Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory, entirely surrounded by New South Wales in the far southeast of the country, is, by Australian standards, of tiny extent, but is of prime importance. At its heart is Canberra, the capital of Commonwealth of Australia and a thriving, vital city. Despite its small size, the territory also encompasses a notable diversity of natural landscapes, including significant highlands.

In Canberra, you can enjoy fine views of the city’s signal peaks—Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie, and Red Hill—as well as its ornate architecture, not least the impressive government buildings. You’ll also have plenty of entertainment to choose from, including a rich mosaic of museums and art galleries as well as fine concert houses and restaurants.

Canberra Australian Capital Territory
Close to half of the Australian Capital Territory’s extent—about 410 square miles—is devoted to the diverse and stirring scenery of Namadgi National Park. The park, established in 1984, preserves a portion of the northern terminus of the Australian Alps, the highest section of Australia’s most substantial mountain chain, the Great Dividing Range, which runs from northern Queensland southward to the Grampians in Victoria. Here you can wander groves of hardy Snow Gum or skirt granite domes looming from the woodlands—the high country is snow-covered in winter—as well as appreciate the cultural legacy of local Aboriginal people via striking rock art. One of Australia’s great treks, the Australian Alps Walking Track, traces the spine of the mountains between Namadgi and Baw Baw National Park far southwestward.

Wildlife enthusiasts will have many creatures to keep their eyes peeled for in their rambles about the territory. The diversity of habitats encompassed by the Australian Capital Territory—from low grasslands to alpine heights—translates to a corresponding variety of animal life, beset—as everywhere in Australia—by exotic species introduced by human beings. In terms of birdlife, you may see the striking Gang-gang Cockatoo, the male of which sports flashy red head feathers; this parrot is the territory’s bird emblem. Scan the skies for a thermal-cruising Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia’s largest and most formidable raptor. Overhanging vegetation of creeks and ponds may conceal the Australian Water Dragon, a spiny, heavy-headed lizard. You have a good chance of seeing the Eastern Gray Kangaroo, one of the continent’s largest marsupials, as well as a host of smaller mammals, from Swamp Wallabies to gliders; the truly lucky may spot the tracks of the Tiger Quoll—or even a glimpse of this elusive and rare marsupial predator, at home in the trees or on the ground.


Whale Sharks

Residing in a world apart from our own, marine life has always been quite intriguing to us land-dwellers. All of the many sizes, shapes and colors of the different species of fish have been of great interest to us from the beginning of time. Whale Sharks are the largest existing fish and have been the object of fascination to thousands of divers all over the world, though many divers spend their entire lives trying to find one.

Whale Sharks are majestic creatures. These gentle giants swim with their enormous mouths open, gulping down plankton, small fish, squid and crustaceans along their way. They can open their mouths to up to five feet wide. They are the largest fish in the oceans and only a few whales are larger than them. They are cold blooded creatures and they breathe through their gills. Whale sharks can weigh over nine tons and grow up to 40 feet long. Amazingly, their skin can be over 4 inches thick! These fish have a two colored pattern of light spots and lines on a dark brown dorsal surface.
Whale Sharks
Whale sharks can be found all over the world. Popular destinations for travelers to dive with whale Sharks can be found in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Africa, and Western Australia are a few countries divers go to find them. But they are easily spotted all over Central America. Cancun, Mexico, Belize and Honduras are just a few of the hot spots for spotting whale sharks.

Utila Island, off of Honduras, has been called the whale shark capital of the Carribean. Whale sharks have been seen there all year long. Though they can be spotted throughout the year, the best times to try to find them are March through April and August through September. A whale shark sighting usually involves finding just one, but it is possible to see five or more whale sharks in the waters around Utila.

Belize is one of the most popular spots in the Americas for whale shark sightings. Gladden Spit, located in the Belize Barrier Reef, is located 26 miles off the coast of Placencia. There are lots of whale sharks in this area during April and May, when schools of cubera snapper fish are actively spawning. Gladden Spit is a protected area. Rangers allow only six tour-operated boats at a time, making the experience much more intimate.

An important habitat for the whale shark is in the Gulf of Mexico. The major oil spill that resulted from the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon platform in 2010 in the Gulf still poses a critical threat to the whale sharks that reside in the region.

Whale sharks are harmless to humans. They are quite friendly and will often interact. They are very large creatures but are quite docile and serene. They will even allow swimmers to catch a ride with them, though this is discouraged by scientists, conservationists and researchers. Younger whale sharks can be especially playful.

It's vital for any diver lucky enough to encounter one of these animals to always treat them with respect. Whale sharks are an endangered species and it's imperative to their survival that they not be mishandled or harmed.


Northern Territory, Australia

The sparsely-populated federal territory situated in the center of Australia became the Northern Territory, Australia in 1911. Darwin, its capital city, has a meager population of only 127.000, and, yet, it is the largest city in the Northern Territory. Abundant in history, Aboriginal culture, and fun, the Northern Territory has something to offer every visitor.

Northern Territory travelers on holidays arrive as hikers and backpackers, fishermen, campers, and family groups wanting to attend the many ongoing festivals. Endless possibilities exist for the adventurous visitor. Hiking trails, cliffs beckoning the climber, and water holes for swimming provide scenic outdoor expeditions and breath-taking sightseeing tours.Ayer's Rock, Uluru, Northern Territory Australia

Larapinta Trail is one of the most well-known trails in the Northern Territory. Only advanced hikers are advised to venture this trail without a knowledgeable guide. Guided tours are available for the novice hiker who wants to experience the challenge and grandeur of this natural environment.
Serious hikers also venture through the Katherine George National Park as part of a five day hike along the Jatbula Trail. Rainforest terrain and steep gorges offer a severe challenge even to the skilled hiker.
If you’re not a hiker, guided tours of the Northern Territory travel to the Aboriginal centers to observe the numerous learning exhibitions. These demonstrations can include basket weaving, rock art, hunting methods of the Aboriginal, and cultural music and its instruments.

Katherine George National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaAccommodations from camping to hotels are also available for a comfortable and hospitable stay while attending the many year-round Aboriginal festivals.
Some National Parks house the numerous crocodiles which have lived in the Northern Territory for millions of years. Of course, no one should attempt to approach them at any time.

The Outback of the Northern Territory offers spectacular scenery and fun activities. The Lassiter Cup is a popular festival with visitors. Riders on camels race to the finish line with loud rooting and applause from the spectators. The historical museums provide cultural history and Aboriginal artifacts for the curious and scientific-minded.

Novice and experienced fishermen come from all corners of the world to enjoy the reef and estuary fishing that the Northern Territory provides. Guides are also available for sport fishing.

A trip to the Northern Territory of Australia offers adventure, enjoyment of a different culture, and lots of fun. The gained knowledge and memories will last a lifetime.


Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Plan a holiday in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to experience enchantment at every turn. Located on the eastern side of North island, this South Pacific region is a tropical haven for wildlife and foliage.

Waewaetorea Passage - Bay of Islands, New ZealandOn the mainland, Paihia offers many opportunities for dining, accommodations and excursions. Explore this small quaint town easily on foot. Stop in for lunch at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar for authentic island cuisine. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this mainly seafood establishment also offers contemporary options.

For reasonably cheap holidays , a great place to stay is Bali Hai Motel, located close to the beach and includes a kitchen in every suite. For a quick trip right in town, a walk around Paihia Harbour will bring visitors through idyllic gardens with views of the bay. Take advantage of Culture North Night Show production to learn the history of the Maori and European settlers.

By ferry, visitors can ride a short distance to Russell, one of the busiest towns on North Island. Once a crime-ridden area that attracted ex-convicts, Russell is now a small quiet oasis that invests seriously in tourism.
Providing unique bay experiences, various sailing cruises are available . For deep sea fishing, Legend Charters Day Trips guarantees a fresh catch of marlin or snapper. Plan on dinner at Gables Restaurant for a choice of Pacific Rim or European cuisine. Offering a limit of two seating times, guests can take all the time they need to finish.
If staying overnight in Russell, Hananui lodge Motel offers apartments with kitchens and living areas. Outside each suite are decks equipped with grills and patio furniture. In addition, spa services, internet and laundry facilities are available.

Located on the northeastern shore of the Bay of Islands, Cape Brett provides the ultimate in water sports, sea life sightings and boat cruises. Featuring a hiking track that requires trekkers to trod through forests and along high cliffs, the 8 hour track allows for snorkel and swim breaks. At the end of the trail, hikers can reserve a night at Cape Brett Lighthouse keeper's home.

Reported as one of the most rewarding experiences to interact with dolphins, is Dolphin Watch Ecotours. Departing from Picton Harbour, the tour takes passengers through Marlborough Sounds to interact with bottlenose, common and dusky dolphin species. On the cruise, stay alert for sightings of a variety of birds and New Zealand fur seals.


Northland, New Zealand

Northland, New Zealand is the upper tip of the North Island and the northernmost of New Zealand's 16 administrative regions. For any traveler wishing to experience the culture and history of New Zealand, a trip to the Northland Region is where to begin. Called by the Maori Te Hiku o Te Ika, the "Tail of the Fish," it is with good reason the Northland is called New Zealand's First Region.

Northland Coastline, New Zealand According to Maori legend the mythical demigod, Maui, caught a giant fish with a magical fishhook and pulled it to the surface with the help of his brothers. Maui's brothers were impatient and hungry and began to carve out pieces of the fish for themselves before Maui could appease the sea god, Tangaroa. As a result, the giant fish was turned into stone and the places cut out by the hungry brothers became the mountains, valleys and rocky coastlines of the North Island of New Zealand, which to this day is called by the Maori Te Ika a Maui, or "Maui's Fish."

It was here that the legendary Maori explorer, Kupe made the first landfall at Hokianga harbor nearly a thousand years ago, and the earliest traces of Maori settlement are found in the Northland. It was the west coast of the Northland that was first spotted by European explorers when Abel Tasman sailed by in 1642 looking for the Great Southern Continent, and Captain James Cook first put ashore in the Northland in 1769 during his voyages of discovery. It was to the Northland that the first European whalers, sealers and traders came in the late 1700s, and it was in the Northland's Bay of Islands where missionaries held the first Christian services in 1814.

But the list of Northland firsts doesn't end there. Perhaps the most important first to happen in the Northland was in 1840 with signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between representatives of the British Crown and Maori chiefs of the North Island tribes. The Treaty is considered the first and founding document of New Zealand nationhood.

First time travelers to New Zealand will find that there are many New Zealand flights available from around the world. A visit to Northland is simply the best place to start to get to know New Zealand. Experience the rich heritage and culture of the Maori, discover the hidden coves and pristine beaches of the coastlines, explore the rolling hills and woodlands of the countryside and enjoy the warmth and friendliness of the people in the villages and towns along the byways of the Northland.



Tasmania is an island that sits off the southwest coast of the Australian mainland. Tasmania is also the name of the state that encompasses Tasmania along with 333 other islands. The population of the State of Tasmania is approximately 507,000 people, with half of those people living in the greater area of the city of Hobart. Hobart is the capital city of the island of Tasmania.



Tasmania is referred to as the "natural state" the "island of inspiration" and a "world apart" rather than a "world away." Tasmania deserves those accolades as it boasts the cleanest air in the world and the rainwater is so pure that it is captured and bottled. The produce grown in Tasmania is coveted around the world with apples, walnuts, and wasabi of the highest quality. Award winning cool climate wines are produced in Tasmania and the region is famous for quality cheese, salmon, oysters, and crayfish as well.

Stanley,-TasmaniaLocated in the foothills of Mt. Willington, Hobart is well worth a visit. This city has a charming colonial feel and history, but is also modern and lively. There are many good eateries and pubs, over 40 hotels, as well as B & B's, cottages and vacation homes. One should be sure to visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory while in Hobart.

One of the most popular activities in Tasmania is bushwalking, or, what folks in the USA more commonly call hiking. Tasmania offers some of the world's finest bushwalking experiences, but it is essential to be fully prepared before one sets out. An online visit to the Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania should be the first stop for anyone interested in bushwalking in Tasmania. There are trails available all over Tasmania covering everything from easy day walks to difficult treks that last several days.

Near Hobart there is a 3 hour walk called the Organ Pipes. This is a level 3 walk suitable for most, some bush- walking experience suggested, the trail may have some short, steep, sections with rough surfaces. The trek leads walkers from the Springs and leads them to the fluted columns that resemble organ pipes.

The Overland Trek is one of the multi-day bushwalks available in Tasmania. The trek, in central Tasmania, is in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Walkers will experience white sand beaches, Australia's highest sea cliffs, alpine plateaus and ancient rain forests. This walk is popular world wide and in order to preserve the eco system some controls exist on the numbers of walkers who may be on the trail. One must register for the dates they wish to take this bush walk.

These are only 2 of the dozens and dozens of walks on may enjoy in Tasmania and highlights just one of the many amazing things that await visitors to Tasmania. Go visit and discover what amazing experience awaits in Tasmania .



New South Wales, Australia

New South Wales is a state located on the east coast of Australia and is the most populated area in the country. You can expect warm to hot summers, and cool to cold winters. The state is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, while it encompasses the entire state of ACT, or the Australian Capital Territory.

If you are planning on visiting the land down under make your first stop Sydney, but be sure you book at least a week or two, because there is so much to see and do. One of the best places to stay is in the city’s centre. That way you can get around and see just about everything. Start off with a hop on and hop off tour. You can see what you want when you like, and not be forced into a schedule. Adjacent to Sydney Cove and Circular Quay, the Rocks, which was settled by the Europeans in 1778, is a wonderful place to shop for souvenirs and scour the antique stores. Other great places to visit in Sydney include Bondi Beach, Manly, Darling Harbour, Palm Beach and the Taronga Zoo.

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, AustraliaNew South Wales is much more than Sydney. Rent a car and take a drive to the Blue Mountains. Here you will be in awe of the Three Sisters, and the Jenolan Caves. Choose from three different cave tours which include Magic of Jenolan, Mysteries and Ghosts Tour, and the Jewels of Jenolan. After the tour, set out on foot and explore the nature reserve that is part of the World Heritage area. While you are in the Blue Mountains, go horse riding in the Megalong Valley. You do not have to be an expert to saddle up and enjoy the great outdoors.

When you leave Sydney behind, take your rental car up the Pacific Highway towards Queensland. You will want to get out and stretch your legs next to the Hawkesbury River which is surrounded by three national parks. It is a great place to cast a line, or go for a bush walk. Your next stop would have to be Newcastle. Have a bite to eat at the local pub, and make sure you stop for pictures at Nobby’s Beach. If you have time, stay the night at a Bed and Breakfast and go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. Before you cross the border, you will want to spend a day or two in Byron Bay.


South Australia

South Australia lies in the south central region of the country and features terrains that range from the hot, arid desert outback to the thickly forested cliffs and islands along the coast. The southern coast also offers the chance to visit popular and secluded beaches. The region is a nature lover’s paradise between botanical gardens, caves and numerous National Parks. The capital city of Adelaide is large enough to offer many big city attractions, but small enough in geographical size that travelling from one end to the other takes less than half an hour.

The rugged Australian outback attracts many who curiously seek an adventure. The Coorong National Park features sand dunes and salt pans, along with an amazing array of wildlife. Bird watching enthusiasts especially like the park, as it serves as home to over 200 species of birds. Visitors also see amphibians, mammals and reptiles in their own environment. The park additionally has hundreds of species of flowering plants and ferns. The Outback also features the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum. Mining remains a large industry in the area and this location allows visitors the chance to experience first hand this type of industry. Employees provide opal cutting demonstrations and exhibits feature various versions of the stone, along with opal jewellery. The museum also tells the story of the Aboriginal and European cultures.
Coastline, Robe, South Australia
Located less than 30 minutes from Adelaide, the coast boasts five separate beaches, having white sand and crystal clear waters suitable for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, in addition to other popular water sports. On the southern point of Yorke Peninsula, Innes National Park has secluded bays and coves, while Pondalowie Bay features a historic mining site and the ruins of a Victorian ship. Glenelg Beach has cafes, restaurants and bars with numerous shopping opportunities nearby. Coastal locations also offer the opportunity for viewing dolphins, penguins and whales.

The region is also famous for agriculture, which includes wineries, allowing visitors the chance to visit any number of local wineries that have been established for centuries. The Wine Discovery and Journey Centre in Adelaide offers the chance to learn incredible facts concerning what makes a world class wine. The city has a number of galleries, museums and the beautiful botanical gardens. Next door to the gardens, animal lovers find the local zoo, which houses the only pandas in the country. There is no lack of places to eat in Adelaide, as the city has over 100 restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world.


Western Australia

The state of Western Australia accounts for the vast western "nose" of Australia, bordered to the northeast by the Northern Territory and to the southeast by South Australia. This enormous area, around a million square miles, is the largest state in the country, though it only plays host to about ten percent of the population. By far the majority of Western Australians live in the cities of the southwestern coast, especially the lively capital, Perth, which boasts some 1.7 million inhabitants.

Topographically, much of Western Australia is subdued plateau, though several broken highlands provide substantial localized relief. The ancient, gorge-strung mountains of the Hamersley Range include the state's loftiest summit, 4,098-foot Mount Meharry, while the rugged metamorphic heights of the Stirling Range in the south regularly collect snow in the austral winter.

Eagle Bay, Dunsborugh, Western Australia Ecological landscapes are dictated partly by topography but significantly by climate. Much of Western Australia is arid, and the state includes portions of some of Australia's great drylands, including the Gibson and Great Sandy deserts, but the far northern horn of the Kimberley is tropical and, in places, lush. The far southwest enjoys a mild, temperate Mediterranean climate similar to California's or South Africa's; this, not incidentally, is one of Australia's great wine-growing regions. The variety of ecosystems is, unsurprisingly, impressive, from the red dunes of the interior deserts to the Jarrah woodlands of the Swan River coast.

The best way to sample Western Australia's ecological landscapes is in national parks and other protected reserves. The Kimberley, for example, features an extensive network of natural areas, not least the large and remote Drysdale River National Park, which showcases rugged defiles, waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife, including the Estuarine Crocodile. An excellent adventure destination to explore the sere beauty of Western Australia's arid and semi-arid reaches is Karlamilyi National Park, which includes a portion of one of the country's biggest drylands, the Great Sandy Desert.

For a less wild experience, you can explore the numerous wine regions of southwestern Western Australia, from the vineyards of the Perth Hills along the Darling Escarpment on the fringe of the capital's metropolitan area to those of the Great Southern Wine Region along the Southern Ocean coast. You'll surely be able to sample some of the high-quality products of these grape-growing hotspots in the many restaurants of Perth, Mandurah, Albany, and other of Western Australia’s major cities.


Queensland, Australia

A visit to the land down under is not complete without spending a week or two in Queensland. The sunshine state is in the north east of Australia, and is bordered by South Australia, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales. Because of the size of the state, the climate varies. Along the coast and in the far north, you can expect hot and humid summers. The hinterland and south east coasts experience warm and humid summers. You will discover hot and dry summers coupled with mild winters in the central west, and cold winters and hot and dry summers in the south west areas of Queensland.
Gold Coast Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and must not be missed if you are planning a trip to Queensland. You can take a lunch cruise to the outer reef and go snorkeling or scuba diving. Do not forget your underwater camera, as you will want to take plenty of pictures of the colorful reef, giant sea turtles and beautiful tropical fish.

Surfers Paradise got its name because of the barrels, lefts and rights that dominate the area, but even if you are not into hanging ten, you can still enjoy the sand and sea. Book a self-catered apartment on the beach so you can really see everything that the Gold Coast has to offer. While you are there, make your way into the Hinterland. Spend the day exploring the rainforest in Mount Tamborine. The unspoiled beauty of the area is spectacular.

Rent a car and drive to far north Queensland. The Daintree National Park is dedicated to preserving the rainforest, and has some incredible activities that the whole family will enjoy. You can visit a real crocodile park and get up close and personal with one of the oldest living reptiles on the planet.

Lamington National Park is known for its waterfalls, mountain views, walking trails, birdlife and trees that are hundreds of years old. Situated on the NSW and Queensland borders, it is the perfect place to take your family. Pack a picnic lunch, relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the park. Once there, you will want to take the tree top walk at O’Reilly’s.

The Outback of Queensland is rugged, and if you want to explore the great outdoors, rent an SUV and go camping. You will get a kick out of the friendly locals who call the local pub home. After a counter lunch, you can go fishing or kayaking.