Where to Visit
in Australia part 2
Australia's 'B' list
The Colonial Tramcar
Restaurant provides a most unlikely venue for a surprisingly
good and memorable meal in Melbourne.
Part two of a four part article on places to visit in
Australia - click on to
part three or
back to part one.
of a general series on travel to and in Australia -
click the links on the right hand
side for more articles.
Once you've considered Sydney
and Far North Queensland, there's a lot more to add to an
Australian itinerary if time and funds allow.
On our 'B' list we offer another
city and country destination, and then there's even more to
consider on our C
and D lists.
Still seeking more suggestions?
Then you need to look on to our 'E' list, and we've even included
some places we don't recommend so strongly too.
The 'B' List
So you've already got your A list destinations planned into your
itinerary and find yourself with a bit of extra time.
Bravo. You'll be delighted at being able to see and do
more while in Australia.
We have another two destinations on our 'B' list for your
consideration, and just as with the A list, we offer both a city
experience and a non-city experience for balance.
But whereas we had no hesitation in giving Sydney the status of
being top of the A list, due to the totally different
experiences in the two B list attractions, we offer them without
setting either above the other in terms of desirability.
B List Attraction - Melbourne
We semi-reluctantly offer you Melbourne as a B list attraction.
Ourselves, we've never really understood Melbourne's appeal.
Indeed, to us, an Australian experience is less about visiting
its semi-generic modern western-style cities, and is more about
visiting Australia's natural beauty and more distinctive
On the other hand, the cities often have plenty of non-city type
tourist attractions clustered around them, so there are reasons
to visit cities too, even if primarily as convenient bases for
out of city touring.
And we can't deny that Melbourne does have appeal to many if not
most visitors. It has just recently won the accolade of
being the world's most livable city (according to the Economic
Intelligence Unit's annual survey, published in August 2011).
Sydney came in at sixth, and Adelaide and Perth tied for the
So maybe you should include Melbourne. It is only slightly
smaller than Sydney (4.1 million people) and somewhat more
recent, being founded in 1835, 47 years after the European
settlement of Australia commenced.
Among Melbourne's other claims to fame, it is alleged to have
the world's largest tram network. You might enjoy riding
around in a tram during the day, and the Colonial Tramcar
Restaurant is a 'must do' activity one evening.
How Long to Stay in Melbourne
If you were to visit Melbourne, you'd probably want to spend a
day in the city, perhaps a day going to Philip Island, and maybe
a day up into the Dandenongs and/or Yarra Valley.
Say a three day stay, expandable by a couple of days if time and
B List Attraction - The Red Center (Ayers Rock, Alice Springs,
When someone says 'Australia' to you, what image flashes into
For some, it might be a kangaroo or koala. For others, it
might be a fish, island, or the Great Barrier Reef. Of
course, Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge also are
prominent images one associates with Australia.
But there's one more image that is an ultra-iconic Australian
image - Ayers Rock, or as the native aborigines refer to it,
Uluru. This extraordinary sandstone rock formation, which
rises 1142 ft (348 m) above the surrounding desert, which is
generally otherwise flat and semi-featureless pretty much as far
as the eye can see, is distinctive by any measure, and when you
add to it a dark rusty red coloring, it is even more unusual.
an interesting picture of Ayers Rock, taken from the
International Space Station, which gives an ultra-aerial
perspective and clearly shows how it sticks out of its
surroundings so prominently.
For many people, their Australian experience is not complete
without visiting Ayers Rock. If you feel that way, then
you should definitely visit Ayers Rock.
If you are going to Ayers Rock, you might want to consider one
or two additional experiences in what is sometimes termed the
Red Center of Australia. The first and more popular of
these is also visiting Alice Springs, and the second is to
include a stop in less well known Kings Canyon on the way
between Ayers Rock and Alice Springs.
We greatly prefer Kings Canyon to Alice Springs and consider it
to be one of Australia's most under-appreciated tourist
How Long to Stay in the Red Center
If you're only going to Ayers Rock, you probably require a
single overnight stay there. Most flights will get you
into Ayers Rock about mid-day, giving you time to then do a
'Sunset at the Rock' experience that late afternoon/early
evening. The next morning you can tour around or climb up
the rock, and then fly out again in the early afternoon and on
to your next destination.
If you are adding Alice Springs, you should add a second
overnight, and if you are adding Kings Canyon, you will need to
add a third overnight.
If you have additional time, you could arguably add another day
to your stay at Ayers Rock (to allow for a visit to the Olgas)
or perhaps more appropriately, another day at Alice Springs (or
Note that you'll probably fly into around around the Red Center,
due to the boring monotony of the distances involved if driving.
But driving is an option, either on a short mini-tour, or even
by yourself. It is 275 miles (440 km) between Ayers Rock
and Alice Springs on a reasonably good sealed road.
For more information
This is part two of a four part article on places to visit
in Australia - please click on to part three which describes the
'C' and 'D' list
Australian destinations we recommend, or back to part one
for the 'A' list
Click the links in the top
right of this page for additional helpful information about
travel to and in Australia.
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2 Sep 2011, last update
21 Jul 2020