24 August 2017
Located at the heart of Texas, in the foothills of Hill Country, Austin offers world-renowned festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Austin City Limits Music Festival – along with more than 250 venues featuring rock, blues, jazz, hip hop and everything in between every night of the week. With a multitude of other experiences for Australian and New Zealand travellers that inlclude outstanding dining experiences, world-class sporting events, a multitude of outdoor activities, there really is something for everyone in Austin.
Since 1987 the world has looked to Austin as it plays host to South by Southwest. It’s one of the biggest festivals in the world representing a combination of music, film and interactive media. The annual festival was held in March this year. Exhibitions, parties, screenings, showcases and special events took place throughout Austin’s downtown. Mark this in your calendars for 2018!
Many claim that Franklin Barbecue is up there as one of the best barbecue joints in the whole of Texas, some say the world. If you’re serious about barbecue and have some time on your hands, then waiting in line at Franklin’s Barbecue is an absolute must-do when in Austin. And wait in line you will, for at least two hours. With queues starting in the early hours of the morning, barbecue enthusiasts obsess over getting a taste of the legendary smokey beef brisket, meaty pork ribs, and the tender pulled pork. Open every Tuesday to Sunday for lunch until the meat runs out.
For a day trip close to the city, grab your hiking shoes and head on a short drive to Mount Bonnell, which has recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Walk along the beautiful Colorado River and climb the pathway until you reach the peak.
Reconnecting with nature is easy to do while in Austin. Why not visit the Longhorn Cavern State Park which is less than half an hour from the city centre. Spend the afternoon exploring the caverns and finding out more about its many stories and legends.
The State Capitol is one of Austin’s grandest buildings. Designed by architect E.E. Myers and opened in 1888, the building is made of "sunset red" granite quarried in Marble Falls, Texas, which gives it the blush colour that makes it unique. It is also the largest State Capitol building in the USA.
Austin is home to some natural pools and swimming holes that really are worth a visit. For a quick retreat back to nature, do as the locals do and head to Zilker Park. Take a walk in the Zilker Botanical Gardens or have a dip in the naturally spring-fed Barton Springs Pool. If you’re keen to get out of town, just a 45-minute drive away is Hamilton Pool. Bring a picnic and head to the picturesque natural swimming pool with waterfall.