Australia is a country known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cities. From iconic landmarks to beautiful beaches, Australia offers a wealth of experiences for travellers of all kinds and budgets.
Each city in Australia is known for its uniqueness. Whether you intend to spend a few days, weeks, or months, in this article, we will show you the best Australian cities to visit during your stay and what to do when you get there.
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Exploring the Vibrant Cities of Australia
Are you a nature lover, a food enthusiast, or a history buff? These cities have a thing or two for you. Below are some of the best cities to visit in Australia.
1. Sydney, New South Wales
First on the list is one of Australia’s most famous cities, Sydney. Known for its modern architectural attraction and sophistication, Sydney is a big country town and comfortable all year round, making it a great option if you enjoy spending time outdoors.
What to See and Do in Sydney:
- Experience the world-famous Bondi Beach: Bondi is the one place you must visit for a beautiful holiday in Sydney by the Beach.
- The Sydney Opera House is the city’s most famous landmark, which means it should be on your must-see list if you enjoy watching live performances and a vibrant culinary scene.
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the perfect scene for picture lovers. The 134-foot-high Harbour Bridge gives you a panoramic view that you can’t help but fall in love with.
- Explore the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia to experience the city’s rich arts scene.
- Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens to experience the city’s best green space.
2. Gold Coast, Queensland
If you are one for outdoor activities, Queensland’s iconic coastal city, Gold Coast, sitting north of the border with New South Wales, is the perfect location for you. This city is known as a surfer’s paradise due to its several surfing spots.
The Gold Coast is also surrounded by tropical rainforests and mangroves, which makes it a sight to behold for nature lovers.
What to See and Do in Gold Coast:
- Gold Coast is quite famous for surfing, as the city boasts some of Australia’s best beaches.
- Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to natural habitats like koalas and kangaroos.
- The city is also famous for its nightlife. There are nightclubs to visit.
- Kids are not left out, with several theme parks and roller coasters to explore.
- You can visit the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which offers cultural walking tours and aboriginal dance performances.
3. Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland and the third-largest city in Australia is another must-visit location in Australia. Located roughly midway through Australia’s Pacific Ocean coastline, Brisbane offers authentic Australian culture with a touch of everything for both indoor and outdoor lovers. Additionally, Brisbane is ideal to visit all year.
What to See and Do in Brisbane:
- Visit the Brisbane River, which flows through the city.
- Be wowed by the Brisbane Skyline Night Panorama by taking a hike up the famous illuminated Story Bridge.
- Get up close with Koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, one of the world’s largest Koala sanctuaries.
- Have a walk or picnic on the South Bank, filled with verdant parks.
- Visit the famous Botanical Garden and Wheel in Queensland, Australia.
4. Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide is home to great museums, arts, and cultural events and is perfect for food, wine, and art lovers. The city is home to several indigenous vineyards and outstanding festivals.
The foodie scene is also a must-experience. Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the giant Central Market boasts of local produce, including fresh fruit, vegetables, smoked meats, artisan cheeses, and even seafood.
What to See and Do in Adelaide:
- Explore the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) to explore an extensive collection of national and local art.
- Experience wine and food tasting in Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, and McLaren, Va, as the city is quite famous for its varieties of wines.
- Visit Port Adelaide for classic Aussie pubs and old wharves.
- The Adelaide Zoo has approximately 1,800 animals, including koalas and kangaroos. The zoo is perfect for kids and animal lovers.
- The South Australian Museum is also a must-visit for art lovers.
- Experience the heartbeat of the city on Rundle Street, which is packed out with edgy boutiques and the city’s best restaurants, cafés, and bars.
5. Melbourne, Victoria
Known as one of Australia’s coolest metropolises, Melbourne is famous for its street art. This city is perfect for food, sports, and art lovers, as you get to experience the best of each world.
Located on Victoria’s beautiful coast, you also get to experience a touch of nature and wildlife. The beautiful city is home to some fantastic cooking from several parts of the world.
What to See and Do in Melbourne:
- Check out the Melbourne Cricket Ground, located in Yarra Park. It’s the largest in the country and one of the largest in the world.
- Visit the National Gallery of Victoria, which is Australia’s oldest art gallery, and explore one of the largest collections of national and international art.
- Enjoy delicious street food at the famous Queen Victoria Market.
- Spend the afternoon and evening in the neighbourhood of St. Kilda, famous for its historic beach.
- Take a sporting pilgrimage to the National Sports Museum and experience the Australian Football League Grand Final and the Australian Open Tennis Championships.
- Be enthralled by the Eureka Tower, where you get a panoramic view of the city. You can also visit the stunning Phillip Island.
6. Cairns, Queensland
Cairns is a breathtaking city that is surrounded by rainforests. Upon arrival, you are sure to find several tourists basking in the beauty of the land. It is also home to the world’s largest coral reef system, which can be seen from outer space due to its size.
There are several things to do in Cairns, and you’ll never lack an activity, even for a day.
What to See and Do in Cairns
- Swim, sail, dive, or take a helicopter ride in or around The Great Barrier Reef.
- Take a 90-minute trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to enjoy the sights of the rainforest.
- Enjoy a stroll in the Cairns Botanic Gardens to bask in the beauty of the vibrant blooms.
- Want some excellent meals? Then visit the Pier Boardwalk, where you get to enjoy meals in high-profile restaurants and top off your experience with designer shopping.
- The Saturday Esplanade market is also a must-see whenever you visit Cairns.
- This city is also perfect for Scuba diving, especially on the Great Barrier Reef.
7. Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the 4th largest city in Australia and the perfect place to visit if you’d like a slow-paced vacation. Located right in the middle of Western Australia’s immersive nature, Perth is the right vacation spot for both nature lovers and city dwellers.
The city is lined with edgy street murals, rooftop bars, galleries, and museums, combined with diverse food, music, and culture.
What to See and Do in Perth:
- Relax at the beautiful sand beach in Cottesloe.
- Pay a visit to The Bell Tower at Barrack Square.
- Cruise along the Swan River in Derbarl Yerrigan.
- Catch sight of Kangaroos at Heirisson Kangaroo Island, home to the Western Grey Kangaroos.
- Take a two-hour drive to the Pinnacles Desert and take pictures of the phenomenal 25,000-year-old rock structures.
- Take a tour around the vineyards in the Swan Valley, where you’ll get to taste several wines and grapes.
8. Darwin, Northern Territory
Known as Australia’s only tropical capital city, with a population of about 150,000, Darwin boasts cultural attractions that will leave you wowed. The city is a great base for exploring the Top End, and you can easily catch a seaplane.
What to See and Do in Darwin:
- Visiting the Darwin Military Museum and having the Defence of Darwin Experience.
- Exploring Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which has a collection of art, including aboriginal art.
- Enjoying indigenous food and crafts at the Mindil Beach market.
- Learn more about the Northern Territory’s aviation history at the famous Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre, where there are aircraft on display.
- Experience the wonders of the mangrove forests in East Point Reserve and book an exciting heli fishing trip in the Top End.
9. Hobart, Tasmania
As one of the oldest cities in Australia, Hobart is home to a rich and captivating history. Found at the entrance to the Derwent River and close to the mountains, Hobart is simply an extraordinary vacation spot.
The city is a perfect haven for wildlife lovers, with award-winning gourmet restaurants, historic buildings, trendy galleries, and world-class festivals for visitors. If you’d like to experience art in nature, then Hobart is the perfect art scene for you.
What to See and Do in Hobart:
- Climb the 4,265-foot-high summit of Mount Wellington if you are up to the task.
- Visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to feast your eyes on the city’s old and new art pieces.
- Take a stroll along the iconic Hobart waterfront.
- Stop for fish and chips at the Constitution Dock and purchase fresh produce at the Farm Gate Market on Bathurst Street.
- Visit the Cascade Brewery for a delicious meal and spend time beer tasting.
- Visit Bruny Island, where you will probably spot sea lions and dolphins.
10. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
One of the best cultures in Australia is Canberra, filled with heritage buildings. Here you have lakes, museums, galleries, landmarks, markets, food, shopping malls, and all you need for a wonderful stay. Whether for solo travel or group travel, Canberra has something for everyone.
What to See and Do in Canberra:
- Visit the remarkable Parliament House, Opera House, and Australian War Memorial for a visual thrill.
- Walk the ‘bridge to bridge’ path of Lake Burley Griffin.
- The National Gallery of Australia, with over 166,000 artworks, would leave you amazed.
- Explore the Old Bus Depot Markets, where you can shop for curios.
- Visit Lake Burley Griffin, an artificial lake created in the 1960s.
- Catch sight of turtles and platypus as you stroll in the swamp.
11. Alice Springs, Central Australia
Located in the middle of Australia’s Red Centre is Alice Springs, a beautiful city worth seeing. Here you will find red sand assets, waterfalls, deep ravines, impressive rock formations, and tropical rainforests.
Alice Springs, also called the capital of the Outback, is filled with Australia’s indigenous culture, along with museums, good restaurants, and galleries.
What to see and do in Alice Springs:
- Visit the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where you will be wowed by Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and Kings Canyon.
- Explore the historic Overland Telegraph Line station, which has been in operation since 1872.
- Have a tour of the Araluen Arts Centre.
- Visit the inspiring Kangaroo Sanctuary, where injured and orphaned kangaroos are offered care.
- Enjoy the day camping at Yulara or Kings Canyon to experience the natural beauty of the Outback.
- Take skis on a hot air balloon to experience the thrill of this beautiful city.
12. Byron Bay, New South Wales
Another iconic city you should visit is Byron Bay, in Southeastern Australia. This is a popular hangout location for Australia’s crowd. With breathtaking national parks, Byron Bay, also known as a wellness location, offers you numerous ways to pamper your mind and body.
From stunning beaches to arts, culture, and lots of outdoor activities, Byron Bay has something for everybody.
What to See and Do in Byron Bay:
- Visit Cape Byron, Australia’s easternmost natural reserve, and be awed by the breathtaking views.
- Soak up the sun and lay on the sand at Tallow, Belongil, or Clarkes Beach.
- Take a walk or surf at the Main Beach.
- Byron Bay also boasts one of Australia’s best dive sites, Julian Rocks Marine Reserve.
- Enjoy live music from local bands in the several pubs in the city.
- Take beautiful pictures of the Bay at the Captain Cook Lookout.
Ready to Explore Australia?
Why not start your journey in the beautiful city of Sydney? This iconic and attractive city is famous for its mind-blowing beaches and architecture, making it the perfect base for day trips and weekends away.
Sydney is a must-visit with incredible locations like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, bars, and theatre shows, all balanced with an afternoon lying on the sand.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best time to visit Sydney?
A: The best time to visit Sydney is during the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) seasons.
Q: Are there any surfing spots on Bondi Beach?
A: Yes, Bondi Beach has several fantastic surfing spots.
Q: What can I expect from the food scene in Melbourne?
A: Melbourne has a vibrant food scene offering a wide range of cuisines from around the world.
Australia is a diverse and captivating country with a wide range of cities to explore. From the bustling streets of Sydney to the laid-back vibes of Perth, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a food enthusiast, or a history buff, each city offers unique experiences and attractions.
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