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Australia - Sport and Fitness

Sport is one of the favourite pastimes in Australia and as many expats move there to take advantage of the more active outdoor life there are plenty of opportunities, no matter which sports you prefer. The excellent climate means that many outdoor sports can be played for most of the year and schools in Australia attach a lot of importance to sports both as part of the day and for extra-curricular activities.

There are a number of sports at which the Australians are considered to excel and one of these is Rugby. There are three versions of this sport: Rugby Union, Rugby League and Australian Rules. Teams in Australia work very hard at all versions of rugby and most areas have local amateur teams and leagues. Cricket is another popular sport in the country and the national team is considered to be one of the best in the world. Soccer has not yet caught on in the way that rugby and cricket have but it is becoming more popular and there are teams all over the country.

Golf is another sport which is increasing in popularity and clubs around the country sell the equipment and provide lessons for beginners. Australia is home to a number of world class golf courses and some of the best in the country date back many years. The Royal Melbourne golf course came into being in 1931 and is often ranked as the number one course in the country. This is closely followed by Kingston Heath which dates back to 1925 and the New South Wales golf course which began life in 1928 but has been altered many times over the years. The course at Barnbougle Dunes is a recent addition, having been created in 2004 and the Royal Adelaide course is one of the oldest, dating back to 1904.

Team sports are not the only ones which are attractive to the residents of Australia. With the good climate and the excellent beaches, all types of water sports are available. Surfing is a sport that can be enjoyed throughout the year in many areas of the country and there are regular competitions held on some of the beaches. Swimming is also increasingly popular and many towns have a swimming pool. Swimming in the sea is another sport which attracts many people though care should be taken to swim in areas where it is deemed safe.

For something that requires a little less energy, fishing can be done at sea or along one of the many rivers. Again, it is important to stay in areas that are deemed safe, particularly in remote areas.

Most people will not be aware that skiing is an option in Australia as it has the image of one of the hottest countries in the world. However, there are a number of ski resorts in the country and ever increasing numbers of holiday makers go there each year. Thredbo is one of the most popular ski resorts and has been attracting holiday makers for more than half a century. The village is home to more than 200 people and each year there are more than a million tourists who choose to holiday there. Even when there is no snow, there are plenty of activities to keep people happy. Charlotte Pass is a resort which dates back even further and has the distinction of being the highest ski resort in the country. This resort also enjoys more natural snow than other resorts, which have to rely on fake snow from time to time. One of the largest ski resorts is Falls Creek, which can be found in the north eastern part of Victoria. Other activities in the ski resorts include snowboarding and climbing.

Becoming a member of a gym is another option for those who are looking for an active lifestyle and there are many gym chains for you to consider. Those who are residents of the UK will recognise names like Fitness First and most large towns and cities in Australia have at least one gym. An increasing number of hotels are adding gymnasium facilities which are often available to local residents for a fee.

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