Guide to the best cities in Australia

Australia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world but how much do you know about Australia’s Cities, States and Territories?  Get your guide to the best cities in Australia.

Australia's cities states and Territories

We are a country, an island and a continent.  Australia is the world’s smallest continent and the sixth-largest country.  It is made up of 6 states, 2 territories and 9 island territories.  

Australia is the world’s largest island but despite the it’s size, the population is just under 25 million.

What to see Down Under

Australia is home to some amazing natural wonders.

  • Queensland’s famous Great Barrier Reef
  • Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory
  • The Bungle Bungles in the Kimberleys in north Western Australia
  • Franklin River wilderness in Tasmania

We are proud of our beautiful white sandy beaches and seemingly endless summers.  Most have heard about the great Australian Outback, Uluru and the ancient Daintree Rainforest.  But, did you know that Australia also has some of the best snowfields in the world?

The big question is …

what will you do first?

Do you know which are the best cities in Australia?

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales (NSW)

Sydney Australia

New South Wales is Australia’s oldest and most populated state in Australia.  Originally settled as a penal colony in 1788, Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales.

What to do in Sydney

Renowned for its gorgeous beaches and fantastic weather, Sydney is Australia’s largest city. The most popular travel destination in the country, Sydney attracts over 32 million visitors per year.

  • Do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
  • Tour the Sydney Opera House
  • Take a cruise on Sydney Harbour

Read more about Sydney in our Guide to Sydney

Melbourne is the multi-cultural capital of Victoria (VIC)

Melbourne city - Cities States and Territories

Melbourne in Victoria is often referred to as the nation’s sporting capital.  Famed for the Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cricket Grounds and the place where Australian Rules Football began.

What to do in Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for its graffiti laneways, boutique fashion houses and its popular coffee culture. Voted as the world’s most livable city, it’s a great place to head for a weekend getaway.

  • Check out the Graffiti Laneways
  • Take one of Melbourne’s tours into it’s shady past
  • Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets

Explore more of Multicultural Melbourne

Canberra is in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Australia

Australia’s Capital Territory’s capital is Canberra.  Canberra is centre of our government and home to national museums, galleries and one of the world’s leading research universities.

What to do in Canberra

Showcasing some of the most interesting exhibitions that Australia and around the world, Canberra is also the hub for the Australian Government.

In spring, Canberra hosts one of the most magnificent floral festivals in Australia – Floriade.

If you enjoy visiting museums and galleries, cafes serving great coffee and the stunning landscape nearby, then you won’t want to miss Canberra.

  • Do the Parliament House Tour
  • Visit the National Museum of Australia
  • Lose yourself in the Australian War Memorial

Brisbane is the Capital of Queensland (QLD)

Southbank water fun - Queensland sunshine

Brisbane is the state’s capital and enjoys more winter sunshine and warmth than most Australian cities.  As the locals say – Beautiful one day, perfect the next!

Queensland is best known for its ancient Daintree rainforest, world famous Great Barrier Reef and over 900 beautiful tropical islands.  

What to do in Brisbane

Brisbane city offers a range of city-side activities from lazy river cruises to an abseiling adventure down the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.  You’ll love the trendy cafes and alfresco restaurants while enjoying an afternoon of sunshine at the South Bank parklands.

Read more in our Guide to Brisbane – Queensland’s Sunshine State

Visit Adelaide in South Australia (SA)Adelaide - the Festival State

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and most popular for its Mediterranean style climate.

What to do in Adelaide

Adelaide has a thriving arts and cycling culture. Known as the ‘Festival State’ South Australia hosts over 500 events and festivals each year.

  • Visit the wine regions of the BarossaClare Valley and McLaren Vale wineries.
  • Visit the magnificent Flinders Ranges
  • Explore Kangaroo Island
Read more about Adelaide in our Guide to Cosmopolitan Adelaide.

Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT)

Mindil Beach Sunset

Darwin is the Northern Territory’s capital city.  Located on the northern coast of Australia, Darwin is the gateway to a number of Australian icons and National Parks.  Darwin is a tropical paradise and the perfect getaway destination.

What to do in Darwin

Darwin is the gateway to some of the most spectacular National Parks in Australia.  It is the connection point for Kakadu & Nitmiluk National Parks, Alice Springs or Uluru.

Read more:  Drive from Darwin to Adelaide – the best Aussie road trip

What to do in Alice Springs

Uluru Ayers Rock, Northern Territory Australia

Alice Springs is considered the spiritual heart of Australia, with rivers and ranges millions of years old.  It is part of an ancient Aboriginal culture, rich in art and story.

Hobart is Tasmania’s capital (TAS)

Tasmania - the Apple Isle

Hobart is Tasmania’s capital city, founded in 1804 as a penal colony.  As the smallest state in Australia, Tasmania is an island separated from the mainland by Bass Strait.

Tasmania is covered by national parks and wilderness.  Visit Cradle Mountain and the Franklin River to find some of the best walking trails in Australia.

Things to do in Hobart

Enjoy Tasmania’s spectacular scenery, fresh produce cheese & wines.

  • Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MONA)
  • Stroll through the Salamanca Markets
  • Take a day trip to Port Arthur

Melbourne is the multi-cultural capital of Victoria (VIC)

Melbourne city - Cities States and Territories

Melbourne in Victoria is often referred to as the nation’s sporting capital.

  • The Melbourne Cup is known as the horse race that stops the nation.
  • Catch a game of cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds
  • Or go to an AFL match at the place where Australian Rules Football began.

What to do in Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for its graffiti laneways, boutique fashion houses and popular coffee culture. Voted as the world’s most livable city, it’s a great place to head for a weekend getaway.

  • Check out the Graffiti Laneways
  • Take one of Melbourne’s tours into it’s shady past
  • Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets

Explore more of Multicultural Melbourne

Perth is Western Australia’s capital city

Perth - Western AustraliaWestern Australia’s capital is Perth.  A beautiful city famed for its uncrowded beaches, stunning parklands and fresh seafood.

With over 13,000 kilometres of pristine coastline with

  • Check out the incredible landscapes like Lake Hillier, the Pinnacles and Wave Rock
  • The Margaret River wine region for quality wines, cheese and fresh produce
  • Swim with the dolphins at Monkey Mia
  • Visit Cable Beach in Broome to take a sunset camel rides along the beach

The external Territories

There are a number of external territories under the administration of Australia. Some are open to visitors with regular flights and accommodation available, others are research facilities.

Are you considering a trip to Australia?Plan your travels

Do you need some help to find the best cities to visit on your trip to Australia?

Click onto our easy Itinerary Planner to plan your Aussie adventure.

Get get to know of some of our favourite city escapes.

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Best Cities States and Territories of Australia

This will give you a glimpse of the best cities in Australia but there is so much to see when you visit.  Read more:

Have you been to all of Australia’s Cities, States and Territories?  Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go?  Do you have any questions … perhaps I can help.