Brisbane, situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, was founded in 1824 as a British penal colony. Today the Queensland capital is one of Australia’s most up-and-coming cities. Brisbane is a cosmopolitan mix of inner-city and nature. Glittering high-rises mark its polished business center, slick fashion boutiques and cafes can be found throughout, and an array of clubs and pubs burst with energy. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, South Bank Parkland and nearby beaches offer wildlife adventures, hiking, biking, water-sports, and much more.
The Gold Coast, located 50 miles south of Brisbane, is a 43-mile stretch of some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Boasting 300 days of sunshine per year and average temperatures of 75F, the Gold Coast is Australia’s most popular tourist destination. Gold Coast offers a wide range of outdoor activities. There are more than 35 patrolled beaches offering numerous water-sport activities, including surfing, wind sailing, snorkelling, scuba-diving and fishing. And, let’s not forget the Dreamworld and Whitewater World theme parks, and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Commonwealth of Australia
Australia is comprised of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. The majority of its 23 million citizens live in urban areas concentrated on the eastern coast.Dutch explorers discovered Australia in 1606. Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal colonies. Today, Australia is a developed country with a stable democratic government and the world’s 12th-largest economy.
Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons on national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum.Australia teems with natural and cultural treasures and adventures: Trekking around majestic Uluru, spotting wildlife in tropical rain forests, surfing and wind sailing on the coast, and snorkelling and scuba-diving on Great Barrier Reef. But there’s more to life down under than outdoor activities. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are cosmopolitan cities with thriving art scenes, dinning and shopping.