Australia

Paradise found: in the fragrance of a lei, the taste of fresh mango sorbet and stunning scenery.

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Australia is a fascinating and adventurous country filled with vast distances, interesting wildlife, hiking in rugged terrain, spectacular beaches, large cities with amazing structures and attractions, and a chance to visit the Aboriginal Australians and experience their myths, dances, music, fish catching, spear crafting and culture.

One of Australia's main attractions is the Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most photographed subject in Sydney. Situated on the tip of one of the world's prettiest harbors, it is considered to be one of the wonders of the modern world with its unique architecture and amazing engineering that resulted in what resembles shimmering sails covered in granite tiles imported from Sweden. Started in 1959 with an estimated cost of $7 million, the building ended up costing $102 million. As part of the first Vivid Light Festival in 2009, the largest sound and light show in the Southern Hemisphere, the sails of the Opera House were illuminated in an array of images, shapes and colors. Having just celebrated its 40th birthday from the time of its opening by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973, the original dedication was complete with fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 9 and was broadcast to approximately 3 million television viewers worldwide.