A lot of places are spruiked as ‘remote’ or ‘un-mapped’, and it’s easy to get a little cynical. Yeah, yeah, we think, there’s probably a McDonalds on every corner and a herd of selfie snapping tourists beating a well-worn path to the gift shop.
Picking the world’s best beach is a bit like arguing why your favourite colour should dominate the rainbow.
No one quite knows why, but there’s a twist in the Australian psyche that has made countless Aussies dedicate their lives to the construction of Big Things. These aren’t big important things like skyscrapers, or big beautiful things like bridges or sculptures, they’re just everyday objects magnified to about 200 times their actual size.
People don’t have a lot of time for ugly when they travel. Markets that are more crowded than ‘bustling’, run down temples that aren’t as ‘glowing’ as they were described online, and waters that could never pass for ‘azure’ in a million years: these things exist, we just don’t want to look at them.
American comedian Arj Barker once came up with an experiment to put the Australian vernacular to the test. Suspicious of what he was sure were just made-up words sprinkled into Aussie conversation for his benefit, he thought he’d try it himself. A store assistant came up to him one day and asked if he needed any help. Arj turned to him, looked him right in the eye and said, ‘No thanks, I’m just having a little squidjerididge’. To which the salesman replied, ‘No problem mate, let me know if you need anything.’
Far to the north of Melbourne’s laneway cafés and Sydney’s glittering waterfront, you’ll find Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area – 450 kilometres of steamy rainforest canopy, babbling creeks and lush mountain ridges.
From sloths hanging out, to whales breathtakingly breeching and lions stalking their prey – when we asked you about your best experiences with animals when travelling, we were inundated with more than 2700 special moments.
Selecting just a small handful to share for you was one tough task, but here are 15 of the most fabulous animal encounters from travellers…
You might have done so much planning and preparation that you already feel like you know a place before you visit. But as Debora Hoffman discovered when she left her United States homeland for a holiday in Oz, there are always bound to be a few things that you weren’t expecting Down Under…
“Thinking of Australia holidays? We found some surprises:
– It’s really, really far away. OK, this one wasn’t a surprise, but it is somewhat astonishing; it takes 30 hours to get to Melbourne. And that’s on Australia’s east coast. To get to Perth, on the west coast, takes another 4 hours. That is a brutal amount of time to be on airplanes, leaving you smelly, cranky and your brain on stun from the four movies you watched.