Tiana Templeman serves up the cream of Australia's crop of cruise ports.
With more ships and cruise itineraries to choose from than ever before, there has never been a better time to see Australia by ship. Here is a handy guide to a dozen of Australia's top cruise ports.
Sydney, New South Wales
Climb the harbour bridge, explore the historic Rocks area, go jet-boating past the Sydney Opera House or stroll around the harbour. Australia's most popular cruise departure port offers plenty of entertainment just a few steps from the ship.
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Most passengers head offshore to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or soak up the sun on Whitehaven Beach, however this town's attractive main street is also worth a look. The 4,300sq m Airlie Beach Lagoon has stunning Coral Sea views and is free to use.
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is a winner when it comes to entertaining passengers with diverse interests. You don't need to venture far from the ship to see a baby croc, go shopping for Aboriginal art or discover Australia's war history at World War II tunnels near the ship.
Moreton Island, Queensland
Moreton Island is the world's third-largest sand island and the jewel in Moreton Bay's crown, with snorkelling available just offshore. Other activities range from sand tobogganing to Segway tours along the beach and quad-biking through the dunes.
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide's charming CBD is a foodie's delight with restaurants, cafes and bars galore and a colourful inner-city market. Top adventures further afield include catching a vintage tram to Glenelg Beach or touring the nearby Adelaide Hills wine region.
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is one of Australia's easiest ports to explore, thanks to the free Central Area Transit buses that cover the city's main attractions. If you are in town on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, check out the 150-plus stalls and lively atmosphere at Fremantle Markets.
Day tours abound at this tropical tourist-friendly town. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or enjoy a bird's eye view of the rainforest from a gondola on the 7.5km long Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Cruisers can also cool down at the city's free swimming lagoon.
Discover the city's famous laneways with their funky boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars or enjoy some art and culture at one of Melbourne's many museums. Don't miss the fabulous graffiti art in Hosier Lane near Federation Square.
Hobart's historic waterfront area is hard to beat but those who venture beyond the city centre are rewarded with contemporary art at the world-famous Mona gallery and the rich convict history of Port Arthur.
Busselton, Western Australia
Most passengers tour the picturesque Margaret River wine region but the pretty town of Busselton is also a lovely spot for a stroll. It's home to a Heritage-listed 1.8km jetty, which has its own train, a Cultural Heritage Museum and Underwater Observatory.
Queensland's capital is renowned for its sunny weather and laidback charm. Explore the city's excellent museums and galleries or go swimming at South Bank's free inner-city beach. The Gold Coast is just an hour away by car.
Newcastle, New South Wales
Newcastle is the unsung hero of Australian ports with beautiful inner-city beaches and one of the country's most famous wine regions, the Hunter Valley, located just 45 minutes away from the cruise terminal by car.