Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It features many kinds of beauty. Mostly, it’s a land of natural wonders with spectacularly beautiful open space: its central desert with Aires Rock in its center, its extensive woodlands & grasslands, mountains, and breath-taking ocean coastlines and beaches.
Australia is a very large country (as big as America) whose land comprises of the continental mainland, the large island of Tasmania plus other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It lies in the southern hemisphere.
Australia is one of those marvellous places where action-packed adventure is everywhere with its numerous wonderful outdoors sites. But beyond adventure travel, there are other things to do on your vacation such as laying on the beach and doing absolutely nothing or visiting its interesting cities.
Top 10 Things to See & Do In Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia. Whatever you do, don’t skip this site! It is often dubbed as one of natural wonders of the world. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1981. It is very popular tourist destination. You can enjoy scuba diving and boating in the warm clear waters of the reef.
Gold Coast is a wonderful coastal city in the southeast corner of the state of Queensland. It is often dubbed as Surfers Paradise. The city is famous for its sunny subtropical climate, popular surfing beaches, grand waterway & canal systems, beautiful skyline & skyscrapers, active nightlife, and countless tourist attractions. You can enjoy the beaches, lovely airs, and vibrant nightlife of the city.
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a very popular destination. You can enjoy shopping at Queen Street Mall in central business district (CBD); enjoy eating & walking at restaurants, cafes, & boardwalks in South Bank; enjoy vibrant nightlife in Fortitude Valley; enjoy shopping & eating at artsy shops and cafes in West End; enjoy dinning at trendy dining places in New Farm; and cruising on the Brisbane River at Brett’s Wharf.
Daintree National Park, in Far North Queensland, is a popular tourist destination. Founded in 1988, the park consists of two sections, with a settled agricultural area that includes the towns of Daintree Village and Mossman. Home to numerous with tropical birds, butterflies, reptiles and countless species of wildlife, Daintree Village is a nature-lover’s paradise.
Melbourne is really the culinary, sporting and cultural capital of Australia. Often dubbed as one of the most cultured cities of Australia, Melbourne is widely known for its Victorian-era architecture, many cultural institutions such as museums, galleries and theaters, and large parks and gardens. You can enjoy every bit of Melbourne.
Royal Botanic Gardens, located near the centre of Melbourne, Victoria, are the finest in Australia and the best in the world. On the south bank of the Yarra River, the Royal Botanic Gardens are 354,000 square metres (35 hectares or 87 acres) of beautifully landscaped gardens. You can see a wide range of flora and enjoy the refreshing scenic beauty of the gardens.
Sydney is a unique city where the sun seems to always shine and where many of its various suburbs are all facing waterfront. Cute ferries take you from one area to another. Located on the south-east coast of Australia, the Harbor City certainly is globally influential in the fields of culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design. The city is home to the Australia’s two most iconic structures Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can enjoy the vibrant life of the dynamic city.
Sydney Opera House, designed by Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect, is one of the wonders of the modern world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, the opera house is the most iconic building of Australia. It is the most famous performing arts venues in the world. You can enjoy the world famous theatrical, musical, and dance performances at this World Heritage Site.
Australian Museum, originally known as the Colonial Museum or Sydney Museum, is located in College Street, Sydney. Famous in the fields of natural history and anthropology, it is one of the oldest museums in Australia. You can enjoy witnessing wondrous collections of vertebrate & invertebrate zoology, mineralogy, palaeontology, and anthropology, and exhibitions at the museum.
Fall is my favorite season. It gives you the opportunity to get away (particularly if you didn’t get a summer vacation) for a fraction of the cost of a summer vacation and usually the weather, nature and cultural activities are at their best. There is so much opportunity to get away in Fall to enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Fall Foliage Tours
Whether you drive yourself or take a tour bus, there’s nothing quite like seeing the changes of the season reflected in the changing color of the leaves. Of course, some places have better color than other places, and the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are considered some of the best areas of the United States to take a fall foliage tour, with the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire known as one of the best places in the world to see spectacular fall foliage.
But, New England’s not the only game in town, as awesome fall foliage can also be seen in such places as the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, Lost Maples Natural Area in Texas and Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
You can drive your car, hike, ride a bike or let someone else be your guide on one to 8-day tours.
It used to be that Halloween was reserved only for the kids. Not anymore. Halloween has become a big adult holiday as well, with Halloween celebrations being held for adults in most major cities. Some cities, however, have become must-visit Halloween spots: New York City, West Hollywood, and Las Vegas.
New York City:
For 33 years New York City has played host to one of the largest public Halloween celebrations in the United States with New York’s Village Halloween Parade, where anyone in costume is encouraged to join bands, puppets, and dancers for a parade in Greenwich Village. The Halloween parade is so popular that is has been chosen by Events International as “The Greatest Event on Earth on October 31,” as well as having been ranked 3rd by Citysearch as the best event in New York City.
This Halloween celebration takes place on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, which has a large gay and lesbian population. The celebration usually lasts several days, with such events as “Doggy Costume” contests for you pet pooch, a Drag Race (in high heels), and a costume party on Halloween night, which is billed as the “largest adult outdoor Halloween event in the world.”
Let’s face it; Las Vegas is fun any time of the year. But, for those who love Halloween and an occasional trip to Vegas, a trip to Las Vegas on Halloween is double fun. Not for the timid is the “Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball,” celebrated on October 27 in 2007. It’s been happening for 12 years now, and has earned numerous accolades, including being named as “One of the Top 10 Events in the World” by the Travel Channel and “One of 5 Events to Attend Before You Die” by Maxim Magazine.
For those desiring something a little tamer, many of the casinos have special Halloween celebrations, and there’s always the “Haunted Vegas Tour” you can take, which is a 2.5-hour tour of Las Vegas’ favorite haunted locations. The tour starts at the Celebrity Room at the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino and runs every Saturday through Thursday. Call 702-737-5540 for more information.
While many people stay home for Thanksgiving, or travel back to their hometowns to celebrate with family and friends, some people like to travel for Thanksgiving, sampling Thanksgiving feasts and traditions in other parts of the country. Where might you like to travel this Thanksgiving?
Plymouth was the site of the first Thanksgiving, so naturally it’s a place you might want to consider for your Thanksgiving celebration. You may want to arrive the weekend before Thanksgiving to take part in the “America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade” and “New England Food Festival.”
New York City, New York
You’ve watched it on TV, now experience it live. Get away to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and join over two million people who line the streets watching the festivities. If you’re not into being up close and personal with crowds, get a hotel room along the parade route and watch it from your upstairs room.
San Francisco, California:
No Pilgrims here, but what you will find are superb restaurants, such as the Carnelian Room, fifty-two floors above the city. But, the real reason to come to San Francisco for Thanksgiving is what happens after Thanksgiving – shopping! And, no place does shopping better than Union Square in San Francisco, which is block after block of great shopping experiences. Stay in a hotel in the Union Square area and you can shop, drop off your goodies, and shop some more.
The above, of course, is just a tiny sampling of fall getaways. Just be sure to take it easy after your trip, you want to be fully rested for your winter getaway.
When planning Napa Valley travel, you should understand the key areas that make up the majority of Napa Valley. Calistoga, St. Helena, Oakville/Rutherford, Yountville, and Napa are towns that offer winery tours, pleasant accommodations, and other activities that tourists can add to their Napa Valley travel itinerary. As Napa Valley is well known for its wine, adults will find plenty to do, but children may not be quite as thrilled.
Calistoga became popular in the early 1800’s when settlers discovered the amazing restorative properties of the area’s natural hot springs. From that day forward, tourists arranging their Napa Valley Travel itinerary, and who are seeking a little rest and relaxation, have flocked to Calistoga. Harbin Hot Springs is a non-profit organization that offers relaxing Napa Valley travel choices. At Harbin Hot Springs, guests can relax in any of the resort’s natural springs, attend artistic workshops, or stroll the 1700 acres of impressive landscape.
Located in St. Helena, Beringer Vineyards is California’s oldest winery in full operation. Founded in 1876, Beringer offers daily tours and wine tastings for a very affordable price. The vineyard is packed with lush landscaping and historic buildings. St. Helena is also a haven for antique shoppers. The area’s extravagant Meadowood golf course will appeal to the avid golfer. Couples needing a mix of activities on their Napa Valley travel itinerary will enjoy St. Helena.
Any movie buff knows the name Francis Ford Coppola. Formerly known as the Niebaum-Coppola Vineyards, Rubicon Estate in Oakville/Rutherford continues to produce top-notch wines. Rubicon Estate offers special estates throughout the year. The St. Helena Olive Oil Company is another “must see” on many Napa Valley travel itineraries. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are both produced daily and can be sampled in the retail section of the company.
Yountville, California is no more than one mile in length. Tourists love adding Yountville to their Napa Valley travel plans because the town can be seen by foot. Park your car, put on some comfortable shoes, and see the sites. Amazing architecture is only one of the rewards. France’s Moet and Chandon sister company, Domaine Chandon, is located in Yountville. Daily tours of the winery that specializes in sparkling wines are free. While a trip into the tasting room lets you enjoy a few samples.
In Napa, La Belle Époque remains a highly requested bed and breakfast. Romantics of all ages book rooms at this gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian months in advance. The Wineries of Napa Valley is a unique organization that offers samplings from many of Napa Valley’s wine makers. The Wineries of Napa Valley sells a wine tasting card that allows ten-cent initial samplings from each winery in the establishment.
Whether you are arranging a romantic Napa Valley travel plan or wanting to explore the world of winemaking, Napa Valley is a lavish option. Though the area can be a little on the pricey side, Napa Valley travel plans create a lasting memory.
Who knows what Sigismondo Malatesta, the famous 15th Century Lord of Rimini (and original ‘renaissance man’, as described by American poet Ezra Pound), would make of his city were he to return today.
Apart from the obvious differences between the renaissance city (many significant parts of which remain, for example Malatesta’s castle) and that of the 21st – i.e the presence of skyscrapers, electrically powered street lights, and the ever present motor vehicle – one thing would perhaps strike him above all, the move to the seaside.
In Malatesta’s time Rimini and its defences were decidedly inland, running around what is considered the centro storico today. Malatesta, on coming to power, embarked on a huge building programme, which included the famous Tempio Malatesta – the first, and one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Europe – and his huge, and at the time thoroughly modern fortress, the rocca malatesta. His city, though, was built primarily on top of the existing city’s site – that is to say on the site of the Roman city of Ariminum, founded in approximately 286 B.C. Existing roman monuments, including the famous Ponte di Tiberio and Arco d’Augusto(which remain impressive monuments today) were incorporated into his city, all of which – even given the retreat of the sea over the centuries, were inland from the beach.
Strolling around today’s city, Malatesta would find, at least during the summer months, a gravitational pull towards the expansive sandy beaches that would probably puzzle him. In his day the notion of lying on the beach for the day, with an occasional swim to cool off, would have seemed particularly strange, if not downright dangerous. The beach was a place for brigandry and smuggling, away from the protection of the city’s defences. Let’s not forget, as well, that in Malatesta’s time cities like Rimini were often at war with neighbouring city states. Throughout his lifetime Malatesta was in continuous conflict with powers like his neighbour Federico da Montefeltro, Lord of Urbino, or indeed the Pope (Pius II, for example, excommunicated Sigismondo in 1460 declaring him a heretic). Sunbathing and sea bathing would not, perhaps, have been high on the average citizens’s priorities at the time.
So when did Rimini start to change, to become a town that is, for Italians (and increasingly tourists from around the world), synonymous with sun, sea, and sand? Professor Feruccio Farina, of the University of Urbino, in his fascinating study of the history of seabathing in Rimini – Una costa lunga due secoli (Panozzo Editore) – gives us a portrait of one of the first foreign tourist bathers to dip her toes into Rimini’s gentle waves. Her name was Elisabeth Kenny, and she was the young Irish wife of a Roman noble. She’s recorded as having visited Rimini in August of 1790 (over 300 years after the death of our Sigismondo), and stayed for over two weeks to benefit from the sea waves and air.
Mallorca (derived from Latin “insula maior” (larger island)), the largest of the Balearic islands, has become a popular holiday destination for tourists from all over the world in recent years. The name of the island has become a synonym for cheap mass tourism since the 1960s.
But besides the well-known tourist centres around Palma de Mallorca and at the southern and eastern coast Mallorca also offers many diverse landscapes, excellent sites and perfect conditions for various leisure time sports, an untouched Mediterranean fauna and flora, an unspoilt Mediterranean wildlife and numerous historical sights. Charming little mountain villages, secluded and quiet sandy beaches and bays, peaceful and cozy fishing villages and the bizarre shaped, wild romantic rocky coastline await discovery. These spots can be best explored when you rent a bike or car and go out on your own for the experience of the unknown Mallorca on its coastal roads or wooded, mountainous hiking trails. Due to its geographical richness and its wide range of vacation possibilities Mallorca is an ideal holiday destination for individual vacation, group vacation, couple vacation and family vacation.
The Palma de Mallorca region with its long-established tourist infrastracture and the coastline of the adjacent Migjorn and Llevant regions are the main tourist area of Mallorca. The long sandy beaches such as Playa del Palma offer a large variety of leisure time activities such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, waterskiing, jetskiing, boogieboarding, sea kayaking, scuba diving, surfing and swimming. The beaches may be crowded during high season. Palma de Mallorca, the island´s capital, offers some interesting historical sights, numerous bars, cafes and restaurants, various shopping possibilities and a vibrant nightlife programme. The 16th century Palma Cathedral (“La Seu de Palma” or “La Catedrál de Palma de Mallorca”), a Roman Catholic Cathedral, was built on the former site of an Arab Mosque and impresses the visitor with its French Gothic style. The Almudaina Palace (“Palau de l´Almudaina” or “Palacio de la Almudaina”), a former Muslim fortress built in the 11th century under the Almoravid dynasty, is a spectacular piece of medieval Moorish architecture. It was restored in the 14th century on the order the Catholic Spanish king Jaime II of Aragón as a palace.
The northern and western coast of the island is occupied by a long mountain range, the Tramuntana range (“Serra de Tramuntana” or “Sierra de Tramuntana”), which reaches from Andratx to Cap Formentor. The Tramuntana range with its wild romantic and rough mountain scenery, bizarre shaped rocks, pine woods and steep coastline can be best explored on mountainous hiking trails. Its calmness and isolation contrast with the noisy and crowded tourist areas at the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca. It is ideal for lovers of ecotourism and a perfect holiday destination for travellers seeking privacy and calmness. Some charming, picturesque old villages such as Lluc, Pollenca, Alcúdia, Sóller, Alaro, Arta and Deià lie hidden in the Tramuntana mountains, all of which are worth a day trip.
Located at the northeastern coast of Mallorca, the city of Alcúdia offers shopping possibilities and other tourist attractions. Its nearby mile-long and sandy beach invites to sunbathing and offers a large variety of water sports activities such as surfing, windsurfing, parasailing, sailing, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, kitesurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and bathing. Take a stroll through the charming picturesque old town of Alcúdia and visit its weekly markets. The nearby Roman amphitheatre is a worthwile historical monument.
The close-by Hidropark (“Parque Acuático”) with its swimming and boating pools, mini-golf courses and giant water slides is a worthwhile day trip destination for families. The nearby S’Albufera National Park (“Parc Natural de S’Albufera” or “Parque Natural de S’Albufera de Mallorca”) with its dunes, salt water marshes, lagoons and lakes fascinates the visitor with its untouched Mediterranean flora and fauna and unspoilt wildlife. It is known among nature lovers for its birdwatching sites.
Set high in the mountains near the northern coast of Mallorca between Sóller and Pollenca, the village of Lluc, an medieval place of pilgrimage, awaits discovery. The Monastery of Lluc/ Monastery of Our Lady of Lluc (“Monestir de Nostra Senyora de Lluc”) was founded in 1121 and dedicated to Saint James of Santiago de Compostela (“San Jaime de Compostela”), the patron saint of Spain.
Since the Middle Ages millions of Roman-Catholic christians have followed the ancient pilgrim´s trail from Caimari to the Monastery of Lluc to adore the Black Madonna of Lluc (“Virgen de Lluc” or “Nuestra Señora de Lluc”, also called “La Moraneta” by the locals), the patron saint of Mallorca. The monastery was renovated by Antoni Gaudí.
Situated at the northern coast of Mallorca, the charming picturesque 13th century town of Pollenca with its historical sights is also a worthwhile day trip destination. You might walk the Way of the Cross (“Via Crucis”) up to Cavalry Mountain (“El Cavalri” or “El Calvario”) and see the Mother of God at the Foot of the Cross (“Mare de Déu del Peu de la Creu” or “Madre de Dios del Pie de la Cruz”), a much-revered virgin statue housed in a chapel on top of the hill. The Plaça Major, the main square of Pollenca, has some good cafes, bars and restaurants and invites the traveller to having a coffee and relaxing after a day´s strolling through the twisted alleys of the medieval town centre.
Pollenca also offers a wide range of shopping possibilities and the lively and busy Sunday market at the Plaça Major is also worth visiting. Dominating the Plaça Major, the Church of Our Lady of the Angels (“Esglèsia de Nostra Senyora dels Àngels” or “Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles) built by the Knights Templar in the 13th century impresses the visitor with its austere Baroque façade.
Located at the northwestern coast of Mallorca, the charming, quiet town of Sóller surprises the visitor with some interesting sights. The Botanical Gardens of Sóller (“Jardí Botànic de Sóller” or “Jardín Botánico de Sóller”) and the Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences (“Museu Balear de Ciènces Naturals” or “Museo Balear de Ciencias Naturales”) invite to exploring the huge bio-diversity of Mallorca and are worthwhile day trip destinations.
The Bank of Sóller (“Banc de Sóller”,”Banco Central Hispano” or “antiguo Banco de Sóller”) and the Parish Church of Sant Bartomeu (“Església de Sant Bartomeu” or “Iglesia de Sant Bartomeu”) located at Plaça Constitució, the main square of Sóller, are further spectacular monuments. Founded in 1248 and originally built in Gothic style, the church was renovated in 1904 by Joan Rubió I Bellver, a pupil of Antoni Gaudí, in Art Noveau style. The bank was built in 1889 and designed in Modernist style by Rubió in 1912.
The Museum of the Casal de Cultura (“Museu del Casal de Cultura” or “Museo del Casal de Cultura”) is also worth a visit. You might as well make a trip with the Sóller Train (“Ferrocarril de Sóller”) running between Palma de Mallorca and Sóller since 1912 and enjoy the diversity of Mallorcas many different landscapes. A trip with this ancient train is really an unforgettable event and a main tourist attraction.
Further historical sites of interest in the Tramuntana mountains are Alaró Castle, Valdemossa Monastery, the Monastery of San Salvador (“Santuari de Sant Salvador” or “Monasterio de San Salvador”) in Felanitx and The King´s Castle (“El Castell del Rey” or “El Castell del Rei”) in Pollenca. Mallorca is also a paradise for golf players and offers a wide range of first-class golf courses in Andratx, Santa Ponsa, Son Gual and Canyamel, just to mention a few. Nature lovers and lovers of ecotourism might also visit Sa Dragonera Nature Park, Cala Mondragó Nature Park and Cabrera National Park and enjoy Mediterranean nature in its purest form on numerous hiking trails and in total calmness.