Australia: Urban Pleasures on the Coasts, Cultural Traditions in Between
Now a gastronomic capital, Melbourne dazzles with fine-dining venues like Attica, where native ingredients star, as well as casual eateries showcasing the city’s international flavors. Cultural attractions include the East End Theatre District, home to six major theaters, and the world-renowned Australian Ballet. March is particularly packed with events, among them the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
Climbing 1,142-foot-high Uluru (Ayers Rock), deep in the Outback, was once a standard item on the to-do lists of visitors Down Under. But, out of consideration for the rock’s significance to the local Anangu people, such ascents won’t be allowed after September 2019. That shouldn’t dissuade visitors from making their way to the geological marvel: A host of activities focusing on the surrounding desert and the people who inhabit it—from predawn walks to dot-painting workshops— have filled the gap.
One of the world’s most isolated cities, Perth boasts a laid-back lifestyle, Mediterranean climate, and modern urban amenities. Scarborough Beach is picture-perfect, its limpid blue water and white sand backed by parks, restaurants, and promenades. In June, the city’s new stadium hosts a game of the rugby league’s State of Origin series—one of the country’s biggest sporting events.