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How to Travel Australia by Train

It’s MASSIVE…

Australia is the planet’s sixth largest country (after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil), spans 2,969,907 square  miles (7,692,024 km2), accounts for five percent of the world’s entire land area, and is the world’s largest island.

Whew!

So one of the best ways to travel Australia is by train.

And Michela Fantinel should know…

She’s traveled Australia solo four times.  And on her  most recent trip, she took the famous Indian Pacific – a passenger transcontinental train that runs between Sydney and Perth, with extended service to Adelaide.  The route includes the world’s longest straight stretch of railway track, spanning 297 miles (478 km) over the Nullarbor Plain.

Learn how Michela traveled Australia by train and all about her adventures along the way…

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Heron Island Diving and Wildlife; Australia

Heron Island – located in the Great Barrier Reef National Park – is another pearl in Australia’s necklace of magnificent diving.

Bad line? Yes. Excellent wildlife? You betcha.

There’s also turtle watching (take a ranger-led tour to learn more), over 100,000 seabirds and, unsurprisingly, herons.Continue

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; Northern Territory, Australia

It rises like an iceberg from the desert. Uluru – also known as Ayers Rock – is  a giant rock monolith located in central Australia, and while it stands an impressive 1,141 feet (348m), most of the rock’s weight remains below ground.

Sure, you’ve probably seen pictures of Uluru, but nothing prepares you for seeing it in person. Surrounded by a sand plain, Uluru dominates the scenery.

Getting there and around is almost as impressive. Walking tours, aboriginal guides, camel rides, bush planes and helicopter tours are all available. Heck, you can even ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

No matter which way you choose, be sure to spend a few days exploring the surrounding area. Two worthwhile destinations are Kata Tjuta (a vast collection of steep rock domes, thought to be over 500 million years old) and Watarrka National Park, which includes a number of hiking trails, desert views and sheer sandstone walls (some of which stand nearly 1,000 ft/300m). Continue

Trout Fishing; Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania is without a doubt an undeveloped a place, one which remains separated – both geographically and culturally – from the rest of Australia.

It are these separations which provide some of Australia’s best and most unique trout fishing. With over 3,000 rivers and lakes filled with brown and rainbow trout you’d be hard pressed not to catch something.

Plus, you can fish in these lowland rivers, lagoons and major lakes with ease. Want to explore further? No problem… there are 14 National Parks on the island itself, each with their own brand of fishing, plus numerous saltwater alternatives as well. Continue

How to Tour Kangaroo Island in Australia

Unsurprisingly, Kangaroo Island is the best place in Australia to see kangaroos.

Koalas, too.

In the early days, local authorities shot the furry nuisances on sight until international pressure (most notably from the Japanese of all people) forced a compromise: each year locals would capture and neuter several thousand koalas until their population was under check.

Good times.

Oddly enough, there are three times as many kangaroos as koalas on the island , not to mention 6,000 fur seals, 600 sea lions and between 500,000 and one million tammar wallabies.

No predators plus frisky island inhabitants makes for one hell of a place for wildlife viewing.

But it wasn’t always so.

Convicts, pirates, and mutineers (this is Australia, after all) arrived in the 19th century and subsequently slaughtered the seals and sea lions to near extinction (the sea lions remain endangered to this day).

Then to make matters worse, Aboringal women were kidnapped and forced to skin seals, wallabies and kangaroos.

Nice, huh?

Fortunately, Kangaroo Island has become a haven for wildlife with a large percentage of the island protected from further development. Continue