Most people harbour a particular image of Australia, such as the Opera House or Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock. Yet these famous icons do scant justice to the richness of Australia's natural treasures and its cultural diversity. Australia offers a wealth of travel experiences, from the drama of the outback and the diving spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef, to the cosmopolitan city of Sydney and arguably the best beaches in the world.
Australia is an enormous country, and visitors expecting to see an opera in Sydney one night and meet Crocodile Dundee the next, followed by whale shark excursions in Western Australia the next, will have to radically re-think their grasp of geography and perspective of distance.
For example, Sydney to Cairns is approximately 2700 km (1700 miles), the same distance as Boston to Miami, or London to Athens. East to West is even further with Sydney to Perth being a 4 hour flight, similar to Los Angeles to New York, or London to Cairo.
Australia is big and it is empty. Only 24 million people (as of 2017) live in an area the same size as the United States or half as big again as Europe. Most of these people live in a handful of coastal cities.
It is this sheer vastness, and the friction between the ancient land steeped in Aboriginal lore and the New World culture being heaped upon it, which gives Australia much of its character.