Top 10 Australian Vacation Ideas
The Sydney Opera House
This is one of the most spectacular opera houses in the world. The world renowned “scallop shell” architecture is an awe-inspiring sight as you either fly or steam into Sydney. It is a case of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” There is nothing low key about the appearance of this place and there is nothing low-key about the performances either.
The famous tenors have given countless performances and Lucianp Pavarroti (RIP) will be sadly missed by the very enthusiastic local and visiting audiences.
This place gives lie to the infamous image of the Australian Spartan endlessly chewing on snags and pies whilst singing “Waltzing Mathilda “ countless times and drinking his own volume of Foster’s golden nectar. About time!
This place is in the central desert of Australia near Alice Springs. It is the largest rock monolith in the world and draws many visitors despite its remote and inhospitable location.
The place used to be called Ayers Rock, but the Australian Government has started (somewhat unwillingly) to give the indigenous peoples credit for their culture. Uluru is a sacred place in the Aboriginal culture and the people are very protective of it. It was created in the Dreamtime period of their legends and there is no place quite like it for them. If you are intrepid enough to brave the elements and venture there, please give it the respect it deserves as a genuine piece of Australian culture. Do not try to carve your name on it.
The Great Barrier Reef
This is the largest living organism in the world, bar none. I t consists of billions and billions of living coral polyps.
The place is teeming with marine life and the protective measures around it boggle the imagination. Yet it is under attack. Most of the problem comes from global warming no matter what or who this phenomenon can be attributed to. New forms of algae are destroying some of the coral species. The changing amount of daylight is another problem for both the coral and the indigenous marine life.There is a host of activities available here, but the most popular is snorkeling, but be careful, Great White Sharks (White Death) often mistake humans for seals, their favourite prey.
The “Slip another shrimp on the Barbie” culture has become the sobriquet for Australian food. Barbecue restaurants abound in every corner of inhabited Australia. They are “must visits” and can become addictive. Australia has excellent well-priced wines as well as the local beers with which to complement your food. The Australians are not much on ceremony, but they are long on quality. Australian beef is enerally range fed, and will suit those who prefer Aberdeen Angus and Argentinean beef.
The sea food is of the tropical variety and Australian food scientists have come up with a farmable fish called Australian Barramundi as a means to preserve the fish dinner.
Australian Rules Football
I am surprised that the word “rules” appears in the name of this game at all. It appears to be a cross between Soccer, rugby and Thai kick boxing. It is the Australian equivalent of the Irish “sport” of hurling. However, no sticks are involved. It is the national pastime and a visit to a fixture is a must, if only to observe the behavior of the spectators. Normally placid and well behaved people (women are included here) become wailing banshees lusting for blood. A fair quantity of various forms of alcohol is consumed, but the violence seems to remain on the field.
The Gold Coast
This is the jumping off spot for the Great Barrier Reef, but it has other features as well. The beaches are endless and the surf is legendary. This place is very similar to Hawaii in its make-up and appeal.
The Gold Coast has its hazards. The Great White Shark is but one of them. The area boasts several kinds of highly venomous jelly fish, and stings from some of them can prove fatal. Make sure you obey the warning about sharks and jellyfish that are posted along the beaches. If the lifeguards tell you to stay out of the water, do so. They have flags and markers to give adequate warnings about potential and real hazards.
This apparently rather sedate game rivals “rules” (already discussed) in popularity and appeal. There is, however nothing sedate about the Australian attitude to this game. They play England for a trophy called The Ashes and play against all other cricketing in matches called Test matches. They are amazingly successful at this game and rival the West Indies in their success rate.
The game is peculiar to nations that were once colonies of England and so is not seen on a world-wide basis.
The game is almost impossible to explain, the rules and scoring system could befuddle the best mathematicians on the planet. Some matches last 3-5 days.
This is what the English call Rugby Union. It is a pure form of the game with rules that are standardized for the nations that play it. Rivalry between Australia (The Wallabies) and New Zealand (The All Blacks, after their uniform) is intense to say the least.
A visit to a Rugby fixture is an exciting affair and once more large quantities of beer are consumed.
The game is strange in that both ex-colonies of England and European nations take part. The 5 Nations Cup is a European competition that invokes strong sentiment and intense rivalry. Australia does not participate in this completion, but afficianado’s follow it closely.
Tennis is another fair weather game with a huge following. A list of Australian tennis greats is an amazing thing. Both male and female players dominate the list and many of them go on to become coaches. This appears to be one of the reasons for the entrenched success of their training and coaching prams, of which there are many. Tennis is not the upper-crust activity that it is in England. Coachinf is inexpensive and readily available outside the heady enclaves of cost-prohibitive Country Clubs.
The Australians value their tennis talent and nurture it well.
A visit to The Australian Open Tournament would be marvelous if you could conjure up the tickets.
Sailing off Freemantle, the port for Perth in Western Australia is a modern idyll. The breezes are generally light and this is cruise sailing at its most enjoyable. This is an ideal place to learn to sail as there are few hazards and sailing schools are plentiful and affordable.
Beaches also feature high on the list of benefits in this area. They are clean, safe and well-patrolled by life guards. The local population as well as tourists can be found here. This means that the local restaurants have good prices and even better food and drink. The wine generally comes from the eastern part of the country where the weather and soil better suit viticulture.