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Australia S to Z

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Go ABC through important places and interesting facets of Australia's geography, life and culture.

S is for Sydney

A view of Sydney with the Sydney Opera House in the foreground © Tourism New South Wales
A view of Sydney with the Sydney Opera House in the foreground © Tourism New South Wales

And for Sarah Island, seals, Shark Bay, skiing, and state flowers

It's Australia's first city which arose from the initial European settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788, and today's most populous of Australian cities.

Images closely identified with Australia are Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and both, of course, are in Sydney and within cooee of each other.

For a majority of visitors to Australia, Sydney is the destination of choice with its scenic harbour, white-sand beaches, iconic buildings, and variety of other city and regional attractions.

T is for Tasmania

Lake Dove and Cradle Mountain © Tourism Tasmania and Dean Mengel
Lake Dove and Cradle Mountain © Tourism Tasmania and Dean Mengel

And for Tamworth, Taronga, thongs, Tjapukai, and trains

Australia's only island state, reached by ferry from Melbourne and by plane from major Australian cities, Tasmania is a place of various attractions within driving distance of one another. In fact, if you wanted to, you could travel around the state and visit its major attractions in a single day, but it's always best to visit for more than a day, perhaps a week or 10 days.

The capital, Hobart, is a popular gateway to historic sites, such as the Port Arthur penitentiary ruins and the colonial-era town of Richmond, and areas of mountains and wilderness waiting to be explored.

U is for Uluru

Uluru in the heart of Australia © Tourism NT
Uluru in the heart of Australia © Tourism NT

And for Ulladulla, and Utzon

Rising from the desert floor of central Australia, the rock monolith that is Uluru, previously better known as Ayers Rock, is an iconic symbol of Outback Australia.

The resort town of Yulara is close to Uluru and is one of the places where visitors can find accommodation and food in the heart of Australia close to Uluru.

Uluru, a place sacred to the Aboriginal people, is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage site.

V is for Victoria

Surfing at Victoria's Bells Beach © Tourism Victoria
Surfing at Victoria's Bells Beach © Tourism Victoria

And for Victor Harbor, visas, and Vivid Sydney

Australia's smallest mainland state, Victoria, has the reputation of its capital, Melbourne, as Australia's cultural, fashion and sports centre. An advantage of its small size is that the state's attractions are within convenient driving distances of one another, and from Melbourne.

Within daytrip distances are places like Phillip Island with its penguin parade, the scenic Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles, inland to the goldfields region and site of a miners' rebellion, and readily reached vineyards and wine making areas.

Major sports events include the Australian Open in January and the Melbourne Cup in November.

W is for Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga main street © Jon Armstrong / Destination NSW
Wagga Wagga main street © Jon Armstrong / Destination NSW

And for walking tracks, wallaby, Wallaman Falls, Walter Burley Griffin, waratah, and Wollongong

At least two better-known New South Wales towns carry doubled-up two-word names: Wagga Wagga west-southwest of Sydney and Woy Woy on the Central Cost north of Sydney. While Wagga Wagga is often shortened to Wagga, particularly in colloquial conversation, no one calls Woy Woy "Woy." (Incidetally, there are more such doubled-up names in New South Wales and other parts of Australia.)

Wagga Wagga is both country town and university town (with a Charles Sturt University campus sited there) and is a jump-off point for exploring the agricultural Riverina region along the Murrumbidgee River.

Wagga Wagga's popular jazz festival brings in visitors from far and wide in September.

X is for XXXX

Burp.

Y is for Yackandandah

Yackandandah shops, courtesy Tourism Victoria
Yackandandah shops, courtesy Tourism Victoria

And for Yanchep, Yulefest, and yum cha

Colloquially known as "Yack," the Victorian town of Yackandandah south-southeast of Albury-Wodonga on the New South Wales-Victoria border is an historic town classified by the National Trust.

It is close to some of Victoria's most popular ski resorts, a number of Victorian vineyards and wineries, and has been a film location for movies and tele-movies such as Strange Bedfellows and The Far Country.

Z is for Zeehan

West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum © Tourism Tasmania and Joe Shemesh
West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum © Tourism Tasmania and Joe Shemesh

And for zed, zilch and zonked, and Zenith Theatre

An old mining town which in its heyday had a population of some 10,000, Zeehan celebrates much of its mining and pioneering past in its West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum on Main St.

Despite its mines of silver-lead deposits having been depleted, the town's mining past of the 1880s up to the early 1900s imbues Zeehan with its rich history with many homes and other structures of the time still in existence today.

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