Australia (The Land Down Under)





Over 60,000 years ago the Aboriginal people discovered an island that brought them much fulfillment. This land down under was their home for centuries until 1788 when the British began colonizing it as a land for prisoners. In January of 1788 British citizens consisting of convicts, government officials, and Royal Marines landed at Port Jackson and found a new nation; AUSTRALIA.

Now in the 21st century Australia consists of a diverse population of 22 million including the Aboriginal people. Together they live in a country that's also a continent with much natural resources.

Australia is divided into seven regions; New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

My time in Australia was spent as a conservation volunteer in New South Wales. A group of us volunteers were based in and around the Bathurst area. Living in a charming residence that was once a train station a small group of us spent several days working on an old homestead and planting trees at various private and public schools. As a volunteer I mingled with the locals and really got to do a lot of things off the beaten path that most tourists would only dream of.

Most people who come to Australia land in Sydney and this beautiful city is really worth spending a few days in. Sydney is Australia's largest and oldest city and there's lot to do and see here. I recommend the following places: 

*Sydney Opera House is a stunner from every angle. Some of the world's best vocalists sing here

*The Rocks and Harbor Bridge 

*Chinatown

*Darling Harbor

*Bondi Beach (one of the best beaches in the world)  Be sure to walk the 25 minute cliff top track

After a few days of culture and eating great food head to the Blue Mountains for some of the best hiking in all of Australia. The high mountains, sandstone cliffs, and forested gorges are an outdoor enthusiasts dream. If time permits take the Skyway cable car or Scenic Railway through the Blue Mountains. 

Australia is known for it's wine and there are no shortage of wineries, One of the best places is Hunter Valley (the oldest commercial grape growing area in Australia). Many wine connoisseurs make their way to Hunter Valley to sample and purchase wines at wineries such as Tyrrell's Vineyards and Petersons Wines. 

No visit to Australia is complete without seeing some wildlife. One of  the highlights of my visit to Australia was seeing kangaroos with their babies roaming through the open fields. There are many areas to look for kangaroos and sometimes you might spot one or two of them while touring through Australia.

Just because Australia is an island doesn't mean it's small. It takes a long time to see the wonders of the land down under from the Outback to Kangaroo Island; the choices are endless. Some of the most popular places to visit are Adelaide, Ayers Rock, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Daintree Rainforest, Perth,  and Darwin & Kakadu National Park. 

Australia is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world so don't miss out on exploring one of the hundreds of beaches along the coast and be sure to explore the Outback for a truly unique Australian experience. With so many things to offer it's no wonder millions of people visit Australia every year.

I'm certainly happy that I was able to spend some time in the land down under and experience life as an Aussie. I hope you will too.

Australian Foods 

Arnott's Tim Tams, Meat Pies, Pavlova, Lamingtons, and Vegemite

Recipe for Deviled Carrots:

2 cups carrots (washed and cut into matchstick sizes)
1 Tablespoon  melted butter
2 Teaspoons honey
1 Teaspoon mustard
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon water

Saute carrots in melted butter for two minutes then add remaining ingredients and simmer for five minutes.  

Adrianna (Travel World)

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