8 Ways to Celebrate Australian Heritage WeekApril 17, 2014

On April 12-20, Australia will commemorate the Australian Heritage Week. 

It's a week overload with events, both fun and stimulating. The aim is to visit those places that make Australia special. There are eight ways to do it:

Explore the South Channel Fort. Located in Port Phillip, Victoria, this artificial island was once a means of defensive strategy to protect and control access by sea to Port Phillip and Melbourne and Geelong, both of which were settlements back then. It's a popular diving site nowadays, thanks to the rocks comprising the fort. Coloured sponges and soft corals can be seen, but there are also invertebrates, keeping the marine life alive. The fort is also significant from a historical perspective, with remnants of original military equipment still found there.

Frolic at the Mornington Peninsula. There are a variety of beaches, both sheltered and open sea, in this byland, making it a popular natural attraction. Then there's the Endeavour Fern Gully, which offers visitors a glimpse of the original natural environment of the Mornington Peninsular. It includes natural habitats and wetlands, providing sanctuary for birds and vegetative species that are indigenous to the place.

Enjoy the seaside at Rye. The bay beach in this part of Victoria never fails to captivate locals and visitors alike. On a cloudy day, the seascape comes to life, enticing anyone to take the plunge. But a sunny afternoon is the best time to see the bay, preferably on a yacht. Rye is also a popular destination for kite surfers.

Relive the past at Port Nepean. Named after colonial administrator Sir Evan Nepean, this part of Portsea has a storied past, with evidence of aboriginal settlement dating back to 40,000 years. There are also fortifications, built on 1878 onwards. If they can only talk.

Set foot in Churchill Island. Within this 50.7 hectare isle is the first European-like garden in Victoria. Gazing at the lawn, quaint houses, and wooden carriages is like travelling back through time, to that period when the landscape of Australia is no different from Great Britain. How romantic.

Remembering our forefathers in Sullivan Bay. What visitors see in Collins settlement are dated structures that can be considered as priceless. This is where the settlers from Britain and the rest of the continent try to establish a permanent settlement, as Sullivan Bay, sixty kilometers south of Melbourne, once played a key link in the expansion of colony of New South Wales.

Stay at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Reserve. Adjacent to this historical dwelling are wetlands, where birdwatchers can view the ibises. There are also woodlands, where visitors can do nature walks and spot a koala or two. A wildlife sanctuary that is, which a two-storey brick house can (silently) attest.

Visit that other homestead at Mount Martha. Another historical structure, which is the one of the reasons to come to this other part of Victoria. The panorama of Mount Marta Beach is the reward awaiting visitors, which they'll talk about long after their visit. The turquoise waters is also a delight, so lovely that it can lure anyone to its fine sands.

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