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Australia Travel

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AUSTRALIA






Discover Australia Independently with Anderson Vacations – from $5300

Choose your hotel level for 15 nights total in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Cairns! You’ll go on 10 tours and two cruises, including one at the Great Barrier Reef. Airfare and air transfers included. Purchase before December 31 and get a bonus tour…
Sydney to Cairns Coastal Explorer with Anderson Vacations – from $4199

You’ll get 14 nights of accommodations, a rental car for 15 days with detailed driving itinerary, plus a wine tour, cruises to Fraser Island, Daydream Island and the Great Barrier Reef, plus all airfare and a Fraser Island eco tour!
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General Information

Australia is one of the world's most exciting destinations. Whilst it is famous for its sunshine, blue skies, great beaches and the Great Barrier Reef, there is much more for you to see and do, as you will discover during through our website.

Australians are known as a friendly and open bunch of people, who generally love a chat. Say hello, and experience the warmth of an Australian handshake, a cold beer, and an invitation to return. Australia is land of rich and rare treasures, a place of truly amazing contrasts and unforgettable experiences. The urban sophistication of its cities is enjoyable yet unpretentious; while its outback is vast and often mysterious. Its endless miles of beaches deliver year-round fun, while the country's quirky wildlife - including its kangaroos and cuddly koalas - never fail to intrigue.

Flying to Australia

Many airlines who offer competitive fares fly to Australia on a regular basis, and getting to this island continent has never been easier. You can fly direct or island-hop across the Pacific or Asia to a number of international gateways, with Sydney and Melbourne being the most popular. Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Cairns and Hobart also have international terminals. A range of flying and ticket options are available.

Getting About

If you're visiting on a short trip, you may prefer to travel around Australia by air. Australia's domestic airlines provide extensive coverage allowing you to hop quickly between cities and sights. Or if you prefer a more leisurely pace, travel by rail or road. Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and highways with some of the most beautiful road touring in the world. And all major cities, except Hobart, are linked by a rail network.

Visa

A valid passport is required of all people wishing to enter Australia. Everyone, except holders of Australian and New Zealand passports, requires a visa. All other passport holders must hold a visa before travelling to Australia. The visa options are:

* short stay visitor visa, for stays of three months or less;
* long stay visitor visa, for stays between three and six months. There are a number of ways to obtain a visa:
* Internet applications (for the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which is an electronic record rather than a stamp in your passport) www.immi.gov.au ;
* asking your travel agent to arrange an ETA;
* making a written application.

Visit the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs' website at www.immi.gov. au for information on visas and other useful contacts. For the location of your nearest Australian consulate go to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website at www.dfat.gov.au.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from, or visited a yellow fever infected country or zone within six days before arrival.

Currency

The Australian Dollar is the standard unit of currency. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Banks and various locations have ATMs (Automated Teller Machines), and currency exchange facilities are available at international airports. Changing foreign currency or traveller's cheques can be done at most banks.

Seasons to visit

The seasons in Australia are the reverse of the northern hemisphere. Summer runs from December to February, and is warm to hot. Winter runs from June to August, and can be cool to cold. In the Australian winter you can ski in the southern states one day and be diving in the balmy waters of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland the next. So keep clothing light, layered and comfortable to cater for whatever you want to do. Protect yourself against the sun - don't forget to pack sunhat, sunglasses and suntan lotion.

Spring: September to November Summer: December to February Autumn: March to May Winter: June to August

Australia's cities offer the visitor new experiences in urban living. Some are known for their outdoor lifestyle, others for fabulous dining, fashion or art. Each has its own sense of history and charm. Sydney is the shining star of the southern hemisphere: it's sunny, sophisticated and sexy. The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are the city's pride and joy, but there's much more to discover in this harbour city of fine restaurants, relaxed beaches, and shopping emporiums. Brisbane's easy-going, subtropical ambience is a perennial delight, while Melbourne is a cultural hub which excels in the good things in life - fashion, food and sport. Canberra, the nation's capital, is home to many of Australia's most important public buildings and art works, while visitors to the west coast discover Perth as a scenic city with plenty to do. In South Australia, Adelaide nestles between sea and hills. It is a graceful city of wide streets and elegant buildings, where cultural pursuits are high on the agenda. In the Top End, Darwin is a vibrant, tropical capital city perched on a deepwater port, offering a blend of cosmopolitan and city pleasures. It also acts as a gateway to key natural and cultural attractions. And not to be forgotten is Hobart, island Tasmania's capital, with its stunning harbour and historic buildings.

Wildlife

Australia is a land full of powerful experiences. Our incredible wildlife is truly unique, and definitely worth seeking out. Animals such as the kangaroo and the platypus exist nowhere else on earth, and one of the most memorable experiences you can have is to see a koala. Lone Pine Sanctuary, south of Brisbane, is home to one of Australia's best-known collections of native animals, including about 130 koalas. Visitors to Koala Park Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Sydney, can hand-feed koalas and get a close-up view of some of the majestic wildlife species unique to Australia. At Cohunu Koala Park, a natural bushland park just a 30 minute drive from Perth, visitors can have their photo taken with one of 25 resident koalas and hand-feed many of the free-ranging animals. With just a little effort, visitors can also see Australian native animals in the wild. Beyond the cities, in rural and outback Australia, it's not unusual to see mobs of kangaroo grazing in the late afternoon sun and see the flightless emu going about its business. Just remember to tread softly within Australia's pristine rainforests, its marine environment and desert ecosystems. Australians and visitors value the unique qualities of this country and over the past decade, Australians have become increasingly aware of the value and uniqueness of their natural environment.

Food and Wine

Fine wines and dining are now as Australian as warm sun and booming surf. Visitors to Australia are often dazzled by the sheer quality and variety of Australia's food, and the local food markets in every major city are a great place to sample the harvest. Glance in the window of one of the gourmet food stores scattered throughout Australia's capital cities and you'll get a surprise. Chevre and prosciutto from Western Australia, brie and cold-pressed olive oil from South Australia, balsamic vinegars and snails from Victoria, milk-fed lamb from New South Wales, wood-fired bread from just about everywhere - the line-up is as startling as it is sophisticated. Then there are the bush foods that are native to Australia - lemon aspen, bush tomatoes, Illawarra plums, lemon myrtle, lilli pillies, and muntari berries - ingredients that allow chefs with skill and imagination to create truly Australian dishes. What Australia eats now is often described as fusion food - a collage of culinary influences that uses a splash of olive oil with one hand while tossing in a handful of chopped coriander and chillies with the other. This rich diversity of ingredients has wrought a revolution in the kitchens of Australia's restaurant and homes, sparked by successive waves of immigration from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia. This cultural intermingling shows in the national diet, and today Australia is fuelled by croissants, espresso coffee, octopus salads and stir-fry meals.

Aboriginal Heritage

The Aboriginal people are Australia's original inhabitants, and have lived here for over 50,000 years. It is an ancient culture that is deeply connected to the land. At the heart of the continent is Uluru (named Ayer's Rock by the colonial settlers), a monolith of great spiritual significance. This great rock reaches 348 metres tall and measures nine kilometres at its base. Take a guided walk around Uluru or visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre to find out more about the history of the area. More than 3000 Aboriginal items are on display at the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery in the South Australian Museum. Visitors can also drive along the Aboriginal Dreaming Trail in the Flinders Ranges. Burrinja, located forty minutes east of Melbourne, Victoria, provides a distinctive view of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal art. Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns offers a stunning theatrical interpretation of Aboriginal culture from the beginning of time into the future. Traditional Aboriginal food, now called bush tucker, has gone mainstream. These new tastes can be sampled at specialist restaurants throughout Australia.

Adventure

Swim among the largest sharks in existence. Sail the challenging seas off Tasmania's rugged coast. Abseil down a cliff and descend into awesome rainforest. If you are after adventure, your choices are many and varied. Australia's 36,735-kilometre coastline, bordering two oceans and four seas, is basically one big, long beach - punctuated by spectacular cliffs, headlands, inlets, rivers and waterways. Aquatic activities range from swimming, diving and surfing to underwater hockey. Australia's vast coastline provides enough beaches, coves and ports to keep surfers and marine enthusiasts happy all year round. Diversions include whitewater river rafting along the rivers that run through tropical rainforests and canoeing through the Northern Territory's tranquil and majestic Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Australia is tailor-made for adventure travel. Vast tracts of wilderness and dozens of national parks offer bushwalking, rock climbing, mountain biking and abseiling to satisfy even the most energetic outdoors junkie.

Relax

Bliss out in a rainforest? Stretch on a tropical beach? Watch the snow fall from a spa? Relaxation comes naturally in Australia, a country which locals sometimes refer to as 'the land of the long weekend.' Within the protective breakwater of the Great Barrier Reef outer reef is a 250,000 square kilometre maritime province, a vast labyrinth of smaller reefs, coral cays, lagoons, rocky inshore islands, deep channels and underwater caverns. As well as a habitat for an amazing treasury of marine life, this area is also home to an astonishing variety of tropical island resorts. They cater to just about every taste - from families to singles to well-heeled sophisticates who demand fine dining and a beauty parlour from their island paradise. Some resorts are on the small coral islands of the outer reef. These include Heron Island Resort off Gladstone, a 19 hectare, egg-shaped island ringed by sand. It is everything a coral island should be, surrounded by luscious swirls of opal colours crowded with marine life - a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Another resort surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef is Lizard Island, the most northerly of the Queensland resort islands.

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