Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth & Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales, established in 1788, is not Australia's capital, yet in many ways it feels like it. The city has a definite flavor of history, with sandstone cliffs, rocks and caves still containing Aboriginal rock carvings, reminders of a more ancient past but made more significant in the present-tense as Sydney has the highest Aboriginal population of any Australian city.
Brisbane, the largest city in Queensland, claims almost 1.5 million residents, yet the city moves at a slower pace then one might expect. The site of a prison colony established in 1824, the city contains a historic precinct, museums and botanic gardens. Brisbane's Aboriginal past can found at the Nudgee Bora Ring and several Aboriginal walking trails at Mount Coot-tha. The city's transportation includes buses, the electric Citytrain network and a useful ferry system for easy crossing of the Brisbane river.
Melbourne, Victoria, is Australia's second-largest city and is inhabited by about 3 million people, everyone of which will tell you that their city is one of the world's most livable cities. Beautiful and lavish landscaped gardens and parks in the English style provide green spaces near the city centre, while Victorian-era building facades extended along tree-lined boulevards creates a metropolis that lives up to it's boasting. Some of the country's best cafés, pubs and speciality shops can be found here, as well as the century-old Queen Victoria Market for the serious shopper.
Perth, Western Australia's capital of 1.3 million people, has a youthful and easy-going reputation. Sailing or swimming are a common after-work activities, and windsurfers, sailors and jet-skiers are everywhere.