Wired up: Australia and travel

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Australia is one of the great travel destinations of the modern- age and the Internet has a host of great pages to help you discover the continent where white civilisation meets ancient Aboriginal lore.



There are few better places to start than Australia's official tourist pages. For sheer scope and depth few sites can hope to match them. Despite the fact that you're not going to find any negative material about the country, you should find this site valuable if you're hoping to visit. The place to head when you first log on is the Frequently Asked Questions page, which is as good a place as any to get the basic information you need to plan a trip; it has information about everything from working holidays to vaccination checks. The other part of the site worth examining is the guide to general events which is the best database of all the main celebrations and festivals due over the next year or so. But take time to look at the rest of the site, which contains plenty of handy material.




If you're looking for more impartial information about Australia, then the best place to head is probably Lonely Planet's Australia guide. It's conveniently divided up into geographically distinct sections, which makes it very useful; once you've decided on a broad itinerary, it's an excellent place to expand on your plans. The compilers have put it together with their usual passion and enthusiasm ("you'd have to die and go to heaven to see a more spectacular setting for a city", reads the Sydney entry). Be sure to look at its information for the Great Barrier Reef, which runs virtually the entire length of Queensland. The site also has a number up-to-date travellers' reports, which is an excellent way to keep in touch with what's hot in the country.


THE BEST OF THE REST www.ozeco.com.au HHH

An excellent eco-friendly guide to Queensland, offering nature holidays. It's not the best designed website but there are plenty of intriguing ideas to check out.

www.travelaustralia.com HHH

An excellent listings service dealing with every aspect of Australian travel.

travel.state.gov/australia. html HHH

The Australian government's information for travellers page, which includes visa information plus legal and medical advice.

members.tripod.com/thisthat/slang.html HHH

A very amusing (and possibly even useful) glossary of Australian slang phrases and words.

www.whereis.com.au/search.asp HHH

A very handy site, which contains maps of Australia's main cities which lets you search out individual streets.