Most of the travel you will do in Australia is likely to involve beaches, unless you deliberately choose not to. Why? Because we are a country where the population hugs the coast.
If you looked at a heat map or any kind of graphic representation of the population distribution in Australia, you’d possibly think that you might rush over and buy your own big patch, or wonder why no-one invades. However, greater geographical information gathering should be done before boarding the longboat, to discover the vast expanse of desert and just the vast expanse.
Back to beaches – not every State and Territory boasts beautiful or competitive stretches of sand, wave and ocean, but they all have them, bar Canberra. There are surfing beaches, exploring beaches, even crocodile-infested beaches. Not all of them are always safe to swim in – the north eastern beaches have stingers (jelly fish that deliver a very nasty sting) in the Wet season, the southern beaches are very cold (Antarctica isn’t that far away) although better in Summer and many have treacherous currents and rips.
ALWAYS CONSULT THE LOCAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SAFETY OF SWIMMING.
Some beaches look tantalisingly cool and wet on a stinking hot day, but the depth won’t cover your knee until you reach the ocean shelf and the bottom falls out from under you. Others disappear completely when the tide recedes and a score of crabbers trek across the sand with their rakes and buckets, getting their fill until the tide returns again.
The tropical fish of Queensland’s Barrier Reef or Western Australia’s Coral Bay are a must for your bucket list. It will be all you can do, to stop yourself from opening your mouth wide while under water, when you see the size, colour, quantity and proximity of the aquatic life. Many places have dolphins – in South Australia they are frequent visitors to our cold waters and love to surf the waves or try to join in your games sometimes.
Flat and endless, shouldered by cliffs, swampy, palm-dotted like your dream tropical island. We have them all and they’re waiting for you. Your sunsets will never be the same again.