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Mike's Australia

branches. Waterfalls cascade down rocks. Tree ferns tower above your head and
ancient cycads line your path.
The forest birds are as colourful as the butterflies. Many have the raucous voices
that film producers like to use in their jungle movies. It's not difficult to picture Tarzan
and Jane swinging on jungle creepers.
Tropical rainforest begins near Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales and
patches dot the coastal mountains all the way to Cape York Peninsular. You can visit
rainforest from the Gold Coast, Mackay, Airlie Beach, Hinchinbrook, Cairns and
Daintree to name a few places . For more detailed information, surf the net using tags:
rainforest, Australia, World Heritage, National Parks.
5 Beach
Whether you are into marine sports or just want to laze around and relax, you
will love our beaches. There are awesome opportunities for wave surfing, wind
surfing, kite surfing, kayaking, jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming
and much more.
The golden sands, fringed with palm trees, are what dreams are made of but have
their hazards. Bear in mind that it's not healthy to sun bake, drowning is bad for you,
jellyfish sting, sharks bite and crocodiles kill.
Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world . When I was a divemaster, my gear
for supervising dives from boats was dark blue cotton shirt, jeans and a wide-brimmed
army hat. I applied sun screen to every inch of bare flesh including the tops of my bare
feet. A fellow divemaster of Maori ancestry took a good tan but was equally diligent.
He had an uncle who died of skin cancer. It's not just fair-skinner northern Europeans
who are at risk.
The golden rule for swimmers is "swim between the flags". Our tourist beaches are
patrolled by lifesavers and they put out flags. You will find surf lifesaving clubs in most
coastal communities, sometimes within a kilometre of one another.
The main beaches are protected by shark nets and it is easy to think you are safe
everywhere. You are not. I vividly recall a trip to the far northern gulf country. I went
for a stroll down the beach and my family went for a paddle . The sea was flat and
everything seemed safe to my over-relaxed mind. Then I saw a fin in the muddy
water. A wave took it towards me and a sizeable shark was deposited at my feet.
Although in the shallows, the ferocious animal propelled itself at me, jaws snapping .
My heart missed a beat and I sprinted back to my family, yelling for them to get out of
the water.
In remote tropical areas, crocodiles are a real risk. Signs warning you about the big
amphibian are not put up as a tourist gimmick. There are laws to stop us killing them
but no effective legislation to stop them eating us.
The other big hazard is the box jellyfish. I'm not talking about its cousin, the
bluebottle or Portuguese man-of-war, which merely imparts a nasty sting . The box