PhD students in Australia will have plenty of opportunity to explore this antipodean nation’s fascinating culture and natural beauty, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Gondwana Rainforests. Major cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane draw visitors from around the globe, frequently appearing near the top of various liveability metrics.
Culture and tourism
Many of Australia’s most iconic sights are located in Sydney, its largest city. From the sail-like structure of the Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge (the world’s biggest steel arch bridge), Sydney is understandably a big draw for tourists, who also flock to the Bondi Beach surfing hotspot.
Melbourne is another major Australian metropolis with its own unique atmosphere, sometimes thought of as the country’s cultural capital. The National Gallery of Victoria hosts sprawling collections of Australian and international art, while the Queen Victoria Market is home to an eclectic range of food traders.
Situated in the centre of Australia, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a sacred site for the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal peoples. Visitors to the UNESCO-listed park can learn about Indigenous culture, as well as hike in the stunning natural surroundings.
Sport and leisure
Sport is a huge part of the Australian national identity. Cricket, rugby and Aussie rules football all have fanatic followings, while the ‘Socceroos’ are a fixture at the FIFA World Cup.
Australia is also one of the world’s great surfing destinations. The country’s natural attractions also provide unparalleled opportunities for hiking, snorkelling and other outdoor (or should that be ‘outback’?) pursuits.
Food and drink
Australian cuisine is much more than the stereotypical ‘shrimp on the barbie’ (although barbeques are undoubtedly an important part of Australian life). The food on offer reflects Australia’s status as one of the most diverse countries in the world, with dishes from every corner of the globe. Greek, Vietnamese and Lebanese are among the popular cuisines in Australia.
Australia is also known for its café culture, and it’s said that the flat white was invented in Sydney back in the 1980s.