Australian Tourism Specialist Services
Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia's largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.
Brisbane, capital of Queensland, is a large city on the Brisbane River. Clustered in its South Bank cultural precinct are the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, with noted interactive exhibitions. Another South Bank cultural institution is Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, among Australia's major contemporary art museums. Looming over the city is Mt. Coot-tha, site of Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
The Gold Coast is a metropolitan region south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast. It's famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and elaborate system of inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild. Inland, hiking trails crisscross Lamington National Park’s mountain ridges and valleys, home to rare birds and rainforest.
Cairns, considered the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is a city in tropical North Queensland. Its Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance. Cairns Esplanade, lined in bars and restaurants, has a saltwater swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.
The 74 Whitsunday Islands lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They're characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches. The town of Airlie Beach on the mainland is the region's central hub.
Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, is known for its vast, rugged wilderness areas, largely protected within parks and reserves. On the Tasman Peninsula, the 19th-century Port Arthur penal settlement is now an open-air museum. In Hobart, the port capital, Salamanca Place's Georgian warehouses now house galleries and boutiques. Its Museum of Old and New Art has a contemporary edge.
Perth, capital of Western Australia, sits where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. Sandy beaches line its suburbs, and the huge, riverside Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Mt. Eliza offer sweeping views of the city. The Perth Cultural Centre houses the state ballet and opera companies, and occupies its own central precinct, including a theatre, art galleries and the Western Australian Museum.