In the 2019 Australian Travel Inspirations survey, we asked our 230,000 members which is the most exciting city in the land.
And, as many of you may have already guessed, the battle for the top two spots was fought between Melbourne and Sydney.
Now, when it comes to comparing Australia’s capital cities, the Melbourne versus Sydney saga may never end. But the big surprises came in the form of the more unexpected cities that made it high on our list, and how some old favourites have fallen short.
Some cities boast views and scenery where others are notorious for their galleries and nightlife, making the very definition of ‘exciting’ subjective. However, all in all, we’ve counted the votes and compiled a list of Australia’s most exciting cities as voted by you.
Just scraping through with its stunning scenery and the magnificent Cable Beach, Broome offers visitors an array of adventure options including sunset camel rides, resort style relaxation, a night market and the world’s oldest open-air cinema. Broome also claims to be the most beautiful town in the world, and they might just be right.
Snuggled between forest reserves, national parks and the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns has to be one of the country’s most scenic cities and, if you’re the outdoorsy type, it might also be one of the most exciting.
8. Gold Coast
Sitting among a chain of long and beautiful sandy beaches on the country’s east coast, the Gold Coast is a hot spot for surfers and fun-seekers alike. Beside it’s physical beauty, it also hosts a number of world class theme parks and entertainment options.
Nestled down on the south coast of Tasmania, Hobart is one of Australia’s true hidden gems. For the creatively inclined, this city is seriously cool, full of sandstone warehouse conversions, blooming art galleries, the famous Salamanca market and the world-renowned MONA.
Packed with high-quality adventure essentials such as world class art galleries and museums, the Adelaide Zoo, botanic gardens, conservation park and central market, Adelaide is, as one member put it: ‘Australia’s best undiscovered treasure’.
Warm, beautiful and home to Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art, an array of museums, stunning botanic gardens, world-class accommodation, fun bars and nightlife, Brisbane is definitely worth an exciting place to explore and a stay.
Beaches, sun and fun things to do, Darwin is the perfect city for any adventurer looking for a really ‘Aussie’ experience. It also serves as the gateway to the stunning Kakadu National Park and hosts an array of niche museums, heritage sites and fine dining options.
Sprawling around the junction of the Swan River and the southwest coast, Perth offers both a beautiful coastal lifestyle and an array of interesting city attractions. The beaches are also stunning, and the people are laid back and cruisy.
Surprised that Sydney came in second? This dynamic city hugs the stunning harbour, upon which ferries work like taxies taking people from dock to dock, and on which landmarks such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are perched. From renowned beaches, bars and fine food options, to its bustling city life both day and night, Sydney has definitely earnt its close second place as one of Australia’s most exciting cities.
While the city sits at the meeting of the winding Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay, the physical scenery is rarely what draws people to Melbourne. It is renowned for its laneways, street art, hospitality, galleries, gardens, live music and – of course – being one of the most liveable (and fun) cities in the world.
Do you agree with the ranking of these exciting cities, or do you feel that some missed out all together? Are you surprised to see that our nation’s capital didn’t even get a mention?