In the final episode of Simon Reeve’s BBC series Indian Ocean, the television presenter and author will be taking viewers from the northern tip of Sumatra, through the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and on to the popular tourist island of Bali. Simon’s Indian Ocean adventure finishes up on the west coast of Australia, the last of 16 countries on his journey.
If you’re considering travelling to Australia and experiencing what this great country has to offer for yourself, help make up your mind by taking a look over our five reasons to visit.
The Australian landscape is extremely varied. The rainforests at the peak of Cape Tribulation are among the oldest in existence, while the red sands of the outback offer miles of untouched desert. The lush green acres of the state of Victoria and Tasmania show off forestry to rival the nearby islands of New Zealand.
The beaches of Australia are an obvious draw, with approximately 50,000 kilometres of coastline and more than 80% of the population living within 100km of the coast, Australians are all about the beach.
The world famous sands of Bondi and Coogie in Sydney are must see if you want to try your luck on a surfboard while ticking off your beach barbeque experience. Backpacker’s fave St Kilda Beach in Melbourne and the crashing waves of Torquay are worth a visit if you find yourself in the southern state of Victoria.
But it is along the west coast of the country where Simon Reeve’s series will conclude. The warm waters and expansive flat coastlines of Western Australia provide a deserted alternative to the crowded tourist spots of the east coast.
Australia’s famously clear weather is probably one of the main reasons so many people want to visit the country and the sunny outlook seems to rub off on the local mind-set. Average temperatures in Sydney sit at around 26C in summer, while Perth rises as high as 30C.
If you time it right you can enjoy endless sun all year round by heading up north with the seasons, just follow the backpacker rush up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns in May to June and wait out the winter months in Cairns.
Australians love to be outside, and with the brilliant weather, who can blame them? Surfing is as synonymous with Australia as crocodiles and boomerangs, but it is not just the standard version Aussies are fond of, there is also windsurfing, kite surfing and even sand boarding.
Hiking, climbing or trekking the Blue Mountains just north of Sydney are popular choices with the adventurers, while water babies will enjoy white water rafting down the fierce rapids of the Tully River in the surrounds of ancient rainforest.
Try four-wheel driving down the narrow roads of Fraser Island – the world’s biggest sand island – and don’t forget snorkelling or diving alongside the coral reefs of the Whitsunday islands or the Great Barrier Reef. Camping in the outback and taking part in a game of cricket are all great was of mixing with the Australian way of life.
Australian wildlife is a fascinating, feral law unto itself. Famously home to 10 of the world’s 11 most deadly species including the taipan snake, box jellyfish and funnel web spider, not to mention all those salt water crocodiles.
The country is also home to some of the cutest animals: koala bears, sugar gliders and bilbies will melt your heart.Then there are the just plain strange: echidna, cassowary and platypus, although our favourites are still the endlessly energetic kangaroos.