What drew you to Australia?

Old Jan 25th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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What drew you to Australia?

It's a big world, and there are still so many places on my "Must-See" list. To help me decide where to go next, I'm hoping for your opinions. So, for those of you who have traveled to Australia and those who have plans to, please share with me what made you want to visit there? What did you love about it? Would you recommend it to others? Will you go back? Any thoughts you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Why we went the first time: A wedding. It seemed like a good idea at the time, then we fell in love with Australia and had to go back.

What do we love? First of all, the people we have met. Second, the pace of life. Third, the spectacular natural environment...rainforests, birds, wild life, GBR, ocean, and more and more.

Recommend it to others? Absolutely, and hve.

Will we go back? Yes, but probably not for a few years. For us it is a big trip. It's very hard to get several weeks off in a row, last time I had to have it approved several years in advance.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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We first went to Australia in the mid-90's. At the time we were novice expatriates living in the Middle East. We purchased our first around-the-world tickets and headed to NZ and Australia.

We were drawn by an intense interest in two countries we'd heard a lot about, but had never experienced. We wanted to see kangaroos, pet koalas, visit the Sydney Opera House, etc.

Since then, we've returned to Australia six times, five of those in the past 3.5 years. These days we're drawn to Australia in part because of it's proximity to Indonesia, where we currently live. In a country of travel challenges, it didn't take us long to figure out that we could get to Perth faster and with fewer headaches than we could get to most places within Indonesia.

What do I love about Australia?

Just about everything - the wide open spaces, the vast, diverse landscape, the countless national parks and reserves, the wildlife and incredible assortment of birds, the fantastic food and wine, the laid back lifestyle and of course, the friendly, welcoming Australians.

I feel as if I've just scratched the surface of Australia. I plan to go back as often as possible.

Next stop - South Australia
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 02:06 AM
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We have visited Australia 10 times, and New Zealand five times (including a three-month working stint), and are now considering relocating to Australia from California.
We like Oz for reasons the previous posters listed: unique and abundant wildlife, varied and dramatic landscapes, friendly people, delicious food, suberb wines, and welcoming wineries.
Plus--we love its coastal beach culture. We swim, scuba dive, snorkel, surf; we love to just beach ourselves on a stretch of sand with good reading material, or walk on the beach. Of course, you can do this in California, but the conditions tend to be better in Oz: terrific climate, warmer waters, cleaner beaches (many of which we've had all to ourselves). ONLY Oz has the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef. We have scuba dived in various countries of the Pacific, but ONLY in Australia have we spent time in the water with whale sharks (found throughout tropical and warm temperate seas, but regularly seen in West Australia) and sea dragons (big sea horses that you can ONLY find in South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania).
We have enjoyed learning about Aboriginal Australian culture, and relish the cultural and ethnic diversity that you find throughout Australia. We appreciate Australian art and architecture, from ancient to contemporary, and delight in touring its natural history and art museums.
It's a great place for enjoying a wide variety of experiences and activities. You can shop, dine, or sightsee in a big city like Melbourne or Sydney (which is one of the world's prettiest and most diverting cities), and the next day get away from it all, by escaping to the outback, or to a deserted beach, or to a trail in a national park, or simply by taking a drive on a lonely country road.
Plus--when the U.S. dollar was stronger, Australian travel represented a good value (though the international ticket cost is dear). But if you travel to Australia three times, you likely can incur enough mileage for a frequent flier trip.
Accommodation standards are high, transportation services and roads are excellent. You can travel in comfort and security in Australia--its crime rate is low compared to other travel destinations. For instance, we recently traveled to South Africa (the best trip of our lives). SA has much of what Australia has: wildlife, amazing landscapes, friendly folks, beautiful beaches and national parks, tasty wine, and so on...but we were always worried about crime. We now are thinking of traveling to Brazil, where you also have to worry about crime (and I used to live in Brazil)!
Australia should go to the top of your "must-see" list.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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I had always wanted to visit Australia, even as far back as my teens. Funny I ended up marrying an Australian, then moving there for 3 years and, in the years since, going back very regularly.

I continue to hold a deep affection and fascination for the place, not just for the many happy memories, but also for the sort of things others have pointed out (Melnq8 in particular): the (mostly) laid back lifestyle in a very agreeable climate (well at least where most Australians live), the amazing plants and wildlife, the wide open spaces (think of the population of New York state in an area the size of the lower 48), endless stretches of beautiful beaches, the Barrier Reef, great hiking, bizarre natural formations such as the Bungle Bungles, the Olgas, and Uluru, the spectacular Outback night sky (with its unfamiliar stars, Southern Cross, Coalsack and Magellanic clouds), and on and on....

On top of all that, as Diamantina points out, it is a very safe, yet very exotic destination. I'm planning a trip for this July and can't wait! There's always something new to see.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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When I was an elementary teacher, we used to study a different continent each year and I would write a play for the kids to perform at the end of the year. When we got to Australia, we all just loved the animals, the geography, and the native and immigrant history. So I kept researching and we travelled to Australia in 2004. WOW! We were overwhelmed by the beauty, diversity, recreational opportunities, and especially the people that we met. Usually after a long international trip, we say we'll never get on an airplane again, being exhausted and sick of travel for a while. After our 2004 trip to Oz, we immediately began planning our next trip, which occurred in Oct. of 2007--5 weeks of great experiences, some off the beaten track. If the American dollar exchange were better, we'd be planning our next trip. The country and the people "get" to you and you can't stop thinking about it. Please consider going, and please learn about the country before you go and go with an open mind. If you only want to go to a resort to relax, you can do it anywhere, but if you want to fall in love--go to Australia!
Sally in Seattle
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Thanks to all of you who have written so far. I'm very grateful for your insights. Your obvious passion for Australia speaks volumes.
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Old Jan 27th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Thanks to all those people who said grat things about Oz.

Of course you must come - but remember - Australia is a different country. Don't expect a smaller version of the US.
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