Thirteen days is enough time to explore 3-4 regions of Australia. See the best of the country, which includes Melbourne, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney, or swap Melbourne for Adelaide and nearby Kangaroo Island. Or, opt for a three-region trip and stick to the east coast to see Sydney, Brisbane, and Port Douglas—jumping off point to Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Lastly, there's south Australia to consider, a combination of the above, plus beaches, rainforests, and wildlife of Tasmania.

Itinerary #1: Best of Australia: Melbourne, Uluru, Cairns & Sydney

An excellent introduction to Australia if it's your first time visiting, this 13-day best-of tour has you covered. You'll hit top destinations, including Sydney, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Ocean Road, as well as explore Cairns' rainforest.  

Snap pics of cuddly-looking koalas at a conservation park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Optional Activities Melbourne
Day 2 Great Ocean Road Trip Melbourne
Day 3 Phillip Island Tour & Penguin Parade Melbourne
Day 4 Melbourne Laneways & City Tour Melbourne
Day 5 Melbourne to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Uluru
Day 6 Sunrise Tour of Uluru, Kata Tjuta Hike, Field of Light Dinner Uluru
Day 7 Uluru to Cairns, Optional Activities  Cairns
Day 8 Kuranda Rainforest Tour Cairns
Day 9 Outer Barrier Reef Cruise Cairns
Day 10 Cairns to Sydney Sydney
Day 11 Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach & Taronga Zoo Tour Sydney
Day 12 Day Trip to the Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 13 Depart Sydney  

Welcome to Australia! Begin your trip in Melbourne with a tram tour of the city's highlights before heading down the Great Ocean Road, where you'll drive past seaside bluffs and coastal mountain ranges. Then head to Phillip Island, home to the world's largest colony of little penguins. Back in Melbourne, you'll explore galleries, shops, and some of Australia's premier sports arenas. Next, you'll fly to the sacred First Nations land of Uluru (Ayers Rock), where you'll hike, sightsee, and eat an alfresco dinner among an LED art installation laid out 527,431 square feet (49,000 sq m) in front of Uluru as night falls.

After flying to Cairns, you'll choose from several options to explore the city, followed by taking the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and visiting a koala sanctuary. Then you'll go boating and diving in the Great Barrier Reef among some 1,500 fish species. On Day 10, you'll travel to Sydney to visit attractions like Bondi Beach, the Opera House, and Taronga Zoo. Your trip ends with an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Mountains, where you'll visit a farm and hike to a botanic garden before heading to your outbound flight from Sydney. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Sydney, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Uluru & Cairns 

Another classic introduction to Australia, this 13-day itinerary swaps out Melbourne for Adelaide. It offers some of Australia's best culture, wine, and wildlife that starts in Sydney and Adelaide before taking you to Kangaroo Island, the outback, and the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests of Cairns.

Australia, Kangaroo Island - Admirals Arch lookout with sleeping Sea Lions, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
See sea lions through the Admirals Arch lookout on Kangaroo Island
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney, Optional Activities Sydney
Day 2 Sydney Harbour Long Lunch Cruise, Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 3 Full-Day Quintessential Sydney Tour Sydney
Day 4 Sydney to Adelaide, Evening Wine, Dine & Discover by Foot Adelaide
Day 5 Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, Kangaroo Island in Style Tour (Day 1) Kangaroo Island
Day 6 Kangaroo Island in Style Tour (Day 2), Transfer to Adelaide Adelaide
Day 7 Adelaide to Uluru, A Field of Light Dinner Uluru
Day 8 Dot Painting Workshop, Afternoon Uluru Sunset Uluru
Day 9 Uluru to Cairns, Optional Activities Cairns
Day 10 Full-Day Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise Cairns
Day 11 Free Day in Cairns Cairns
Day 12 Full-Day Daintree Adventure & River Snorkeling Cairns
Day 13 Depart Australia  

You'll have three days in Sydney to explore the city's beaches, harbors, and cultural institutions like the Sydney Opera House. From there, head to Adelaide to experience some of Australia's best wines and spirits, followed by a venture to Kangaroo Island on Day 5. Here, you'll visit wildlife reserves, meet sea lions, and explore Remarkable Rocks, a natural sculpture perched on a dome of granite rising from the sea, before returning to Adelaide on Day 6

Next, catch a flight to iconic Uluru to see rock formations long considered the country's most famous natural wonder, take an art class focused on traditional First Nations art techniques, and eat an alfresco dinner with an impressive LED art installation before you. On Day 9, you'll board a flight to tropical Cairns for four nights, spend a day boating and diving in the UNESCO-protected Great Barrier Reef and embark on a rainforest adventure in Daintree National Park. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Highlights of Sydney, Port Douglas & Brisbane

This highlights tour, though action-packed, splits your time equally among three popular regions allowing you to see Sydney, Port Douglas, Brisbane, and their surroundings in-depth. From waterfront bike rides in Sydney and First Nations welcoming ceremonies in Daintree to Australia's "Green Cauldron" in Springbrook National Park, there's action, culture, and nature to cover all interests.

Sydney's Bondi Beach
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Sydney Guided Bike Tour & Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 3 Day Trip to the Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 4 Hike the Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney
Day 5 Fly From Sydney to Port Douglas Port Douglas
Day 6 Full-Day Barrier Reef Boat Tour Port Douglas
Day 7 Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure with River Drift Snorkeling Port Douglas
Day 8 Free Day in Port Douglas Port Douglas
Day 9 Fly From Port Douglas to Brisbane Brisbane
Day 10 Full-Day Australia Zoo Tour Brisbane
Day 11 Full-Day Springbrook Rainforest & Waterfall Tour Brisbane
Day 12 Brisbane Morning Bicycle Tour Brisbane
Day 13 Depart Australia  

Your adventure will start in Sydney. You'll explore famous sites like the Sydney Opera House and take a cycling tour to landmarks like the Royal Botanic Gardens and Parliament House. Next, you'll visit the Blue Mountains, where you'll hike the famous Govetts Leap and stroll among hundreds of plant and animal species at an impressive botanic garden. Then it's back to Sydney for shopping, dining, and breathtaking city views from Harbour Bridge. Next, you'll fly to resort town Port Douglas to lie out on the golden sands of Four Mile Beach, check out Cape Tribulation, and snorkel epic Undine Reef.

On Day 7, you'll head to the traditional fishing village of Cooya Beach for an introduction to First Nations fishing techniques and explore the Daintree rainforest after a welcoming ceremony at Mossman Gorge. You'll then fly to Brisbane to explore its shops and parks and catch a view from Mount Coot-Tha. The famous Australia Zoo is next, where you can see over 1,200 native and exotic wildlife species. Your last day sees you in Springbrook National Park atop a 23-million-year-old volcano and cycling through Brisbane before catching your flight the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #4: City Highlights, Nature & Wildlife

Focusing on Australia's south, this itinerary balances time spent in urban centers, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart, with nature. See native wildlife on Kangaroo Island and little penguins on Phillip Island, and enjoy time spent on the island of Tasmania, including a nocturnal animal sanctuary tour.

Cape de Couedic lighthouse on Kangaroo Island near Adelaide
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise Sydney
Day 2 Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 3 Day Trip to the Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 4 Fly to Adelaide Adelaide
Day 5 Adelaide Central Market Breakfast Tour, Oval Stadium Tour Adelaide
Day 6 Fly to Kangaroo Island, Full-Day Island Tour Kangaroo Island
Day 7 Fly to Melbourne, Self-Guided Cultural Tour Melbourne
Day 8 Tour of Melbourne's Laneways & Arcades Melbourne
Day 9 Full-Day Phillip Island Tour & Penguin Plus Upgrade Melbourne
Day 10 Fly to Hobart, Night Tour of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Hobart
Day 11 Full-Day Bruny Island Tour Hobart
Day 12 Full-Day Port Arthur Tour Hobart
Day 13 Fly to Melbourne & Depart  

You'll start your trip exploring the bustling seaside metropolis of Sydney, getting to explore sights from the Sydney Opera House to Bondi Beach and eating a multicourse Australian barbecue meal. On Day 3, you'll hike the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Mountains before flying to Adelaide on Day 4 and getting to know its historic cathedrals, vineyards, and artisan food purveyors. Day 6 sees you journeying to Kangaroo Island for a full-day tour, widely considered the best place to see Australian wildlife in its natural habitat.

You'll fly to Melbourne next to take in some of the city's best cultural offerings on a tram tour and immerse yourself in the city's food, shopping, history, and sports. Then it's on to Phillip Island to see the adorable and famous Penguin Parade before catching a flight to Hobart on Tasmania in time for the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary night tour. On Day 11, you'll explore Bruny Island and sample its best cheese and beer, and visit the ancient Mavista Rainforest, followed by a historical tour of the early European settlement of Port Arthur the next day. Learn more

More Great 13-Day Australia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Australia? Check out these other 13-day Australia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 13 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 13 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas