Australia has cemented itself as the most popular tourist destination in Oceania, even though flights can be up to a day long (depending on where you fly from). Whilst some itineraries will take you to multiple regions, you may need to take separate cruises to visit each of the seven different states, but you can still get a good idea of what Australia is about by only visiting one.
Whether you have a specific stop in mind or want to learn more about this diverse island, here are a few reasons why you should choose Australia as your next cruising destination.
Being the largest state in the country, Western Australia is usually overlooked in favour of the more iconic cities in the west, but what a lot of travellers miss is the freedom to explore. Diverse terrain, hidden beaches and outback trails set the scene for what this state is all about. So if you would prefer to skip the crowds at touristy spots and forge your own adventure, Western Australia could be perfect for you.
Secondly, Perth, being the capital of Western Australia, is a mesmerising city boasting Australia’s laidback style, while adding more authentic touches. The city is easy to navigate; many of the top spots are only a short walk, drive or bus journey away and there are plenty of activities to keep the family entertained. Make sure you visit some of the city’s most famed monuments like The Bell Tower and Fremantle Prison or find more family-friendly spots such as Swan River, Perth Zoo and Penguin Island.
If you would like to take your outback experience to the next level, Northern Territory is your go-to state. The abundance of national parks in the north host some of Australia’s most well-hidden highlights, and the only way of reaching them is by taking the hidden path. Even if you are not an avid hiker, there are plenty of safaris that can give you a greater insight into Australia’s wildlife.
As the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin is situated by the coast and has built up a reputation for its unique style. The city’s mixture of natural parks and stunning coastlines is what people come here to see and, after all, there are plenty of historic spots to enjoy too.
Queensland is the most famous Australian state and is mainly known for one thing, the Great Barrier Reef. The world’s largest coral reef system attracts two million visitors every year and is the best way to see the continent’s expansive marine life. An escape from the mainland can offer a 74-island chain that is popular for diving, snorkelling and boat trips. Alternatively, a trip to Daintree Rainforest is perfect for discovering Queensland’s unique, land-based wildlife.
Brisbane is a traveller’s dream. With warm humid summers and dry, moderately warm winters, it’s perfect for travellers who are looking to catch that winter sun. Foodies can enjoy world-class restaurants, wineries and great street snacks too, before heading into the night with amazing live music at the River City. Whatever you choose to do with your day, you will know that Brisbane offers the perfect mixture of authentic Australian cuisine and sun-kissed beaches.
Australia’s most populous state is home to its largest metropolis, Sydney. And even without this central hub, travellers can have an amazing experience fuelled by what Australia is all about, beautiful beaches. Most famously, Bondi Beach takes the top spot for best beach in the entire country, while, to the north, Byron Bay has gained a lot of attention for its unrivalled waves and scuba diving spots.
Many people may mistake Sydney as the capital, but the reason for its undeniable fame has to be credited to the famous Sydney Harbour. The city has been purpose-built around this colossal centrepiece and, with the addition of the Opera House, the harbour is the place to be. Sydney can take guests from spectacular views to beautiful parks in a matter of minutes, including national parks that contain aboriginal art dating back thousands of year. Finally, for all you thrill-seekers, make sure you book a walk up the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge for jaw-dropping vistas.
Canberra is the capital of Australia and is technically its own state. While this city doesn’t always receive the limelight, it’s the most historically centred destination on this list. Whether you are looking to expand your knowledge of Australia or see some impressive architecture, Canberra should be at the forefront of your thinking. One thing that it shares with the rest of Australia is its wealth of wildlife in one of its largest national park, Tidbinbilla.
As the smallest of all mainland states, Victoria holds its own against others that are better known, with Melbourne being among the top two visited capitals in the country. But, even though Melbourne is the main draw for travellers who adventure to the south-east coast, other hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. A popular day-trip takes people to the small Phillip Island, connected to the mainland via a bridge. You can combine this with the most popular attraction on the island, the heart-warming penguin parade.
At first glance, Melbourne may look like your typical city but, on further inspection, you might realise that this is a foodie’s paradise. From some of the world’s best coffee to exquisite creations such as Melbourne’s pie burger, there is no denying that you could fall in love with this city just because of its cuisine. Lastly, head into Queen Victoria Market, which boasts the title ‘largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere’ and sells one-of-a-kind Australian goods.
Known for being a rich wine region, South Australia can be closely related to Northern Territory in the sense that they both are filled with exotic wildlife and never-ending national parks. Heading towards the coast, there is more opportunity to swim with dolphins and sea lions or dive into the coral reefs. Apart from the capital city, the top tourist spot lands you on the nearby Kangaroo Island, a perfect retreat from the bustle of Adelaide.
Whether you are looking for three-course meals with your favourite comfort food or a chilled downtown jazz bar, Adelaide mixes amazing culinary delights with sensational garden strolls to create an unforgettable experience. Much like other cities on this list, Adelaide is positioned near the coast, so you will never be too far away from the beach.
Lastly, the small island of Tasmania off the south-east coast of Australia is the smallest state. But, don’t let this fool you into thinking there’s not much going on. Tasmania has an astonishing 42% of its land covered in nature reserves, making it a real adventure if you are planning to leave the cities. This plethora of wildlife makes Tasmania seem like a whole new world, and you can head off in search of the coveted Tasmanian devil.
As the second-oldest capital of the state (only after Sydney), Hobart hosts around 40% of Tasmania’s population. There is plenty to do in and out of the city, with the best option being hiking – whether you enjoy it or not, these hikes have the best pay-off once you reach the top. Another highlight includes MONA (Museum of Old and New) that shares Tasmania’s rich heritage and Salamanca Market, where you can experience the hustle and bustle of this small island.
Australia is an extraordinary country and offers so many different experiences; we would recommend visiting at least two states during your stay.