Why We Love Australia

Hugh Jackman, Ayers Rock, the didgeridoo, Nicole Kidman, kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef are just a few reasons why we love Australia.

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Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

Located on the island of Luzon (31 miles south of Manila), Taal Volcano is the 2nd most active volcano in the Philippines. The volcano -- part of what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire -- and Taal Lake is one of most picturesque views in the country. 960 1280

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Diniwid Beach

Diniwid Beach

Visit the upscale Diniwid Beach on Boracay Island, Philippines. Of the 13 beaches on Boracay, Diniwid Beach is perfect for travelers looking for an upscale stretch of sand that’s private, quiet and less populated with beachgoers. 960 1280

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Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills

Located in the Philippines’ Bohol Province, the Chocolate Hills are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 20 square miles. This geological site and popular tourist attraction -- normally covered in green grass -- turns chocolate brown during the dry season. 960 1280

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Boracay Island

Boracay Island

Boracay is a small island located almost 200 miles south of Manila. This island paradise is emerging among the top destinations for a relaxing vacation and exciting nightlife scene. In 2012, Travel + Leisure picked Boracay as the best island in the world. The island is also a great spot for travelers who enjoy water sports, including scuba diving, snorkeling, helmet diving and cliff diving. Visit during Amihan season (usually from September to June) to get the best trade winds for windsurfing, kiteboarding and kitesurfing. 960 1280

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Manila

Manila

Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines with a total population of more than 1.6 million people. Recommended sights to visit include Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Rizal Park, Fort Santiago, Star City, Manila Ocean Park, Café Juanita and the Marikina Shoe Museum, for those fascinated by the footwear of the Philippines’ controversial former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. 960 1280

Mark Holloway / iStock / Getty Images  

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Arrive at Shangri-La’s secluded Boracay Resort & Spa on a speed boat. Guests can choose to stay in one of the resort’s 219 rooms, suites or villas -- all with a spacious balcony and some with a stunning oceanfront view. Don’t pass up being pampered at Chi, The Spa, or using the resort’s health club, tennis court, dive center or swimming pool, one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the country. 960 1280

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa  

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Commonly referred to by Filipinos as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces carved into the mountains in the Ifugao Province of the Philippines. Locals still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces despite the steady decrease in number of young farmers. We also recommend take a fun road trip to the Batad Rice Terraces. 960 1280

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Cebu

Cebu

Cebu is an island province in the Philippines, consisting of the island itself and 167 surrounding islands. It is one of the most developed provinces, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry. In 2007, Conde Nast Traveler named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region. Cebu is also a great spot for shopping. We recommend shopping at local markets like the Carbon Market or Tabo-an Market. 960 1280

Tom Cockrem / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Snorkeling in Cebu

Snorkeling in Cebu

Spend hours snorkeling and exploring the marine life along the coast of Cebu. Mactan Island and Moalboal Cebu are some of the best spots for an underwater adventure to explore the 4-armed chocolate, blue linckia starfish, black sea urchin, manta rays, barracuda, whalesharks and beautiful coral gardens. 960 1280

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Rizal Park

Rizal Park

Take a stroll through Rizal Park, a historical urban park located along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. This iconic park consists of open lawns, lush gardens, paved walks and wooded areas with monuments that recognize national Filipino heroes like Jose Rizal. On Sundays, locals and visitors can sit back and listen to live entertainment, for free, in the open-air auditorium as part of the Concert at the Park series. 960 1280

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Sensual Spa Treatment

Sensual Spa Treatment

There’s no better way to unwind and relax than to hit the spa for a therapeutic massage to help release the stress sitting in those tight muscles and joints. From a hot stone massage to foot reflex therapy, the Philippines have a several resorts that have their in-house spas and services that cater to its guests’ needs. 960 1280

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SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

Go shopping at the SM Mall of Asia! Located in Bay City, Pasay, this mega-sized mall attracts about 200,000 people every day, and it is one of the largest malls in the world. If you still have satisfied your shopping fix after visiting the SM Mall of Asia (pictured); then you can’t miss out on shopping at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Philippines. It’s the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world. 960 1280

Roberto Verzo, flickr  

White Beach

White Beach

Welcome to one of the finest, stretches of white-sand beachfront in the world. Lined with coconut palms, White Beach -- located on Boracay Island -- is 3 miles long and has a strip of bars, restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops that cater to millions of tourists. The beach is divided into 3 sections from north to south: stations 1, 2 and 3. Station 1 has the widest stretch of sand with pricey hotels. Station 2 is the place to be for eating and shopping, and the Station 3 is the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax. 960 1280

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Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge
The British firm, Dorman Long and Co Ltd. of Middlebrough, built and designed the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It’s the tallest steel arch bridge, and the 5th longest spanning-arch bridge in the world. The Bridge opened in 1932. Adventurous travelers can climb the bridge. Prices range from $200 to $300, depending on the day of the week and time of day.
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Koala Park Sanctuary

Koala Park Sanctuary

Cuddle with a koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary, a safe environment for these friendly, furry creatures, since 1930. More than 70 years ago, founder Noel Burnet decided to create the sanctuary after a high numbers of koalas were killed for the large export fur trade. Visitors can learn about the koala and see them living in the rainforest, eucalyptus groves and gardens, with other Australian native animals and birds. 960 1280
Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park
This large park, named after London’s Hyde Park, was once the hot spot for rugby games, boxing matches, horse racing and cricket. Located on the eastern side of Sydney’s central business district, Hyde Park’s centerpiece is the Archibald Fountain, designed by Francois Leon Sicard. Take a stroll through the park’s northern end to see the Nagoya Gardens, which features a giant outdoor chess set.
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Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower
The Sydney Tower is the city’s tallest free-standing structure and the second tallest in Australia. Make sure you go to the top of the 1,014-foot tower for a great view of the city. Afterwards, shop at some of the stores located at the base of the popular tourist attraction.
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Sydney Olympic Stadium/ANZ Stadium

Sydney Olympic Stadium/ANZ Stadium

Sydney Olympic Stadium
ANZ Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park, hosts national rugby games and also hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics. It holds 110,000 spectators, making it the largest Olympic Stadium ever built as well as the largest stadium in Australia. We suggest tourists check out Olympic Park., and take advantage of dozens of outdoor activities offered, including extreme biking on the BMX and Mountain X Monster track.
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Sydney Harbor

Sydney Harbor

Sydney Harbor
Sydney Harbor, also called Port Jackson, is located on the East Coast of Australia. It’s also the location of the famous Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. You may not know it, but there are several islands inside the harbor, including Shark Island, Cockatoo Island and Berry Island.
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Cronulla Beach

Cronulla Beach

Cronulla Beach
Catch some sun on Cronulla Beach, located on Bate Bay. This beach is the birthplace for the first surf club in Australia. The Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club, established in 1907, is one of the largest and strongest clubs dedicated to providing beach safety and rescue.
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Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art lovers should visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the 4th largest museum in Australia. It’s free to get into the general admission space, which displays Australian, European and Asian art.
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David Han, Flickr   

Coogee Tidal Pool

Coogee Tidal Pool

Coogee Pool
Visit Coogee, a beachside suburb of Sydney. Take a refreshing dip into the Coogee Tidal Pool, just inches away from the beach.
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Brent Pearson, Flickr  

Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park
Get up-close and personal with some of Australia’s indigenous animals, including wombats, death adders, kangaroos, cockatoos, dragons, dingo, crocodiles, flying fox bats and more! The Australian Reptile Park offers tours and children’s parties, too.
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Australian Reptile Park  

Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory
Located on Observatory Hill, the Sydney Observatory is a fun museum where visitors can observe the stars and planets at night, through a modern telescope and a historic telescope, built in 1874.
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Greg O'Beirne, Wikimedia Commons  

Sydney Wildlife World

Sydney Wildlife World

Sydney Wildlife World
It’s more than just a zoo; it’s Australia’s most unique park. Wild Life Sydney has interactive displays, entertaining shows, daily-feeding sessions and close encounters with some of the most loved and feared animals that call Australia home. Wild Life Sydney is located on Darling Harbor, next to the Sydney Aquarium.
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Wild Life Sydney  

Vanucluse House

Vanucluse House

Vanucluse House
Visit the Vanucluse House if visiting historic sites suits your travel taste. It’s one of the most treasured estates, and it has picturesque gardens and grounds stretching down to Sydney Harbor. The sandstone mansion, built in the 1830s, was the home of barrister and explorer William Charles Wentworth and his family.
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Richard Scholz,Wikimedia Commons  

19 Photos
Coachella Valley Music & Art festival

Coachella Valley Music & Art festival

The 3-day festival known as the Coachella Valley Music & Art festival is held each April in Indio, CA. Past performances have featured Madonna, Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix and Arcade Fire, to name a few.
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Pitchfork Music Festival

Pitchfork Music Festival

A Chicago summer staple, the Pitchfork Music Festival brought its music to Paris in 2011. The 2-day festival took place in La Grande Halle de la Villette with more than 20 bands and DJs providing the entertainment. 960 1280

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Jam in the Dam

Jam in the Dam

Every March, Jam in the Dam rocks the Melkweg, a venue right off the Leidseplein, a vibrant city square in Amsterdam. With a liberal door policy, the venue allows music-goers to wander the cafes and galleries of the Leidseplein before or during the concerts. 960 1280

Sam Friedman  

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has grown exponentially since its launch in 2000. The festival brings over 40 international and local artists together, making it "Africa's Grandest Gathering." 960 1280

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Festival Internacional de Benicassim

Festival Internacional de Benicassim

The Festival Internacional de Benicassim, better known as FIB, is a 4-day long festival in Benicassim, a small Spanish beach town located between Valencia and Barcelona. Ranging from electro, pop, indie and rock, the music starts at night and goes on through the morning. 960 1280

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Jam Cruise

Jam Cruise

By taking the music to the seas, Jam Cruise makes the music festival a full-blown vacation. When you set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, enjoy all the amenities of a cruise and see your favorite jam bands while making stops in locales like Mexico and the Bahamas. 960 1280

Dave Vann  

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

The 4-day festival features a wide variety of acts and occurs each year in Manchester, TN. Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z have all performed in the past.
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Jeff Gentner/Getty Images  

Big Day Out Festival

Big Day Out Festival

An overall look at the Big Day Out Festival at the Sydney Showground in Australia. The festival travels to several cities in Australia and New Zealand each year.
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Amos Chapple  

Summer Sonic

Summer Sonic

Fans cheer at the 2009 Summer Sonic music festival held each year in Chiba and Osaka Japan. Beyonce, Green Day and Taylor Swift have all performed in recent years. 960 1280

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (Japan Entertainment Society)  

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits

70,000 people attend the 3-day festival in Texas each year, which features over 130 different acts from all over the world. 960 1280

Gary Miller  

Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival

Fans watch performers on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in England. 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of what has become the largest music festival in Europe. Coldplay, the Who, Neil Young, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder have all performed here. 960 1280

Matt Cardy/Getty Images  

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Head to Chicago's historic Grant Park for a 3-day, ultimate jam session featuring artists from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip-hop.
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New Orleans Jazz & Hertiage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Hertiage Festival

Jazz Fest is held in New Orleans in the end of April/beginning of May each year. In addition to local performers, past performers have included James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Tony Bennett and Dave Matthews Band. 960 1280

Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images  

Roskilde Festival

Roskilde Festival

Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley performs during the 2008 Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark. Jack Johnson, Kanye West and Bob Dylan are all recent performers. 960 1280

Reuters/Jens Norgaard Larsen/Scanpix Denmark  

Sasquatch! Music Festival

Sasquatch! Music Festival

Fans gather at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA, to see the Sasquatch! Music Festival. Vampire Weekend, Miike Snow, MGMT, Mumford and Sons and Kid Cudi all played at the 2010 festival. 960 1280

ozmafan through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

Splendour in the Grass

Splendour in the Grass

Festivalgoers watch The Vaccines perform at the Splendour in the Grass music festival in Woodford, Australia. 960 1280

Chris Hyde/Getty Images  

Summerfest

Summerfest

A view of fans attending the 2010 Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. In 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records certified the festival as the world's largest. The 11-day festival features 700 bands and starts the last Thursday in June. 960 1280

Sean Hackbarth through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

South by Southwest

South by Southwest

Held each March, the festival attracts over 2,000 performers who play in more than 90 venues in downtown Austin over 4 days. 960 1280

Gary Miller  

Primavera Sound Festival

Primavera Sound Festival

Fans at the 2008 Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. The White Stripes, Lou Reed, the Smashing Pumpkins and the Pixies have all performed here in the past. 960 1280

maccosta through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Australia’s balmy nights just got cooler atop this rooftop oasis in Perth. You’ll have the Perth city skyline in the background while watching popular releases and cult classics. The scene at Rooftop Movies has a retro-Miami Beach feel complete with palm trees, astro turf, a series of vintage caravans from which food and drinks are served, beach chairs to lounge in and hundreds of pink flamingoes. 960 1280

Jarrad Seng  

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Chicago?s Millennium Park is already an impressive sight, even without its new state-of-the-art 40-by-23-foot LED movie screen. The park?s latest high-tech attraction draws both Chicagoans and tourists alike to spread a blanket out on the Great Lawn for its Summer Film Series. 960 1280

  

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Past meets future at Mirage City Cinema, with ancient Sharjah architecture in the backdrop of a modern open-air movie projection. Floor carpets, which were traditionally used in Arab cultures for relaxing, are scattered throughout the courtyard, adding to the laid-back atmosphere of the outdoor cinema space. 960 1280

Buro Ole Scheeren   

Cine Thisio -- Athens

Cine Thisio -- Athens

It has to be a surreal experience to have ancient Greek ruins in the background as you watch a summer blockbuster. Built in 1935, Cine Thisio is the oldest outdoor movie theater in Athens, with impressive views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon just beyond. 960 1280

Basil Koutroumani  

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

After a meal in Baltimore's Little Italy, stay for " Cinema al Fresco ," one of Little Italy's most popular events, now in its 16th year. Movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant, and you’ll see all the Italian-themed classics from Moonstruck to Cinema Paradiso. 960 1280

VisitBaltimore.com  

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Watch movies by moonlight with the Space Needle and the starry skies as the backdrop to Seattle’s summer Movies at the Mural. Picnic on the Mural Amphitheatre lawn, in front of a giant, state-of-the-art, 45-foot screen. 960 1280

shelmac, Flickr  

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

It’s no surprise that beach-loving Australians watch movies on the beach, too. Watch a film at Open Air Cinema amid views of Australia's most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Before the show begins, grab some gourmet food and drinks from a festival bar and listen to local musicians, then settle in for a full night of beachside entertainment. 960 1280

Phil Whitehouse, Flickr  

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

As in ancient times, the open-air theaters of Greece are still a part of the country’s cultural life -- and a popular way to spend a summer night. Enjoy a big fat Greek movie (at least one with Greek subtitles, anyway) at the outdoor Kamari Cinema on the Greek island of Santorini. 960 1280

Courtesy of Kamari Cinema  

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder's Outdoor Cinema is a popular summer night tradition for many outdoors lovers. While waiting for the sun to set and the movie to begin, enjoy local musicians and a trivia contest.  960 1280

Michael Totays  

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

Located at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, St. George OpenAir Cinema offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour.  The movie screen literally rises out of Sydney Harbour. No need to pack a blanket and a picnic basket; this cinema has stadium seating and its own bars and restaurants. 960 1280

Sarah Rhodes  

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

How can a summer night in Paris get any more romantic? Perhaps by watching a French film on a blanket at the Parc de la Villette with a Parisian picnic of cheese, baguette and wine. 960 1280

A. Legrai  

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Every summer Barcelona’s locals gather at the moat area at Montjuic Castle to watch classic and current movies. It wouldn’t be a Spanish night without a little music, so enjoy live music like bossa nova and flamenco before the movie starts.  960 1280

SalaMontjuïc  

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Watching a film at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is sure to be unforgettable -- this is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Thanks to Mother Nature, the design of the amphitheatre consists of two 300-foot monoliths -- a dramatic backdrop for movie night. 960 1280

Paul Maynard  

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film buffs gather in beautiful Bay Area parks like Dolores Park for Film Night in the Park. This year's 23st season offers crowd favorites from Up to Silver Linings Playbook. 960 1280

  

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

The tourists might take over the National Mall in the summer, but Washingtonians take it back for the summer movie series Screen on the Green. Each event in the series attracts approximately 15,000 Washingtonians (tourist are allowed, too). Arrive early with blankets to picnic on the Mall and enjoy one of DC’s most popular summer nights out. 960 1280

Erin M, Flickr  

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

London's Somerset House, a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of London near the River Thames, offers a dramatic backdrop to watch a movie under the summer night stars. Tourists and locals alike rank Film4 Summer Screen as one of the city's best things to do in the summer.   960 1280

James Bryant  

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