21 April 2010

Red Centre goes green in time for Australian tourism season

Australia’s famous Red Centre, where Uluru is located, is fast turning from ochre-red sands to shades of green.

Australian Visa

Australia's Red Centre, usually dry and sandy like this picture, has been turned a rare green colour after spectacular rains in the region.

Alice Springs and the surrounding regions have received more rain in the first two months of the year than for the whole of 2009, and grasses and wildflowers have sprung up in what could be an excellent time for Australian tourism.

All overseas tourists to Australia, unless that have an Australian or New Zealand passport, must have an Australian Travel Visa. The most popular of these visas is the ETA visa, or Electronic Travel Authority, which allows the holder to enter Australia for tourism purposes for up to three months. The ETA visa can also be quickly and easily applied for online.

Local tourism operator, Shane Fewtrell of Trek Larapinta, told Tourism Australia while Australia’s Red Centre was a brilliant place to visit any time this season was quite special, with the usual red chasms and ochre-coloured gorge walls also featuring water and unique wildflowers and grasses.

“The rivers have been significantly flushed and the waterholes look great – they will last throughout the winter season now and look spectacular throughout,” he said.

“A lot of birds and animals here are opportunistic breeders with the rains, so some will be breeding now, but come September, when there will still be water around, it will be a real boom time, especially for birds.” 

Fewtrell’s company specialises in leading treks along the Larapinta Trail, an iconic 22-day walk along the ridge of the West MacDonnell Ranges outside of Alice Springs.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian immigration applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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