Home to the largest ecosystem in the world, Australia is full of unique animal and plant species that are unique to the area. Wildlife experiences are unlike anywhere else in the world.
Australia’s cities are beautiful, and jam-packed with one unique adventure after another. Scroll down to check out the 9 most beautiful cities in the “Land Down Under”.
Table of Contents
Located close to Asia, the city of Darwin is a multicultural haven with a focus on outdoor activities.
- A stop at Darwin Wharf Precinct is an absolute must, with its overflowing attractions including restaurants, shops, museums and water parks. After a day of exploring the wharf, catch a movie at the outdoor cinema, Deckchair Cinema.
- Check out the local wildlife at Mary River Wetlands and take a cruise tour to learn about the habitat. Corroboree Billabong offers day tours that include a 2.5-hour cruise, a stop at the visitor center, and a hearty lunch. Plus transportation is provided to and from your hotel.
- Get up close and personal with the crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove, one of the largest reptile displays in the world.
- Make your way to George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens and walk amongst the 100+ acres of palms, waterfalls, and tropical plants.
If possible, plan your visit between May and October to be fully immersed in the city’s culture at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Here you can buy unique trinkets, enjoy live entertainment, and fall in love with the vibrant colors around you.
Grab a bite from one of the many food vendors that offer cuisine from round the world, and head over to Mindil Beach for a picnic at sunset. If dinner in the sand isn’t your thing, hop aboard a sunset cruise and enjoy an evening of freshly caught seafood.
2. Kangaroo Island
Pristine beaches, breathtaking views, and wildlife galore await you on the shores of Kangaroo Island.
The western end of the island is completely dedicated to Flinders Chase National Park, and you could easily spend all day walking along its many trails. The most popular attraction within the park is the Remarkable Rocks, where you can see the large boulders that have been sculpted into strange shapes due to centuries of erosion. Other highlights include the remnants of a prehistoric cave at Admirals Arch, and fur seal encounters at Cape du Couedic.
The Seal Bay Conservation Park is home to a large community of Australian sea lions with a boardwalk that wraps the beach for visitors to observe them in their natural habitat.
On the southern edge of the island, you’ll find Vivionne Bay with its crystal clear waters and white sandy shore. The bay is perfect for laying out in the sun. If you’re interested in swimming, you may want to opt for Emu Bay or Stokes Bay.
No trip to Kangaroo Island would be complete without hanging with the iconic marsupials, and there’s no better place to do that than Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Hand feed the kangaroos, cuddle with the koalas and check out over 150 different species of wildlife while you’re there. Another great option is Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can take a self-guided tour along Koala walk to see Australian wildlife in action.
Visit the capital city of Western Australia for a day of outdoor adventure, museum hopping, and views along the Swan River.
Located in the center of the city is Kings Park and Botanic Garden, one of the most extensive inner-city parks in all of the world. Observe native Australian plant species and plants that have been relocated from other countries with similar climates, such as South Africa.
Swan River carves its way through the city and offers a variety of activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking, and biking. If you’re interested in seeing some of the luxurious waterfront houses, make a reservation on one of the many river cruises available.
Stop at one of the cafes that line Cottesloe beach, have a picnic at City Beach, or go snorkeling at Penguin Island.
Check out the world’s largest coin at The Perth Mint, and watch the process of making gold bars.
Make your way over to the Perth Cultural Centre to visit the Art Gallery of Western Australia and admire the work of Australian artists.
Dinner at the rooftop restaurant, Wildflower, is highly recommended for visitors looking to splurge on a fancy night out. Other tasty options include Lulu La Delizia’s large variety of pasta, The Apple Daily’s Asian-inspired cuisine, and Propeller’s modern twist on classic dishes.
There is no shortage of things to do in the city of Cairns with its many forests, national parks, and access to the Great Barrier Reef.
Head into the rainforest where you will find the famous Babinda Boulders, and enjoy a day of swimming in the creek, sunbathing on the boulders, and picnicking along the river bank. This area is popular amongst tourists and locals, so if you’re looking for a more secluded option, Crystal Cascades is a great alternative. Daintree National Park is located within the rainforest and is home to a diverse collection of wildlife, plant species, and outdoor experiences.
Snorkeling or scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef is a must-try. Consider stopping at Reef Teach first to get some insight on the beauties that live below.
Embrace the culture of the indigenous community at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Here you can check out traditional artwork, watch a variety of demonstrations, and sit around the campfire for a Dreamtime story.
Take the ferry over to Fitzroy Island and explore its many beaches, coral reefs, and rainforest hikes. You can spend days exploring this island alone, and the lovely Fitzroy Island Resort makes it easy to pace yourself.
This hidden gem of a city may be in one of the most remote locations of Australia, but it’s still jam-packed with fun activities.
Cable Beach has something to offer for all travelers, including sunbathing, zipping around in a dune buggy, or watching the sunset from the back of a camel. Swimming is off-limits from November – May because of the poisonous jellyfish that infest the water.
Thrill-seekers can take a flight to Horizontal Falls aboard a small seaplane for out-of-this-world views of the Thousand Islands. Once you’ve landed, you’ll have access to a cruise around (and through!) the falls. The real highlight of the cruise is witnessing shark feedings, and watching sharks swim around you from inside a shark cage.
If luck is on your side you may witness an incredible experience known as the Staircase to the Moon. About twice a month, when a full moon is present, the moon’s reflection along Roebuck Bay creates the appearance of steps leading up to the sky. You’ll also enjoy dancing to live music on Town Beach and sampling food from around the world at the Staircase Markets.
Adelaide sits high up on the list of must see destinations in Australia, so it’s no surprise that it’s a hotspot for tourism.
Referred to as the “City of Churches”, Adelaide is home to an abundance of churches, but one that stands out the most is the Adelaide Oval. Although it’s considered a cathedral, it was transformed into a sports arena for cricket and Australian football.
Learn about the wine process at the National Wine Centre of Australia before sipping on some of the finest wines the continent has to offer.
The Victoria Square may have been established in 1837, but its history dates back much further than that as it was once the meeting grounds of the native people.
The 80 stalls at the Adelaide Central Market can feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from venturing through the immense variety of local cuisine.
Other attractions include the art gallery at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, the South Australian Museum, and the popular Adelaide Zoo. End your day by watching the sun set from the golden, sandy shore of Glenelg Beach or from one of its waterfront restaurants.
The chic city of Melbourne boasts exquisite cuisine, scenic streets, and unique attractions. Walk the cobblestone streets and admire the ever-changing local street art that runs along the outer walls. Grab a city map and venture through the laneways for a day of shopping, drinking, and eating.
Start your day off right with what many swear is the best cup of coffee in the world at Patricia on Little Bourke Street.
Built back in 1910, the Flinders Street Station is still the most hectic train station on the continent filled with travelers hurrying about their day and shops throughout the center. The Federation Square is just steps away from the station, and is known for its stunning views of historic architecture.
Choosing from the extensive list of gourmet restaurants can be a chore. Get a taste of Melbourne by sampling the many stalls at the Queen Victoria Markets. If a sit-down restaurant is what you’re after, look no further than Lygon Street, Melbourne’s Little Italy, for a night you won’t forget.
8. Gold Coast
Beaches, beaches, and more beaches – the Gold Coast city is the place you go to escape and relax in an oasis of sand, sun, and skyscrapers.
Surfers Paradise Beach, much like its name, is popular amongst surfers thanks to the constant waves – but the shallow water is suitable for kids with lifeguards on duty around the clock.
Coolangatta Beach is a quieter alternative for those looking to escape the crowds, and its convenient location is perfect for swimming. Although the waters here are extremely calm, there are still lifeguards on duty year-round to ensure the safety of its guests.
Enjoy a day of sunbathing and then take to the Beachfront Markets when the sun sets to find killer deals on clothing, souvenirs, and jewelry.
For panoramic views overlooking the city, head over to one of the tallest buildings in Australia, Q1 Resort and Spa, and stand atop the SkyPoint Observation Deck. If you’d prefer a more thrilling experience while you’re 77 floors up, you’ll find the SkyPoint Climb – where you can climb an additional 885 feet up to a small viewing platform.
The city is also at the foot of two iconic national parks, Springbrook and Lamington, filled with rain forests, waterfalls, gorges, and more.
After a day of sunbathing, spend an evening out along Cavill Avenue where the night comes alive with bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
The city of Sydney is the largest city in Australia and the most popular destination in the country year after year.
When people think of the city the first thing that usually comes to mind is the Opera House, with its unique architecture and the way it lights up at night. Take a tour of the building or admire it in all of its glory by buying tickets for one of the shows.
Darling Harbour is a force to be reckoned with, and a day exploring its grounds is a day well spent. By day, the Harbour boasts a large selection of attractions including a friendship garden, a few museums (including the famous Madame Tussauds), a waterfront pavilion, a historic carousel, and a variety of restaurants and bars that come alive at night.
Wear your walking shoes when you visit Paddy’s Markets, the largest market in the city. With over 1,000 stalls, you’ll enjoy a day of shopping and stuffing your face.
Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities along the vast shores of Bondi Beach that are always busy but never crowded.
Whether you’re looking for a fancy dinner or a budget-friendly meal, Circular Quay is the place to be with plenty of choices to feed any craving.