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Imagine mingling with the kangaroos and koalas on a wildlife farm, touring the famous Sydney Opera House, or watching the changing colors at mysterious Ayers Rock. The Land Down Under is both an exotic and yet comfortably familiar destination to visit on a South Pacific vacation. From the Waitomo Glowworm Caves of New Zealand to the bustling city of Melbourne, the lands of New Zealand and Australia are full of adventures just waiting to be discovered.
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Australia Travel Information Fast Facts
Capital: Canberra
Population: 20 million
Language: English, aboriginal languages
Currency: Australian dollar (A$)
Time Zone: EST plus 13-15 hours
Electricity: 220-240V


Trivia
  • Australia Travel InformationSydney's famed Harbour Bridge, with 8 lanes of traffic, two trains and a pedestrian path, is the largest single span bridge in the world.
  • The phrase "three dog night" is attributed to Australian Aborigines, who coined the term when they needed three dogs to keep them warm during long, cold winter nights.
  • It is a myth that in the southern hemisphere water swirls down the drain in the opposite direction as it does in the north. The Coriolis Effect, which governs the direction of swirling fluids, only pertains to large-scale fluid swirl, such as the direction of a hurricane's spin. Even the spin of a tornado is much too small to be prone to this effect, so the swirl of the kitchen sink certainly wouldn't be affected.
  • New Zealand Travel InformationNo part of New Zealand is farther than 70 miles from the coast
  • The Maori people came from the Pacific islands more than 600 years ago. Now, one in every ten people in New Zealand is descendent of the Maori people.
  • The Maori waka taua war canoe was carved from a single Totara tree and could carry up to 90 warriors.
  • Take our American seasons and turn them upside down when you visit Down Under. Winter begins in June, and summer in December.

Kakadu National Park: Part beauty. Part beast.
Scrambled across the uppermost fringe of the Northern Territory lies Kakadu, the largest terrestrial national park in Australia. A living, breathing paradox, Kakadu boasts some of the continent's most peaceful landscapes along with its deadliest creatures. So diverse is its climatic character, the park's longtime aboriginal inhabitants have actually divided the year into six distinct seasons. But the dramatic shift in weather patterns is only part of the jigsaw. The topography of Kakadu rambles from high stone plateau to forest woodland. From monsoon rainforest to open savannah like flood plains. And from mangrove-fringed estuaries to coastal beaches. Fortunately for Kakadu's visitors, this diversity in landscapes is what makes the park such a biological wonderland teeming with mammal, reptile, bird and insect life. Nearly 60 species of mammals coexist in this zoological concoction. But watch your step. Kakadu's waters are known to boil with saltwater crocodiles, while its rivers swarm with pythons.


Australia's Diverse Ecosystems
Australia Travel InformationThere's more to Australia than Crocodile Dundee and putting shrimp on the barbie. It's actually an incredibly diverse country. From cosmopolitan cities, to the immense expanse of the Outback, to the sub-tropical Gold Coast, Australia is a world in a country. Here's a closer look at some Australian states and territories and the unique highlights of each.

South Australia. Home to Australia's picturesque wine country, South Australia enjoys a moderate climate year round. The lovely town of Adelaide, known as "The City of Churches," attracts travelers with a wealth of cultural events and the unspoiled natural habitat on Kangaroo Island.

Northern Territory. Visitors can experience tropical, crocodile country in the north of this large territory and the heart of the Outback in the South. Its most famous attraction is Ayres Rock, said to embody the spirit and strength of the ancient Aboriginal culture.

Queensland. Also known as Australia's Sunshine State, Queensland boasts the captivating Gold Coast, including the Great Barrier Reef. Visit Brisbane, one of Australia's fastest growing cities, and enjoy the tropical rainforests surrounding Cairns, the gateway to the reefs.

New South Wales. Home to the Pacific's pearl city, Sydney, New South Wales enjoys a subtropical climate and a wealth of natural resources.

Victoria. The smallest of the states, Victoria is also Australia's most populous. The capital city of Melbourne combines old European elegance and new-world style.

Tasmania. Known as the "Apple Isle," the abundance of lakes, mountains, beaches and waterfalls make this tiny island appealing to travelers. Initially a prison island, Tasmania is also infamous for the rare marsupial wolf that calls it home-the Tasmanian Devil.


Down Under Slang
Hello G'Day
Definitely Too right
Just perfect Spot on
Can I help you? Are you right?
Thank you Bonzer/Ripper
Well done Good on you/Onya
This afternoon This arvo
Dress warmly Rug up
Sandwich Sanger
Bill/Receipt Docket
Chicken Chook
American Yank


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Currency & Travel
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