Top Ten Australian Attractions

Top Ten Australian Attractions

       Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent as well as the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world’s 6th largest country by total area. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and New Zealand. For at least 40,000 years before European settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who belonged to one or more of roughly 250 language groups. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from January 26, 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established. On January 1, 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system which functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The federation comprises six states and several territories. The population of 22.7 million is heavily concentrated in the Eastern states and is highly urbanized. A highly developed country, Australia is the world’s 13th largest economy and has the world’s 5th highest per capita income. Australia’s military expenditure is the world’s 12th largest. With the 2nd highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.

  1. Sydney

           Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population. The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 2010, Sydney was ranked 7th in Asia and 28th globally for economic innovation in the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index by innovation agency 2thinknow. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, The Economist and Monocle and is considered among the top fashion capitals in the world. Sydney ranks among the top 10 world centers. It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, Top Ten Opera Houses, Top Ten Concert Halls, Top Ten Aquariums, Top Ten Cathedrals, Top Ten Bridges, Beaches, Top Ten Oceanic Beaches, Top Ten Australian Beaches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney,
  2. Melbourne

           Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the 2nd most populous city in Australia with approximately 4 million inhabitants (2009). The Melbourne City Center is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division, of which “Melbourne” is the common name. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city center positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northern-most point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city center, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. Melbourne was founded in 1835 (47 years after the European settlement of Australia) by settlers from Van Diemen’s Land. It was named by governor Richard Bourke in 1837, in honor of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. In 1851, it became the capital city of the newly created colony of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850’s, it was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it then served as the interim seat of government of the newly created nation of Australia until 1927. Often referred to as the “cultural capital of Australia,” Melbourne is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film (as well as the world’s first feature film), Australian television, Australian rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement (known as the Heidelberg School) and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle. It is also a major center for contemporary and traditional Australian music. Melbourne was ranked as the world’s most livable city in the World’s Most Livable Cities ratings by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in August, 2011. It was also ranked in the top 10 Global University Cities by RMIT’s Global University Cities Index (since 2006) and the top 20 Global Innovation Cities by the 2thinknow Global Innovation Agency (since 2007). The metropolis is also home to the world’s largest tram network.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, Top 100 Films, Top Ten Paintings by the Heidelberg School, Sculptures, Top 100 Oceanic Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne,
  3. Great Barrier Reef



    The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 km (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square km (133,000 square mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups’ cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating $1 billion per year.
    Links: Top Ten Reefs, Top 100 Fish, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Barrier_Reef,
  4. Perth

           Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the 4th most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000. The metropolitan area is located in the South West Division of Western Australia, between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the banks of the Swan River. Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on June 12, 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political center of the Swan River Colony. As the business and administration center for the resource-rich state, Perth has grown consistently faster than the national average. Perth became known worldwide as the “City of Light” when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998. Perth is tied for 8th place in The Economist’s 2011 list of the World’s Most Livable Cities.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Astronautshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth,_Western_Australia,
  5. The Gold Coast

           Gold Coast is a coastal city located in South East Queensland, Australia. The city is 94 km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 (2010), it is the 2nd most populous city in the state, the 6th most populous city in the country, and also the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast also holds the title of the largest cross-state population of any metropolitan area in Australia, due to its close proximity to Tweed Heads which is located in New South Wales. The total metropolitan area of the region is over 600,000 people, many of whom cross the border daily. In addition, the urban area of the Gold Coast has almost joined with the urban areas of Logan and Brisbane, some 50 km north. While the origin of the city’s name is debatable, it earned a reputation as being the “gold coast” area by real estate investors. The first settlement of the area of Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast urban area remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland’s red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and quickly grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for the upper class Brisbane residents. The region of the Gold Coast grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920’s. The area boomed in the 1980’s as a leading tourist destination and by 1994, Queensland decided to amalgamate the city with Albert Shire to develop it as one of Australia’s “super cities.” This amalgamation made Gold Coast the 2nd largest municipality in Australia after Brisbane. Its new boundaries extend south to Coolangatta on the border with New South Wales, west to Mount Tamborine in the remote interior, and north to Beenleigh of Brisbane. Gold Coast is today known as a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, nightlife and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
    Links: Top Ten Surf Spots, Top Ten Surfers,
  6. Adelaide
    File:Adelaide nth tce1.8.jpg
    Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the 5th largest city in Australia, with a population of 1.23 million (2011). Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St. Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 90 km (56 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Named in honor of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide’s founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light’s design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parkland. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to the moniker “City of Churches.” As South Australia’s seat of government and commercial center  Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city center along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area. Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food, wine and culture, its long beachfronts, and its large defense and manufacturing sectors. It ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist’s World’s Most Liveable Cities index in 2010 and being ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia in 2011 and again in 2012.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide,
  7. Brisbane

            Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the 3rd most populous city in Australia. Brisbane’s metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centered around Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River approximately 23 km from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range. While the metropolitan area is governed by several municipalities, a large proportion of central Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council which is Australia’s largest Local Government Area by population. Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometers (17 mi) north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during WWII as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. Brisbane has hosted many large cultural and sporting events including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo ‘88 and the final Goodwill Games in 2001. Brisbane is the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore and in 2008 it was classified as a Beta world city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University. It was also rated the 16th most livable city in the world in 2009 by The Economist.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane,
  8. Fraser Island

           Fraser Island is an island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 kilometers (120 mi) north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 kilometers (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 km (15 mi). The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 square km. It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s 6th largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants. Fraser Island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile. The island is part of the Fraser Coast Region and protected in the Great Sandy National Park. Fraser Island has been inhabited by humans for as much as 5,000 years. Explorer James Cook sailed by the island in May 1770. Matthew Flinders landed near the most northern point of the island in 1802. For a short period the island was known as Great Sandy Island. The island became known as Fraser due to the stories of a shipwreck survivor named Eliza Fraser. Today the island is a popular tourism destination. Its resident human population was 360 at the census of 2006.
    Links: Top Ten Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island,
  9. Wet Tropics of Queensland


           The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site consists of approximately 8,940 km² of Australian wet tropical forests growing along the north-east Queensland portion of the Great Dividing Range, stretching from Townsville to Cooktown, running in close parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. The rainforests have the highest concentration of primitive flowering plant families in the world.
    Links: Top 100 Flowers, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Frogs/Toads, Top Ten Beetleshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_Tropics_of_Queensland,
  10. Kakadu National Park

           Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin. Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 square km (7,646 square mi), extending nearly 200 km from north to south and over 100 km from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland. The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive Uranium mines in the world, is contained within the park.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, Top Ten Waterfalls, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Rock Paintings, Top Ten Cave Paintings, Top 100 Flowers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakadu_National_Park,
  11. Barossa Valley

           The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is about 56km (35 miles) northeast of the city of Adelaide. Unlike most of Australia whose wine industry was heavily influenced by the British, the wine industry of the Barossa Valley was founded by German settlers fleeing persecution from the Prussian province of Silesia (in what is now modern day Poland). The hot continental climate of the region promoted the production of very ripe grapes that was the linchpin of the early Australian fortified wine industry. As the modern Australian wine industry shifted towards red table wines (particularly those made by the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon) in the mid-20th century, the Barossa Valley fell out of favor due to its reputation for being largely a Shiraz producers whose grapes were destined for blending. During this period the name “Barossa Valley” rarely appeared on wine labels. In the 1980’s, the emergence of several boutique family specializing in old vine Shiraz wines began to capture international attention for the distinctive style of Barossa Shiraz, a full bodied red wine with rich chocolate and spice notes. This led to a renaissance in the Barossa which catapulted the region to the forefront of the Australian wine industry. Many of Australia’s largest and most notable wineries are either headquartered or own extensive holdings in the Barossa Valley. These include such wineries as Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Orlando Wines, Seppeltsfield, Wolf Blass and Yalumba. Many Shiraz vines in the Barossa Valley are several decades old, with some vineyards planted with old vines that are 100-150 years old. Other grape varieties grown in the Barossa include Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Semillon.
    Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions, Top 100 Wines, Top 100 Australian Wines, Top 100 Wineries, Top Ten Australian Wineries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barossa_Valley_(wine),
  12. Bonus: Ningaloo Reef

           Ningaloo Reef is a fringing coral reef located off the west coast of Australia, approximately 1,200 km north of Perth. The reef is 260 km long and is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef and the only large reef positioned very close to a landmass. It is known for its seasonal feeding concentrations of the whale shark, and the conservation debate surrounding its potential tourism development. In 1987 the reef and surrounding waters were designated as the Ningaloo Marine Park.
    Links: Top Ten Reefs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ningaloo_Reef,
  13. Bonus: Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park

    Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1,431 km south of Darwin by road and 440 km south-west of Alice Springs along the Stuart and Lasseter Highways. The park covers 2,010 square km and includes the features it is named after, Uluru/Ayers Rock and, 40 km to its west, Kata Tjuta/Mount Olga and is serviced by flights from most Australian capital cities. Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Aṉangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, Top Ten Rock Formations, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru-Kata_Tjuta_National_Park,
  14. Bonus: Lord Howe Island

           Lord Howe Island is an irregularly crescent-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, 600 m (370 mi) directly east of mainland Port Macquarie and about 900 km (560 mi) from Norfolk Island. The island is about 10 km long and between 2.0 km and 0.3 km wide with an area of 14.55 square km, “of which only 398 hectares is in the lowland settled area.” Along the west coast there is a sandy semi-enclosed sheltered coral reef lagoon. Most of the population lives in the north, while the south is dominated by forested hills rising to the highest point on the island, Mount Gower (875 m or 2,871 ft.). The Lord Howe Island Group of islands comprises 28 islands, islets and rocks. Apart from Lord Howe Island itself the most notable of these is the volcanic and uninhabited Balls Pyramid about 23 km to the south-east. To the north there is the Admiralty Group, a cluster of seven small uninhabited islands. The first reported sighting of Lord Howe Island was on February 17, 1788 when Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, commander of the Armed Tender HMS Supply was on its way from Botany Bay to found a penal settlement on Norfolk Island. On the return journey Ball sent a party ashore on Lord Howe Island to claim it as a British possession. It subsequently became a provisioning port for the whaling industry, and was permanently settled in June 1834. When whaling declined, the worldwide export of the endemic kentia palms began in the 1880’s, which remains a key component of the Island’s economy. The other continuing industry, tourism, began after WWII. Commuter airlines are linked to Sydney, Brisbane, Port Macquarie and Norfolk Island. Most of the island is virtually untouched forest with many of the plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Other natural attractions include the diversity of its landscapes, the variety of upper mantle and oceanic basalts, the world’s southernmost barrier coral reef, nesting seabirds, and its rich historical and cultural heritage. The Lord Howe Island Act of 1981 established a “Permanent Park Preserve” (covering approximately 70% of the island). The surrounding waters are a protected region designated the Lord Howe Island Marine Park.
    Links: Top Ten Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, Top Ten Skeletons, Reptiles, Top 100 Flowers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Howe_Island_Group,
  15. Bonus: The Tasmanian Wilderness

           The Tasmanian Wilderness is a term that is used for a range of areas in Tasmania, Australia, with areas in South West, Western and Central Tasmania being the most well-known. However, there are also other areas in Tasmania that have the elements of being known as wilderness areas, including the Tarkine and the Cradle mountain wilderness. The area is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia, covering 13,800 km², or almost 20% of Tasmania. The area constitutes one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, including the renowned South West Wilderness. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for well over 20,000 years.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Wilderness,
  16. Bonus: The Art Gallery of South Australia

           The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), located on the cultural boulevard of North Terrace in Adelaide, is the premier visual arts museum in the Australian state of South Australia. It has a collection of over 35,000 works of art, making it, after the National Gallery of Victoria, the largest state art collection in Australia. It was known as the National Gallery of South Australia until 1967 when the current name was adopted. The Art Gallery is located adjacent to State Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide, AGSA is part of Adelaide’s North Terrace cultural precinct and has more than 510,000 visitors annually. As well as its permanent collection, the AGSA displays a number of visiting exhibition every year and also contributes travelling exhibitions to regional galleries.
    Links: Top Ten Museums, Top Ten Oceanic Museums, Top Ten Australian Museums, Top Ten Galleries, Top Ten Oceanic Gallerieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Gallery_of_South_Australia,
  17. Bonus: Canberra

           Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the 8th largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a “Canberran.” The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city. Following an international contest for the city’s design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins’ plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centered around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory. The city’s design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the “bush capital.” The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, which exacerbated a series of planning disputes and the ineffectiveness of a sequence of bodies that were to oversee the development of the city. The national capital emerged as a thriving city after WWII, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies championed its development and the National Capital Development Commission was formed with executive powers. Although the Australian Capital Territory is now self-governing, the federal government retains some influence through the National Capital Authority. As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library. The Australian Army’s officer corps are trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy is also located in the capital. As the city has a high proportion of public servants, the federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra. As the seat of government, the unemployment rate is lower and the average income higher than the national average, while property prices are relatively high, in part due to comparatively restricted development regulations. Tertiary education levels are higher, while the population is younger.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra,
  18. Bonus: Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte)

           Riversleigh and Naracoorte were inscribed for their extensive fossil records, and are listed among the ten richest deposits in the world. Both are illustrative of separate, key stages in the distinctive evolution of mammals on the Australian continent. Riversleigh has provided some of the earliest mammalian records from the middle Cenozoic, from approximately 25 to 15 million years ago. The deposit at Naracoorte, Australia’s largest, spans the much-more-recent Pleistocene epoch and the first migrations of humans to Australia. It contains some of the best-preserved examples of ice-age megafauna.
    Links: Top Ten Skeletons, Top Ten Skulls, Top Ten Fossils, Caves, Top Ten Oceanic Caves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_Oceania,
  19. Bonus: Gondwana Rainforests

           The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The reserve includes 50 separate reserves totaling 3,665 square km, clustered around the New South Wales – Queensland border. The Gondwana Rainforests are so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests containing the same kinds of species that are living today. The number of visitors to the reserve is about 2 million per year.
    Links: Top Ten Rainforests, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondwana_Rainforests_of_Australia,
  20. Bonus: Macquarie Island

           Macquarie Island (or Macca) lies in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica. Politically, it has formed part of the Australian state of Tasmania since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978. It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993, when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to Huon Valley. Ecologically, it is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, the island’s only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year.
    Links: Top Ten Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macquarie_Island,
  21. Bonus: Willandra Lakes Region

           The Willandra Lakes Region covers 2,400 square kilometers in south-western New South Wales, Australia. The Region contains important natural and cultural features including exceptional examples of past human civilization including the world’s oldest cremation site. A small section of the region is protected by the Mungo National Park. The Willandra Lakes Region was added to the Australian National Heritage List in May 2007.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, Top 100 Photographs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willandra_Lakes_Region,
  22. Bonus: Convict Sites

           The Australian Convict Sites consists of 11 remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips at Sydney, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, and Fremantle; now representing: “ .. the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labor of convicts.” These properties were all individually included on the Australian National Heritage List before inclusion on the World Heritage list.
    Links: Top Ten Prisons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Convict_Sites,
  23. Bonus: Purnululu National Park

           Purnululu National Park is a national park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purnululu_National_Park,
  24. Links: Top Ten Australian Hotels, Top Ten Australian Restaurants, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia,

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