Australia is an amazing place to visit, with stunning sites, scenery and attractions at almost every turn – so which are the best four cities to visit when taking a tour of the country?
We decided to put together a roundup of four of the best cities in Australia, each of which offers something unique to visitors.
While many of Australia’s famous attractions are in the outback, or far from urban centres, this list will tell you all about the attractions you can see during a stop off in each of the four cities mentioned.
Sydney boasts a world-renowned bridge and harbour, which is of course what it’s most famous for.
If you use your time in Sydney to visit the harbour you’ll also get to see the world famous Sydney Opera House and while in the area you may as well dine out in one of the hundreds of excellent restaurants which surround the harbour.
If you’re a sun worshipper or beach lover then a trip to the famous Bondi Beach is a must, while culture lovers can keep their feet dry and visit one of the city’s many museums, including the Museum of Australia, the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
If sport is more your thing then why not watch some Rugby League at the home of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, catch the Sydney Swans playing Aussie Rules at the Sydney Football Stadium or check out the current Super Rugby Champions the New South Wales Waratahs in action at the same ground.
Adelaide is a charming city and is capital of the state of South Australia. It’s known as the Garden City and is famous for offering a laid-back lifestyle which has attracted people from all over the world to move to the city.
This reputation dates back a long way and as a result the city is diverse, and hosts a number of international markets and cultural fairs, as well as hundreds of more traditional festivals – including the world famous Adelaide Festival of Arts and Fringe Festival. The cultural feeling of the city is enhanced by the Victorian architecture which makes up much of the city centre.
Adelaide is also ideally placed to make a base for a brief sojourn into wine country, with the famous wine growing region of the Barossa Valley just a short trip out of the city.
If wildlife is something you’re interested in then Adelaide is also ideal for getting a glimpse of the animals, flora and fauna which live in Australia’s unique natural habitat. Kangaroo Island is just 80 kilometres from Adelaide and offers a unique opportunity to see the native wildlife in a natural, unspoilt wilderness.
Trendy Melbourne is the ideal place to visit if you’re the sort of tourist who doesn’t like to be sat still, or stuck doing the same thing for more than half a day.
While it doesn’t boast a harbour surrounded by restaurants like Sydney it does have lots of quaint laneways, fashionable bars, and world-class restaurants dotted all over the city. They make the perfect place to head after spending a day trying to fit in as many of Melbourne’s attractions as possible.
You’re sure to have worked up an appetite if you’ve spent the day taking in Melbourne’s fabulously preserved Victorian architecture – visit Captain Cook’s Cottage, Victoria Markets, Federation Square, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena. You can also visit the suburbs of the city and their beaches, take in some sport in the city, which is the heartland of Aussie Rules Football, and even head out on a coastal drive along the internationally renowned Great Ocean Road.
Melbourne is another city which offers the chance to see wildlife up close, at Phillip Island, home to the world’s largest colony of Fairy Penguins. You could also take the Puffing Billy steam train through the Blue Dandenong Ranges to see some spectacular landscapes.
Finishing our list is Cairns, a former mining town which grew to become the regional capital of Northern Queensland. The city is full of attractions which make it a hot spot for tourism in Australia, and is also a fantastic base to explore other nearby sights – including some of the country’s most famous ones.
Many people use the city as a base when visiting the Great Barrier Reef, which is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. The vibrantly coloured marine life and breathtakingly beautiful coral make the World Heritage site something which no visitor can afford to miss.
On our Australia escorted tours you’ll be able to spend a day on a high-speed catamaran and travel to a Marine World platform based on the Outer Reef. You’ll get to snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, or if you’d rather keep your feet dry you can view the reef from a semi-submersible glass bottomed boat or an underwater observatory.
The reef also offers the chance to try several more adventurous activities, such as scuba diving, joining a Marine Biologist for a guided snorkel safari, or taking a scenic helicopter ride over the reef.
Other nearby attractions include Kuranda, a picturesque market town accessible by a scenic railway trip which passes over 40 bridges and through 15 tunnels as it crosses the spectacular countryside. Known as ‘The village in the rainforest’, Kuranda is a great place to while away a few hours visiting the daily markets, the butterfly sanctuary or the Koala Gardens. There are also more than 200 walking tracks surrounding Cairns and there’s also the nearby Daintree Rainforest, where the oldest rainforest in the world meets the reef at the World Heritage-listed Cape Tribulation.
‘From the very first phone call we made they have delivered excellent service – friendly, reassuring, professional and nothing was too much for them to do’ Mr & Mrs Payne, West Yorkshire
Mr & Mrs Payne, Wonders of Australia
‘Great holiday, we had the freedom to do our own thing when it suited as well as a range of excursions when we needed them. The Ghan train and the Great Barrier Reef experiences were first class’ Mr & Mrs Parry, Cheshire