Destination illuminating activities in (or near!) Australia’s major cities
Australia is a country of stunning natural beauty and bustling urban hubs, each with their own distinct personality and charm. While it’s easy to get lost in the endless possibilities that each destination presents, what if you only had a limited amount of time to explore? Fear not, we’ve done the hard work for you by curating a list of the most iconic and illuminating experiences that perfectly capture the essence of each location. Whether you have a day or just a few hours to spare, these activities will provide a glimpse into the heart and soul of these diverse Australian cities.
Sydney: Climb the Harbour Bridge at twilight
Sydney has no shortage of well-known landmarks, but the Harbour Bridge’s steel arches uniting the CBD with the North Shore have represented an enduring and iconic image of the city since opening in 1932. What then could be more Sydney-centric than climbing the beloved ‘Coathanger’, but not just at any time of day, specifically at twilight, when a dusky sky envelops the cityscape and the metropolis comes alive bathed in neon light. BridgeClimb packages run between 2.5 and 3.5 hours, and offer jaw-dropping 360º views from the top. Truly breathtaking.
Melbourne: Take a Laneways Tour
The vibrant street art and unflinching style of Melbourne’s inner-city laneways has garnered the attention of locals as well as visitors from far and wide for decades. From quirky cafes and hidden galleries to world-class coffee and tasty street food, these colourful, labyrinthine arteries are about as ‘Melbourne’ as it gets. Over the course of several hours, the city’s rich history and cultural must-sees will be revealed including Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane and Centre Place, where there’ll be plenty of opportunities for those all-important mural-side phot opps.
Hobart: Visit the historical Port Arthur site
Former penal colony turned UNESCO World Heritage Site, Port Arthur is easy 1.5-hour drive from Tasmanian capital Hobart, and a though-provoking experience for more reasons than one. The site consists of well-preserved ruins of the prison, a museum, expansive gardens, several eateries and a gift shop, and the juxtaposition of stunning natural surroundings and the brutal historical significance of the site makes it one of the state’s most visited and renowned attractions.
Adelaide: Take Barossa Valley Cellar Door Luxury Wine Tour
While the City of Churches is stunning in its own right, less than an hour’s drive away is the absolutely glorious Barossa Valley, world-renowned wine region and character-packed South Australian must-do. Either join a small group or arrange a private guide to lead you by the hand (and via luxury vehicle) to all the regional highlights from first-class pours and delectable fare to historical townships, charming shops and galleries, and picturesque countryside. You’ll learn about the labels, see the wine-making process, and sample a bucket-load of tasty sips and morsels along the way. Cheers!
Cairns: Join a Kakadu National Park Day Tour
If you find yourself at the Top End with a day to spare, there’s no more Australian experience than a one-day tour of the wild and untouched environs of UNESCO-listed Kakadu National Park. Delve into the rugged and rocky escarpments and teeming wetlands to discover ancient indigenous cultures and local flora and fauna in their lush native surrounds. Espy historically significant Aboriginal painting and carvings in the rock art galleries, then head out on the Yellow Water Billabong for a little croc-spotting… just remember to keep arms and legs firmly inside the boat!
Brisbane: River Cruise
The legendary ‘Brown Snake’ is beloved by locals for good reason: it’s lined by well-designed bike paths and walkways, parklands, and dining precincts; it offers the best vantage from which to take in the ever-growing skyline; and it’s a quick and easy way to traverse the town from top to bottom. If you’re short on time, a river cruise is also affords a fabulous opportunity to get an eyeful of all of Brissie’s best bits without leaving the comfort of your top-deck perch. Winner!
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