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Which of These Australian Cities Should You Visit?

australian cities

Australia has eight capital cities (Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart). We managed to go to the first six and so are giving you three things you must do in each of them, which will hopefully help you decide: Which Australian Cities Should I Visit? 

melbourne australia

The Capital City of Victoria: Melbourne.

Melbourne is a fantastic, fun, arty, tasty city. It's quite grungy, but in a good way. It was our personal favourite city in Australia (sorry Sydney). Here are the three things you must do in Melbourne


1. Go to Hosier Lane

By far our favourite part of Melbourne was Hosier Lane. It's a lane with ever changing, extremely sophisticated graffiti. If you are lucky, you may even see some of the artists in action. 

hosier lane graffiti melbourne australia

hosier lane graffiti melbourne australia

 

2. Eat Lots of Food 

Melbourne has an amazing mix of different cultures, and it really shines in their food. It has the second largest population of Greek people (after Greece) and they also have loads of great Asian food, our  favourite place to eat was Don Don Japanese:

don don japanese melbourne austraslia

The food is ultra fast and really cheap for the quality and quantity that you get. We highly recommend it. 

3. Take the Tram Over to St Kilda 
St Kilda is a short tram drive away from Melbourne (the 96), it's really cool there. There are lots of great cute, chic shops, quirky restaurants and funky bars. And more graffiti!: 

st kilda melbourne graffiti

We can recommend the Vineyard Bar, they do fantastic cocktails and the bartender looks like Iwan RheonWe also recommend all the cakes: 

st kilda melbourne cake shop

ALL OF THE CAKES


All in all, Melbourne is fantastic - it's so cultured and hipstery!

windy point restaurant adelaide australia

The Capital City of South Australia: Adelaide 

On the number plates in Adelaide it says 'the Festival State', we think they should rename it 'the Sophisticated State'.  Here are the three things you must do in Adelaide

1. Visit the Barossa 

If you're in Adelaide the Barossa is a must do. The Barossa is where they make lots of yummy world wide award winning wine so I suggest that you book yourself on one of the tours so you don't have to drink and drive. 

barossa south australia
They let you try out the wines and then you're kind of expected to by some wine, which can be expensive but if you go in a group you can organise it between yourselves so you share the expense. 



If you don't like to drink wine you should still definitely go for the fantastic views and to learn about the history of wine. 

2. Hike up the Adelaide Hills

We were so so lucky to have an amazing house sit in Adelaide hills, they are gorgeous: 
adelaide hills south australia
If you don't have a house sit here I urge you to take a walk up here (especially with a dog). The landscape is lush. There were loads of parrots there too and we even saw koalas! 

3. Adelaide Central Market

These were much better than the Queen Victoria ones in Melbourne, in fact if I think about it, these are probably the best markets we've ever been to, they have every kind of fruit and veg possible and it's  all fresh and well organised. There are also coffee shops, cake shops and Asian shops! Places to buy lovely lunch and souvenir shops - and it's all under one roof.
adelaide central market

Adelaide is a great place, it's got culture, it's got great food and it's definitely worth a look.


brisbane

The Capital City of Queensland: Brisbane 

Brisbane is a great city but be warned it's extremely hot! Or it is at least when we were there -in October, December and February.. The shops there are all extremely well air conditioned though, so shopping is bearable (or at least heat-wise it is). Here are the three things you must do in Brisbane

1. Swim for free

Everyone likes free things and the best free thing to get in 40 degree heat is a free swimming pool! This one isn't even grotty or over crowded either. The free outdoor pool is located right next to the Wheel of Brisbane and has a great view of the city and the river. 
brisbane city pool australia
There are free showers too!

2. Kayak along the Brisbane River

This was really epic. We wanted to do something river based and the options were take a boat tour or kayak. So we (obviously) went for kayaking. The staff at Riverlife were great. 
brisbane river kayaking

The guy took this photo for us which I love so much. There are lockers there for your valuables (don't take your camera unless it's water proof, the kayak gets so so wet). We found out a few months later that the Brisbane River is crawling (swimming) with bull sharks.. not sure we would have kayaked along it if we'd known that, but we didn't see hide or hair (scale) of them so I'm sure it's fine. 

3. Eat crocodile

crocodile dish
I've always wanted to eat crocodile ever since I stopped being a vegetarian. Anyway for Valentine's Day we went to Tukkas which is a little walk from Brisbane centre. For starter we had crocodile, it was great. Then for main we had crocodile, emu and kangaroo plus some native berries. Yum. 

Brisbane is such a great city which on the surface seems like there's not much there but if you look a bit deeper it's got loads to offer. We loved it!

perth australia

The Capital City of Western Australia: Perth

The thing that struck us most about Perth was how British it was! Everyone seemed to be British there - and not just the three separate families that we stayed with, everyone on the train and in the centre seemed to be British and everyone wears a suit! But aside from watching out for the British, here are the three things you must do in Perth




1. Enjoy the City 

There are two great things about the city of Perth firstly, all the buses in the centre are free! Secondly, is this alley which looks like it's come straight from Harry Potter (minus the Ozzie flags):

perth city view australia

Perth also has some amazing parks, they are free to sit in and are so beautiful:

perth park australia


2. Pop Over to Fremantle 

Fremantle is a short train ride out of Perth. It's a cute little hippyish town with cool shops and cool people. There is also a prison there which is the only heritage building in Australia (I think?)  you can kayak underneath it which we'd recommend, even though we didn't have enough money to do it!
fremantle prison australia
The markets there are also really cool. We normally take sandwiches with us for lunch and we really really regretted it that day - the food smelt so good!



perth market australia

3. Have an Evening at the Breakwater

The Breakwater is a great place to spend the evening and was even featured on Australia's 'The Bachelor' (so you know it must be good). 

perth breakwater australia

There are lots of different restaurants and bars. It's also pretty cool in the day too. 



The best thing about Perth though is it has pretty much perfect weather most of the time. It's not too muggy like Queensland, it's hotter than South Australia and Victoria and barely ever rains - unlike Sydney. 



sydney

The Capital City of New South Wales: Sydney 

Not the capital of Australia but with it's iconic sights, important history and quirky character it definitely should be. Here are the three things you must do in Sydney


1. Surf at Bondi Beach

Touristy or not, this was our favourite thing about Sydney. It's a iconic beach about 40 minutes (on train and bus) from Sydney. It's definitely worth the trip or you could just stay there - it's very backpacky. We surfed here which you can read about here, the weather was beautiful and we could have spent days there. 

bondi beach sydney


Although the grocery stores here were ridiculously expensive (they know they can get away with it), the restaurants here were pretty good and fun! This was also the first place in Australia where we found charity shops. 



2. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Modern Art

We really enjoyed this museum, the art in there was really up our street:

museum of contemporary modern art sydney
If you're not into this type of art, or find it irksome to have to wear your backpack on your front, then this museum may not be for you. However saying that, it's free entry you might as well have a look!


3. Marvel at the Sydney Opera House 

Sydney Opera House is Australia's most iconic building. The thing that struck us when we first saw it was that it's a lot smaller than we thought, but maybe that's just us. You can see an Opera here (obviously) which we didn't, but my Grandma did - she saw Madam Butterfly and said it was excellent! If Opera isn't your thing you could opt for having a tour of the building, which we also didn't do... So what did we do? We had lunch there. We also took a billion photos of us outside of it, here are the best two: 
sydney opera house australia


We were worried that Sydney would be over-rated and touristy - but it wasn't! It's a great city which you've got to visit

canberra australia
The Capital of Australia: Canberra

Canberra is one of the strangest cities we've ever been to, perhaps because it was created and designed to be the capital of a country (unlike almost every other capital in the world, which earned it through being strategically placed and having historical events occur in it). Anyway, here are the three things you must do in Canberra

1. Get to the Top of Parliament House


canberra parliament house australia

Don't go there because it's where Australia's Parliament lives or because it's the main reason for Canberra or because it's the most expensive building in Australia. No we recommend it for the views of the city from its roof!

canberra parliament house

The roof is free to go onto, but no one else was up there. You also get to have a closer look at the massive Australian flag and pole (compensating for something??)




2. Check Out the National Portrait Gallery 

canberra the portrait gallery

The portrait gallery is really awesome, but that may just be my opinion as portraits are my favourite type of art. Be warned you can't take photos, which I didn't realise, so here are my photos:
canberra the portrait gallery
I think that in itself is art! If I say so myself..

3. Eat at Cantina

cantina canberra australia


Cantina does great Mexican food and Sangria, perfect for a hot day. They are conveniently located in the centre as well.



Despite it's undeserved title as the Capital of Australia, we had an awesome time in Canberra. Great city!



So there you have it, our thoughts on six of Australia's Capital Cities. We hope that you found it useful! 


How were we able to stay so long in Australia for so long (9 months) AND move around so much? The reason is: House Sitting


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ABOUTME

We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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