Written by Laura Graham
Founder & Writer for awineanddine.com.au
Australia is known for its large expanses of “untouched” land and beaches. Its 25,760 km of coastline is home to some of the most urbanised areas and populated cities in the world, which makes Down Under an excellent place to have a city break.
Find out the 10 best city breaks in Australia (in no particular order) and plan your next visit!
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is the largest and most populated city in Australia with a population of 5.73 million (as of June 2019). The majestic city is aglow with stunning attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House looking over the harbour where you can get ferries to other parts of the city, including Manly. Sydney has over 100 beaches, including the world-famous Bondi Beach. Sydney is also rich with cafes, bars, shops, especially in Surry Hills, CBD and Darlinghurst and Regents Park restaurants.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is the second-most populated city in Australia (after Sydney). Melbourne is famous for its coffee, its sport (especially AFL and cricket) and its culture. The city boasts many museums and galleries, stunning parks and graffiti-covered alleyways, making it the perfect culture-filled city break.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland (aka the Sunshine State), situated on the Brisbane River. The city enjoys warm climes all-year-round and its residents and visitors enjoy the eclectic cityscape dotted with rooftop bars, restaurants, a Ferris wheel, parks and a man-made lagoon. It also offers a selection of museums and galleries in its Southbank precinct including the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
Perth is the capital of Western Australia and has a population of just over 2 million. There aren’t any other large cities in WA, making Perth the most isolated and remote metropolis in the world, but it certainly has a lot to offer. Perth – like most of WA – is lined with the some of the most stunning beaches in the world which are dotted with beachside cafes, bars and restaurants. Enjoy a coastal walk, take a day trip to Rottnest Island or visit Mount Eliza in Kings Park to see the stunning views of the city from up high.
Adelaide is South Australia’s cultural capital. It is known as “The City of Churches” and is home to world-famous museums and galleries including the South Australian Museum, which showcases natural history, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, which showcases Indigenous Art. Each year the city hosts the Adelaide Festival which is one of the world’s largest celebrations of the arts.
6. Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is the ultimate holiday destination. Situated just south of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, Gold Coast is a long stretch of sandy beaches, surf culture, theme parks and high-rises. Enjoy a day of watersports and brunching followed by drinks in one of the many beachside bars.
Darwin is the capital of Northern Territory, situated at the most northerly point of Australia. It is surrounded by famous national parks including Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park. Go to Mindil Beach, Crocodile Cove, Museum and the Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and even enjoy the nightlife on Mitchell Street.
Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, situated on the River Derwent. The city may be small, but it has a lot to offer, including colonial architecture, stunning walking and biking trails, breathtaking natural beauty, galleries and cafes, and most importantly, MONA: the Museum of Old and New Art.
The inland city of Canberra is the capital of Australia, home to Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the Museum of Australian Democracy. The city has recently evolved into a place brimming with exciting cafes, restaurants and watering holes and is definitely worth a weekend visit.
Newcastle is another great city that is worth a visit. The New South Wales city is situated two hours north of Sydney and is its little sister in a lot of ways, thanks to its stunning harbour and beaches. It has evolved from an industrial town to now being a modern oasis with contemporary bars and restaurants, with plenty to see and do.