Rock. North of Sydney are the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast Australia’s number one resort area. The Gold Coast resembles Miami Beach high rise hotels and communities that are even called Miami and Palm Beach. Offshore stretches the Great Barrier reef, running north and south off Queensland for more than two thousand km (twelve hundred miles), the longest coral reef in the world. Stretching a point, it is said to be the longest living thing in the world, more than one thousand varieties of coral. Coral is alive, tiny animals, coral polyps. Their stomachs secrete lime, which is deposited around the polyps forming a coral skeleton. It is a favorite place for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. It is not unusual to take hundreds of fish in a few hours of fishing.
On fifteen of the six hundred islands are fifteen small resorts that cater to the water sportsman and naturalists interested in the nearly nine hundred species of fish. (Watch out for the poisonous ones.) The next largest coral reefs lie off the island of Andros in the Bahamas and off the coast of Honduras.
The south Australian waters have more than enough sharks, so many that helicopters are used to spot them near popular beaches and shark nets are installed at other beaches. The Great White Shark, most fearsome of the many species, and best actor in the movie Jaws, are also around, ready and willing to tear off a limb or two of a hapless human in the water. Now there is a movement to conserve the Great White, which is said to be quite timid and seldom eats a person unless confused (or hungry?).
What does the visitor do in Australia besides being photographed holding a koala bear or petting a kangaroo? If driving long distances is fun, moving around Austalia will be an ecstatic experience. The distances are unbelievable. Super-highways there are not. Off the main thoroughfares the roads may be one lane wide. On-coming cars simply put two wheels off the roads to allow each other to pass, sometimes at speeds above sixty mph. Campers can be rented. There is no dearth of places to park for the night. Watch out for the kangaroos.
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