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With BUNACers heading Down Under in droves, we’ve put together our A-Z of Australia to help make the world’s sixth biggest country seem a little more manageable!
Alps: For outdoor pursuits, head to the Australian Alps! The region’s mountains are popular with skiers and hikers, while others head there for the endless cycling, caving, rafting and horse riding opportunities.
Alice Springs: Alice Springs is a hotspot for Aboriginal art. Get to grips with the mythology, art and traditions of this ancient culture and experience some of its most sacred sites.
Byron Bay: A renowned surfers’ paradise. The ‘East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival’ (Easter) and the ‘Splendour in the Grass Music Festival’ (July) provide the beats!
Blue Mountains: Just a stone’s throw from Sydney, the dramatic sandstone cliffs and deep canyons of the Blue Mountains are perfect for mountain biking, horse riding and climbing. But if strenuous activity isn’t your bag, or if you just fancy putting your feet up, there are plenty of top-notch cafés in the area!
Broome: Broome offers up a number of mind-boggling marvels. 130 million-year-old dinosaur footprints can be seen here, and the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ - a glistening illusion created by the reflection of rising full moon – is celebrated by locals with live music and markets. A great way to see Broome is by camel!
Coorong: A real highlight is exploring the breathtaking lagoons of the Coorong by kayak - you might well come face-to-face with some of the area’s local wildlife! Outback bread cooked on a campfire is a treat for the taste buds!
Desert: The Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert and Gibson Desert are some of the country’s most famous. Nature at its wildest!
Echuca: Indulge in a spot of paint ball or water sports before heading to the Great Aussie Beer Shed!
Essendon Football club: Aussie Rules side that’s the sister club to Manchester United. Based in Melbourne. Certainly catch a game if you get a chance!
Fraser Island: Pelicans and birds of prey occupy the skies, rays and dolphins the seas, and dingoes the land! The island’s beautiful lakes are home to fresh water turtles. Highlights include chilling out in the rock pools and getting a glimpse of the Maheno shipwreck.
Festivals: There’s no end to the parties in Australia!
Great Barrier Reef: Is any explanation about this world-famous spectacle needed? The 26,000 kilometres of corals can be seen from space – although an easier way to see them is by donning a snorkel and some flippers.
Hot air ballooning: For a great view of Australia, you could treat yourself to a balloon ride. You can really get a sense of the extent of Australia’s natural beauty from the skies. Gently floating over any city is also a treat and a balloon ride of Canberra gives you a great view of the city’s monuments and gardens!
Islands: Fraser Island, Tasmania, Daydream Island, Kangaroo Island, Philip Island… take your pick!
Jazz: The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is fast becoming one of the top music events in a country that loves to party!
Kimberley: The wilderness of Kimberley is littered with spectacular gorges, while age-old figures painted in caves gives the area a spot of mystery.
Kangaroo Island: Seals, penguins, sea lions, koalas, wallabies, bandicoots and platypus also occupy Kangaroo Island, but that might have given it quite a long name. Desert dunes, beaches, forests and farmland provide the backdrop, while cheese, wine and honey sold by local farmers provide the sustenance!
Longreach: A deeply spiritual town where the locals are always enthusiastic to teach visitors about the history of the Outback.
Melbourne Cup: Sometimes referred to as The race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Make sure you’re in Melbourne in November to catch it!
Ningaloo: The world’s biggest fish, the whale shark, can be spotted here. Swimming with dolphins, manta rays and tropical fish just off the shore is also a must!
Outback: Vast and spectacular landscape that’s home to Kimberly and Alice Springs. See relevant sections for more details.
Perth: The beaches, wineries and micro-breweries of Perth supply the daytime entertainment, while the evenings are taken care of by its world-class restaurants and vibrant music scene!
Queensland: The region is littered with idyllic islands. Migrating whales can be viewed here, and nesting sea turtles are always popular among visitors too!
Rugby Championships: Rugby is huge in Australia, and the country boasts one of the world’s finest teams. The Rugby Championships (the annual tournament between Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa) is always a loud, boisterous affair!
Sydney: Picturesque harbour, opera house, surrounded by beautiful beaches. You might have heard of it.
Surf: Australia is the perfect place to hang ten. Too many surfing hotspots to mention here!
Tasmanian wilderness: 40% of the island is protected as National Parks and reserves. Breathtaking mountains and rainforests make it a must see!
Uluru: Uluru (previously Ayer’s rock) has incredible spiritual significance for the Anangu Aboriginal people - legend has it that it was formed by ancestral spirits. Not far away, strangely-formed natural domes stretching for 3,500 hectares can be found in Kata Tjuta.
Vineyards: Australia is famous for fantastic wine and the country is littered with incredible vineyards (see: Yarra Valley).
WWOOFing: If you want to combine work and travel in Australia, then WWOOFing is the solution! Hop from farm to farm at your pace, earning a few dollars along the way fruit picking. You can sign up to the scheme through BUNAC.
Extreme sports: Turns out there’s not much that begins with ‘X’ in Australia, but it does offer plenty of opportunities for high energy sports to keep the adrenaline junkies happy.
Yarra Valley: Nestled in the rolling hills of this region of pristine beauty are 55 wineries. A perfect way to spend a relaxing weekend!
Yachts: At 630 nautical miles (1,170 km), the Sydney to Hobart yacht race is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world. Seeing the waters fill up with yachts is quite a spectacle!
Australia Zoo: Established by the legendary Steve Irwin, this world-famous zoo lets its visitors come face to face with some of our planet's quirkiest residents!
Has this Australian alphabet inspired you to get going on your own adventure Down Under? Find out more about Work Australia. Any queries feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring at 033 3999 7516.