Northern Australia – The Highlights

Northern Australia – The Highlights
Northern Australia is actually made up of the large Northern Territory and the state of Queensland. This area accounts for approximately half of all the country’s landmass. Many people may be surprised to know that, despite its size, only around 20 per cent of the population of Australia lives in the northern portion of the country. Brisbane, with a population of around one million, is the largest city in northern Australia.

Australia is located below the equator. This means that the warmer portions of the country are located in the north. The dry season occurs from May to October while the rainy season encompasses the remaining months. Monsoon season occurs between December and March.

Needless to say, there are several highlights that tourists from around the world visit each year. Many areas in northern Australia are reliant on their tourism industry, which continues to be quite profitable even in the current difficult economic times.

Queensland is located in the north-eastern portion of Australia. As a large portion of Queensland is known for being arid, most of the tourist draws to this area are located along the coastline.

One of the most popular places to visit in Queensland is the Gold Coast. This city is located north of Brisbane and its beautiful beaches attract people from all over the world. One area of the Gold Coast has been named ‘Surfers Paradise’. The white beaches at this destination are incredible and there are plenty of water sports waiting for you here.

If you enjoy beaches, you will want to visit Fraser Island while you are in Queensland. This island is made out of sand and is the largest of its kind in the world. Fraser Island is home to more than 75 miles of pristine beaches. There is a large selection of freshwater lakes that can be found throughout the island. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a selection of animals on Fraser Island including wallabies, dingoes, and echidnas.

Far north of the Gold Coast lies the city of Cairns, which is also located along the coastline of Queensland. The most popular destination for tourists visiting this area is the Great Barrier Reef. This World Heritage Site is considered to be a natural wonder of the world, and snorkelling and scuba diving are major pastimes at this destination. This is an opportunity to swim on the largest reef on the planet and see some of the hundreds of species that inhabit this area. It is truly an incredible opportunity and there are plenty of tours that are waiting to accommodate your needs.

The Daintree Rainforest is an additional World Heritage Site that can be found in Queensland. This rainforest is the largest in Australia and encompasses around 1,200 square kilometres. Visitors to the rainforest will have an opportunity to see a variety of different species, including several marsupials and reptiles. A large portion of Australia’s butterflies are also located in the Daintree Rainforest. While looking for the many animal species that inhabit the rainforest, don’t forget to take a look around at the impressive variety of plants and trees that can be found here.

Once you have spent time in Queensland, you will want to visit the Northern Territory. This is located in the central part of the northern portion of Australia. For the most part, the Northern Territory is filled with deserts, and is sparsely populated. The capital of the Northern Territory is Darwin, which is located along the coast.

One of the most popular attractions in the Northern Territory is Uluru, more commonly known as Ayers Rock. Photographs of this geological feature are easily recognizable. Uluru is considered to be sacred to the Aboriginal people that reside in this area. This sandstone mountain rises some 348 meters. Depending on the time of year, the colour of Uluru changes between deep reds and greys. Although tourists are allowed to climb this incredible natural formation, the local Aboriginal people prefer that you do not due to its spiritual significance.

Kakadu National Park is a World Heritage Site that is located closer to the coastline in the Northern Territory. This park spans nearly two million hectares, which makes it the largest in Australia. Tourists head to this destination to check out the large collection of Aboriginal rock art that can be seen here. As the park is expansive, tourists will likely have the opportunity to see a large number of animals and plants during their visit. There are also numerous waterfalls and gorges that can be found throughout Kakadu National Park. Visitors will find walking paths that lead to several of the most popular sites.

Watarrka National Park is another popular tourist attraction located in the Northern Territory. This park is located in what is called the Red Centre of Australia, which simply represents the desert area located in the southern portion of the Northern Territory. Tourists will want to head to King’s Canyon, which is the most notable site in the park. The canyon is surrounded by steep walls, and King’s Creek runs through the bottom of it. Visitors can take part in walking tours that lead to fascinating areas throughout the canyon. Expect to see a wide variety of birds including the Black Breasted Buzzard and the Grey Headed Honeyeater during your time at King’s Canyon.

If you are visiting the Red Centre, take a trip to Alice Springs. With a population of a little more than 27,000, this is the second largest city in the Northern Territory. Inhabitants of the area refer to the town as “The Alice.” Many tourists visiting the area may want to stay in this small city due to its close proximity to several popular destinations located nearby.

There are clearly plenty of incredible destinations to explore in northern Australia. Whether you want to hike through a canyon or lay on the beach, both activities can be easily accomplished. The area that northern Australia encompasses is vast, so it is important to recognize that travelling between the different areas may take some time!