A fascinating weekend in Australia
A land of dreams and wonders, picturesque rain forests, sun-kissed beaches, rugged national parks, jaw-dropping coral reefs, red-earthed scorching deserts; a place of sacred legends of the aboriginal Dreamtime; and home to kinky wildlife, Australia is simply traveller’s paradise. The world’s smallest continent has some exhilarating and heavenly places to offer every visitor. Are you planning a short trip to the land of kangaroos or have plans to hang out with friends over the weekend? Then you must gear up as we have picked top places for you to explore on weekends. Here we go!
1. Sydney Opera House
The man-made grandeur, Sydney Opera House, sits on Bennelong Point at Port Jackson in New South Wales. One of the most-photographed buildings in the world, Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most popular tourists’ destinations. Make your weekend memorable at this landmark by relishing symphony orchestra and chorus performances at its Concert Hall or simply luxuriate in spectacular ballet performances at Opera Theatre or rejoice stage plays and film screenings in other small theatres housed at the Opera House. The fun doesn’t end here! What good is a land-mark if it doesn’t offer palatable food? The Opera House has it all: from bars to lounge to open dining areas that offer aboriginal to outlandish cuisines, drinks and coffee. So, treat your thespian spirit this weekend with a trip to Sydney Opera House!
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Just the right place for science lovers, curious minds and inquisitive souls! A visit to Scienceworks will open your mind to the wonders of science allowing you to see the world from a different lens. You will be amazed at the sophisticated works of this science museum in linking Melbourne’s heritage, industry and applied technology. A visit to the place is just fun! Just lay back and embark on the enthralling journey into space at the Planetarium, experience the power of electricity in the Lighting Room, explore Australia’s most important and ancient industrial heritage sites – the Pumping Station or discover the science behind your bodily movements at Sports works. The museum is open all days with guided tours available most days around 1 pm. Interestingly, you can become a member of Scienceworks or you can also book your slot ahead for an electrifying experience in the Lighting Room!
3. Shrine of Remembrance
Created in the wake of the First World War, the Shrine of Remembrance provided a platform to Victorians to grieve over their deceased ones. It is a living example that historical monuments are far more than just paying tribute to someone. Celebrated for its architecture, the Shrine offers a journey rich in meaning and symbology. This masterpiece is set in an elevated position at the southern end of Melbourne’s cultural zone providing matchless, panoramic views of the city. Underneath the inner sanctum a maze of spectacular galleries unfolds featuring historical artworks, artifacts and the belongings of Australians at war. If you get a chance, attend one of their special exhibitions which are held all year round. Spend your weekend at this historical site by taking a tour of the Shrine.
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4. Sweetwater Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
Are you up for dining with friends on the weekend? Head straight to Sweetwater Rooftop Bar & Restaurant that will offer you an incredible food experience allowing you to savour the interactive cocktails and lip-smacking dishes in the sunny garden rooftop bar! The Head chef Leigh Power’s Asian-inspired menu adds diversity and colours to the palate. Complementing the vibrant flavours are the classic combinations of wine and brews that never go out of style. The place takes special care of your dietary needs by offering exclusive dietary menus. Treat your taste-buds with exotic flavours influenced by seasonal produce that will give you incredible dining experience.
5. Great Barrier Reef
What if I tell you that Australia is home to the “only” creature visible from space? You would make sure to visit the place even if it’s the last thing you do on the planet Earth. The reef is one of the seven wonders of natural world. Stretching across the coast of Queensland for about 1,865 miles, this natural wonder born 25 million years ago is diver’s dream. You would have a larger than life experience, snorkelling and scuba diving among 400 types of corals and 1,500 species of tropical fish. Whether you book a dive boat vacation to reach out to the remote diving sites of the reef or take a helicopter tour over the impressive waters, you will live have an experience of lifetime.
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6. Astor Theatre
Ever imagined a weekend without movies? At least, I haven’t! So, why not spend this weekend at The Astor Theatre? Located in the Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda, the place has a classic grand theatrical character. Besides screening, this single-screen cinema houses stalls and a dress circle. The Theatre typically runs “classic” double features and changes the program daily. The place has established repo in restoring the ambience of traditional out-of-town picture theatre from the eon of pre-television cinema. It is easily accessible via a ramp entry point located in adjacent cafe Overlook.
7. Cape Byron Lighthouse
Australia’s most powerful lighthouse, the iconic Cape Byron sits atop a rocky cliff on the most easterly point of the mainland over 2 kilometres east of Byron Bay town centre. The structure was built at the turn of the 19th century to protect vessels passing along the coast. It offers scenic views over the great Pacific Ocean and a distinctive historical intuition into the region. Summer is the best time to visit the lighthouse allowing you to enjoy snorkelling, swimming, surfing, building sandcastles or relishing spectacular views while relaxing in the shade. The place is also a great spot for watching humpback whales passing the coast on their annual migration. If you spend a spring holiday at the spot, you will enjoy the tranquil walk and simmering barbeques on the beach. And if you are an early bird, just pack up and be the first to view the dawn breaking on the land of Australia from Cape Byron Headland. If you are lucky enough, you will spot a dolphin or a two, a whale or a turtle as well.
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8. Eureka Skydeck
You never would have experienced a more spectacular view of Melbourne than you would from the highest viewpoint nestled in the Southern Hemisphere at Melbourne’s Eureka Skydeck. The building is the top-rated landmark of Australia containing 91 floors making it the second-highest building in the country. Two steadfast elevators will propel you to 88th level in just 38 seconds where you can have a jaw-dropping 360 degrees view of the Southern Hemisphere from the Skydeck. If you crawl into the cube-shaped glass protruding out the side of the building – The Edge – you can view a sheer drop of 300 meters. The place is definitely not for the faint of heart! Besides memorable panorama, you can have vivacious activities, lip-smacking food and much more. Bon voyage!
9. Port Arthur Historic Site
Tasmania’s ‘inescapable prison’ will take you back in time wherein hardened criminals were subjected to severe punishments. Today, the guards and felons are gone but the stories remain. The site is set 60 miles south-east of Hobart on the beautiful Tasmanian Peninsula. Let’s spend a weekend there and listen to captivating stories coming to life during the 40 minutes guided tour. Explore the site’s buildings, relics and restored houses or get aboard on the Harbour cruise. The creepy tour to the Isle of the Dead will give you an insight of the dead convicts, civilians and militaries. During the spine-chilling lantern-lit ghost tour, you will hear ghostly screams and see moving empty rocking chairs. Eerie…Isn’t it? So, are you ready for a terrific tour to the Port Arthur Historic Site this weekend?
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10. Cadmans Cottage
This four-room sandstone cottage was built in 1816 for the crew of Governor’s 52-man boat. The building is unique in the sense that it is among a couple of buildings from the first thirty years of the Colony. The Cottage had served as water transport headquarters, water police station and sailors’ home. Today, the cottage is open for public and lodges the Sydney Harbour National Parks information centre. Spend your day at this historical place and enjoy a free guided tour of the grounds and bottom of the house.
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If you are travelling to Australia and are time-poor, need an indulgent escape or a beach break or a cultural tour, then visit these famous places to make your weekend remarkable.