Australia is a huge country, it can fit into Europe or North America on a map, with so much choice or where to go and what to see. But what if you want to settle somewhere for a little while? Australia's state capitals are always a good starting point and with each one being so varied from the next how do you know which one is best for you? Today I am breaking down my experience of 5 of the big cities to get you an idea of which is best for your lifestyle.
Melbourne, where coffee and brunch culture runs deep. Its street art lined laneways make for great explorations and your will almost always find a hidden gem down them. The folk are friendly and culture and festivals are on most months. While the weather is as changeable as its events schedule flights to the other big cities as well as the sunny coastlines are easy to get. Transport is easy with a excellent tram and train next work and weekend escapes to the country are a must do in the summer. Sipping wine in the Yarra, hiking in Halls Gap, beach exploration down Mornington Peninsula and Penguin spotting on Phillip Island are all great get aways. Lifestyle is relaxed and easy making Melbourne home to hundreds of multicultural humans.
The Icon. When you think of Australia your mind can't help but picture the Opera House and Harbour bridge. Sydney is the tourist city with lots of attractions and lots of big business. With bus, train and, my personal favourite, ferry transport making for an interesting way to get from city to one of the many beaches that Sydney is also famous for. Watch the surf competitions on mainly beach or take a lesson on Bondi. Find yourself some history in The Rocks area where some of the first immigrants settled and feel like you have stepped back in time. Darling Harbour provides evening entertainment by the water and with the Blue Mountains only 2 hours out of Sydney providing rock climbing and hiking for those who aren't as keen on the beach. Sydney is perfect for those who love the big city and the beach.
The gateway to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Brisbanes relaxed lifestyle all year warm climate and numerous day trips is perfect for that mixture of city meets nature. This is the city for active lifestyles as cycling, hiking and running are all high on residents to do lists. Spend your weekend sunbathing on the city beach and then hit the bars along Southbank for a view of the river with your glass of wine, or hike Mount Coot-tha and enjoy a refreshing drink with the city as your backdrop. Take day trips to Australia Zoo, founded by Bill Irwin, to see Crocodiles, Koalas and other great Australian animals up close and personal. Brisbane is the city for those who want a relaxed lifestyle with the best of the city, beach and mountains.
Big business is at the heart of Perth CBD but the beaches and laid-back lifestyle are what make Perth worth hanging around for. Trains and buses, including the free CAT buses that run through the CBD and fringe suburbs are the main forms of transport and is an easy to understand system. Perth is the family centric city of Australia where days at the beach and socialising is a big part of life. Sunsets set the evening sky of fire as they dip into the ocean so take your beach towel and set in for the evening. Fremantle, or Freo, is a big up and coming neighbourhood on the global scene with bars, beaches and a quirky feel. Trips out to Rottnest Island are easy and accessible from here as well as the main city centre to see the worlds happiest animal, the quokka as well as great snorkelling and the opportunity to see wild dolphins and seals. Perth is the city for the beach lover.
Quiet, cosy and scenic. Tasmania's capital is perfect for those who want to get away from the large cities and have that local feeling then Hobart is for you. With the River Derwent running through for a great selection of marine sports, Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) for hikes and climbing and Mona for culture it has everything you could want for a peaceful life. Dark Mofo attracts hundreds of tourists for two weeks each winter lighting up the skies and warming the hearts of those around. Tasmanians are probably the friendliest Australians I have ever come across and an easy, community based lifestyle is what you can expect here.
Tell me where you live, or would live in Australia and why in the comments below!