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This elegant city is known for its colonial stone architecture, expansive parklands, lively festivals and incredible sense of space. Explore the museums and libraries of North Terrace, dine on dedicated 'eat streets' or picnic in gardens that sprawl over almost half the city. Go bike riding in Botanic Park or row past rose gardens in Rymill Park. Swim with dolphins or learn to sail in Glenelg or fish from the jetty in Henley. Just beyond the city centre you'll find the picturesque Adelaide Hills and the world-class wineries of the Barossa Valley.
Five ways to immerse yourself in Adelaide:
1. Hit the eat streets
Sample everything from Asian fusion to Argentine cuisine in the exotic, bustling foodhalls of Chinatown. Embrace the alfresco ambience of Rundle Street in Adelaide's East End or live it up in one of the city's many elegant wine bars and fashionable restaurants. Enjoy a beach sunset with your meal in the coastal suburbs of Glenelg and Henley Beach or wind down with a wine at the National Wine Centre. If you're a fresh food addict, Adelaide Central Markets offer premium produce from growers across the state.
2. Feel green and serene in Adelaide's parks
Hire paddleboats and bikes in Elder Park or row past formal rose gardens in Rymill Park. Picnic in the local's beloved Botanic Park or cycle from the hills to the coast in River Torrens Linear Park. For serious tranquility, head to the classic Japanese oasis of Adelaide-Himjei Garden. Adelaide's 29 parks take up almost half of the city, and come with walking trails, quiet spaces and sporting fields for everything from football to archery.
3. Head for the coast
Swim with dolphins or learn to sail in Glenelg, which bustles with sidewalk cafes, alfresco dining and summer entertainment. In the beach suburb of Henley, you can fish from the jetty or go on a culinary world tour at the ethnic food stores and eateries. Explore the museums, markets and historic harbour of Port Adelaide, the city's maritime heart. Or see heritage buildings and colourful summer sideshows in family-friendly Semaphore. Further along the spectacular Le Fevre Peninsula, you can swim on protected beaches and walk one of the state's few heritage-listed jetties at Largs Bay.
4. Soak up Aboriginal and European heritage
Do a cultural tour of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens with traditional custodians the Kaurna people. You'll learn how native plants have been used for sustenance, shelter, ceremonies and medicines for thousands of years. Browse the world's largest collection of Aboriginal antiquities at the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum and visit Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Adelaide also has a proud European heritage for you to explore -in the museums and libraries of North Terrace, in Adelaide Town Hall and in Port Adelaide, the state's first declared heritage area.
5. Escape to the hills
Drive to the Adelaide Hills, where the picturesque farmlands and charming villages have inspired many generations of artists. Stay in Bavarian-inspired chalets and browse the bakeries, craft shops and galleries of Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German village. Visit The Cedars, once the gracious old home and studio of famous landscape artists Sir Hans Heysen. Then hit the markets of Lobethal, a fairytale town which celebrates Christmas with metres and metres of colourful lights.
Enjoy one of the world's most beautiful and unique wilderness holiday destinations in which the locals include wallabies, goannas, koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, dolphins,
sea lions, penguins, fur seals, eagles, whales and ospreys.
Share with them the pure air and clean water that makes Kangaroo Island one
of the last unspoiled wonders of the world. The people of Kangaroo Island see prosperity in tourism but know the value
of what they have and are working hard to find the right balance between development
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Don't miss this small, scenic capital, famous for its Georgian buildings and crisp air. Browse bustling Salamanca Markets and run your hands over the sandstone buildings in Salamanca Place. Climb craggy Mount Wellington for sweeping views over Hobart and the wide Derwent River. Do a ghost tour in Battery Point, walk across Australia's oldest bridge in Richmond and visit the cute coastal hamlet of Kettering. Wind past forest and farmland to the cool-climate wineries of the Coal Valley. See bright spinnakers on the water and dine on fresh seafood from one of Hobart's waterside restaurants.
Five must-have Hobart experiences:
1. Wander Salamanca Place
Step back in time in Salamanca Place, the captivating cobblestone square on Hobart's waterfront. On Saturday mornings, you can wander through bustling Salamanca Markets and see glassblowers, potters and painters selling their wares. Buy a one-off piece of craft or pick up organic fruit and vegetables, farmhouse cheeses and freshly-cut flowers from the friendly local growers. Drink coffee under the sun umbrellas while listening to the slap of sails on masts and busking string quartets. Explore the galleries, theatres, craft shops and restaurants in the 1830s Georgian warehouses, once the haunt of sailors, whalers and workmen.
2. Climb Mount Wellington
Take in panoramic views over Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula from the interpretation centre at the top of windswept Mount Wellington. Stroll through cool forested gullies along the historic Pipeline Track or traverse Wellington Range on the back of a horse or mountain bike. Climb Sphinx Rock and see the Octopus Tree, the forest's tallest tree. Abseil or climb the Organ Pipe's craggy dolerite towers. Camp under the stars, four wheel drive along rough mountain trails or bike-ride down the mountain on an exhilarating tour. Mount Wellington's wilderness experience is 1,270 metres above sea level but just 20 minutes from the city centre.
3. Stay in Hobart's oldest suburb
Stay in bed and breakfasts next to grand old mansions and simple fishermen's cottages in Battery Point, named after a battery of guns put on the point in 1818. The guns have long been dismantled but Battery Point has retained its original seafaring charm. Visit elegant old buildings such as Arthur Circus Cottages, St. George's Anglican Church and Van Diemen's Land Folk Museum, a Georgian building on landscaped grounds. Check out Kelly's Steps, built by legendary adventurer James Kelly in 1839. Or walk in the footsteps of convicts, bushrangers, whalers, sailors, barmaids and prostitutes on a ghost tour.
4. Visit Richmond and Kettering
You can walk across Australia's oldest bridge and stand in the cell of its oldest jail in picturesque Richmond, a 30-minute drive north-east from Hobart. Explore the cobblestone streets by the lantern light of a ghost tour or picnic on the banks of the Coal River. Check out local art and craft in the galleries and cafes. On your way back to Hobart, stop off at one of the Coal Valley's many wineries. South from Hobart, you'll find the sleepy seaside town of Kettering on the shores of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Have lunch watching the yachts and fishing boats bob on the sheltered harbour or take the ferry to Bruny Island.
5. Fill up on seafood and fine wine
Savour classic cool-climate wines at the cellar doors and wineries of the Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley and Huon Valley, all a short drive from Hobart. You can team them with a plate full of fresh produce in a sunny vineyard restaurant. Feast on freshly shucked oysters at Barilla Bay and fresh-off-the-boat fish from Salamanca Markets. Or you can watch the catch being unloaded from the balcony of one of Hobart's waterside restaurants. Wrap yourself in the aroma of ground coffee in the cafes of Salamanca Place. Or spice up your holiday with a meal at one of Hobart's many great Indian eateries.
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Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Here you can soak up culture, hit the sporting grounds, taste the dynamic food and wine scene, dance til dawn or wander the parks and leafy boulevards. Visit Federation Square, the city's landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank's cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Five Must-Have Melbourne Experiences:
1. Shop till you drop
Bag a bargain at the Rose Street Artist's Market and browse the funky boutiques on Brunswick Street. Buy designer labels such as Akira Isogawa and Zimmerman on Chapel Street in Prahran or in the historic Melbourne General Post Office, which covers an entire city block. For everything from fashion to furnishings at fantastic value, visit Bridge Road in Richmond. Melbourne is a shopper's haven, offering eclectic boutiques, high-end fashion, funky homeware stores and European style piazzas in the city's arcades and hidden laneways.
2. Bar hop and dance till dawn
Sip a cocktail in a converted sea container in Chinatown, enjoy a sunset beer in a St Kilda pub or listen to cabaret in lush retro surroundings in jazz bars in the city. Linger over exquisite tapas and exotic wine in a Little Collins Street bar and mingle in a pink parlour with fake grass in Bourke Street. You can party from dusk in the bars of Brunswick Street. Or dance till dawn in bars in the city's lantern-lit laneways, secret apart from the spill of coloured light under heavy brass doors.
3. Get into the gourmet goodness
Let the aroma of good coffee waft over you in Melbourne's gothic European laneways. The city is famous for its coffee and old-world café culture but there's so much more to explore. Once you've downed a 'short black' or taken an afternoon aperitif, try tea in a nineteenth-century hotel or salivate over your silver spoon in acclaimed restaurants like Nobu, Botanical and Becco. Pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood at the Queen Victoria Market on a Saturday, known for its bustling crowds and buskers. Try out the restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars in Southbank or Federation Square. Make your way around Melbourne's multicultural cosmos of cuisines: Carlton for Italian classics, Richmond for budget-friendly Vietnamese and Fitzroy for Spanish tapas.
4. Fill up on culture
See a performance by the Australian Ballet, which is based here in Australia's cultural capital. Or enjoy a dazzling musical at the Princess Theatre. Browse the Southern Hemisphere's best collection of international art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Or visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square, a landmark cultural 'space' for Melbournians. Challenge yourself with the creative collections in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank. To learn more about Melbourne's Aboriginal cultural heritage, see contemporary and dreamtime art or take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
5. Go sports mad
Cheer for an Australian Rules Football game with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over winter. Go cricket mad in summer, when the city hosts the Ashes and one day internationals. Or join the huge crowds watching the Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park. Rev heads head to Melbourne in March for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park. And whether you are a racing fan or just a casual punter, you won't want to miss the Melbourne Cup - the world's richest horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
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