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.
- Darwin - Hugging the coastline of Northern Territory, Darwin has long been the most international of the country’s major cities. Its close proximity to other countries in the Indian Ocean has made the city a transportation hub since its earliest days. Devastated during WW II, Darwin is a resilient town with a spirit that can’t be defeated. Today, the city of around 75,000 people is a popular holiday destination.
- Hobart - 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.
- Perth - Located on Australia’s southwestern coastline, Perth is the country’s fourth-largest city and the capital of Western Australia.
- Melbourne - 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.
- Cairns - For its tropical climate, easy-going ambiance and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is one of Australia’s most popular vacation destinations.
- Alice Springs - Located in the heart of Australia about 1500 km (900 miles) from the nearest major city, Alice Springs is comprised of cavernous gorges, boundless desert landscapes, remote Aboriginal communities and a charming pioneering history.
- Great Barrier Reef - One of the top destinations for underwater explorers and scuba divers, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest barrier reef system.
- Sydney - 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.