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|Discover A New Palate in Australia|
Australian culture is an intriguing mix of sensibilities. There is the pioneering spirit of colonial exploration, the ancient traditions of indigenous tribes and the untamed atmosphere of open wilderness. And in cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns this national heritage is combined with superlative cultural offerings to create an environment that is at once uniquely Australian and world-class.
As the country’s reputation as a highly rewarding cultural destination for international visitors spreads, travelers flock to Australia to see for themselves. The best of Australian art, music, fashion, theatre, cuisine and heritage are enticing visitors to experience life beyond the Barrier Reef.
Leading the “Modern Oz” movement are the cultural centers of Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney, setting the standard for destinations throughout Australia while captivating travelers with their unique style.
Sydney, Australia’s largest international city, acts as the gateway for visitors traveling through Oz. And though it serves as an access point for places such as the world-renowned wine region of Hunter Valley, Sydney itself could be an entire vacation.
In appreciation of the Australian art movement, Sydney has a variety of sites and museums showcasing local talents including The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Art Gallery of New South Wales. Home to a substantial collection of local and international painters, sculptors and photographers, the museums celebrate the diverse threads of Australian culture, including Aboriginal, Asian and European cultures. With over 29,000 items, both museums have a varied offering of exhibits, films, concerts and lectures where travelers are able to experience the distinct style of Australian culture.
Recently coined the world’s best city for eating by the Asian Wall Street Journal, Sydney boasts a variety of award-winning cuisines to satisfy any appetite. Whether it be a stop at Neil Perry’s famous Rockpool restaurant or Peter Gilmore’s Quay, guests are encouraged to savor a variety of signature dishes including Crisped Pressed Duck with garlic puree, salsify, porcini and duck juices. For Japanese cuisine, Sydneysiders recommend a visit to Chinatown’s Tetsuya’s featuring Tetsuya Wakuda’s Japanese- and French-influenced fixed-price menu.
While the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne may be tied on the food front, Victoria’s capital city stands alone when it comes to theater. Whether your preferences run to Shakespeare and the classics or musical theatre and experimental readings, Melbourne has something for everyone. Even Melbourne’s Arts Centre offers travelers both traditional and contemporary theater along with a circus, ice-skating, cinema and dance. Insiders also recommend a stop at the Gilbert & Sullivan Society which offers a year-round schedule at The Alexander Theatre at Monash University.
Enclosed by a stunning display of architecture, Melbourne’s Federation Square, positioned in the city center and still relatively new, brings together a number of attractions including: the Ian Potter Center: National Galleria of Victoria, the Australian Center for the Moving Image, the Australian Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, the National Design Center and the Melbourne Visitor Center. With a variety of restaurants, cafes and bars, the square regularly serves as an arena for markets, fashion shows and concerts that can attract locals and travelers alike.
For restaurant buffs, Melbourne is also home to some of the best seafood in Australia. Travelers cannot go wrong at Adelphish, in the Adelphi Hotel where the seafood antipasto plate includes oysters natural, citrus marinated scallops, tuna tataki, salmon gravalax and crisp mussels with saffron all to be enjoyed by the amazing rooftop pool. Taxi Dining Room, in Federation Square, combines ultra-fresh Japanese fare with Modern Oz styling–a must if you are in the neighborhood.
As the gateway to the world’s biggest living museum–the Great Barrier Reef–Cairns has always been a popular destination with tourists. And yet, while the city is situated on the coast of tropical North Queensland, modern developments have enticed many travelers to turn in their sea legs.
Cairns, renown for its diving opportunities, also boasts a rich food, art and cultural scene with a variety of outdoor markets and shows. Visitors are encouraged to check out the Cairns Regional Art Gallery and Perrotta’s at the Gallery, serving up colorful selections of Australian paintings, sculptures and indigenous art, while Perotta’s offers a tasty menu of Modern Oz dishes.
In an attempt to share their aboriginal heritage dating back nearly 50,000 years, Cairns founded the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, a premier attraction featuring the ancient tales, dances and customs from dreamtime stories. Travelers are encouraged to take township tours, guided hikes through sacred landscapes and bush tucker lessons to experience how aboriginal communities live their lives today.
As it forges ahead through the 21st century, Australia has morphed into a nation that is uniquely multifaceted and fascinating. In today’s Australia, you can truly have it all.
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