Composed of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and a number of smaller islands, the sovereign country of Australia is the world’s 6th largest country by area with the 14th largest economy. With a wide range of landscapes such as deserts, mountain ranges, beaches, and tropical rainforests, Australia is home to plenty of experiences and attractions that will take your breath away. From Sydney Opera House to Brisbane’s Infinity Tower, the Land Down Under ranks high when it comes to awe-inspiring natural wonders and dazzling buildings in its cities. Here is a list of the best famous buildings in Australia that are skillfully built architectural masterpieces in their own right.
1. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
This World Heritage-listed building is one of the oldest surviving from the Great Exhibition Era and hosts fashion shows, gala dinners, and cultural festivals. Located in Melbourne, the building was established in 1880 and housed the first commonwealth parliament. It is home to the annual Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, fashion and art fairs, and other interesting conventions. The museum also offers regular tours on most days, which are subject to availability, so call ahead if you want to reserve a slot.
Royal Exhibition Building
Address: 9 Nicholson St, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
Website: Royal Exhibition Building
Opening hours: 5:30am - 12pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
2. Vaucluse House, Sydney
Originally an aboriginal land, this house museum in Sydney is a 19th-century mansion that offers an immersive experience and audio tours to its visitors. As the country’s first official house museum, the structure features a stable, outwings, and gardens retaining a significant portion of the original setting. With a grand entrance space, cedar tables, Gothic arches, paintings, and souvenirs, the venue also hosts workshops and festivals and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in learning about the fascinating story of this century-old building.
Address: 69A Wentworth Rd, Vaucluse, NSW 2030, Australia
Website: Vaucluse House
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon - Tue)
Price: From 12 USD
3. Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
Located in Sydney, this famous historical building was originally designed as a marketplace and now houses more than 175 stores and cafes. Opened in 1898, this prestigious shopping hub features a colossal dome in the center flanked by 19th-century architectural embellishments representative of the Romanesque style. The establishment also offers guided tours that are ideal for anyone looking to understand the history and characteristics of the magnificent building.
Queen Victoria Building
Address: 455 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Website: Queen Victoria Building
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm
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4. Q1, Surfers Paradise
Located in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise, this iconic urban tower offers excellent accommodation and dining options on the Gold Coast. As the southern hemisphere’s tallest building, the tower is a stunning marvel of architectural excellence with elements of design inspired by the spirit of Australia. The skyscraper also houses the only beachside observational deck and plenty of beachfront cafes, five-star restaurants, and penthouses.
Address: 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217, Australia
Opening hours: 7:30am - 10pm (daily)
5. Parliament House, Canberra
Located in the country’s capital, Canberra, this famous building was built in 1988 atop Capitol Hill. With more than 4,500 rooms and grand halls and foyers, the structure features a design that is influenced by the shape of two boomerangs with two axes that represent the country’s historical and legislative progress. The building also houses famous displays that include Magna Carta, interesting artworks, and portraits of previous prime ministers.
Address: Parliament Dr, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia
Website: Parliament House
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
This one-hour tour is ideal for anyone looking to explore and understand the history and magic of Sydney Opera House and its exemplary theaters and foyers. Designed by a Danish architect more than 60 years ago, this iconic building is one of the best performing arts centers in the world, with more than 1,750 performances held every year. The guided tour also includes headsets that provide insider secrets and stories of this famous UNESCO World Heritage site. Note that the audio tour guide is available in various languages, such as German, French, and Spanish, while the live tour guide is presented in English, German, French, and Spanish.
Sydney: Opera House Guided Tour with Entrance Ticket
Duration: 1 hour
7. Collins Street, Melbourne
Located in the central business district of Victoria, this skyscraper offers office accommodation and panoramic views of the city. With a postmodern style, the building has close access to public transportation and features offices of companies such as Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Standard & Poor’s, Mitsubishi, etc. Opened in 1991, the structure is the sixth-tallest building in the country and the second-largest tower in Melbourne.
120 Collins Street
Address: 120 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Opening hours: 24 hours
8. Flinders Street Railway Station, Melbourne
Located in Melbourne, this railway station is an iconic building with Australia’s longest platform. Opened in 1909, the structure housed the country’s first railway station, which was once the busiest station in the world, along with a lecture hall, gymnasium, and library. With a remarkable dome, the art nouveau-style building is a widely recognized landmark, and standing beneath the clocks of this station is an experience that should not be missed during your visit to Melbourne.
Flinders Street Railway Station
Address: Flinders St, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Flinders Street Railway Station
Opening hours: 24 hours
9. Australia Square Tower, Sydney
Located in the heart of Sydney’s business district, this famous skyscraper is a retail and office complex with a total of 50 floors. Boasting an innovative design, the iconic high-rise was envisioned as a two-building structure and features a tower that was once the city’s tallest. This landmark offers a range of facilities that include concierge services, chauffeur services, restaurant reservations, VIP arrivals, corporate gifts, fitness centers, and sustainable office spaces that provide the perfect work-life balance.
Australia Square Tower
Address: Level 17/264 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Website: Australia Square Tower
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 6pm (closed on Sat - Sun)
10. Rialto Towers, Melbourne
Situated in Melbourne’s central business district, this skyscraper features Gothic architectural elements, a public observation deck, and a massive glass facade. Completed in 1986 during the Melbourne gold rush, this famous building features 63 floors above ground and 3 floors below ground and was once the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Influenced by the run-up event at Empire State Building in New York, the skyscraper hosts a tower-running event every year with participants climbing 1,642 steps to the sky deck.
Address: 525 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Rialto Towers
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
Price: From 12 USD
Ogle at Australia's architectural gems
Beautiful beaches and glamping spots are not all the Australia has to offer. From towering skyscrapers to iconic performing arts centers, Australia is also home to some of the most dazzling man-made structures in the world. Whether you are looking to be awed by late 19th-century revival styles of Victorian architecture or hypnotized by high-rises with stunning views that make up majestic skylines, the cities of Australia have their fair share of masterpieces. Take your pick from the above list of the best famous buildings in Australia and get an eyeful during your trip to the Land Down Under.
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