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Having decided to visit either Australia, you are then confronted with planning an itinerary with either a strict order of places to visit or simply a rough framework of where you want to go and when. See where your interests lie in these cities, states, territories, islands.
  1. Sydney
  2. Elsewhere in New South Wales
  3. Melbourne
  4. Elsewhere in Victoria
  5. Adelaide and South Australia
  1. Brisbane and Queensland
  2. Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory
  3. Darwin and the Northern Territory
  4. Hobart and Tasmania
  5. Perth and Western Australia

Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge, copyright Larry Rivera

Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales, Australia's largest and best-known city, and certainly deserving of its own section in this listing. It is a city of many cultures, beaches and scenic harbour views, historical sites, museums, theatres and fine dining venues.

Elsewhere in New South Wales

Canoeing at Lord Howe Island, copyright Tourism New South Wales

Yes, Sydney is the capital and New South Wales the state. It's the first state to be settled by the Europeans with the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip and his convict ships in 1788. Here are some of the state's attractions outside the capital city.

Melbourne

Federation Square, copyright Tourism Victoria

Australia's second largest city, Melbourne, is the capital of Australia's smallest mainland state, Victoria. There is a fair amount of friendly rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne but it's really a toss-up as to which is the better city to live in and to visit.

Elsewhere in Victoria

The Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, copyright Tourism Victoria

Australia's smallest mainland state is by no means the smallest Australian state. This honor belongs to the island state of Tasmania, across Bass Strait from Melbourne. Having a small geographical area has its advantages and many of Victoria's attractions are within a short drive from Melbourne.

Adelaide and South Australia

A view of Adelaide city, copyright Australian Tourist Commission

Adelaide, capital of South Australia, is a planned city almost completely surrounded by parklands. From its many churches, cultural buildings and grid of streets, the Adelaide visitor is but a short distance away to the South Australia vineyards and the state's many attractions.

Brisbane and Queensland

Underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, copyright Australian Tourist Commission

Queensland is pretty much tropical country and is probably best known for the Great Barrier Reef running more than 2000 kilometres along its coastal waters, and for the Gold and Sunshine Coasts south and north of the state capital, Brisbane. Discover these and Queensland's other attractions.

Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory

Australian War Memorial, courtesy Canberra Tourism & Events Corporation

While surrounded by the state of New South Wales, Australia's national capital, Canberra, is in its own Australian Capital Territory, northwest of Sydney. It is the seat of the Australian Government and home to various national cultural and historical institutions.

Darwin and the Northern Territory

Uluru in the heart of Australia, copyright Australian Tourist Commission

At the Top End of Australia (and yes, we do call it the Top End), you'll find Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory and Australia's northernmost capital city. The Northern Territory is a land of wilderness and desert and many of Australia's most unique attractions.

Hobart and Tasmania

Wineglass Bay at Freycinet National Park, copyright Australian Tourist Commission

Hobart, capital of Tasmania, is noted for being the first Australian city to have a legal casino, the place where the annual Sydney Hobart Yacht Race finishes, and the hometown of the Crown Princess of Denmark. Tasmania is Australia's only island state and the smallest of six states.

Perth and Western Australia

The Pinnacles, Nanbung National Park, copyright Australian Tourist Commission

On the western side of the continent, Western Australia is Australia's largest state extending all the way from the tropical north to the southern coast. Its capital, Perth, is noted for its continuing booming economy and of its people a more laid-back lifestyle.

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