Australia is a land of contrasts - topographical, cultural, physical, meterological and visual. About 40,000 years ago, the Aborigines were the first to settle. They lived as hunters and gatherers for this entire time, living with a close link to nature, although backburning and other poor agricultural techniques have since been realised to have caused significant deforestation, salinification of the soil and elimination of much of the natural diversity of the landscape. Such a poor ability to interact with nature, despite it being so important, helps explain why much of Australia is now unsuitable for sustaining life. Interestingly, this provides one of the few examples of where the native population damaged the land more than later waves of settlers. Their way of living developed into a complex culture based on oral tradition and intricate social bounds, which was almost destroyed by the second wave of settlers, who were able to populate the land with much more success.
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One of the states is the island state Tasmania of which one fifth is World Heritage area. Each state has its own national parks with their specific character where you can indulge in bush-walking or maybe even rock-climbing. When you're interested in the miracles of water-world, you can't miss out on the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast, the main reason for many travellers to visit Cairns. The Wet Tropics of Queensland comprise dense rainforests and foaming waterfalls. Rare species of animals can be spotted in the famous Kakadu National Park as well as ancient aboriginal art. These old drawings can also be seen in the Namadgi National Park.
Good places to set off for exploration of the great outdoors are big cities such as Canberra, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth, that all have interesting sights and a good cultural atmosphere as well. Of course, Australia is surrounded by sea, so good swimming and surfing beaches are more rule than exception, generally these beaches will be full of only tourists, especially during the week. So fun can be had watching people who haven't heard of sunscreen yet turning into lobsters, or getting trapped in the surf. North of Brisbane, is the Sunshine Coast one of the many stretches of coast where you can find excellent beaches, South of Brisbane is the better known Gold Coast, famous for being home to Australias equivalent of trailer park people and teenagers who can't afford a holiday somewhere better. Don't forget the smaller historically interesting Alice Springs, or William Creek [the most isolated town in Australia] that will lead you right to the famous Ayers Rock.
Deserts, rainforests, big cities….and just when you thought you'd caught a glimpse of the versatile character of this fascinating continent, you forgotten about Melbourne and the excellent skiing opportunities in the Alpine National Park.