Australia truly is a diverse and remarkable country.
The freedom to venture through forests, deserter beaches or desert landscapes suits my adventurous lifestyle well.
It is a perfect playground to enjoy the outdoors with all its splendor.
Between 1997 and 2003, I worked and traveled all around Australia’s coastline and Red Centre and I got to know and understand this incredible country and it’s inhabitants.
Since returning to Australia in 2008, I reached my goal to become a permanent resident and am lucky to call this huge island home. I haven’t ventured as much and as far as I wanted since then, yet, but there is plenty of time for that to come. I spent most of this time along the east coast, which is Australia’s busiest coastline.
Even so, there are abundant remote areas, which have plenty to offer. I will roll back in time where I discovered different pockets with my OM-D.
These are just a few interesting facts about Australia.
Commonly known as ‘The Land Down Under’, Australia is the worlds largest island, surrounded by 8222 smaller or larger islands. Australia is also the driest liveable continent in the world, only Antarctica has less rainfall.
Temperatures can reach almost 46 degrees Celsius in the ‘Red Centre’ around the famous arkose sandstone formation called ‘Ayers Rock’, or ‘Uluru’ in aboriginal language. Uluru is sacred to the indigenous landowners of ‘Dreamtime’. The wet season brings seasonal rainstorms, that flood most of Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland’s northern areas.
Flora and Fauna at ‘Kakadu National Park’, Australia’s largest National Park, rely on these seasonal floods.
It comes to no surprise that 85 % of Australia’s population lives within 50 km around the almost 30000 km coastline, 47000 km if island coastline is included.
This coastline that varies from sheer cliffs and rocky outcrops like the famous
‘Twelve Apostles’ in Victoria to endless beaches and tropical mangrove settings further north.
The ‘Great Barrier Reef’ is the worlds largest living organism, covering a staggering 2300 km from Bundaberg all the way up to Cape York, which is the most northern part of the state of Queensland.
The ‘Ningaloo Reef’ on Australia’s West Coast is just as spectacular. With less tourism and less pollution, the ‘Ningaloo Reef’ isn’t as much in a critical state as the ‘Great Barrier Reef ‘.
Along the Eastern Coast of Australia runs the ‘Great Dividing Range’. Starting as alpine Mountains in the south and continues all the way to tropical forests on Cape York.
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest peak, measuring 2228 meters, and lies in New South Wales Snowy Mountains.
Australia is a biological diverse inhabitant and suits any kind of lifestyle. It is, therefore, a popular destination for thrill seekers, explorers, and holidaymakers from around the world.
The Australian Wildlife is very diverse and some are very dangerous for humans. One of the most iconic animals is the kangaroo. An estimated 60 Million kangaroos live in Australia. The ‘Red Kangaroo’ is the worlds largest marsupial, weighing up to 90 kg’s and standing 6 feet tall. Kangaroos and wallabies vary in different sizes and are specialized in their different natural habitats.
Another popular animal in Australia is the koala. Koalas only eat certain eucalyptus leaves, which are little nutritious and hard to digest. This is why koalas spent a lot of time resting high up in the trees.
One of the strangest animals is the platypus. Platypus forage for crustaceans in freshwater streams and are very cute to watch. Males have a poisonous sting on their hind legs.
In this harsh country, many smaller critters have some venomous defense or attack system. The Inland Taipan is the worlds most venomous snake. One drop of venom could kill a hundred men, no deaths from this snake have been recorded. 6 out of the world top ten most venomous snakes live in Australia, similar numbers go for spiders.
Even the ocean has a fair amount of venomous inhabitants. The Blue Ringed Octopus and the Cone Snail can cause heart failure to divers, while the infamous Box Jellyfish has more venom than any other living creature on earth, but has only 80 recorded deaths in its name.
In hindsight, I have never come into any dangerous confrontations with any of these toxic creatures here in Australia.
Birdlife is just as abundant and diverse. While the flightless Emu prefers the dryer surroundings, the colourful Cassowary inhabits the tropical rainforests in Queensland. The cassowary is an important part of spreading rainforest seeds however it has become endangered due to humans impact on its habitat.
The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest of the kingfisher family and often heard early mornings throughout Australia.
Out of 375 parrots species worldwide, 56 species live in Australia. Lorikeets have magnificent coloring as do many of the various parrots.
Australia has a wide range of frogs as well. The green tree frog is another critter that the tourists love. They are often found hanging out in bathrooms in the rainforest areas of Australia
Sunrises and sunsets are just as spectacular no matter whether you are on the beach or inland.
Being so remote, Australia is expensive to get to and living costs are on par with Europe. However, if you enjoy the simple life and have a great friends network, Australia is well worth a visit.