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Cool Capitals

Get started on your vacation planning and find a few cities to base your travels.

Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth Hobart Canberra


On the water, above the famous harbor or the city centre, there’s a million ways to enjoy Sydney but here are a few musts to get you started:

  • Take a short walk to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. 
  • Climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or fly over it in a seaplane that takes you up the coast.
  • Go to a performance at the Sydney Opera House, or take a guided behind-the-scenes tour. 
  • Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens on a guided walk. Stop at the top of Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for the best views.
  • Explore the uninhabited Sydney Harbour islands by ferry or kayak, including Fort Denison, Shark Island, Rodd, and Goat Island. 
  • Don't miss the Vivid festival when the city lights up with events each May/June. 
  • Get outside of the city for a few days for the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains.

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Melbourne’s exciting mix of style, sport, culture, and dining means you’ll never want to leave unless it’s to equally great spots like the Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley, and Phillip Island

  • Discover Melbourne’s hidden laneways restaurants and shops and rooftop bars with a walking tour
  • Cheer with fans at sporting events like the Australian Open (January) or Australian Football League (AFL) from March to September.
  • Shop like a local including the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia’s oldest gallery for an exciting range of international events
  • Dine at one of the world’s 50 best restaurants or other popular eateries
  • See the nightly Penguin Parade on Phillip Island
  • The Great Ocean Road is often noted as one of the world's great drives. Rent a car or join others. See the surfers at Bells Beach and take a short helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles (there really aren't 12).


Often known for its nearby epic beaches, this sunny capital is well worth some time exploring its eclectic art and outdoor adventures.

  • Climb the city’s StoryBridge and then abseil (aka rappel) down it
  • Soak up the arts on the South Bank
  • Visit Brisbane’s Islands. Moreton Island is home to Tangalooma Wrecks and dolphins. Locals head to Straddie aka North Stradbroke Island
  • Sleep in a lodge in a lush rainforest in the nearby Lamington National Park
  • Take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef if you’re short on time
  • North of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast and the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island
  • South of Brisbane is the Gold Coast, famous for its surfers and hinterland


Adelaide’s laidback lifestyle is the perfect base for wine, wildlife, or Outback adventures.

  • The center of Adelaide’s food scene can be found at the Adelaide Central Market and is best explored on a morning walking tour
  • Join the festivities in the festival state including Tasting Australia and Adelaide Fringe Festival
  • Catch a tram to Glenelg for beachside relaxing
  • Wineries surround Adelaide. The closest is Adelaide Hills but there’s also the Barossa, McLaren Vale, and the Clare Valley
  • Drive five hours through Clare Valley to Flinders Ranges in the Outback for dramatic landscapes, pubs, sheep stations and Wilpena Pound
  • Head to Australia’s seafood hub, the Eyre Peninsula and swim with sea lions and sharks or stay on land for some of Australia’s best seafood
  • Take a short flight or ferry to Kangaroo Island to explore Australia’s Galapagos

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Locals soak up more sunny days than any other Australian capital city, so you’ll see locals out and about enjoying the beach, nearby wine regions, and islands.

  • Explore one of the biggest city parks in the world, Kings Park
  • Perth’s beaches are truly some of the most picturesque including Cottesloe Beach
  • Take a ferry to car-free Rottnest Island home to beaches with coral reefs, pink salt lakes, and quokkas, marsupials that are famous to smile while you take selfies
  • Visit the historic port town of Fremantle including the eerie tours at Freemantle Prison and boutique craft and eating scene
  • Visit nearby Swan Valley or drive three hours south to famous Margaret River
  • The city is also the starting point for some epic adventures further north from Broome and the Kimberley to Ningaloo Reef


Hobart’s colonial city is filled with food, scenery, and experiences that are as fresh as its air - known to be the cleanest in the world. 

  • Hobart’s colonial city is filled with food, scenery, and experiences that are as fresh as its air - known to be the cleanest in the world.
  • Explore Australia’s second-oldest city via the sandstone buildings on the 19th-century waterfront.
  • Shop the beloved Salamanca Markets
  • Sample Tasmanian produce at the city’s hottest restaurants
  • Watch the boats come in from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race
  • Visit Australia’s largest private museum MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
  • Go on a seafood safari to Bruny Island then sample the cheeses
  • Spend a day tasting the area’s cool climate wines, whiskey or craft beer
  • Take a tour of Tasmania’s convict history at Port Arthur
  • Meet a Tasmanian Devil


Surrounded by parkland and native bush, Canberra is home to the country’s capital where many have relocated from Australia’s larger cities for the lifestyle

  • Stay at a designer hotel
  • Float above the capital in a hot air balloon
  • Take a free guided tour of Parliament House
  • See some of the nation’s most important art at the National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery
  • See emus, kangaroos, and cockatoos at the nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
  • Every Sunday shop at the Old Bus Depot markets
  • Explore the Poacher’s Pantry food and wine trail
  • Stay here on the drive between Sydney and Melbourne