Not sure which local cruise ports to visit on your next Australia cruise? Here is a guide to a dozen of Australia’s best cruise ports.
Sydney, New South Wales
Climb the Harbour Bridge, explore the historic Rocks area, go jetboating past the Opera House or stroll around the harbour. Australia’s most popular cruise departure port offers plenty of entertainment for cruise passengers just a few steps away from the ship.
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Most passengers head offshore to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or soak up the sun on Whitehaven Beach however this town’s attractive main street is also worth a look. The 4,300sqm Airlie Beach Lagoon has stunning Coral Sea views and is free to use.
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is a winner when it comes to entertaining passengers with diverse interests. You don’t need to venture far from the ship to see a baby croc, go shopping for Aboriginal art or discover Australia’s war history at World War II tunnels near the ship.
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide’s charming CBD is a foodie’s delight with restaurants, cafes and bars galore and a colourful inner-city market. Top adventures further afield include catching a vintage tram to Glenelg Beach or touring the nearby Adelaide Hills wine region.
Moreton Island, Queensland
Moreton Island is the world’s third largest sand island and the jewel in Moreton Bay’s crown, with snorkelling available just off-shore. Other activities range from sand tobogganing to Segway tours along the beach and quad biking through the dunes.
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is one of Australia’s easiest ports to explore thanks to the free Central Area Transit buses which cover the city’s main attractions. If you are in town on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, check out the 150 plus stalls and lively atmosphere at Fremantle Markets.
Day tours abound at this tropical tourist-friendly town. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or enjoy a bird’s eye view of the rainforest from a gondola on the 7.5km long Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Cruisers can also cool down at the city’s free swimming lagoon.
Discover the city’s famous laneways with their funky boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars or enjoy some art and culture at one of Melbourne’s many museums. Don’t miss the fabulous graffiti art in Hosier Lane near Federation Square.
Hobart’s historic waterfront area is hard to beat but those who venture beyond the city centre are rewarded with contemporary art at the world-famous MONA gallery and the rich convict history of Port Arthur.
Busselton, Western Australia
Most passengers tour the picturesque Margaret River wine region but the pretty town of Busselton is also a lovely spot for a stroll. It’s home to a Heritage-listed 1.8 kilometre jetty which has a Cultural Heritage Museum and Underwater Observatory.
Queensland’s capital is renowned for its sunny weather and laid-back charm. Explore the city’s excellent museums and galleries or go swimming at South Bank’s free inner-city beach. The Gold Coast is just an hour away by car from the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
Newcastle, New South Wales
Newcastle is the unsung hero of Australian ports with beautiful inner-city beaches and one of the country’s most famous wine regions, the Hunter Valley, located just 45 minutes away from the cruise terminal by car.
Want more great cruise advice? Check out our tips for choosing the perfect cruise, cruising with grandchildren, cruising with tweens and cruising with kids of all ages, solo cruising, Celebrity Edge, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas plus the best activities on Ovation of the Seas, doing a Transatlantic cruise with kids, cruising in Australia or Papua New Guinea, cruising on a megaship, scoring a bargain cruise fare, cruising the Mediterranean, making the most of a cruise ship kids club, luxury cruising with kids, and the Byron Beach Club onboard P&O Cruises. We have also reviewed Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter, Carnival Splendor, Voyager of the Seas, Nieuw Statendam, Viking Helgrim, Pride of America, Coral Expeditions in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef, Celebrity Solstice, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.