The Capital City of Victoria: 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.
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:
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!:
We can recommend the Vineyard Bar, they do fantastic cocktails and the bartender looks like Iwan Rheon. We also recommend all the cakes:
ALL OF THE CAKES
All in all, Melbourne is fantastic - it's so cultured and hipstery!
The Capital City of South Australia: 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.
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:
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 is a great place, it's got culture, it's got great food and it's definitely worth a look.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
2. Pop Over to Fremantle
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!
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).
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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
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!
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
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:
I think that in itself is art! If I say so myself..
3. Eat at Cantina
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!
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!