Australia is more than beaches, desert, and mountains. These man-made wonders will inspire you to spend time in the country’s amazing cities.
Australia is famous for its spectacular natural scenery and glorious beaches, but there’s plenty of man-made wonders that will make your jaw drop. Check out these city gems and cultural hotspots on your trip around the country.
See the sacred cricket grounds
You might be catching a match while you’re visiting Australia, but there’s more to see in the stadiums than the view from the stands. The MCG in Melbourne is Australia’s largest stadium and the world’s largest cricket stadium, and you can admire this monumental structure through behind-the-scenes tours and by visiting the National Sports Museum. In Adelaide, see a different side of Adelaide Oval by taking a guided tour to learn about the oval’s history (which dates all the way back to 1871), or try the RoofClimb for a more adventurous experience of walking along the curved rooftop. Afterwards, visit the Bradman Collection to view a private collection of memorabilia from Australia’s most famous cricketer.
Climb the iconic landmarks
Australia’s iconic buildings and structures look great in photos, but did you know that you can climb some of them, too? Try the popular BridgeClimb on Sydney's Harbour Bridge for an exhilarating walk to the highest point with amazing views of the city and harbour. Further north, Queensland’s glitzy Gold Coast offers the SkyPoint Climb for an awe-inspiring adventure 270 metres (886 feet) in the air. SkyPoint is located at the top of the Q1 building, and as the tallest skyscraper in the Southern Hemisphere, it provides spectacular views of the lengthy beach and high-rise buildings that surround it. To top off your climb experiences, take a twilight adventure climb along Story Bridge in Brisbane for sunset views of the city skyline.
Visit the vibrant cities
Dive deep into Australia’s cities and you’ll find some vibrant and exciting attractions that are off the beaten path. Sydney’s city centre holds numerous underground bars, rooftop cafes, and restaurants with a view, or head out of the city to visit the neighbourhood of Newtown for Victorian architecture, quirky bookshops, cheap eats, craft breweries, cocktail bars, and vintage clothing stores. Spend time in Perth’s hip suburb of Northbridge for boutique shopping and cute cafes, or head to Fortitude Valley - a happening area in Brisbane - for an exciting live music scene, funky bars, on-trend eateries, and impressive street art.
Seek out the hidden laneways
Australia’s cities are packed with hidden gems. Melbourne is particularly famous for its laneways, and for those who love to stumble upon street art, Hosier Lane is a great find. Branching off Flinders Street near Federation Square, this narrow street is covered from top to bottom in murals. The art here is constantly changing so you may spot an artist painting a new piece as you wander along. In Sydney, stop by Spice Alley to find a selection of hawker-style eateries serving a variety of Asian dishes from Singapore Noodles to Hong Kong Yum Cha, or visit Bakery Lane in Brisbane for a creative hub of design studios along with restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Admire art and cultural attractions
It’s easy to get swept up in Australia’s many cultural attractions. Start by seeing a performance at the Sydney Opera House, which hosts more than 40 shows each week including opera, theatre, classical music, and ballet. In Canberra, learn about the birth of Australia’s political system at the Museum of Australian Democracy, then watch politicians debate current issues in Parliament House. Head south to Hobart and explore the provocative collection of art at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Australia’s largest privately owned museum. The spacious galleries, which have been built into the side of a rocky cliff, are filled with controversial works which you can learn about via a self-guided audio tour on an iPod touch.
New Storyation itinerary - Syd to Melb.
Get set for shopping
Australia’s shopping scene has evolved in recent years with high-end boutiques and artisan market stalls dominating chain retail stores. In Melbourne, stop by Queen Victoria Market for an extraordinary range of food stalls along with clothes, jewellery, and homewares. If you’ll be visiting the Northern Territory between May and October, Darwin hosts the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets with more than 300 stalls operating under palm trees by the beach. At this Asian-style night market, you can browse for local craft, art, and souvenirs, then take a seat on the sand to watch the sky turn orange-red as the sun makes its way below the horizon.