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Year after year, Australia gets voted as one of the most popular cruise destinations. Maybe it’s for its variety of beaches and warm weather and chills people, or it’s for its beautiful and lively cities, harbors, museums and iconic landmarks. Whichever attracts you, don’t hesitate to try something from both worlds. On Australian coastal cruises, you’ll be able to experience major cities, famous beaches, national parks, UNESCO sites, rich lifestyle, a variety of races and nationalities, different cuisines and beautiful art. But, where to go? Don’t worry; here are our five top picks for Australian cruises.
Sydney – the center of happening
If you want to really experience Australia, you can’t skip Sydney. This port city is a perfect place to disembark and do some exploring on foot. You can walk or even climb the Harbour Bridge, check out the famed opera house, explore the botanic gardens or take one of the cheap fairies down to Manly beach. If time permits, you can also have a little shopping adventure or visit a cool restaurant or pub for a pint or two. If you have time for a full-day tour, try to visit Blue Mountains (the UNESCO heritage site) or Hunter Valley to try some of Australia’s best wines and foods. These tours will not set you back too much moneywise, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Sydney Opera House, Pixabay
Melbourne – the City by the Bay
When you’re cruising around Australia, make sure to make a stop in Melbourne. This cultural hub with rich sporting history and fast urbanization still managed to retain some of its historic charms with amazing architecture of days long gone. Melbourne also offers luxury shopping, but if you’re traveling on a budget, you can spend some money in more affordable places like vintage shops, flea markets, and cool cheaper boutiques. One thing you must do while in Melbourne is to catch a game of cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (if you can’t afford to watch a tennis match at Australian Open). Even if you don’t know what’s going on, you’ll bound to have fun because of the lively atmosphere and pleasant people. Again, if you have time for full-day excursions, you can visit Phillip Island and hang out with penguins, or travel to Yarra Valley or Dandenong Ranges. All these destinations offer amazing food and wine aside from beautiful views.
Queensland – the chill state
Those of you how are interested in Aussie sun, beaches and chilling with a cocktail, Queensland cruise tours are just for you. Queensland is a perfect state for weekend relaxation and lazy days on the beach. However, while there, you can also visit state’s natural beauties, such as the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast famous for its beautiful and popular beaches, Great Dividing Range and enjoy breathtaking views, or The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and its adventure treks. If you’re cruising down the Queensland coast between June and November, you might even spot whales on their sea migration.
Great Barrier Reef – the miracle of nature
While at Queensland, you can’t miss visiting the Reef, another Queensland’s UNESCO World Heritage site and every nature lover’s top destination. Great Barrier Reef is the biggest coral reef in the world, stretching for over 2,300 km and including around 900 islands. It’s a home to several thousands of animal species, including many vulnerable, endangered and endemic ones, which makes it one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth. It’s a must-see destination for marine world enthusiasts. However, cruise ships can’t really get you too close to the reef, so it’s better to book your reef exploration from Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville or Whitsundays. And when you’re on the reef, treat it with respect!
Heart Reef, Pixabay
Tasmania – the little cousin
Once upon a time, Tasmania was in a constant shadow of its bigger continental cousin, but today, it’s becoming more and more popular tourist destination. Tourists who are not in a hurry can grab special cruise deals in 2018 at a much lower price. Big cruise companies have special offers which are only available for a limited time, so don’t miss a chance on those bargains. Those who decide to visit Tasmania will have a chance to experience great food, wine, history and art, and much of that for a much more affordable price than on the mainland. The capital of Tasmania, Hobart, is an amazing little city set on a beautiful harbor, spotted with graceful colonial architecture and heritage. If you have time, don’t forget to visit Bruny Island for a gourmet and sightseeing tour, and check out the Museum of Old and New Art.
Since Australia is such a vast and diverse country, if you can afford it, take a few days after your coastal cruise to explore other beauties of the continent. Once you visit the Outback, you’ll feel like you’re in the other world altogether. So, grab your cruise tickets now, and embark on an Australian adventure of your life!
Photo by Gemma Stiles