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Overview to Australasia: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

When you think of Australasia, scorching heat and beautiful sandy beaches are probably the first things that spring to mind. But while this is certainly one of the major attractions, travelers to the continent quickly discover that there’s so much more on offer.

Australia accounts for almost the entire landmass of the continent but still only has a population of around 18 million. The immense size of the country (which rivals that of the USA) has led to huge differences between areas, and it would be almost impossible to see everything on a single trip.

Regardless of where you go, however, one thing is inescapable: the outstanding natural beauty. Its diverse landscapes range from arid desert-like conditions to dense rainforests and, of course, the exquisite beaches and coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.

Arguably the real scenic highlight, though, is the Outback, where the red dusty earth of the desert, blue skies and striking geological features come together to spectacular effect. At its heart, Uluru - the gigantic Ayer's Rock - soars 348m into the sky and is one of the most iconic Australian landmarks.

Elsewhere in the country, amongst the countless areas of outstanding natural beauty, a few others stand out: Kakadu, Port Campbell, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair and the Blue Mountains are all simply unforgettable and demand a visit.

The country’s frequently barren beauty contrasts strongly with the populated coast and its gorgeous beaches, laidback culture and modern cities. While Sydney is the very definition of a backpacking city, Australia's other meltopolises shouldn’t be forgotten. Melbourne offers a range of hedonistic charms, while Adelaide, Cairns and Perth all have plenty to recommend them.

Travelers impressed with the beauty of Australia should be prepared to be mesmerized by the glorious scenery of New Zealand. Of a similar size to Great Britain, New Zealand’s two islands offer the contrasting landscapes of glacial mountains, clear lakes, forests and geysers.

In addition to its lively cosmopolitan cities – Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland – New Zealand is also arguably the thrill-seekers’ and adrenaline junkies’ capital of the world, with more skiing, rafting, bungee jumping and skydiving per square meter than practically anywhere else in the world!

Given the enormous area of the planet that the continent covers, it’s easy to forget that Australasia consists of more than the wonders of Australia and New Zealand. Massive (but frequently overlooked) Papua New Guinea is home to startling ecosystems and hill tribes.

And dotted across the vastness of the Pacific there are tiny island nations like Samoa, Tonga , French Polynesia and Fiji (which alone is made up of over 300 islands). Surrounded by coral reefs and lapped by idyllic blue waters, each one is a paradise perfect for a relaxing break... Much like the continent as a whole, in fact!