Australia

Map of Australia

Destination Overview

If you’ve heard anything about Australia, you’ve likely heard that it’s big and it’s fantastic. Fantastic not only in the sense that it’s a good place to travel, but also in the sense that it has to be seen to be believed. Australia is the earth’s smallest continent and despite the fact that most of it is covered in inhospitable desert – it still boasts some of this planet’s most incredible natural features, wildlife, people, and cities. Whether you’re interested in remote destinations or the bustling adventure of city life, you’ll be able to find it in Australia.

Australia is home to a single living organism that is so large, it can be seen from space. It houses the world’s most dangerous animals as well as its cuddliest. It features inhospitable deserts, opulent rainforests, and beaches with shallow blue water as far as the eye can see. Such a diverse and sometimes volatile climate has fostered a culture like no other. What was colonized as a penal colony has transformed into one of the modern world’s most prosperous societies with a quality of life to match.

The people are cheerful, likable, and unfailingly obliging. Almost all Australians live on the coast. The eastern seaboard alone is home to about 80% of the population as well as many of the continent’s contrasting biomes. The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland is the continent’s largest tropical rainforest and grows directly to the edge of the sea. Just offshore, weighing in as the same size of Texas, is the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s the planet’s largest coral reef system with the picturesque Whitsunday islands located right in the center. The coast is also home to Australia’s largest cities including the most populous, Sydney, and the capital, Canberra. A person could spend a lifetime exploring the east coast of Australia and still find surprises. Each summer, GoBeyond students get the chance to survey the fantastic diversity of the continent while still making time to give back a little.

“We got off the coach and onto a van that took us to the Tjapukai, an Australian aboriginal cultural park where we learned about indigenous medicine and plants, got to learn how to throw a spear, a boomerang, and we learned a dance they do at ceremonies. Keeley, the Left-handed Boomerang Master, was by far the best boomerang thrower around.”
-Alexarae A. - Lauderdale, MS