Itinerary #1: Discover Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, & Cairns
This highlights itinerary offers the exploration of four popular cities in Australia. Enjoy active day trips: Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, Kangaroo Island via Adelaide, the Blue Mountains from Sydney, and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef via Cairns.
|Day 1||Arrival in Melbourne||Melbourne|
|Day 2||Melbourne - City Tour||Melbourne|
|Day 3||Travel Great Ocean Road||Melbourne|
|Day 4||Travel to Adelaide||Adelaide|
|Day 5||Adelaide - Day Trip to Kangaroo Island||Adelaide|
|Day 6||Travel to Sydney||Sydney|
|Day 7||Sydney - Blue Mountains Day Tour||Sydney|
|Day 8||Travel to Cairns||Cairns|
|Day 9||Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef||Cairns|
|Day 10||Departure From Cairns|
When you touch down in Melbourne, find your driver at the airport and make your way to the hotel. Meet with a travel representative who will go through your itinerary with you. Then, get out and do some self-exploration. Visit popular areas like Flinders Street Station and Queen Victoria Markets to start. At nightfall, discover the funky pub scene for a bite and a welcome drink.
In the morning, continue exploring Melbourne from Federation Square on a Lanes and Arcades walking tour, which includes quirky cafés, street art, architecture, and more. On day three, drive the famed Great Ocean Road, which is decorated with limestone formations and gorgeous coastal views. Cruise alongside the rugged Shipwreck Coast and enjoy the highlights of Port Campbell National Park.
Wake up and fly to Adelaide, the cosmopolitan coastal capital of South Australia. Stroll the museums in River Torrens, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and South Australian Museum, which is devoted to natural history. Then, take a day trip to Kangaroo Island, or “KI,” as it is known to the locals. Enjoy time with the seals, kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas.
On day six, catch a flight to Sydney, and head out on a local sightseeing tour of all the best neighborhoods and several landmarks. Visit The Rocks, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, and Bondi Beach, followed by dinner at the Sydney Tower Restaurant, with 360 degrees views of the city when it illuminates at night. Next, take a journey to the incredible Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage region. Stop at Calmsley Hill Farm for morning tea, and hand-feed kangaroos. Travel the villages and waterfalls and enjoy the scenic lookout. In the afternoon, move on to Govett’s Leap, one of the most famous waterfall views in the country. Then. Stroll the 69-acre Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens before returning to Sydney for the night.
Board a flight to Cairns in the morning, and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening, head to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for the night fire dinner—complete with indigenous face painting, traditional storytelling, and a ceremonial fire. On day nine, you’re off to one of the most incredible marine destinations in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise the water and spot the islands from your catamaran tour, and jump into the water to discover the surrounding reefs via snorkel. Following the incredible finale to the reef, the trip concludes with a flight out of Cairns the next day. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Aussie Adventure - Cairns, Uluru, & Sydney
Discover three regions on this diverse itinerary through Cairns, Uluru, and Sydney. A mix of free days and guided tours—to the Great Barrier Reef, through the Outback, and around Sydney—guarantees exploration of the most popular landmarks.
|Day 1||Arrival in Cairns||Cairns|
|Day 2||Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef||Cairns|
|Day 3||Cairns - Free Day||Cairns|
|Day 4||Travel to Uluru||Uluru|
|Day 5||Uluru - Free Day||Uluru|
|Day 6||Travel to Sydney||Sydney|
|Day 7||Sydney - City Tour||Sydney|
|Day 8||Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Day Trip||Sydney|
|Day 9||Sydney - Free Day||Sydney|
|Day 10||Depart From Sydney|
Upon arrival in Cairns, enjoy a free day to explore the town. Visit the American Butterfly Sanctuary, which is the country’s largest butterfly exhibit, followed by a trip to Cairns Lagoon for a refreshing swim. Then, enjoy some time at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you can indulge in traditional fare and learn about the indigenous culture.
In the morning, embark on an unforgettable marine journey to the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise the waters on a catamaran and snorkel around some of the 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays that make up this world wonder. Next, enjoy another free day in Cairns. Head to Koala Gardens to visit with native animals, then stroll the Cairns Aquarium, rich with Tropical North Queensland species. In the afternoon, ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for incredible views below.
On day four, the adventure continues to Uluru, home of the famed Ayers Rock. Get a taste of The Outback as you explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Olgas, and the monolith. Take in the sunset over the Red Centre, followed by a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Continue exploring Uluru at your own pace.
The next leg takes you to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. This bustling city offers sightseeing abound. Stop by the Royal Botanic Garden, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and St. Mary’s Cathedral when you arrive. In the morning, join a city tour to explore the popular neighborhoods and landmarks, including The Rocks, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, and the famous Bondi Beach.
Day eight invites you out to Hunter Valley for some wine tasting at Keith Tulloch Winery, to start. Enjoy a tour of the family-owned winery nestled on the ancient soils of Brokenback Range. Along with local pours, enjoy a chocolate pairing from an artisan chocolatier Cocoa Nib. Then, it’s back to Sydney for another day of exploration. Make your way to the BridgeClimb, which allows you to reach the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge for incredible views of the town along the water. Then, head over to the world-renowned Sydney Opera House on a guided tour, followed by a nice dinner and a farewell toast to your final night in Australia, before flying home tomorrow. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Best of Eastern Australia
This active excursion offers a jam-packed tour of Eastern Australia. Enjoy the sights and a day trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, nature tours in Gold Coast and a taste of Melbourne’s funky bohemian scene, along with a day with penguins at Phillip Island and a scenic drive along Great Ocean Road.
|Day 1||Arrival in Sydney||Sydney|
|Day 2||Sydney - Blue Mountains Day Trip||Sydney|
|Day 3||Sydney - Full-Day Tour||Sydney|
|Day 4||Travel to Cairns||Cairns|
|Day 5||Travel to Gold Coast||Gold Coast|
|Day 6||Gold Coast - Free Day||Gold Coast|
|Day 7||Travel to Melbourne||Melbourne|
|Day 8||Melbourne - Phillip Island Tour||Melbourne|
|Day 9||Melbourne - Tour Great Ocean Road||Melbourne|
|Day 10||Depart From Melbourne|
Depending on how you feel after the long flight, relax at your Sydney hotel or visit a few destinations. An afternoon around Sydney Harbour can be arranged on your behalf, or if you’re up for it, an excursion up the SydneyBridgeclimb for incredible views of the city is a great way to kick off your vacation.
In the morning, head out on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Visit the famous Three Sisters, a trio of rock pinnacles and enjoy views past Jamison Valley. Then, visit Scenic World to ride up the Scenic Railway, Cableway, and Skyway to take in the clifftops, canyons, and valleys from above.
Stop in scenic Leura for lunch, and follow Cliff Drive to see the Megalong Valley. Travel through Katoomba to encounter kangaroos, koalas, and more. On day three, join a full-day tour of Sydney. Visit Manly Beach in the morning, followed by Darling Harbour, and take in views from Milsons Point and North Head Lookout. In the afternoon, there’s plenty more to tour, including The Rocks, Hyde Park, The Gap, Bondi Beach, and more.
Next, catch a flight to Cairns, where there is lots to see and do. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary offers a large butterfly and bird exhibit, the Koala Gardens provides an opportunity to mingle with native species, and Cairns Aquarium is home to many Tropical North Queensland marine species, as well as the Under the Pier Shark Habitat. Take a ride up the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Kuranda, which passes over Barron Gorge National Park, and visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a fire dinner filled with indigenous customs and entertainment.
On day five, fly to Gold Coast, meet your driver, and check in to your accommodation. Once settled, head to Burleigh Heads for a surfing lesson, or watch the locals catch some waves. You can also stroll Burleigh Heads National Park Headlands, and spot whales from the Tumgun lookout. Then, take advantage of a free day. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a native animal haven, or head to the SkyPoint Club for an external climbing excursion from the highest point in Gold Coast. For more thrills, consider a trip to a theme park—Dreamworld, Wet’n’Wild, and Sea World are just a few of the local draws.
Hop a flight to Melbourne in the morning, and do some sightseeing on your own. Check out Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and Queen Victoria Markets, and peruse funky street art while checking out the bohemian coffee shop scene. Have a drink at a pub and catch a live band at night. On day eight, embark on a field trip to Phillip Island, which gets you up-close to a range of wildlife, including koalas and kangaroos, along with seals and the exciting Penguin Parade—the main attraction.
Wake up and a driver will pick you up to transport you to Great Ocean Road. Cruise through Port Campbell National Park and view the iconic limestone stacks, including The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge. In the afternoon, take in the coastal scenery of the Otway Rainforest and seaside townships along the way. Return to Melbourne for dinner and drinks, and toast to your last night in Australia before departure tomorrow. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Best of Northern Australia - Cairns, Darwin, Broome, & Perth
This versatile vacation offers a great Northern Australia sampler. Visit Cairns, followed by a memorable trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Then, enjoy excursions from Darwin, take in the sunset at Broome’s famed Cable Beach, and end with beach time in Perth.
|Day 1||Arrival in Cairns||Cairns|
|Day 2||Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Day Trip||Cairns|
|Day 3||Travel to Darwin||Darwin|
|Day 4||Darwin - Kakadu National Park Day Trip||Darwin|
|Day 5||Darwin - Katherine Gorge Cruise and Edith Falls Day Trip||Darwin|
|Day 6||Travel to Broome||Broome|
|Day 7||Broome - Horizontal Falls Day Trip||Broome|
|Day 8||Travel to Perth||Perth|
|Day 9||Travel to Coral Bay||Coral Bay|
|Day 10||Travel to Shark Bay||Monkey Mia|
The trip begins in Cairns to embark on a self-tour of some local sights. Visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, go for a swim in the Cairns Lagoon, and learn all about the indigenous people at Tjapukai Aboriginal Park. In the morning, prepare for one of the highlights: the Great Barrier Reef. Take a boat ride all along the reef, which is made up of 3,000 systems and cays. Go snorkeling among the local marine life and take in the golden beaches on tropical islands all around.
On day three, fly to Darwin. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and explore the town on your own. Head to Mindil Beach with its sunset markets and food vendors, Crocosaurus Cove to visit native wildlife, and the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens—with more than 100 acres of tropical flora, an orchid house, and a café. Next, embark on a day trip to Kakadu National Park, which spans more than 11,800 miles. Take a guided Yellow Water Billabong tour along the water seeking out saltwater crocodiles. Next, visit the Bininj People at Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn about life in Kakadu. Wake up and venture out on another field trip—this time to Katherine Gorge. Make your way to Edith Falls for a swim, then take a 2-hour cruise through a network of 13 gorges carved from billion-year-old sandstone in Nitmiluk National Park, which is also decorated with Aboriginal rock art.
Then, fly to Broome to visit the Kimberly region and Cable Beach, which is known for its illustrious pearls—visit Australia’s oldest pearl farm to learn more about the history. In the morning, go on a day trip. First, stop at the Koolkaman wilderness camp to stroll the beaches and enjoy a local meal. Next is a hatchery at One Arm Point to learn about marine life. The day’s highlight is unmistakably Horizontal Falls, a waterfall phenomenon nestled on the coast.
Greet the sun over Cable Beach, and depart after a sunrise camel tour. Fly to Perth and enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Visit Swan Bells, Caversham Wildlife Park, the Adventure World theme park, and the Perth Mint, to learn about moneymaking history.
In the morning, head out to Coral Bay to swim with manta rays, along with diving and sailing the Ningaloo Reef, or join a glass-bottom boat tour. Next is Shark Bay, where you can visit the Shark Bay Discovery Centre to check out interactive exhibits about the area’s history and heritage. Then, enjoy the rest of the day and evening at your leisure, before the trip ends with a flight out of Perth in the morning. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Great Outdoors of Western Australia
Enjoy another side to Australia on this outdoorsy Western itinerary. Swim with whale sharks in Exmouth, visit the Ngili Caves, enjoy day trips from Perth to Kalbarri and the iconic Pink Lake, followed by a last hurrah on Rottnest Island.
|Day 1||Arrival in Exmouth||Exmouth|
|Day 2||Exmouth - Swim With Whale Sharks||Exmouth|
|Day 3||Exmouth - Cape Range National Park Tour||Exmouth|
|Day 4||Travel to Margaret River||Margaret River|
|Day 5||Margaret River - Gourmet Wine Tour||Margaret River|
|Day 6||Margaret River - Free Day||Margaret River|
|Day 7||Travel to Perth||Perth|
|Day 8||Perth - Kalbarri and Pink Lake Day Trip||Perth|
|Day 9||Rottnest Island - Bike and Snorkel Day Trip||Perth|
|Day 10||Departure From Perth|
Launch the trip in Exmouth, located on the Coral Coast. Stay on Ningaloo Reef, and enjoy some beach exploration upon arrival. Wake up for your day at sea. Board a boat to a lagoon for some snorkeling along the reef, before venturing into nearby waters to swim with whale sharks, followed by lunch on the boat and more snorkeling in the afternoon.
In the morning, it’s off to Cape Range National Park for a tour of the gorges and an off-road excursion through the outback tracks to discover local flora and fauna. Go for a swim in Osprey Bay and take a boat tour through Yardie Creek’s red, limestone cliffs. Next, visit Ningaloo Marine Park and experience the waters of Turquoise Bay, before a stop at a nearby lighthouse for some commemorative photos.
On day four, travel to Margaret River, a small town known for its craft breweries, wineries, and boutiques. Walk the Cape to Cape Track—between two lighthouses—and take in views of the limestone caves and sea cliffs by Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. In the morning, embark on a gourmet wine tour with tastings at Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate. Lunch unfolds at Xanadu Winery, followed by a bevy of local artisanal treats. The next day is at your leisure. Explore the Ngili Caves in Yallingup, or visit the town of Busselton.
From here, fly to Perth, the capital of Western Australia. On your own time, visit Caversham Wildlife Park for up-close animal encounters. Beaches to bookmark include Cottesloe or Leighton, while Murray Street and Hey Street offer great, local shops. Wake up and board a flight to Kalbarri for an exciting day trip. A driver will take you to Pink Lake to stroll the shores of this unique body of water.
Continue touring Kalbarri and its gorgeous cliffs, and enjoy lunch before heading back to Perth. On day nine, take a scenic boat ride to Rottnest Island to pick up your bike and snorkel gear. The day is yours to get acquainted with the island. While in the water, take note of the pristine coral and many schools of fish. Following the adventure, return to Perth for your final evening in Australia before flying home tomorrow. Learn more
More Great 10-Day Australia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your Australia trip? Check out these other 10-day Australia itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.