A country, a continent, and an island, Australia is also synonymous with beaches. There are 30,000 km of coastline and 10,685 beaches on Mainland Australia, according to the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney. The mainland is touched by multiple oceans and seas; the Indian Ocean on its west coast; the South Pacific to the east; the Arafura and Timor seas; the Coral Sea; the Great Australian Bight; Bass Strait; and the Tasman Sea. To make sure that Australians and tourists alike can make the most of the coast treasure
because there are no privately-owned beaches in Australia. Many popular coastal beaches are patrolled by the world famous volunteers of the Surf Life Saving.
While renowned surf breaks and the Great Barrier Reef dominate images of Australia’s coast, they only reflect a small part of Australia’s salty and freshwater treasures. From mangroves, to lush sand beaches and rocky cliffs, there are exquisite swimming, fishing, diving, and watercraft options around the country, each flavoured by the regional variances. Less known, yet equally spectacular, are Australia’s lakes, rivers, streams and other inland waterways. There are approximately 200 lakes in Australia. Due to the mainland’s unique climate and geography, few lakes are glacier. Many freshwater lakes are ephemeral and often change from flooded to dry.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) all major freshwater lakes are artificial, providing water recreational opportunities for the community and visitors. There is also a large number of creeks, streams and ponds, all adding to the liveability of Australia’s national capital, Canberra. Many of these offer great swimming spots for the hot summer days. Under water quality testing programs, the National Capital Authority and the ACT Government provide information so that the public can find a swimmable site close by.
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