Australia Travel Guide While modern-day Australia might have started life as a British prison colony, it has evolved into one of the world's premier tourist destinations. Visitors to Australia will delight in it’s exciting, cosmopolitan cities, fantastic weather and famously beautiful coastline, as well as the friendly nature of the locals that they encounter. Australia - a country and continent in one - is the world's sixth-largest nation by land area, and has a wealth of natural attractions begging to be explored. From the monolithic rock at Uluru; to the wild, untamed and unforgiving Outback; to the colourful wonder of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland's sun-soaked Gold Coast, Australia possesses some unique and unforgettable sights. Active types will love Australia's 'outdoors culture', and a huge array of sports and activities, including swimming, diving, snorkeling, surfing, bush walking, hiking, mountain biking and even skiing, are popular with locals and available to tourists. For those who prefer to keep their holidays urban, Australia's cities will certainly not disappoint. Clean, cosmopolitan and youthful, Australia's urban centers (including Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne) are world-class. Famous cultural attractions in Australia include the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Australian Museum and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Australia also boasts an impressive and fast-moving restaurant culture, guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest gastronomes. Whether you schedule a lot of sightseeing in Australia, or plan to spend most of your time relaxing on the great beaches and sampling some of the local beer (of which there are many brands), you are bound to have a splendid time in the Land Down Under. Best time to visit Australia Due to the mild, temperate climate of Australia, there is really no bad time to visit - even in mid-winter (June), the mercury regularly climbs to 68°F (20°C). However, the best time to visit Australia is definitely during the summer (December to March), as not only is the weather sublimely hot and sunny, more events and festivals take place, and a generally more festive atmosphere fills the streets What to pack Be sure to pack a swimming costume, plenty of sunscreen, lightweight clothing (if traveling in summer), and at least one pair of good walking shoes, as you are sure to want to explore the country's wonderful natural landscapes. What to buy Great souvenirs to buy in Australia include boomerangs, beer cosys, wine and Aboriginal folk-art. Eat Vegemite on toast and barbeque. A final word With cosmopolitan cities spread across the vast unforgiving bush and a lively and welcoming population, Australia is a fascinating travel destination for just about anyone.