Seniors Travel to Australia, Country and Continent

Nov 18th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors, let’s start our visit today right here with a nice video overview of Australia, listening to Waltzing Matilda.  Do start here. I did and I came back again at the end as it is a neat scene.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It’s about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world – only two people per square kilometer. Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands. The mainland is the largest island and the world’s smallest, flattest continent. The history of the settling of Australia is interesting as the new outpost was put to use as a penal colony and on 26 January 1788, the First Fleet of 11 ships carrying 1,500 people – half of them convicts – arrived in Sydney Harbor. Until penal transportation ended in 1868, 160,000 men and women came to Australia as convicts. While free settlers began to flow in from the early 1790s, life for prisoners was harsh. And that’s how early life began there.

Today Australia also defines itself by its Aboriginal heritage, vibrant mix of cultures, innovative ideas and a thriving arts scene. Discover places steeped in Aboriginal history in the Northern Territory. Visit Australia’s Red Centre and walk around the base of Uluru with an Anangu guide. Browse Aboriginal art in Alice Springs, where the Arrernte people have lived for 20,000 years. Learn about Dreamtime myths in the intricate rock art galleries of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Deserts cover a large portion of the land in Australia. Most of the deserts lie in the central and north-western part of the country. The largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid.  Although Australia is a relatively young nation, its culture spans over 40,000 years beginning with the Aboriginal people and over 8 million people reside there today.

Australia is a favorite tourist destination for many. The warm and friendly Australians lend a helping hand to the foreign visitors; the hospitality of this spectacular country, pleasant weather in Australia is legendary. However it is advisable for the tourists to visit Australia well equipped with authentic tourist information. Be it Fraser island tour or Australia adventure travel or a family trip, Australia vacations offers you memorable and fun filled holidays. 

When one thinks of Australia one often thinks of the Great Barrier Reef.  It is one of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts and is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. It stretches more than 2,000 kilometers along the Queensland coast.

Australia has 11 international gateways served by major international airlines. All International Airports have shopping, dining, banking, currency exchange, disabled access, hotel reservation facilities, tourist information desks, and showers. Major car rental companies are represented. Transfers between the airport and city centre are available by taxi, shuttle bus and by rail in Sydney and Brisbane. It’s a long flight (14-16 hours) so be prepared with reading and your laptop to entertain you. 

Here is all the information you will need for visas and immigration. It is important to remember that Australia is on the opposite side of the Equator, so their seasons are the opposite of ours: our Summer is their Winter, and vice-versa. In Sydney, for example, average temperatures are generally around 77 F in the Summer, 71 in the Spring and Fall, and 60 in the Winter. Want to visit the Outback and Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) without the worry of black flies, poisonous snakes, and poisonous spiders? Then visit from June to August when the black flies are gone and most of the poisonous critters are hibernating – just remember that nights can get very cold out in the desert and that’s good to know.

Learn about the Koala, red kangaroo and other Australian animals here.   Here you can catch up on Aussie slang before your visit.  Getting to really know the country one needs to learn that there are more sound recordings of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ than any other Australian song. “Waltzing Matilda” by Slim Dusty is Australia’s most widely known bush ballad, a country folk song and has been referred to as “the unofficial national anthem of Australia”.  The title is Australian slang for traveling by foot with one’s goods in a “Matilda” (bag) slung over one’s back. If you want a “classier” version, here’s André Rieu – Waltzing Mathilda (in Australië) with the entire audience singing the song.  Great scene!. Here are the lyrics if you would like to sing along.  Just try it. So “G’day mite”.  jeb



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