Planning to vacation in Australia this year? Here's some good news. The Australian government has announced that Indian nationals can apply for a visitor visa to Australia online July 1, 2017 onwards. The announcement was made by assistant minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke, who also said that the online application will not only make the process faster, but also adds on to the convenience.
"Online lodgement for visitor visa applications is a significant enhancement that will benefit Indian applicants seeking to visit Australia as tourists or business visitors,or those wanting to reconnect with family and friends," the Press Trust of India quoted Hawke as saying.
The online process also offers various benefits like 24/7 accessibility, through which the applicants can make payments from the comforts of their homes and also check the status of their application in minutes without the hassles of standing in long and seemingly never-ending queues.
While the United States and Europe have been extremely popular tourist destinations for Indians in the last few years, Australia is fast coming up as a preferred holiday location and in the first four months of 2017, the department of immigration and border protection is said to have approved over 65,000 visitor visas to Indian nationals.
So now that your visa woes are sorted and you can soon plan your much-awaited trip, here are five things we recommend you do in Oz, apart from the usual Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and the pristine beaches.
If the concrete jungle in cities and its hustle bustle have given you an eye sore, this is just what you need. About 100 metres above sea level, Lake McKenzie on Frazer Island in Queensland is composed of white silica. The pristine water in the lake that will soothe your core is said to be so pure that it is unsuitable for some species.
Ashcombe hedge maze
The Ashcombe hedge maze is one of the oldest and most famous mazes. The hedge was planted about 40 years ago and now stands at over 3 metres high and 2 metres thick. Built from perfectly trimmed and manicured Cupresses macrocarpa plants, the maze takes up quite a bit of the 25-acre area that Ashcombe occupies.
The challenge of the Ashcombe Hedge Maze is to find four mosaic flags in the two halves of the maze.
One of the most interesting thing to do during your trip to Australia is visit the Magnetic Hill near Peterborough. The magnet like structure by the road has been a matter of intrigue for a long time as a car set in neutral around the structure starts to roll uphill, reported Atlas Obscura.
The Giant Stairway
The Giant Stairway is a series of steps either made of metal or carved out of rocks that take you from the Jamison Valley to the Three Sisters rock formation. The Giant Stairway has about 800 steps built at a height of about 300 meters, about 1,000 feet.
The Horizontal Falls, popularly called the Horries, is a natural phenomenon on the coast of the Kimberly region. Also called "One of the greatest wonders of the natural world" the fall reverses every time the tide changes direction.