It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands.
10:00am-11:30am : Royal Botanic Garden Sydeney
One of the best free attractions in Sydney, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney offers 30 hectares (74 acres) of colorful native Australian plants, decorative fountains and statues, and animals such as possums, flying foxes, water-dragons, blue-tongued lizards, Australian birds, and butterflies. The free daily morning walking tour will introduce you to the gardens, while the scenic Choo Choo Express train tours departing throughout the day cover more of the site's expanse.
12:00pm-2:30pm : Bondi Beach
Part of the Australian National Heritage List and one of the world's iconic stretches of sand, Bondi Beach is a must-see while in Sydney. About 1 km (0.6 mi) long and as wide as a football field is long, the golden sand and green parkland behind it provide ideal lounging space. If you plan to swim, head to the northern end; a rip-current on the southern end makes swimming hazardous but provides excellent surfing waves. If you visit during the summer, you might see whales and dolphins migrating from Antarctica to Australia's warm waters.
2:30pm-4:30pm : Bondi to Coogee Walk
Surrounded by stunning scenery, the popular Bondi to Coogee Walk follows a clifftop trail for 6 km (3.7 mi). You'll encounter wide golden-sand beaches, green parks, tide pools, and vistas of blue ocean waves dramatically crashing into craggy rock faces. The medium-grade walk passes Tamarama, Bronte, Coogee, and Maroubra beaches, all of which have free electric barbecues. Tamarama is a trendy beach, and Bronte suits families. Mackenzie's Point serves up superb waves for surfing. Along the way, you can stop to relax on the beach, snorkel Clovelly Beach, or admire the view from one of the world's most beautiful final resting places, Waverley Cemetery.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Mrs Macquarie's Chair
While visiting Sydney Harbour, swing by Mrs Macquarie's Chair for a picture-postcard view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. To get a good spot, you may have to compete with numerous wedding couples, who prefer this exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench to almost any other location in the city for their official wedding photographs. Convicts hand-carved the rock back in 1810, at the request of Governor Macquarie's wife (hence the name). Lore has it that she used to sit on the rock and watch for ships from Great Britain, enjoying the panoramic view of the harbor for hours on end. Two centuries later, you can do the same.
10:00am-10:30am : Haigh's Chocolates Strand Arcade
Haigh's Chocolates Strand Arcade sells high quality chocolates at its luxury shop. Try the hand made shiraz truffles, chocolate frogs, coated nuts, peppermint pastilles, and caramel treats.
11:00am-1:00pm : Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium provides an outstanding venue for you to learn about Australia's marine ecosystems and the creatures inhabiting them. The aquarium holds more than 650 species and 6,000 individual fish coming from various Australian waters. At the Great Barrier Reef Oceanarium, peer through acrylic-glass tunnels to see sharks and colorful tropical fish swimming through coral reefs. In the Open Ocean Oceanarium, gaze at sharks over 3 m (10 ft) long and weighing up to 300 kg (660 lb). River exhibits introduce you to the marine life, including crocodiles, inhabiting Australia's waterways, and you can watch penguins in the Southern Ocean exhibit area.
1:30pm-3:00pm : Sydney Harbour Bridge
With its long arch rising 134 m (440 ft) above the glimmering blue waters of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge stands as the world's tallest steel-arch bridge. Nicknamed "The Coathanger" by locals, the bridge itself forms an impressive site with a giant steel arch extending from one massive granite-faced pylon to another. It connects downtown Sydney to the North Shore for cars, trains, bicycles, and pedestrians. When you cross it, you'll be rewarded with outstanding views of the Sydney skyline and Sydney Opera House. You can walk across the bridge for free or take the Bridge Climb to the top of the arch if you're feeling adventurous.
3:30pm-6:00pm : The Rocks
Sitting in the shadow of downtown Sydney, the cobblestone walkways and pastel-colored colonial-style buildings of The Rocks form a juxtaposition with the shiny modernness that characterizes much of the city center. Settled in the late 18th century, the area quickly became a haven for a motley mix of sailors, petty criminals, and prostitutes. Now this upscale neighborhood houses fine-dining restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. You can step back into Sydney's colorful past by visiting local historical attractions such as Cadmans Cottage, the Garrison Church, the Merchant's House, and Fort Phillip Signal Station.
10:00am-11:30am : Australian National Maritime Musuem
Explore the relationship between Australians and the sea at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Tour seven main galleries and learn about Aboriginal life on the water, the voyage across the ocean to Australia, the ocean as a natural resource, fun and leisure on the water, the Australian navy, and the Australian-American relations. Outside, board three museum ships, including a large sailboat, a destroyer, and a submarine.
1:00pm-4:00pm : Darling Harbour
A harbor within the giant Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour buzzes with activity right next to downtown Sydney. Shopping centers, museums, entertainment centers, restaurants, the largest IMAX in the Southern Hemisphere, Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum, the Sydney Aquarium--the list goes on and on. You can head from attraction to attraction and then stay for dinner, or just stop in, snap a few photos, and people-watch from a cafe.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House stands as an icon of Australian architecture and one of the world's most instantly recognizable buildings. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and inaugurated in 1973, the Opera House earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2007 for its unique appearance and engineering achievement. The multiple performance venues feature distinctive roofs of layered sails that look like seashells, and they reside on a peninsula jutting out into Sydney Harbour beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge. Snapping photos as you walk around the harbor represents one way to experience this landmark, but you can also enjoy one of 1,500 annual of performances inside. Start with a tour during the day, discovering some of the 1,000 rooms and listening to dozens of stories about the venue. In the evening, dine in one of the restaurants before taking in the opera, live music, or theater in one of its acoustically splendid rooms.
10:00am-2:00pm : Manly Beach
Manly Beach stands as one of the best places to experience Australian beach culture. Captain Arthur Phillip gave the sandy area its name based on his perception of the masculine behavior of the indigenous people he met when he arrived in 1788. Now the long sandy beaches also are home to trendy shops and nightclubs. If you want activity, try surfing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. If you prefer leisure, enjoy a picnic on the sheltered beach of Manly Cove. Only 11 km (7 mi) from downtown Sydney, the beach is easily accessible from Circular Quay via regular ferry or fast catamaran.
3:30pm6:30pm : Melbourne
10:30am-1:00pm : National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Victoria offers a great lesson in Australian cultural identity. Founded in 1861, the country's oldest public art museum has a vast collection of Australian Aboriginal, colonial, Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art. There's also an international collection, which displays ancient and modern work by artists from around the globe, including Picasso, Rembrandt, and Degas. Make sure you leave time to see some of the 15,000 snapshots in the museum's photo collection. Also check out what the rotating exhibitions are while you're in town.
1:30pm-3:00pm : Shrine of Remembrance
Built in 1934, the Shrine is the Victorian state memorial to Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping operations throughout our nation’s history. Experience a multi-layered journey rich in meaning and symbology. Enter the building’s classical interior and discover the reverent solitude of the Sanctuary. View breathtaking vistas of Melbourne from the Balcony. Immerse yourself in the real-life stories of Australians in global conflicts, with over 800 artworks, historical artefacts and personal effects featured in the Galleries of Remembrance. Free guided tours depart daily at 11am and 2pm from the Visitor Centre.
3:30pm-6:00pm : Royal Botanic Gardens
Over 10,000 species of native and exotic plants and animals inhabit a lush and immaculately kept landscape at Royal Botanic Gardens. Originally established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe, the gardens today provide 38 hectares (94 acres) of colorful natural displays for you to wander among. The manmade Guilfoyle's Volcano serves as a reservoir and offers you a stunning view of the Melbourne skyline. The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden provides an engaging introduction to botany for kids, and the lake system hosts diverse aquatic species. If you visit during summer, special events happen on the grounds almost daily.
10:00am-1:00pm : Old Melbourne Gaol
At Old Melbourne Gaol, see how Australia handled its most notorious criminals many years ago. Built in 1839, the prison housed and executed famous criminals such as Ned Kelly and serial killer Frederick Bailey Deeming. Today, you can tour the prison's three levels. Visit cells, see the execution area, take a spooky night tour, or participate in a reenactment of a trial. Above all, learn about crime and punishment during Australia's wild past.
1:30pm-2:00pm : Flinders Street Station
Arguably the defining landmark of Melbourne, Flinders Street Station is a colonial-era railway station at the junction of Flinders and Swanston Streets. The main entrance is known for several clocks hanging over it and is a popular meeting spot. "Meet you under the clocks" is an oft-repeated local phrase. This was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. Today, the building is a cultural icon, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, and the recognizable clocks. You can easily access this historic landmark, which is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, from almost anywhere in the city by car or subway.
2:30pm-4:30pm : State Library Victoria
Far more than just a place to read books, State Library Victoria provides both entertainment and a close look at one of Melbourne's architectural gems. Admire the heritage building's Neoclassical facade, giant dome, and manicured lawn before heading inside for a guided tour. You'll discover reading rooms featuring rich wood furnishings, galleries with sculptures and framed portraits, and halls with Romanesque columns reaching up to skylights. Play a game in the Chess Room or video games on one the latest consoles.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Royal Exhibition Building
Royal Exhibition Building is an impressive Victorian structure that is a symbol of the Industrial Revolution. Built in 1880, it was the first building in Australia to win Unesco World Heritage status. Step inside to see fine 19th-century wood- and paint-work. Australia’s first parliament met here in 1901. Now, the Renaissance-style dome and lush gardens host car shows, fairs, and live performances.
10:00am-1:30pm : Melbourne Zoo
Journey through a world of wildlife in the heart of Melbourne at Melbourne Zoo. You won’t believe how many animals are at here! Over 320 species from around the world can be found in a natural setting just five minutes from the city center. Stroll through the lush Asian and African rainforests, where tigers roam and monkeys swing from tree to tree. See eye to eye with orangutans in their special elevated exhibit and walk the Trail of the Elephants. Spy unique native wildlife in the Australian Bush setting and head into an underwater world showcasing playful penguins and seals!
2:00pm-4:30pm : Melbourne Museum
As the Southern Hemisphere's largest museum, Melbourne Museum will likely offer something that captures your interest. Permanent exhibits cover dinosaurs, the first people in Victoria, evolution in Victoria, the story of Melbourne's transformation over time, deep-sea life, the human body, and more. The Touring Hall showcases temporary exhibits, so be sure to check what's on display here while you're in Melbourne.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Eureka Skydeck
Sitting at 285 m (935 ft) above the streets of Melbourne, Eureka Skydeck is the highest public vantage point in a building in the Southern Hemisphere. Its name comes from its home on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, which itself is the 12th highest residential building in the world. For a thrill, walk out on The Edge, a glass enclosure that hangs 3 m (10 ft) off the side of the building.