South Pacific

Australia: Good enough for Oprah

Australian Kangaroo

Oprah, best friend Gayle, the audience and crew have long since returned from Australia, and a world-wide audience in January was treated to perhaps some of the most spectacular TV-filmed scenery in one’s memory.

It’s been rumoured that even husbands and boyfriends watched the four-part Oprah series, and were enthralled by the memorable (and not often seen) vistas and locales of the country. Highlights of the trip included spending time in Sydney and Melbourne, visiting Hamilton Island, the Great Barrier Reef, a visit to Uluru and, for many of the audience, a trip to Tasmania.

Oprah hosted two of the shows from the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Many of Australia’s most notable stars paid a visit, including the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s wife, Terri, and children, Bindi and Robert, Russell Crowe, Hugh, Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, and of course, Olivia Newton-John.

If you saw the shows, chances are that you were immediately planning when to go and what to pack and. Well, don’t just think about. Continue with your plans…

You too can visit this land of magic and mystery. Perhaps not quite in the grand fashion of Oprahs’ lucky ultimate viewers, but certainly you can see and do many of the things featured in the show (except perhaps having TV celeb chef Curtis Stone barbeque for you and three hundred of your best friends!).

The history of this country dates back some 50,000 years. The culture of Australia comes from the difference in the languages and cultures of the aboriginal and native people of the country. An eclectic mix of all these cultures makes this country as wonderful, mystifying and enchanting as you would expect. The exhilarating moments of breath taking scenery, meeting the folks and visiting the country’s beautiful cities may just remain in your heart for eternity…

The first thing you must consider is the weather, and where in Australia you would like to visit. The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. A Canadian winter is an Australian summer and vice-versa. And like in Canada, there is a big difference in climate between the north and south. Many people plan a trip between September and November, during Australia’s Spring season, followed by December through late February, the country’s warm Summer season. But even if you plan your trip during the rest of the year, you’ll find that most days are bright and sunny, and generally on the warmer side. However, depending on where in Australia you choose to visit, be prepared for different climates. You should carefully research the weather and plan your trip accordingly. In land area, Australia is the sixth largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil. The Australian federation consists of six States Territories – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, and two mainland territories – the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australian culture is founded on stories of battlers, bushrangers and brave soldiers; of sporting heroes, working heroes and plucky migrants. It’s all about a fair go, the great outdoors and a healthy helping of irony.

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