagine hearing that play – it’s literally music to your ears.
There’s the Joan Sutherland Theatre, smaller at 1507 seats, and has a resident ballet company, The Australian Ballet, who are known to perform the most beautiful performances. There’s also the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse, Studio, Utzon Room, and Outdoor Forecourt, all of which host magical performances all year round.
With the most famous composers, musical acts, orchestras, performance troops, and presenters on the planet performing at the Opera House, it is not an experience to be missed.
There’s something absolutely adorable about kangaroos. The way they hop as a form of locomotion. Or how they carry their young (still technically developing) babies in pouches. And especially the way two kangaroo males will literally box with each other when competing for females. They jab their fists to unbalance their opponents – and will go as far as leap into the air, use their tails for balancing, and kick with both legs. It is rather serious – for them – and yet weirdly silly. It’s the kind of thing you can see if you visit the Taronga Zoo – which is also in Sydney.
Not just them, but many of the (to us) exotic and interesting marsupial life that only Australia has. Such a fascinating country, as a “continent”, it was separated from the rest of the world’s influences eons and eons ago – allowing its very own special forms of life to develop. The platypus is another you’d be eager to visit. This semi-aquatic mammal has the body of an otter, tail of a beaver, and bill of a duck – it is such a strange looking amalgamation that when British naturalists first heard of it, they thought it an elaborate hoax. In fact, one naturalist, upon seeing a preserved specimen shipped to London, took his scissors to the base of the bill, looking for taxidermal stiches.
You’ll see them and many other species at the Zoo, which is home to 4000 animals housed in eight zoogeographic zones. It’s not just the intriguing Australian animals you’ll find there, but creatures from all over the world. These include animals from Asia, the Southern Oceans, the Himalayas, Africa, and South America. Among their interesting species are the intimidating Komodo Dragon (the largest lizard on Earth), bonobos, wombats, koalas, the sweet fennec fox, the rare pygmy hippopotamus, tigers, dholes, red panda, and a gargantuan anaconda.
Australia is also well known for its amazing beaches and spectacular waves. If you harbour any aspirations to surfing, Australia’s a good place to start. One of the best spots is Byron Bay, in New South Wales. It’s famous as a phenomenal surfing paradise. Filled with beaches, you want to head with your board to a place called The Pass.
Then there’s Cactus Beach in South Australia. It’s like a scene from a movie, a beautiful wilderness unspoiled by humankind. The sort of place where your soul reverberates in tune with nature as you navigate your board while riding the wave. It’s known to be turbulent in winter, though, so avoid it if you’re a novice surfer over that period.
And you wouldn’t want to miss Bells Beach, Victoria, where the waves are said to swell beautifully.
If you’re the adventurous sort, then you’ll love the Outback. The Outback is the remote interior of Australia. While it’s commonly imagined to be arid desert, the Outback actually spans a number of climates. It ranges from desert to temperate zones, from rocky cliffs to pools, it is abundant in natural wonder. There are numerous tours that will take you camping safely through certain routes with entertaining and experienced guides. They’ll capture your imagination in the traditions of the ancient Aboriginals – Australia’s first human inhabitants – who believed in a warping of Reality called ‘The Dreamtime’.
Yours is sure to warp into an outlandish adventure, too, as you traverse the almost mythical land of legend.