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Looking to go “Down Under” for your vacation? You've made a good choice. Australia is known for many things, including it's beautiful landscapes, laid-back cities and picturesque beaches. Australia is a land rich in culture and diversity and offers a unique landscape and wildlife experience unlike any other continent in the world. Some say a visit to Australia is a chance to see the world in a whole new way. It may be hard to visit this country and experience all it has to offer in just one vacation. But no fear, check out these top 10 places to see and do to ensure your vacation is one to remember.

 

Sydney Opera House

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This is often called the face of Australia because of its incredible architectural design. There is no building more iconic to Sydney than the Opera House. It attracts millions of visitors, whether there to simply snap a photo or to take in a show. You can take a guided walking tour to learn about the building's history or get a behind-the scenes look with a guided backstage tour where you'll get to stand in the orchestra pit and visit the dressing rooms of the theatre’s biggest starts. Of course, you can also get tickets to see a performance. With it's exquisite acoustics and stunning presence, the building is recognized around the world as one of the best performance arts centre and an attraction you won't want to miss.

 

Royal Botanical Gardens

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This is just a short walk from the Sydney Opera House and is considered one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. It covers 74 acres and is home to more than one million botanical specimens to look at. Established in 1816, it is home to some of the most rare and threatened plants of the world, as well as a romantic rose garden. It is open every day of the year and is free. You can walk around or take a train to ensure you get a chance to view all the best spots.

 

Gold Coast Beaches

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With more than 35 miles of coastline, the 21 Gold Coast beaches offer both activity and relaxation. You can grab a quiet place to lay in the sun or surf the waves or check out the local amenities. This is considered on of the best places to learn to surf in Australia. Many surfers come to experience the famous Surfers Paradise beach, which is surrounded by high-rise apartments, restaurants, bars, clubs and theme parks, which is fun for the whole family. Other beaches offer you a more laid-back atmosphere but all of them are sure to give you some of the most breathtaking views of the area. It's easy to see why 10 million tourists visit every year.

 

Sidney Tower's 360 Bar and Dining

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There is no reason for the sightseeing to stop just because it's time for dinner. The 360 Bar offers you the best Australian cuisine prepared by award winning chefs while giving you a stunning view of the Sydney skyline. The bar sits 88 stories above ground and the illuminated shell bar offers a variety of cocktails and wines. You choose from an a la carte menu to customize your two or three course meal – all the while enjoying views from one of Sydney's best vantage points.

 

Australian Outback

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You can't go to Australia without experiencing the Outback. This is considered one of the few remaining wilderness areas in the world. The Outback is a rugged area of desert that seems to stretch on into eternity, reflecting Australia's pioneering spirit and unique identity. In the northern part, you will experience a wet/dry tropical climate with gorges and waterfalls. You can hike the area or take a driving tour to ensure you experience all the Outback has to offer.You'll see so much in the Outback, including purple vegetation, lush green waterholes, red hills, fiery sunsets, Aboriginal carvings and even dinosaur footprints. Nothing says Australia quite like the Outback.

 

Australian Museum

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If you want to learn all about Australia, you must visit the museum. Founded in 1827, the museum is the oldest in Australia and has an international reputation in the fields of natural history and anthropology. Here you'll learn about everything from mummies to dinosaurs as well as the country's inhabitants, geography and wild life. You can take a guided tour or explore on your own.

 

Great Barrier Reef

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This is the world's largest coral reef system and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia. In fact, explorers and divers have long been fascinated by this reef ever since Captain Cook accidentally ran into it. Stretching about 2,300 kilometres, it is home to a vast wealth of rare, endangered animal and plant species. You can dive, surf, fish or snorkel here.To experience the reef in all its wonder you can do a two to three day sailing tour or sign up for a diving and snorkeling cruise. You can ride in a glass-bottomed boat or even take a scenic helicopter tour. If you aren't experienced in scuba diving have no fear, there are classes and rental equipment available to those new to the experience.

 

Victorian Alps

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If mountain views are what you're looking for then you must come here. The Victorian Alps is an extensive mountain range that forms the southern part of the Australian Alps and is breathtaking. In the summer you can hike, rock climb, bike and fish. In the winter, you can experience the best skiing Australia has to offer.

 

Daintree Village

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This village is located on the banks of the Daintree River and is considered a a glimpse into Australia's colourful past. Today it's a quaint rural village with a laid back atmosphere, hosting travellers from Australia and other parts of the world. The village offers a string of store fronts all presented as they were in the past. You will get to browse local art and craft shops and can purchase handmade pottery, textile art, local jams and produce, souvenirs and tropical clothing. You can even experience a private Aboriginal art lesson where you'll get to take your work home with you. A river tour of the Daintree River is a must. Here you'll see the rainforest and mangrove shores from a peaceful vantage point. You'll get to spot unique wildlife, including the crocodiles the Daintree is famous for.

 

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

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A visit to Australia is incomplete without a hug from a Koala. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, considered the world's first and largest koala sanctuary, is located near Brisbane and is home to Australia's native kangaroos, emus and wallabies. Here you can cuddle koalas, feed kangaroos and watch platypus, sheepdogs and birds of prey in action. You may even get a chance to see a wild lorikeets – an Australian parrot – that come to feed at the Sanctuary. If you're an animal lover, you wont want to miss this experience.