The Complete Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Australia

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Australia is a dream holiday destination for many travellers due to its wealth of unique wildlife, stunning scenery, and the opportunity for adventure around every corner. It is a country that truly has everything, from artsy, stylish cities to awe-inspiring natural beauty as far as the eye can see. Australia is a huge country and each region has its own identity, shaped by the cultural heritage of indigenous tribes, by its modern history, and even by the landscape itself.

A cruise holiday is one of the best ways to see Australia, as it lets you explore a snapshot of different regions that would normally be difficult to travel between in a short time. On a cruise, you can explore these diverse areas and discover the individual characters of different Australian towns, cities, and landscapes. All of this, from the comfort and luxury of a cruise ship, there can be no better way to travel!

These guides give you a quick insight into cruising around Australia, including guides on what to do in its port cities and the most exciting experiences on offer in this beautiful country.

Australia City Guides

The cities of Australia are hugely diverse, all offering their own charms and quirks – here we run through guides to some of the most popular destinations visited by cruise ships.

City Guide: Melbourne — Australia’s Cultural Capital

Once one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities during the 19th-century gold rushes, Melbourne has matured into Australia’s cool, cultural older brother. The beautiful colonial-era architecture is home to a thriving café culture that bolsters the city’s reputation as an artistic hub. Melbourne offers something for all the family, whether you decide to check out the animals at Melbourne Zoo or visit the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground. If you want to soak up some culture, have a trip to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art or the NGV International to discover amazing artwork from local and national artists. Melbourne’s foodie scene is also not to be missed, so be sure to stop in one of the cafes for a bite to eat.

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City Guide: Brisbane — Cosmopolitan Vibes on the Sunshine Coast

A major destination on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane is a favourite among holidaymakers and locals alike thanks to its stylish metropolitan atmosphere and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Brisbane is a place many people use as a base to visit the reef and other attractions in the surrounding area, but the city itself has much to recommend it. From world-renowned galleries and museums to its thriving café culture, this city really is one of Australia’s most exciting destinations. Whether you’re visiting the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, discovering the area’s heritage at the Museum of Brisbane, or sampling the burger offerings of the amazing foodie scene, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself in this beautiful city.

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City Guide: Sydney — Australia’s Sprawling Cosmopolitan Hub

Australia’s biggest tourist destination, although not actually its capital city, Sydney is often the first place people think of when they imagine Australia. With its iconic opera house, stunning harbour bridge, and chic, cultured atmosphere, Sydney is one of Australia’s most amazing cities. Even beyond its most famous landmarks, there’s plenty to discover and explore in a city like Sydney. From the Royal Botanic Gardens – the most prestigious botanical site in the world – to the city’s charming historic quarter, there are so many places to discover what makes Sydney special that you’ll be spoilt for choice. There’s so much to do here that people return again and again – one visit is never enough.

City Guide: Cairns – The Gateways to the Great Barrier Reef

Often called the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, there is plenty to recommend Cairns to travellers and proximity to the reef is just one tiny part of that. With amazing sunny weather, beautiful wildlife, and a nightlife that could get anyone’s toes tapping, it isn’t hard to see why the city is fast becoming one of Australia’s leading tourist destinations. Relax on the acres of white sand, discover the marvellous underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, or experience the indigenous flavours of the local foodie scene. There’s one thing for sure when you’re visiting Cairns, it’s impossible to be bored.

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City Guide: Darwin – The Northern Territory’s Untamed Capital

Darwin is an exciting city, where the untamed nature of the bush meets the glitz and glamour of a modern metropolis. If you’ve always wanted to see a wild saltwater crocodile in the flesh then head back to your hotel for a cocktail on the rooftop bar in the evening, this is the city that can give you it all. Indigenous culture has a strong influence in the city and there are plenty of ways to discover this heritage and how this translates to life in modern Darwin. If you want a sneak peek into what makes modern Australia what it is today, Darwin is a great city to start.

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In-Depth Guides to Australia

There are many specialist trips available through Australia, visiting the native wildlife, incredible heritage or just the thriving café scene. Here we offer a few specialist guides to Oz.

 Where to See Australia’s Unique Native Animals

From enormous bird-eating spiders to adorable fluffy koalas, it is fair to say that Australia is known for its unique native wildlife. Some animals, like the Tasmanian devil for example, can only be seen in the wild in certain parts of Australia. Others, like the kangaroo, can be spotted all over Australia if you just know where to look. There’s no experience quite like seeing these unique and iconic animals in their natural habitat. This guide shows you all the best places to see Australia’s most iconic wildlife, from crocodiles to wallabies, in the most natural environment possible.

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The Best Places to Get Immersed in Australia’s Colonial History

Australia’s colonial history is controversial, bloody and complex, and its effects can still be felt across the country today. Its cities are filled with architecture that harks back to the strong European influence of this era, and the identities of many areas have clearly been shaped by the impact of colonial rule. Learning about the colonial history of the country is important if you want to understand the Australia that exists today. From, fascinating museums to town centres that almost feel like stepping back in time, there are plenty of fun ways to get immersed in Australia’s colonial history.

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The Best Spots to Experience Scuba Diving in Australia

Australian oceans are some of the most beautiful on the planet and are home to some of the most interesting and diverse marine life. From multi-coloured carpets of coral that will take your breath away to surreal wildlife experiences like swimming with dolphins, there are plenty of ways to enjoy all that Australia has to offer. Whether you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Great Barrier Reef in the flesh or you want to discover beautiful scuba diving destinations that are off the beaten track, this guide will show you all the best places to discover Australia’s unique marine life.

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The Complete Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Australia
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The Complete Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Australia
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Join us as we explore the very best of Australia, offering in-depth city guides and introductions to some of the country's great experiences.
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About Author

Belinda Goodman

Cruise 1st veteran Belinda has a passion for travel, especially cruising. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, including a 3-year stint working on cruise ships as a croupier. Belinda regularly writes for the Cruise 1st blog, with a focus on company news and advice for first-time cruise travellers.

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