Why you should visit capital cities this summer

Summer holidays are usually the best holidays, and usually involve flocking to seaside towns and the regions to soak up the sun.

However, with La Niña conditions predicted, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus likely to be circulating and many wary people wanting to avoid crowds, it might be more prudent to look at holidaying in one of Australia’s state capitals, while the locals are looking to escape.

Here’s a list of just some of the fun things you can do in Australia’s capital cities.

Read: Highlights of Huon Valley

Melbourne is famous for its laneways and trendy bar scene. And you could comfortably spend days and nights sampling the culinary delights of the town and buzzing hubs.

It isn’t short on cultural experiences either.

You can go to Melbourne Gardens Visitor Centre at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria for an Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Set off into these ancestral lands with an Aboriginal guide and gain an insight into the area’s rich history and thriving culture.

Other things to do include taking one of Melbourne’s iconic trams to St Kilda. While there you can enjoy an afternoon stroll along the historic St Kilda Pier, then indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea at one of Acland Street’s famous patisseries.

The Queen Victoria Night Market also made the shortlist of the best night markets around the country this year.

Read: Seven best multi-day Australian walks

The city doesn’t need much of an introduction, but it is also much more than just a big bridge and an opera house.

If you are unfamiliar with Australia’s biggest city, the best way to familiarise yourself with the sights and history of Sydney, is to join an I’m Free three-hour walking tour. The tour starts from the Town Hall in George Street twice a day, every day (except Christmas Day), come rain or shine, and concludes at Circular Quay. 

Built in the 1890s and restored in 1986, the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) occupies an entire block on George Street. Housing over 180 of the city’s finest shops, the building features a mighty centre dome, stunning stained-glass windows and splendid Byzantine architecture. Spend an hour window shopping, grab a coffee and sit and watch when the ‘Royal Clock’ activates on the hour, from 9am to 9pm. Miniature trumpeters emerge from the clock’s turrets and six scenes from English royal history are displayed – including the beheading of King Charles I!

Hyde Park is also spectacular. You can play a game of chess on the huge playable set located on the western side of the park, or take a stroll down the fig-lined pathway that links the impressive Archibald Fountain and the War Memorial. The memorial, built in 1934, is an art deco tribute to the Anzacs of WWI. It stands above the Pool of Remembrance and has a photographic exhibition underneath the building.

Read: Tasmania’s new food, wellness and nature experiences

Due to ongoing restrictions, not everyone will be able to get there, but Perth is a great place to visit, full of natural beauty, outdoor activities and a burgeoning food and bar scene. 

Set high above the city, sprawling King’s Park has unbeatable panoramic views of the CBD skyline and Swan River. There are also several walk and bike trails, including a tree-top walk set among the eucalypts. And there are always cafes available if you fancy a coffee and cake.

You can also explore the historic port city of Fremantle and its colourful past with many interesting museums and tours on offer.

If you are a cricket fan and you have never been to Adelaide Oval, are you really a cricket fan? The stunning oval is possibly the best place in Australia to watch cricket.

Adelaide is also a compact city, more like a very large country town, but it has a growing reputation for its culinary produce, with some claiming it is perhaps better than Sydney and Melbourne.

Sometimes overshadowed by Sydney and Melbourne and even the Gold Coast, Brisbane still offers plenty of excitement, with a more laid-back attitude than its southern rivals.

More high-end hotels have opened in the area in recent years, and it has a lively craft beer scene, one of the best (Felons Brewing Company) is located under the curves of Story Bridge, allowing you to enjoy a beer on the city’s river edge.

Sitting back on the deck of a Brisbane CityCat is easily the most relaxing way to tour the reaches of the Brisbane River. With services running from St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the gleaming CBD towers and get a real feel for this vibrant, green city.

You can’t visit Hobart without a little shopping at its famous market. Held between 8.30am and 3pm every Saturday in the streets of Salamanca Place, you will be entertained by the music of the buskers as you browse the stalls or stop to enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes.

If you’re a walker and enjoy a brisk hike, then head up Mount Wellington on a cool, clear day take in the picturesque views of Hobart city and the Derwent River from the summit. If the trek up doesn’t tire you out, there are many bush-walking trails nearby.

Which capital city do you enjoy visiting most? Where are some of the best places for tourists in your capital city? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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