The ranch was one of the most popular methods of agriculture, widely spread in the countries of the Western Hemisphere during the colonization of America by immigrants from the European continent.
In the USA and Canada, a ranch usually means any farm located in a rural area. One way or another, the main economic specialization of the ranch is cattle breeding, first of all cattle. This ranch is different from plantations, the main specialization of which is crop (bananas, sugar cane, cotton).
When free time was given out on the ranches of cowboys, they entertained themselves with all sorts of “funny” competitions: whose horse works better with a cow, who sits longer on a wild bull or a mustang, who will quickly lash a cow. Over time, these sports were separated, gained established rules, overgrown with traditions and features of training the horse and rider. From the middle of the 20th century, official cowboy competitions were held in the USA, and western sport appeared.
Life on the ranch has its advantages – far from the bustle of the city, animals and complete unity with nature.
Once a year, the rancher and his team lead their flocks to mountain pastures. Shepherd dogs grazing during a long transition of cows and bulls (bottom right), everything is as it should be.
Dangerous moment – the transfer of the herd across the road. One of the cowboys holds a warning yellow flag for approaching cars. Sometimes it’s easier to walk along the highway.
Such is the life of the real ranch and the cowboys.Read More
Features of the organization of independent gastronomic tours
Italy is a diverse country, where each region has its own unique features and unique character. This applies to both nature and culture, manifesting itself in a variety of forms. Cooking here on top. Gastronomic habits and traditions in different parts of Italy are very variable: it is often enough to travel several tens of kilometers to get from one culinary world to another. For example, Venetian cuisine is not at all the same as the cuisine of the mainland Veneto, and the culinary traditions of Bologna are markedly different from the Florentine tastes. There is nothing to say about the differences between Lombardy and, say, Campania, Lazio and Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia. All of them are not so similar to each other, that it is time to ask a question, and is it not about different countries? Therefore, it is amusing to read on all sorts of tourist portals and in countless blogs that, say, such and such a city is the gastronomic or culinary capital of Italy. There are at least two dozen such capitals in Italy (by the number of regions), and in each case we will have sufficiently weighty reasons to justify the capital.
In general, the soil for culinary and gastronomic tourism in Italy is very rich, and therefore it is not at all surprising that gastronomic tours in Italy are very popular among travelers from all over the world. In Russia, the corresponding programs are offered by a number of travel companies (interesting tours can be found, in particular, from Simpletravel; see here). It is only necessary to take into account that the pleasure is, as a rule, not cheap. However, if you are not very well oriented in the field of cooking or do not burn with the desire to think through every little thing, then a gastronomic tour organized by professionals is perhaps the ideal option.
However, here we are more interested in the possibilities of organizing independent travels. Let’s talk about this in more detail.
How to organize a gastronomic tour of Italy alone
In general, organizing an independent journey in Italy is quite simple. Buy air and railway tickets, book hotels, get a visa – is a simple matter. The most difficult thing in the case of gastroturas, in our opinion, is to draw up a travel program. What and where to try, what places (restaurants, wineries, agricultural enterprises, etc.) to visit, when it is better to go to one or another region of Italy to fully appreciate the advantages of local cuisine – these and many other questions will require you to be careful preparation.
However, here, for lack of time or desire to search for all the necessary information on your own, again, you can resort to outside help. To this end, it makes sense to look at sites like www.tripster.ru, where, among other things, there are excursions of a gastronomic orientation. For example, here you can find a good selection of culinary and gastronomic excursions in Rome and its environs, here is a tempting tour of Venice and its hidden back streets, and here is an interesting one-day tour of Apulia. Similar tours and walks can be booked in Florence, Naples, Verona, Turin and many other Italian cities.
But you can do otherwise. If you are interested in cooking as such, then surely you have at least some idea of what attracts your attention. From this and push off. When planning a trip, refer to the tourist forums, blogs and reviews of tourists, the benefit is that in the case of Italy there is no shortage of information. As a result, you can make an approximate list of dishes, wines and products that you definitely need to try in a particular region. And then go to the free swimming – travel around the country, wander through the cities, alternating sessions of contemplation of the beautiful with a visit to the points of the public catering that you like along the way, and try, try, try. With this approach, of course, not only gastronomic discoveries, but also disappointments await you. But, comparing what and how they cook in different establishments, you can form your own idea of Italian cuisine and its regional specialties. In the end, nothing is more valuable than personal experience. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to ignore the experience of other people. No one has canceled Google Maps and Tripadvisor – on these resources there are a lot of reviews about various institutions in all of the more or less noticeable cities in Italy. And, of course, before going to a particular restaurant, pizzeria, trattoria, etc., it is worth a while to read what is written about them.
In addition, do not forget about the existence of books and travel guides. Of them, too, can draw a lot of useful information. In Russian there is, for example, the book by Elena Kostyukovich “Food. Italian happiness “, which can be used as a gastronomic guide to Italy. (Essentially the same book, only in a slightly different layout, was previously published in two parts – “A Taste of Italian Happiness” and “Roads of Italian Happiness.”) There is a book by Andrei Bilzho “My Venice” – again, almost ready-made guidebook institutions of Venice. There is another literature.
Finally, you can focus on numerous gastronomic fairs and festivals. For example:
- Florence Pitti Taste fair is held annually (in March);
- in Perugia – Eurochocolate fair (in October);
- in Alba – the Tartufo Bianco d’Alba fair dedicated to white truffle (October-November);
- in Ladispoli, near Rome, – Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco in honor of the artichokes (in late March – early April);
- in Montefiascone, also near Rome, – the wine festival Fiera del Vino (in early August) …
The list can be continued indefinitely. By and large, any cultural event in Italy, be it a city carnival or a celebration in honor of some saint, is accompanied by a fair of traditional local products: somewhere there is more, somewhere less, but it is always interesting and tasty.
We should also mention the organization Slow Food (see www.slowfood.com) and, in particular, the annual gastronomic feast Terra Madre Salone del Gusto held in Turin (in September). The organization’s website regularly publishes information about other events.
Also pay attention to the network of Eataly gastronomic centers (see www.eataly.net), conceptually combining a market where you can buy high-quality Italian products (cheeses, cold meats, seafood, etc., etc.), and a restaurant where you can taste dishes made from these highest quality products (which is remarkable, prices are not exorbitant). The geography of their presence is extensive and has long gone beyond the Apennine Peninsula. If we talk about Italy, the offices of Eataly are represented in the same Turin, as well as in Milan, Bologna (here in November 2017 a huge agro-gastronomic park FICO was opened – see www.eatalyworld.it), Florence, Rome, Bari and some other cities.Read More
In recent years, more and more residents of stone megalopolises tend to go to nature, to relax from the hustle and bustle. In Italy, there is a great way to accomplish this task – to go to the countryside on an agricultural farm. This type of recreation is called agritourism, and it is in Italy that it is extremely popular, there are a huge number of available farms in each region.
According to the legislation, this kind of recreation has existed since the mid 70s, and special conditions are even prescribed in the laws. According to these conditions, farmers are obliged to accept tourists. Initially, everything was very strict with this: the farmer undertook to prepare food, at least 50% consisting of products grown on his farm, to conduct tastings of his own or local wines, to organize sports and didactic activities for children (teach them to milk cows, etc. ., that is, to live a full farm life). There are also certain requirements for guest accommodation, which must be as authentic as possible.
Now the concept has changed a bit, and along with the growing demand for this type of recreation, more and more “quasi-agritourism” began to appear, with swimming pools, spa areas, massages and other things. They feed there as in a restaurant (thawed food), but the air is basically the same. The real life in agro-tourism is quite simple: stone modestly furnished houses, wooden tables in the dining room and its own, cooked food by the owners.
If you want to do agritourism, you must live on a real farm, in an authentic place.
Agritourism is not necessarily all located in the mountains, but often. Firstly, there is cheaper and more suitable for agricultural needs the land, and secondly, it is easier to embody the idea of privacy. In general, there are no agritourism right on the beach, of course. But in compensation you can enjoy the beautiful and spectacular views of the mountains.
In addition to world-famous attractions, beautiful beaches and traditional cuisine, Italy is also famous for agritourism. In the cultivation of this type of recreation, Italy, along with France and Spain, is considered one of the recognized world leaders. And what other visiting format will allow to penetrate the Italian way of life and traditions better than a holiday in the countryside?
Throughout the year, over 10,000 Italian villas, farms and estates are ready to host agrotourists. Here you can ride horses, stroll through the fragrant flower fields, visit the vineyards and, of course, enjoy plenty of gastronomic delights.
The history of agrotourism in Italy
According to one of the local legends, a foreigner set up agrotourism in Italy, who went to live on an Italian farm in order to diversify his too calm and full life. The case was in the post-war period, when the Italian villages impoverished as a result of the Second World War were just beginning to “come to their senses”. The farmer who sheltered the eccentric foreigner was satisfied, having received a good reward for his labors. Stories about excellent rest, wonderful natural food and Italian hospitality quickly spread out of the country, and soon they began to travel to Italy not only for its rich architecture and history, but also to taste all the delights of the colorful village life.
Entrepreneurial Italians, seeing in this niche market, began to equip their homes and farms, to create all the conditions for a decent holiday visitors. By the 70s of the 20th century, agricols began to appear in the country — existing farms that, in addition to producing wine, olive oil and other products, provided rooms for tourists in their homes.
Since 1985, agritourism in Italy has received official recognition and government support. Some projects even provide special grants. In the countries of the European Union there is a decree, which clearly states the rules of doing business for farmers who want to provide their farms for agritourism. To get permission to engage in this type of business, Italian farmers are required to complete a special course, designed for a hundred hours. In the course of the training program, farmers acquire knowledge of the basics of law, management, accounting, sanitary and hygiene standards, etc.
Today, agritourism in Italy is an already formed market. Every year, about two million people come to farms and farmsteads, which gives a considerable profit to the country’s budget.
The most popular regions of Italy for agritourism
Agritourism in Tuscany
The first position in the list of the most popular regions for agro-tourism in Italy is rightfully occupied by Tuscany, where a quarter of the country’s agricultural chips are concentrated. Tuscany is a paradise for travelers. Her villages and small towns are saturated with the spirit of the Middle Ages.
In addition to the picturesque nature, olive groves and wine plantations, agrotourists have a great opportunity not only to taste the dishes for which Tuscany is famous, but also to learn how to cook them under the guidance of Tuscan hostesses.
In the Tuscan cuisine are widely used fish, flour and sausages, and, of course, a variety of vegetables. However, an essential element of Tuscan cuisine is olive oil, which is considered one of the best in the country, and also Florentine steak, which is made from bull meat marinated in olive oil with spices. In addition, Tuscany is also the land of winemakers. Therefore, agritourism in Tuscany without wine is simply unthinkable.
Agritourism in Trentino – South Tyrol
Together with Tuscany in popularity in agritourism there is another equally famous resort –Trentino (South Tyrol). The key to the popularity of this province is the fact that Trentino is one of the largest European centers of mountain and ski tourism with a well-developed infrastructure. Agritourism in Trentino is an explosive mixture of picturesque landscapes, mild climate, mountain “crystal air”, sights, wine and, of course, excellent Italian cuisine.
If you go to Trentino – be sure to try the local pizzocheri paste, made from buckwheat flour with potatoes and savoy cabbage, generously seasoned with cheeses and herbs. Beef tenderloin called tagliata, pickled in spices and grilled, and also dried bresaola beef (Italian bresaola), cut into transparent slices.
Agritourism in Piedmont
The region in the north of Italy has glorified the country for its gastronomic delights. In addition to fine wines, cheeses and other gastronomy, it is in Piedmont that the world famous white truffles grow. Agrotourists who decide to go to this region of Italy will have the opportunity to stay in the agrikols of the legendary “hunters” for delicious mushrooms. If you’re lucky, you can even take part in the search for truffles or visit the famous truffle festival. Fans of “mushroom hunting” should be headed to the province of Lange, where, near the town of Alba, these agro-tourist estates are located.
Agritourism in Piedmont is also a wine tour, since winemaking has a special place in Piedmont. It is Piedmont that is the birthplace of the famous Asti Slumante wine and the wonderful sparkling Prosseco. While serving local Barolo wine, in addition to bread, butter, vegetables and several types of sausages, the guest is sure to be treated with white truffles.
And Piedmont is one of the largest producers of cheese. Indeed, in addition to the recipe, in the production of Italian cheese, one of the key roles is played by the vegetation that feeds animals, and the climate in which cheese matures. Only in this region can you try the real cheeses of Castelmagno, Gongorzola, GranaPadano, Taleggio, Robiola, Bra and TomaPiemontese.
In addition, agri-tourism in Piedmont is an opportunity to swim in hot springs, which the region abounds in. The thermal spas of Piedmont such as the Terme di Acqui, Terme di Agliano and Terme di Bognanco are famous for their sources throughout Italy.Read More
In Israel, more than a dozen varieties of strawberries are produced. Among them are Hadass, Tamar, Yael, Malach, Tamir, Barrack and Sirota, synthesized at the Agricultural Institute “Volcani” in Rishon Lezion, Yuval and Orly from the company Fertiseeds, as well as shaked and mouths grown on the “Meshek Yosef” farm.
And from about January all this begins to fill with color and maturity. It’s time to pick berries. You can, of course, buy them in the nearest market, but it is much nicer and more fun to get the whole family out into nature and personally collect them from the garden. At the same time you can eat from the heart. Where can this be done?
“Bag on the farm” (“Farm on the hill”) in Gedera invites you to pick strawberries grown without chemicals. The berries are clean and healthy, sweet and tasty, grow, as it should be in the name of the farm, on the hill. In case of rain or inclement weather there are beds inside the greenhouse. As an additional entertainment: a living area and the opportunity to ride through the fields on the tractor. The entrance costs 30 shekels (children up to 3 years old are free), food on the spot without restrictions, and each basket to take away – for an additional 20 shekels.
Farm Agronen, also located in Göder, produces not only fresh strawberries, but also other berries. At the beginning of January, only strawberries and raspberries are available in small quantities. The peak of ripening, according to the owners, will come on the holiday of Shavuot (this year it is May 19-20). In April, the medlar (shesek) is promised, and in June-July – blackberries, mulberries and plums. Open until only on Saturdays, but opening hours promise to expand on Friday. Entrance – 30 shekels, container for strawberries for 20.
“Bags-6” not far from Netanya in moshav Geulim invites you to one of the oldest strawberry farms in Israel, founded in the 60s of the last century. Long green beds, stretching across a huge field, daily meet guests with lots of sweet ripe berries, irrigated with well water. It is advised to come by 9 am – there are a lot of people who want it and by noon it is already full sold out. Entry costs 20 shekels. Price basket – 15.
Tal Bag is located next to Hod Hasharon and is open to the general public only on Saturdays. Here they are proud of 5 strawberry varieties (Orli, Tamar, Malach, Barrack and 295) grown using biological control methods. Berries do not even need to wash before eating. The entrance for the child costs 40, including a takeaway basket, parents can choose the option without packaging for 20 shekels. Each additional basket with a capacity of about 400 grams will cost 20 shekels. Food on site without restrictions. You can also pick oranges and carrots on the farm, but in January only strawberries are available.
You can also pick strawberries grown without chemical spraying at the Ruach She-Tut farm, at the entrance to the kibbutz Gan-Shmuel just east of Hadera. To protect against pests here use ladybugs and special bees. It is curious that part of the strawberry does not grow on the ground, but in boxes. The entrance costs 45 shekels, including unlimited strawberry eating on the spot and a 250-gram basket with them. Open daily, but pre-registration is required at the weekend.
PullGezer Farm, located near Kfar Saba, offers not only strawberries. You can pick carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beets, radishes, parsley, dill, mint and much more from local patches. The entrance to the vegetable part of the farm – 25 shekels, the strawberry – 35. When combining both options – a discount of 10 shekels. For the purchase of a basket of strawberries, they ask for 20 shekels, and for every kilogram of vegetables – 5. Food on site without restrictions. Open daily.
Farm “Stalbetut”, spread out at Hod Hasharon, invites you to gather strawberries only on Saturdays. The farm uses biological plant protection without the use of pesticides; here you can listen to lectures on the cultivation of strawberries and the difference in varieties. The cost of entry, unlimited eating from the garden and a small bast-basket with them is 40 shekels. If you wish, if you come with a child, an adult can choose the option without a basket for 20 shekels.
In “Sacks-77” near Netivot, not far from Beersheba in the western Negev, strawberry picking is open exclusively on Fridays. It is said that the berries are big, red, juicy and tasty. Here the entrance with unlimited eating on the spot and a basket of 250 grams costs 15 shekels, with a basket per half a kilo is 25 and with a basket per kilogram is 40. For an additional 10 shekels, you can make a tour of the farm on a tractor.
The Sadot farm, located at the entrance to the kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, just northeast of Netanya, offers guests a strawberry field with 4 varieties to choose from: tamar, rotem, shaked and malach. The entrance with unlimited absorption of berries on the spot costs 22 shekels, and for another 15 shekels you can carry with you a basket, which, according to rumors, includes about a kilogram. Also on site you can do collecting anemones.
The Uri Tutim farm, located in Yesha moshav in the Western Negev, between Beersheba and the Gaza Strip, invites all southerners to pick strawberries growing in greenhouses not on the ground, but at the level of human growth. Here, for growing berries, a special hanging strawberry method is used, which makes it possible to do without soil, reduces the number of pests and improves plant health. Admission is only 10 shekels, a container for collecting with you – 25. Open from 8 am to 2 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The farm “Here Gil” in Petahia moshav in the regional council Gezer (about which we wrote a little earlier) grows delicious cherry tomatoes in the summer, and in winter opens the season of picking strawberries grown in greenhouses by the hanging method without pesticides. Here, among other things, you will hear interesting stories from the owner of the farm about strawberries, about how to collect and choose the right one. Open on Fridays from 9:00 to 15:30. Entrance fee – 30 shekels. Picked berries are paid by weight.
The Ariel strawberry farm in the moshav of Kadima north of Kfar Saba is not satisfied with the general harvest of its berries and sells strawberries at 30 shekels per kilogram. However, according to the owners, in the very near future it is worth waiting for the announcement of the free collection of products. This place is considered one of the favorite among many residents of not only Gush Dan, but also in other parts of the country.
That’s probably all for now. The largest strawberry farm in Israel is “Yosef Bag” in Hod Hasharon, but, alas, it does not suit the “national harvest”, supplying all products to supermarkets and grocery stores in the country.
It should be added that it is desirable to come to each of the listed or any other places early and call in advance – you never know: rain, floods, a strike, a clean-up day, or all were destroyed by visitors yesterday. Published prices are valid at the beginning of January 2018 and may vary depending on the season.
What do we know about Australia? Of course, the first associations with this country are numerous kangaroos, jumping on incredible expanses, crocodiles, surfing, the Sydney Opera House, the endless ocean, the heat and the aborigines.
In fact, deciding to visit Australia, we must not forget that this is the only state on our “Blue Planet”, which occupies an entire continent! Of course, the continent is smaller than Eurasia, but still! So try to see all of Australia for the week – at least naive. Only a walk through Sydney will take several days, and the Great Barrier Reef can be explored for months and never cease to be surprised.
First of all, we advise you to decide what interests you more – modern Australian cities or the nature of the Green Continent? In the first case, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are waiting for you, and in the second – remote corners, islands, reefs, mountains, rivers and lakes.
We remind you that in the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is true and the Australian New Year is a very hot holiday that locals prefer to spend on the beaches. In any case, whenever you come to Australia, we advise you to take a ride along the Great Ocean Road with its “12 apostles”, visit one of the country’s numerous national parks, see the most beautiful bridge of the continent, the Harbor Bridge, as well as visit Fraser Island.
What to see in Australia?
The most interesting and beautiful places and a brief description.
- Great Barrier Reef
The biggest attraction of Australia. Here there is a lesson for everyone. Do you want to watch sharks? You should go to the Great Barrier Reef! Or do you just want to lie on the cleanest beach? Great, there is enough space for everyone! Do you want to rent an expensive hotel room right on the beach? There are such suggestions too! Have you always wanted to master diving? There is no better place to do this. The Great Barrier Reef is surprisingly diverse, attracting both tourists and scientists.
- Sydney Opera House
This is a real calling card of the country. Even those who have never heard anything about Australian sights, must have seen this building against the backdrop of the Gulf of Sydney on postcards and tourist booklets. The building is a sink, a structure that fits perfectly into the landscape, a masterpiece of architectural thought – people call the Sydney Opera House differently.
- The Twelve Apostles
This picturesque group of limestone cliffs is the most frequently visited landmark located on the famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Around the Twelve Apostles a tourist center was even built. Travelers on helicopters over the cliffs are popular with travelers. By the way, the “apostles” are not 12, but eight – the ninth cliff collapsed in 2005, unable to withstand the onslaught of the waves.
- Uluru (Ayers Rock)
This is a sacred place for the Australian aborigines, the rock towering above the rest of the area is brick red. Uluru is famous for its ancient rock paintings and caves. Conveniently, the resort town of Yulara and the airport are located nearby, so getting to this amazing attraction is convenient and easy.
- Blue Mountains
These cliffs are not really blue – this effect is given by the gray evaporation from the eucalyptus forests covering them. Part of this area, stretching to the west from the city limits of Sydney, is recognized as a UNESCO object and National Park. Tourists are advised to begin exploring the Blue Mountains from the city of Katoomba, next to which there are waterfalls, caves and other interesting places.
- Harbor Bridge
It is the largest bridge in Sydney and one of the largest arched steel bridges on the planet. Local landmark, the decoration of the urban landscape and a place of attraction for thousands of tourists. Particularly popular are walks along the side arch to the top of the bridge, from where an amazing view of the metropolis opens. To lift you will need the help of an instructor and a special suit with insurance.
- Sydney Tower
The highest building of the city can not fail to attract attention. Sydney Tower has nothing to do with television broadcasts. Here are shops, restaurants and other entertainment facilities. The most acute impressions will be a visit to a retractable viewing platform, which rises above Sydney to a height of 268 meters.
- Kakadu National Park
In fact, this national park was named not by the name of the birds, but in honor of the tribe of the aborigines. Kakadu Park attracts tourists with amazing landscapes and the opportunity to see rare animals, birds and reptiles. Archaeologists are particularly interested in two caves, where they found cave paintings aged about 18 thousand years.
- Great Ocean Road
Visiting Australia and not driving along the most scenic road in the world is a big omission! This is 243 kilometers that stretch along the ocean coast in Victoria. A hiking route is also open along the road. In addition to the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, you will meet many interesting things, for example, the Lok-Ard and Grotto Ridge.
- Cape Byron
The easternmost point of the Green Continent, the cape, from where stunning views of the ocean open spaces. Cape Byron, so-called well-known traveler James Cook, is decorated with a snow-white lighthouse, which saved many sailors from shipwreck. The area is very beautiful and therefore attracting many tourists.
- Bondi Beach
This beach is only 10 kilometers from the center of Sydney and annually attracts tens of thousands of people. Here they jog, hold interesting contests and races, they simply sunbathe, swim and surf. A wide strip of white sand and clean ocean waves make Bondi Beach one of the most beautiful on the planet.
- Prison Port Arthur
Few people now remember that in Australia at one time many convicts were exiled. Port Arthur prison, located in Tasmania, was considered one of the most terrible places of detention. The building is perfectly preserved, along with the church and the chapel, so it became a real museum, perfectly demonstrating the conditions in which the convicts lived.
- Queen Victoria House
Today, the British queen does not live in this Gothic building, but the true royal chic is perfectly preserved. The house is located in the business part of Sydney and is a popular, quite modern shopping center. Visit the House of Queen Victoria can be for two reasons – to admire its rich decoration and go shopping.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne
This is the largest Anglican cathedral of Melbourne, a magnificent building, where you can come not only to pray, but also to admire the unique decoration and beautiful architecture. One of the most prominent buildings of the city, famous for its body, which is considered the largest of all built in the XIX century.
- Horizontal waterfalls
A unique natural wonder located in northwestern Australia. Horizontal waterfalls occur only during sufficiently long tidal currents, when powerful water flows pass through narrow settled between picturesque rocks. The spectacle is amazing and fascinating, created by the difference in levels of water flow.
- Stone wave
At least 140 thousand tourists come every year to see this natural wonder. Looking at this rock, it really seems that the wave from the ocean somehow turned out to be in the middle of the land and froze forever. Scientists believe the Stone Wave is a unique rock formation created by nature from granite, just think about it – 60 million years ago!
- Australian Zoo in Queensland
Have you watched animal shows with moderator Stephen Irwin, the famous crocodile hunter? Sure that looked! The Australian Zoo in the city of Queensland is associated with his name, now he is managed by the widow of Irwin. On the territory of the zoo, surprisingly comfortable conditions have been created not only for rare animals, but also for visitors, who have something to be surprised at and enjoy during his visit.
This is probably the most unusual and picturesque state in Australia, located on the same island, in the very south of our planet. Then only Antarctica and the ocean. Among tourists, Tasmania is known for having a yearly regatta from Sydney to Hobart, the main city of Tasmania, as well as races gathering spectators from around the world. The nature of the island is also unique.
- Sandy Island Fraser
Aboriginal people, several thousand of whom lived on this island before the colonization of Australia, simply called it “Paradise”. And this is not surprising. It is incredibly beautiful here, nature has remained virtually untouched and the island located off the east coast of the continent continues to attract tourists. True, to keep intact the amazing “hanging” freshwater lakes, for which Fraser is famous, failed – too many people want to see such exoticism.
- Penguin Parade on Phillip Island
This is a sight that millions of tourists cannot pass by. In fact, thousands of little penguins, who are marching en masse to the ocean waves and returning at sunset, and every day at almost the same time – what could be more interesting! Usually, special tours are organized on Phillip Island, during which they also offer to visit the penguin show and the Koala Nature Reserve.
Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, and its combination of natural wonders and developed cities has attracted tourists for a long time: in 2015, 7,500,000 people visited this country. Snorkelling trips to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, watching Hervey Bay whales, visiting the Sydney Opera or cross-country skiing on Mount Hosam, there are many places to explore and activities you can imagine. Australia is a very safe country where crime rates are lower than in the Nordic countries. The main threats in Australia come from an inhospitable nature: dangerous flora and fauna, riptides and natural disasters kill people every year, and they should be taken very seriously. Australia ranks 10 of the 162 safest and most dangerous countries.
Australia is a very safe country. Crime rates are very low, and although very few people can become victims of crime, there is still the danger of petty theft (mostly pickpockets). In big cities, ordinary precautions are taken (for example: do not walk alone in the park at night, don’t leave your bike or phone and camera unattended, and don’t put your wallet in your pocket), and you will most likely not be confronted with any by crimes. The greatest danger in Australia is the danger of nature. First, the high UV Exposure Index throughout Australia, which is associated with a hole in the ozone layer over Australia. Travelers hide with sunscreen at any time (at least 30): otherwise 15 minutes is enough for you to get a burn without protection.
The beaches in Australia are beautiful but dangerous: every year over 55 tourists and locals drowned on one of the Australian beaches, due to huge waves or strong riptides carrying people away from the beach. You should definitely look at the flag before you go sailing and take a look at the official website of Beachesafe for more information about the safety of beaches in Australia. There may be several rare sharks and crocodiles that can attack people near estuaries, tidal rivers, mangroves, or deep-water pools; and jellyfish and irukanzhi are also very dangerous, they are present in tropical waters from November to April.
Fires in the summer are unfortunately known as the bushfires season. Inform yourself before going for a walk or a hike. Also among the dangerous animals there are numerous amphibians, reptiles and insects, which are among the most dangerous in the world: there are six of the most deadly snakes in Australia; and many spiders such as Sidney Voronka or the Red Black Spider are very dangerous. Even the fauna can be dangerous in Australia: Gimpie Bush is a tree that is mainly found in Queensland, which causes severe pain for up to several weeks.
A trip through the remote country of Australia can be dangerous for inexperienced travelers. Some areas of the country, also called “uninhabited areas”, have very limited water supplies, no cellular network or gas stations. It is important to closely monitor your journey.
How to travel safely in Australia
On the territory of the fifth continent, there are five of the seven most venomous spiders, nine out of ten dangerous snakes. In addition, there are insects, sharks and crocodiles. Australians are accustomed to living among such creatures and have adapted to defend themselves against them, and the tourist must constantly be on his guard.
Flora and fauna: beautiful but dangerous
Not all dangerous creatures are aggressive, mostly they are shy and avoid meeting a person. Therefore, do not be afraid to plan a vacation in Australia, especially since tour operators select interesting and safe places to travel. But you should not be careless, because meeting with wild animals on their territory can end in tragedy.
Animals representing the greatest danger for humans:
- They hide in dark places and are drawn to the heat, so all the nooks should be carefully checked. In addition to land snakes, there are poisonous sea snakes.
- Jellyfish Sea wasp, irukandzhi, box – their poison can cause paralysis of the limbs and respiratory failure.
- In the coastal waters are found tiger and great white sharks.
- Illegible in food, therefore they attack a person.
- Marine life. Ramps, octopuses, conical shells, needle fish cause deadly bites.
- Wild mammals. Dingo dogs attack in flocks, cazouars tear their prey with sharp claws, knock a kangaroo with a powerful blow and can inflict deep wounds with claws, and in platypuses there are poisonous thorns on their hind legs.
Insects and Spiders
The first place is shared by spiders and mosquitoes of the Kusaki genus. Next come scorpions and fire ants. Among the spiders, redback, tarantula and black widow stand out, but the most dangerous one is the leukopautinous (Sydney and northern). Mosquitoes carry 4 types of deadly diseases, including: encephalitis and fever. Scorpions infect with a poisonous sting, and fire ants attack the offender with the entire colony and bite, injecting poison, an allergic reaction to which can lead to death. In the best case, the victim gets rid of multiple blisters and edema.
The flora of the fifth continent can also cause harm. There are about two thousand toxic plants throughout the continent. For example, in Queensland, nettle nettle grows, laporteya, the trunk reaches three meters in circumference, and the leaves are covered with hairs that contain formic acid and inject it into the skin when it touches, and its last year’s dry foliage causes spastic reactions in the form of sneezing. In the same region, a giant Mexican Cactus-Cactus grows, with sharp 4-inch needles that can even pierce a car tire.
How to avoid danger when traveling in Australia
The main requirement – do not go with the intended route guide. Tourists are offered traditional tours of Australia, which run through the safest areas. If you have to make a trip to national parks, then you should shoe closed shoes, wear tight pants and strictly adhere to the rules of behavior:
- do not go into dense thickets;
- look under your feet when walking on the grass;
- do not provoke wild animals and snakes;
- Do not swim in random waters, especially in muddy rivers and lakes.
In cities, the main thing is mosquito nets and sprays. In the shoes left behind the threshold, a snake or a spider can climb, for the same reasons it is necessary to close the door. Driving a car at night is dangerous due to the possibility of a collision with a kangaroo or other animals.
You should swim only on the official beaches, on which there is a marking in the form of warning signs and rescuers are on duty. If a sea serpent appeared in the water, then you should try not to move, then it will not attack. In order not to get caught by a shark, it is worth observing the rules and not swimming, if there is at least one coincidence:
- there is a fresh wound on the body;
- the water is turbid and deep (far from the shore);
- schools of fish rushing about randomly;
- Night time;
- Fishermen lure and fish.
Also, you can not swim with pets and decorations, the brilliance of which is akin to the gleam of fish scales, which can attract a shark.
First aid in a dangerous situation
Poisonous bites are not uncommon in Australia, so there is a set of antidotes in any hospital, the main thing is to deliver the victim in 20 minutes, as the poison is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body. To slow down this process, there are rules of first aid for poisonous bites (spiders, snakes, etc.):
- Do not move the affected limb.
- Apply a tight bandage above the bite, slowing down blood flow.
- Secure the immobilized tire.
- Record the time of the bite and dressing.
If a not very dangerous spider has bitten, then it will be enough to attach a cold, but a trip to the doctor is obligatory.
Australia, although it harbors many dangers, but following simple rules of behavior will help avoid trouble, and local residents will readily tell you how to behave in order to maintain health and get pleasant impressions and positive emotions from traveling.
Warnings and hazards
Let’s sum up.
General risk: low
Australia is a very safe country. It ranks 10th out of 162 in the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
Risk of theft: low
In Australia, there is virtually no risk of a pickpocket, except in rare cases in Sydney and Melbourne. Some simple precautions will minimize your chances of theft.
Robbery Risk: Low
Australia is a safe country involving robbery and kidnapping, although in some urban areas it is best to avoid night shifts.
Risk of fraud: low
There are practically no scammers in Australia. But beware of the Golden Ring, fake petitions, groups of teenagers who are acting strangely or trying to distract you, and people offering help with your luggage.
Transport and taxi risk: medium
Public transportation and taxis are generally very safe in Australia, but driving can be dangerous due to wildlife and drunk drivers.
Disaster Risk: High
There are many natural hazards in Australia, from dangerous animals / insects to bush fires, ultraviolet radiation and riptides. Be attentive and study information about the dangers of Australia.
Risk of terrorism: low
Recently, Australia has not been attacked by terrorist attacks.
Risk for female travelers: low
Australia is generally very safe for female travelers and is open to LGBT travelers.Read More
Australia is a sunny continent of antipodes with amazing animals. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef, excursions to Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, the sights of Sydney and Aboriginal villages are all about Australia: visa, photos, tours and maps.
Do you know which globe you can buy in Australia? Inverted, with the South Pole on top. And, by the way, it is no less correct than our traditional one: after all, there is neither top nor bottom in space, and for Australians we are exactly the same antipodes walking upward as they are for us. When you will be there, we advise you to bring a couple of such globes to yourself and your best friend: installed within the line of sight, it perfectly eliminates egocentric errors.
Well, except for a flip-up globe from Australia, you can bring a complete little box of completely unique impressions. What is one monolith of Uluru, blood-red in the rays of the day sun and acquiring a completely extraterrestrial view at sunset! Then you should see with your own eyes endless BBB archipelagoes with some desperate tumult of underwater life, wide beaches with postcard waves for surfers, lively koala plush toys, and finally, platypuses are irrefutable evidence of God’s sense of humor (you will understand this when you will see these animals yourself).
Add to this recognizable silhouettes of attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, a bunch of interesting things that you can take with you, including aboriginal exoticism, and ease of communication with local people: basic English will be quite enough for this trevelling. “Ossi, I’m Coming!” we exclaimed and thoroughly studied the Southern Continent for you.
Regions and resorts of Australia
The capital of Australia is Canberra, the political center of the country: the Australian government sits in the masthead building of Parliament. Canberra is cozy and green: there are no factories here, but there are many parks, memorials and museums. In Sydney, tourists are attracted to famous attractions (from the opera house to the Harbor Bridge), Paddington boutiques and Bondi Beach beaches. Other major cities are also good for excursions: many-sided Melbourne, hospitable Brisbane. And in Adelaide, Cairns and Perth, it is nice to combine cultural recreation with relaxation on the seashore.
The most popular beach resorts are the Gold Coast with fashionable, party and family zones and the Great Barrier Reef – a spill of beautiful islands in the Coral Sea. The center of the country is covered in red desert, where there is a Grand Canyon – the sacred mountain of Uluru, or Ayers Rock. In the north, adjacent to the aboriginal settlements, there are numerous national parks. One of the best places to explore authentic nature and culture is Darwin with historic buildings and amazing landscapes. All the details about the cities and resorts of Australia – on the page “Subtleties of tourism.”
Australia’s climate varies greatly by region. In the north, the climate is tropical, in the south – temperate. The hottest time of the year is from November to January, when the temperature throughout the country is from +20 to +32 ° C, and in the central regions it reaches +38 … + 42 ° C. In this case, after 1.5-2 hours after sunset, it can become cold by 10-12 degrees. It is relatively cold in June-August, at this time the temperature does not rise above +15 … + 18 ° C, and in the temperate zone it sometimes drops to 0 ° C, it often rains.
The best time to visit the Gold Coast is the Australian summer (Russian winter). In June-August a big wave rises there, strong winds blow and it rains. At this time it is better to swim and sunbathe on the BBR. See also the current weather forecast for the main Australian resorts and in the cities for the coming days.
Visa and customs
To visit Australia, citizens of Russia and the CIS need to apply for a visa and insurance for the entire duration of their trip.
Cash in the amount of 10,000 AUD or more (or an equivalent amount in another currency) must be declared upon arrival and upon departure. Prohibited the importation of food, drugs, materials of animal and vegetable origin, firearms, weapons and ammunition, the inhabitants of wildlife or objects made of protected animals, some medical preparations (including substances containing sports stimulants). Prices on the page are as of October 2018.
In personal baggage you can, without paying customs duties and taxes, transport goods in the amount of 900 AUD (or 450 AUD for children under 18). Also, persons over 18 years can import to the country up to 2.25 liters of alcoholic beverages (of any strength), 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of other tobacco products, if all this is in their baggage.
The export of animals and plants, corals, shells, seeds and nuts is prohibited. Without a permit, you can not remove items of historical value, as well as products made of wood, bamboo, leather, bone, feathers of birds, shells and corals.
The Australian equivalent of Tax free is the Tourist Refund Scheme. If the value of goods purchased here exceeds 300 AUD, if you carry them in your hand luggage, you will receive a tax refund (about 12%). To do this, before flying out of the country, a special check issued for the purchase, passport and boarding pass must be presented at the TRS office at the airport. The tax is returned from goods purchased not earlier than 60 days before departure, alcoholic beverages (except wine), tobacco products and things that are fully or partially used in Australia are excluded from the list. The amount due can only be received by bank transfer, the money arrives on the card within 5-7 days.
How can you get to Australia
There are several international aviation hubs in Australia, the largest of which, Kingsford Smith Airport, is located 10 km from the center of Sydney. The road from Russia is a long one: you can get to the green continent only with transfers. The cheapest tickets from Moscow are from Hainan Airlines and China Eastern: 551 USD one way with departure from Sheremetyevo and connections in Beijing (30 hours). Qatari Airlines travels from Domodedovo via Doha, tickets start at $ 720 one way, and travel time starts at 22 hours and 40 minutes. The fastest route is offered by Singapore Airlines: 18 hours 45 minutes with a transfer in Singapore for 777 USD in one direction.
Flights with two connections are slightly cheaper: Aeroflot, Dzhetstar and Scoot have options for 450 USD one way (transfers – in Phuket and Singapore, 42 hours on the road), Air Asia and Turkish Airlines ”- for 530 USD (it takes 50 hours to get from Vnukovo via Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur).
It is also cheaper to fly from St. Petersburg to Sydney with two transfers: Aeroflot and Dzhetstar are taken from Pulkovo via Moscow and Phuket for 597 USD and 37 hours one way. Flights with one connection – from 872 USD in one direction (Hainan Airlines and China Eastern, 36 hours and 40 minutes via Beijing). You can save your time with the help of Emirates, delivering via Dubai in 22 hours (tickets – from 950 USD one way).
Canberra Airport serves only domestic flights. Aeroflot, Virginia Australia and Dzhetstar have routes from Sheremetyevo from 706 USD one way (connections – in Phuket and Sydney, 40 hours long). With Qantas and Qatar Airways, it is almost twice as fast: 24 hours via Doha and Melbourne, tickets – 860 USD in one direction.
From the Russian capital to Brisbane, it’s more convenient to travel with Thai Airlines: 34 hours via Bangkok for 680 USD each way. It is cheaper to fly from the northern capital with the same carrier in tandem with Turkish Airlines (770 USD one way with connections in Istanbul and Bangkok, 37.5 hours), faster with Belavia and Etihad (24 hours, 950 USD via Minsk and Abu Dhabi).
Traveling over long distances in Australia is most convenient by air. An extensive network of routes covers the entire country, and, besides, competing with each other, local airlines sometimes offer very attractive fares. The key carriers are Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia. Tickets from Sydney to Brisbane cost from 94 AUD, to Canberra – from 138 AUD, to Melbourne – from 108 AUD.
Railway transport in Australia is relatively poorly developed, but despite this, the tickets are not cheap. In the Sydney area, only suburban transportation and tourist routes are well established. Great Southern Rail has the most impressive prices (official website in English): a trip from Adelaide to Darwin will cost from 966 AUD. With NSW TrainLink (official website in English) you can get from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane for 81 AUD, to Canberra – for 41 AUD.
Melbourne and Tasmania have a ferry connection. The cost of the crossing is from 130 AUD one way, you can find out the schedule and tariffs on the carrier’s official website (in English).
The cheapest, but also the longest way to travel between cities – buses. The most advantageous to buy travel cards Greyhound (official website in English.), Allowing you to travel on a given route as many times as you like within 30 days. The fare from Adelaide to Alice Springs costs 230 AUD, from Sydney to Brisbane – 140 AUD.
Public transport inside cities
City buses run from 5:00 to 23:00. Travel is paid for with cards that can be bought at kiosks and at stations. Tourists are more profitable to purchase weekly cards (17.50 AUD), suitable for all types of transport and valid from 9:00. In Sydney there is an extensive metro network (from 2.50 AUD per trip), a monorail in the city center (5 AUD) and passenger ferries plying the bay (from 6 AUD).
Taxis are easy to catch on the street or book by phone even late at night; large hotels, central stores and public transport stops have their parking. When ordering a taxi by phone, as well as in the presence of bulky luggage, the fare increases. Tariffs – 3.50-3.60 AUD for landing and 2.50-4 AUD for each km. Transfer from Sydney Airport to the center – 47-57 AUD.
Rent a Car
To rent a car in Australia, you need a driver’s license (either domestic with a translation into English or an international model) and a credit card of any of the most common systems in the world. Sometimes it is possible to rent without a credit card against a cash deposit. The tenant’s driving experience must be at least one year, at least 21 years old for passenger cars and minivans (25 years for all-wheel drive cars) and no more than 75 years.
You can take a car at any airport, train station or bus station. If necessary, the car will be delivered directly to the house. In Australia there is a rental and camper vans, but only for a period of 7 days or more. Rent a standard car in Sydney will cost from 56 AUD, SUV – from 80 AUD per day. In Canberra, prices start from 58 AUD per day for a compact model and reach 122 AUD for a minivan. The cost of gasoline – 1.32 AUD for 1 l.
The movement in the country is left-sided. The use of seat belts is mandatory; special chairs are necessary for children. The roads are modern and in excellent condition. In the center of Sydney, it is better to walk on foot or by taxi: it is almost impossible to park there.
Australia is among the world leaders in the number of personal transport per inhabitant, so that congestion in large cities occur often. The distances between settlements are serious, but it is quite comfortable to move along even, well-groomed highways. Parking costs an average of 3-4 AUD per hour, payment is made through special parking meters accepting coins and bank cards.
Communication and Wi-Fi
The largest Australian mobile operators are Telstra, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Optus. Prepaid SIM cards priced from 20-50 AUD are sold in branded salons, almost all packages include free national calls and Internet traffic. The operator Optus has an international My Prepaid Ultimate tariff (30-40 AUD) with calls to Russia at 0.30 AUD per minute. For comparison, Telstra subscribers will pay 5 AUD for negotiations with their homeland over the same period of time.
Not all Australian rural areas are covered by a GSM network, so that in the middle of nowhere you can remain without communication.
There are many payphones on city streets that accept both Telstra’s telephone cards and Telstra phone cards of 5-50 AUD, sold in stores and newsstands. The minimum cost of a call is 0.40-0.60 AUD, international calls are more expensive.
In Australian cities, more and more points with free Wi-Fi appear: you can connect to online coffee shops and eateries, hotels and public institutions. To tell the truth, the connection speed is low, so it is more convenient to use the mobile Internet on prepaid sim cards. Alternative – Internet cafes, providing access to the network for 5-10 AUD per hour.
Hotels in Australia
Hotels in Australia are classified in accordance with international standards, but they have not “stardom”, and classes: 5 * – de luxe, 4,5 * – superior first class, 4 * – first class, 3 * and a half – superior tourist class, 3 * – tourist class. In the rooms there is always a kettle and iron, and the service and decor correspond to the level of hotels. In large cities it is recommended to book the hotel closer to the center. It is there that most of the sights are located, and from the central stations it is easier to go on long excursions.
Most hotels offer accommodation without a guesthouse, breakfasts are extra paid. The system of “all inclusive” in Australia can be found only on the “island-hotels”, where there is no place to eat anyway.
In Sydney, a hostel’s bed will cost from 47 AUD, a double room in a 3 * hotel – from 69-79 AUD, in the fashionable “five” – from 117 AUD per day. The most budget accommodation in Canberra offers hostels with private double rooms for 89-190 AUD per day, the most expensive – five-star hotels: from 240 AUD per night. Accommodation in the “threes” of Brisbane – from 100 AUD, in the “quartet” of Melbourne – from 105 AUD per day.
The voltage in the network is 220-240 V, 50 Hz. Three-pin sockets (so-called “Australian”), but adapters are sold in all stores. In addition, they can be rented at the hotel, leaving a deposit of 15-20 AUD.
Monetary unit of the country – the Australian dollar (AUD), in 1 dollar 100 cents. Actual exchange rate: 1 AUD = 45.44 RUB (1 USD = 1.42 AUD, 1 EUR = 1.59 AUD).
The most convenient way is to take American dollars with you and exchange them at banks, bank branches at the airport or the Singapore Money Exchanges (without commission), Thomas Cook and American Express exchange offices. In the exchange offices of hotels you can find a slightly less favorable exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted in central areas almost everywhere, but in small private shops, especially in the provinces, they are likely to be useless. It is unprofitable to pay with travel checks: banks charge high fees for cashing them.
The country has an extensive ATM network. Banks usually work from Monday to Thursday from 9:30 to 16:00 (until 17:00 on Fridays), Saturday and Sunday are days off. In some states, banks are open on Saturday morning.
Tipping in Australia is optional, but no one will refuse them. In restaurants, people usually leave 5-10% of the bill, in hotels – 1-2 AUD, and paying the taxi driver, you can simply round the amount in a big way.
How to avoid problems
The Australian sun is very active. In the first days of your stay in the country, it is better to avoid direct sunlight, use protective creams and dress in light white cotton clothes (this, by the way, will help you avoid hypothermia in the heavily air-conditioned rooms that are typical of Australia). Sunglasses are recommended at all times of the year. You should swim only on the calmest parts of the coast, this applies to currents and waves. These sections of the coast are marked with green or yellow-red flags. Monochromatic yellow or red flags mean an increased danger – it is better for inexperienced swimmers not to climb into the water.
You should not walk barefoot through the grass and walk in the parks at dusk – in Australia there are poisonous insects and snakes active at night. You should also be extremely careful when dealing with marine life. When traveling to the states of Queensland and the Northern Territory, it is recommended to use mosquito repellents and protective nets: mosquitoes can be the carriers of such dangerous diseases as Dengue fever and Ross fever.
Before traveling to Australia, it is better to be vaccinated against yellow fever, which is carried by insidious mosquitoes. Vaccination against tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria and rubella will be useful, although there are no serious threats to health in the country.
In public places, including in all restaurants and cafes, smoking is prohibited. Alcohol consumption is possible only in certain places and at certain time.
Useful phone numbers
- Embassy of Russia in Canberra: 78 Canberra Avenue, Griffith, tel .: (2) 629-590-33, website.
- Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Sydney: 7-9 Fullerton Street, Woollahra, tel .: (2) 936-353-91, 932-617-02.
- Australia’s free call center service — 013, in Sydney (Visitors’ Center) —923-524-24 or 925-517-88.
- Police, fire service, ambulance and other emergency calls – 000 (from any phone, free of charge); from mobile phones – 000 or 112.
Australian beaches are worthy of loud praise: the clear waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the purest sand, developed infrastructure – all this is the perfect combination for relaxing with pleasure. The most populous areas are concentrated on the Gold Coast near Brisbane. The most fashionable local resort – Main Beach with expensive restaurants and a whole range of marine entertainment. Surfers Paradise fully justifies its name: the best place for the conquerors of the waves simply can not be found. Broad Beach is more democratic: it is quieter, more comfortable and, which is important, cheaper.
Rental centers for umbrellas and loungers – a rarity, the average price per set – 15-25 AUD.
Bondi Beach is the center of Sydney parties: idle resort visitors and celebrities huddle in a small area. Safety is paramount: lifeguards are on duty on the shore, coastal waters are protected from sharks with a special net. One of the most beautiful beaches is Cable Beach in the vicinity of the town of Broome with snow-white sand and azure water, almost always warmed up to +25 ° C. But it is better to admire the virgin nature on the islands of the Great Barrier Reef: Lizard, Whitsunday and other beauties seem to have left idyllic postcards.
The conquerors of the waves have long considered Australia their second home: only here you can ride on the board at once through two oceans – the Pacific and the Indian. Surfers pile on the southeastern and southern coasts of the continent. Popular destinations are the Gold Coast (the Snapper-Rocks waves are the longest on the planet), Cape Bellarin in Victoria, the beaches of Cape Fleurier in South Australia, Trigg Island near Perth and the beaches of Tasmania Hobart. However, you can surf in Australian and not leaving far from civilization: beautiful waves are caught on the coast of Sydney. Numerous surf schools and a lot of specialized shops work there.
A one-day surf course costs from 70 AUD, a three-day intensive course with lectures, group and individual practical classes – from 300 AUD. Some schools offer two-week packages with accommodation in campsites and daily skating on a board under the supervision of an instructor for the 2500-3500 AUD.
Diving in Australia is a must-have item for everyone who collects vivid impressions. Here both beginners and pros dive, enjoying underwater beauty regardless of the season: if the coast of Cairns from October to May teems with poisonous jellyfish, then around the islands of the Great Barrier Reef is safe all year round. It is these scenic spots that attract divers from all over the world: turtles, stingrays, groupers, nautilus, moray eels, hermit crabs, rare species of sharks and octopuses are found here. Underwater visibility is 10-30 m, the most popular locations are Lizard Islands, Whitsunday, Hyman and Hamilton. In the west, the Ningalu Reef is famous, in the south – the Dangerous Reef. The cost of diving with an instructor in the open sea – 150-300 AUD, integrated coastal courses cost 600-700 AUD.
Australia’s business card is precious and semiprecious stones: opals, sapphires, pink diamonds (they are mined only here), pearls. In addition, of course, crafts Aboriginal: the inevitable boomerangs, little things made of wood, earthenware. We also recommend you to pay attention to products made of sheep wool and crocodile leather: sweaters, hats, scarves and other warm accessories, raincoats, hats, shoes and belts.
Gourmets should grab a package of Australian herbal tea, a jar of fruit jam (for example, from cockatoo plums) and spices: mint, anise myrtle, etc. Coffee that is grown in Byron Bay is very popular, King Island cheese is also popular among tourists. Eucalyptus oil and Varan oil will help to overcome the northern ailments, and various products of Australian manufacturers of natural cosmetics, such as soaps, creams and balms, will help preserve the health of the skin. And of course, do not forget about the real uggs – authentic sheepskin boots on a flexible sole.
Sales in Australia are traditionally held twice a year: in June and after the Catholic Christmas. Promotions are often arranged when opening or closing stores: bright signs on the shop windows signal the sale of sales people. Sydney, Melbourne and other megalopolises have outletlets with products of international brands at reduced prices. In small private shops you can also run into discounts at any time of the year.
Mode of operation of stores in different states is different. As a rule, large stores are open from 9:00 to 17:30 on weekdays and from 9:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays. One day a week (Thursday or Friday) they close at 21:00. Some outlets operate on Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00. In large cities there are markets where you can buy almost everything: from food and clothing to souvenirs.
Australian cuisine and restaurants
The main national dish of Australia – fried meat. Everything else – seafood and poultry, exotic fruits and local cheeses – serve only as a kind of complement. A selection of delicacies: shark lips, crocodile meat, opossum fillets, blue crab meat and freshwater oysters. In the country, Asian cuisine with its extremes is popular: the product is either consumed almost raw, or, on the contrary, is processed beyond recognition.
Authentic Australian dessert – “lamington”, doused with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut crumb sponge cake. Local wines are not inferior in quality to the best European varieties, and some beers are even exported to many countries. To get acquainted with the Australian cuisine in all its manifestations, true gourmets will have to travel all over the country: each state has its own signature dish.
On the plantations of Cairns, called “the cup of exotic fruits,” tropical trees from around the world grow and abundantly bear fruit. Here you can taste delicious mangoes, pineapples, bananas, lychee and po.
In Australia, there are establishments operating under the BYO system (bring your own): they do not have a license to trade in alcohol, and therefore visitors are allowed to bring a bottle or two of wine or beer with them. True, the pleasure is not entirely free: you have to pay 2-15 AUD of “cork collection” for each container, but it still comes out cheaper than buying alcohol in a restaurant. Asian eateries are open in major cities, offering generous portions of Indian, Chinese and Japanese hits. Traditional English pubs with meat and beer, as well as vegan and vegetarian places are popular. Snacking in fast food costs 10-15 AUD, lunch in a cafe – at 25-30 AUD per person, dinner at a restaurant with alcohol – 150-160 AUD for two.
Entertainment and Attractions
For most overseas tourists, Australia is an unexplored continent: imagination draws pictures of endless spaces along which kangaroos and koalas randomly move. Well, to some extent this is true: the expanses are really endless and very picturesque, and in honor of funny marsupials even an entire island is named (although there are snow-white beaches, bizarre rocks, and even mini -desert). But the sights in Australia are much more: the original urban architecture, museums and natural wonders deserve the most careful study.
The richest in tourist locations is tireless Sydney. It is easily recognizable by the wavelike arches of the opera house, resembling either a frigate under sail, or a white stone lotus. This city is also recognizable by the iron beams of the Harbor Bridge: locals jokingly nicknamed the world’s largest metal arch “coat rack”. By the edge of the 305-meter TV tower, which offers a magnificent view of the city. And here there is a giant aquarium and Paddington and Belmeyr quarters with festive Victorian architecture.
Canberra has the impressive Parliament building with a mast on its top, the Australian War Memorial with a sculpture garden, Black Mountain Hill with a television tower and the best viewing platform in the city, as well as the National Gallery with a rich collection of Australian art. Acquaintance with Melbourne should start on Federation Square, and then enjoy the dizzying view from the Eureka skyscraper, stroll through the Royal Garden, go to the zoo and tickle your nerves in the Old Prison covered with grim legends.
Darwin is an excellent place to study Aboriginal culture: the Museum of the Northern Territory exhibits vivid examples of folk art, and rock paintings of primitive people are preserved in the surrounding Ubir and Nolanji mountains.
Australia’s abundant wealth is concentrated not only in the cities, but also beyond. The Great Barrier Reef, an immense system of 900 islands and 2,900 individual reefs in the Coral Sea, is ideal for excursions, diving and relaxing on exotic beaches. The red rock of Ayers Rock once served as a place of worship for the aborigines, and today it is impressive in scope and atmosphere: for miles around there is only a ringing silence. Cape Byron, discovered by James Cook, is recognizable thanks to the snow-white lighthouse and incredible sea view. And along the Great Ocean Road, limestone columns jutting out from the sea lined up – the 12 Apostles of Victoria, guarding perhaps the most beautiful Australian coast.
9 things to do in Australia
- See the famous Opera in Sydney with your own eyes.
- Visit the Ayers Rock monolith, which at sunset looks at least Martian.
- Do traditional Australian bangui jumping and zorbing to a state of easy disorientation.
- Do not forget about mind-blowing diving at the BBB.
- Look at one or two of the national park.
- Buy a dozen or two boomerangs from the Bushmen.
- In Tasmania, go through the “convict trail” and trace the history of almost every prisoner who once served his time in the famous prison on the island.
- Well, turn to the beach for a day or two, yes. If time remains.
- Add in confidence: the first thing that every new guest from the Northern Hemisphere does in this country is checking which way the water in the sink is spinning.
Australia is called the land of contrasts, promising its guests unforgettable impressions and truly exciting adventures. It is for them that the travelers go to the national parks – full possession of nature, striking a riot of colors, a variety of landscapes and the grandeur of landscapes. Modern megacities peacefully coexist with deserts and dense forests, farms. It is in this continental state that the endemics are represented – koala, kangaroo, emu, and platypus.
The Blue Mountains is a unique natural reserve listed as a UNESCO. Covered with eucalyptus forests, the mountains here from a distance really seem blue. Daintree Reserve is one of the oldest natural parks. In this primeval forest, you can see a variety of animals, including the glowing green frog, possum and glowing mushrooms growing on tree trunks.
Kakadu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most wilderness spots in Australia. He is in the management of the Australian Aboriginal and preserved in its original form. Even closer to get acquainted with the centuries-old Aboriginal culture can be in the national park “Namaji” – on its territory people have been living for more than 21 thousand years. Rare animals with intriguing names live here: a wide-toothed rat, a false toad and a marble gadops.
Hunter Valley, located 180 km from Sydney, is famous among lovers of good wine. Sandy slopes and a special microclimate here create excellent conditions for the best Australian vineyards. Canberra National Park, Black Mountain and Eucalyptus Grove also deserve attention.
Holidays and events in Australia
In January, the famous Festival of the city with dances, booze and other indispensable attributes of the holiday takes place in Sydney. And on the last Monday of January, the whole country celebrates Australia Day. In February, they organize a shocking festival of sexual minorities “Mardi Gras”. The second Monday of June is the Queen’s Birthday, and in August they celebrate an unusual and very funny holiday – Darwin Beer Regatta. During it passes a whole series of races of watercrafts built entirely from beer cans and barrels.Read More
AGRAITURISM! WHAT IS “ECO-REST”?
In Italy, some vacation spots in the name contain “Agriturismo”. Driving past private farmland, you can periodically find a similar sign. If you like to watch the sheep, feed and iron them; If you like to walk among the olives and lemon trees, then you should try agro-tourism!
Eco-vacation not far from civilization
The point is that you live in a villa, in an estate somewhere in a rural area or far from the center (in the mountains, for example), and communicate with nature – animals, beautiful views of olive groves, lemon gardens, maybe even a pool … highly dependent on location.
Also from the pros can be food that is prepared from products grown on the same farm. Fresh air, walks among the trees, the opportunity to stroke a donkey, ride a horse, drive geese and enjoy the newly born goats.
You can just chat with the hosts, learn to cook Italian dishes from them, or take part in other country activities (all by prior arrangement).
If we talk about Azienda Agrituristica Vivi Natura, then the prices there are ridiculous – a room for three with breakfast is 60 euros, parking is free. And, in general, in such places, cheaper than in the center. And, of course, such a stop brings diversity to the trip. On the way to Rome this time – just what was needed!
Be sure to read the reviews before booking. Now more and more people are resting in the estates, so there are enough reviews and more and more places are available.
What is caravanning and jailoo tourism? Where can you become a farmer for a week or a movie star for an hour? How can you fly free to Mars. Skyskaner tells about the adventures and unusual types of travel, infinitely far from packet tourism. Choose what is closer to you, or offer your options.
- Rural tourism
Rural tourism returns to the basics. Instead of an alarm clock – cocks, instead of a coffee machine in the office – a cow to be milked, and instead of rubber vegetables from the supermarket – fresh food straight from the garden. You can arrange a rural tour yourself, find a local guide or trust in agencies that specialize in agritourism. Some companies focus on individual regions, others organize adventures for every taste in all corners of the world.
In agriturismo.net they know everything about Tuscan farms for riding enthusiasts, and the American Agrotours is literally ready for everything: from “Take me to places where there are no skyscrapers and cars, I will disconnect the phone and look after the flowers” meat farms in Australia are arranged.” The slogan of the Indian Agri Tourism says: “To change, you need to go back to the roots.” And indeed, India is perhaps the best country in the world for those who want to return to the very roots. And in Israel, the Ministry of Agriculture is engaged in the development of agro-tourism, its website contains 16 ideas of adventure – from fishing to beekeeping.
- Jailoo tourism
From Kyrgyz “jailoo” is translated as “mountain pasture”. Jailoo-tourists travel to untouched corners of the planet – the mountains and steppes of Asia, the forests of Siberia and North America, the Amazon jungle and reserves of Africa – to forget for a while about the benefits of civilization. You can start from the homeland of this type of tourism – Kyrgyzstan, but do not choose extreme routes if you do not have experience hiking in the mountains. It is safer to find a local guide who takes you to the high mountain pastures between the Issyk-Kul and Son-Kul lakes on the right path. The best time to travel is from May to September, although warm clothes are useful there even in summer.
Jailoo-tourism can be combined with ethnic – stay overnight in a shepherd’s yurt in the Mongolian steppe, settle in a reed hut in a deaf Indonesian village, or stay with a good-natured tribe Dramrayg in northern Tanzania. The “family adopted” traveler lives the daily life of the indigenous population, follows local traditions and rituals and adopts skills such as grazing cattle, making pottery, or making fire not from a cigarette lighter.
The film tourists want to be the characters of their favorite movie for a while, and there are two ways. You can follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes in the UK or rent a red Chevrolet Impala and ride in yellow glasses along the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas heroes. And you can be right in the scenery of your favorite movie. For example, explore every corner of Tolkien’s Middle-earth in New Zealand, see the alien landscapes of Star Wars in the Tunisian Tatavin, Matmata and Towazar. And Woody Allen fans can arrange a whole “staircase tour” in Europe and sit first on the very staircase at the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, where the hero of “Midnight in Paris” was transferred in the 1920s, and then on the Spanish Steps from “Roman Adventures”.
- Festival tourism
Music lovers practice another kind of tourism – festival. And in Europe for one vacation, you can visit several concerts at once. Many festivals go on for three days, so campgrounds and caravan sites are near the stage. Among the cult musical events are the Spanish Primavera (end of May – early June), the British Glastonbury (end of June) and the Hungarian Sziget in August. You can choose a festival like on the Festicket website.
To some extent, festival tourism includes trips to grand events like the Brazilian or Venetian carnivals, encerro in Pamplona, Oktoberfest or the Edinburgh festival Fringe.
- Gastronomic tourism
Cooking courses and ethnic restaurants are everywhere, but it is more interesting to get acquainted with the recipes of national cuisines in their homeland. Perhaps the point here is in the setting and perception, but whatever one may say, the masaman curry is tastier in Krabi and the khinkali in Kazbegi. Yes, and for the recipe for the right pizza, you should go to the south of Italy and try to ask the owners of family restaurants to arrange a master class (but you can’t do without basic Italian in this case).
Traveling in France is definitely worth diversifying with acquaintance with cheeses and wines. The “cheese” regions are considered the birthplace of Camembert Normandy and Burgundy, where Napoleon’s favorite cheese was created – the epuas. The perfect pair of soft aromatic cheeses will be wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. And to learn to understand tea, go to the Chinese province of Fujian, famous for its oolongs and red teas, the home of Puer Yunnan or trekking in Sichuan with its green and yellow teas.
- Ecological tourism
Adherents of this type of tourism are spiritually enriched by being alone with nature. As a rule, eco-tourists serve as a hut in a national reserve, and wild animals serve as neighbors. The goal is to contemplate from a safe distance and do no harm. There is even an international community of ecological tourists who want to benefit the environment during their holidays.
However, ecotourism can be very extreme. Take, for example, the so-called “shark tours”, when you are immersed in a special cage in the sea, where predators already carnivorously grin at all three rows of teeth – entertainment is not for the faint-hearted!
Caravans are called motor homes, and it is very convenient to be a homebody and a traveler at the same time. This way of organizing life came up with American immigrants in the 1930s. Moving from place to place, they carried with them folding furniture and household utensils in covered wagons. Gradually, special campsites for caravaners began to appear – such as small communes. And still in the USA and Europe there are a lot of those who are not ready to exchange the trailer for an ordinary apartment or house.
If you are easy going and have always dreamed of embarking on a car trip without stopping in hotels, this is what you need. This type of tourism is also good because it gives complete independence from the timetable of traffic, and with it you can take everything you need, including bicycles, surfboards or downhill skiing.
- Spiritual tourism
The purpose of spiritual tourism is not so much to change the situation as to change oneself. This is an ascetic kind of travel for those who want to find inner harmony and bring thoughts in order. Such tourists travel to countries with a mild climate – usually to India, Thailand or Indonesia – to practice yoga and spiritual practices in a peaceful atmosphere.
- Industrial tourism
Who in childhood did not climb into semi-burnt houses and empty construction sites? Urbex (from urban exploration), a type of tourism based on urban research, is called upon to resurrect those quivering feelings. Industrial tourists are digers who study the underground and underground utilities, roofers who walk on rooftops, and stalkers who penetrate abandoned objects, and not only industrial ones. For example, a stalker can go to the ghost town of Kadykchan in the Magadan region or to the prototype of Silent Hill – the town of Centreilia in Pennsylvania, where the underground fire has been burning for more than half a century.
Those who are interested in objects of religion that have lost their sacral significance also have their own tourist movement: postpalomniki find and explore forgotten temples. A separate subspecies of industrial tourism – nuclear. Atomic-era fans go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, to the abandoned Pripyat and slowly begin to penetrate into the Fukushima prefecture.
- Gloomy tourism
It is also called “dark”, “black” or dark tourism. Meaning – traveling to places associated with death, destruction, mysticism and tragedy. “Dark tourists” get impressions, walking through the cemeteries and battlefields, they are attracted by all the sinister and supernatural.
Among the attractions of dark tourism are the former death camp in Auschwitz, 60 km from Krakow, the French ghost town of Oradour-sur-Glane, destroyed during World War II, the place of mass executions of Choeng Ek and other Death Fields in Cambodia. In the US, trips to Alcatraz prison where Al Capone sat are popular. And in Romania, “dark tourists” roam the ruins of the Poenari fortress: historians consider it, and not Bran, the real castle of Dracula.
- Backpacker Tourism
The purpose of backpacking is the most economical journey. You can identify a backpacker from a distance along the backpack behind your back (and often also on your chest) and the Lonely Planet guide in your hands. Backpackers ride by car or by public transport, and spend the night in hostels, tents or each other – there are special services for this, like kouchsurfing. In developed countries, traditional time is set aside for such tourism – the gap year, the “drop out year” between graduation and the beginning of a career. But to become a backpacker is never too late: a backpack by the shoulders – and more!
- Space tourism
In contrast to the backpacking of traveling into space – the most expensive form of tourism, it is just like cosmic money to match the name. The world’s first space tourist Dennis Tito in 2001 paid $ 20 million for a flight to the ISS. Now state monopolies on space are in the past, private companies are building their space centers and spacecraft, and some are already selling tickets for future suborbital flights. Virgin offers 2.5 hours in space for $ 250,000, XCOR Aerospace – for $ 95,000.
Another interesting initiative is the Mars One project, whose members can go to Mars for free without a return ticket to establish the first Martian settlement. The first crew of four will fly to Mars as early as 2024, then flights will become regular – once every two years.