Popular Australian destinations include the coastal cities of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other high profile destinations including regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef. Uluru and the Australian outback are other popular locations, as is Tasmanian wilderness. The unique Australian wildlife is also another significant point of interest in the country’s tourism.
Hervey Bay is a popular tourist town with ample opportunities for whale watching, although there are plenty of other places along the Australian coastline to see whales.
Great Barrier Reef
Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, 2011
Australian beaches are world renowned.
The Great Barrier Reef attracts up to two million visitors every year. Careful management, which includes permits for camping and all commercial marine tourism within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, has so far ensured that tourists have a very minimal impact on the reef. Uluru, Kakadu National Park and Fraser Island are major natural attractions. Uluru won the 2013 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards and was named Australia’s best major tourist attraction.
In December 2013, Greg Hunt, the Australian environment minister, approved a plan for dredging to create three shipping terminals as part of the construction of a coalport. According to corresponding approval documents, the process will create around 3 million cubic metres of dredged seabed that will be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef marine park area.
Sydney Opera House
Another attraction that appeals to many tourists is the Sydney Opera House. Shopping and casinos are a major drawcard for wealthy Chinese visitors. Wine, indigenous culture and nature tourism also generate travel in Australia.
Major events attract a large number of tourists. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an annual event that attractions thousands of international tourists.
The 2000 Sydney Olympics resulted in significant inbound and domestic tourism to Sydney. During the games, Sydney hosted 362,000 domestic and 110,000 international visitors. In addition, up to 4 billion people watched the games worldwide. The 2003 Rugby World Cup attracted 65,000 international visitors to Australia. Schoolies Week is an annual celebration of Year 12 school leavers in late November, many of whom travel to the Gold Coast, where in 2011 they were expected to boost the economy by $60 million.
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Sports and natureSport came to Australia in 1810 when the first athletics tournament was held; soon after cricket, horse racing and sailing clubs and competitions started. Australia's lower classes would play sports on public holidays, with the upper classes playing more regularly on Saturdays. Sydney was the early hub of sport in the colony. Early forms of football were played there by 1829. Early sport in Australia was played along class lines. In 1835, the British Parliament banned blood sports except fox hunting in a law that was implemented in Australia; this was not taken well in the country as it was seen as an attack on the working classes. By the late 1830s, horse racing was established in New South Wales and other parts of the country, and enjoyed support across class lines. Gambling was part of sport from the time horse racing became an established sport in the colony. Horse racing was also happening in Melbourne at Batman's Hill in 1838, with the first race meeting in Victoria taking place in 1840. Cricket was also underway with the Melbourne Cricket Club founded in 1838. Sport was being used during the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s as a form of social integration across classes. Regular sport competitions were organised in New South Wales by 1850 (an early form of Rugby), with organised competition being played in Queensland (Rugby) and Victoria (Victorian Rules football) soon after. Victorian rules football (later known as Australian rules) was codified in 1859. Australian football clubs still around in the current Australian Football League were founded by 1858. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia's largest sporting arena, opened in 1853. The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861. A rugby union team was established at the University of Sydney in 1864. Regular sport did not begin to be played in South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia until the late 1860s and early 1870s.
NightlifeAustralia is such a big place and the cities and people are really diverse. I would definitely say women are keen to hook up with guys, just as they probably are in the UK but obviously a night out can be awesome or crap depending on which nights you're out and which clubs you go to. I think alot of backpackers do hook up with each other while they are here but that is just because they all seem to hang out in the same groups and go to the same backpacker type clubs. If you go to a tropical place like The whitsundays, cairns, townsville, darwin you are probably more likely to hook up with a tourist as there is a higher concentration there and they all love to party, which isnt necessarily a bad thing, they are usually all pretty tanned and hot! Darwin, a huge tourist town, has a lot of men as it is a military and mining town, but on the other hand the girls are all pretty slutty. Adelaide I think has really good looking girls and a high girl to guy ratio. if you go out on say a thursday night in the city which is student night all the uni students go out and get wasted and have fun. friday saturday and sunday nights it really depends on which clubs you go to as to what the crowd will be like. Sydney and Melbourne both have a great night life too, I prefer sydney because the weather is better and the people better looking and it has better things to do during the day to enjoy the weather and drink/party such as bondi or manly beaches. I don't think aussie women are better looking than girls in the UK, maybe just more tanned and probably skinnier, but that is just a generalisation!
Culture and history
Australia is a product of a unique blend of established traditions and new influences. The country’s original inhabitants, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are the custodians of one of the world’s oldest continuing cultural traditions. They have been living in Australia for at least 40 000 years and possibly up to 60 000 years.
The rest of Australia’s people are migrants or descendants of migrants who have arrived in Australia from about 200 countries since Great Britain established the first European settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788.
In 1945, Australia’s population was around 7 million people and was mainly Anglo–Celtic. Since then, more than 6.5 million migrants, including 675 000 refugees, have settled in Australia, significantly broadening its social and cultural profile.
Today Australia has a population of nearly 23 million people. At 2009, abou 25.6 per cent of the estimated resident population comprised those born overseas. Australian Bureau of Statistics projections from the 2006 census of the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suggest and Indigenous population of 575,552 people at 30 June 2011.
Many of the people who have come to Australia since 1945 were motivated by a commitment to family, or a desire to escape poverty, war or persecution. The first waves of migrants and refugees came mostly from Europe. Subsequent waves have come from the Asia–Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
Migrants have enriched almost every aspect of Australian life, from business to the arts, from cooking to comedy and from science to sport. They, in turn, have adapted to Australia’s tolerant, informal and broadly egalitarian society.
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