Get started on your vacation planning and find a few cities to base your travels.
Sydney is bold and brash and self-assured, a thriving city that is all at once cosmopolitan and laid-back. It is defined as much by its man-made sights as its natural wonders. Head to the Three Sisters, a rock formation of three pillars with an Indigenous back story. The nearby Scenic Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world; ride it down into the Jamison Valley where you can take the 1.5-mile walk through ancient Jurassic rainforest.
Melbourne’s reputation as one of the most culturally rich yet effortlessly laid-back cities in the world is certainly deserved. Its city center is chock-full of street art, coffee roasters, independent boutiques, and restaurants, while neighborhoods like St. Kilda, Carlton, and Prahran are perfect for exploring.
Brisbane whirs to life with bike riders and downward dogs at sunrise, enjoys third-wave coffee, a hefty dose of culture, shopping and alfresco eats throughout the day, and winds down somewhere with a view of the Brisbane River. A barbecue atop the Kangaroo Point Cliffs at sunset is an iconic Brisbane experience.
Sitting on the edge of beaches, bush, outback and some seriously good wine country, the South Australian capital has something for everyone. Picture touring through winding roads, rolling hills of orchards and vineyards interspersed with charming villages less than 20 miles from Adelaide’s city center. This easy-to-access region could not be better placed for a leisurely trip.
Astonishing natural beauty collides with a slick urban scene in the sun-soaked capital of Western Australia. Just being near two of Perth’s natural icons – Kings Park and Cottesloe Beach – slows the breath and relaxes the mind. Visit both to understand the locals’ love for nature within the metropolis.
The capital of Tasmania, Hobart is a charming city brimming with history, humming with creativity and fringed by scenic wilderness. Try the epic 8.8-mile hike to the Pinnacle walk climbs 3937 feet from Hobart Rivulet, through the city, behind Cascade Brewery and into the bushland and fern-filled creek gullies of Wellington Park. You’ll be rewarded for your hard work with wildlife spottings and great views.
While many assume that either Sydney or Melbourne is the capital of Australia, the seat of government can, in fact, be found in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a three-hour drive from Sydney (keep going and you’ll eventually hit Melbourne) or a quick 55-minute flight. A planned city of stunning civic buildings, plentiful parklands and the giant man-made Lake Burley Griffin at its heart, Canberra is finding a cool new edge, with buzzing neighborhoods, micro-brewers and hip hotels proliferating; it was even named on Lonely Planet’s list of the 10 best cities in the world in 2018.