Exploring Australia

31 January 2008

From the bizarre backwaters to the bright city lights, TCS ventures down under to find the gems amidst the wide open spaces.

Brisbane

The capital of Queensland, Brisbane CBD is home to several beautiful Victorian buildings including the shopping mecca Queen Street Mall. Even hipper shopping and cafes can be found in FortitudeValley and the West End, while the ritzy South Bank hosts an outdoor cinema in summertime and a top-notch maritime museum.

Townsville

Townsville is the nearest town to the centre of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. Along the coast there are many beautiful beaches and the town itself is home to a large aquarium displaying the natural wonders of the Reef.

Sarina

Located in the heart of sugar cane country, Sarina is less spoiled by tourism than most of Queensland’s coastal towns.Nesting sea turtles can be seen on the beach during the wet season.

Katherine GorgeNational Park

This is rugged outback country with lush rainforests, rocky cliffs, deep gorges, and the water habitat of unique birds and animals (with the occasional freshwater crocodile).During the dry season, the waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing.

Darwin

Darwin has a rocky history of devastating cyclones and was the victim of the only substantial military attack on an Australian city, during WWII. These days, however, Darwin is known as a backpackers’ paradise, with an abundance of night clubs, a weekly international food market and plenty of cheap accommodation.

Broome

Broome is a pearling and tourist town located 3 days’ drive north of Perth.Once known as the ‘pearl capital of the world’, Broome is home to a large Japanese community that manages the oyster farms.Despite its remote location, the crystal clear water and white sandy beaches attract large numbers of tourists.

Perth

Situated just over 2700 km from its nearest city, Perth is often referred to as “the most isolated city in the world”. Tourists and locals alike appreciate its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful Indian Ocean beaches and indie music scene.

Alice Springs

A cultural centre for Aboriginal tribes over 50,000 years ago, Alice Springs continues to thrive today as a place of artistic diversity with an annual ‘Camel Cup’ race, a thriving Gay and Lesbian community and an impressive literary heritage, including Nevil Shute’s novel A Town Like Alice.

Uluru a.k.a. Ayers Rock

Uluru is the local aboriginal name for this rock formation in Australia’s Red Centre. The Anangu request that visitors do not climb on the rock or take pictures of certain areas as it is criss-crossed with sacred Dreamtime trails.

Roxby Downs

A purpose built village in the desert to house the workers at Olympic Dam — the largest known single deposit of Uranium in the world.The temperature reaches the high 40s in the summer, but with the town water pipes above ground, only hot water comes out from the taps.

Torquay

The quintessential surfing town, within a day trip from Melbourne.Torquay is the original home of many surfing companies including Rip Curl and Quicksilver and even has a museum dedicated to the world of surfing.World famous Jan Juc and BellsBeach are nearby.

Melbourne

Known as the sporting and live music capital of Australia, Melbourne is the site of great architecture, one of the world’s oldest China towns and spectacular sporting facilities thanks to the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Canberra

Purposefully built in 1911 to be Australia’s capital city, Canberra is home to The National Capital Exhibition where you can explore the story of this unique city. Delve even further back in the nation’s history by going to Blundell’s Cottage on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. The Capital is also home to the usual national institutions such as the High Court, Parliament and National Galleries.

Sydney

Along with the well-known Opera House, HarbourBridge, Botanic Gardens and BondiBeach, Sydney also offers trendy shopping in Chinatown, chic Saturday markets in Paddington, and family-friendly adventures at Taronga Zoo or the Sydney Aquarium.

Tamworth

For two weeks every January, the population of Tamworth triples as nearly 100 000 country music fanatics make their annual pilgrimage up the New England Highway to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.The stench of New South Wales beer fills the air and steel guitar-playing buskers occupy every corner.It’s a quiet country town the rest of the year.