The Best Cultural Tourism Destinations in Australia, Worth a Visit!

Australia is home to a thriving arts scene with a year-round agenda of exhibitions, festivals, and events. Discover Australia's rich cultural history in museums across the country. See the works of the best international and Australian artists in large buildings, small commercial galleries, and the city alleys. Attend full-scale performances at iconic venues like the Sydney Opera House, or catch up-and-coming local musicians playing at bars or pubs. Read on to discover Australia's best historical and cultural offerings.


The Best Cultural Tourism Destinations in Australia, Worth a Visit!

A show at the Sydney Opera House is a must-see while in Sydney. Choose from more than 40 shows each week, spanning opera, theatre, classical music, and ballet. You can also take a two-hour backstage tour for a behind-the-scenes look at this extraordinary architectural landmark. Catch a show by the Sydney Theater Company or Bangarra Dance Theater in elegant Walsh Bay, or visit the exuberant Belvoir St Theater in Surry Hills, which has educated major Australian artists such as Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, and Judy Davis. Follow The Rocks to Hyde Park cultural trail, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Australian Museum. The downtown area of Paddington, Surry Hills, Redfern, and Chippendale is home to many galleries, including the multi-arts space Carriageworks and the museum of contemporary Chinese art, the White Rabbit Gallery. Catch some of the world's biggest names in music performing at the Enmore Theater in Newtown. Experience the excitement of the Sydney Festival in January and Vivid Sydney in May and June.


In Melbourne, you can browse a collection of more than 70,000 works of art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's oldest gallery. Nearby is the Australian Center for the Moving Image which is worth a visit to immerse yourself in the world of film, television, and digital culture. Southbank's waterfront center is home to the Australian Center for Contemporary Art – known for its innovative multimedia exhibitions – and the Arts Centre, where you can see the Australian Ballet or Opera Australia perform. Discover public art in Docklands and murals by famous street artists in Fitzroy. Dress in your best for a blockbuster musical at the opulent Princess and Her Majesty's theatre, or an intimate cabaret, drama, or jazz down the halls of the city. Visit the Melbourne Museum, which offers a peek into Victorian Aboriginal culture, then enrich your knowledge on the Aboriginal Heritage Trail through the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens. Melbourne hosts countless cultural events, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March and the International Jazz Festival in May.


The Best Cultural Tourism Destinations in Australia, Worth a Visit!

On the South Bank, the Queensland Cultural Center links Brisbane's major cultural institutions, including Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, and Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Spend a day here exploring the work of acclaimed Australian artists, see the remains of the state's dinosaur Muttaburrasaurus and stay late into the night to catch a ballet, opera, or orchestral performance. At New Farm, a converted industrial space, the Brisbane Powerhouse is home to theatre, comedy, dance, arts, markets, and restaurants. You can also catch live music in nearby Fortitude Valley (try The Foundry or The Zoo) or experience independent theater or live music in the eclectic downtown West End. Watch the orchestra play between the gigantic Corinthian columns of Customs House, or catch a community concert at the historic Brisbane City Hall. Attend the Brisbane Writers Festival and Brisbane Festival, both in September.


The tree-lined North Terrace is home to Adelaide's most significant cultural institutions. Admire more than 3,000 artifacts celebrating the cultural life of Aboriginal Australia, one of the oldest continuously living peoples in the world, at the South Australian Museum. Next door, stroll the halls of the Art Gallery of South Australia for an impressive collection of Australian colonial art. Further along, North Terrace, visit the State Library, Parliament House, and Government House. Catch a show at the Adelaide Festival Centre, home to the State Opera, State Theatre, Australian Dance Theater, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. See artists and sculptors in action in the West End or follow the gallery trail from the elegant streets of the city center to nearby Kent Town and Norwood. Visit during the "mad March", when four of Adelaide's major festivals – the Adelaide Festival, Fringe Festival, WOMADelaide, and the Clipsal 500 – happen at the same time and create a month-long celebration of theatre, music, arts, and motor racing. Catch amazing performances at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June or celebrate the cultural diversity of LGBTIQ people at the Feast Festival in November.


The Best Cultural Tourism Destinations in Australia, Worth a Visit!

The expansive Perth Cultural Center in Northbridge is Perth's cultural heart meeting. See Aboriginal art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and visual and performing arts at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. A few blocks from here, see the West Australian Ballet and West Australian Opera perform at the only remaining Edwardian theater in Australia, His Majesty's Theatre. Or hear soul singers and symphonies play in the Perth Concert Hall's extraordinary acoustic architecture. Meet some of West Australia's leading Aboriginal artists and learn about the Dreamtime, at the Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kings Park. In Fremantle, visit the Western Australian Maritime Museum and join a tour of the convict-built Fremantle Prison, then catch a free concert at the Fremantle Arts Centre. During February and March, the Perth Festival offers a packed program of theatre, music, dance, and visual arts.


View colonial art as well as animal and botanical collections at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), housed in historic buildings on the waterfront of Sullivan Cove. Visit the 13 art spaces within the Salamanca Arts Centre, then take the ferry to the critically acclaimed Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), which houses the controversial private collection of Tasmanian art collector David Walsh. You can also see prominent Tasmanian artists at the 1842 Lady Franklin Gallery in the Lenah Valley, which is open to the public on weekends. In the evening, catch a performance by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the Federation Concert Hall or catch international ballets, operas, plays, and musicals at Theater Royal, Australia's oldest theatre. Alternatively, catch a show at Rektango or Republic Bar & Cafe. Culture vultures flock to Hobart for art, film, and music that make up Dark Mofo in June, the Mona Foma music festival in January and the week-long Taste of Tasmania, held over the new year.


The Best Cultural Tourism Destinations in Australia, Worth a Visit!

In Canberra, you can learn about the birth of the Australian political system at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House, then watch politicians debate current issues in Parliament House. See the country's best collection of Australian art at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and famous Australian faces at the National Portrait Gallery, or visit the 35 purpose-built studios supporting more than 40 artists, at ANCA Gallery. Explore some of the key moments in Australian history with a guided tour of the National Museum of Australia, or discover Canberra's rich history at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. Catch ballet, theatre, dance, or musical at the Canberra Theater Center in Civic. Check out local productions at The Street Theater or pick up classical music at the School of Music located at the Australian National University. Don't miss the Canberra International Music Festival in May to experience more than 20 intimate performances.


Explore Darwin's Aboriginal heritage and Cyclone Tracy's 1974 recreation at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. See Aboriginal traditional and contemporary arts and crafts in the galleries along palm-lined Mitchell Street. Watch footage of World War II air raids on Darwin at the Darwin Military Museum and if you are interested in architectural history visit the 1930s cottage at Myilly Point Heritage Precinct. In Darwin, a lot of activity takes place outdoors. Catch arthouse movies under the stars at Deckchair Cinema, between April and November. May is the month to hear powerhouse bands at the Northern Territory's biggest music festival, Bass in the Grass. Don't miss the Darwin Festival in August, an 18-day celebration of music, dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret, film, and visual arts, staged in venues across the city. Throughout July, the Darwin Fringe Festival is held in the city for 10 days to support independent artists.

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