Author: Kathryn GerkenCustom Travel International Destination

Travel Down Under

Have you dreamed of traveling to Australia but thought that it was just too far away? From the west coast of the United States that travel time is almost the same as to Europe. Australia has a diverse eco-system and covers a lot of territory.

Australia is roughly the size of the US, so don’t expect to see it all in one trip. You can use the transportation system to your advantage and see a bunch though. When we think of Australia, we envision the Sydney Opera house, but did you know that you can also climb to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge for an unforgettable view! Venture just outside of Sydney to some of the best wine country in Hunter Valley. Sample various wineries and enjoy some nibbles as you take in the gorgeous surroundings of the countryside.

Heading south from Sydney you will enter the Australian Alps also known as the Snowy Mountains. Here you can explore the Namadgi National Park which has breath-taking vistas that can be explored on foot or by 4X4 tour. Just a 45 minute drive from Canberra. Meet emus, kangaroos, wallabies and cockatoos in nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Remember that you are Down Under, so the seasons and the equator are opposite what you expect. South means cooler weather and north means warmer. Summer is from December to March.

Kangaroo Island is located to the south easily accessible from Adelaide, Here you can get up close and personal with kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and penguins.

The real water experience lays north at the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The jump off city of Cairns is a great home base for this day trip. You can take a high-speed boat out to an observation platform, where you can view the marine life without getting wet. For the more adventurous, there is easy access to the water to snorkel on the reef. Want to stay longer? There are over night boating options as well as island accommodations. The next day could take you into the mountains to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Learn to throw a boomerang and have it return to you! Travel by sky rail above the ancient rain forest to see the wildlife in the forest canopy.

The more adventurous may enjoy a “walk about” tour near Port Douglas in the Daintree Rain forest. Learn about the flora and fauna of the area while your guide shares his Aboriginal history with you.

Some like it hot. For those desert seekers among you, don’t miss the famous Australian Outback. Travel by air or take the longest stretch of railway in the world and take The Ghan train from Adelaide. From magnificent rock formations to sprawling cattle stations. Alice Springs is also home to the School of the Air, a virtual school for students who do not live close enough to attend. It used to be run over the radio waves, but is now internet based. Close by is the Reptile Center which boasts a wide variety of local inhabitants.

There is so much to do and explore that you will want to return again and again. I can help you to plan your trip, whether you wish to travel independently or with a escorted tour, I will do the work and leave the dreaming to you. Contact me today to begin the dream.

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