Many people are lucky enough to get to visit Australia at some point in their lives. But once you've sorted out the essentials, including applying for a passport and getting your Australian visa, the next big thing to consider is what you're going to do when you get there. Here are three of the most famous attractions in Australia that you really shouldn't miss when you visit.
Can you think of any natural site more incredible than Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock? This mighty monolith, the biggest in the world, is one of the defining natural wonders of Australia. A sacred site for the aborigines for thousands of years, it is now a major tourist attraction in the heart of the desert.
Situated in Alice Springs, the trip here will take some time but it is certainly worth it. The huge rock is 348 meters high, and measures 2.2 miles along and 1.2 miles across. It is absolutely colossal, and standing there surrounded by the flat desert makes it even more impressive.
Walk around the rock, or even climb up it-just make sure you go well prepared, it's a long way! Aboriginal guides are on hand to teach you about the history of Uluru, making the whole experience a fascinating and unmissable one. And make sure that you get to see it at the best times of the day: sunrise and sunset. The changing colors at these times make it truly spectacular.
2. The Great Barrier Reef
Another natural wonder that Australia can boast is the Great Barrier Reef, the biggest coral reef in the world. This incredible area that stretches down the east coast of Australia is home to a huge variety of marine life, including turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, and crocodiles, not to mention the many hundreds of bird species that inhabit the area.
The Great Barrier Reef is a haven for divers who go to explore its spectacular underwater scenery and the sea creatures they come across. But even if you are not a diver, you can go snorkeling, swimming, or just laze on one of the many pristine beaches, of which the area has hundreds.
For a really special experience, head out in a glass-bottomed boat to see the underwater world from the surface. Or head to the skies in a plane to get an unbeatable view from the air.
3. Sydney Harbor
Australia is not just a country of natural wonders, as Sydney Harbor clearly shows. Sydney is a fantastic city in its own right, but this is the highlight. Of course the most noticeable feature is the Sydney Opera House, which is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Simply getting an up-close view of the building is enough, but you should also head inside to catch a performance for an unbeatable experience.
The other main feature of the harbor is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Tours are available, and if you really want to get adventurous you can even climb it with the help of an official guide. The top of the bridge offers a fantastic view of the surrounding area, and if you happen to be in town for New Year's Eve you'll be able to witness a spectacular firework show.