The major cities of Australia
New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, was the site of Captain James Cook’s original landing in Australia, and the place where the first European settlement was established in 1788.
Australia’s biggest city, Sydney has approximately 4.4 million people and is built around one of the world’s most spectacular natural harbours, which has moulded and shaped the city since settlement.
Sydney also boasts other major attractions including its distinctive Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the historic Rocks area, and excellent beaches and national parks.
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is the second largest city, with a population of approximately 3.89 million.
Its birth and major period of development paralleled Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) and the city in many ways is a product of its formative era, both architecturally and socially.
Traditionally, it is a conservative city of elaborate Victorian era buildings, parks and gardens, and tree-lined boulevards.
One of the few cities in the world to retain complete tramway systems, Melbourne’s trams have become a celebrated tourist attraction in Australia and a popular means of transport to and from work for locals.
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is the gateway to Australia’s favourite holiday playgrounds of the Gold and Sunshine coasts, two great getaway destinations, especially during the colder winter months in the south.
The city has often been viewed as something of an overgrown country town. That certainly isn’t the case today, if it ever was.
Today, it has a population of approximately 1.94 million people, with an increasing influx of international and local students enjoying excellent educational facilities, warm weather loving tourists and retirees, and property investors exploring land value potential.
Adelaide, the famed city of churches, has splendid natural rural settings. The city centre is surrounded by parkland and the metropolitan area is bounded by the hills of the Mt Lofty Ranges which crowd it against the sea.
The capital of South Australia, Adelaide is laid out on a grid and has several distinct civic squares.
Thirty minutes away, and part of the magnificent Mt Lofty Ranges, are the Adelaide Hills. In addition to the beauty of the hills themselves with their huge gum trees and their picturesque landscapes, there are more than 1000 km of bushwalking trails and many fascinating townships to explore.
Western Australia claims to be the sunniest state in Australia. Its capital, Perth, is thought to be the most isolated capital city in the world.
Western Australia takes up one third of the Australian land mass. About 74% of its almost 2.3 million people live in and around Perth.
A vibrant and modern city, Perth is situated on the Swan River with the port, Fremantle, just 20 km down-stream.
More recently, the state’s mineral wealth has contributed to the city’s wealth and the resultant construction boom has spread into other suburbs.
The island state of Tasmania has a population of 507,600 making it the least populated state in Australia.
Its capital, Hobart, with a population of 214,700 is Australia’s second oldest city and its southern most capital. It straddles the mouth of the Derwent River and is backed by the towering Mt Wellington.
Hobart combines the benefits of a modern city with a rich colonial heritage. The beautiful Georgian buildings, the busy harbour and the easy going atmosphere make the city one of the most enjoyable and engaging in Australia.
Australia also has two territories — the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is the home of the Federal Seat of Government, and the Northern Territory.
The ACT has a population of 358,600, of which the vast majority live in and around the capital, Canberra.
Some of the best modern architecture and exhibitions in Australia are here and the city is particularly interesting as, unlike so much of Australia, it is totally planned. As a place of government, and with few local industries, it has a unique atmosphere only found in dedicated national capitals.
The Northern Territory is the most barren and least populated area of Australia, with only 1% of the Australian population living in an area that covers nearly 18% of the country’s landmass.