A Different Australia

An Australian vacation is a big undertaking. From the US East coast, it?s an total of about 19 hour in flight – with at least one stop – and from the West coast still a dragging 14 hours. For this reason, most choose to travel to Australia for at least two to three weeks. You ?lose? a day going there due to the time change (i.e you might leave an a Friday night and arrive there Sunday morning).

At 7, 682,300 square kilometers, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world – slightly smaller than continental United States. It would be seemingly impossible to see the U.S. in a week or less, at least to really experience it, and the same goes for Australia.

Australia is a relatively new country, and it?s perceived lack of ?ethnic? cuisine and foreign language tend to keep it off people?s list of exotic destinations. Instead, images of surfing, kangaroos and beer tend to dominate. True, these are part of the culture and environment. It is a friendly, fun-loving culture where there?s not much of a dress code and people tend to spend as much time outdoors as possible. That doesn?t, however, make it less exiting, or for that matter, exotic. Here are just a few facts that might surprise you:

1. Over 80% of Australia?s mammals are endemic, which means that if you want to see them in their natural environment, it has to be in Australia.

2. Australia contains 60 designated wine regions and is the fourth largest wine exporter in the world.

3. Australia is comprised of 8,000 islands, including the island of Tasmania. They range in terrain from rough and rocky, to the world?s largest sand island (Fraser Island), to upscale holiday destinations such as the Whitsundays and Magnetic islands.

4. Aborigines, the country?s indigenous people, are comprised of over 400 groups, though share common ties to the land, storytelling and art. They migrated to Australia between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago and now make up approximately two percent of Australia?s population.

5. Tasmania (part of the Australian continent) is considered to have the cleanest air in the world.


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