Australia is one of the world’s ultimate travel destinations; an enthralling country endowed with a myriad of natural wonders, shimmering cities, wonderful wildlife, dazzling beaches, captivating culture and a renowned laid-back lifestyle.
Australia’s state capitals are gateways to the glory of the individual states. We all know Sydney’s iconic Opera House, but there’s more to Australia than this. The nations sports capital, Melbourne blends mid 1800s architecture with modern glass skyscrapers to offer a surprisingly diverse cityscape. Adelaide is a magnet for art lovers, whilst the beaches seem to stretch to infinity. Brisbane is the hub of a huge holiday region with surf beaches, mountains and rainforest. If adventure is on your list head to Darwin. With a harbour, twice the size of Sydney’s this truly multi-cultural city is closer to Jakarta than Canberra, the nation’s capital. Far out west, Perth is a place for relaxed and easy living where blue skies, friendly people and uncrowded beaches are the order of the day. And last, but by no means least, try to fit in a visit to Tassie’s port capital, Hobart, Australia’s second oldest city.
New South Wales
The view of Sydney Opera House against a backdrop of Sydney Harbour Bridge is reputed to be one of the most recognised sights in the world. Relatively small as cities go, with a population of around 4 million, this is a city which has it all: iconic structures, fantastic beaches, stunning vistas, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and fantastic weather. It is most definitely on the must-see list for any visitor to Australia and even if you’ve visited before, you will want to return again and again!
South Australia’s elegant and cultured capital is also Australia’s food and wine capital thanks to its fusion of worldwide cuisines and delectable local wines. The city centre is surrounded by parklands, historic buildings, wide streets, cafés and restaurants with rolling hills to the east and beaches to the west. Kangaroo island, Australia’s third largest, is just 50 minutes from the mainland by ferry and is home to a host of unspoilt and natural wonders with seals basking on the beaches, kolas gorging on gum trees and kangaroos, wallabies and penguins everywhere you look!
The second largest city in Australia. Melbourne is the younger, more refined and eclectic cousin of Sydney. Famed for its culinary excellence and inspired by its diverse migrant influences, Melbourne is a food and wine lover’s paradise. This bustling metropolis flaunts trendy bars and clubs, a chic café scene and a selection of art galleries and museums. This sport-loving city is host to many high-profile sporting events and is thought by many to be the fashion capital of Australia. St Kilda is located 3 miles from the city centre and is Melbourne’s seaside playground. Join locals who walk, cycle and skate under the palms on the foreshore or sail, windsurf or kitesurf on the bay.
There is no other state capital in Australia where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset all within just 30 minutes of the city. Averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, it’s also the sunniest state capital and boasts a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough. Situated beside the Swan River, the best city views are found from Kings Park and Botanic Garden where you can stroll the treetop walk or picnic among the gum trees. Another must see is the Swan Bells while retail therapy is on offer at King Street or the Murray and Hay Street malls.
Surrounded by spectacular gum trees and refreshing waterholes, the friendly outback town of Alice Springs is the vibrant hub of central Australia and is an ideal base for exploring the Red Centre. Try your hand at four-wheel driving out in the dessert, ride a camel, hike the nearby MacDonnell Ranges, meander around aboriginal art galleries, visit the Todd Mall markets or see the home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Then there’s Ulluru, rising from the desert plain, the site is visually stunning and your first view is something you will never forget.
As Australia’s sunshine state, Queensland offers more than just a sunny climate, it boasts an abundance of natural attractions, vibrant cities, relaxed seaside towns, gourmet food and wine, world class shopping, chic bars and cafés, buzzing nightlife and bags of character.
The Great Barrier Reef stretches all the way along the coast and is a divers and snorkeler’s paradise. The Whitsunday’s islands are famed for their pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters and offer some of the world’s finest sailing areas. Port Douglas is a great base for exploring the Daintree Rainforest or head down to Surfer’s Paradise to watch the action.
Tasmania may only be 150 miles away from mainland Australia but it is a whole world apart. It has glacial lakes, lush green valleys, undeveloped coastlines and amazing mountains. It is also Australia’s smallest state and for visitors the compact nature of the island is a great advantage as it’s possible to drive from one end of the island to the other in a single day!
Wine Enthusiasts’ areas
Hunter Valley – New South Wales
Barossa Valley – South Australia
McLaren Vale – South Australia
Yarra Valley – Victoria
Margaret River – Western Australia