Complete the musical pilgrimage and walk in the footsteps of these Aussie artists as you embark on a road trip to their hometowns.
If you’ve felt a connection of sorts to Australian musicians and wondered where they originated from or what environments nurtured their progression, then look no further.
You won’t exactly become the next Amy Shark or Shannon Noll, but you will perhaps experience the local culture and scenery they were accustomed to before putting their little hometown on the map.
Disclaimer: This is all assuming the borders stay open in a COVID world, of course.
1. Amy Shark
Gold Coast, Queensland.
Anything theme park related. We’re talking Warner Brothers Movie World, Dreamworld, Seaworld.
Surfer’s Paradise and other beaches make the cut, as does the the Hinterland and Tamborine Mountain.
Black Hops Brewery in Burleigh Heads is a local favourite.
Typically a 1 or 2 hour non-stop flight from Sydney or Melbourne. By car, it’s about 14 or 16 hours from Sydney or Melbourne up the Pacific Highway M1. Pack a good playlist!
2. The Rubens
Menangle, New South Wales.
The Menangle railway bridge, the oldest surviving rail bridge in New South Wales.
Camden Park House,The Menangle Store, the Rotolactor, Gilbulla, The Pines, and the Menangle Railway Viaduct are all heritage listed. Local Catholic Church St Patrick’s is said to have a “gothic, country feel.”
By car from Sydney, it’s an hour down the M5 and Hume motorway, or alternatively, 1 hour and 15 minutes on the Southern Highlands Train Intercity line. If travelling from Melbourne by car, its about 8 hours going up the National Highway, or a Southern Cross Train to Campelltown and then a change to Menangle.
3. Ruby Fields
Cronulla, New South Wales.
Cronulla Whale Watching, Shark Island, Walk the Walls Cronulla Street Art Trail.
The beach (of course), but the Gunnamutta Bay Tidal Baths and Hazelhurst Arts Centre are gems that can’t be missed.
45 min down the M1 by car if travelling from Sydney. 8 hours and 50 minutes by car if travelling up from Melbourne or a 12 hour and 30 minute train from Southern Cross Station.
4. Tones and I
Mount Martha, Victoria.
Balcombe Creek Wetlands – home to a rich selection bird life. Mount Martha Park.
It’s worth driving through the Esplanade – a coastal road linking Mount Martha with Mornington in the north and Safety Beach down south.
1 hour and 20 minute drive south of Melbourne. By car from Sydney it’s 9 hours and 35 min drive via the M31 and National Highway M31. There are multiple transport changes from Sydney to Melbourne via the train, so flight to Melbourne and drive if you can.
5. Baker Boy
Milingimbi, Northern Territory.
The Milingimbi Art and Culture Centre is a community owned art centre located in the island community of Milingimbi, 200 kilometres west of Nhulunbuy.
Located nearby in East Arnhem Land are the Banubanu Walking Trails and Gayŋaru Wetlands (Town Lagoon).
Nhulunbuy Speedway for your revhead fantasies. Locals also rate the burgers as the best in town.
A direct flight to Milingimbi Island is your best bet, with 7 hour and 10 min duration for Sydney or 7 hour and 40 for Melbourne.
6. Ball Park Music
Newstead House, Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence. Breakfast Creek Hotel, the ‘heart and soul of Brisbane.’
Quench your thirst at Newstead Brewing Co, or check out the Triffid, where the band themselves had a residency recently.
9 hours and 23 min up the Pacific Highway and M1 from Sydney by car, or a casual 17 hours and 36 min via the M31 and Pacific Highway for Melbourne by car. You can do it!
7. Shannon Noll
Condoblin, New South Wales.
There are a lot of emus here. If you’ve never seen one in the wild outside of a zoo, this could be your chance.
Gum Bend Lake. The hotel (Condoblin Hotel) where Shannon Noll screamed “What About Me?”
Utes in the Paddock is a whacky Australian exhibition which is gaining increased national attention.Think of Sculptures by the Sea, but with utes.
It’s a wee drive from Sydney of 5 hours and 47 min via Great Western Highway and Henry Parkes Way. From Melbourne it’s almost a straight route via the Newell Highway and will take approximately 7 hours and 15 minutes.
8. Tame Impala
Perth, Western Australia.
Nearby Rottnest Island with those wonderful quokka creatures. Fremantle or “Freo,” has some stunning street art.
Diving with the dolphins in Rockingham. Sipping wine in the Swan Valley.
Hadiqa is a Middle Eastern gem hidden atop a Perth rooftop.
By car from Sydney it’s a 41 hour straight drive across the National Highway A1, so if you do drive, make sure you have roadside assistance. It’s the same route via Melbourne, but only 36 hours. Honestly, get a flight from either city – it’s 5 hours approximately.
9. Nick Cave
Wheat City Derby Angels is a roller derby team that participate in tournaments all around Victoria.
Yarriambiack Creek Walk is a pleasant stroll where along the way you see the Half Moon Bridge, a lagoon boardwalk, Shag Island and two Chinese Gardens.
Agricultural Machinery Museum, Rabbit Fence Monument and the two main sculptures in the town, the sheep dog and bales of wheat.
The Sheep Hill Silos are painted by street artist Adnate and are an interesting
10 hours and 30 min drive by car from Sydney along the M31, or an easy 3 hours and 45 min from Melbourne via the the M79. By train from Sydney it’s 20 hours with changes, or a quarter of that time from Melbourne.
10. Paul Kelly
Adelaide, South Australia.
Adelaide Oval, where you can even do a rooftop climb. Yes, it hosts sport there too, like cricket and Aussie Rules football.
Peel Street with all the incredible eateries and restaurants including Aurora.
Nearby is the Barossa Valley as well as German town Hahndorf, so you can absorb the wine and culture in one hit.
You can’t miss the Adelaide Fringe Festival when it is on during the start of the year, with boasts being the biggest open access arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
By car from Sydney it’s 14 hours via the M31 and Sturt Highway, or a train ride that passes through Wagga Wagga and Albury. Melbournians can drive almost 8 hours via the Western Highway and National Highway. Brave travellers can get a 22 hour train from Southern Cross Station.