Do you think you’ve heard a lot about Australia? Here are a few little gems that may surprise you!
1. The Australian Alps receive more snow than the Swiss Alps
While many people visit Australia for its beautiful beaches and year-round sunshine, the Australian Alps, which stretch over New South Wales and Victoria, are a mecca for ski enthusiasts. Snow usually falls between June and September, which means Australia is the perfect place to get your ski fix during the Northern Hemisphere summer.
Thredbo and Perisher are two major resorts near Canberra, the latter being the largest ski area in the Southern Hemisphere. Blue Cow Mountain is one of the most popular areas, with a wide variety of accommodations and downhill runs, as well as beautiful views of the Alps.
2. 90% of Australians live on the coast
The vast deserts of central Australia mean that the vast majority of the population lives on the shores of this huge country. The major cities of Perth, Sydney and Melbourne are iconic places to visit, with bustling centers and a myriad of beaches, from the sand of Bondi to the surf of Trigg. Beyond the major hubs, there are hundreds of smaller beach towns where you can appreciate Australia’s beautiful coastline.
Explore Port Macquarie in New South Wales and catch your own dinner or head to Queensland and discover the feasts of Airlie Beach. Australia’s island status means there are thousands of surf towns and beaches to be found, so follow the crowd and head to the coast.
3. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world
The island of Tasmania is the ideal place to experience the great outdoors – with clean air like Antarctica, about a third of the state is protected as a national park or world heritage site. It’s a walker’s paradise, with trails and walkways meandering all over the island, where the coastal paths offer impressive views over Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires.
If hiking is not your thing, enjoy kayaking, mountain biking and exploring the island’s caves. Nature is an extension of Australia’s unique wildlife, where the Eastern Quoll, now considered extinct on the mainland, is often sighted in Tasmania’s fertile farmland.
4. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest ecosystem in the world
The Great Barrier Reef is the pride of Australia, consists of nearly 2500 individual reefs and is visible from space. It stretched midway along the east coast of the country, meaning there are plenty of places to use as a starting point to explore the kaleidoscopic coral.Cairns is the most famous city to start a trip to the reef, but Townsville, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach all have great beaches and several tours that can take you to the reef. Snorkeling and diving among the colorful fish and turtles that make the Great Barrier Reef their home is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Australia.
5. Australia has more than 60 separate wine regions
You can’t go to Australia and try the wine! With such a wide variety of wine regions, it is difficult to choose between them. Most wine regions are located in New South Wales and Victoria, so if you want to explore a few, a road trip between Sydney and Melbourne is a great way to do it.
Take time to explore the Southern Highlands, the Tumbarumba and the Alpine Valley, one of the most picturesque wine regions in Australia, with wine from different grape varieties, from Sauvignon Vert to Chardonnay. Western Australia also has a number of vineyards all accessible from Perth, a great trip outside the city to enjoy Australia’s wine regions.
6. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world
The sandy shores of Fraser Island are a highlight of any trip to Queensland. Hervey Bay is the starting point for exploring the island, so hop on a boat and discover the delights of this island paradise – the clear blue waters of Lake MacKenzie surrounded by the white sand coast and the tranquility of Champagne Pools, where you can swim in the shallows pools at the ocean’s edge. There are 150 dingos on the island, so it’s a great opportunity to spot one of Australia’s famous wild dogs, but keep your distance as they are wild animals and can be aggressive when approached.