CULTURE ART AND HERITAGE

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Unusual and unique Australian buildings

Big. Bold. Colourful. Captivating.

This country is dotted with architectural gems that not only make prime photo ops but create excellent experiences when visiting.

Whether revealing fascinating histories or delivering jaw-dropping views, each of these beaut buildings is more than just a pretty façade.

Experience their intricacies inside and out.

These architectural gems deserve the spotlight. Pictured: Theatre Royal, Hobart. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Nick Osborne.

Must-visit attractions in QLD

Stock Exchange Arcade, Charters Towers

Built in 1888, this glorious two-storey structure is a throwback to the city’s wealthy gold-rush days, and both its frontage and interior are up for a photo shoot. The arcade is joined by other opulent structures and attractions in town that revive the enthralling gold-filled days.

Stay at: BIG4 Aussie Outback Oasis Holiday Park.

Art deco of Innisfail

Innisfail boasts one of the country’s largest collections of art deco buildings, and these colourful creations spice up a stroll around the picturesque Far North QLD town. For guidance, grab a map from the info centre.

Discover more of Innisfail here.

Stay at: BIG4 Innisfail Mango Tree Tourist Park.

Innisfail fires out a feast of art deco structures. Credit: HDeVolution Video Productions.

Gold Coast skyscrapers

This glittering stretch of coast is renowned for its skyscrapers among which are several captivating creations. Q1 Tower is the tallest and best known and has an observation deck for soaking up stunning vistas. Soul and The Wave are worth a neck-craning peek, too.

Stay at: BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park.

The Gold Coast's modern skyscrapers sparkle.

Must-visit attractions in VIC

The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Bendigo

This is the western world’s largest stupa with a base measuring 50sq m coupled with a height of 48m. Add to the mix a bold white exterior and this sacred Buddhist building, on the outskirts of Bendigo, easily grabs attention. Self-guided and group tours of the stupa are insightful and compelling.

Stay at: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park, or BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park.

See the western world’s largest stupa near Bendigo. Credit: Andrew Edgar.

Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

A tangible reminder of the Great Exhibition era, this World Heritage-listed building is magnificent inside and out. It remains host to wide-ranging events, from baby expos to beer festivals, while regular tour options expose its immense beauty and rich past.

Stay at: BIG4 Dandenong Tourist Park or BIG4 Melbourne Holiday Park.

The Royal Exhibition Building is a beauty inside and out.

Shepparton Art Museum

One of Australia’s most revered art museums is on the cusp of opening its brand-new residence, an impressive four-storey structure complete with a rooftop viewing deck. While its ground floor is now open, we’ll have to wait until mid-October 2021 for the complete reveal.

See more great galleries of Victoria here.

Stay at: BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park.

The new Shepparton Art Museum will soon have its moment in the sun.

Must-visit attractions in NSW

Albury Railway Station

The heritage-listed, Victorian-style building ranks among the country’s grandest railway stations and is a worthy photo subject. Opened in 1882, it remains operational today.

Stay at: BIG4 Albury Tourist Park.

All aboard for grandness: Albury Railway Station. Credit: Visit AlburyWodonga.

James Theatre, Dungog

Situated in the small town of Dungog, inland from Bulahdelah, is a building recognised as the oldest purpose-built cinema still operating in Australia. Opened in 1912, James Theatre continues its traditions by showing a varied film range alongside select live music sessions.

Stay at: BIG4 River Myall Holiday Resort, Bulahdelah.

Pretty as a picture: James Theatre. Credit: Destination NSW.

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, Sydney

This eye-catcher is the brainchild of internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry and is in use as a business school at the University of Technology. Of course, while in the Harbour City you could go more mainstream and check out the Sydney Opera House or the ultra-impressive Queen Victoria Building in George St.

Stay at: Ingenia Holidays Nepean River or NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park.

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is an interesting photo subject. Credit: Destination NSW.

Or stop by the glorious Queen Victoria Building. Credit: Destination NSW.

Must-visit attractions in WA

Amelia Park Wines, Margaret River

The popular Margaret River winery creates quite the first impression. Visitors are greeted by a dimly-lit, barrel-lined, rustic entrance that leads to a modern tasting room with sweeping valley views. And the vino is just as impressive.

Stay at: BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River or BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks - Busselton.

Warm welcome: Amelia Park Wines. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

And then this. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Bell Tower, Perth

Historical meets contemporary at this aesthetically awesome attraction. While the distinctive building was open only in 2000, it houses significant bells from England that date prior to the 14th century. And there are superb views to soak up from the tower’s open-air observation deck.

Stay at: BIG4 Perth Midland Tourist Park.

There are ringing endorsements for this attraction.

Boulder Town Hall, Kalgoorlie-Boulder

The 1908-built town hall is one of a cluster of buildings in Kalgoorlie-Boulder that are a stark reminder of the region’s heady gold-rush period. Today, the structure is home to the fascinating Goldfields War Museum and also houses an extremely rare and extravagant Goatcher Curtain.

Want more Kalgoorlie inspo? It’s here.

Stay at: BIG4 Acclaim Prospector Holiday Park.

And Kalgoorlie has plenty more that catches the eye. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Must-visit attractions in SA

d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale

Opened in 2017, this unique five-storey feature has fast become a state icon and takes wine tasting to a new level – figuratively and literally. The top-level tasting room delivers sensational panoramic views and is joined by other exciting features that include a contemporary art gallery.

Stay at: BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park.

Stunning: d'Arenberg Cube. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.

And then there's the interior: Credit: Meaghan Coles.

Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide

The southern hemisphere’s largest single-span glasshouse dominates the scenic surrounds of Adelaide Botanic Garden. Inside, walkways showcase an array of rainforest plants, many of which are endangered.

Stay at: BIG4 West Beach Parks.

The Bicentennial Conservatory is a standout within Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Various châteaus, Barossa

Among the many magnetising cellar doors of this world-famous wine region are a handful of enchanting chateaus. They include the big and bold Barossa Château with its almighty rose garden and the striking bluestone Château Tanunda, which is the biggest of its kind in Australia.

Stay and play in the Barossa. It’s all here.

Stay at: BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park.

Château Tanunda is the biggest of its kind in the country.

Must-visit attractions in TAS

Theatre Royal, Hobart

Billed as Australia’s oldest working theatre – its past dates to 1837 – this attraction has a stunning interior. The theatre’s colourful past is unearthed on regular weekday tours, or time your visit to coincide with frequent events that include musicals, dance, comedy, and more.

Stay at: BIG4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park.

Splendid: Theatre Royal. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Nick Osborne.

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston

This attraction consists of two heritage sites: the museum is housed in an old railway workshop and the gallery features within a prominent pinkish building. Both offer a world of colour and activity within their walls, ensuring the duo is not to be missed during a visit to Launceston.

Stay at: BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park.

Launceston's twin cultural attractions are must-sees. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

Queen Victoria Museum. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

West Coast Heritage Centre, Zeehan

In this old mining town it’s a case of four grand buildings for the price of one. The centre incorporates a former school of mines, a post office, police station-courthouse, and theatre-hotel as well as dozens of exhibition spaces that provide vivid encounters with the town’s rich past. Zeehan is 40km north of Strahan.

Stay at: BIG4 Strahan Holiday Retreat.

Zeehan explodes with heritage finds: Credit: Ollie Khedun.

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