Discover a Wealth of Historical and Cultural Wonders in Australia
Australian culture is certainly not limited to traditional museums and galleries, although there are many wonderful examples of both. One evening you might spend at an opera or ballet at the Sydney Opera House and the next you’ll be swinging along to lively jazz bands at the Dusk Club or Lazybones Lounge. The Belvoir St. Theater (where Cate Blanchett got her start) features works by Australian playwrights as well as beloved classics and musicals. In Melbourne visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, where you will be enthralled by the history of movie making, television, and digital entertainment. The Brisbane Powerhouse has a little bit of everything – live theater, comedy and dance performances and a wide variety of new age restaurants and bars. In Perth you can enjoy free concerts at the Fremantle Arts Center, and the Perth Concert Hall (known for its terrific acoustics) presents diverse entertainment ranging from the Stevie Wonder Story to Handel by Candle, a symphony by candlelight sure to make your stress disappear. Hobart, Tasmania is home to Australia’s oldest-running theater, the Theatre Royal.
And talk about art exhibits! Sydney has three major art museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Gallery of New South Wales, and the Australian Museum. Many of the exhibits are representative of the cultures of the Aboriginal and Strait Islander People who have inhabited the area for over 65,000 years. All have hands-on interactive exhibits that make the museum experience a lot more fun than just walking around to see pictures on a wall! Modern street art is found in the Sydney neighborhoods of Newtown and Enmore – some homeowners there have commissioned street artists to design intricate murals on their homes. A self guided street art walking tour (with a stop or two for refreshments along the way) is a great way to spend an afternoon. Melbourne is home to Australia’s oldest art gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria. A blend of traditional and innovative art can be found here – exhibitions ranging from the works of Rembrandt to Liam Young’s revolutionary immersive “redesign of planet earth” will engage museum goers of all ages. The Melbourne Museum and the Aboriginal Culture Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens offer a window into the world of Australia’s ‘First Peoples.” Adelaide’s South Australian Museum is another repository of Aboriginal history, with displays of over 3,000 artifacts. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania has an interesting collection of colonial arts – and you won’t want to miss the quirky and controversial art showcased at the Museum of Old and New Art, a short and scenic ferry ride from Hobart. Canberra is another hot spot for street art, as the city has allotted 27 areas as “free spaces” for artists to display their creativity. The Darwin Street Art Festival is a magnet for popular street artists who transform entire city blocks with colorful murals.
Speaking of festivals, there’s something going on in Australia all year long. Some of the most popular festivals are:
- The Adelaide Fringe Festival features circus, comedy, music, visual arts and dance demonstrations and is held annually in February and March.
- Floriade is the largest flower festival in the southern hemisphere, held in Canberra during the months of September and October.
- The Noosa Eat and Drink Festival located on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, takes place in June, showcasing some of Australia’s finest culinary talents.
- The Vivid Sydney Festival in June is a winter festival like no other, with breathtaking light installations, street performances and nonstop entertainment.
- In April Alice Springs hosts Parrtjima – A Festival of Light, celebrating Aboriginal heritage with workshops, films, entertainment and amazing light shows.
Let our Travel Leaders professional help you plan a trip to Australia where your appetite for diverse cultural experiences will most certainly be satisfied.