Australia: 7 good reasons to travel to Australia written by Winnie Sorensen.
The feeling of Australia
Lists of reasons why you should do this or that are fun. They provide a good overview - and a kind of insight. What the lists can't do is tell about the feeling. And it is actually the feeling that makes us keep coming back to a place. It gives us a feeling in the stomach that we cannot do without.
For me, Australia is really a feeling. It is the smell of eucalyptus that drives me to meet you already at the airport. It's the bright light, and it's the raspy accent that welcomes me with a “G'day, how are ya?”.
Here I want to share my best reasons to anyway travel to Australia, so you can also experience that feeling in your stomach. Because Australia is a particularly good travel country.
Reason number 1: The diversity of Australia
Where else in the world can you be diving on the world's largest coral reef one day - and the next day goofing off rock oysters in front of Utzon's beautiful Opera House? Where else can you choose whether you want to wake up in the world's oldest rainforest - or in a desert?
Here there are volcanoes and vineyards, penguins and marsupials, cities, beaches – yes, even ski resorts. Australia is a gigantic country – in fact the world's sixth largest – so naturally there is a bit of everything here. It is also a multicultural society with all that this entails; for example an exciting cuisine and many different cultures.
If you like diversity, you like Australia.
Reason number 2: Australia's unique wildlife
When I was a child, my father told me that in the Australian desert lived a small animal that always carried around a stick. When the sand got too hot, the little animal stuck its stick into the sand and crawled up on it to cool its feet. I've been looking for many years, but I still have not seen that little animal.
On the other hand, I have seen large herds of wild horses running through the desert, kangaroos with small ones joey's – baby kangaroos – in the pouch, koalas, wombats, numbats – you name it. And the Australian wildlife IS truly unique.
Over 80% of the mammals living in Australia are endemic; that is, they exist only here. The marsupials give birth to fetuses, which themselves manage to crawl up the mother's legs and into the pouch, where they attach themselves to a die wart.
You can also meet the world's most dangerous bird, the cassowary, or the funny platypus, which the first Europeans thought was a practical joke. And no, I won't mention either snakes, spiders or sharks - that's a separate post.
Reason number 3: The Australian climate
An Australian friend once asked me why on earth I always mentioned the weather when we talked. Right up until he himself moved to London. Then one day he called and said: "NOW I understand the weather".
It is not always that you find good weather on your trip to Australia. In the Australian Alps (that's what they're called) it even snows, and in Tasmania it's both cold and clammy in the winter.
In Perth, the sun shines an average of 3200 hours a year, and all along the east coast people live an active outdoor life because the climate allows it. So Australia can be visited all year round; it's just about finding the right place.
Reason number 4: The varied nature
I have already mentioned the wildlife and biodiversity. But nature deserves its own point. The Outback is fantastic. You can drive through the desert for days and see nothing but wild horses and camels. Yes, camels. There are so many camels living in the Australian outback that they are actually being exported to Middle East.
The rainforest in the northern part of Australia is in no way comparable Amazonas in size, but it is many millions of years older.
In the deserted northwestern part of the country, more than 1200 mm of rain falls during the rainy season. The water creates rivers that for millions of years have cut through a rugged, dry and desolate rocky landscape, creating ravines that abound with crocodiles. Everywhere you bump into one whimsical natural phenomenon after another.
Many of the plants, like the animals, are endemic. For example, there are no less than 976 endemic species of moss here. Everyone knows the world's largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef on the Australian east coast. But did you know that there is also a coral reef on the west coast?
Reason number 5: Australians as a people
Now this is not a political post, so I don't want to think about whether it is the result of being primarily a society founded by some kind of immigrants, who make the population so hospitable.
In any case, the fact is that the vast majority of Australians are open, hospitable, easy to be with, welcoming, helpful – and not least funny.
I have managed to be invited home to someone I had just met on a plane, and if you know someone who knows someone where you are going, then you will most likely get an invitation to just call.
Plot number 6: Australia's gastronomy
Australia is a multicultural society and this is largely reflected in Australian cuisine. At the same time, the many hours of sunshine and the good climate are to blame for wonderful ingredients, and the large gardens bring lots of delicious seafood to the restaurants' tables.
There are cattle farms here the size of Zealand, and if you thought it was NOMA who invented eating ants, try asking the indigenous Australian population if they've ever tasted an ant.
The only thing you will hardly learn to love is Vegemite. Vegemite is a surplus product from beer brewing, and it tastes most of all of strong bouillon cubes.
The British version, Marmite, was given to the English troops during World War I, and suddenly one could no longer get Marmite in Australia. Therefore, the Australians themselves began to produce something similar from the yeast that was left over after brewing beer. It was not an unconditional success.
In fact, it took almost 20 years for Australians to adopt the product, and it required both competitions with big car prizes – after two years of trying to give the product away to get Australians used to eating it. Today they love it, and in the restaurant's breakfast buffet it may look like Nutella - but make no mistake.
And then there is the wine. I'm no wine connoisseur, but there's not much that beats a really good, powerful Australian Shiraz. Check out this link, if you want to know more about where to find the good wine regions.
Reason number 7: Australia's history
This is debated. I am originally trained as a historian and have written a thesis on Australian history. This is often laughed at a bit. Admittedly, it was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook “discovered” Australia. Now it just so happens that Australia actually has the world's oldest cultural history.
And if one is more interested in modern history, one can start digging a little into the national identity. Then you have enough fabric for a couple of flights down there - and back. So yes, there is plenty of history in Australia, if only one remembers to look for it on the country's own terms.
Off to Australia and the scent of eucalyptus
Those were my seven good reasons. However, the most important thing is just to travel to Australia. To find your very own reason to come again and feel that feeling in your stomach when the smell of eucalyptus drives you to meet you at the airport and you hear a "G'day, how are ya". I myself have become addicted.
Have a good trip to Australia!
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