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Although the modern culture of Australia largely reflects its British origins, Australia is an incredibly multicultural nation, its citizens' families originating in seemingly every country of the world, and practising almost every religion and lifestyle. The most multicultural city is the largest: Sydney, closely followed by Melbourne. Both cities are renowned for the variety and quality of global foods available in their many restaurants, and Melbourne especially has been at pains to promote itself as a centre for the arts world-wide.
Hotel, motel and hostel accommodation is readily available in most Australian cities and tourist destinations. Smaller towns usually have a selection of motel rooms available at a number of venues. Accommodation rates are broadly comparable, if perhaps slightly less expensive than their equivalents in Europe or North America. Often Pubs in small towns will offer an amount of rooms available.
Far North Coast,
Margaret River Wine Region,
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SYDNEY Hotels and Accommodation
Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast. It is built around Port Jackson, which includes Sydney Harbour, and has been called the "Harbour City". It is Australia's largest financial centre and a major international tourist destination, notable for its beaches and twin landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Sydney has also played host to numerous sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. In July 2008, Sydney will host the Roman Catholic Church's XXIII World Youth Day featuring Pope Benedict XVI.
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MELBOURNE Hotels and Accommodation
Founded by free-settlers in 1835, 47 years after the first European settlement of Australia, Melbourne was transformed from a small pastoral settlement situated around the Yarra River into a growing metropolis by the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s. By 1865, "Marvellous Melbourne" was Australia's most populous and important city. It served as the temporary national capital from the Federation of Australia in 1901 until the construction of Canberra in 1927.
Today, Melbourne is a major centre of commerce, industry and cultural activity. Often referred to as both the "cultural and sporting capital of Australia" it is home to many of Australia's major annual sporting and cultural events, and was the host of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
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ADELAIDE Hotels and Accommodation
Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia.
Named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for the only 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. Inspired by William Penn, Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parkland.
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BRISBANE Hotels and Accommodation
Named in honour of Sir Thomas Brisbane, the city grew from a harsh penal colony established in 1824 at Redcliffe, 40 km to the north. The colony was moved to Brisbane in 1825 and free settlers were permitted from 1842. It was chosen as the capital of Queensland when it was proclaimed a separate colony in 1859. The city developed slowly until after World War II, when it played a central role in the Allied campaign as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur.
More recently, Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games and 1988 World's Fair, and also the Goodwill Games in 2001.
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CAIRNS Hotels and Accommodation
Cairns is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because of its tropical climate and proximity to many attractions. The Great Barrier Reef can be reached in less than an hour by boat. The Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, about 130km north of Cairns, are popular areas for experiencing a tropical rainforest. It is also a starting point for people wanting to explore Cooktown, Cape York Peninsula, and the Atherton Tableland.
The city has used its natural surrounds to its advantage with the construction of several small theme parks for tourists. Among them are the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and the Kuranda Skyrail Gondola Cableway, which extends for 7.5 kilometres over World Heritage rainforest.
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CANBERRA Hotels and Accommodation
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of several social and cultural institutions of national significance. Canberra is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.
Canberra is a planned city that was originally designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a major 20th century American architect. The city centre is laid out on two perpendicular axes: a water axis stretching along Lake Burley Griffin, and a ceremonial land axis stretching from Parliament House on Capital Hill north-eastward along ANZAC Avenue to the Australian War Memorial at the foot of Mt Ainslie.
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GOLD COAST Hotels and Accommodation
Gold Coast is a city and local government area in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. It is the second most populous city in the state and was the seventh most populous city in the country.
Gold Coast is renowned for its sunny subtropical climate, popular surfing beaches, expansive waterway and canal systems, a skyline dominated by high-rise apartment buildings and a wide array of tourist attractions.
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HOBART Hotels and Accommodation
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, it is Australia's second oldest and eleventh largest city, with a metropolitan population of 206,000. The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania.
Hobart is a busy seaport, notably serving as the home port for the Antarctic activities of Australia and France. It supports several other industries, including a high-speed catamaran factory and a zinc smelter, as well as a vibrant tourist industry. Visitors come to the city to explore its historic inner suburbs, to visit the weekly craft market in Salamanca Place, as well as to use the town as a base from which to explore the rest of Tasmania.
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PERTH Hotels and Accommodation
Perth is the capital of the Australian state of Western Australia. Perth was founded on June 11, 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free settler Swan River Colony. It has continued to serve as the seat of Government for Western Australia to the present day.
The CBD of Perth is bounded by the Swan River to the south and east, with Kings Park on the western end, while the railway lines form a northern border. St Georges Terrace is the prominent street of the area with more than two thirds of the 1.3 million mē of office space in the CBD. Hay Street and Murray Street have most of the retail and entertainment facilities.
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SUNSHINE COAST Hotels and Accommodation
Australia's Sunshine Coast is a coastal region located in South East Queensland, north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast comprises of three Local Government Areas, which is Noosa Shire in the north, Maroochy Shire in the middle, and Caloundra City in the south.
The Sunshine Coast is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east, and extends to the local government boundaries beyond the Blackall Range to the west. Occasionally, the towns of Gympie, which is 30 minutes' drive north of Noosa Heads, and Caboolture, 30 mins drive south of Caloundra, have been included in a broader definition of the Sunshine Coast region.
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AUSTRALIA TOURS, TRAVEL AND ACTIVITIES
Australia's biggest attraction is its natural beauty. The landscape varies from endless sunbaked horizons to dense tropical rain forest to chilly southern beaches. Scattered along the coasts, its cities blend a European enthusiasm for art and food with a laid-back love of sport and the outdoors. Visitors expecting to see an opera in Sydney one night and meet Crocodile Dundee the next will have to rethink their grasp of geography in this huge country. It is this sheer vastness that gives Australia much of its character. ... more
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