In TRAVELERs May/June issue, we present a 27-page special section to
highlight Australias eclectic offeringsthe first in our Faces of
series. Online: an introduction to the series and the lowdown on two
| Sydney Bridge Climb |
| Hinchinbrook Island Trail |
| Australia Links |
Standing in front of Ayers Rock, Rupert Goodwin, an aboriginal ranger,
gazes out across the desolate outback, which covers roughly 70 percent of
Australia, a nation as big as the continental United States.
Photograph by Catherine Karnow
TRAVELERs Faces of Series
BIG. Australia is astonishingly bigon my recent trip there, which
entailed hitting both the east and west coasts in five days, I got a mere
sampling of what the country has to offer. We give you a bit of that in the
May/June TRAVELERs Faces of Australia.
This special section is the
first of a series of Faces of specials on popular destinations, which well
run over the next 18 months. Coming up: New England, Canada, California, and the Caribbean.
Keith Bellows, TRAVELER editor in chief, profiled the town of
Fremantle for Faces of Australia.
At 426 feet (130 meters) high, the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a
spectacular view of the city and gives climbers a thrill.
Photograph by R. Ian Lloyd
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Im at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a blood-racing 426 feet (130 meters) high, looking straight down onto eight lanes of matchbox-size
traffic. To my right is the famously bivalved Sydney Opera House, and
beyond, Sydney Harbour. A giant container ship preparing to pass under
the bridge gives a great blast of its horn. Looking around I see my nine
fellow climbers grinning like kids.
Were on a guided hike to the top of the suspension archa three-hour
megathrill that wowed acting sensation Nicole Kidman (what better place
from which to see the world with Eyes Wide Shut?). The deal: You sign up
with BridgeClimb, the only authorized outfitter (you have to be at least 12 years old and able to walk stairs comfortably). You get trussed up in a
BridgeSuit coverall and hooked to a harness line (a comfort measure for
acrophobes), with an earpiece to hear the commentary. Glasses and even
handkerchiefs are tied down, since the smallest coin falling from this height
could smash through the windshield of a car passing below. Then you
climb maintenance steps and ladders to the tippy top of the bridge before
Said one participant: I didnt sleep the night before because I was scared.
It is a bit of a challenge, but when I got on top of the arch, I didnt want to
(BridgeClimb Sydney, 5 Cumberland Street, Sydney, NSW,
2000, Australia; phone: 011 61 2 8274 7777 from the U.S.; fax: 011 61 2
9240 1122 from the U.S.; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
R. Ian Lloyd
R. Ian Lloyd, a photographer and writer, resides in Singapore and travels
frequently throughout Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.
Hinchinbrook Islands Thorsborne Trail
A major attraction for experienced hikers is this 19-mile-long (31-kilometer-long) trail (allow two to five days) along the islands east coast.
The trail traverses a mangrove swamp via a boardwalk, climbs to
spectacular viewpoints, meanders along sandy beaches, passes through
rain forest, and crosses numerous freshwater streams.
It is recommended to hike the trail from north to south. Transportation to
the northern trailhead is with Hinchinbrook Island Ferries (phone: 011 61
7 4066 8270 from the U.S.) from Cardwell, while Hinchinbrook
Wilderness Safaris (phone: 011 61 7 4777 8307 from the U.S.) makes
regular connections between the southern end of the trail and Dungeness,
49 miles (62 kilometers) south of Cardwell.
A quota system operates on this popular trail. Make reservations well in
advance through the Cardwell office of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife
Service (011 61 7 4066 8601 from the U.S.).
Andrew Hempstead is an avid hiker and author of five books, including
the Australia Handbook.
Australian Tourism Net
A comprehensive directory that includes Australian accommodations, car
rentals, tours, boat charters, adventure travel, airlines, fishing tours, and
Australian Tourist Commission
Includes adventure listings and links for the outback, water sports,
wildlife, a map, a photo gallery, travel deals, and travel agents
A searchable directory of events, weekend getaways, wine, and cuisine in
International Olympic Committee
Official site that includes links for Sydney Olympics 2000 and other
Olympic-related organizations and activities