วันพุธที่ 23 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2551

Australia Travel Guide

Australia is a land of contrasts - topographical, cultural, physical, meterological and visual. About 40,000 years ago, the Aborigines were the first to settle. They lived as hunters and gatherers for this entire time, living with a close link to nature, although backburning and other poor agricultural techniques have since been realised to have caused significant deforestation, salinification of the soil and elimination of much of the natural diversity of the landscape. Such a poor ability to interact with nature, despite it being so important, helps explain why much of Australia is now unsuitable for sustaining life. Interestingly, this provides one of the few examples of where the native population damaged the land more than later waves of settlers. Their way of living developed into a complex culture based on oral tradition and intricate social bounds, which was almost destroyed by the second wave of settlers, who were able to populate the land with much more success.

Australia is a nation in its own right, it is also a technically a continent, with large differences between regions. It has a reputation as a land of leisure, with sun, sea and an enviable 'Crocodile Dundee' outdoor lifestyle, but this is just a very narrow conception of a continent. The reality however, is that most people work all day, and then spend the weekend running around trying to pack life into the 2 days on the weekend. Only the homeless and tourists have time to sit around on the beach, or laze away days watching sport on TV.

One of the states is the island state Tasmania of which one fifth is World Heritage area. Each state has its own national parks with their specific character where you can indulge in bush-walking or maybe even rock-climbing. When you’re interested in the miracles of water-world, you can’t miss out on the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast, the main reason for many travellers to visit Cairns. The Wet Tropics of Queensland comprise dense rainforests and foaming waterfalls. Rare species of animals can be spotted in the famous Kakadu National Park as well as ancient aboriginal art. These old drawings can also be seen in the Namadgi National Park.

Good places to set off for exploration of the great outdoors are big cities such as Canberra, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth, that all have interesting sights and a good cultural atmosphere as well. Of course, Australia is surrounded by sea, so good swimming and surfing beaches are more rule than exception, generally these beaches will be full of only tourists, especially during the week. So fun can be had watching people who haven't heard of sunscreen yet turning into lobsters, or getting trapped in the surf. North of Brisbane, is the Sunshine Coast one of the many stretches of coast where you can find excellent beaches, South of Brisbane is the better known Gold Coast, famous for being home to Australias equivalent of trailer park people and teenagers who can't afford a holiday somewhere better. Don’t forget the smaller historically interesting Alice Springs, or William Creek [the most isolated town in Australia] that will lead you right to the famous Ayers Rock.

Deserts, rainforests, big cities….and just when you thought you’d caught a glimpse of the versatile character of this fascinating continent, you forgotten about Melbourne and the excellent skiing opportunities in the Alpine National Park. Another good option is the Snowy Mountains area in NSW. How many months could you stay?

form Australia travel guide

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 5 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2550

NASA Helps Monitor Bleaching :Travel The Great Barrier Reef in Australia

NASA Helps Monitor Bleaching :Travel The Great Barrier Reef in Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch for 2,600 kilometres (1,616 mi) and cover an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (132,974 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN has labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust has named it a state icon of Queensland.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as overfishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures to the reef and its ecosystem include water quality from runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.

Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and its accessibility from the floating guest facilities called 'live aboards', the reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially scuba divers. Many cities along the Queensland coast offer daily boat trips to the reef. Several continental and coral cay islands have been turned into resorts, including the pristine resort island of Lady Elliot Island.

As the largest commercial activity in the region, it was estimated in 2003 that tourism in the Great Barrier Reef generates over AU$4 billion annually. (A 2005 estimate puts the figure at AU$5.1 billion.) Approximately two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef each year. Although most of these visits are managed in partnership with the marine tourism industry, there are some very popular areas near shore (such as Green Island) that have suffered damage due to overfishing and land based run off.

A variety of boat tours and cruises are offered, from single day trips, to longer voyages. Boat sizes range from dinghies to superyachts. Glass-bottomed boats and underwater observatories are also popular, as are helicopter flights. By far, the most popular tourist activities on the Great Barrier Reef are snorkelling and diving, for which pontoons are often used, and the area is often enclosed by nets. The outer part of the Great Barrier Reef is favoured for such activities, due to water quality.

Management of tourism in the Great Barrier Reef is geared towards making tourism ecologically sustainable. A daily fee is levied that goes towards research of the Great Barrier Reef. This fee ends up being 20% of the GBRMPA's income. Plans of management are also in place for the popular tourist destinations of Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands, which account for 85% of the tourism in the region. Policies on cruise ships, bareboat charters, and anchorages limit the traffic on the Great Barrier Reef.

The 2003 Pixar film, Finding Nemo, featured the Great Barrier Reef as a setting.

Lady Elliot Island is the southern-most coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The island lies 85 kilometres north-east of Bundaberg and covers an area of approximately 40 hectares. The island is home to a small resort and airstrip, which is serviced daily by flights from Gladstone, 1770, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maroochydore, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Visitors to the resort can stay in a variety of accommodation, from suites to tent cabins. Activities on the island include reef walking, scuba diving, snorkelling and bird, turtle and whale watching. The island is particularly renowned for its scuba diving and snorkelling, as its location far offshore at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef results in unrivalled water clarity.

Lady Elliot Island is one of only six island resorts on the Great Barrier Reef, and one of only three with direct flight access to the island airstrip. The island is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the highest possible classification of Marine National Park Zone as designated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Lady Elliot is an island teeming with life and live corals, famous for a resident population of 40 manta rays which form the iconic logo of the island's resort.

NASA satellites that monitor ocean color and temperature have joined a global effort to study the worrisome bleaching of coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday.

Coral reefs get bleached when water is too warm, which forces out tiny algae that live in the coral and help it to thrive and give it its vivid color, NASA said in a statement. Without these algae, coral can whiten and eventually die.

"Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest and most complex system of reefs in the world, and like so many of the coral reefs in the world's oceans, it's in trouble," said oceanographer Gene Carl Feldman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington.

NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites offer data about ocean surface temperature and color, available online within three hours of the satellites' pass. Color is linked to the concentration of chlorophyll in ocean plants, and shows changes in the ocean's biological productivity.

Researcher Scarla Weeks at the University of Queensland, Australia, use the satellite data to observe changes in sea surface temperatures and ocean primary productivity along the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding waters.

"The Great Barrier Reef is an icon, and we just want to know what we can do to save it," said Weeks in the statement. "Sea surface temperatures over the last five months are actually higher in certain locations now than they were in 2002 when we witnessed the worst bleaching incident to date."


Reuters. 2006. NASA Helps Monitor Bleaching of Great Barrier Reef(online)from
wikipedia. 2007. Australia(online)from

australia travel

What is it about Australia that arrests a tourist's attention? Is it the challenge for mountaineers to scale the rocky Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the rugged outback of the Northern Territory, or the excitement of scuba divers to explore the Great Barrier Reef? Or, is it the history of Aboriginal communities, which provides a keen insight into the continent's ancient local culture? Whether you're after adrenalin-pumping escapades, historical sightings, lazing on sun-kissed beaches, exploring underwater parks, or indulging in a night of clubbing, Australia is undoubtedly a front-line tourist destination.

Other attractions on the continent include fields of wildflowers across Western Australia and untamed wildlife on the island of Tasmania. Wine connoisseurs must make a trip to the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, arguably the nation's foremost winemaking region, which is incidentally best known for its Shiraz.

However, no trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the Goldfields; steeped in history and outback legend, the Goldfields is dotted with historic settlements, ghost towns, and tales of fortunes. For many, Goldfields is the "real" Australia. Here you can experience Aboriginal culture in close quarters and spot kangaroos and other unique wildlife in their natural environment.

Tourist attractions notwithstanding, Australia is buzzing with activity year-round. In January, Tamworth features the Country Music Festival, while Sydney plays host to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in February. The Adelaide Festival of Arts introduces the SA capital to culture in March, while in April, Victoria, Melbourne tickles your funny bone with the International Comedy Festival. In July, don't miss the Beer Can Regatta held in Darwin; there's nothing quite like it. Lastly, aboriginal music is the highlight of Stompen Ground, held September to October in Broome.

Australia Travel provides detailed information on Australia Travel, Australia Travel Packages, Australia Travel Guides, Australia Travel Insurance and more. Australia Travel is affiliated with Australia Travel Visas.

วันพุธที่ 4 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2550

Koala:a thickset arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia

The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a thickset arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia, and the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae.

The Koala is found all along the eastern coast of Australia from near Adelaide to the southern part of Cape York Peninsula, and as far into the hinterland as there is enough rainfall to support suitable forests. The Koalas of South Australia were largely exterminated during the early part of the 20th century, but the state has since been repopulated with Victorian stock. The Koala is not found in Tasmania or Western Australia.


The word "koala" comes from the Dharuk word gula.[3] Closely related words appear in other Australian Aboriginal languages, including:

The Ngunnawal of the Canberra region also call it gula.
In the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Aborigines called Koalas by the word Cullawines.
In the Murray Region, Aborigines called Koalas by the word Karbors.
Other Aboriginal names for Koalas include: Bangaroos, Koolewongs, Narnagoons and Cholos. [4].
It is commonly said that the common name 'Koala' is an Aboriginal word meaning "no drink" although there is no evidence to support this. Koalas do drink water, but only rarely, due to their diet consisting of eucalypt leaves, which contain sufficient water to obviate the need for the Koala to descend to ground level to drink.

Early European settlers to Australia called the Koala the Native Bear, and the Koala is still sometimes called the Koala Bear, but it is not a member of the bear family. It is not even a placental mammal (which most mammals are) - it is a marsupial. The Koala's scientific name (Phascolarctos cinereus) comes from the Greek: phaskolos meaning "pouch" and; arktos meaning "bear". The cinereus epithet is Latin and means "ash-coloured".


Although three subspecies have been described, these are arbitrary selections from a cline and are not generally accepted as valid. Following Bergmann's Rule, southern individuals from the cooler climates are larger. A typical Victorian Koala (formerly P. cinereus victor) has longer, thicker fur, is a darker, softer grey, often with chocolate-brown highlights on the back and forearms, and has a more prominently light-coloured ventral side and fluffy white ear tufts. Typical and New South Wales Koala weights are 12 kg for males and 8.5 kg for females. In tropical and sub-tropical Queensland, however, the Koala is smaller (at around 6.5 kg for an average male and just over 5 kg for an average female), a lighter, often rather scruffy grey in colour, and has shorter, thinner fur. In Queensland the Koala was previously classified as the subspecies P. cinereus adustus, and the intermediate forms in New South Wales as P. cinereus cinereus. The variation from one form to another is continuous and there are substantial differences between individual Koalas in any given region such as hair colour. The origins of the koala are unclear, although almost certainly they descended from terrestrial wombat-like animals. Koala fossils are quite rare, but some have been found in northern Australia dating to 20 million years ago. During this time, the northern half of Australia was rainforest. The Koala did not specialise in a diet of eucalypts until the climate cooled and eucalypts forests grew in the place of rainforests. The fossil record indicates that before 50,000 years ago, Giant Koalas inhabited the southern regions of Australia. The Koala fills the same ecological role as the sloth of South America.

Physical description

The Koala is broadly similar in appearance to the wombats (the closest living relatives), but has a thicker, more luxurious coat, much larger ears, and longer limbs, which are equipped with large, sharp claws to assist with climbing. Weight varies from about 14 kg for a large, southern male, to about 5 kg for a small northern female. Contrary to popular belief, their fur is thick, not soft and cuddly. Koalas' five digits are arranged with opposable thumbs, providing better gripping ability. The first two digits are position in apposition on the front paws, and the first three digits for the hind paws. The Koala is one of the few mammals (other than primates) that has fingerprints. In fact, koala fingerprints are remarkably similar to human fingerprints; even with an electron microscope, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the two. [5]

The Koala has an unusually small brain, with about 40% of the cranial cavity being filled with fluid, while the brain itself is like "a pair of shrivelled walnut halves on top of the brain stem, in contact neither with each other nor the bones of the skull. It is the only animal on Earth with such a strangely reduced brain."[6]

It is a generally silent animal, but males have a very loud advertising call that can be heard from almost a kilometre away during the breeding season. There is little reliable information about the lifespan of the Koala, but in captivity they have been observed to reach the age of 15 years.

The inverted thumbs on the Koala's back feet help for grip while the koala changes branches or eats with its front hands.[citation needed]

Life cycle

Females reach maturity at 2 to 3 years of age, males at 3 to 4 years. If healthy, a female Koala can produce one young each year for about 12 years. Gestation is 35 days; twins are very rare. Mating normally occurs between December and March, the Southern Hemisphere's summer.

A baby Koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only a quarter of an inch long, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother's belly (which is closed by a drawstring-like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Koalas retain the rearward-facing pouch of their terrestrial vomaboid ancestors. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. During this time they grow ears, eyes, and fur. The joey then begins to explore outside of the pouch. At about this stage it begins to consume small quantities of the semi-liquid form of the mother’s excrement called "pap" in order to inoculate its gut with the microbes necessary to digest eucalypt leaves.[citation needed] The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and eucalypt leaves until weaning is complete at about 12 months of age. Young females disperse to nearby areas at that time; young males often stay in the mother's home range until they are two or three years old.

Ecology and behaviour

The Koala lives almost entirely on eucalypt leaves. This is likely to be an evolutionary adaptation that takes advantage of an otherwise unfilled ecological niche, since eucalypt leaves are low in protein, high in indigestible substances, and contain phenolic and terpene compounds that are toxic to most species. Like wombats and sloths, the Koala has a very low metabolic rate for a mammal and rests motionless for about 19 hours a day, sleeping most of that time. Koalas that are disturbed are known to be violent, their teeth and claws capable of providing considerable injury to humans; special handling requirements are as such applicable.[7] Handling of koalas has been a source of political contention due to these risks, which can also cause harm to the koala as well. [8]Koalas spend about three of their five active hours eating. Feeding occurs at any time of day, but usually at night. An average Koala eats 500 grams of eucalypt leaves each day, chewing them in its powerful jaws to a very fine paste before swallowing. The liver deactivates the toxic components ready for excretion, and the hind gut (especially the caecum) is greatly enlarged to extract the maximum amount of nutrient from the poor quality diet. Much of this is done through bacterial fermentation: when young are being weaned, the mother passes unusually soft faeces, called pap, which is rich in these bacteria, thus passing these essential digestive aids on to her offspring. The Koala will eat the leaves of a wide range of eucalypts, and occasionally even some non-eucalypt species, but it has firm preferences for particular varieties. These preferences vary from one region to another: in the south Manna Gum, Blue Gum and Swamp Gum are favoured; Grey Gum and Tallowwood are important in the north, and the ubiquitous River Red Gum of the isolated seasonal swamps and watercourses that meander across the dry inland plains allows the Koala to exist in surprisingly arid areas. Many factors determine which of the 800 species of eucalypt trees the Koala eats. Among trees of their favourite species, however, the major factor that determines which individual trees the Koala chooses is the concentration of a group of phenolic toxins called formylated phloroglucinol compounds.

Conservation status

The Koala was hunted almost to extinction in the early 20th century, largely for its fur. In recent years, some colonies have been hard hit by disease, especially chlamydia. The Koala requires large areas of healthy, connected forest and will travel long distances along tree corridors in search of new territory and mates. The ever-increasing human population of the coastal parts of the continent continues to cut these corridors by agricultural and residential development, forestry and road-building, marooning Koala colonies in decreasing areas of bush. The Australian Koala Foundation has mapped 40,000 of land for Koala habitat and claims it has strong evidence to suggest wild Koala populations are in serious decline throughout the species natural range. Although the species covers a massive area, only 'pieces' of Koala habitat remain. These pieces need to be managed, protected and restored in a coordinated way. Presently, many are being lost to weeds, cleared for agriculture, or carved up by developers. Other threats come from logging, poor management, attacks from feral and domestic animals, disease and roads.

In contrast to the situation on much of the mainland, where populations are declining, the Koalas of many island and isolated populations have reached what some have described as "plague" proportions. On Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Koalas introduced some 90 years ago have thrived in the absence of predators and competition. Combined with an inability to migrate to new areas, this has caused the Koala populations to become unsustainable and threaten the Island's unique ecology. In particular, species of Manna Gum, native to the island, are being stripped by Koalas at a rate faster than they can regenerate, endangering local birds and invertebrates that rely on them, and causing the extinction of at least one isolated population of manna. Koala numbers are estimated at over 30,000, with ecologists suggesting that the Island can sustain 10,000 at most. Although culling has been suggested as a means to reduce Koala numbers, with the South Australian Government seriously considering such in 1996, this has met with fierce opposition both domestically and internationally, and the species remains protected. The popularity of the Koala has made the possibility of a cull politically improbable, with any negative perception likely to impact tourism and a government's electability. In place of a cull, sterilisation and translocation programmes have had only limited success in reducing numbers thus far, and remain expensive. There is evidence that Koalas relocated to the mainland have difficulty establishing themselves in the different circumstances. A mooted alternative to the complex sterilisation method, wherein the animal must first be captured, are hormonal implants that can be injected via darts.

The Koala inhabits four Australian states. Under state legislation, the species is listed as:

Queensland - Common, or "Least Concern Wildlife" throughout the state, except in the relatively small South East Queensland Bioregion, where it is listed as Vulnerable.[9]
New South Wales - listed at a state scale as vulnerable, but varying regionally from "secure" to "locally extinct".[10]
South Australia - classified as Rare.[11]
Victoria - The koala population in Victoria is considered "large and thriving".[12]
A review of the species national conservation status concluded that the koala are not threatened at a national scale, with a population that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.[13] This was the third review undertaken by the federal government that came to this conclusion. The IUCN lists the species as "Lower Risk / Near Threatened".[2]

As with most native Australian animals, the Koala cannot legally be kept as a pet in Australia without a permit.[14]

^ Groves, Colin (16 November 2005). in Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds): Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 43. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
^ a b Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (1996). Phascolarctos cinereus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 2006-05-09.
^ Koala - American Heritage Dictionary
^ "The Koala", Burton, Barbara, Lone Pine Sanctuary & Fisheries and Wildlife Department, Lansdowne Press (1974)
^ Henneberg, Maciej; Lambert, Kosette M., Leigh, Chris M. (1997). "Fingerprint homoplasy: koalas and humans". 1.
^ Flannery, T.F. (1994). The Future Eaters: An ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People. Sydney: Reed New Holland.
^ Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. EPA/QPWS Koala designation.
^ New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service. NSWPWS Koala designation.
^ Australian Koala Foundation. Koala conservation status (FAQs).
^ Department of Sustainability and the Environment. Victorian Koala designation.
^ Australian Government. Environmental assessment of koala's conservation status.
^ Australian Koala Foundation. Frequently asked questions (FAQs).
From Wikipedia

An Overview of Australia for Travelers

An Overview of Australia for Travelers
By Richard Monk

Australia is a very diverse country geographically and a hot spot for tourism. If you are thinking about heading down under, here is some information on Australia.

An Overview of Australia for Travelers

Australia is its own continent, the only country in the world that can say as much. It covers roughly 3 million square miles and is about the size of the continental United States. The capital is Canberra, but Sydney is the biggest city with 4.2 million people. The climate of Australia is extremely dry inland with more temperate conditions along the coast. The population centers are primarily along the coast due to soaring temperatures inland.

Australia was originally inhabited by Aboriginal tribes. In 1770, Captain Cook claimed the land for Great Britain. In 1788, the first colony was established in New South Wales. Most of the colonists were convicted criminals from Great Britain. Gold was discovered soon thereafter and Australia became a destination for immigrants seeking fortune and a new start in life.

On the far northern coast, Australia is home to one of the amazing sites in the world. The great barrier reef is a water enthusiasts dream. With incredible plant life, the reef is world renowned as a diver’s paradise. A watchful eye is advised given the presence of the Great White Shark in the area.

Australia is a Commonwealth. The federal powers are mapped somewhat after those in the United States, but no bill of rights exists. Unlike the U.S., the individual territories retain significant authority over their own affairs.

People in Australia are called “Australians.” The country has a population of just over 20 million, and the population is growing at a rate of 1.1 percent a year. Australians ethnicity is 92 percent European, 6 percent Asian and 2 percent Aboriginal. No religion dominates, but 27 percent of Australians considered themselves Roman Catholics. Life expectancy for males is 78 years while females live to 83 on average. Literacy rates are a surprisingly low 85 percent.

Australia was often considered the forgotten country. Long distance transportation changed that designation. Now it is one of the hottest tourist destinations year in and year out.

Richard Monk is with - a site with facts about everything. Visit us to read more about Australia.

Australia Travel Insurance

Australia Travel Insurance
By Kristy Annely

Travel insurance is almost mandatory in today's climate. Medical bills can soar, costly equipment and baggage can get lost or stolen, and travel arrangements can get altered or cancelled without sufficient notice.

CGU Travel Insurance has developed a comprehensive policy to cover a traveler for almost any mishap that could occur during a trip to Australia; the company also provides access to their 24-hour, Worldwide Emergency Hotline. For a week?s Doubles Cover, there is a total premium of AUD$108.80; the coverage includes Additional Expenses ($20,000); Return of Hire Car and Excess Waiver, Cancellation Fees (whatever it costs); Luggage and Travel Documents ($5,000); Accidental Death and Disability ($20,000); and Liability ($1 Million). For further details, log on to

Worldcare Travel Insurance offers widespread benefits at economical rates. For a week?s Doubles Cover, there is a total premium of AUD$73, which includes Cancellation Fees and Lost Deposits, Additional Expenses, Accidental Death, Luggage and Personal Effects, Travel Delay Allowance, Personal Liability, Rental Vehicle, and Domestic Services. The coverage applies from when you leave your home and go directly your place of departure, and ends when you return to your home. For details, send an email to or fax +61 7 3305 7028.

NRMA Travel Insurance offers a choice of coverage options for both single travelers and families. And, with a 24-hour Worldwide Emergency Hotline service, help is just a phone call away. A week?s coverage for a single traveler comes at a Premium of AUD$63.22 and includes overseas medical, dental, and associated accommodation/traveling expenses; resumption of overseas journey if you have to return to Australia; payment of hire car excess waiver; trip cancellation expenses if you are unable to travel; lost or stolen luggage and travel documents; accidental death or disability and loss of income; and legal liability for injuries to a third person or property. For further details, contact 1300-305-790.

When lodging a claim, it's necessary that the traveler inform the travel insurance firm as soon as possible and provide all the requisite information to support the claim, including original medical or police reports, declarations, receipts, valuations, or other evidence of ownership. This will help to process the claim smoothly.

Australia Travel provides detailed information on Australia Travel, Australia Travel Packages, Australia Travel Guides, Australia Travel Insurance and more. Australia Travel is affiliated with Australia Travel Visas.

Adventure Travel In Australia

Adventure Travel In Australia

By Miguel Scaccialupo

Adventure travel developed as a segment of the tourism market during the latter half of the 20th century out of the more general traditional notion of outdoor recreation. Adventure travel differs from from earlier forms of outdoor recreation, however, in that it offers travelers greater opportunities to experience specific physical activities (eg. rock climbing, diving, snow-boarding, kayaking, abseiling) that involve greater levels of skill and, within acceptable limits, risk. With traditional outdoor recreation, the primary attraction is the specific setting: with adventure travel, however, travelers are attracted primarily by the activities offered. Adventure travel is therefore primarily associated with travel products where the primary purpose is to engage in activity and participatory experience rather than the more passive sightseeing associated with traditional outdoor tourism.

The travel industry has evolved considerably since the 1970s. Changes include sociodemographic shifts which have seen a growth both the disposable income and available leisure time of many travelers. Travelers generally have become more discerning, have more travel experience, and have come to enjoy the benefits of cheaper, more convenient transport and other technological advances. As a result, substantial changes occurred in the demand for international travel products. The 1990s saw rapid growth in the evolution of specific segments of the tourism market including ecotourism, nature tourism and other special interest tourism which catered for the new breed of sophisticated traveler with both the means and the will to travel.

While travel costs will always remain a significant factor in decision-making for most travelers, the notion of tourist satisfaction is today of increasing importance. Increasingly, travel products must provide something other than simple value for money to attract tourists pursuing deeper, more satisfying purposes. In short, new patterns in travel choices have emerged to accommodate a much greater spectrum of travel interests, activities and experiences. Adventure travel today is increasingly the travel mode of choice for sophisticated travellers seeking to experience a holiday rather than simply sit in a tour bus passively sightseeing.

The increasing interest of many travellers in actively experiencing their holiday has also been matched with a rapid expansion in the range and quality of travel-related equipment available, extending the capability of tour operators to deliver more diversified adventure travel products. Australia has been at the forefront of these developments, and adventure travel is now one of the fastest-growing travel market segments in that country. Continuing to grow in their scope and appeal, it appears today that the variety and availability of adventure travel products for a broad spectrum of abilities and interests and abilities is almost limitless.

In Australia, the notion of adventure in travel is inextricably linked to that of the Outback. This means that true adventure travel is more likely to be found away from the comfortable, urban east coast, and in particular away from the area located south of the Brisbane-Adelaide line where over 80% of Australians live in urban and suburban settings oblivious to the geographic, climatic and cultural realities of the majority of the Australian continent. High on the list of authentic Australian outback adventure travel destinations therefore are Central Australia and the Northern Territory, far north and western Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. The island of Tasmania also provides many exciting opportunities for adventure travel in unique wilderness areas.

Quality outback adventure tours in Australia are characterized by many factors, including the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles rather than buses, access to spectacular remote sites, provision of challenging adventure activities, and active hands-on participation in daily routines. The use of 4x4 vehicles typically allows tour operators to access more remote, difficult and spectacular country. By encouraging active participation in daily routines such as cooking, cleaning, setting camp and packing up, adventure tours engage travelers in the complete outdoor adventure experience rather than simply waiting on passive participants hand and foot.

But the real adventure element provided by the best quality tours takes the form of specific adventure activities ranging from bushwalking, rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, through to more extreme activities such as diving, canoing, abseiling, jet-skiing, quad riding, white water rafting and hot air ballooning.