Down Under:

Journey to another world

Created date

November 29th, 2019
Featherdale Wildlife Park is home to a variety of adorable inhabitants like the tammar wallaby pictured here.

Featherdale Wildlife Park is home to a variety of adorable inhabitants like the tammar wallaby pictured here.

On the other side of the world is a place full of spectacular views, mesmerizing wildlife, cities with stories to tell, and genuinely kind people who embrace a “no worries” attitude. Australia is bursting with life in every way; you’ll be in awe from arrival to departure. In this article, we’ll explore three parts of eastern Australia—Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns. Let’s go! 

Wildlife paradise 

“Did we just take a trip to a new world?” you might ask yourself when you visit one of Australia’s many beautiful botanical gardens or parks. Roughly 90% of all animals and plants in Australia are endemic to Australia, so you won’t find these fauna and flora anywhere else in the world. If you feel like you’re seeing everything for the first time, chances are that you really are.

Look up, down, and all around! You may see a tree kangaroo sleeping in the branches, the world’s biggest bat—known as the flying fox, a black swan, or something entirely different you can’t identify. No worries, scientists can’t keep up with all the species either. There are just that many. 

If you like bird-watching, this is the place to visit. Recommendations include Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria in Melbourne, Fogarty Park in Cairns, Featherdale Wildlife Park, and Penguin Parade. 

Exclusive views

You know you’re in Sydney when you’re standing at Circular Quay (pronounced “Key”) in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Take a tour or see a show at the Opera House, enjoy a dinner cruise around the city’s harbour, or if you’re feeling daring, climb to the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The current world record for the oldest person to climb the bridge is 100 years old. That just goes to show it’s never too late to experience Australia. 

Travel outside Sydney to the Blue Mountains for views that move you. Take a hike or ride in a gondola at Scenic World. For an underwater adventure, snorkel or scuba dive one of the wonders of the world—the Great Barrier Reef—when you travel to Cairns. Swim up-close with sea turtles and baby sharks while surrounded by coral and fish every color of the rainbow. 

Eat and drink your way around

One of the most popular foods found throughout Australia may get confused with a popular dance—the Hokey Pokey. There’s Hokey Pokey chocolate and Hokey Pokey gelato. And it is to die for! Australians are well-known for their delectable honeycomb—which is sweet, crunchy, and pairs perfectly with cheese and wine. Hokey Pokey chocolate is chocolate with chunks of honeycomb; whereas, Hokey Pokey gelato is rich, creamy vanilla gelato with chunks of honeycomb. 

While in Melbourne, the city acclaimed for its food, take a trip to the restaurant Rare for the steak of a lifetime in a fine-dining atmosphere. Every filet is evenly cooked to perfection with a slight crisp on the outside and as-soft-as-butter inside. In Sydney, visit The Rocks, a part of the city mostly built by convicts in the 1700s. In Cairns, eat seafood at one of the oceanfront restaurants that offer glorious views of mountains meeting the water. Close to Fogarty Park, Dundee’s Restaurant serves up the freshest catches of the day, including their famous barramundi dish. To quench your thirst, order the refreshing cucumber-watermelon martini.

History you wear

Purchase a piece of Australian opal and you’ll have a piece of history that’s millions of years old, potentially from the remains of a dinosaur. Australia’s opals are the most magnificent opals in the world because of their range in color. Recommendations for purchasing opal: Opal Mark at The Night Markets in Cairns and The National Opal Collection shop in Sydney. 

Speaking of history, museums are an excellent way to expand your knowledge of Australian history. Recommendations include the Museum of Sydney, Australian Museum, National Gallery of Victoria (art museum), Melbourne Museum, and The Cairns Museum. 

Before traveling to Australia, it’s important to remember their summers take place during our winters and vice versa. Although it may take multiple flights or one very long flight to get there, Australia is out-of-this-world amazing and every ounce worth the trip. Australia will stay with you forever.