Australia

Overview

Introduction

From the craggy peaks of the Blue Mountains to the lush tropics of Queensland, the parched interior known as the Outback and the coral treasure land of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has something unusual and something special to offer visitors—even those traveling by tour bus.

The most frequently visited places in Australia's vast "red centre" have been tamed and put on a tour, but the Outback hasn't lost its frontier allure. Watching the sunset at Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) has become something of a circus with the hordes of tour buses, camper vans and motorcycles that crowd the parking lot, but watching the scalloped monolith (the world's largest rock) go from reddish-brown to a haunting burnt-orange against the desert sky is still a magical—some say spiritual—experience.

The same can be said for much of the rest of this country that's also a continent. Sydney may have joined the ranks of the world's top cities, but its architecture, stunning harbor, and electric, manic personality keep it singular: You won't mistake it for anywhere else.

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