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Australia is world famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, "the bush", and "the Outback".
Australia is one of the world's most highly urbanised countries; it is well known for the attractions of its large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Australian flora and fauna is unique to the island, the result of having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Amongst Australian animals are a large group of marsupials (mammals with a pouch) and monotremes (mammals that lay eggs). Just some of the animal icons of Australia are the kangaroo (national symbol) and the koala. A visit to Australia would not be complete without taking the chance to see some of these animals in their natural environment.
Wildlife parks and zoos
Wildlife parks and zoos are in every capital city, but also check out the animal parks if you are passing through smaller towns, like Mildura or Mogo, or staying on Hamilton Island. See the Warrawong Fauna Sanctuary if you are in South Australia, or visit the koalas with best view in the world, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
In the wild
Kangaroos and wallabies reside in national parks all around the country. You won't see any kangaroos hopping down the street in Central Sydney, but they are common on the outskirts of most urban areas. There is also a famous group which make their home on the of grounds of the University of the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland.
Wombats and echidna are also common, but harder to find due to their camouflage and tunnelling. See lots of echidnas on Kangaroo Island.
Koalas are present in forests around Australia, but are very notoriously hard to spot, and walking around looking upwards into the boughs of trees will usually send you sprawling over a tree root. Best seen during the day, there is a thriving and friendly population on Raymond Island near Paynesville in Victoria. You have a good chance on Otway Coast, on the Great Ocean Road, or even in the National Park walk near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
Emu are more common in central Australia. You will certainly see some if you venture to the outback national park at Currawinya
Platypus are found in reedy flowing creeks with soft river banks in Victoria, Southern New South Wales, and the very southern region of Queensland - seen at dusk and dawn - you have to have a bit of luck to see one. Try the platypus reserves in Bombala or Delegate in New South Wales, or in Emu Creek at Skipton just out of Ballarat.
Australia has many landmarks, famous the world over. From Uluru in the red centre, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.
See some of the Big things in Australia.
Do in Australia
Family Days Out, . Fun things for to do with the kids in Australia.
in the surf. Australia has seemingly endless sandy beaches. Follow the crowds to the world famous Bondi Beach in Sydney, or Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Or find a stretch all for yourself (but beware of dangerous rips on beaches, it is considerably safer to find a patrolled beach). The surf is smaller and warmer in the Tropical North, where the reef breaks the swell, and larger and colder in the south with waves rolling in from the Southern Ocean. (And yes, in the middle it is just right).
in calm tropical oceans. Cable Beach in Broome is swept pristine daily by the tide, has perfect sand, and warm water - go in winter.
in thermal pools. South of Darwin there are many natural thermal pools such as Berry Springs & Mataranka, surrounded by palms and tropical foliage.
in freshwater lakes. Inland Australia tends to be dry, but there are freshwater lakes where you would least expect them. Explore inland of Cairns at the Atherton Tablelands, or head outback to the Currawinya National Park.
in rivers. If its hot, and there is water, there will be a place to swim. Wherever you are, just ask around for the favourite swimming spot, with a waterhole and rope to swing on. Watch out for crocodiles.
in man-made pools. The local swimming pool is often the hub of community life on a summer Sunday in the country towns of New South Wales and Victoria. Many of the beachside suburbs of Sydney have man made rock pools for swimming by the ocean beaches.
on the beach! Find your spot by the water, and get out the towel. Tropical north in the winter, down south in the summer. As always when in Australia, protect yourself from the sun.