Contrary to popular belief, cruises to Australia aren’t just Sydney. You can’t blame people for this misconception – Sydney and Australian Cruising are so tied together they’re practically Siamese twins.
Google Australia Cruises. The Sydney opera house with a cruise ship gliding under Harbour Bridge in the foreground is what you’ll see time and time again. Sydney is a vital experience for cruisers, but Australasia is a continent ill-defined by just a single city.
Whether it’s the wilds of Tasmania or the boutiques of Melbourne, there’s a port of call for everyone on cruises to Australia. If you’ve never been to Sydney, go, just go. Sell your house if need be and head straight there. But those who’ve experienced the capital and want more to explore, consider this your definitive guide to the off-beat charms of Australia.
Tasmania is an island of contrasts. In one regard it’s one of the most untamed regions of Australasia, defined by its bush lands and rugged cliff faces. On the other, you have modern, innovative communities making an indelible mark in the culture of the island state. The unfortunate thing is, whether you see Tasmania as a wild paradise or a chic retreat, it’s often overlooked on many cruises to Australia.
Burnie is a prime example of why you should make the crossing to Tasmania in the first place. Situated on the North West Coast and cloistered within the Emu Bay, refreshing breezes move through the town during the summer months, giving a relaxing edge to its varied beaches and waterfronts – take that into account when you’re trying to avoid grilling like a well- marinated shrimp in the height of the summer season.
As much as the natural aspects surrounding Burnie are well worth discovering, its close-knit township is a creative hub which attracts people from all over Australia. Galleries, performances and exhibitions abound make Burnie a surprising delight to encounter on cruises to Australia.
Sydney might take the crown for being ubiquitous in the travel magazines, but Melbourne is considered top dog when it comes to Australian culture. The criss-crossing districts of the second city have an historical core, which unlike many typical ‘old towns’ have a youthful population reinvigorating the Victorian architecture.
The finest shopping, the largest museums and the best theatres all seem to spring up within Melbourne, but the real altar of worship for Melbournians is sports. Australian Rules football is a veritable religion in these parts, so the atmosphere at the games is electric to say the least.
Connecting all of this is the iconic Yarra River, the lifeblood of the city. Bike trails cross to and fro over the waters, connecting some of the trendiest districts in Australia. The boutiques might be overwhelmingly hip, but Melbournians are unbelievably down to earth. Even if it is sacrilege to say that Aussie rules isn’t the ‘real’ football.
The epitome of a cruise destination, the Whitsunday Islands are the thrill seekers capital of Australia, but they’re just a comfortable with cocktail supping beach combers taking up residence as well. Just miles away from the Great Barrier Reef, many tourists take advantage of the sumptuous resorts dotted amongst the Whitsunday Islands as a home base to visit the scuba centre of the world, forgetting about the uninhabited beauty of the more isolated islets further afield.
By chartering a private boat, you can circumvent the tourist traps and find yourself on pure white beaches where you are the only sunbather, framed by towering palm trees in the bright sunshine. Hopping between the islands is a must, as you never know when you’re going to stumble across your dream landscape. A perfect example of the wild but chic charms of a riveting continent, the Whitsunday Islands optimise the contrasting wonder of cruises to Australia.