This huge country is home to a plethora of fantastic cities that are just waiting to be explored. While world-famous cities such as Sydney and Melbourne usually grab the limelight, the lesser-known cities in Australia have a wealth of things to see and do and are very much underrated in comparison.
With beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural scenes and amazing natural sights never far away, step off the beaten path and discover a whole new side of Australia.
  1. Sydney
The crown jewel of what Australia has to offer, Sydney´s iconic look makes it the prime destination to visit when heading Down Under. The Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge are the undoubted postcard image of the city, although sweeping Bondi beach and the picture-perfect harbor front are equally dazzling to behold.
A lively city, Sydney has a vibrant cultural and arts scene, which makes it great to live in as well as visit. With over two hundred years of history, there are some lovely historic sites to visit, while just outside Sydney lie some gorgeous national parks. Loud, in your face, and proud of it, Sydney is a fun, exciting city to visit that doesn´t take itself all too seriously.
2. Melbourne
The second-largest city in the country is a stylish, cosmopolitan place to visit, with a lot to see and do. One of the best cities to live in the world, Melbourne has a European appearance, belying the fact that it is home to citizens of countless countries from around the world – this is what gives it its unique, multicultural feel.
Often seen as the cultural capital of the country, it has numerous art galleries, a vibrant music scene, and some fantastic cuisine from around the globe. Although it can´t compare with Sydney in terms of stunning sights, Melbourne wins hands-down when it comes to its authentic, diverse and lively neighborhoods dotting the area. Take the time to explore its streets and you´ll soon find yourself falling in love with this great city.
3. Cairns
Surrounded by rainforest, the city of Cairns is geared to one thing and one thing only – tourists. Consequently, upon your arrival, you will find hordes of tourists in a friendly city with a laidback vibe and not much in the way of sights.
4. Adelaide
Known as ´the city of churches, residents of Adelaide argue that there are actually more pubs than church spires in the city! This attitude highlights the laidback and casual feel of the place, and there are stacks of attractive restaurants and live music venues to check out.
Built on the banks of the Torrens River, it is a picturesque city with lots of leafy, green spaces to explore. Situated in the middle of the wine regions in South Australia, make sure to try a couple of local wines before you leave.
With numerous museums and galleries, and the Belair National Park nearby, there´s always something to do in Adelaide. One of the best times of year to visit is in ´Mad March,´ when plenty of festivals and events are held concurrently.
5. Brisbane
The third-largest city in Australia, Brisbane is the capital of the Sunshine State, and as such, it is blessed with a delightful climate throughout the year. Consequently, there are an endless number of outdoor activities to get your blood pumping.
Ranging from kayaking and climbing to hiking and biking, there’s no reason to be a couch potato in Brisbane. Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, restaurants, bars, music venues and more are spread out from the waterfront. It´s a vibrant and dynamic city full of positivity about what the future holds. It’s also now one of the music capitals of the world, thanks to its talented local Australian music scene.
6. Perth
The laidback, youthful capital of Western Australia is the perfect place to visit if you´re looking to sit back and relax for a bit. With lovely beaches, amazing weather, and a cosmopolitan feel to it, Perth is a city to savor and enjoy. It has a wealth of bars, restaurants, and cultural sites, as well as loads of outdoor activities, which attract visitors and locals alike.
Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world – if you visit, you´re going to want to spend a good amount of time there to make the journey worthwhile. Lucky for you then that it´s a lovely place to be.
7. Canberra

The capital of Australia is a planned city that is slowly growing into a fantastic place to spend some time. Originally inhabited by politicians and civil servants, the young city now has numerous museums, galleries and monuments to explore. Thanks in part to the large student body, there is a lively nightlife scene and a plethora of restaurants and bars to choose from. Located out in the bush, Canberra has lots of quality outdoor activities for you to sink your teeth into, with many visitors electing to stop by the nearby Namadgi National Park

8. Darwin
A cosmopolitan city, Darwin´s small stature belies the fact that it has a rich cultural heritage unique to Australia. Comprising citizens of over fifty nationalities, it is a multicultural place with an eclectic mix of Asian and Aboriginal influences.