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Australia has been on a unique evolutionary journey, moulding wildlife as though it was an abstract art form – mammals with pouches, a pin-cushion that lays eggs, a monotreme with the bill of a duck – and grinding down its ancient mountains even as the rest of the world has been erecting theirs. Is it any wonder they call it the land down under?

This sun-scorched continent is a land of contrasts, from tropical rainforests, sandy deserts and coral reefs to salt lakes, white beaches and spectacular gorges. The flora and fauna are as diverse as your imagination and it won’t be long before you’re staring up at 80 metre high karri trees or down at a myriad of colourful fish and critters flitting about on the sea floor.

In the outback, kangaroos abound and kookaburras cackle at passers-by, while the occasional koala languishes high in the trees, half-backed on eucalyptus leaves. But tread carefully – there are plenty of less welcoming natives that lie in wait. Venomous snakes, poisonous spiders, hungry crocs and sharks are just some of the creatures that roam the byways and waterways and no… they don’t have your best interests at heart.

There’s a lot more to see down under than just Uluru and Kakadu. Whether you’re into birds, bees or flowers, beaches, mountains or deserts: Australia has it all.