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Hip cafes are also popular – locals take the quality of their coffee rather seriously.

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, but it is also considered Australia’s shopping, gastronomic and sporting capital, where history and culture collide with creativity and innovation.

Food & drink Brisbane has a reputation for being a chilled out kind of place, which can be seen clearly in the city's culinary scene.

Dining often takes place al fresco thanks to the typically spotless weather, with restauranteurs priding themselves on local produce.

The city that was once a penal colony today has plenty to offer itself, and has well and truly landed in the 21st century.

The surrounding countryside is an incredible bonus, with parkland, reserves and a koala sanctuary all within easy distance. Getting around You can get from Brisbane to many of Australia's main hotspots via the Greyhound bus network, which has more than a 1,000 destinations.

Hidden gems It may be a way down the river and a few kilometres from the city centre, but it's essential to take in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Nearly a century old, the site's 130-odd koalas make this the first and biggest koala sanctuary.

Head to the Queensland Cultural Centre for a taste of Brisbane's ultra-modern side.Meanwhile, the southern edge of the Great Barrier Reef reaches down towards the city, offering the chance to see thousands of different species of fish, turtles and whales within an easy drive.Hit the Gold Coast for several world-beating amusement parks.Wide boulevards lined with trees and lawns in the heart of the city add to the European atmosphere; in fact the city is notable for its green spaces, with Fitzroy Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens two lovely examples of the city’s parks.Beyond the CBD, head to the redeveloped Yarra River and waterfront area, populated with restaurants and bars, while a wander round hip neighbourhoods such as Brunswick and Fitzroy is enough to show you why Melbourne claims to be Australia's cultural capital - discover live music, cool pubs and bohemian cafes abound.

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