Friday, February 24, 2012

Top 10 places in Australia

10. Kakadu National Park

KakaduNationalPark
Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin.Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south and over 100 kilometres from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland. The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive Uranium mines in the world, is contained within the park.
Kakadu was established at a time when the Australian community was becoming more interested in the declaration of national parks for conservation and in recognising the land interests of Aboriginal people. A national park in the Alligator Rivers region was proposed as early as 1965, but took until 1978 for the Australian Government to make arrangements to acquire the titles over various tracts of land that now constitute Kakadu National Park.
Kakadu is located in the tropics, between 12° and 14° south of the Equator. The climate is monsoonal, characterised by two main seasons: the dry season and the rain season. The ‘build up’ describes the transition between the dry and the rain.

9. Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations.
The road was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2011.The Great Ocean Road, officially designated as the B100, begins at Torquay and travels 243 kilometres westward to finish at Allansford near Warrnambool, the largest city along the road The road is two lane (one in each direction), with the majority covered by an 80 kilometre per hour speed limit.
The road is considered a tourist attraction in the area, in which much of the road hugs coastline affectionately known as the Shipwreck Coast, providing visibility of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. The road traverses rainforests, as well as beaches and cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone, which is susceptible to erosion.The road travels via Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell, the latter being notable for its natural limestone and sandstone rock formations including Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Arch and The Twelve Apostles.

8. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island. It is 112 kilometres (70 mi) southwest of Adelaide at the entrance of Gulf St Vincent. Its closest point to the mainland is 13 kilometres (8 mi) off Cape Jervis, on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the state of South Australia. The island is 150 km (93 mi) long and between 900 m (980 yd) and 57 km (35 mi) wide, its area covering 4,405 km2 (1,701 sq mi). Its coastline is 540 kilometres (340 mi) long and highest altitude is 307 m (1,010 ft). It is separated from Yorke Peninsula to the northwest by Investigator Strait and from Cape Jervis to the northeast by Backstairs Passage.
The biggest town on Kangaroo Island is Kingscote. Originally established at Reeves Point on 27 July 1836, it is South Australia’s first official European settlement. It was later suggested that Kingscote could serve as the capital of South Australia, but the island’s resources were insufficient to support such a large community, so the settlement of Adelaide was chosen.

7. Barossa Valley


The Barossa Valley is a major wine-producing region and tourist destination of South Australia, located 60 km northeast of Adelaide. It is the valley formed by the North Para River, and the Barossa Valley Way is the main road through the valley, connecting the main towns on the valley floor of Nuriootpa, Tanunda, Rowland Flat and Lyndoch.
The Barossa Valley derives its name from the Barossa Ranges, which were named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811. The name “Barossa” was registered in error, due to a clerical error in transcribing the name “Barrosa”. The area is approximately 13 km long by 14 km wide.
The three major towns of the Barossa each have a distinctive personality. Tanunda is generally recognised as the most German of the three with long-standing traditions dating back to the 1840s when the first German settlers arrived in the area. Because many of them came from Prussian Silesia, they called the Barossa Neu-Schlesien, or “New Silesia”. The German influence survives to this day (see Barossa German). Angaston, in contrast, is considered the English town as it was settled predominantly by Cornish miners and others from Britain. The third (and largest) town, Nuriootpa, was influenced by both the German and British settlers, and today is the commercial hub of the Barossa where most of the larger stores are located.

6. Melbourne

Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which “Melbourne” is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater geographical area had an approximate population of four million. Inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians.
The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city centre positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northern-most point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. The city centre is situated in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolitan area consists of a further 30 municipalities.
Melbourne is not known as the country’s shopping capital for nothing, from budget shoppers to designer addicts, there is something here for everyone! The Arts Centre in the Southbank holds a Sunday Market that showcases over 150 stalls of the finest artisans, here you really will find a gift for that someone who has everything. Queen Victoria Markets are a must for fresh fruit and veg as well as bargain clothing and bags and the atmosphere of the market is just not to be missed! For something more classy and upmarket, head for the Royal Arcade, Melbourne’s oldest shopping arcade or the Block Arcade which is based on those of Paris, London and Milan and practically oozes elegance! Chinatown is always buzzing with life and is home to the very best Chinese restaurants as well as Chinese cinema and a museum and it hosts many events.

5. Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park
Purnululu National Park is a national park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.It is located in north east of Western Australia. The nearest major town is Kununurra to the north, or Halls Creek to the south.
Access to the park by road is via Spring Creek Track, from the Great Northern Highway approximately 250 km south of Kununurra, to the track’s end at the visitor centre. The track is 53 km long and is usable only in the dry season (about 1 April to 31 December), and only by four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles. Safely navigating it takes approximately 3 hours. Access by air is less demanding; helicopter flights are available, from Bellburn Airstrip in the national park, and light aircraft, from both Warmun, 187 km south of Kununurra, and Kununurra.

4. Fraser Island

Fraser Island
Fraser Island is an island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi).[1] It was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia.
The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants. Fraser Island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile. The island is part of the Fraser Coast Region and protected in the Great Sandy National Park.

3. Tasmania

Tasmania
Tasmania (abbreviated as TAS) is an Australian island and state. It is 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 (as of June 2010), of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart precinct. Tasmania’s area is 68,401 square kilometres (26,410 sq mi), of which the main island covers 62,409 square kilometres (24,096 sq mi).
Tasmania is promoted as the natural state, the “island of inspiration”, and A World Apart, Not A World Away owing to its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Almost 37% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites.The island is 364 kilometers (226 mi) long from its northernmost to its southernmost points, and 306 kilometers (190 mi) from west to east.
The state capital and largest city is Hobart, which encompasses the local government areas of City of Hobart, City of Glenorchy, and City of Clarence, while the satellite town of Kingston (part of the Municipality of Kingborough) is generally included in the Greater Hobart area. Other major population centres include Launceston in the north and Devonport and Burnie in the northwest. The sub antarctic Macquarie Island is also under the administration of the state, as part of the Huon Valley Council local government area.

2. Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour
Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. It is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement in Australia, the harbour has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.
It is used as the location of Sydney New Year’s Eve and the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Geologically, Port Jackson is a drowned river valley, or ria. It is 19 km long with an area of 55 km². The estuary’s volume at high tide is 562 million cubic meters. The perimeter of the estuary is 317 kilometers.

1. Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.
A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.
The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups’ cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating $1 billion per year.