Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.
Located on Australia’s southeastern coast, Sydney is the capital of New South Wales. A modern city with a long history, Sydney is defined by its scenic harbor. The region’s first inhabitants lived along the harbor’s bank for thousands of years. The harbor was also the landing site for convicts sent to Australia during the 1780s. Today, ferries take visitors for cruises under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the iconic Sydney Opera House.
The capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is Australia’s second most populated city. Located near the southeastern tip of Australia on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, Melbourne is considered the nation’s cultural capital as well as an important port. A well-planned city known for its shopping, fine restaurants and sports venues, Melbourne is the ideal destination for travelers who appreciate the good life.
Located on Australia’s southwestern coastline, Perth is the country’s fourth-largest city and the capital of Western Australia. Isolated from other major cities in Australia, Perth has developed its own unique character. Although the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, there’s a youthful atmosphere and a fun-loving attitude in this city of nearly two million people.
Hobart is the capital city of the Australian island of Tasmania, as well as Australia’s second oldest city after Sydney. With a population of about 250,000 Hobart is small and intimate compared to larger mainland Australian cities, reflecting the small size of the state. There are many fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture in Hobart, such as Salamanca Place, which has a terrace of warehouses dating back to the whaling days of the 1830s. It has a mild temperate oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons.