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Australia, or "Down Under", is officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia. So large that it spans an entire continent of its own, Australia offers a veritable treasure of experiences ranging from the awesome natural splendor of its natural wonders to the sophisticated modern bustle of the big cities and the ancient wisdom and traditions of the Aboriginal heritage.

The high quality of life in the country's largest city, Sydney is enhanced by one of the world's great harbours, but there is far more to Australia city-wise than just Sydney. Its big rival, Melbourne, is blessed with a more European ambience, with trams and pavement cafés as much a part of the experience as the buzzing sports and cultural scene, while coastal Darwin, Perth and Brisbane offer other worlds to explore.

Away from the cities, Australia's stunningly diverse landscape boasts everything from vast, barren deserts, where kangaroo and emu bound through the arid surroundings, to tropical rainforests, rugged mountains and pristine beaches, such as world-class Bondi, Cable Beach and Whitehaven. Australia's main tourist attractions are Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast of Queensland and Uluru (Ayers Rock), in the rugged outback of the Northern Territory. Other attractions in the continent range from the wild flowers of Western Australia to the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, and from Western Australia's ghost towns to the remarkable wildlife on the island of Tasmania. The Australian coastline has thousands of miles of beautiful beaches.Australia key destinations are Capital Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmainia, Western Australia, and Victoria.

Australia generally boasts very moderate weather patterns with temperatures not varying much throughout the year. The extremes of the monsoon belt (hot and wet; hot and dry) and the sub-zero temperatures of the snowy mountains also occur. Summer starts in December, autumn from March, winter is June through August and September heralds in the spring.

International cuisine of every imaginable kind can be found throughout this very cosmopolitan country. Almost every animal indigenous to Australia can also be chosen from the menu and eaten in the many Australian restaurants in the capital cities. A culture of small corner stores often run by friendly and hardworking immigrants exists throughout the city centres as well as in suburbia.

The quintessential Australian souvenir remains articles of Aboriginal origin. These can be bought in duty-free and souvenir shops throughout Australia. It is well worth trying under all circumstances to buy genuine Aboriginal arts from the artist themselves or shops owned by Aborigines due to widespread abuse of the commercialisation of recent years.

For More Info See Australia Travel Guide

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