I have spent a great deal of my life traveling the world, and having seen how green the grass was elsewhere I eventually spent some time taking a good look at my own country over the years - I even managed to circumnavigate it 12 years ago entirely by thumb (hitch-hiking)! I worked for a time in the Cairns tourist industry as a dive master, and I've lived in every state bar Tasmania and the Northern Territory. In one fashion or another I've built up a fairly good working knowledge of much that my homeland has to offer.
My life's journey brought me to the USA three years ago and via my career, through which I deal with the American public constantly, I find myself answering almost as many questions about Australia as I receive regarding my own work. Given my passion for the country of my birth I'm always happy to answer all questions put to me as best I can, and freely advise people on the places to see and how best to draw up itineraries for their prospective visits to Australia.
Partly because of the effect on my work, partly because of the obvious local interest in Australia, and also because of a perceived need for an objective synopsis on all that the country has to offer, I felt that perhaps I could answer questions on Australia by taking my experiences and knowledge of the country and creating a web page for people to browse at their leisure. If anyone else should happen to come across it and find it of use then well and good.
I've been playing around with the idea for many months, but what finally prompted me to go ahead with the page was an absolutely atrocious program I 'witnessed' recently on a local cable channel devoted to travel, which featured a program purporting to highlight the top 10 places to visit in Australia. Never has there been a program so skewed and commercially biased, and it was absolutely galling to think that this kind of crap could be peddled to people who might take a once-in-a-lifetime journey to my country and waste their precious resources, both time and money, pursuing some of these rankly commercial pointers whilst overlooking far more worthy destinations.
What more could be said about a program that would feature the crocodile hunter's private zoo whilst excluding one of the world's most beautiful and world-heritage listed wilderness areas, the Franklin river? Or include (at No. 2 on the list would you believe!) a playful swim amongst a pool of relatively harmless gray nurse sharks over the claims of Kakadu in the Northern territory, the almost untouched wilderness of the Kimberley's in Western Australia, or the rainforests of Cape York? The program was a complete joke and for anyone who may have watched it, please, ignore it.
I make no claim to be an absolute expert on every facet of travel in Australia, nor is it my intention to include everything and anything there is to see--everyone seeks a different and unique experience from their travels. Of course, there may be the odd place I forget to add that others may feel is worthy of inclusion, and all I ask is that people bear in mind that nothing or no one is perfect, including me. All I want to do through these pages is highlight the places of interest in Australia I think would offer short term visitors the most reward--some of them would cost you absolutely nothing, yet leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Before proceeding to the matter, let me just highlight one major problem that I often see arising with people's plans to visit Australia -TIME! For the vast majority of Americans and many other people as well, a couple of weeks, even three, is all they can afford to devote to a visit to Australia, and my advice is if you can manage it, try somehow or other to extend your visit to at least a month because there is just so much to see, such great distances to travel, that the average person would barely manage to scratch the surface of Australia's offerings in just a couple of weeks. That would be a waste, especially as the distance to Australia usually precludes visitors from making a return trip.
Alternatively, if the length of the visit cannot be extended, try to focus the time spent in the country on one particular area--you might not see as much, but you'll enjoy yourself far more. Australia is approximately the same size as the USA, yet many people, even Americans, constantly underestimate the size of the country and the distances to be traveled.
I hope the following pages can be of help to anyone planning a visit to my homeland. It's a wonderful country, with so much to offer, and it has some of the friendliest, warmest, and most helpful people in the world populating it. I hope you enjoy the experience, and if my little site helps you enjoy it all the more then great, that's the intention.
16 PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRALIA
THE TRAVEL CHANNEL JOKE LIST