When a country has six states stretching over a land mass nearly as big as Europe it’s no wonder that it doubles as a continent. And it is full of wonders too such as The Great Barrier Reef. This is the world’s largest and most beautiful coral reef system and is so long (1,400 miles /2,300 kilometres) that, to put it into perspective, it would stretch from the top of Belgium right down to the heal of Italy.
Most of Australia’s population live by the coast and that’s where the major cities are. It can be hard to choose which city to visit first, especially as they are spread on both coastal ends of this giant land.
Many fly into Sydney in New South Wales to see its iconic Opera House, surf on Bondi Beach and witness misty Blue Mountains. There’s also wine tasting in Hunter Valley or for the Bohemian types, a beach crawl all the way up to Byron Bay is a pretty chilled way to spend time.
Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef
But where next? If you go one way along the coast you hit the subtropical city of Brisbane in Queensland where you can kayak through the Everglades and party in the heady vibe of the Gold Coast. From here, it’s easy access for water babies to explore the Barrier Reef by diving into the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in the North East.
Travel across Australia by road or train
Yet to get from one end to the other means a 40-hour drive along the A1 National Highway. Or board the Indian Pacific Train and experience the longest straight stretch of railway in the world. It goes from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide, a city well worth stopping at. Known as the 20-minute city because it is so simple to navigate it is also a good point to take a leap over to Kangaroo Island dubbed the “zoo without fences”.
Two weeks is not enough, take a gap year
So, let’s face it, it’s unlikely that a two-week holiday will do. But you can choose this continent to explore through a gap year.
Understandably, it’s daunting and just because you go it alone, you don’t have to do it alone. If you are aged 18-35 you could spend an entire year in Australia and work to fund the trip.