If you’re interested in a trip to the Land Down Under, you’d do well to remember that it comes with the sky up above and oceans all around. That’s because in addition to its geological and anthropological riches, the famous island-continent is highly renowned for clear skies that are perfect for stargazing as well as multitudes of underwater life and ecosystems that are welcoming to scuba divers, snorkelers, and kayakers alike. After all, this is the only place where you can find yourself amidst the massive Great Barrier Reef, the biggest coral reef system on the planet, which encompasses 133,000 square miles, or standing before the austere beauty of Uluru (or more commonly known as Ayers Rock) a gigantic 530 million-year-old sandstone monolith at the heart of the barren Australian Outback.
Natural Wonders and Cultural Capitals
Australian skies offer incomparable views of the Milky Way, and the Southern Cross in particular, the importance of which to its First Nations inhabitants, and later to European voyagers, has embedded the constellation into Australia’s national identity, and even graces its flag. It goes without saying that when an eclipse is forecast for any region on the continent, as it was in April 2023, your chances for optimum visibility and weather conditions are fantastic. Learmonth Solar Observatory in Exmouth and Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, nearly on opposite positions of Australia’s landmass, demonstrate Australia’s suitability and prowess for astronomic exploration and appreciation.
Besides the natural wonders on full display, Australia’s coasts are dotted with seaside capital cities bursting with culture, from the Queensland capital of Melbourne, with its art museum and botanical gardens, south to New South Wales capital of Sydney, epitomized by its famous Sydney Opera House, down and around to Melbourne with its famed Arts Precinct and Federation Square centered on the Yarra River, west toward the museum-filled Adelaide with its famous annual arts festival, and as far west as you can go, to Perth, where sandy beaches and surf come head to head with art and commerce.