Cruising in the Land Down Under
Last Updated on May 15, 2014 by Jody Halsted
Explore Australian's great cities on cruise holidays embarking from major ports like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to experience this fascinating country teeming with diversity. Along the way you'll get to see the natural beauty of Australia the way Captain Cooke saw it first, from the sea. Whether you want to spend two weeks circumnavigating this island country or just want to take a short break from the everyday, cruises departing from these cities are the perfect way to launch an ultimate adventure into the Land Down Under.
Australian cruises provide a ring side seat for admiring the most recognisable port in the world, the Sydney Harbour, with its natural and man-made wonders. Soak up the rays and have some shrimp on the Barbie along Bondi beach and explore shoreline the shops and restaurants lining Watsons Bay and Nielsen Park. Experience a dizzying bird's eye view of this beautiful city from high atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge where you can ascend 260 metres up the Sydney Tower on the famous Skywalk tour. Get up close and personal with the local dolphins and whales that live just beneath the harbour's surface while on snorkelling or scuba diving expeditions. The night life ranges from sophisticated cultural events at the Sydney Opera House to avant garde clubs with cutting edge bands along with plenty of family venues like sporting events and concerts in the park.
As a centre of commerce and finance, the contemporary skyline of Brisbane promises plenty of extravagant shopping and refined cultural events. However, this vibrant city also celebrates the fun-loving Aussie spirit with great attractions like the Australia Zoo founded by the late Steve Irwin or the Warner Brothers Gold Coast theme park. Spend a pleasant afternoon touring historical sites like the Old Government House or strolling through the Botanical Gardens of Mount Coot-tha. For a taste of the outback, sign up for a four wheel drive tour into the sub-tropical rain forests on Tamborine Mountain to see stunning views of the countryside and visit the “Gallery Walk” arts and crafts village with over 70 local vendors.
The lure of gold in the 1850s turned a once rural port into a bustling metropolis that is the melting pot of Australian cultures. Next to modern skyscrapers are Victorian style buildings that housed historical residents like Captain Cook. All ages enjoy a trip to photograph the Fairies' Tree or out to Phillip Island to see the Penguin Parade. Take a river cruise along the Yarra River with stops at the Queen Victoria Market and the Eureka Skydeck, the tallest in the southern hemisphere. Old fashioned luxury trains will take you into the Yarra Valley wine country for a tasting tour.