TRAVEL

23 Reasons Australia Is The Most Stunningly Perfect Place To Travel

12/06/2013 07:32 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2015

Australia is travel heaven, and if we had it our way, we'd be there all. the. time.

In fact, if "money were no object," U.S. travelers would choose to visit Australia over almost every other country on Earth, according to TripAdvisor's most recent TripBarometer study.

And we can't say we blame them. The Land Down Under is richer in flora, fauna, and attractive Oscar-nominated males. But those are just a few of the many reasons why, as far as we're concerned, the Aussies have it better.

1. In Australia, it's incredibly normal to take a gap year.
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2. Australians have swimming pools in their oceans.
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3. People in Australia really know coffee. Starbucks tried to invade the scene a few years ago, but Aussies didn’t break from their mom-and-pop roasteries. Starbucks was forced to close 61 of its 87 Australian stores.
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4. Two words: Gold. Coast.
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5. Precious, just-born, infant turtles crawl into the Australian sea from January until March. And there are turtle guides who will help you find and say hi to them.
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7. The minimum wage in Australia is $16.88. SIXTEEN DOLLARS AND EIGHTY-EIGHT CENTS! In America, minimum wage ranges by state from $5.15 (Georgia) to $9.19 (Washington).
australia cashier

8. Australia's capital city threw itself a birthday party. And gave everybody the day off work. And put on free concerts. And set up the world’s longest champagne bar with hundreds of bottles of champagne. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!
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9. A bunch of lakes in Australia are pink, thanks to algae and prawns.
TIL there is a pink lake in Australia

10. Handheld meat pies are, like, Australians' national dish. They eat them while watching football that has its own special Australian rules, such as "you may tackle people without any helmets on."
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11. You can apply for a travel visa to Australia online. No consulates, no lines, no heartache.
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12. Australians don't sacrifice sustainability for tourism. Lord Howe Island, the most beautiful island of coral reefs, is only allowed to host 400 tourists at any given time, no matter how many want to come.

13. Caramel slice is in Australia.
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14. There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia, which makes life more adorable. To deal with all those marsupials, experts have concocted kangaroo birth control and a national Kangaroo Management Plan. Another population control -- sniffle, tear, sniffle -- is the kangaroo burger.
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15. Australians dominate at rugby league, while the only rugby that Americans know is played primarily by grunting fraternity brothers.
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16. Australians make a vacation out of helping the planet-- on a conservation holiday, you can measure plants in the rainforest or monitor owl species at the base of the Australian Alps.
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17. Everybody in Australia has accents.

18. When life gets rough (from eating too much Vegemite or winning too much rugby), Australians can always escape to the perfect blue heaven known as Lake McKenzie.
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19. In Australia, there are creatures called fairy penguins. After they get home from long days at sea, you can visit their colonies by night.
penguin island australia

20. The Great Ocean Road, the Aussies' seaside version of Route 66, takes you past some pretty stellar rock formations.
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21. Australians have the widest steel arch bridge in the world. You may have heard of it.
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22. Liam Hemsworth was born in Australia.
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23. Chris Hemsworth was born in Australia.
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CORRECTION: A earlier version of this post referred to Australians beating other nations at "rugby." This nickname refers to a sport officially called "rugby union." It's more accurate, though, to say Australians excel at "rugby league," a different breed of the sport.

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