Newtown Hotel, Newtown, Sydney NSW © City of Sydney, Katherine Griffiths
Australia's coolest neighbourhoods
From bohemian vibes in Fitzroy to the historic waterfront marina in Hobart, we have the coolest Australian neighbourhoods for you to explore.
Australia's most interesting and creative city enclaves are packed full of vintage fashion, underground bars, rooftop cafes, and popular restaurants. Wander the streets, people watch, or do some serious shopping in the country's trendiest districts.
Fitzroy, just a 10-minute tram or taxi ride north of Melbourne's city centre, is an alternative haven full of street art, retro clothing and live music. Walk along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy's main artery, or head to Gertrude Street for local fashion designers. Discover bars such as Bad Frankie, which specialises in Australian spirits, or survey the whole 'hood from the rooftop bar at Naked for Satan. Don't forget to shop at Rose Street Artists' Market and pick up a pastry from Lune Croissanterie.
Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west, is a LGBTQIA+ friendly neighbourhood with a distinct aesthetic thanks to its vintage clothing stores, record stores, cheap eats, craft breweries, and cocktail bars. Start at the north end at The Malborough Hotel and make your way down King Street, popping into the local brewer Young Henry's for some of Newtown's finest beer, local favourite Earls Juke Joint, and end your night dancing to live music at The Vanguard.
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
Fortitude Valley, in Brisbane's inner city, has long been known as one of Australia's first entertainment districts, but in recent years there has been less grunge and more style as the area has become progressively gentrified. It is still the best place to sample Brisbane's live music scene, and is home to the annual music industry conference Bigsound, at which hundreds of bands take to various stages.
Canberra's inner city suburb of Braddon is one of the most happening spots in Australia's capital. With pop-up design stores, retro op shops (charity shops) and local homewares stores to rummage through, there's plenty of choice for shopaholics. It's also a foodie's dream, with excellent coffee shops like Barrio Collective, as well as an array of lunch and dinner spots, from food vans like Tikka Stand and gastro pubs, to fine dining restaurants like Corella.
City centre, Adelaide
The parallel laneways of Leigh and Peel streets in Adelaide's city centre have a huge concentration of cocktail bars and restaurants to peruse. Start in West End with a bespoke cocktail creation from Clever Little Tailor. Next, order up a plate at New York inspired Fugazzi, or hide away in the award-winning Maybe Mae, inspired by the Cotton Club era.
The Perth suburb of Northbridge, just a 10-minute walk from the city centre, is a cosmopolitan area with so many good restaurants that it has inspired foodie walking tours. Get a taste of Indian street food, such as the signature twice-cooked lamb ribs, at Sauma. Try some Mediterranean bites at the southern Italian-inspired wine bar No Mafia. Or if you have a bit of a sweet tooth try the incredibly indulgent waffles at Superstar Waffles.
Hobart waterfront, Hobart
In Hobart’s waterfront precinct you can stay in one of the city's oldest warehouses, now home to the stylish Henry Jones Art Hotel. The hotel epitomises the unique mix of history and luxury that is drawing travellers to the city. Pay a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), which celebrates local culture and artists. On the other side of the harbour from Henry Jones is Salamanca Place, with its historic sandstone buildings and the weekly Salamanca Market creating a charming artsy vibe.