Experience Australia, the most ancient of continents. From dazzling urban harbors to vast underwater gardens, and from lush tropical rainforests to arid red deserts with colossal rock formations, this is the land of startling contrasts and unique beauty. Snorkel among the dazzling marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, watch a performance at Sydney’s Opera House, cuddle koalas, enjoy the Sound of Silence dinner at the sacred Ayers Rock, experience the Aboriginal “Dreamtime”, and this is not even half of the list.
Ayers Rock is one of the most extraordinary landmarks in Australia. Located in the southwest corner of the Northern Territory, close to the geographic center of Australia, Ayers Rock is a true monolith, a giant chunk of sandstone reaching towards the sky in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Rising up 1,148 feet high above its barren surroundings, it’s a striking site. Amazingly, two thirds the length of the rock is actually buried beneath the sands.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site, is the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem. It is wide and vast, and consists of extensive cross-shelf diversity, stretching from the low water mark nearest the mainland, and along the coast, up to 130 miles offshore. This range in depths includes vast shallow inshore areas, mid-shelf and outer reefs, finally stretching all the way to beyond the continental shelf in ocean waters over 500 feet deep.
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales is one of Australia’s oldest and largest cities, with a population close to 4 million. The city is ringed by a huge harbor and it is not only architecturally breathtaking with a modern skyline featuring the famous Sydney Opera House, but it also boats breathtaking beaches, with the wolrd-famous Bondi Beach, bewitching bays, and stunning national parks. Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks first visited Sydney in 1770.
Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, is picturesquely located along the coastline of Port Phillip Bay and along the Yarra River. Founded in 1835 by free settlers from the modern-day Tasmania, in the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, Melbourne entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
Having started around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, Aboriginal art is the oldest form of artistic expression in the world. It is also a language in itself, communicating through symbolism and iconography hidden withing beautiful patterns and colors, while following meticulous rules of each artist’s tribe. Along rock paintings, the most recognizable among the Aboriginal works of art are dot paintings, made of small dots in traditional Aboriginal colors: yellow (representing the sun), brown (the soil), red (desert sand) and white (the clouds and the sky).