While Sydney is Australia’s most populated city, it certainly isn’t Australia’s only city. In such a vast country many other popular destinations have been developed, reflecting the unique qualities of the region to which they belong to, and inviting visitors to engage in a range of different Australian experiences.
Melbourne rivals Sydney in a friendly popularity contest. It is the next most populated city in Australia and is the capital of the state of Victoria. Like Sydney, Melbourne combines business with pleasure, though is less flamboyant and relies more on its European buildings and historic trams to exhibit both class and culture.
A big draw of Melbourne is its cooler climates. Situated on the South-East Coast it provides a haven for those wishing to escape the humidity and the higher temperatures of the North and wishing to experience, in contrast to the harshness of the Australian outback, the serenity of the hidden off-coast islands that attract the penguins from the Antarctic.
Quite the opposite to Melbourne, in location, climate and cultural noise, is the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin. Darwin is in the tropics, boasting year-round heat, tropical thunderstorms and crocodiles. It is the launching pad to the outback, with its unique landmarks and wild beauty, and the gateway to Australia’s most densely populated Aboriginal community.
Darwin is not for the faint of heart, but rather for those seeking adventure and an in-depth look into a unique and fascinating culture.
To the east of Darwin, also in the tropics, lies the Queensland city of Cairns. Mostly famous for being home to the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns slows the pace of the extremities of Darwin down to a more relaxing experience in a tropical haven, while still offering a year-round summer. Here, you can snorkel the reef, learn to dive, cruise the Whitsunday Islands, get lost in the tropical rainforest or simply sun-bake on the beach.
Perth is the hub of the West, the capital of Western Australia and home to quite a lot of working-tourists. This city lacks the competition and the constant glare of the tourist trappings of the East and invites its visitors to simply pickup some homegrown wine and kick back in its open spaces and natural, quiet beauty.
Home to deserts, mines, farms and national parks, the vastness of Perth and its surrounding regions is striking, and for once it’s good to feel relaxed and untouched by the busy and demanding outside world.
The Gold Coast is everyone’s guilty pleasure. Voted the country’s most visited domestic tourist destination by Australians, the Gold Coast is the playground for people of all ages. Situated on the mid-East Coast in the South of Queensland, the Gold Coast is easily accessible to all by plane, boat, car or train. It boasts Australia’s biggest theme parks, Dream World, Movie World and Sea World, and is home to some of the countries most famous casinos, nightclubs and beaches. Here you can ride the fourth highest roller coaster in the world, throw your money around what is termed Australia’s “Vegas”, dance the night away at a beach club and simply indulge in a few days of frivolous fun.
What cities would you recommend visiting in Australia other than Sydney? Let us know in the comments!