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Australia: Something for Everyone

Sydney Harbor

Sydney Harbor from Hotel Balcony; Photo by Dave Downing

Australia is a distant land that’s captivated the hearts of travelers and explorers for hundreds of years.  It’s a land that evokes a mysterious type of magnetism that makes us want to go there because of the legends and folklore that surround the historical nature of this place.  It’s where one can “get away from it all,” yet be in one of the most modernized countries in the world.  It’s the home to the Aborigine, the kangaroo, and the Great Barrier Reef.  Although Australians speak English as their first language, they incorporate words such as “g’day” and “mate.”

Hunter Valley Australia

Sheep in the Hunter Valley; Photo by Dave Downing

But this is also a land of remarkable contrasts.  For example, Australia is a country of enormous size, but has the third smallest population in the world, so vast areas are sparely populated or are uninhabited.  Another contrast is that, although it is the world’s largest island, Australia is the world’s smallest continent.  As was mentioned above, English is the main language.  However, more than 200 other languages are also spoken in this country – and 99% of the population 15 years old and older can read and write.  Now that is impressive!

A few facts about Australia:

  • Life expectancy is among the highest in the world at 5th place
  • Life expectancy for males is 80 years
  • Life expectancy for females is 84 years
  • Australia is the 3rd least populated country in the world, after Namibia and Mongolia
  • 89% of the population lives in urbanized areas
  • The median age of the population is 37.3 years old
  • Desert lands make up 70% of Australia’s mainland
  • Australia’s economy ranks 5th in the world per nominal GDP, after Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, and Switzerland

Australia is also very diverse in its landscape so, for the adventurer, there are lots of choices.  One could trek into the remote rain forests, or the sparsely populated desert outback, or head out for one of the magnificent beaches.  Prefer the city life?  Australia has world-class cosmopolitan cities, each one having its own allure and significance.  The sense of adventure awaits those who visit this “land down under.”

Although we’ve not had the opportunity to go there ourselves, some of our best friends, David and Linda Downing, recently had the opportunity to go to Australia and New Zealand.  They came back excited and mentioned that it had been an experience of a lifetime.  They also showed us some spectacular pictures that they had taken on the trip.  We thought that it would be interesting to write about their adventures and post an article for the blog.  Although it was difficult to decide where to start, we decided it would be fun to start with an article about Australia.

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6 Responses to Australia: Something for Everyone

  1. David Downing May 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Very well written article on Australia. I like how the large pictures rotate so show other areas around Sydney.

    • Shelli Elledge May 27, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Thank you for your comment — and thank you for the pictures! Without them, this article could never have been on our blog!

  2. Valerie May 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Ah, Australia. It’s on my list too and with it being such a large country, it’s hard to know where to start! Thanks for the tips and the pictures!

    • Shelli Elledge May 27, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      It IS very difficult to know where to start! And, once you’re down there, you’d HAVE to also visit New Zealand! And, then again, where to start . . . .!

  3. Renee Dixon May 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    I hope you and Ron will be able to visit there some day 🙂

    I have always loved to listen to Australians talk with their accent.

    • Shelli Elledge May 27, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      For me, it’s difficult to discern between English and Aussie accents sometimes. But, you’re right, accepts are cool to listen to! Tell Dan hello and happy belated birthday from us!

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