Things to do across Australia
Australia’s main cities are full of things to see and do. Below is a list of many of the main attractions in and around them:
Sydney is Australia’s most populous city. It is known for its beaches and its historical/cultural significance as an early colonial settlement that has now become a main metropolitan city of the world.
- Bondi Beach – You can’t miss Australia’s most famous and busiest beach. The beach is aproximately 1 kilometre long and in summer, tens of thousands of Sydney-siders flock here. Watch out for the waves and losing your stuff to petty thieves.
- Sydney Coastal Walk – Take the walk from Bondi to Coogee Walk and enjoy the beautiful coastline, beaches and cafe strips. Finish up with a swim at Coogee Beach.
- Manly Beach – Much longer than Bondi Beach, Manly is one of the best beaches on the North Shore of Sydney. It does cost to park here, but access to the beach is free. You can also rent lockers to keep your possessions secure while your swim or surf.
- Opera House and the Domain – Get the perfect “I’m in Sydney” tourist photo right at the Opera House. You can walk up the steps and around the buildings, inside and out. A guided tour is much more insightful, but it costs money. After that, stroll around Farm Cove to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for some great harbour views. Appreciate Sydney from the green space of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain.
- Darling Harbour – Walk around Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the “all-seasons playground”, that features free entertainment from buskers to the odd outdoor show.
- Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge – No need to whip out your credit card here, this isn’t the walk where you walk up to the top of the Bridge. There is a public walkway which will allow you to walk across each way.
- Government House – Located within the Royal Botanic Gardens the Government House has a free weekend tour when the late 19th century style staterooms can be viewed. The gardens are open daily.
- Parliament House – Visit the Parliament House buildings on Macquarie Street which dates back to Sydney’s early days in 1810.
- The Rocks – Free admission to the The Rocks Discovery Museum takes you on a journey from pre-European days to the present using interactive displays and artefacts.
- The Art Gallery of New South Wales – The Art Gallery of New South Wales has an outstanding collection of works, including the largest permanent collection of Aboriginal art in the world. Admission is mostly free (fees apply for special events and exhibitions), as are the guided tours, and there are often free Aboriginal performances in Yiribana Gallery.
- Sydney Observatory – Breathtaking Sydney Harbour views, Australia’s oldest observatory lets you explore the heavens, use a telescope or see a star explode. Free during the day (fees apply for the 3D space theatre and telescope).
- Australian National Maritime Museum – Its free to explore the museum’s galleries and special exhibitions, the Maritime Heritage Centre, Wharf 7, the North Wharf, the marina and Cape Bowling Green lighthouse.
- Museum of Contemporary Art – Enjoy free admission to the exhibitions, based on contemporary Australian issues in the visual arts, design, architecture and film.
- Royal Botanic Gardens – Thirty hectares of gardens in the heart of Sydney, next to Circular Quay, are real harbourside oasis. Established back in 1816, the Royal Botanic Gardens have an outstanding collection of native and foreign horticulture.
- Sydney Olympic Park – The 40 hectare parklands are great place to walk or take your bicycle ride along the tracks or enjoy a picnic.
- Nielsen Park – Enjoy the scenic beach, picnic areas and walking trails of this Eastern suburb foreshore.
- Pelican Feeding – If you’re on your way north on the highway, stop in at the Central Coast town of ‘The Entrance’. Each and every afternoon at 3pm a local bird conservation group lead a talk on Pelicans and feed the hordes of Pelicans who congregate at the promenade waiting to be feed fish! Drop in, watch the pelicans, enjoy a snack then keep going north.
The second largest city in Australia and a vibrant and trendy destination known for its cafes, nightlife, music scene and celebration of the arts.
- Free tram around Melbourne – Any Melbourne isn’t complete without a ride on a Melbourne icon, the tram. And the best way to get around the city is on the free City Circle Tram. The circuit takes about 30 minutes but you can get on and off as many times as you want. City Circle Trams are burgundy and gold in colour and the stops are specially marked.
- Wander the Narrow Streets and Lanes – Take some time to wander through the quaint, very European narrow lanes of Melbourne’s CDB, especially around Flinders Lane. Mind you, you’ll be tempted to sit and sip lattes because these lanes are lined with delicious cafes and restaurants.
- NGV International – Australia’s oldest public art museum and home to one of the country’s most important art collections with everything from Egyptian and Roman antiquities and Asian art, through to Renaissance, Baroque and everything up to and including contemporary art. 180 St Kilda Road. Open daily except Tuesdays, 10am-5pm.
- The Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia – Discover more than 20 galleries presenting the history of Australian art from the Colonial period through to contemporary art, plus galleries dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Federation Square. Open daily, 10am-5pm.
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image – The first centre of its kind in the world, dedicated to the moving image in all its forms from early cinema to the latest digital media. Two multi-format cinemas, the world’s largest dedicated screen gallery with changing exhibitions and movie/art installations, and hands-on public activity, education and production zones. Federation Square. Open daily, 10am-5pm (until 6pm on weekends).
- The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art – Enjoy photography, video, electronic imaging, painting and sculpture as well as new developments in sound, movement and popular culture at 111 Sturt Street, Southbank. Open Tues-Sun, 11am-6pm.
- On your bike – Melbourne is a great city for cycling. The Bay Trail starts at St Kilda Pier and heads past historic Luna Park before dropping in at a bustling Acland Street café for cakes and coffee, past the colourful St Kilda Marina, parks, restaurants and sports grounds to finish in Brighton, 6km or 40 minutes later. If you want to walk it will take around two hours.
- Queen Victoria Market – On the corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Streets, there’s around 1000 traders selling everything from fruit and vegetables, fresh produce and delicatessen goods to clothing, plants and pets sold at this market. Market Days: Tue and Thur 6am-2pm, Fri 6am-6pm, Sat 6am-3pm, Sun 9am-4pm. Closed: Mondays, Wednesdays, and public holidays.
- Royal Botanic Gardens – 35 hectares of landscaped gardens near the centre of the city on the South Bank of the Yarra. They are widely regarded as the finest botanical gardens in Australia, and among the best in the world. Free guided walks or self-guided audio walks are available. Open daily from 7.30am-6pm April to October and until 7.30pm November to March.
- SLV – Take a free one-hour tour of the domed La Trobe Reading Room, the elegant Cowen Gallery and the new Dome Gallery at the State Library of Victoria. 328 Swanston St. Open daily, 10am-6pm, and until 9pm Monday to Thursday.
- Yarra River Art – The Yarra River winds through the heart of the city, providing the backdrop for a vibrant outdoor contemporary art gallery. Wander past sculpture, paintings, architecture and a ‘soundscape’.
- Playground Fun – Take your kids to Birrarung Marr, the best playground in the city. Its just behind Federation Square where you can have fun and enjoy the view of the city from the park.
- St Andrew’s Market – Saturday morning, St Andrews. Can’t miss it, opposite the pub. No expenditure necessary. Lot’s to look, lovely hill to sit on and watch the world go by.
The city of Adelaide is known for its large amount of gardens within walk of the CBD, aswell as its strong associations with both culture and sport.
- Adelaide Central Markets – Adelaide’s Central Market has been in operation for over 130 years. It features around 120 shops and stalls bursting with people and fresh food. The markets are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- Art Gallery of South Australia – Plenty of European art and Aboriginal art on display.
- Adelaide Cricket Ground Parkland & Bradman Statue – Cricket fans must visit the famous ACG which is so closely linked to the life and career of Sir Donald Bradman.
- Botanic Gardens on North Terrace – Adelaide’s beautiful botanic gardens date back to the mid 1800’s. You’ll find a varied mix of mature gardens for strolling through.
- Adelaide City free bikes – The Adelaide City Council allows anyone to travel anywhere within the city limits. Hire a bike for free and use it to see about the city!
- Walking path along the length of the metropolitan beaches – Stroll along the Adelaide beaches on the paths which span the precincts of Southern Sands and run all the way north to Largs Bay in the Northern Maritime Precinct.
- Free Tour of Haigh’s Chocolates – Take a free 20 minute tour of this world class chocolate factory only 5 minutes drive from Adelaide’s city centre. Find out more about the history of Haigh’s, get a sneak peek at what goes on inside a chocolate factory, and even enjoy some complimentary goodies.
Brisbane is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway for the popular Sunshine and Gold Coasts. It is famous for its unique architecture, generally hot climate and its involvement with international sport events.
- Queen Street Mall – The Queen Street Mall is the inner-city location for great shopping and lively bustle of Brisbane. Open everyday, its a great place to wander through.
- Museum of Brisbane – Entry is free all of time. Plus you can join a free tour of the exhibitions every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11am. The free tour usually lasts an hour, but you can join or leave the group at any time. No bookings is needed.
- City Hall Art Gallery – A guided tour of the City Hall Art Gallery and Museum is available which has a permanent museum collection and changing exhibits of local art. Open daily.
- Brisbane City Hall – Right in the very heart of Brisbane, the city hall is the ideal place for tourists to start their visit in Brisbane.
- Brisbane Macarthur Museum – The Macarthur Museum is a story of General Douglas MacArthur and the Headquarters Allied Forces South West Pacific Area during 1942-1944
- Visit Ashgrove Baptist Church – Visit this lively and attractive Brisbane church. Worship gatherings at 10 am and 6:30pm every Sunday.
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt.Coot-tha – 52 hectares of subtropical botanic gardens just 7 kilometres from Brisbane’s city centre. Entry to the gardens is free.
- South Bank Parklands – South Bank is well-known as the place to go for special occasions. It’s where Brisbane comes together to celebrate
The city of Cairns is known for its fabulous golden beaches, tropically hot weather and its proximity to a number of beautiful must-see scenic destinations, including that of the Great Barrier Reef.
- Ellis Beach – Enjoy the five kilometre strip of golden sand situated 30 mins north of Cairns.
- Coffee in the Tropics – This will cost you a couple of bucks. There is lots of great coffee grown in
the region so you can expect to enjoy excellent coffee in the numerous coffee houses. Of note, check out Perrotta’s at the Gallery, Chapter One, Java Joe’s and The Lily Pad.
- Festivals – Usually held around August and September are the festivals with numerous free and ticketed events spanning music, sport, food and wine, art and family entertainment.
- Watch Sunset from The Esplanade – Lots of people, lots of strange and noisy birds, and a good view of the mountains, mudflats and shore. The walk gets less and less crowded as you move away from town.
- =Mt. Whitfield Walks and Runs – For those of us interested in keeping fit and healthy there are a number of excellent walks and run in the rainforest of Mt.Whifield.
- Cairns Museums – Check out the Cairns Regional Art Museum for some distinguished Pacific-rim art and culture. Or, have a look at the Cairns Museum which presents a history of Cairns and District in static and pictorial displays. Small admission fee of $5 for adults to both museums.
- Muddy’s Playground – In the Cairns Esplanade you’ll find a $30 million dollar kids paradise with endless swings and play apparatus, as well as a waterpark.
- Waterfall Circuit – Probably the part of the Atherton Tablelands the kids and adults will enjoy most. Probably the part of the Atherton Tablelands the kids and adults will enjoy most. The waterfall circuit comprises 3 natural waterfalls; Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Elinjaa Falls, all uniquely spectacular.
- Flecker Botanic Gardens – Just 4km from the city centre, and the only Wet Tropical Botanic Gardens in Australia, the Flecker Botanic Gardens comprise three main areas, each representing a sample of the diverse ecosystem.
- Mossman Gorge – Perhaps one of the most visited spots in Far North Queensland, Mossman Gorge is part of the Daintree Rainforest and is a gorgeous natural place which has maintained its beauty despite being very popular. The Mossman River spectacularly flows past gigantic granite boulders producing freshwater swimming spots throughout the Gorge. If you fancy walking there’s a 2.4km rainforest loop trail, a suspension bridge across the river and picnic area in the National Park.
- Lake Eacham – One of the two famous crater lakes on the Atherton Tablelands, Lake Eacham is exceptionally popular during the warmer weather as a cool swimming spot. Surrounded by dense tropical rainforest, Lake Eacham is ideal for swimming, canoeing and bushwalking.
Perth is the largest city in the West of Australia. It has strong history predating the arrival of European settlers and has now become one of Australia’s main economic hubs.
- Bibbulmun Track – Western Australia’s only long-distance walk trail is a world-class, 963 kilometre trek that stretches from Kalamunda to Albany. Hike the entire trail without ever leaving it – camping at shelters along the way.
- Federation Walkway – Roam for 620 metres through a flourishing canopy of majestic grey gum trees, enjoying million-dollar views of Kings Park’s botanical gardens and natural bushland more than 50 metres below.
- Munda Biddi Bike Trail – Cycle through vast, unspoiled forest surrounded by towering eucalypts, fresh air and ancient bushland between Perth and Dwellingup. The 332 kilometre stretch takes around seven days of pedal power, with cyclists able to rest and replenish in purpose-built campsites.
- Swan River foreshore – Take a leisurely stroll or cycle along the gleaming Swan River, with a dual cycleway/walk trail offering commanding views of the city skyline and Kings Park. Be sure to visit the stunning Swan Bells at Barrack Square.
- Sunset at Cottesloe Beach – Watch a Sunset from Cottesloe Beach. Western Australia is famous for its sunsets over the Indian Ocean -take in the searing peach-coloured sky from Cottesloe’s pristine coastline and smooth terraced lawns. Afterwards, grab some fish and chips, take an evening dip or enjoy a drink at the local pub.
- John Forrest National Park – Hike the walk trails, pack a picnic or marvel at waterfalls, gentle pools, rugged granite outcrops and spectacular vistas of the Swan Coastal plain.
- Fish off the Jetty at Palm Beach – Head to Rockingham and drop a line in the clean aquamarine waters of Palm Beach, or be mesmerized by the friendly dolphins that regularly cavort nearby.
- Go Crabbing in Peel Inlet – There’s nothing quite like succulent, fresh-caught blue manna crab, so drop a net in the crystal-clear and crab-packed and enjoy the spoils with a seafood feast.
- Black Swan – Go Bird Watching at Lake Monger. Just 10 minutes from the city, Lake Monger is home to thousands of magnificent waterbirds including the black swan – the emblem of Western Australia.
- Climb the DNA Tower in Kings Park – Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, Swan River, Darling Scarp and Indian Ocean from this winding climb, which is the highest point in Kings Park. Prepare to puff – the tower is 15 metres high and has 101 steps!
- As you can see, there is a lot to see and do in locations all across Australia. As always, if you are looking for tips and advice on any of these activities or are looking for something more specific, Contact our friendly team!