Imagine a land so diverse that you can enjoy an exhilarating skiing experience one day and relax in a tranquil, naturally warm lagoon the next. This magical land really does exist, and it's called Australia. With Australia travel, the first thing visitors will notice is that it's nothing like America. This is a land that while stunningly beautiful, is still hard-edged and natural. A geographical treat, the barren reserves of the Outback offer the rugged thrill-seeker just as much to do as the modern, artistic cities offer the contemporary traveler.

While conversations about the destination of the yearly vacation may sometimes include Australia, many people decide against it because they believe it to be an expensive vacation. Truth be told, it's no more expensive than a visit to any other country, especially if you know where to look. Cheap flights to Australia can be found simply by perusing the Internet. Some travel sites offer entire vacation packages, which include accommodations, meals and tickets to events or shows. Why take a vacation to a destination you've already been to? It's time to broaden your horizons and take an adventurous leap, into the majesty of Australia!

What the Adventurer Can Expect in Australia

If you like your vacations on the adventurous side, Kakado National Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park are a Mecca for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The Great Barrier Reef is also a must-see. The Great Barrier Reef is so huge, that it's the only living thing on the planet visible from space! With the ocean as the canvas, the colorful coral paints a brilliant scene of underwater enchantment, which attracts thousands of divers each year.

If you enjoy seeing the surrounding countryside, take an Australian car rental and enjoy a drive along the Great Ocean Road - it will be just what you're looking for. A windy stretch of highway that runs from Torquay to Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road will provide you with many picturesque reasons to stop and take out the camera. In fact, just leave the camera out of the bag; you'll be reaching for it often. This is one drive where it pays to be the passenger!

The Daintree Rainforest is yet another escape that the adventurer will want to visit. With thousands of colorful, indigenous plants and birds, the rainforest holds many secrets to discover.

The Artistic Wonders of Australia

Many travelers revel in Australia's deep and rich artistic history. The great cities of Melbourne, Perth and Sydney offer the vacationer plenty to see and discover. Away from nature's grand and magnificent creations, there is another world of manmade treasures to behold.

In Perth, art enthusiasts commonly seek out the Art Gallery of Australia. It's displays of early Aboriginal art and combination of European, Australian and Asia-Pacific art provide a visual history lesson on the country of Australia. The family will also enjoy a fanciful afternoon at the Aquarium of Western Australia.

Melbourne is a city that has it all - delicious world-class cuisine, high concept art, luxurious accommodations and even football games. Ask a Melbourner what strikes their passion, and you'll get two answers - Australian Rules football and ballet! That answer tells you all you need to know about Melbourne - it's fun, exciting and gracefully beautiful all at the same time. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is a trendy destination that inspires anyone who enters. Melbourne is also home to numerous festivals and events all year long.

As the oldest city in Australia, Sydney offers a complex combination of historic ambiance and modern escapism. There's plenty to see and do at nearly any time of the day or night. Take in some of the avant-garde art houses during the day and rub elbows in the action-packed nightclubs in the evening. A city that holds fast to the traditions of its heritage, yet surprisingly modern and eclectic, Sydney should be stop on every vacation to Australia.

The Secret Treats of Australia

While these three major cities and the Outback are perhaps the most commonly visited areas by tourists, there are plenty of secret vacation gems that can be enjoyed, slightly away from the limelight. Beyond that, there are always the perfect Australia casino vacations to consider, where you can visit a vacation paradise and try your luck at gambling.

While not usually on the itinerary, Canberra is a beautiful city with a nice selection of art galleries and museums to enjoy. It's one of the only capital cities in the world that was premeditated before it was built, so the city is incredibly symmetrical and the layout of streets and buildings are an architect's paradise.

The carnival atmosphere of Cairns may have you so entranced that you may miss some of Australia's other splendors. The city is a marvelous shopping destination and home to the Crystal Cascades and Flecker Botanic Gardens.

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Don't set out on your next vacation without doing your destination homework. We have compiled a huge database of destination guides and traveling advice to make your next trip smooth sailing. And when you can t get out and see the sights for yourself, watch AOL Travel correspondent Peter Greenberg s video articles on fabulous places all over the world. You just might be inspired to book airline tickets to the featured destination. Regardless if you need flights for exotic international locales, or are cruising just around the corner, AOL Travel has the discount airline tickets, great hotel deals, unforgettable cruises and car rentals to get you there for less.

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