Like many families, visiting the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia was high on our family’s bucket list. We hear so much about the bleaching of coral reefs that we decided this is an item we needed to tick off our list soon.
So we recently paid a visit to the largest coral reef in the world (the Reef stretches 2,300 km down the east coast of Australia). We learned you don’t have to be a scuba diver to enjoy this marine wonderland. Kids from toddlers to teenagers can find an age-appropriate way to explore the reef’s sea life.
Great Barrier Reef Tips
Where to Stay
There are a few key places where you can easily access the Reef.
A trip to Sydney is not complete without a visit to Australia’s most accessible wilderness region, stretching out over one million hectares – the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. With this package you get it all – a helicopter ride over Sydney Harbour and the spectacular Blue Mountains; close up views of the famous Three Sisters; a delicious lunch and all access admission into Blue Mountains Scenic World where you can marvel at the expanse of rugged bushland stretching across the valley floor to the horizon in the distance. Perhaps take a closer look with a ride on the world’s steepest railway descending to the base of the cliffs below and into the ancient rainforest for a short bushwalk to nearby waterfalls.
Scenic helicopter tour of Australia’s Blue Mountains from Sydney
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is a massive Northern Territory nature reserve, clocking in at 4.2 million acres (1.7 million hectares). With sandstone escarpments, secret waterholes, billabongs, and lily-strewn waterways, Kakadu is an introduction to wild Australia. Read on to learn what to see and do in the country’s largest national park.
On Kakadu National Park tours and Top End adventures, you’ll find opportunities to encounter exotic animals such as dingoes, wallabies, dugongs, and saltwater crocodiles, and also discover Aboriginal culture, from ancient aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and Nourlangie to the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Cooinda, where visitors pore over traditional bush food and didgeridoos. Ubirr is uniquely beautiful, located at the foot of a food plain, with prominent rock formations standing as guardians of the Arnhem Land.
There’s few places in Australia as spectacular and awe-inspiring as the Ningaloo Reef.
Far less well-known internationally, and therefore much quieter than the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo off the west coast of the country is, nevertheless, a UNESCO World Heritage site and every bit as impressive, if not more so, than its eastern counterpart.
Known as the place where the reef meets the range, the red outback colours which contrast vividly against the turquoise Indian Ocean here are truly breathtaking.
So, if you’re thinking of heading to Western Australia to enjoy this beautiful part of the country, here’s my suggestions when it comes to the best way to experience Australia’s Ningaloo Reef.
Munich engineers are fixing the acoustics in the iconic Sydney Opera House. It’s another demonstration of how smaller German companies, focused on doing one thing well, become world leaders.
German opera stars like Jonas Kaufmann are no strangers to Sydney’s iconic opera house, but at a recent rehearsal for Wagner’s “Parsifal,” it was two other visitors from Munich standing in an aisle, arms folded, who will eventually be contributing most to what audiences hear.
Jürgen Reinhold and Gunter Engel are acoustics engineers from a medium-sized engineering firm based in Planegg outside Munich and they were collecting data to renovate the acoustics in the main hall of the opera house, which has become the symbol of Sydney, and even of Australia, since it was opened in 1973.
Two countries, one extraordinary voyage Down Under.
Have too many places you’re dying to visit? Then it’s definitely a smart move to combine Australia and New Zealand in one trip. Not only is it a cost-savvy decision to explore more of the region in one holiday, you’ll be able to indulge in a wide variety of experiences across both countries!
Australia and New Zealand both offer spectacular coastlines, fascinating wildlife, iconic architecture and dynamic rich cultures. Each country is known for so many things: Australia for its rich aboriginal history in the Outback as well as its outstanding gourmet food and wine scene, or New Zealand for its Lord Of The Rings filming locations and its vibrant Maori culture that remains an integral part of Kiwi life.
Book your next trip to one of these sacred gems—before they change forever.
There are wonders of the world—take the Taj Mahal—that you can safely plan on seeing in two years, or 10. Others, not so much. Like an underwater megalopolis in Indonesia that, for now, is home to 1,000 species of fish. (Gwyneth Paltrow, playing it safe, has checked it off her list already.) Or the legendary cities of the Silk Road, to which, trust us, the megahotels and tour buses are coming. Or a jungle lodge in Africa where the gorillas and green, mystic lushness bring to mind Tarzan’s lost world. (These, with luck, will last.) Think of the pages that follow as your 2018 travel planner of things freshly urgent and fabulous.