Australia is a land of dreams. From the sacred legends of the aboriginal Dreamtime when the great spirits conjured the coral reefs, rainforests, and scorched, red deserts, to armchair travelers who describe Australia as their dream destination, the Land Down Under deserves all the hype.

Sydney Opera House

Regarded as a 20th century architectural masterpiece, the Sydney Opera House was designed and built by architect, Jørn Utzon, to reflect the image of a huge sailing ship. It houses multiple venues that together host more than 1,500 performances each year. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Sydney Harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most famous landmarks.

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Great Barrier Reef

One of the top destinations for underwater explorers and scuba divers is the world’s largest barrier reef system, famously known as the Great Barrier Reef. Located in the Coral Sea, the Great Barrier Reef encompasses a huge area of more than 2,900 coral reefs and hundreds of islands and cays. The best way to explore the Reef is by one of the numerous boat cruises that run along the northern coast of Queensland. The town of Cairns is regarded as the main gateway to the Reef, but other towns also offer cruise operations.

Uluru/Ayers Rock

One of the world’s largest monoliths, Ayers Rock is also one of the top tourist attractions in Australia. Located within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park of the Northern Territory, this large sandstone formation stands more than 340 meters high. One of the rock’s peculiarities is that it changes colors dramatically at sunset from terra cotta to blue, violet and red. The local Aboriginal tribe, known as Anangu, call the rock Uluru and regard it as a sacred site.

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Kakadu National Park

Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, about three hours north of Darwin, Kakadu is the country’s largest national park. There is a lot to see in Kakadu National Park, including a large concentration of Aboriginal rock art; some of which are estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. This park is also home to many different species of wildlife, including wallabies, dingoes and crocodiles. In addition, Kakadu National Park, which is home to one-third of Australia’s bird species, is a birdwatcher’s dream.

Whitsunday Islands

This stunning collection of 74 islands lies in the middle of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, making them a perfect jumping off spot for travelers looking to explore the amazing and colorful marine life that live in the waters of this area. Although most of the Whitsunday Islands are deserted, seven do have outstanding resorts on them, including the world-famous One&Only on Hayman Island, a favorite of celebrities and the rich and famous. One of the most beautiful of the Whitsunday Islands is Whitehaven Beach, which boasts blinding white sands. These islands are the perfect choice for travelers seeking a blissful vacation on a lovely tropical island or for those who enjoy hours of snorkeling and scuba diving.

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