Australia’s natural and manmade landscapes are as stunning as they are world-famous, providing every kind of traveler the perfect setting to tick off bucket lists and create epic memories.
In every nook and cranny Down Under lies the promise of adventure and good times; from diving alongside manta rays and trekking through the burnt-orange Outback, to capturing the perfect city snap at the iconic Sydney Opera House or strolling along Bondi Beach’s sun-kissed shores, there’s something for everyone.
And here’s the best part – while each major city has its own cultural identity, collectively they are emblematic of Australia’s celebration of diversity, from its people to its architecture, art, cuisines and unique hidden gems.
If you’re looking for a quintessential ‘Aussie’ summer escape, here are three brilliant city break ideas:
What to do
Sydney – undoubtedly Australia’s most attractive city – is cradled by the coast and a sun-dappled harbour, allowing for mesmerizing beach walks and photogenic sunsets.
An idyllic way to see panoramic views of the South Pacific Ocean, raggedy coastal cliffs and golden sunsets, is to meander along the coastal path between Bondi Beach and Coogee.
If you want to get your surf on, head to Manly Beach fringed by a tree-lined promenade and a lively boulevard with trendy shopping and dining options. Whether you explore the coastline by bike or catch a ferry from Circular Quay, you’re assured of a memorable day out.
A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, will transport you back to simpler times, filled with sweet scents and bursts of colors you didn’t even know existed. Known to be one of the oldest public gardens in this part of the world, the parkland setting will take you through many beautiful blooms during peak flowering season. And if you’re so inclined, you can also attend high tea and yoga sessions among the plants. It’s an oasis of calm amidst the hurried nature of Sydney.
Where to stay
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay could not be in a more ideal location – its doors open straight into the bustling city, just footsteps from the harbourside and ferry wharves. Furthermore, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are just a few minutes’ walk away.
And after a day of exploration, Marriott will ensure your every need is met. Burn some holiday carbs at the in-house fitness centre, cool off in the indoor pool, or perhaps while away the evening exploring the local area on foot, before retiring for the night on plush bedding at one of the hotel’s spacious rooms and suites.
To sample Sydney’s celebrated fresh seafood, book an elegant dinner at Silvester’s for an immersive dining experience complete with wines from around the world. Three Bottle Man is also an option for casual lunch, serving such delights as sirloin steak sandwiches and caramelized goats cheese salads. Pair your food with a speciality coffee or a bottled cocktail.
What to do
Beyond spectacular landscapes and swelling surfs, Australia is also known for its thriving coffee culture. Melbourne is said to be the place to find some of the best roasters, brewers and drinking spots in the country.
Among the artisan coffee shops that line the city’s narrow lanes, wanderers can also find chic vintage boutiques and charming bistros among which to spend the day.
One of the best streets to get a bit of everything is Degraves Street just across Flinders Station: The pedestrians-only laneway is brimming with cool cafés, a twee cupcake boutique, and even an art supply store.
Brunch is an absolute must when in Melbourne, widely regarded as the café capital of the southern hemisphere. The best cafés are outside of the city centre, and in nearby suburbs of Richmond, Fitzroy, and Carlton. Look out for Top Paddock, Higher Ground, Auction Rooms, and Industry Beans for some divine dishes and head up to Naked for Satan rooftop bar to sample Melbourne’s most sensational cocktails.
Melbourne is also a thriving art hub, so head to the National Gallery of Victoria for a vast collection of modern, classical, and indigenous art. If you prefer something a little more interactive, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image will wow even the little ones by way of digital, video, and virtual reality presentations.
Where to stay
The Melbourne Marriott Hotel is ideally located in the central business district with views of the city skyline and near the theatre and entertainment precinct. As a bonus, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena are moments away, both which often host large sporting events.
When the sun sets, there’s little need to step out the hotel for food as the hotel is home to Essence on Exhibition, a restaurant that truly reflects Melbourne’s unique multicultural influence. Otherwise, ask for a glass of your favourite tipple at Elements Lounge or pick up a hearty gourmet sandwich at Country Bred.
What to do
Brisbane is full of creativity, culture and sunshine. The year-round calendar of internationally acclaimed arts, cultural collaborations and global sporting events offers something for everyone.
A popular tourist area is South Bank, a premier culture and lifestyle destination on the southern banks of the Brisbane River. South Bank offers a rich mix of activities, features and amenities, including 17 ha of parkland, hip eateries, stunning river views, and a host of exciting family-friendly events all year round.
Also in South Bank is the Queensland Cultural Centre, the city’s art and cultural heart. Kids will absolutely love the Queensland Museum & Science Centre which regularly hosts an exciting range of exhibitions and shows that will help learn about science by way of colorful dioramas and interactive shows.
Meanwhile, thrill-seekers can participate in extreme sports and outdoor adventures including skydiving, kayaking, abseiling, rock climbing, or booking a scenic helicopter ride. Regardless of what you choose to do, the daredevil in you will be appeased in Brisbane and its surrounding areas.
To fuel up for the fun ahead, Brisbane boasts a wide array of tasty dishes you’re unlikely to have tried before. From black garlic bread at Gauge to crab lasagne at Il Centro, the city’s smorgasbord of culinary offerings is guaranteed to excite all senses.
Where to stay
Brisbane Marriott Hotel is smack-bang in the heart of the city and is nearby South Bank, Eagle Street Pier, Fortitude Valley and the Queen Street Mall, which are all popular among visitors. Luxurious pillow-top bedding, marble bathrooms, and complimentary WiFi will make sure you’re comfortable during your stay.
Marriotts’ in-house Motion Bar & Grill restaurant focuses on regional produce in the form of premium steaks, stacked burgers, and share plates, which means you don’t have to think about finding a delicious place to eat, because it’s already in your hotel.
For something a little lighter, grab a snack and freshly brewed coffee or tea from the M Bar, either on your way out to explore the megalopolis, or on your return, to satisfy the niggling hunger until dinner time arrives.
Visiting Australia soon? Book your Marriott stay right this minute!