The Land Down Under

Australia has an interesting history. Many people have been told that when the British first began settling in Australia, it was in order to establish a penal colony for the worst of the worst criminals who were considered to be irredeemable and immoral and therefore held no place in England. This, however, is an erroneous image that distorts the actual purpose of resettling prisoners from their overcrowded English prisons.

It was agreed that it would be a terrible and great waste of money to take the worst dregs of society, ship them halfway around the world and then to create a penitentiary to once again imprison them. While it is true that some criminals were sentenced to Australia, many of them were convicted of minor crimes and were either farmers or skilled tradesmen. They were often sentenced to a 7-year prison term (which was considered the necessary length of time to establish a settlement) but were often pardoned early and allotted parcels of land. Thus began the settling of English citizens in Australia, beginning in 1788.

Now, almost two and a half centuries later, Australia is a very different country. It is one of the leading nations in the world and presents many wonderful natural attractions as well as some of the most beautiful architecture and man-made structures to be found in the world today. Perhaps their centerpiece in terms of construction is the famous Sydney Opera House, but the Melbourne City Center and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also masterpieces of human inspiration and creativity.

In direct contrast to the sophisticated and refined cultures of the great cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Cairns, some of the most incredible and amazing natural wonders are also to be discovered in Australia. Home to kangaroos, duck-billed platypuses, the Great Barrier Reef, and the immense Outback, it should come as no surprise that Australia also attracts more than its fair share of scientists and nature lovers.

As an international hospitality executive, Patrick Imbardelli has been to most spots in the world and even he will admit that Australia is a unique wonder that must be seen to be truly treasured. From people to landscapes, there is much to enjoy and appreciate in the great Land Down Under!