Top 10 places to visit in Australia this winter – Number 4

Reposted from our sister page – LifExchange Campus
With so many places to visit and things to do no one can explore Australia with only a two weeks vacation. Over the next 10 weeks we will share new destinations to be explored on your 6-12 month LifExchange Work and Holiday program.
Winter is almost here in the US. Head down south for another summer and skip the cold.
Australia’s Summer Invites You! Experience Australia’s glorious summer from December to February. Walk along spectacular coastal cliffs from Sydney’s Bondi Beach to Bronte. Day trip from Melbourne to the vineyards, beaches, national parks, golf courses and day spas of the Mornington Peninsula. Taste Tasmania’s finest food and wine on the historic Hobart waterfront or explore food, wine and history in the Swan Valley, near Perth. Follow fresh seafood around the pristine coastline of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula or watch coral spawning en-masse on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. Experience dazzling thunderstorms and blossoming vegetation in the tropical Top End. Or get up close to native Australian animals and ancient Aboriginal history in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra. Summer in Australia is also the season for world class cricket, grand slam tennis, vibrant music festivals, NYE celebrations and outdoor cultural events.

WE CONTINUE OUR COUNTDOWN WITH NUMBER 4: Queensland’s summer marine life spectacular

Summer in Queensland is the season to witness the birth of new marine life. See newly-hatched turtles take their very first swim on Mon Repos beach, near Bundaberg. Or witness the hyper-colour production of a mass coral spawning across the Great Barrier Reef. You can see this dazzling natural phenomenon, nicknamed by marine biologists as ‘sex on the reef’, from a glass-bottomed boat or live-aboard dive tour.

It’s a 15 minute drive east to from Bundaberg to Mon Repos Conservation Park, where green, flatback and loggerhead turtles nest on the accessible mainland beach. After dark between November and March, see female turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, or their newly-hatched babies crawling to shore for their first swim. Mid-November to February is the best time to see turtles laying eggs, while hatchlings usually begin to leave their nests from mid-January. Visit in January and you might get a fascinating glimpse of both nesting adults and little brown hatchlings. Join a guided tour or learn about the turtles at the information centre, then follow the walking track to the turtle rockery. You can also experience the turtles nesting on nearby Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrave and Heron Islands.

You can see an altogether different miracle of life on the Great Barrier Reef in October, November and sometimes December, when the water has reached the right temperature. On certain nights following the full moon, egg-engorged corals spawn across the reefs in spectacular sync. The rush of pink eggs and sperm to the surface of the night sea has been likened to both an upside-down storm and millions of exploding champagne bubbles. Whatever your analogy, it’s visually breathtaking. The tiny cells form a thick, pink spawning slick across the water’s surface, which can stretch metres wide and kilometres long. Slicks have even been seen from space by satellite imagery.

See this visual spectacular for yourself from a glass-bottomed boat or immerse yourself in the experience on a night dive. You can see the phenomenon all across the southern Great Barrier Reef, on a tour from Brisbane, Gladstone or Bundaberg, also the base for the Mon Repos turtles. Townsville and Mackay are good gateways to the central reef. From Cairns or Port Douglas, live-aboard tours leave for the Local, Ribbon, Far Northern, Osprey and Coral Sea Reefs.

Dive tours are organised around predicted spawning dates, which are one to six nights after the first full moon in October for inshore reefs and similar times in November and December for coral in outer reefs. During the spawning you might also see marine worms breeding en-masse and blue bioluminescent flashes from small prawn-like crustaceans spawning near the surface.

Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal to Queensland’s marine miracles this summer.

Are you ready to head to Australia? If you are between the ages of 18-30 you may qualify for a Work and Holiday Visa. Pay for your travels, build your resume and make new friends. Contact us now to learn more.

Information provided by © Tourism Australia 2011