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.


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.