For many, Australia is the dream destination, and for us it is home (and trust me we feel incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful, diverse country)! Australia is divided into six states and two territories, each with their own capital city. Despite being an Aussie, I’ve only visited four of these as for years I have prioritised international travel, but now am looking forward to exploring more of my own beautiful backyard and country! Here is our guide to Australia’s capital cities, to assist you when planning you visit Down Under!
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
First up in the list of Australia’s Capital Cities is Canberra, which is not just the capital of the ACT but also the capital of the whole of Australia!
Canberra isn’t one of the biggest cities on this list, so if you’re more of a country girl or a boy, then this city is for you. Its small-town vibes make the city easy to stroll around and you can find nature just within a 15-minute car drive. People in Australia are very kind and easily approachable everywhere, but Canberra being a smaller town, locals are even more helpful and happy to see the faces of new visitors.
Even though we are talking about the term small town here, Canberra is still a city of around 457 000 people – meaning there are still a lot of things to do. So visit one of Canberra’s wineries and eat in its many restaurants. One of the best spots to check out is the Old Bus Depot Market where you can find second-hand clothing, organically produced food, and many eateries of the market.
Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney is the largest and most populated city in the entire country. Even though the city is big, a lot of it is still walkable. We advise you to stroll around in Sydney’s streets and parks to get a better overview of the city itself, but if you feel like walking is too much, get yourself an Opal card.
Opal card is a payment system to integrate all the transport and so you can use it for buses, trains, ferries, and the light rail. Make sure to catch a ferry at least as the views crossing Sydney Harbour are ridiculously beautiful. Also, the world-famous Bondi Beach is located in Sydney so make sure not to miss it!
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is called Australia’s gateway to Asia because of its location. You can also feel this vibe in the culinary world of the city. Expect to find a lot of Southeast Asian food and if you are a culinary person, visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Market and you’re in for a treat! A great tip for Darwin is also the Kakadu National Park.
Melbourne is the most livable city in the entire world, and it definitely lives up to expectations. It has everything to offer; delicious restaurants for all types from Michelin star restaurants to experimental pop-up places, unique bars, and nightclubs, the possibility of playing popular games found on sites like Kolikkopelit in Australia’s biggest casino Crown Casino, as well as murals full of beautiful street art and even one of the most sophisticated coffee cultures in the world. New York and action-packed capitals like London are often referred to as cities that never sleep, but Melbourne can for sure be counted as one of them too.
Adelaide, South Australia
Whether you’re in the city for a weekend break or a longer vacation, there are plenty of things to do. Adelaide Central Market is a must-stop as it has over 40 different nationalities selling different types of cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits, and other things.
Adelaide also has its own zoo, which can provide enough fun for a whole day. Inside you’ll find two giant pandas of Australia as well as other exotic animals. Also, if you are up for some action, check out the Mega Adventure amusement park!
Brisbane is a great destination for a holiday. It has beaches with city views, great shopping possibilities, and many restaurants and bars to choose from. When in Brisbane, make sure to cruise around the river, visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, snorkel in the clear waters, and climb the story bridge. Eat Street Northshore in Brisbane is also one of the coolest food markets out there!
Hobart and Tasmania differ from the other cities in the sense that they’re located on an island. Tasmania is around 240 kilometres off of the mainland.
Head to MONA, if you have any interest in art. Apart from the art, the venue has amazing views and delicious restaurants. Food markets run in Hobart as well, so if you want to visit one of those, check out Farm Gate Markets, Street Eats @ Franko, or Salamanca markets. If you’re up for some nature activities and mind-blowing views, head to Mount Wellington (the Aboriginal name is Kunanyi).
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world, but that doesn’t affect its charm! If you like beautiful views, go take a walk in Kings Park and check out Crawley Edge Boatshed. As a culinary lover, you need to get yourself out to Northbridge – they have some of the best clubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes in Perth. The beach life in Perth is also worth mentioning – Cottesloe Beach and Rottnest Island are just some of the picturesque views Perth has to offer.