A variety of accommodation options await the traveler in Launceston. Centrally located hotels offer easy access to the main sites, which are never far way in this small city. Or you can chose to stay in the marina area for waterfront views. Couples looking for a romantic getaway can take their pick of cozy cottages in the Tamar Valley wine region.
Most of Mooloolaba's visitors stay in rental apartments, which range from high-end to no-frills. You can sleep in luxury penthouse pads with commanding ocean views, or modest studio apartments that are geared toward budget-conscious travelers. Given Mooloolaba's compact nature, nearly all rental apartments are within walking distance of this seaside enclave's main attractions.
Whether you dream of spoiling yourself on a tropical island, you're looking for a secluded, comfy beach house for the family, or you're after a sea-view room for 2, Townsville has you covered. Those passing through on their way to Cairns and other destinations in Tropical Queensland will also find convenient motels on the highways around town.
Broome has enough hotels and guesthouses to sleep its permanent resident population several times over. Accommodation covers every taste and price range. You can choose from upscale beachfront resorts with romantic rooms for couples, to budget-minded hostels for backpacker groups. Almost all are located either in the town center or along Cable Beach.
Blue Mountains accommodation options range from cozy cottages and guesthouses to self-catering heritage homes and luxury eco resorts. The towns of Katoomba, Leura, Blackheath, and Lithgow have the most dining, and shopping. In other enclaves, you may be limited to where you can eat out, or have to rely on meals provided by your hosts.
Bendigo’s accommodation covers the full gamut, from plush boutique hotels to cozy cottages and basic roadside motels. In the city center (or "CBD"), you’ll find many of these options are in period buildings with imaginative decor, while the surrounding districts have less-characterful offerings. The region also has farm rentals and rural retreats, while a few wine estates in and around Heathcote offer their own accommodation.
Fremantle's accommodation ranges from backpacker hostels to upscale resorts. In between, you'll find midrange hotels, studio apartments, and bed-and-breakfast guesthouses. Most are located in the city center, with a few in outlying residential suburbs. There are more options on the nature reserve island of Rottnest, a short boat ride from Fremantle.
The Lorne region’s wide variety of accommodation makes it easy to find a place to stay that really suits your needs. Whether you’re after a rural-chic cabin in the bush, a luxury apartment with ocean views, or a family-friendly holiday house near the beach, Lorne has what you’re looking for.
Phillip Island is one of Victoria’s most popular vacation destinations, so you’ll find accommodation to suit every need. Whether you’re after a roomy apartment for the family, a friendly bed-and-breakfast, or romantic getaway resort, Phillip Island has you covered.
Busselton's downtown is fairly compact - Busselton Jetty is a kilometer from the CBD - so if you'd like to stay central, the main question is whether you prefer to be in the thick of the arts and nightlife action, or a few steps from the sand. There are also a few more secluded lodgings in West Busselton and in the trees at Tuart Forest National Park.
Wollongong's variety of accommodation options makes finding the right place to stay easy. Whether you’re after a hotel with an ocean view and all the comforts, a cozy room in a guesthouse, an apartment for a longer stay, or a cabin surrounded by gardens, the region offers it all.
Port Macquarie's array of accommodation makes finding the right place to stay a breeze. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cabin, a resort where you can retreat from the world beside a pool, or a roomy apartment for the family, the region offers it all.
Whether you’re planning a vacation as a couple, with the family, or with a group of friends, Hamilton Island affords an array of accommodation to suit your needs. There are premium, couples-only resorts, spacious hotel rooms, comfortable family apartments, or luxurious houses with their own pool and sweeping sea views.
Accommodation throughout the Noosa region covers the full spectrum, spanning from practical and affordable hostels, to luxury resorts with ocean views, and lots of mid-range options. Many are conveniently situated close to the Hastings Street strip, but there are also a good number away from the town area, offering a more remote vibe.
The wide range of options in and around Byron Bay makes it easy to find the right accommodation for your needs. Whether you’re a backpacker looking to party, you’re after a beachside apartment for the family, or you’d like to rejuvenate at a secluded spa, the region offers it all.
There's so much accommodation in and around Surfers Paradise that visitors can afford to be extremely picky. Those looking for large, modern hotels with plenty of amenities will find them in the city center, while visitors on tighter budgets are well served by the motels in nearby suburbs such as Mermaid Beach. Inland, characterful bed-and-breakfasts and luxury lodges abound.
The wide range of options in and around Coffs Harbour makes finding the right accommodation simple. Whether you’re looking for a bed in a backpacker hostel, an apartment for the family, or a secluded retreat with all the luxuries, the region offers it all.
Famous for its forests, beaches, and wineries, the Margaret River region provides lots of options for accommodation – from the buzz of Margaret River town to retreats nestled among the jarrah and karri trees. Or you could wake up every morning to the smell of fresh sea air in a beachside chalet with stunning ocean views.
Launceston panders to the treasure hunter looking for quality keepsakes and gifts. Brisbane Street Mall is lined with commercial shops and amenities, but in the lanes and streets that surround it you'll find delightful boutique and specialty shops. Admire the craftsmanship of one-off items by local designers and artists, and marvel at the array of honey, sauces, and other gourmet products on offer.
Located in a majestic natural setting, with a legacy of British history and period charm, Launceston is a visual treat. Grand historic buildings, nearby wonders of the natural world, and an old-time feel are some of the attractions you can expect. Enjoy walks through forests, breathing in pristine fresh air, and later sink into the comfort of a meal by a log fire. In the city itself, nature calls in a vast array of parks and gardens. Try riverside Kings Park and Royal Park for jogging and cycling tracks. For picnics, City Park is a picture of European gentility.
Located at the head of the majestic Tamar Valley and doorstep to some of Tasmania's wildest natural environments, Launceston boasts a notable art and design scene and burgeoning foodie culture. Dotted with heritage buildings, it also has a distinctly genteel ambiance. From lingering over local craft brews to zip lining through the treetops, Tasmania's second largest city has much to offer.
Sunny weather, white sandy beaches, and plenty of water sports draw visitors to Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. A drive of about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Brisbane, this seaside vacation spot is packed with oceanfront eateries, boutique shopping, and family-themed activities. When the sun goes down, bars and clubs fill with night people out to have a good time.
With an almost perfect year-round climate, Mooloolaba constantly draws visitors. It is one of the most popular seaside spots on Australia's Sunshine Coast, and wonderful for a romantic getaway or water-sport-centered family vacation. Mooloolaba's main beach is backed by a famous strip of high-rise vacation apartments. On ground level, there are a multitude of shopping, dining, and nightlife options along the esplanade.
Whether you want to lie back and do nothing, or an active vacation is your scene, Townsville has you covered. There are palm-lined beaches, a plethora of marine life just below the water’s surface, and native wildlife at your doorstep. If you feel like venturing further afield, Townsville is an ideal launching pad for trips to Magnetic Island, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Queensland outback.
Proud of its average 320 sunny days a year, Townsville sits with the outback in its backyard and the aquamarine Coral Sea on its doorstep. Home to a colorful mix of students, military personnel, and "old-timers," it mixes easy-going country town with modern city. More than merely a springboard to Magnetic Island, 8-kilometers offshore, it offers a world-class aquarium, many restaurants, swimming, and a palm-lined promenade.
Given the area's strong links to the pearling industry, it's no surprise that these shiny white treasures are a favorite souvenir for many visitors to Broome. You'll also find jewelry stores, Aboriginal and contemporary art, and a range of other handicrafts. For food and household items, Broome Boulevard mall should stock everything you need.
In Broome adventure awaits: You can go snorkeling in remote lagoons, drive through the rugged outback in a 4x4, or go fishing for prize catches off the town jetty. It is also the perfect destination to spend lingering days worshipping the sun on sandy beaches, and taking dips in sparkling ocean waves.
Broome, also known as Yawuru Country, is nestled on a peninsula in Western Australia, and lapped by the Indian Ocean's turquoise waves. With balmy temperatures and long beaches, it's a sun seeker's paradise, but there's something for everyone with the town's colorful pearling history and unusual natural wonders. Perched on the edge of the rugged Kimberley region, you can take trips to the wilderness by 4x4, plane, or boat.
Teeming with craft shops showcasing artisanal talent and antique stores, Blue Mountains shopping champions the beautiful, homegrown, and independent. You will find collectibles displayed in heritage buildings along an antiques' trail that winds from Blackheath down to Wentworth Falls. The weekends see a string of markets pop up in the townships, where local produce and live music make for a fun day out.
The Blue Mountains area is a magical UNESCO World Heritage Site that begs to be explored. From hundreds of walking trails to the oldest-known caves in the world, the scenery here is spectacular and easily navigated. Be sure to check out man-made gems too - from gastronomy to shopping, and an intriguing network of galleries and museums.
Picture ancient rainforests and shimmering cascades, where the eucalyptus-scented air shades the area an unusual misty blue. Covering 1,000 hectares over 8 national parks, the Blue Mountains were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000. In the hilltop towns and villages, you'll discover that culture and character here is as unique as its scenery.
Without losing its innate gentility, Bendigo has changed enormously over the past decades. This elegant town has seen a rush of “tree-changers” - city folk who have migrated here in search of a better quality of life. They have brought a demand for more sophisticated restaurants and shops, and have polished Bendigo’s rough edges. Australia’s most vibrant regional gallery keeps the weekends buzzing with day-trippers.
The streets of Bendigo may not be paved in gold, but they bear testament to one of history’s greatest gold rushes. In 1851, a couple of housewives discovered alluvial gold along the banks of Bendigo Creek, an event leading to a huge influx of fortune hunters from across the world. Sudden wealth bestowed the town with many stately homes, civic buildings, and soaring churches.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, you can probably buy it in Fremantle. From Mexican-inspired clothing to local Aboriginal crafts, “Freo” sells it. There are markets, shopping malls, and specialist gift shops. The city is also a fashion center, and several leading Australian designers have opened stores in town. Most shops are open every day, and stay open late on Fridays.
For a city with fewer than 30,000 inhabitants, Fremantle packs in an impressive range of attractions and excursions. Over 150 heritage buildings bear witness to the past. There are museums and replica ships that celebrate the city's ties to the ocean. You can stroll through parkland, or take boat trips to nearby islands. And Perth, the Swan Valley’s vineyards, and barren deserts are all relaxed day trips.
On the map it looks overshadowed by nearby Perth, but Fremantle has its own identity. Founded in 1829, the port city is among Western Australia's oldest settlements. It's filled with heritage buildings, and proud of its nautical ties. Laid-back and easy-going, "Freo" today is a vibrant blend of old and new, home to historic markets and trendy cafés. It's also within easy reach of other major attractions, including Rottnest Island.
Lorne has been a beloved beach vacation spot for over century, and you’ll find everything you’d expect in the way of seaside holiday fun. The wilderness of Great Otway National Park and the rugged coastline mean you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and appreciate the natural beauty in peace.
With its broad golden beach, fresh sea air, and laid-back feel, Lorne has been a magnet for vacationers for over a century. Its population of fewer than 2,000 swells to many times more during vacation season. A calendar full of cultural and sporting events, easy access to the natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road, and a mouthwatering selection of cafés and restaurants make Lorne a consummate coastal getaway.
Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island offers a vast variety of things to do and see. Whether you want to get to know the local wildlife and explore the dramatic landscape, swim in the calm bay waters or the surf the southern waves, or have some amusement-park thrills with the kids, it's all here.
Easily reached via car, bus, or ferry, Phillip Island has been a favorite seaside destination for generations. Within its 100 square kilometers, you can encounter a wealth of wildlife in natural habitats, swim or surf at some of Australia’s best beaches, visit a Grand Prix motorcycle circuit, and unwind in charming fishing villages.
Busselton's beachfront location is key to its allure. It’s easy to fill your days with oceanfront activities, from snorkeling and sunbathing to fishing and whale watching. If you want to get out of town, you'll find plenty of tours offering day trips to Margaret River's more than 80 wineries.
Set on scenic Geographe Bay less than 3 hours' drive south of Perth, Busselton is one of Western Australia’s oldest settlements, and has been a popular vacation spot for Aussies since the 1890s. Busselton is known for its gorgeous swathe of sand, excellent fishing and whale watching, untouched bush, and pristine waters. It’s also home to a thriving arts community, and tons of places to eat and drink out.
With miles of ocean beaches, pristine forests, and a rugged mountain backdrop, Wollongong offers everything you could ask of an outdoor vacation. Whether you want to ride the waves, explore rain forests, or sit on the sand and watch the breakers roll in, you won’t need to travel far to find it.
Mention Wollongong, and what springs to mind for many is the heavy industry based around the Port Kembla steelworks. Yet this laid-back multicultural city is also a thriving commercial and academic center. With miles of unspoiled beaches, a pristine rain forest backdrop, and dazzling coastal views from the mountains, Wollongong is a great outdoor vacation destination as well.
Port Macquarie is a classic beach-holiday destination - but it’s not only about sun, sand, and surf. There’s a wealth of wildlife waiting for you, from dingoes to dolphins, wombats to whales, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. You can discover the region’s rich and eventful history, as well as its cultural present - and all with a backdrop of pristine natural beauty.
Known as having one of the friendliest climates in Australia, Port Macquarie is a classic family destination. Its beaches delight surfers as well as families, and the rugged coastline offers unforgettable scenery. In Port Macquarie you can immerse yourself in pristine rain forest, encounter koalas, dolphins, and more, and at the end of the day reflect on it all over a glass of wine from a renowned local vineyard.
Hamilton Island's pristine, palm-lined beaches invite you stretch out on the sand and let the sunny hours go by. Resorts with all the comforts, and restaurants with fine food and water views, tempt you to indulge yourself. But you'll be missing out if you don't take advantage of all the active experiences the island has to offer, from exploring the Whitsundays by helicopter, to paddling a kayak.
Gateway to the Whitsunday Archipelago, Hamilton Island sits like an emerald in the aquamarine Coral Sea. Although a tourist magnet since the 1970s, it’s only since wine magnate Robert Oatley purchased the island in 2003 that it’s become a sought-after destination for well-heeled celebrities and ordinary families alike. With a commitment to sustainability, and a consummate balance of amenities and unspoiled nature, Hamilton Island is a singular tropical island destination.
Hunter Valley is New South Wales' premier wine region. Its flourishing vineyards, wine estates and restaurants are a mere 2-hour drive from Sydney. You can soak in views, vineyards, and viticulture, then rest your head in a wide selection of accommodation types. With luxury spas, golf courses, and historic towns to explore, there's something for every taste.
After lazing at the beach or exploring the glorious countryside, shopping in Noosa presents some enticing retail therapy. Hastings Street alone is a famous destination for boutique stores and fashion outlets, but there's also a range of other options within a short drive from town.
The most obvious draw for those holidaying in Noosa would be the prospect of sunbathing on sandy beaches and swimming in sparkling blue seas. However, there's plenty more ways to enjoy the relaxed coastal lifestyle of the region, and a wide variety of leisure activities that cater to those looking for a little holiday fun.
For those wishing to explore Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the Noosa region represents the ideal holiday destination. It's a balanced mix of white sandy beaches, preserved bushland and cosmopolitan indulgences, all blissfully free of high-rise towers. There is swimming to suit families and surfers alike, and the lush national parks and hinterland are within in easy reach.
As well as natural beauty, great restaurants, and lots to do, Byron Bay offers a shopping experience like no other. The area is home to a flourishing arts and crafts scene, a thriving holistic well-being community, and lots of organic food producers. You’ll find a dazzling array of locally made jewelry, clothes, and homewares, as well as plenty to tempt your palate.
Byron Bay’s beaches are certainly its main attraction. Longboard surfers first discovered the destination in the 1960s, attracted by good waves, unspoiled natural beauty, and a relaxed feel. If you do get tired of fine white sand and clean, cool surf, there’s plenty more to keep you occupied. You can walk, cycle, dive, and paddle to Byron Bay’s highlights, and afterwards simply kick back and soak up the chilled vibe.
Think of Byron Bay and you probably picture waves rolling onto the fine sand of seemingly endless beaches. What distinguishes Australia’s eastern-most tip from the many other scenic coastal spots is the town’s unique laid-back vibe. Byron Bay offers you a singular cocktail of natural beauty mixed with beach culture, New Age philosophies, and hedonistic indulgence.
Surfers Paradise is not a shopping destination in its own right (open-air activities are the area's primary drawcards), but there are still a few good options for those in need of retail therapy. Malls dominate the scene, ranging from large complexes that offer everyday services, to smaller venues specializing in fashion and food. There are some atmospheric outdoor locations, too.
This extroverted waterfront suburb in the heart of Queensland’s buzzing Gold Coast is known for its oversized attractions, from big-and-bold restaurants and sprawling nightclubs, to soaring hotel towers - as well as one of Australia’s largest, and most impressive beaches. But there are plenty of quieter activities in the vicinity too, including enlightening wildlife experiences, and charming markets.
Visitors to sun-soaked Surfers Paradise can sample everything that's great about Australia in one compact, easily navigable area. This vibrant suburb on the Gold Coast has relaxed hotels, fine dining with an Asian twist, and plenty of bronzed locals exuding famed Aussie charm. Nearby, you'll find wildlife sanctuaries, lush rain forests, and adrenaline-fuelled amusement parks. Then there are the beaches, with their golden sand and crisp, blue surf.
Whether you’re looking for boutiques on the waterfront, or authentic handicrafts in a rural village, bustling main street shops, or big names under the one roof, you’ll find more than enough to tempt you in and around Coffs Harbour. There’s also an array of vibrant and colorful markets, selling everything from freshly harvested fruit and vegetables, to designer clothing, and handmade jewelry.
The untainted beaches and protected waters of the Coffs Coast, the area around Coffs Harbour, make it the perfect destination for swimming, diving, boating, or surfing. And when you’ve had enough of fine, white sand and crystal-clear water, you can head inland and delight in the beauty of national parks, nature reserves, and vibrant, picturesque towns.
A comfortable subtropical climate, tranquil, unspoiled rain forests, and clean, uncrowded beaches have made Coffs Harbour one of the classic holiday destinations on Australia’s east coast. Families have been spending their vacations here for generations. Today, an array of activities from scuba diving to whale watching, a generous choice of cafés and restaurants, and easy access to the surrounding national parks, make Coffs Harbour an ideal getaway.
Nature lovers will find plenty to do in Margaret River, from testing the surf along the spectacular shoreline, to walking or driving among awe-inspiring tall trees, and forests blanketed in wildflowers. But the area is also a beer, wine, and food tasters' paradise. And finding out about its rich indigenous traditions is a must.
Once a sleepy town known as a magnet for those seeking an alternative lifestyle, Margaret River is now best recognized as a major international wine center. But it also offers much more; art galleries, award-winning restaurants serving fresh local produce, weekend markets, white, sandy beaches, and stalagmite-filled caves within easy reach of the town.
From cocktails and craft beers to live music in bars, there's always something to do in Launceston after sunset. The food and drink scene is booming. Those who prefer more cultural pursuits can spend an evening at one of the city’s theaters, which host a quality program of shows. A trip to the cinema is also a popular night out among locals.
If you're planning a family visit to Launceston, you can be sure of finding plenty of activities for all ages and interests. And you don't have to endure noisy theme parks or exorbitant prices to keep kids entertained. There are a host of activities that educate as much as they entertain, chairlift rides and picnics in parks to enjoy, and stadium sporting matches for rousing afternoons.
Inveresk is Launceston's arts and cultural precinct. You can easily spend a day here viewing exhibitions, visiting an art school, and, at the end of it all, relaxing with a coffee at the Blue Cafe Bar. Further into town, you can check out smaller, independently run galleries. If you're here in spring, visit the experimental Junction Arts Festival, and in summer, the MOFO festival.
With plenty of “happy hours” - or pubs offering cut-price, pre-dinner drinks - to enjoy, Mooloolaba doesn't wait for the sun to go down to have fun. More mature visitors tend to favor imbibing at low-key cocktail bars and chic wine haunts found along The Esplanade and by the beach. Younger crowds are drawn to high-energy nightclubs and live-music venues that party into the night.
Townsville’s nocturnal scene is concentrated downtown around the restaurants and pubs on Flinders and Palmer Streets. There are earthy craft beers and smooth cocktails in historic pubs on offer, and live music and DJs keeping the energy flowing. If you’re feeling lucky, you can lay a bet at Jupiters Casino, and there are regular cultural and entertainment events at Riverway Arts Centre
With year-round warm weather, lots of outdoor spaces for kids to let off steam, and a child-friendly attitude, Townsville offers all you need for a vacation that’s relaxing for all the family. There are plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with the local wildlife, lots of free stuff to do, and you’ll find more than enough restaurants that welcome kids.
Despite its small size, the large number of visitors that come to Broome ensures a vibrant nightlife scene. Entertainment usually revolves around bars and restaurants, and other nocturnal distractions include live music. You will experience something unique if you visit the town's historic open-air cinema.
Broome offers a wide range of family-oriented activities and most involve outdoors fun. The combination of warm weather, safe swimming beaches, and plentiful sand, means your kids are unlikely to get bored. More adventurous youngsters will enjoy a chance to spot whales or turtles, or to ride along the beach on a camel at sunset.
After a day filled with activities and adventure, the Blue Mountains’ villages offer relaxing spots in which to unwind. From cozy cocktails in inviting wine bars, terraces presiding over the Jamison Valley, and historic movie theaters, there are plenty of pit stops to whet your tastebuds, ease your mind, and ponder the sights and sounds of the day.
The Blue Mountains is the ideal place to spend family time. Together, you can explore the great outdoors, get sweaty on active pursuits, and learn about nature and wildlife. Old railways can whisk you through the scenery and cable cars provide thrills above the ground. Charming towns are chances to potter around pretty streets or laze about in a park with a picnic.
There's a real homegrown feel to the arts and culture of the Blue Mountains, led by the community spirit of the hill stations and towns. Many artists, drawn by the sheer natural beauty of the area, call the Blue Mountains home. They display their work in independent galleries and art markets. Aboriginal legacy can be seen in Kings Tableland.
Fine wine, the performing arts, and live music are the backbone of nightlife in the Bendigo region. The biggest names in Australian contemporary music have cut their teeth in the country’s vibrant “pub rock” scene, and the tradition continues. On the quieter side, cozying up with a glass of local shiraz in a smart wine bar is many people’s idea of a perfect evening.
Bendigo naturally lends itself to fun family times, no matter the weather. In cold months, there are plenty of indoor activities for all ages to enjoy. During the summer, a state-of-the-art aquatic center is the perfect place to cool off and have fun in the water. Exploring the surrounding countryside, where spotting kangaroos at sunset is almost assured, is easy by car, bike, or train.
Ever since European artists flocked to the goldfields to paint the miners at work, and singers and performers filled the music halls to entertain them, Bendigo has been strong on arts and culture. Today, the region is a magnet for artists of all stripes, attracted by its rich history and alternative lifestyle. A strong collective spirit also drives a full calendar of community arts projects.
After dark, central Fremantle comes alive with music, dancing, and drinking. The section of South Terrace from Bannister Street to Parry Street has so many coffee bars it's known as the "Cappuccino Strip." You can drink in historic city pubs, hit the dance floor in the clubs, or take in some live music. Fishing Boat Harbour also remains lively into the small hours.
Fremantle has many attractions and distractions to keep kids of all ages occupied. There are beaches and parks, and informative hands-on museums. You can get a bird's-eye city view from a Ferris wheel, or take to the water on a cruise. When mealtime rolls around, you'll find plenty of family-friendly places to eat.
Fremantle's relaxed, easy-going atmosphere has made it a meeting place for artists in a wide variety of fields. There are Aboriginal people who create works based on their long history and heritage. There are photographers who capture the landscapes of Western Australia, both above and below the waves. And there are world-class museums and arts centers where you can catch an exhibition or a musical performance.
From lazy summer days lounging on the beach to fun water sports and horse riding adventures, Busselton offers plenty to keep active bodies and inquisitive minds entertained. Mazes and amusement parks will test your family's problem-solving skills. Little ones will love bottle-feeding baby lambs and goats at one of the region's many farms.
Whether on land or in the water, you'll find an array of activities for the whole family in Darwin. The city and surrounds offer wildlife parks, and animal encounters with crocodiles and more. There are colorful markets, outdoor adventures, and swimming in wave pools and water holes.
Though better known as a gateway to adventure, Darwin is also home to a thriving cultural scene. You'll find visual and performing arts, and one of Australia's most vibrant cultural festivals. There are a host of galleries showcasing the work of indigenous artists. You’ll also find reminders of Darwin's eventful history, making this small city a cultural magnet.
Located between the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Cairns makes the perfect starting point for families on voyages of discovery. When it's time to relax, there's a host of parks, playgrounds, and swimming spots where the kids can let off steam.
Think of Cairns, and you probably picture the tropical paradise of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, pristine beaches, and crystal clear seas. Delve below the surface though, and you’ll find a vibrant creative scene that offers theater, music, visual art, and regular cultural festivals.
Nightlife is Noosa tends to be as relaxed and chilled as its coastal landscape. Several beaches host an outdoor bar on the sand, and many restaurants morph into cocktails bars once the last coffees are ordered. For those looking to kick on, a handful of nightclubs and live music venues can be found in and around Noosa Heads.
Brimming with beaches, rivers, and bushland, not to mention healthy Aussie attitude, Noosa is an ideal holiday spot for families who appreciate the great outdoors. There's a variety of tours than can be undertaken to enjoy these natural assets to the fullest, or just dump the kids on the sand for a relaxing day out.
One great way to spend an evening in Byron Bay is on the beach, listening to the waves roll in and watching the lighthouse cast its beam over the ocean. But if you’d like something more sociable, whether it’s a beer in a lively pub or signature cocktails in a cool bar, pulsating dance beats or a rocking live band, Byron Bay makes for a great night out.
With beautiful, safe beaches, lots to do and see, and a kid-friendly atmosphere, Byron Bay is a paradise for families. You can paddle a kayak and get up close to dolphins, learn to surf or ride a skateboard, try your hand at circus stunts, or simply have fun on the sand. And when you’re hungry, there are lots of restaurants that cater specially to families.
Byron Bay has long been a magnet for a diverse spectrum of creative cultures. The “Rainbow Region” was the birthplace of Australia’s hippy movement, and artists have been attracted to the area by its inspiring natural beauty and relaxed vibe. There are festivals scattered throughout the year, and artists’ studios and galleries dotted around the area.
A youthful energy dominates the nightlife scene in Surfers Paradise. There are countless clubs and pubs that cater to backpackers and recent college graduates, offering affordable drinks, loud music, and relaxed dress codes. Those in search of a calmer, dressier night out can try the bars at the area's luxury hotels. Families looking for evening fun have several cinemas and theaters to choose from.
For families vacationing in Surfers Paradise, the decision probably won’t be what to do, but where to begin. On top of unbeatable beaches, the Gold Coast is brimming with theme parks, zoos, and aquariums - a host of family activities packed into one very compact and easy-to-navigate area.
Residents of the Gold Coast are the first to admit that the area has not traditionally been an arts hub. But for visitors with a taste for culture, a fresh crop of venues is now providing alternatives to the sun and surf - as long as you know where to look. From contemporary performance to visual art, there's a bit of everything on offer.
A stroll along the beach listening to the waves roll in and watching the moon sparkle on the water is a perfect way to wind up a day. If you’re looking for a bit more action, Coffs Harbour has a lively pub scene offering a variety of entertainment, as well as theater and cinemas.
Coffs Harbour is a classic family destination, and there’s plenty here to guarantee a memorable vacation for all of you. The town has a child-friendly feel, the beaches are clean and safe, and the Big Banana has been thrilling kids for generations. You can meet dolphins, learn to surf, and when you’re hungry, there are lots of restaurants that cater specially to families.
The Coffs Coast region is home to a thriving cultural scene. You'll find independent artists' galleries dotted throughout the area, and a range of festivals happening through the year. The City Hall has devised 3 culture trails, which are a great way of discovering what the region has to offer. Ask at the Tourist Office.
While Margaret River’s coast is famous for surf, there are plenty of coves and sheltered beaches where children can swim and play in the sand. On days when you want to head away from the beach, there are lighthouses to explore, animals to pet and feed, and mazes to get lost in.
The lack of an identifiable national cuisine is actually a blessing in disguise for those eating out in Australia, with a diverse range of global dishes offered in its place. This is certainly true for the restaurant culture in Noosa. There’s an eclectic selection of fine-dining restaurants available in town, to match the gorgeous nature of the beachside scenery.
Byron Bay’s singular mélange of laid-back beach vibe, colorful individuality, and chic urban influence is reflected in its food. With an array of farms and orchards in the fertile surrounding countryside, and fresh fish on the doorstep, most restaurants and cafés emphasize locally sourced, seasonal produce. The impressive range of dining options means travelers, from backpackers to the well-heeled, will find eats to suit both wallet and palate.
Many visitors travel to Launceston's Tamar Valley in search of vineyards and world-class pinot and Riesling wines. Others might enjoy the laid-back James Boag's Brewery tour to sample varieties of world famous ales and lagers made here. Dining options in and around Launceston range from fine-dining restaurants to casual cafés and ethnic eateries which allow you to “bring your own” (BYO) wine. In some hip wine and beer bars, this trend has caught on in reverse. You can bring in a pizza or snack to eat, leaving staff to concentrate on the best tipple to go with it
A center for commercial fishing with an all-weather harbor, it's no surprise that fresh seafood abounds in Mooloolaba. Visitors often bring fishing rods to reel in their own meals, but the culinary scene has expanded beyond the sea. Restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world can be found in this seaside enclave, from Asian-fusion dishes at beachfront bistros to Portuguese-inspired fare at upscale eateries.
A bounty of fresh, regional ingredients from land and sea, along with locals and visitors who appreciate great eating, have led to the growth of a vibrant food scene in Townsville. The city offers an array of dining experiences to suit almost every palate and wallet. Add some stunning Coral Sea views and you have the recipe for memorable meals.
Fusion defines most Broome fare, reflecting the town's cultural melting pot of Asian, European, and Aboriginal influences. Adventurous foodies will enjoy a variety of choices, from fine dining to foraging in the Kimberley bush. Whether sampling a high-end culinary experience, or more simple local delights, you can expect fresh, local produce, against backdrops of natural scenery.
Homespun bistros, scenic lookouts, and heritage buildings are the places to head to taste the cuisine of the Blue Mountains. Menus here span the globe, from the best Chinese food west of Sydney, to concept cooking in Blackheath. For travelling gourmands, restaurants serving Modern Australian dishes are not to be missed.
Bendigo’s dining scene reflects its cultural and demographic shift from backwater to modern boom town. Fish and chips and pub meals are no longer the order of the day, but are now complemented by sophisticated dining establishments that would be just as at home in Sydney or Melbourne. Look out for the rich red wines made in the Bendigo and Heathcote regions to go with your meal.
Despite its small stature, Fremantle is home to more than 100 restaurants, cafés, and other eateries. There’s an array of global cuisines on offer - from Mexican to Asian, via European - as well as contemporary Australian fare. Fremantle's seafood is as fresh as you’ll find, and comes served in a host of ways, from grilled to sashimi. Lots of places operate on a "BYO" basis: bring your own alcoholic drinks.
Wollongong’s dining culture has developed a first-class reputation in recent years, and it’s become a favorite day-trip destination for Sydney foodies. The city's cultural diversity is reflected in its cuisine. Fish and seafood arrive in the harbor every day, and there are fresh farm ingredients from the fertile hinterlands. Add breathtaking mountain and ocean views, and you've got the recipe for some memorable meals.
Take seafood drawn daily from the ocean, add the freshest produce from the fertile hinterland, wash it down with wines from local vineyards, and you have the ingredients for memorable meals. Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic waterfront dinner, a barista-made java jolt, or a relaxed meal with the kids, you’ll find it on Port Macquarie’s menus.
Hamilton Island offers an array of dining options, with enough variety for you to dine somewhere different every night. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients, with chefs making use of local, sustainable produce wherever possible. It's all here: memorable gourmet dining experiences, relaxed family meals, and quick, delicious takeaways. All of Hamilton Island’s dining options have one thing in common: a breathtaking Whitsunday Islands’ backdrop.
Surfers Paradise attracts an eclectic mix of holidaymakers, and the culinary scene reflects this diversity. It’s easy to spend substantial sums at flashy restaurants, but there are also plenty of characterful places that offer quick bites at reasonable prices. Seafood dominates menus, and for good reason: the local catch is amongst the most impressive in the country. Australia’s culinary love affair with Asia is also well represented.
With fresh seafood unloaded from trawlers every morning, nutritious fruit and vegetables from the fertile surrounding countryside, and livestock raised on lush pastures, the finest ingredients are right on Coffs Harbour’s doorstep. In the cafés and restaurants of the Coffs Coast, you’ll find these raw materials transformed into delicious, healthy cuisine. The rich variety means dining choices for every palate and every wallet.
In compact Launceston, everything you need is within easy reach. With cooler weather than mainland Australia and an old-town feel, it's the perfect getaway for indulging in log fires and contemporary cuisine, for which Tasmania is now becoming famous. But make sure to get out and about, as some of the state’s most spectacular scenery is on Launceston’s doorstep.
They don’t call this the “Sunshine Coast” for nothing. With a mild winter and spring, and sun-baked summer days, Mooloolaba has an unbeatable all-year climate. Its main beach is popular for water sports such as surfing and snorkeling, as well as safe swimming. While many restaurants serve seafood caught in local waters, international cuisine has a strong presence. Nightlife is also a top draw.
Townsville is a vibrant, tropical city which sits between the wilderness of the outback and beauty of the North Queensland coast. The population is a colorful mix of students, army personnel, and "old-timers," giving it a laid-back, cosmopolitan atmosphere. As well as offering great beaches, eclectic restaurants, and wildlife encounters, it's also an ideal springboard for expeditions to the outback, Magnetic Island, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Broome sits on a small peninsula on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It first came to prominence as a pearl fishing port. But today it's year-round balmy temperatures, and long stretches of sandy beach, that attract most visitors. The town is also a gateway to the wilderness areas of the Dampier Peninsula, and the rugged Kimberley region of the vast Australian Outback.
A 90-minute drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains area draws both day-trippers and world travellers. Its magnificent scenery, string of charming townships, famed restaurants, and artistic spirit make the area somewhat unique within Australia. Whether you want to thrill the family with a teeth-clenching train ride, view contemporary art and craft, or cozy up in an historic hotel, the Blue Mountains can accommodate.
Hub of Australia's Goldfields region, art capital of Central Victoria, and charming city break, Bendigo has a lot going for it. Once a boomtown during Australia’s gold rush, it now attracts many newcomers drawn to its wealth of heritage architecture, fine food and wine, and world-class museums. A string of enticing towns and villages around Bendigo means there is plenty on offer beyond its borders.
Despite being engulfed by the growing metropolis of Perth, Fremantle has an identity all its own. The port city was founded in 1829, placing it among Western Australia's oldest European settlements. Today's "Freo" is a multicultural city, a vibrant blend of heritage architecture and trendy cafés, shops, and bars. It's also close to several other major attractions, including Rottnest Island.
Often tagged "Victoria's Mediterranean," Lorne gazes out over Louttit Bay, on the Great Ocean Road that winds its way along the rugged southern coast. You’ll find white unspoiled beaches, pristine natural beauty in the Great Otway National Park, and a lively cultural scene that attracts visitors to major events every year.
Phillip Island is a charming seaside resort, a wildlife wonderland, and a mecca for motorcyclists. You can get acquainted with penguins, seals, and koalas in their natural habitats; soak up breathtaking Bass Strait views; and swim some of Australia’s best beaches. And you'll find all of this within easy reach of Melbourne.
Busselton's Mediterranean climate - mild winters and warm, sunny summers - means that it's a pleasant spot to visit year-round, especially if you're a fan of exploring the outdoors and day tripping through wine country. Tours are well organized and run, and local people are warm, welcoming, and extremely laid-back. The locals are also proud of their natural surroundings and wildlife - you'll find their enthusiasm is infectious.
Located only an hour’s drive from Sydney on the narrow strip of coast between the mountains of the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, Wollongong offers everything you need for an outdoor vacation. Miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches, unspoiled bushland, lots of adventure opportunities, and a thriving restaurant scene make this vibrant multicultural city a great getaway.
Port Macquarie has long been one of Australia’s favorite vacation destinations. Miles of pristine ocean beaches, spectacular scenery, and plenty of attractions geared to travelers of all ages mean you’ll find something here for all the family. Blessed with one of the most livable climates in Australia, the town is agreeably buzzing with locals and out-of-towners, no matter the season.
Hamilton Island offers fine sand, clear aquamarine waters, and lush green foliage - just like most of the 74 Whitsunday Archipelago’s islands. Hamilton, however, is the only one with a wide choice of hotels and restaurants, and a sophisticated yet laid-back vibe. It’s easily reached by plane and boat, and is a perfect casting-off point for the Great Barrier Reef.
Port Douglas in Far North Queensland is the ideal launch pad for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park. The city houses numerous upscale resorts that attract well-heeled visitors, in addition to more accessible accommodation that welcomes budget-minded travelers. The aquamarine Coral Sea waters and the golden sands of palm-fringed Four Mile Beach make this an idyllic vacation destination.
The town of Noosa Heads in Queensland, often shortened to simply “Noosa” and the hub of the Noosa region, offers the perfect way to enjoy the Australian lifestyle. You’ll find a delightful balance of pristine beaches and lush bushland, plus a thriving restaurant and shopping scene. Noosa's moderate climate is one of its biggest draws - sitting between 19 and 25 degrees C (66 to 77 F) all year.
Byron Bay is famous for surf, sand, and sun, and for its dazzling coastal scenery. What sets Australia’s easternmost tip apart from other beach towns however, is its particular laid-back vibe. Its heritage as a counterculture capital means you’ll be able to enjoy a vast selection of cafés and restaurants, a thriving cultural scene, an array of alternative philosophies, and bustling nightlife - as well as superb beaches.
From a sugarcane plantation in the late 1800s, to one of Australia's most visited destinations, Surfers Paradise encapsulates the sea-and-sand lifestyle that is so integral to Australian culture. Its iconic skyscrapers - many of them hotels - tower over a wide beach perpetually lapped by rolling Pacific surf and dappled in the southern sun. A plethora of theme parks and activities make for a fun and varied vacation.
A comfortable subtropical climate, clean and uncrowded beaches, and untainted countryside have made the Coffs Harbour region a classic family vacation choice. Today, a thriving restaurant and pub scene, a host of activities from whale-watching to scuba diving, and easy access to the surrounding national parks, make Coffs Harbour a perfect getaway destination for all tastes.
The Margaret River region can be cooler than Perth. It draws down visitors from the capital city not only to take in its beaches and forests, but also to escape the intense summer heat. Cars are the best way to get to the award-winning wineries, caves, and natural beauty spots. Margaret River is also known as a gourmands’ paradise, making it popular with food lovers.
The laid-back feel and multicultural makeup of the city provides an interesting and enjoyable atmosphere for foreign travelers visiting Sydney. The weather is mild year-round with a warm summer experienced from December to February. Transport in Sydney is easy to navigate, with an abundance of buses, trains, taxis and ferries as well as hire car services.
The cosmopolitan Australian city stretches for miles along the shores of countless bays and inlets, but its neatly laid-out and compact center lends itself to a short visit. Here’s an itinerary which lays out the best way to see the main sights of Sydney in 48 hours.
The attractions of the Whitsundays are countless and extensive; the cliché ‘something for everyone’ may be an old one, but it fits. It’s an outdoors kind of place, water and sub-tropical rainforest, relaxing and active. There are family oriented pursuits, stuff for couples and single travelers, but many of the Whitsunday ‘must do’s’ apply to everyone, whatever their age or party size.
As the capital of Australia’s island state, Tasmania, it’s no surprise that Hobart has a bouncing nightlife full of diverse entertainment, whether your tastes run to head-banging live music, cultured cinema, or relaxed cocktail bars.
Hobart overflows with family activities and attractions for kids of any age - and there are plenty of informal dining options, too. Whether you want to take your young ones to an educational museum, or excite your teens with a wild adventure into the lush Tasmanian landscape, Hobart has it all.
Tasmania's lively capital has plenty of artistic and cultural distractions which have a real influence on everyday life, from the many community-run youth arts projects to the thriving live music scene. And if you’re after first-rate museums, galleries, and historic landmarks, Hobart has them in abundance.
The Gold Coast has a hugely varied nightlife, offering just about any evening’s entertainment you could dream up. From laid-back surfer’s bars and jazzy cocktail joints to neon-drenched nightclubs and hip indie cinemas, this buzzing beachfront city has it all.
The Gold Coast is an ideal city for a fun-filled, stress-free family holiday. The city is laid-back, and - while it does offer an electrifying nightlife - has a safe and kid-friendly atmosphere. You’ll find theme parks, educational adventures, and of course, plenty of soft sweeping beachfront.
While the Gold Coast is known as a paradise for adrenaline-seeking surfers, this sun-soaked city has a lot to offer for culture-lovers too. With a vibrant performing arts scene, a strong selection of fascinating museums, and no shortage of breathtaking landmarks - from grand traditional churches to flashy modern architecture - the Gold Coast is full of intrigue.
While it may not rival Sydney as an international partying mecca, Canberra’s nightlife is as diverse and vibrant as you’d expect from a cosmopolitan capital city. From scruffy pubs to show-stopping cocktail bars, intimate dance clubs to cavernous casinos, you’re sure to find a nightspot that’s perfect for you.
Canberra’s reputation as a serious seat of government means that it’s sometimes overlooked as a family destination. But the Australian capital in fact boasts a wealth of attractions to keep visitors of all ages enthralled for days on end, including offbeat delights like a reptile zoo and a miniature display village.
Melbourne may take all the cultural credit, but the capital city of Canberra has its share of Australia's artistic attractions. The museums are among the finest in the country, with inspiring art galleries, historical hubs, and national archives packed with quirky cultural artefacts. There’s a thriving performing arts scene to experience as well.
Whether your tastes run to subtle, sophisticated cocktail bars serving up classic concoctions, or prefer to hit the dance floor in neon-lit mega-clubs, there's nightlife to suit everyone in the South Australian capital of Adelaide.
Adelaide has plenty on offer for families on an urban adventure, whether the kids go ga-ga for wild animals or want to build sandcastles on a wide, smooth beach. And when tummies start to rumble, there are some great family-friendly dining options too.
From vast theatres putting on blockbuster musicals to cavernous museums that delve into Aboriginal art, Adelaide has no shortage of distractions. With ornate churches and grand 19th century architecture sitting alongside the sleekly modern landmarks, urban sightseers will have plenty to feast on too.
While it might not have quite as grand a reputation as other major Australian cities when it comes to fashion, Brisbane is quietly, and stylishly, ushering in a new era of high-end labels and trendy designers. Whether you’re after a must-have, bank-balance busting designer dress in the boutiques of Edward Street, or happier hunting through the work of up-and-coming fashionistas in Fortitude Valley, you’ll never be short of threads to try on in Brisbane.
Brisbane's hot on the heels of Australia’s other major cities when it comes to the art of eating well. It’s already got a head start, thanks to its climate, meaning eating outside with river views give the dining out experience in Brisbane serious bonus points for ambience. From modern Australian to Asian, Mediterranean and other global flavors, you’ll find plenty to suit any palate, or budget, as you go on a culinary journey of discovery.
Brisbane's something of a conundrum, managing to offer the sleek, fashionable, and culturally cutting-edge while still feeling like a laid-back sub-tropical paradise. As well as enjoying the benefits of its sunny climate and the active, water-going life which surrounds Brisbane River, you’ll also be in for plenty of fine dining, live-music sampling and boutique shopping. From catching the rays in its wide open spaces, to flexing your plastic in the mall, Brisbane’s got it all.
Whether you’re looking for a one-stop shopping Mall experience or more content browsing for one-offs and antiques than buying off the peg, there’s something for you in Adelaide. With designer boutiques aplenty, not to mention whole swathes of pedestrianized pavement dedicated to the art of retail therapy, you’ll be able to find whatever you’re after in comfort, from local designers to world-famous labels, hand-crafted jewellery to centuries’ old antique furniture.
Adelaide might be one of the world’s leading wine regions, but these days it’s got serious gastronomic gusto to go with its tempting bottles of plonk. You’ll be able to find tastes from all four corners of the globe in Adelaide, as well as seeing the great strides the city’s made in turning Modern Australian into a match for any imported fare. From al fresco Asian to seaside seafood, Adelaide has it all.
Adelaide's a heady mix of history and innovation. It's not only a green and pleasant place, thanks to the many parks and rolling hills, but it also offers beaches and some of the most scintillating wine you'll ever have the pleasure of swilling around. Once seen as a dreamy, old-school city, nowadays Adelaide's got both feet in the present thanks to its cosmopolitan inhabitants, the boom in culinary excellence and a first-rate live music scene.
From clean but basic backpacker hostels to one of the very best six star resorts in the world, the Whitsundays has it all. There’s accommodation on the mainland and accommodation on the islands; there’s even accommodation at sea if you can’t bear to be out or away from the water for long.
The Whitsundays is not a place where you’re going to shop till you drop, most visitors come here to relax or have fun outdoors; shopping is a necessity not an all-day event. What Whitsundays shopping is all about is unique souvenirs, typical Aussie clothing and essentials that you cannot be without.
You’ll never go hungry in the Whitsundays. Not only are there loads of restaurants and fast food joints, but the portions are Aussie style - big. Airlie Beach has the biggest pickings, but the resort hotels and islands also have a good selection of restaurants. Being surrounded by the ocean, fish is fresh and tasty, but if you hate dipping your toes in the water let alone eating fish, meat and veggie dishes are just as abundant.
Day or night, Airlie Beach is the hottest and the coolest place to hang out in the Whitsundays. Enjoy its bars and restaurants, clubs and activities, because this place is all about choice. Whether you’re a backpacking student or a billionaire with your own yacht, Airlie Beach can oblige. Fill your days with endless water or land based activities, and after dark when the resort really comes alive, dance until the sun comes up.
A Tasmania getaway varies from the urban charm of Hobart rich in colonial heritage and buzzing with colorful markets and hip urban cafes, to the colossal tracts of pristine wilderness and paradisiac beaches. Whether you want to live it up in a five-star hotel, get in touch with nature in a camping site or a wilderness lodge, or save money in a hostel, accommodation in Tasmania caters to every budget and type of traveler.
Tasmania is a treasure island for every shopping junkie. Local markets offer much more than the archetypical boomerangs and fluffy koalas that flood Australia’s souvenir stores. From dainty mementoes to more contemporary delights, Tasmania’s thriving artistic community produces a wide range of handicrafts that are a collector’s delight. Apart from arts and crafts shops and buzzing markets scattered around the island, the larger cities have shopping malls as well as galleries and boutiques.
Boasting an eclectic dining scene, superb local produce and a new generation of world-class chefs, Tasmania is gourmet Australia’s rising star. While a sophisticated dining culture from across the Bass Strait has revolutionized Tassie’s eating culture, local high-quality produce is what makes the island a foodie’s paradise. From fresh seafood to cool-climate wines and mouthwatering berries, Tasmania is blessed with first-class ingredients.
From bushwalking through hauntingly beautiful wilderness to exploring convict relics and visiting a groundbreaking museum, Tasmania’s attractions have every thrill covered. With heart-thumping activities, such as hiking, rafting and kayaking, ranking among the best on the planet, Tassie is the country’s adventure playground and a haven for adrenaline junkies. The island’s fascinating aboriginal, colonial and penal heritage, however, means there’re plenty historic sites to keep culture lovers occupied.
Aboriginal and convict history, Word-Heritage wilderness, a provocative museum and adrenaline-fueled adventures await on a break to Tasmania. With some of the world’s most bewitching outdoors and top-rated exhilarating activities, Tasmania is an adventure wonderland. A unique colonial heritage, however, is what gives the island its melancholic mystique. No visit to the island is complete without savoring its culinary delights: feast on delicious salmon, sip on world-class wine, and try famous local berries.
A city break in Perth ranges from high class hotels that line the Swan River to boutique joints in the inner city suburbs. With a variety of attractions, from the white sandy beaches to the rolling hills and vineyards, there is accommodation to fit all themes, tastes and budgets.
There is definitely a trend when it comes to shopping in Perth, as extensive, chic and larger than life shopping malls pepper the city like polka dots. The outlets are a thing of convenience and mean that searching for an item is easier than ever. If outdoor excursions or local produce is more your thing, don’t you worry, as the city has plenty of food, craft and clothing markets too. Secluded streets make an appearance as well, with King Street providing a high-class hideaway where all the big names in fashion gather in force.
Because of its multi-cultural population, Perth’s typical cuisine cannot be defined in one word, but is a mixture of international and national influences. A diverse array of restaurants grace the city’s streets, including Indian, Thai, Chinese and modern Aussie, just to name a few. On top of these exotic eateries are a number of traditional pubs and cafés where heart-warming fare and sweet delicacies are served respectively.
It is hard to define Perth as a travel destination because of its many widespread attractions: in one corner its creative charms and artistic people are echoed in its architecture and atmosphere, whereas in another corner its wildlife crops up at every turn. Beaches line the city, with harbors nesting chic yachts and prestigious restaurants. With so much going on, a break in Perth is like buying a two (or five!) in one: an offer you simply can’t refuse.
Combining natural beauty with cosmopolitan charm, the city of Perth has a widespread list of attractions. Sample the city’s homemade produce at one of its prestigious wineries or award-winning microbreweries, or discover every nook and cranny by CAT. Sunny days can be spent on one of the many beaches or in its balmy waters. Others will prefer the many golf courses that welcome both the public and private members.
Being a city spread along a 70 kilometre coastline, finding somewhere attractive to stay in the Gold Coast is hardly a challenge. Picking your perfect location simply depends on your requirements. Everything from bustling family hotels to luxury boutiques dominate the Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach regions; however, if you’re searching for something more affordable and relaxed, it’s better to head towards Main Beach, Miami, Burleigh, Kirra and Coolangatta.
It’s pretty hard to deny that one of the most exciting experiences when traveling is seeing how many purchases you can cram into your suitcase on your return. Filled with sprawling shopping centres, tiny exclusive boutiques and jostling market wares, the Gold Coast won’t disappoint as a destination for shopping.
Gold Coast locals love spending time outside, so it’s no surprise that the beachside city is jam-packed with cafes, restaurants and various interesting eateries. Boasting exciting cuisines from Asian to Mexican, Italian to Modern Australian, the food is as multicultural as the city itself. You are highly unlikely to leave the Gold Coast feeling disappointed or hungry!
The Gold Coast is an action-packed city, perfectly suited for families and adventure seekers. There’s world-famous beaches, thrilling theme parks, the lesser-known hinterland and, of course, iconic attractions such as the Q1 building and Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Combined together, these elements provide a memorable holiday on the east coast of Australia.
Being Australia’s sixth largest city and blessed with a year round sub-tropical climate, the Gold Coast has everything to offer visitors. Be it a family holiday, romantic getaway or special event, the Gold Coast spoils you with its warmth and passion for relaxation. Lively entertainment can also be found here too, with world-class theme parks, adrenalin-fueled water sports and indulgent shopping offered in abundance.
Melbourne is a city of contrasts. Its many international influences means that every neighborhood has something unique and exciting to offer, be it a vintage market filled with handmade goods, or a plush and high-end restaurant. The city has both an urban center and a beachside area, giving plenty of options for any traveler.
Shopping in Melbourne is a varied task. The city, often referred to as Australia’s capital, is full of vintage markets and handmade goods, while at the other end of the scale are world famous designers and bespoke, high-fashion items that can’t be found anywhere else, making Melbourne truly a shopper’s nirvana. In and out of the CBD are various areas and locations that cater to an array of budgets and tastes, so anyone and everyone are accommodated for.
Dishes in Melbourne are as varied as the city’s culture. A blend of old and new, East and West, every palate is catered for in the city. Restaurants of historical importance go hand in hand with contemporary fixtures that are constantly spreading across the city. There are, of course, options for each budget, with high end eateries found along with Southbank Promenade, while fast food and local cuisine is in abundance in Chinatown and St Kilda.
Old meets new in the city of Melbourne, as Aboriginal heritage still remains tucked between a progressive, modern city. Blessed with vivacious locals, where a sociable vibe trickles throughout, the city is a bustling hot pot of activity; from daily coffee breaks to frenzied sporting events, natural escapes and trails to adrenaline-filled architecture: Melbourne is a city of plenty.
Ancient heritage, world-famous wines, world-class performances and exotic wildlife are just some of the reasons to make Melbourne your next city break. Join the cosmopolitan hive and soak up the ambitious atmosphere, or get to know the historic city, and pay homage to its past at the many educational sites. As night falls, the city comes alive in a throng of activity, from high-brow plays to mixologists manipulating cocktails into enticing potions at the many local bars.
As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns grows more popular with each year that passes. Millions of visitors from all walks of life base themselves in the tropical city and visit the reef and surrounding rain forests. As so, Cairns has developed into a fantastic place to stay with an abundance of hotels, hostels and B&Bs to suit any budget.
Cairns is popular for being a shopping hot-spot in northern Queensland. Many locals make the trip into the CBD from miles around to indulge in some of the best shopping around. Its ancient indigenous past is showcased in many shops around town, where visitors can pick up a number of great souvenirs. There are also some great modern shops where you will be able to peruse some of the world’s great names in fashion.
Australians are known around the world for their love and expertise when it comes to lighting up the barbie and throwing a few snags on; here in Cairns it’s no different. Whether you are looking for first class dining or simple pie and chips, Cairns has something to suit every taste. Its perfect location, being right next to the blue ocean, provides visitors with an unprecedented selection of fresh sea food; some say the best sea food in all of Queensland.
Australia is known across the globe for having a huge variety of activities and sights to suit every taste; and here in Cairns it’s no different. What is different however, is the landscape. While 95% of Australia is desert or savannah Tropical North Queensland is green and verdant. This stunning natural location nestled between the blue ocean and lush greens of the rain forest means it’s a haven for those looking for beach and walking holidays.
Travel far enough north up Australia’s Sunshine State of Queensland and you will eventually reach the picturesque town of Cairns. Known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns has developed into a hub of activity, popular with all types of travelers. An eclectic mix of tropical waters and lush mountain ranges provide the perfect place to spend a few days.
Port Douglas sits on the coast in the north of Queensland, between Cairns and Cape Tribulation, and is known for its long beach and sophisticated feel. It is a popular launch point to the Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and also has a ton of excellent hotels, restaurants and shops.
Many people use Darwin as a hub for travel into the Northern Territory and it is ideal for this purpose with its international airport and numerous regional air routes, as well as countless travel agencies offering regular bus tours to all the big sights. For those who stay in town and many do they will find a city full of appeals.
Port Douglas is friendly and laid-back and fully used to tourists at all times of year. It is a safe town as far as towns go, yet there are dangers and annoyances to be aware of, such as box jellyfish and crocodiles in the sea and waterways. The climate also has a rainy season so it is worth spending time planning a trip.
Alice Springs may be the Northern Territory's party central but Darwin is no slouch in the fun stakes either. There is a SKYCITY casino here, nightly markets on the beach and more restaurants and bars than you could shake a didgeridoo at. No one needs to be bored for long in Darwin.
Given that it is a last frontier city built on swampland and closer to Jakarta than to Sydney, Darwin is exceptionally cosmopolitan.
The main activities in Port Douglas involve both land and water in the form of rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. They are both within shouting distance of Port Douglas, with the Daintree Rainforest just inland and fringe reefs extending from the shoreline.
Darwin cuisine fuses Pacific Rim flavors with tastes from the neighboring Indo-Malay region. Into this enticing mix is the Australian love of great steak, lamb and seafood, especially prawns and crayfish. The huge Australian fish, the barramundi, is presented in a number of inventive ways. All of them delicious.
Port Douglas is mainly used as a base for visiting the nearby Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. The main allure is its Four Mile Beach which is right by the town and easy to walk to.
Port Douglas has dozens of restaurants and cafés that offer the freshest seafood and dishes from across Australia, Europe and Asia. For such a small town, most people are taken aback by not only the amount of eateries here, but the high quality.
The best shopping in Port Douglas is for arts and crafts as there is a weekly market where good deals can be had. Wood carvings and aboriginal crafts are good buys, along with local paintings, jewelry, and handmade clothes.
Darwin is a great place to invest in aboriginal art and craft since most of the work on sale in Darwin's many galleries and souvenir shops is produced by local artists. One thing that many tourists may want to be mindful of is that some local artists receive a very small percentage of the high sale prices. Galleries and stores that practice more equitable exchanges will advertise as such in their windows and brochures.
Darwin is a safe and friendly city and the crime rate here is extremely low. What visitors do need to be prepared for though are the ever present dangers and irritations of nature. Crocodiles and box jellyfish make swimming off the water of Darwin unsafe. Extreme heat needs to be moderated also. Other travel needs are well catered for with plenty of ATMs and tourist information offices.
Hobart's combination of intense natural beauty and rich history means that there is a large number of interesting attractions to explore here, including museums, historic mansions and nature reserves.
Hobart has the largest selection of restaurants in Tasmania, many of which offer diners stunning ocean views to enjoy while they munch away. Many restaurants allow diners to bring their own alcohol, while others offer a selection of the region's finest beers and wines.
Being the capital city of Tasmania, Hobart is particularly easy to get around and there is plenty of public transportation available. English is the main language that is spoken here and the city receives large numbers of tourists from all over the world, which means that Hobart's tourist industry is well developed.
Combining natural beauty and interesting attractions, Hobart is the capital city of the state of Tasmania. This small and enchanting city contains a large number of both natural and historical attractions, while those who are interested in water sports will also be able to practice scuba diving, fishing and sailing.
Hobart is never lacking in live entertainment and music lovers travel here from all over Tasmania to listen to live blues, rock and jazz, which is provided every night of the week in the city's large pubs, bars and clubs.
Hobart is the best place to shop in Tasmania as the city is full of modern shopping malls and interesting market places, all located in and around the city center.
Perth is especially known for its range of creative seafood dishes, and, with the best seafood restaurants being located at the waters' edge on Sunset Coast, the freshness is assured. Specialties include barramundi, freshwater crayfish and tiger prawns.
The Gold Coast is loaded with shopping malls, duty-free stores and boutiques - in particular at Surfers Paradise – and is the best place in Queensland for high-end goods. Souvenirs, designer labels, and sports goods are widely available here, while handicrafts and souvenirs can also be had at regional weekend markets.
Often said to be the shopping capital of Australia, Melbourne is truly a shopper's paradise, with an abundance of shops catering to all tastes and budgets. You will find everything from expensive designer brand clothing to novelty souvenirs and electronics.
Perth offers good shopping options, although nothing like the extent of Sydney or Melbourne. The upside is that most of it is contained in an easy to access area of downtown where there are pedestrianised arcades and walkways and good scope for eating.
Perth, as with any Aussie center, is an active town with a lively populace and many things to do, day and night. You will see business types quickly donning beach attire on the train as they head for the beach during lunch hour, while the parks fill up with walkers and joggers at all times.
Melbourne is an entertaining city with a vast array of history, culture and heritage. Visitors will enjoy the fantastic museums, cosmopolitan city suburbs and outdoor sporting events. There is truly something for everyone in this exciting city.
The sprawling city of Melbourne has a number of districts, neighborhoods and suburbs which all have a unique feel and atmosphere. The city has a diverse range of culture and heritage dating back to the 1800s when the city was founded.
Sandwiched between Brisbane and the New South Wales border in southeastern Queensland, the Gold Coast conurbation is a hugely popular beach-based tourist destination. It is essentially a collection of cities, towns and villages along the coast fronted by excellent surfing beaches and pockmarked by waterways.
The cosmopolitan city of Melbourne is known as the food capital of Australia, with literally thousands of choices available in the central city area alone. The city enjoys a wide variety of flavors and cuisines from around the world, which are complemented with the exceptional produce available in Australia.
The Gold Coast has it all; beaches, countryside, sun, malls, museums and bustle, and everyone is catered for. The beaches are of course the main attraction and they go from the tourist-surf-heavy Surfers Paradise in the heart of the action, down two more measured shores toward the south and on nearby islands.
The Gold Coast is all about the beach and there are miles of sand here where swimming and surfing can be enjoyed almost year round. Surfers Paradise is the main beach and the most built up town on the Gold Coast. Consequently it also has the bulk of the attractions, including noteworthy museums and galleries, as well as the best shopping.
Sydney is truly a multicultural city that is seen through the immense selection of flavors and cuisines from around the world. The wide culinary selection is also complemented with some of the best restaurants in the country. Also making theSydney’s dining scene excel is the fantastic local produce, which is truly top grade and fresh.
The cosmopolitan metropolis of Sydney is awash with modern architecture, a spectacular harbor and countless attractions. Sydney has become a world-class destination that offers visitors cultural diversity and modern flare.
The scenic city of Sydney is blessed with some truly spectacular sights, magnificent landmarks and fascinating tourist attractions. Sydney’s visitors are spoiled for choice, with countless places to visit all within a short distance of the city and harbor area.
There is more eating choice in the Gold Coast than anywhere else in Australia. Unless you plan on heading to one of the top spots, where you will need to book, you can just head out in any of the beaches or towns and check out any number of quality places.
The cosmopolitan city of Sydney has a wide array of attractions and activities for tourists to enjoy whilst on vacation. Whether it's nightlife activities, shopping, great food and drink, there are plenty of great spots to visit.
Perth is one of the world's most remote major cities, lying as it does thousands of miles from anywhere on West Australia's southwest coast. The Aboriginals were here 40,000 years before the Dutch and English though it was the latter that settled the area in the 1800s, with the establishing of a colony on the Swan River by Captain James Stirling in 1829.
Melbourne is a truly spectacular city with an abundance of interesting attractions, magnificent sites and beautiful landmarks. The city is filled with culture, history and heritage, which provides a fantastic atmosphere for visitors.
Perth has a low crime rate, fantastic weather and excellent tourist and transport infrastructures. Although pickpockets are a problem, as with any city, Perth is one of the easiest going towns in the country and most visitors have few problems taking in the sights.
Melbourne is a culturally-rich cosmopolitan city that has a wonderful friendly and open atmosphere which helps to make everyone feel welcome. The weather can be erratic with four seasons in one day but for the most part, it is generally mild year round. Public transport in Melbourne is fantastic, with an array of choices including buses, trains, trams and taxis.
Visitors to Sydney will be more than impressed with the city's retail selection, which boasts an array of fashion boutiques, jewelry shops and large department stores. Inside the city, there are a number of areas that will entertain shopping aficionados for the whole day.
The sun is particularly fierce in this part of the world and using a high-factor, brand name sun block, plus a hat and sunglasses, is a must when on the beach. Despite being a huge conurbation of towns, villages and suburbs, getting about by public transport is not a problem.
Perth is not overrun with attractions, yet has plenty to lure tourists such as historical and modern landmarks to check out, as well as loads of parks and beaches. Scarborough Beach, City Beach, and Cottesloe Beach are the main ones, of which Scarborough has the best facilities, surf, and access.
Adelaide is good for anything, from the best white opals and other gems to crafts, wines, clothes and antiques. The city is loaded with markets, including that of the bustling Central Market where you have all sorts of foodstuffs, while fashion boutiques and large department stores also abound.
There are extensive entertainment options and things to do in Brisbane, with an array of interactive museums and galleries to check out and a busy schedule of festivals and events throughout the year. The city is also home to many square miles of public parks, both in the CBD and at South Bank.
When lined up against Sydney or Melbourne, Brisbane doesn't fair so well statistically on the shopping front. There is lots of variety, however, from fun arts and crafts markets to the highest quality designer stores.
Adelaide boasts hundreds of restaurants, most of which are in the easy-to-navigate downtown area where there is a profusion of traffic-free streets. The good thing is that many cuisines are represented, from good old Aussie tucker, to superb Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Greek and Italian fare.
Adelaide is loaded with historic highlights: churches, museums, galleries and manor houses. Also comes with beautiful parks and gardens. Its collection of attractions will appeal mostly to the discerning traveler looking for history as well as fun in shops and bars.
The capital city of Canberra is an excellent place to eat as just about every type of food imaginable can be found here. The restaurants here are generally reasonably priced and visitors can dine on anything from modern Australian cuisine to Italian, Thai and Chinese dishes.
Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and although it is its largest city, it has a compact core and many distinct neighborhoods defining it. Adelaide is a place of interesting old buildings that blend with modern arcades and large parks and gardens. It is the main launch point for visiting the wineries of the region and has many beaches.
Brisbane is one of the most laid-back big cities in the country, with warm and friendly people and a casual and sophisticated atmosphere. The weather is agreeable for the most part, and getting about is straightforward although you should try and stay within reach of the CBD as the city is huge.
With its low rate of crime, Adelaide is one of the safest large cities in Australia and the public transport infrastructure and hospitality are excellent. It is worth keeping an eye out for Hindley Street at night and also taking into account that the weather is changeable at various times of the year.
Cairns is one of the centers of Australian tourism and as a result people come here from all over the world to work, study and play. This means a cosmopolitan dining scene that can hold its own with the eating on offer in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Central Canberra features a number of large shopping malls, department stores, fashion boutiques and markets, making it a great place for bargain hunters. A wide range of prominent stores such as Myers and David Jones can be found here, as well as unique stores selling locally produced goods.
Australia's capital city is located in the Australian Capital Territory. Although this modern city has a reputation for being a bit on the dull side, the millions of tourists who travel here from all over the world each year soon discover this is not the case.
Brisbane is a fascinating collection of suburbs and districts in one of the most sun drenched areas of Australia. It is a warm, friendly city with spotlessly clean streets and impressive buildings and features a large, meandering river through the middle.
Cairns is the sweltering gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia's second-largest tourist attraction (after Uluru) and the largest living thing in the world. Most people who visit here do so fleetingly, in order to take boat trips to the Reef. This is a shame since Cairns itself is a thriving tourist center that marks the entrance to the far north tropics of Australia.
Cairns is very much a night time city since the soaring temperatures and soggy humidity during the day prohibit any kind of vigorous activity during the day time. Of an evening, the international crowd flocks to bars and restaurants that pulsate with travelers from all backgrounds, and the variety of nightlife and atmosphere here is truly electric.
The main thing to bear in mind when approaching a stay in Cairns is the heat and humidity. This is a very steamy part of the world and the most frequent cause of discomfort and distress is unfamiliarity or lack of preparation for extreme temperatures. Also, be sure to avoid swimming in the waters directly off Cairns as crocodiles swim in the wild here. Tourist traps are another concern, and most visitors should try to book well in advance for all trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
Built in 1913, Canberra is a very modern city and there are no ancient sights to visit. However, there is a large number of historically significant buildings and more than 30 impressive structures to explore, all located around the city's many parks and other natural beauty spots.
Adelaide offers a good variety of entertainment. There are loads of wineries that can be toured in the region, along with several sandy beaches to swim at and partake in water sports. You can also go bushwalking in the country or have a picnic in one of the many city parks that surround downtown.
Brisbane is one of Australia's most historically important cities and is loaded to the hilt with impressive buildings in the center. It also has an array of world class museums and galleries that hold much of the country's cultural wealth and history. The galleries in South Bank in particular are nicely laid out and appeal to a broad audience.
Canberra is a vibrant, multicultural capital city, and a large number of people visit from all over the world. English is the main language and is spoken throughout the city, making communication simple. Although most of the main attractions and sights can be visited on foot, the city is also blessed with an excellent public bus system.
Built in 1913, Canberra is a very modern city and there are no ancient sights to visit. However, there is a large number of historically significant buildings and more than 30 impressive structures to explore, all located around the city's many parks and other natural beauty spots.
Brisbane used to be a bit of a bore on the dining front although it has really come along of late. There are now many award-winning restaurants in the city and its stylish suburbs, with everything from good Aussie tucker (wholesome Australian food) to excellent European and Asian eats.
Australia's capital city has no shortage of entertainment options. People travel here from all over the world and there are plenty of places to shop, drink and dance after dark and enjoy outdoor activities such as bush walking and boating.
Sophisticated and multi-cultural Cairns is a shopper's heaven with a great mix of shopping malls and department stores as well as souvenir and trinket stores which are a dime a dozen by the main port and The Esplanade. Good buys include crocodile skin leather goods and pearls.
Dive into a mesmerising underwater world with this guide to the top 10 diving destinations in the world. You’ll find a hotel that suits whether you want to cage dive with sharks or explore hulking shipwrecks.
Coastal walks, surfing beaches and sailing on the harbour – book a Sydney hotel to follow the call of the wild in outdoor Sydney.
Food-loving Melbourne specialises in innovative restaurants and eclectic bars. Book a Melbourne hotel and savour the best with this guide to the top 10 food and drink things to do in Melbourne.
The days are warm, sunny and ideal for outdoor activities on autumn holidays in Sydney. It’s a time of festivals and parades, so book a Sydney autumn hotel when the summer heat has mellowed.
There are Sydney hotels in the city centre, in 24-hour party precincts and on quiet residential streets. This neighborhood guide will help you choose where to stay in Sydney.
Book a Sydney hotel to shop and dine by the harbour, take in a show or spend a relaxed day at the beach. Whatever your interests, this two-day itinerary will help you get the most out of a short break in Sydney.
Leave the winter fireside behind on spring holidays in Melbourne and discover a city bursting with flowers and festivals. It’s the season of sporting highlights that stop the nation, so book a spring hotel in Melbourne to watch the events.
In the centre, by the beach or on the urban fringe – Melbourne hotels are spread across the city. Our guide to the different neighborhoods will help you decide where to stay in Melbourne.
Watch a show or sporting event on a short break in Melbourne, and dine at some of Australia’s best restaurants. Book a Melbourne hotel and see the best of the city with this two-day itinerary.
Easy-going Melbourne puts a high value on the good life. Book a Melbourne hotel and put style, sport, food and drink top of the agenda on a Melbourne city break.
Take an Australia holiday and visit a vast land of sultry jungle, arid desert, endless beaches and cosmopolitan cities. From the tropical far north to Tasmania’s rugged far south, book an Australia hotel and discover a big country with an ancient past and youthful energy.
Sydney city breaks mean catching waves at Bondi Beach, a show at the Opera House and tasting the global flavours of modern Australian cuisine. Book a Sydney hotel to experience the many sides to Australia’s most popular city.
Celebrate New Year doing the Highland Fling in Edinburgh, watching fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge or dancing on the beach in Thailand. Get a little help deciding where to go with this guide to the top 10 New Year destinations in the world.
At the heart of the vast Western Australia state, Perth is a cultural and historic centre well worth making the trip for. Museums and high culture, thumping nightlife, and vast tranquil flower-filled green spaces make it a grand city break destination, and then of course there are the sun-drenched, sandy beaches to while away afternoons on.
Hobart is a chilled-out harbour-side city in Tasmania, at the island’s southern end. Surrounded by great swathes of deep-green jungle and rocky mountains, this sun-soaked city is a great base for nature lovers looking to explore the island-state's lush landscape. But Hobart also has a proud local music scene - ranging from old world folk to hip hop - and plenty of museums and galleries. Spend lazy days ambling around its cultural sights, before enjoying the cool nightlife of gigs, bars, and refined restaurants.
The Gold Coast - set on Australia’s east coast in the vast state of Queensland - is a laid-back, sun-specked city. It boasts swathes of powdery beachfront, perfect for lazy days of catching rays, or swimming in the warm aquamarine ocean. The city is has theme parks for the kids, and a buzzing nightlife of fine-dining restaurants and lively bars for the adults. The Gold Coast is also crowned by a deep, lush rainforest where you'll find shimmering waterfalls and rare wildlife.
Unfairly maligned in the past as a bland political centre, Canberra is shedding its stuffy image and becoming recognised as the gem of a city it truly is. Its cultural credentials are impossible to argue with, as there’s a slew of world-class museums and galleries just begging to be explored. These sit alongside an ever-growing and increasingly diverse array of hip cafés, cutting-edge boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and pumping nightclubs.
Laid back, sun-dappled and dotted with eye-catching attractions, Adelaide is a somewhat underrated Australian city compared to the more obvious hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne. Visit at the right time and you'll fall in love with the relaxed South Australian capital, its maritime vibe, and its surrounding beaches.
There's an exciting nightlife scene in Perth, with friendly clubs and a huge selection of pubs that are busy most nights. The Northbridge area is the major clubbing hotspot, with hordes of lively young things coming to dance the night away, and Perth's CDB also offers a wide selection of bars and restaurants to unwind in.
If you’re heading to Perth with the whole clan in tow, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of attractions aimed at the younger market. As well as museums and theatres hosting their own child-friendly events, you’ll be close to long stretches of sun-drenched coast, and just a short drive from forests and nature reserves where you can explore the great outdoors.
Tucked away in the state of Western Australia, Perth may be far-flung but it provides all the museums, galleries, and all-round cultural distractions you'd expect to find in any major city. In fact, you might even argue it gives the likes of Sydney and Melbourne a run for their money.