Guide to city breaks Guide to city breaks

The best AustralianCity Breaks

Australia’s world-class cities are an increasingly sophisticated bunch, offering up stunning sights, buzzing food scenes and bold personalities all their own. Take your time to get to know each one with a city break tailored to suit your every whim, taste and interest. Start planning your escape with our 72 hour guides below for a taster of the dizzying array of experiences that await you on a long weekend spent in our gleaming capital cities. Alternatively, delve deeper into our collection of handy guides to uncover the best places to eat, stay and what to do in each city to build your own perfect day, weekend or week away.

City Breaks in Melbourne

With a sophisticated air, eclectic inner-city neighbourhoods, headlining sports events and some of the best shopping and dining in the country, Victoria has good reason to be proud of its capital. Melbourne is a city filled to the brim with delectable delights; where every burger, dumpling or caffeine craving can be satisfied and the more sophisticated of palate can get their fine-dining fix at any number of the world-class restaurants scattered across the city. The Melbourne accommodation options are just as diverse, with stays ranging from budget to luxe.

Spend the warmer days making your way through its summer hit list, or cosy up by a fire in one of its many pubs in the cooler months. Stretch your budget a little further by adding a few of the free things to do in Melbourne to your itinerary, so you can splurge on a treatment at one of the city’s many luxury day spas. Mix up your laneway tours with a walk through one of the city’s secret gardens – and don’t forget to visit the beloved Queen Victoria Market; a tourist destination in its own right.

City Breaks in Sydney

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The sparkling NSW city by the harbour is renowned for its icons: the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach; but as the most populous city in Australia it has a lot more to offer than just sea air, ferries and fish and chips. These days, Sydney is as seductive as it is sophisticated. 

Whether you’re visiting in summer, winter or in between, there is always something new to discover. From the bucket list of unforgettable experiences every visitor needs to tick off to the secret bars, dining hotspots, eclectic mix of markets and luxurious accommodation options. It’s also home to an abundance of nature walks, hidden beaches and whale watching – this city really does have it all. 

City Breaks in Brisbane

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With her top-tier visual and performing arts, dynamic dining, boutique shopping and hot hotel openings, the riverside Queensland capital is bringing the goods. No longer just a gateway to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, Brisbane has shrugged off its former status and emerged as an epicentre of all things cultural. 

Discover a slew of cultural precincts, casual cafes, live music venues, luxury and family-friendly hotels paired with island-hopping opportunities, idyllic swimming spots and more creative ways to cool down. Adrenalin junkies are well taken care of in Brisbane, as are those with a penchant for the finer things in life. There are no boring days in Brisbane, only new adventures to be had.

City Breaks in Darwin

Not only is the capital of the Northern Territory a gateway to the wonders of the Top End, but it’s a heady mix of history, heritage, cocktails and culture capped off each day by one of Australia’s best sunsets. As the nation’s only tropical capital city, Darwin is home to a whole host of unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else. 

Start by exploring Darwin’s wild side and swim with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove. Shop (and eat) up a storm at Darwin’s iconic markets, time your visit to coincide with Darwin’s Aboriginal Art Fair, and if you’re visiting in summer you’ll want to know read this. Keep things simple and book a tour, or embark on a road trip to one of the many day trip destinations near Darwin (including Litchfield National Park). Plan to stay a while to make the most of all Darwin and surrounds has to offer.

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City Breaks in Canberra

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Once the domain of politicians and public servants, our national capital is now the capital of cool with chic cafes, bustling neighbourhoods and serious culture cachet. Canberra’s identity has well and truly shifted. 

Arrive in spring to see the city transform for Floriade, the largest flower show in the southern hemisphere. Alternatively, the bucket list of Canberra activities continues into the summer with stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Burley Griffin, alfresco dining and a hidden swimming spot to discover. Fill your days with cafe-hopping, meandering your way through the city’s many galleries and museums, and shopping in its boutique stores.

Spend the night sleeping alongside some of the world’s rarest animals at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, and you’ll discover Canberra’s accommodation offering is as unique as the experiences to be had in the ACT city. Canberra has become a hotbed of creativity and a serious foodie destination just waiting to be discovered.

City Breaks in Adelaide

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With thriving arts and dining scenes plus white-sand beaches and some of the country’s best wine regions on its doorstep, the South Australian capital has it all. Time your visit to coincide with one of Adelaide’s many world-class events (including Tasting Australia and Adelaide Fringe), or opt for a summer holiday in Adelaide to take advantage of its nearby beaches, hiking trails, and cycle your way through its nearby vineyards. 

There is a never ending list of things to do in Adelaide, no matter what time of year you visit – you’ll even find a bunch of activities are free. But it’s in the arena of food and wine that Adelaide really excels: find botanical-filled garden cafes, a long list of quirky to more upmarket pubs and too many unforgettable dining experiences to list. Add to this lush parklands, historic buildings, the state’s best art galleries and museums, and a variety of top notch accommodation options, and you’ll be hard pressed to fit it all into one trip.

City Breaks in Hobart

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The Tasmanian capital has transformed over the last decade; today you’ll find a unique fusion of creativity, heritage, wilderness and culinary prowess. A winning combination that has skyrocketed Hobart to the top of many Australian’s travel bucket list.

Start your exploration of Hobart by hiking or driving to the top of Kunanyi/Mt Wellington for an eagle-eye view of its natural beauty, or embrace the heritage charm of the nation’s second oldest capital city with a walk around its historic waterfront and surrounds followed by a stay in one of the area’s boutique hotels. Don’t miss the chance to sample the best local produce at the Salamanca Markets come Saturday and shop in Salamanca Place. 

Experience the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) paired with one of the city’s cutting-edge festivals; we recommend arriving midwinter to attend Dark Mofo. Of course you’ll also want to eat and drink your way around the city, visit Bruny Island to continue your culinary education, and then work off all that eating with one of Hobart’s many outdoor adventures. 

City Breaks in Perth

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It may be the most isolated city in the world but what Perth lacks in nearby destinations – Rottnest Island aside – it more than makes up for with an abundance of beaches, nearby wineries, and a diverse bar and dining scene

A perfect day in Perth might involve museums, art galleries and historical attractions. But the best of the Western Australian capital city can also be found everywhere from its hip hangouts to a lazy lap of the Swan River. Accommodation in Perth runs the gamut of picture-perfect camping spots to a stay at Australia’s most expensive hotel ever built.