Australia Facts and Travel Guide


G’day. I guess you are looking for Australia facts or travel tips. Or maybe both? Well, congratulations. Here you have a website not made by a travel agent who wants your dollars, but by a totally independent local travel addict who shares real first-hand experiences with you, along with Australian maps and a heap of fun facts about Australia. But no matter whether you plan to travel or are just looking for Australia facts, it’s always nice to go for a trip, isn’t it?

sydney australia travel
Sydney Opera House. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Well, let’s go. Let’s start in New South Wales and Sydney, one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and world-famous beaches Bondi and Manly. A day trip out? Blue Mountains National Park that offers great bushwalking is only one hour from the city.
North of Sydney is Australia’s oldest wine district Hunter Valley, where hundreds of wine lovers cruise from cellar to cellar sampling the products of different vineyards. If wine is not your poison, go even further north, to Byron Bay and Nimbin – Australia’s answer to Amsterdam. But be aware that the smell of dope on the streets of these towns does not mean it’s legal.

new south wales tourism
Byron Bay, NSW. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Any further north from here – be warned – is the state of "hillbillies", "backwards" and "banana benders". But it’s only the jelaous southerners that have given Queensland this reputation. Queenslanders are in fact the luckiest people in Australia. No other state in Australia has got so many hot and sunny days, tropical cities, national parks and coral islands. Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns are top cities with everything you ever need. Surfers Paradise and the theme parks pull millions of tourists to the Gold Coast every year. Carnarvon Gorge, Lawn Hill, Wooroonooran National Park and Daintree rainforests beat any southern national parks. Cape York is one of Australia's very last frontiers. Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island. Hinchinbrook Island is the world’s largest island national park. And the 2000 km long Great Barrier Reef, also world’s largest, offers endless snorkelling in turquoise blue waters around more than 600 islands surrounded by corals and 1500 species of fish, including our Hollywood star Nemo. Mate, can you hear that I am a Queenslander?? Phew! Let’s move on...

queensland facts
Queensland. Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

South of New South Wales (and Sydney), is the state of Victoria. It’s probably Australia’s densest inhabited state, although it’s way too cold here to my liking. The high altitudes and southern latitudes mean Victoria is a snowy place during the winter, and unless you intend to go snowboarding, I recommend you visit between October and April.
Like many other states, Victoria has got some historical towns from the days of gold-rushes, and some good bushwalks in national parks like The Grampians and Wilsons Promontory. But what you should not miss are the famous rock formations Twelve Apostles on the beautiful Great Ocean Road.

victoria tourism
Twelve Apostles Victoria. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

And then of course, there is Melbourne. Australians from this part of the continent are divided into two groups: Sydney-lovers (and Melbourne-haters) and Melbourne-lovers (and Sydney-haters). The rivarly has been on for decades and went so far that they had to build Canberra in between the two, to become the capital of Australia. Having been living in Sydney myself, I gave my heart to Syndey, but Melbourne has some good things to offer: Australia’s most beautiful central train station, colourful Queen Victoria Markets, a famous cricket ground, and - trams that have caused some of Australia’s weirdest traffic rules.

melbourne tourism
Melbourne. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Melbourne is the place to catch the ferry to Australia’s biggest island and a state for itself, Tasmania – a bushwalkers’ paradise. Most of the island is covered by national parks, the most famous being the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair. South of the state capital Hobart which has lately got famous for giving Denmark a princess, is the historic Port Arthur, known for its cruel convict history, a haunted prison, and a massacre in 1996 when a freak by the name of Martin Bryant opened fire and killed 35 people before burning down a local guesthouse and ending up in prison for the rest of his life. But despite its history, Tasmania is a beautiful place to visit.

tasmania travel
Tasmania. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

All the rest of Australian states contain a little bit of life around their capital cities, and then a great portion of what we call "the outback" (New South Wales and Queensland have an outback too but it’s not quite as empty as in west).

south australia tourism
Nullarbor. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

In South Australia for example, you have Adelaide, Australia’s largest and most famous wine district Barossa Valley, and a large area of uninhabited desert. In Western Australia, you have Perth (a great city!), Fremantle, Rottnest Island and the giant karri and jarrah forests in South-western WA, but the rest of the huge state which covers almost half of the whole continent, consists of a few mining towns and dusty deserts. Northern Territory is wonderfully tropical around Darwin and the famous Kakadu National Park, but go south and you enter the great emptiness of the inland Australia, which I personally like the most! Australian Outback is guaranteed to make you forget your work. It’s so different, so relaxed, and so adventurous. And in the very heart of it all, you have that big red rock in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park (aka Ayers Rock and The Olgas) that you have surely heard about and mate, don’t miss it, it’s worth every kilometre it took you to get here.

northern territory tourism
Uluru. Courtesy of Tourism Northern Territory

GREAT TRIP, HEY? NOW ... Oh.. did I forget the eighth state - ACT (Australian Capital Territory)? Well it's a tiny state mostly consisiting of Australia's capital Canberra - a city known for its lack of decent pubs (which itself is quite un-Australian). At the expence of proper pubs, Canberra has (of course) a Parliament House, a National University, a National Library, and a great lot of national museums, as it should be in a capital city.

australian capital territory travel
Canberra. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

NOW ... WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT A TRAVELLER AT ALL AND ONLY WANT A FEW AUSTRALIA FACTS? No worries. This website is full of Australia facts so it works for you too! It contains a lot more than travel tips like information on Australia visa requirements, cheap plane tickets to Australia, car rentals, road distances, train travel, Australia budget accommodation, backpacker jobs, Australian celebrations and fun things to do in Australia.

animals of australia
Kangaroos. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia Facts about Animals, Plants and Geology

On the Australian Animals page you'll find information about Australian beautiful birds and unique animals including koalas and kangaroos, dingoes and wombats, as well as platypus and echidna; and whales and dolphins. On the Australian Nature page you'll find Australia facts about the country's geography and geology, and rocks and minerals; as well as the variable vegetation in Australian deserts, temperate and tropical rainforests, alpine areas and eucalyptus forests.

Tasmanian rainforest
Tasmanian rainforest. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia Facts about Aboriginal People

On Aboriginal People page you'll find Australia facts about what the Aboriginal culture once was like and what has happened in the history of Australia since the British convicts jumped off their First Fleet in Botany Bay.

aboriginal people
Aboriginal rock painting. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia Facts about Aussie Culture

On the Australian Culture pages you'll find Australian facts about food and drinks, and learn what a mixture of cultures Australian population is today. But you'll realise that regardless of the background, for an average Aussie, the beach-beer-and-barbecue culture comes first.

australian culture
Port Douglas. Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Funny Australia Facts

This brings to mind a few Australian jokes and other time killers like some fun Australia facts trivia and Australian Slang Dictionary – it’s fun to know Australian English but they do understand you without you having to express yourself by “fair dinkum” or “she’ll be apples”.

australia climate
Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia Facts: Current Time and Weather

Knowing that it can be tricky to keep track of local time and weather from the other side of the earth, I have explained when-to-go-where in Australia under Climate and Weather. To make it really easy to track the time, there is the current local time in each state ticking in Current Time, and you can find out the current weather conditions in Weather in Australia. Here is the time in eastern Australia (Sydney) at the moment:

 

Australia Facts about Dangers and Road Distances

As you plan your Australian trip, you may also want to know about what's dangerous in Australia and how long are Australian road distances. You can find Australian dangerous animals, and other dangers such as bushfires and dangerous beaches in Dangerous Things; and you can find out travel directions and calculate the length of your trip in Road Distances.

 
View Larger Map

There is a Google map in the bottom of all the destination pages showing you the location of the places you are reading about. Here is the map of the whole Australia where I've tagged the places which I have mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

australia
Courtesy of Tourism Australia

"BUT - that’s not all - YOU can now also get involved on this website"
. Yes - that's what has been promised here for a good while now, but finally, it's happened. You can now build your own page on Gondwananet - write travel reviews or add your story or comments about a place which you can do in the end of almost every destination page on this site. Have fun creating your own page(s) and thanks for your contribution to Gondwananet! More interactive features coming in the future :-)

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NOTE: This website is written in British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all correct in the language used in Australia!

 


DISCLAIMER
:
While every care is taken for all the information on this website to be correct, Gondwananet is not to be blamed for anyone getting lost in Australian cities, running out of petrol in the bush, missing planes or getting caught in customs. Nor is it responsible for any snake bites or hangovers, limbs missed while swimming in crocodile-infested waters or heads laughed off while reading Useless Junk! We just hope you enjoy :-)











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POSTERS
by AllPosters. Click on thumbnails to buy
 
Ayers Rock, Australia


Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Three Sisters Rock Formation Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroo and Joey on Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
 
Natural Rock Formations of Bungle Bungles and Dirt Road Leading to It, Purnululu NP, Australia

Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island, Australia. Buy at AllPosters.com

12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia. Buy at AllPosters.com

Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park, Australia

City Skyline Reflected in Yarra River, Seen from Swan Street Bridge, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia. Buy at AllPosters.com

Tacking Point at Sunrise, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Rainbow Valley, Australia

Sydney Opera House, New South Wales, Australia

Rounded Granite Boulders, Part of Devil's Marbles, Northern Territory, Australia

Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tablelands, Australia

Road Train, Kynuna, Australia. Buy at AllPosters.com

Surfers Paradise Sign, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Radical Bay, Magnetic Island, Australia

Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia

Australian Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Opera House, Sydney Harbour, Australia

Boab Trees on Victoria Highway, Keep River National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

Curtain Fig Tree, Atherton Tablelands, Australia

Stuart Highway, Northern Territory, Australia

Perth Skyline, Western Australia

Sheep Grazing Amongst Salvation Jane with New Vineyards in Distance, South Australia

The Olgas, Northern Territory, Australia

Gunlom, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia. Buy at AllPosters.com

Waier Island in the Murray Island Group, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

Brighton Beach Boatsheds with City in Background, Melbourne, Australia

Sheer Northern Wall of James Range, King's Canyon, Australia

Dead Tree in Field of Flowering Canola, Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia

City Skyline, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Uluru, Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Hobart City Beside Derwent River and Below Mt. Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Campbell's Bay, Historical District, the Rocks, Sydney, Australia

Detail of Walls of China, Mungo National Park, Australia.

Vineyard, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday, Queensland, Australia

Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia

Windmills at Sunset in Penong, Australia

Aerial View of Island and Surrounding Reefs, Australia

Sandstone and Conglomerate Domes of Bungle Bungle Range, Western Australia