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    Iconic Australia: The Must See Sights

    Many people dream of a trip to the outback. The carefree and laid back vibe of Australia is the ideal location for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. There are some things so intrinsically Australian that you simply can't miss them when you go. Here are some of those sites sure to inspire your travel wanderlust.

    The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

    A trip to Australia simply isn't complete without seeing the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The reef contains a wealth of marine life and is made up of over 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays.1 Popular with tourists, the Great Barrier Reef offers opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, cruise ship tours, whale watching, swimming with dolphins and educational trips.

    The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

    At 243 kms (approximately 150 miles)2, The Great Ocean Road is arguably one of the most scenic drives in the world. The narrow traffic lanes hug the coast and supply ample opportunities for breathtaking views of the ocean, cliffs and rainforest. While the drive alone is worth it, there are numerous beaches and towns along the way worth a visit as well.

    Kakadu National Park, Darwin

    Located in Australia's tropical north, Kakadu National Park is the largest terrestrial national park in Australia covering 20,000 square kilometers.3 The park is managed by an Aboriginal majority that represents the traditional owners – the Bininj Mungguy clan. Kakadu is full of culture; generations of Bininj Mungguy have cared for and lived on the land for thousands of years and Kakadu is listed as a World Heritage site as one of the oldest living societies on earth.4

    Uluru, Northern Territory

    Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of Australia's Northern Territory. The rock was created over 600 million years ago and is 1,141 feet high. However the rock extends several miles into the ground as well, which means it's even bigger than what can be seen.5 Uluru is a sacred rock to the local Pitjantjatjara tribe that lives there. Many tribes in the area believe Uluru was created at the beginning of time by 10 ancestors of the Aboriginal people. 6

    Sydney Opera House, Sydney

    Likely the most well-known building in Australia, the Sydney Opera House represents the creative and technical achievements of its country. It took 16 years to build and 4 years alone for engineers to figure out how to create the complex (and now iconic) roof sails. The Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece of modern architecture, design, and engineering.7 As an integral part of Australia, the Sydney Opera House boasts a performing arts venue, concert hall, opera and drama theaters, a playhouse and a studio. Many of the world's top performers have graced the stages of the Sydney Opera House.

    1: http://www.greatbarrierreef.org/
    2: http://www.downundr.com/tips-and-tricks/top-ten-destinations
    3: http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/kakadu-national-park
    4: http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/kakadu-national-park/culture-and-history
    5: http://uluru-australia.com/about-uluru/uluru-facts/
    6: http://uluru-australia.com/about-uluru/aboriginal-uluru-dreamtime/
    7: http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/sydney-opera-house

    Hurricane Season Travel Tips

    Hurricane Season Travel Tips

    Being aware of hurricane season and what that means for your travel plans is important. Hurricane season is officially here again, running from June 1st to November 30th in the Atlantic, and from May 15th to November 30th in the Eastern Pacific1.

    To help prepare yourself during storm season (hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorms), what precautions should you take when planning your summer travels?

    Plan Ahead
    Review your resort/hotel/vacation home's evacuation procedures and know where you need to go and how to get there in the event of a tropical storm, severe weather or tornado.

    Monitor Weather Conditions
    Pay attention to the daily weather forecast. If the words "evacuation" or "take cover" are mentioned, take them seriously and get to a shelter. If you have time to evacuate before a forecasted storm hits, or need assistance departing as soon as possible in the aftermath of a storm, call Travel Guard for assistance in getting home safely.

    Contact Family
    If you are evacuated to an emergency shelter, contact family or friends at home to let them know your status/location and what's going on. Chances are your loved ones have heard about the inclement weather and are wondering if you are ok. It is likely that cell phone networks will be overloaded with people trying to reach family members but a text message may get through if you're having trouble making a call.

    Get Updates
    Consider bringing a small radio or Smartphone with you to the shelter or basement to listen for weather updates or when the "all clear" is given. You may want to purchase a battery-operated charger so you can keep your phone charged even if the power goes out.

    Always read the terms of your policy before purchasing to make sure the plan you've selected includes the weather coverage you're seeking, as coverage varies by plan. (Need assistance? Call our World Service Center anytime at 800.826.1300; they'll be glad to help you.)

    1: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

    Where in the World?

    Where in the World June

    Where in the world can you find this unique building?

    This building is known as the Beehive and is located in Wellington, New Zealand. It's one of New Zealand's most recognizable buildings and houses the Executive Wing of the parliamentary complex. The Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers all have offices in the Beehive.

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