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Australia

Feb 2, 2008
The Land Down Under has long since graduated from the butt of jokes to a first class tourist destination. Today around 5.5 million tourists flock to Australia each year to experience the beautiful climate, stunning landscape and hopefully see a kangaroo.

A relatively young country, Australia has little to offer in terms of centuries old monuments and relics. However this sun burnt country has a rich and unique history unlike any other, with Indigenous Australians leaving their thousand year old mark on the beautiful landscape.

As the sixth biggest country in the world, Australia has a lot to offer. From the sweeping plains of the central desert to the long stretches of crystal clear coastline, Australia is a series of contractions with almost every type environment.

The Northern Territory is Australia's outback, a land of rich auburn colours, where the unique flora and fauna are in abundance. The territory is also home to Uluru/ Ayers Rock, which is a beautiful place to learn about Australia's Indigenous culture. Found in Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Area for both its cultural and natural values.

To the east of Australia lies Queensland. Here the sun shines all year long and the beaches are always beautiful. Scuba diving is the best way to see Queensland greatest treasure, The Great Barrier Reef. 2,600 km of crystal blue water and a rainbow of different coral and marine life, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world.

Right below Queensland is New South Wales and its capital Sydney. Whilst not Australia's capital, Sydney is a bubbling city filled with style, chic and an energetic night life. The heart of this modern metropolitan is the Sydney Opera House. A place of majestic beauty, it was designed by a Danish architect to represent the sailing ships of the Sydney Harbour.

Situated under Australia's capital city, Canberra is Victoria, an urban state best known for its love of sports. Home of Australian Rules football, Victoria's capital Melbourne is a bustling city filled with art and culture. A little outside the city is The Dandenong Ranges, a lush rainforest of endangered wildlife and spectacular scenery.

Although off the mainland, the sometimes neglected Tasmania is very much one of Australia's loveliest states. Although small is size, Tasmania is rich in Australian's heritage, with Port Arthur providing a beautiful look back into the country's convict past.

South Australia boasts the wine capital of Australia, the Barossa Valley. A relaxed and friendly place, the valley emulates the state's relaxed and carefree attitude whilst making world class wines.

The last and most westerly of Australia's states is Western Australia. A sprawling landscape, Western Australia is famous its long days of sunshine, spotless blue skies and brilliant beaches. Experience the 'Real Australia' in the state's rugged outback or idyllic surf coast.

No matter what time of year, Australia's rich diversity means there is always something for everyone and anyone.
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