Wild and vast, Australia’s landscapes are truly diverse. From deserts to reefs, and the cities in between, it’s a place you could spend months exploring. But, if you’re short on time and looking for adventure, pick one of the country’s major hubs. Or, road trip from one to another, and dive into what each of them has to offer.
Visit the coffee capital
Melbourne is loved for its eclectic offering of sport and culture and is home to world-class restaurants, as well as an exciting art scene. One of the best ways to experience the city is to wander around the centre on foot. The area is made up of a network of cobbled lanes, where you’ll find a mix of cafés, bars, street art and boutiques.
The city is also loved for its markets, of which there are many to choose from. The Queen Victoria Market is perhaps best known for its wide range of food and is a great place to go for a bite to eat — look out for treats like waffles with rum-soaked bananas at Pickett’s Deli; flavoured butters at Curds & Whey; and a cup of quality caffeine at Market Lane Coffee.
Sports lovers will enjoy the city’s programme of events, which includes international cricket and tennis, Australian football, horse racing, and Grand Prix. If, however, you’re more into art, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit Australia’s oldest gallery. The National Gallery of Victoria boasts a collection of over 70 000 artworks, and hosts workshops, film screenings, and artist-led tours.
Enjoy the harbour city
Sydney is a striking city — set on a beautiful harbour and surrounded by beaches and national parks; it’s a great combination of wilderness and urban living. You’ll want to enjoy some of the city’s best beaches if you’re in the area — start with Bondi, one of Australia’s most famous spots, or take a coastal walk to Bronte Beach, which is a little quieter. There are loads of other options, many of which offer the chance to kayak, surf, snorkel or stand up paddle.
Luna Park is Sydney’s most iconic amusement park and tourist destination
After dark, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in Sydney, whether you’re looking for a dining experience, a show, or an unusual bar. In fact, the city has embraced the concept of hidden bars, so if you’re willing to make the effort, you’ll find some great undercover spots. For an old-fashioned speakeasy-style experience, try Easy Eight for its cosy booths and seasonal cocktails; The Baxter Inn, which includes a concealed whisky room; and Eau De Vie, which offers a range of retro drinks and décor reminiscent of prohibition days.
See the city on the river
The capital of the Sunshine State, Brisbane boasts warm weather for most of the year. As such, it’s a dream for lovers of the outdoors who can enjoy kayaking on the river; soaking up the sun on the man-made inner-city Street’s Beach; or abseiling at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
Foodies will love Brisbane’s booming culinary scene, which has seen the rise of some highly innovative spaces. Gauge in South Brisbane was voted the city’s best restaurant in this year’s EAT/drink Awards, and is an example of a place that serves up inventive dishes — think chocolate avo mousse with poached pear and barley crumble; roast kelp ice cream with caramelised banana and malted barley; and black garlic bread with brown butter and burnt vanilla.
Just outside the city, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is worth a visit if you’d like to hold a koala or hand feed a kangaroo or wallaby. The sanctuary is also home to a range of other animals, including platypus, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, wombats, birds and reptiles, so it’s a good spot to see all of Australia’s indigenous critters, especially if you’re travelling with children.
Qantas makes it easy to explore all 3 cities with their multi-city fares. Fly direct into Sydney and then onwards to Melbourne and Brisbane or create your own itinerary. To discover more visit www.qantas.com