East Coast Places
Sydney, NSW: superb setting, vibrant and dynamic yet still laid back, with excellent shops, restaurants, beaches and action galore, Sydney is Australia’s capital in all but name.
Canberra (the capital city): not many tourists visit this administration centre. The National Galleries are here and some people recommend a visit. Not us.
The Yarra riverside, loaded with eating places on the promenade to the right, servicing the city workaholics from across the river.
Melbourne, Victoria: less sunshine than other cities, but Melbourne is a city of charm, culture and greenery, with some of Australia’s best restaurants and greatest nightlife. It has good beaches not far away and is gateway to the famed Great Ocean Road and some great hiking areas.
Some of the remaining Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, not far from Melbourne. Photo by Alex Proimos.
Brisbane, Queensland: a relative newcomer to sophistication, the capital of Queensland is a lively city with street cafés, a busy nightlife and regular cultural events. The climate is good, the museums and galleries are superb, the artificial swimming lagoon/beach is fantastic, it’s close to both the bush and only an hour from Gold Coast attractions and prime theme parks.
Brisbane’s delightful free lagoon.
Perth, West Australia
Perth’s favourite weekend spot, Rottnest Island. Photo by Cookaa.
Perth, Western Australia: the most isolated city on earth, Perth is a land of skyscrapers, 19th century facades, endless sunshine and sand. Sand for camel safaris, sand scattered with bizarre pinnacles and coastal sand for propping up surfboards – the city alone has nineteen beaches.
Surfing and Wine tasting: The Margaret River offers award-winning wines and a spectacular 130km length of uncrowded, top-class surf breaks. Surf’s up all year round, though the gnarliest waves appear in summer/spring (July-November). From fine waves to fine wines in minutes, what could be finer?
Rottnest Island: 30 minutes by ferry from Perth’s attractive Fremantle suburb, Rottnest is a popular holiday destination, due to the rampaging wallabies and the many great beaches for swimming, fishing, surfing, and snorkelling.
Hiking: the tough but terrific Bibbulmun Track starts from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills and ends 600 miles (nearly 1, 000 kms) away in Albany, but you don’t have to hike the whole thing, 2/3 day packages with accommodation and transfers are popular.
West End: Breezy cliffs have excellent whale and dolphin views.
Sailing: rent a dinghy or yacht or take lessons on the tranquil Swan River.
More activities north of Perth in Western Australia.
Hobart, Tasmania island: Tasmania’s capital is a small, green, riverside city with a mountain backdrop. There’s a pleasant harbour area where cafes congregate and the eclectic and popular Salamanca Market appears on Saturdays.
Three popular itineraries
Girl meets wallaby in Adelaide’s Cleland Wildlife Park.
Sydney – Blue Mountains – Canberra – Snowy River National Park – Melbourne – Great Ocean Road – Grampians National Park
Sydney – Brisbane – Surfer’s Paradise – Cairns – Daintree – Atherton Tablelands – Uluru – Melbourne
Sydney – Byron Bay -Surfer’s Paradise – Brisbane – Fraser Island- Whitsunday Islands – Cairns – Daintree – Uluru – Melbourne – Great Ocean Road – Grampians National Park