Five awesome Australian places to visit in autumn


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Five awesome Australian places to visit in autumn

In a country full of the muted silvers and evergreens, where do you go if you've a yen for the cooling weather and fiery colours of autumn? We take a tour of five beautiful Australian places to go in autumn.

Turning of the Fagus, Tasmania

The whole of the Apple Isle takes on quite a different flavour in autumn with introduced trees and shrubs garlanding gardens. Towns like Ross and the banks of the Derwent are bathed in oranges, reds and goldsi.

However, the true charm of Tasmania in autumn lies in the spectacle known as the "Turning of the Fagus"ii. Every April to May, pockets of wilderness-Tasmania erupt in riotous colour as Australia's only native cold-climate deciduous tree prepares for winteriii.

The Apple Isle shows its true colours of red, gold and orange in autumn.

A relic from the Gondwana age, the Fagus, a kind of beech, can be found in cool, damp places like Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and Mount Field National Parkii.

Looking for colour? Try Orange

If the name alone doesn't do it, the festivals, the food, the wine and yes, the colour, ought to see you heading for Orange, in NSW's Central West.

The Orange Apple Festival in NSW has all the ingredients for a colourful autumn. Source: Flickr user: Apple and Pear Australia Ltd, https://www.flickr.com/photos/applesnpearsau/, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode), https://www.flickr.com/photos/applesnpearsau/14997409038/

Home to some of Australia's best cool-climate wines and produce as well as a strong food sceneiv, Orange's yearly festival, F.O.O.D Week (Food of Orange District) will celebrate its 25th year from 8 to 17 April this year. There will be the 100-mile dinner under the stars at Molong, a FOOD train departing Sydney, night and Sunday markets, and a mobile feast through vineyards.

From 6 to 8 May you can experience the community cook-up, fun-run and sample free apples from local orchardists at the new Orange Apple Festival. At other times, enjoy farmers markets and the microbreweries, wine bars and wineries - not to mention fine dining - the Orange district is famous forv.

Best of all, the whole district bursts into bright, glaring, fiery colour in autumn as the fruit-trees and vineyards as well as deciduous trees in public and private gardens prepare to lose their leavesvi. Birthplace of two of Australia's greatest poets, A.B. "Banjo" Pattersonvii and Kenneth Slessorviii, Orange is only 3.5 hours drive from Sydney.

Melbourne, autumn's culture capital

When better to visit Australia's capital of culture than autumn? Think Melbourne, think food, wine and fashion.

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Melbourne and its festivals, fashion, food and culture.

March kicks off with the trifecta of Virgin Australia's Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the family-friendly fun of Australia's largest community festival, Moomba.

No matter what your passion, Melbourne in autumn has you covered. Delight in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, experience fast and furious at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and catch a gig at the 30th Melbourne International Comedy Festival running from 17 March to 23 April.

The Pearls of Broome and Cable Beach

If you're one of those people who never want summer to end, but don't like the crowds, autumn is the time to visit Broomeix and one of Trip Advisor's top ten most beautiful Australian beaches for 2016, Cable Beachx.

Take a sunset camel-ride on Cable Beach.

The dry season kicks in from April so the weather is more predictable with clear, sunny days and cooler nightsxi, while stinger season ends in Aprilxii. This makes the perfect combination to relax and enjoy the 22km of white sands and turquoise waters that are Cable Beach, a very short drive from downtown Broomexiii.

The more adventurous can investigate Broome's South Sea Pearl Industry with a trip to a pearl farm, or a history tour of Chinatownxiv. If you're lucky and there's a very low tide you may even find real dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Pointxv.

From March to October witness the "Staircase to the moon" as the full moon rises over Broome's Roebuck Bay. Dates for 2016 can be found here.

For a truly iconic Broome experience, take a camel ride along Cable Beach at sunset. You'll get your autumn colours as the sun setting over the Indian Ocean turns the sky a fiery red-orangexiii.

Cool off at Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory

April to November, encompassing Autumn, is the dry season: it's the perfect time to discover Litchfield National Park, just 100km from Darwinxvi.

Cascade Falls in Litchfield National Park, Source: Flickr user andy_tyler, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_tyler/, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode), https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_tyler/7242098942/

The landscape of monsoon rainforests, waterfalls, creeks and waterholes is more accessible from April onwards and an increasingly popular daytrip for 4-wheel driving, a hike and a dipxvii.

National Parks and Wildlife administers the park and offers guided tours from May to September as part of their Parks Alive program, or you can navigate your visit yourself.

Attractions not to be missed include Florence Falls, Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole, Tjaetaba Falls (a sacred site )xv and the ghostly ruins of Blyth Homestead and its nearby minexix.

There are plenty of places to camp overnight, and nature-lovers will be delighted by visits from wallabies, wallaroos and sugar gliders. It is also home to a colony of the uncommon Orange Horseshoe Batsxx. At the entrance to the park are eerie fields of termite mounds, oriented to the earth's magnetic fields while within the park another species of termite builds huge cathedral mounds, like a giant castle you might build at the beachxxi.



iPfeiffer, C., 2015, '10 things to do in autumn in Tasmania', Travel2Next.com, viewed 4 March 2016,
http://travel2next.com/10-things-to-do-in-autumn-in-tasmania/

iiTourism Tasmania, 2016, 'Turning of the Fagus', discovertasmania.com,
http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/event/turningofthefagus

iiiTasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment, 2013, Deciduous Beech, or Fagus, Nothofagus gunnii, Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania, viewed 4 March
http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=3244

ivDestination NSW, 2016, 'Orange', VisitNSW.com, viewed 29 February 2016,
http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/country-nsw/orange-area/orange

vOrange Visitor Centre, 2014, 'Visit Orange Region NSW Australia', viewed March 1 2016, visitorange.com.au
http://www.visitorange.com.au

viTourism Australia, 2016, 'See Australia in Autumn, Orange', australia.com, viewed March 1 2016,
http://www.australia.com/en-in/places/nsw/orange.html

viiSemmler, C., 2016, 'Patterson, Andrew Barton (Banjo)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2016, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/paterson-andrew-barton-banjo-7972

viiiNational Library of Australia, 'Teacher Resources: Kenneth Slessor's Notebooks', Treasure Explorer, 2016, viewed 1 March 2016,
http://treasure-explorer.nla.gov.au/treasure/kenneth-slessors-notebook/resources

ixTourism Australia, 2016, 'Three Great Days in Broome', australia.com, viewed 1 March 2016,
http://www.australia.com/en-in/itineraries/wa-3days-broome.html

xTrip Advisor 2016, 'Top 25 Beaches Australia', www.tripadvisor.com.au, viewed 9 March 2016,
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Beaches-cTop-g255055

xiBroome Holidays, 2016, 'Broome and the Kimberley, Holiday Specialists: Broome Climate', broome.com.au, viewed 3 March, 2016,
http://www.broome.com.au/broome climate.htm

xiiBroome Shire Council, 2012, 'Stinger Safety', Shire of Broome, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.broome.wa.gov.au/Facilities-Recreation/Beaches/Tropical-Marine-Jellyfish/Stinger-Safety

xiiiAustralia's North West Tourism, 2016, 'Australia's Northwest: Cable Beach, Broome', Australia's North West, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.australiasnorthwest.com/Destinations/The_Kimberley/Broome/cable-beach-broome

xivBroome Visitor Information Centre, 2012, 'Things to do: Broome Experiences, visitbroome.com.au, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.visitbroome.com.au/to-do/tours/broome-experiences

xvAustralia's North West Tourism, 2016, 'Australia's Northwest, Destinations, The Kimberley, Broome, Gantheaume Point', Australia's North West, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.australiasnorthwest.com/Destinations/The_Kimberley/Broome/gantheaume-point

xviNorthern Territory Government, 2016, 'Litchfield National Park', Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, viewed 4 March 2016,
http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/parks/find/litchfield

xviiNorthern Territory Government, Parks and Wildlife Fact Sheet: Litchfield National Park, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, viewed 4 March 2016,
http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/347588/litchfield_national_park_14_web.pdf

xviiiTravel NT, 2016, 'Tjaetaba Falls', Do the NT, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.travelnt.com/en/darwin-and-surrounds/things-to-do/tjaetaba-falls

xixTravel NT, 2016, 'Litchfield National Park', Do the NT, viewed 2 March 2016,
http://www.travelnt.com/en/darwin-and-surrounds/places-to-go/litchfield-national-park

xxNorthern Territory Tourism Central, 'National Parks and Wildlife' 2012,
http://www.nttc.com.au/national-parks-wildlife

xxiLitchfield National Park, 'Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia', litchfieldnationalpark.com, viewed 4 March 2016,
http://www.litchfieldnationalpark.com/magnetic_termite_mounds_litchfield_national_park.htm