Australia has eight capital cities – all very different - for its six states and two territories: Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Canberra (national capital), Sydney and Brisbane.
The largest city is Sydney, with a population of about 4 million people and growing fast, known best for its beautiful harbour setting and modern architecture. Most people visiting Australia will pass through this city, which has the benefits of semi-tropical weather and outdoor lifestyle (many of its occupants surf each morning before going to work) coupled with the fast pace of many big North American and European cities.
Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city and once the national capital. Its architecture is far more European than Sydney’s and its many bluestone buildings and churches hark back to the boom early days of the 19th century and early 20th centuries. It is now best known for its sophisticated culture and charm. A wonderful place dedicated to fashion, art festivals, restaurants and galleries. Much of Melbourne’s night life is hidden in little inner-city alleyways and lanes – so it’s best to ask a local for Melbourne’s secret watering holes and night spots.
One of the best ways to see Australia and to get to know its people is to spend time at a ‘Farmstay’ or retreat in the country regions of Australia.
Australia is naturally blessed with many island getaways – particularly in the north-east, where many idyllic tropical islands sit scattered on the famous Great Barrier Reef.