Family In Australia

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Australia is a fabled place for families. This wonder-filled land with exotic (to visitors) native animals and birds is noted for its spectacular landmarks and 7,000 beaches. As for entering the country, each family member must have a visa, even though a child may be traveling under a parent's passport. Students studying full-time in Australia may be able to bring their family into the country if all visa requirements are met.

The Great Playground

Kangaroo Island is a must-see for families, for this is the best place in Australia to see lots of native kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. This island is a bird-watchers delight, with hordes of black swans, penguins, echidnas, and kookaburras, the "laughing" birds. Sea lions are abundant on the shores. This place is one Australia's great scenic treasures, located 70 miles southwest of Adelaide. You can either take a ferry or fly to this large island, but you can't see it all in one or two days. It is 96 miles from east to west and 34.5 miles at its widest point from north to south.

Yes, children, there really is a Tasmanian Devil, and you might see some of them if you go to Tasmania, another island off the southern coast of Australia. This is one of Australia's World Heritage areas, and it has lush rainforests with plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Going north along the Great Coast Highway, the city of Sydney has some of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Opera House with its gorgeous architecture, and the Harbour Bridge, called the Coathanger.

The Great Barrier Reef off Queensland is the largest in the world, and the entire east coast is dotted with white-sand beaches, peaceful bays and harbors, and island after island. This is the area where most Australians live and play, and the most popular region for tourism. Visit Australia's famous zoos and pet koalas, swim with dolphins on the west coast, and take a camel trek in the Outback.

Adventure Galore

For the more adventurous families, there are white water rafting, canoeing and sea kayaking, and caving. Of course, Australia offers all kinds of water activities, from reef, game, deep sea, and estuary fishing to sailing, which Australians are famous for. Swimming and surfing are routine activities because of all the prime spots along the east coast. If golf is your game, the Gold Coast has more than 40 courses and, believe it or not, one of the world's best desert courses is at Alice Springs in the Outback.

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