Australia's Gold Coast stretches south from Queensland's capital, Brisbane, along 45 miles (70km) of coastline into northern New South Wales. The stunning array of beaches along this coast are a major drawcard, and where once only the surf graced the shoreline, today there is a plethora of high-rise accommodation, giant theme parks, exotic nightlife and countless restaurants.
Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, capital of Victoria, is the most European in style with trams rattling through streets past Victorian buildings, parks and outdoor cafes. The city centre is laid out in a simple grid pattern; the long, wide north-south streets gently sloping down to the Yarra River, crossed by a mix of narrow lanes, and the main shopping streets such as Bourke and Collins Streets.
Sunny, seductive Sydney is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean; the neighbourhoods and busy pedestrian precincts pristine; the parks sublime; the water in the huge harbour blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking.