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Cultural Attractions Of Australia

by Staff

Cultural Attractions of Australia (CAOA) is a collective that was launched in 2019 to bring together Australia’s landmark cultural attractions. The goal is to celebrate the country’s diverse cultural, historical and sporting influences. CAOA offers curated, VIP, behind-the-scenes, pre-bookable experiences—an easy and seamless way for travelers to immerse themselves in Australian culture.

“For each member of the collective, protecting and sustaining Australia’s story is at their heart, says Annabel Sullivan, Executive Officer, Cultural Attractions of Australia. “They provide an opportunity for travelers to hear Australia’s cultural stories with an Australian voice.”

CAOA provides a one-stop source of creative ideas to enhance travel itineraries from being a part of an Opera on the stage of the Sydney Opera House to delving into the collections of Australia’s significant art galleries.

Better Together

(CAOA) has been running for five years and Sullivan is already seeing the success of enhanced visibility through a unified approach. “Annually, the collective engages in trade and media endeavors aimed at elevating both the members’ profiles and Australia’s cultural tourism offering,” says Sullivan. “For certain members, the collective extends their existing activities, while for others with limited specialized resources or budgets, it provides access to markets they might otherwise struggle to penetrate.” She also notes that since CAOA is part of Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences Program CAOA is able to leverage their trade and industry partnerships, their media & PR networks, their research and insight.

A key benefit of being a part of CAOA is the access they have to each other, the Executive Officer and the CAOA Board. The collective values the opportunity to be able to share their current challenges and opportunities with each other and recognized this leads to great learning, support and collaboration from like-minded attractions. This has never been more important to many of the members than over the last few years.

Harnessing The Opportunity of Cultural Tourism

CAOA fills a significant gap in telling Australia’s cultural tourism story. It is an excellent vehicle for presenting this world-class, iconic Australian range of cultural experiences to both the domestic and international markets.

The 17 members include:

  1. Adelaide Oval
  2. Art Gallery of New South Wales
  3. Australian National Maritime Museum
  4. Australian Parliament House
  5. Australian War Memorial
  6. Bangarra Dance Theatre
  7. Fremantle Prison
  8. Melbourne Cricket Ground
  9. Mona (Museum of Old and New Art)
  10. National Gallery of Australia
  11. NGV (National Gallery of Victoria)
  12. National Museum of Australia
  13. Opera Australia
  14. Port Arthur Historic Site
  15. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
  16. Sovereign Hill
  17. Sydney Opera House

“Our experiences can be divided into themes and this makes it easier for travelers to identify experiences that align to their interests,” says Sullivan. “The themes are performing arts, visual arts, on the sports field, cultural heritage, culinary experiences and multi-generational experiences.” Here are a few highlights

The Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and the NGV – National Gallery of Victoria offer immersive experiences offering insights into the Australian collections, collections that visually reflect Australia’s story. The QACOMA experience, First Artists: Exceptional Indigenous Art & Dining, focuses on Queensland’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and the NGV experience, Private Gallery Dinner, offers guests all four levels of the gallery, exclusively to themselves.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Adelaide Oval have sports museums and grounds that honor the nation’s sporting heroes and highlight our most famous sporting moments. They both offer tours that provide behind-the-scenes access: MCG Premium Access Tour and Adelaide Oval Stadium Tour.

Australia has the longest continuous living culture in the world at 65,000 years and we continue to add stories to it. Port Arthur Historic Site’s Wheel of Fate, the National Museum of Australia’s Big Histories and Sovereign Hill’s Taste of Gold experiences help to tell our long history.

Many of the attractions including the Art Gallery of New South Wales or Mona in Hobart are known for their restaurants and the experiences they offer, The Yiribana Experience and Mona Like a Rockstar respectively provide an opportunity to showcase their culinary delights. They combine art and culture with excellent food and wine.

Travelers are seeking immersive, meaningful and authentic experiences. They want to include what’s important to them in their travel itineraries and walk away with something more. The experiences of the CAOA collective can help deliver that.

Multigenerational Travel

The popularity of multigenerational travel continues to grow, with many seeking enriching experiences and the opportunity to create shared memories. “Within our collective, numerous experiences cater to small (or larger) groups, making them ideal for families,” says Sullivan. “What underpins the CAOA collective is the sharing of Australia’s rich history and stories, providing an excellent way for multi-generational groups to come together and create unforgettable memories.”


“Sustainability continues to be important to travelers and we recognize travelers are increasingly making choices about their travel experiences based on their commitment to sustainability,” says Sullivan. The collective is committed to sustainability and offers sustainable tourism experiences. From the Sydney Opera House having a 6-Star Green Star Performance Rating (Green Building Council of Australia) to Fremantle Prison and Port Arthur Historic site preserving world heritage sites with cultural heritage significance. For each member of the collective, protecting and sustaining Australia’s story is at their heart. Adds Sullivan: “We have recently put together a series of five case studies to showcase the sustainability initiatives of members.”

The very existence of the attractions within this collective emphasizes an inherent commitment to sustainability. “Experiences that honor our First Nations people encompass elements of both historical and future sustainability, just as those that showcase our government’s history, settlement stories, and our nation’s sporting achievements do,” says Sullivan. “In each instance, protecting and sustaining our nation’s story lies at the heart of their existence.”

An Evolving Collective

Currently boasting 30 curated experiences, our collective is committed to evolving their experiences and aligning with travelers’ passions and the dynamic shifts in industry trends. This ongoing commitment ensures that our offerings remain not only relevant but also continue to captivate and inspire those seeking unique and immersive cultural experiences.

“Our goal is to grow our collective to 25 members over the next few years,” says Sullivan. “We are working with each of the State Tourism Organizations to identify additional attractions that will help us continue to tell Australia’s broad cultural story.”

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