Australia Edge of Paradise ,The Australian coast,which forms the border of the world;s only island continent is incredibly diverse,environmentally rich,culturally significant and stunningly beautiful in all its part.The coast line stretches 35877 kilometres. Offshore lie 8500 territorial islands,which when included in the total ,brings the length of the Australian coastline to an impressive 60 000 kilometres.What we refer to so simply as the coast incorporates 10 000 mainland beaches and countless coves,inlets,points,peninsulas,estuary openings,harbours,reefs and rock shelves.It includes the sultry mangrove inlets of the far north,the palm fringed island of the tropics,the iconic all Australian foreshores of the Pacific,with their rolling waves,yellow sands and balmy climes,the wave-battered cliffs fronting the Southern Ocean,and the blue-green water and white-sand coves of the
Indian Ocean.The coast's great beauty competes with -but never overshadows-an extraordinary rich ecology. On the Great Barrier Reef alone,1500 species of fish dart across cities of brilliant coral;in the south huge colonies of plump seals haul-out on rocky islands;and in the west,the world's largest fish cruises the shallows,unfazed by the small bands of curious divers that occasionally drift by.Beyond its exquisite beauty and natural wonder,the coast is a place of cultural significance. The bush and outback may be the source of many myth but it is the coast that overwhelmingly dominates contemporary life and thought. With expectation of Canberra all Australia's capital cities are located on the coast. The bulk of the Australian population,around 95 percent,live within an hour's drive of the beach. Australians holiday on the coast,retire there and engage in fantasies about dropping out of the mainstream society and leading a simpler life in Byron Bay, Broadbeach or Barwon Heads. The rest of the world understands what it is to be Australian through the images of beaches that appear in television soaps and films and,enticingly,on travel posters;ask a non - Australian to describe and the phrase sun,surf and sans will figure prominently
.For many,the Australian coastline is much a state of mind as it is a location.For holiday-make,the coastline is avast and limitless pleasure ground.It caters to every level of fitness,interest,ability,budget and inclination.It offers every possible kind of Holiday experience,from a sojourn at an international -style resort,to a week in a tent in a national park campground.It is for children,couples,singles and elderly.Overseas visitors take to it passionately;local spend their lives in a constant state of gravitational pull towards it,knowing that for however long they live and far they travel,there will always be another beach to explore,another dune to clamber across,another headland to stand upon.