A First Timers Guide to Australia

Ayers Rock - Uluru, Australia

Ayers Rock via Wikipedia

Visiting Australia or the “Land Down Under” can be daunting for some first timers. There are many cultural and linguistic differences between Australia and the world, but these can be easily overcome with a good guide to visiting Australia for the first time. The following guide will list out the best places for first timers to visit in the great country of Australia.

For many visitors the gateway to Australia is Sydney. Sydney is the largest city in Australia as well as the one with the highest population. Sydney is also the capital of the state of New South Wales. There are a number of recognizable monuments in the city of Sydney, including the world renowned Sydney Opera House which is arguably one of the most beautiful performance venues in the entire world.

Sydney Harbour Brdige image

Sydney Harbour Brdige via Wikipedia

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is also one of the most famous symbols of Australia worldwide. Other famous buildings in Australia include the Queen Victoria Building and the Australian Museum, which holds one of the largest collections of Aboriginal artifacts and art.

Gold Coast

View from the 74th floor of Q1 looking north across Surfers Paradise

Once you leave Sydney you should visit the nearby Gold Coast. Known for being a beautiful beach getaway The Gold Coasts has activities for visitors of all ages including many water sports, fine dining, nightclubs and bars as well as just lounging on the beach watching the waves go in and out.

The Gold Coast also contains some of the best surfing in the world and it would be a shame for any surfer visiting Australia to miss it. Some of the best seafood in the world can be sampled in The Gold Coast and it is also known for being one of the culinary hearts of Australia. The Gold Coast is north of Sydney and reachable by air, train, automobile or boat.

After you are finished visiting The Gold Coast you should fly west to Alice Springs, home to nearby Ayers Rock. Ayers Rock is one of the great human experiences and something everyone who visits Australia should see. Filled with Aboriginal artifacts as well as numerous cave paintings Ayers Rock is the largest monolith in the world and stands tall among endless sands. Seeing Ayers Rock is an unforgettable experience and one of the great cultural and historic sites in all of Australia.


Montage o luniau - Perth, Gorllewin Awstralia via Wikimedia

Once you have seen Ayers Rock take a flight further west to Perth, the great city of the Australian west coast. Perth is known for being a trading hub for many goods coming from Asia and China as well as having some of the most beautiful buildings and city centres in all of the country.

Perth has an amazing nightlife as well, with plenty of late night dives and haunts for the thirsty traveler. While you are in Perth you should definitely sample some of the local fares, there are a number of up and coming restaurants and chefs in Perth that are trailblazing in the culinary arts and missing out on their food would be a crime.

Melbourne Montage

Six frame montage of Melbourne via Wikimedia

Head over to the city of Melbourne when you are done in Perth. Melbourne is back east, close to Sydney so once you are done with your trip you have a quick flight back to Sydney. Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia as well as the capital of the Australian state of Victoria.

Melbourne has a number of cultural offerings such as being the heart of the Australian film and television industries, as well as a birthplace for some of the best musical artists in Australia. Melbourne is also known for having a very developed infrastructure and a fantastic local public transportation which is great for tourists.

This itinerary, which is just an example, would be a fantastic beginner’s guide to seeing the great nation of Australia.

Natasha is a travel enthusiast offering budget travel tips. She recommends Australian holiday packages for land destinations and cheap cruise deals by Cruiseabout for a tour around Australia.

Update (Aug 4): we came across a great post that introduces “12 things to do in Sydney on a budget”; if you are visiting Sydney, it’s worth checking out. 

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