A great way to indulge in the beauty and excitement that the Land of Kangaroos has to offer is to escape the winters in India and head to the offbeat Australian summer locations. However, upon landing here, you’ll realise that you need more than one Australian tour package to tick it off your bucket list. That said, once you have decided to traverse through this happening tourist nation, it’s time to go city hopping – for the glitter, the fun and the mouth-watering food!
Many people think Sydney is the capital of Australia. Yes it is – the entertainment capital though. From historical buildings to numerous surf beaches, hot clubs and world-class restaurants, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice. You can climb The Harbour Bridge near Sydney Opera House or take a tour of the Opera House itself, which is specially magnificent at sunset. Head to the Blue Mountains for a breath of fresh air or explore the Royal Botanical Gardens within the city itself to become one with nature.
And then, there are the beaches – the Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte Beach to name a few, where you can go body surfing or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. Gordon’s Bay is the place to be if you’re into diving, as it boasts of an offshore reef and an underwater nature trail.
Sydney is also known for its festivals and events- the best one being Vivid Sydney, a festival of colorful lights and music, held in May/June every year. Other festivals include Winter Magic Festival and the Sydney Festival for art lovers.
When it comes to pleasing your taste buds, Sydney never fails to surprise us! The underground French restaurant called Hubert continues to have long waitlists for its magical chicken preparations put together with wine, while Ester Restaurant and Bar is the one to go to for a special dinner. Other big names include Fred’s and Momofuku Seiobo, with their chefs offering meals straight from their wood-fired ovens to add a personal touch to your meal.
The city of Melbourne has a different kind of vibe altogther – with a blend of style, culture and sports. Since most of the places to see are not too far off, it may be worthwhile to wander about and explore some parts of the city on foot.
You can start from Federation Square – a venue for arts, culture and other public events and admire Australian art at the Ian Potter Centre National Gallery. At the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, discover Australia’s digital culture and film history. The Flinders Street train station is right across the Square, giving a glimpse of French renaissance style. From here, you can wander around the cobbled laneways of Degraves Street and soak in the carefree vibe of the coffee shops and shopping boutiques or shop at Queen Victoria Market for local arts and crafts and vintage fashion.
Melbourne also hosts a number of international sports tournaments – for cricket, football, tennis and more. Don’t forget to check the schedule and book in advance, if you fancy any of the sports.
Like Sydney, Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise, too. Chinatown is full of restaurants to satisfy many a palates, with its Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Korean preparations. Fonda Mexican is another eating place that offers tasty tacos and burritos without burning a hole in your pocket. For a sophisticated meal, book in advance at Attica, that sits in the list of the world’s 50 best restaurants.
Situated on the Brisbane river in Queensland, Brisbane is a warm city with the glitz similar to the other capitals but lesser crowds. Art and outdoor adventure come together to create a mixed experience, as you enjoy kayaking on the river and check out The Triffid, hosting some of music’s hottest acts. The city also offers various encounters with nature like day tours to the ocean and feeding dolphins at the beach near Moreton Island as well as pretty little riverside gardens, all without breaking your wallet. While at Brisbane, you must not miss cuddling a Koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or climbing the iconic Story Bridge either.
The city’s laid-back and tranquil ambience is complemented by rooftop bars in Fortitude Valley. It also has some sophisticated cafes and restaurants like Urbane and Gerard’s Bistro, where the wines add to the global flavors of the food. You can also visit Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall for its bar snacks, live country music and fun-filled vibe.
Sorrento Beach, Perth
Yet another city to add to your Australia holiday package is Perth in Western Australia. With its picturesque parks and calm soft-sand beaches, you will surely love soaking in the sun here. The most famous beach is Cottesloe Beach, with its breathtakingly clear waters that look like floating glass!
You can stroll in the many trails around Swan River and melt with the kangaroos and birds at Heirisson Island. Kings Park is one of the most visited areas due to the charming view it provides of the city and the Swan and Canning rivers, as well as its intricately maintained gardens. To experience the vibrant city culture in the evening, head to Northbridge for its variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
You can also visit Fremantle and Leederville, not too far away from Perth. While Fremantle promises music and art on its historic streets, Leederville is perfect for café hoppers and party animals.
Though it is difficult to cover these four cities on a single trip, it is worth working towards 2-3 of them on a customised tour package, depending upon your resources. Flights between the various cities are inexpensive and reliable and can save you a lot of time, but nothing beats the great Australian road trip, if you can spare the time for it!