With 20 days in Australia, you'll have plenty of time to tick off city tours, excursions in the outback, and time on Tasmania on a highlights tour. Or get behind the wheel and journey along the Great Ocean Road and the Pacific coast on a self-drive itinerary. Those with Western Australia's beaches and off-the-beaten-track landscapes in mind should include a road trip from Perth to Exmouth in their plans, while adventure seekers will love exploring by boat, train, and hot-air balloon on a Sydney to Perth adventure.

Itinerary #1: Epic Australia Highlights Trip: Eastern, Central & Tasmania

Embark on a 20-day adventure across Australia, exploring Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Melbourne, and Tasmania. This well-rounded itinerary boasts a mix of city tours, wildlife encounters, and natural wonders, with highlights including snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, hiking in the Blue Mountains National Park, and experiencing the unique wildlife of Kangaroo Island. From coastal drives along the Great Ocean Road to exploring the bustling laneways of Melbourne, this trip provides a perfect blend of experiences for first-time visitors to Australia.

Spend a day discovering Bruny Island off Tasmania
Spend a day discovering Bruny Island off Tasmania
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Panoramic Sydney Sights Tour, Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 3 Day Trip to the Blue Mountains National Park Sydney
Day 4 Fly to Cairns, Transfer to Port Douglas Port Douglas
Day 5 Full-Day Barrier Reef & Coral Cays Boat Tour Port Douglas
Day 6 Visit Daintree National Park Port Douglas
Day 7 Full-Day Kuranda Rail & Skyrail  Port Douglas
Day 8 Fly to Uluru, Field of Light Dinner Uluru
Day 9 Mount Conner Outback 4WD Adventure Uluru
Day 10 Fly to Melbourne, Tour Melbourne's Nightlife with Dinner Melbourne
Day 11 Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Tour Melbourne
Day 12 Great Ocean Road Day Trip Melbourne
Day 13 Fly to Hobart & Tasmania, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour Hobart
Day 14 Wilderness Cruise, Hobart Walking Tour & Old Hobart Pub Tour Hobart
Day 15 Full-Day Bruny Island Tour Hobart
Day 16 Fly to Adelaide, Evening Wine & Dine Discovery Adelaide
Day 17 Transfer to Kangaroo Island, Kangaroo Island Life Tour Kangaroo Island
Day 18 Kangaroo Island's Finder Chase Focus Tour, Return to Adelaide Adelaide
Day 19 Adelaide Central Market Lunch Tour Adelaide
Day 20 Depart Adelaide  

Your Australian adventure begins in Sydney, shrugging off any jet lag while enjoying a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Next, head out on a day trip to the UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains National Park before flying to Cairns and continuing to Port Douglas. With the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics National Park, and Daintree Rainforest at your doorstep, the following four days will be filled with breathtaking landscapes. Snorkel at Undine Reef, walk along the Daintree River, and speed through the tropical rainforest on the Kuranda Scenic Rail.

Next, set your sights on the outback and catch a three-hour flight to Uluru. Take in the mighty views of the Uluru monolith at sunset while enjoying a "Sounds of Silence" dinner and embark on a thrilling 4WD journey at the Curtin Springs Station before heading to Melbourne on Day 10. Spend a day getting to know the city's laneways and trendy bars, then pick up your rental car and head out on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road.  

Bidding farewell to the mainland on Day 13, it's off to Hobart, Tasmania, for three days of exploration. Meet the island's strange animals at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, sail under Cape Pillar's dramatic sea cliffs, and spend a day on Bruny Island. Then, it's back to the airport for a flight to Adelaide, where you'll join a food and wine discovery tour before heading to Kangaroo Island for two days of wildlife discovery. Back in Adelaide, you'll spend your final day visiting the Art Gallery of South Australia or enjoying a picnic in one of the city's green spaces until it's time to catch your onward flight. Learn more

Itinerary #2: The Ultimate Australian Self-Drive Adventure: Outback, Great Ocean Road & Pacific Coast

Crafted for those who prefer exploring at their own pace, this self-drive adventure brings you on a leisurely journey along Australia's East Coast and through the outback. Tick off bucket list drives like the Great Ocean Road, into Blue Mountains National Park, and along the iconic Mereenie Loop. In between, lose track of time on city tours, soak up the eccentric vibes of Byron Bay, and spend uninterrupted days wine tasting in Hunter Valley.

Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia
Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 The Rocks Walking Tour, Sunset Dinner Cruise Sydney
Day 3 Bondi Beach & Watsons Bay Sydney
Day 4 Self-Drive Day Trip to the Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 5 Fly to Alice Springs, Heart of the Outback Alice Springs
Day 6 Drive to Kings Canyon via the Mereenie Loop Kings Canyon
Day 7 Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Drive to Uluru, Astro Tour Uluru
Day 8 Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Sounds of Silence Dinner Uluru
Day 9 Fly to Melbourne, Free Time Melbourne
Day 10 Explore Melbourne, Lanes & Arcades Tour Melbourne
Day 11 Drive the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles  Port Campbell
Day 12 Drive the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool, Return to Melbourne  Melbourne
Day 13 Fly to Brisbane, Explore South Bank Brisbane
Day 14 Drive to Byron Bay, Australia's Most Easterly Point Byron Bay
Day 15 Free Time to Explore Byron Bay Byron Bay
Day 16 Drive to Port Macquarie, Australia's Koala Capital Port Macquarie
Day 17 Drive to the Hunter Valley Wine Country Pokolbin
Day 18 Full-Day Uncork the Hunter Tour Pokolbin
Day 19 Drive to Sydney, Coogee Beach Coogee
Day 20 Depart Sydney  

After arriving in Sydney and getting your bearings while wandering the Sydney Harbour waterfront, joining a guided walking tour of The Rocks, and relaxing on Bondi Beach, you'll pick up your rental car and hit the open road. Your first destination is Blue Mountains National Park, followed by a 3.5-hour flight to Alice Springs, where another rental car awaits. Get a taste of the region's history at the Araluen Cultural Precinct, then embark on a bucket list drive through the Central Australia outback on your way to Kings Cross.

Following a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike around Kings Canyon, you'll continue your road trip to Uluru for two fantastic days of exploring Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Weave through Uluru's caves on the Mala Walk and admire the brilliant night sky before boarding a flight bound for Melbourne. Get to know the city's highlights while riding the free City Circle tram; then, it's back on the road for a five-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road to the famous Twelve Apostles

After a drive back to Melbourne, stopping by Warrnambool and Ballarat along the way, you'll catch a short flight to Brisbane. Check out the bustling city's highlights, including the Queen Street Mall and the City Botanic Garden, and collect another rental car. Then it's off to Byron Bay, where you'll spend two days surfing, kayaking, and hiking at your leisure before continuing to Port Macquarie—home to an abundance of koalas. Next, enjoy two days of winery hopping in Hunter Valley until it's time to drive back to Sydney and catch your onward flight. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Melbourne, Sydney & Western Australia Road Trip

Tick off the city highlights of Melbourne and Sydney before spending two weeks driving along Western Australia's coastline on this highlights and hidden gems trip. After embarking on city food tours, cultural excursions, and admiring the Yarra Valley from a hot-air balloon, you'll fly over to Perth and begin the thrilling drive to Exmouth. Between road trips, enjoy kayaking in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, ponder the pink hues of Hutt Lagoon, and watch the sunset over the Pinnacles.

Landscapes of Western Australia where the Red Centre meets the sea
Landscapes of Western Australia where the Red Centre meets the sea
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Free Time Melbourne
Day 2 Lanes & Arcades Tour, Evening Tales & Cocktails Tour Melbourne
Day 3 Full-Day Great Ocean Road Trip Melbourne
Day 4 Morning Yarra Valley Balloon Flight & Wine Tour Melbourne
Day 5 Fly to Sydney, A Taste of Chinatown Tour, Speakeasy Pub Crawl Sydney
Day 6 Bush Tucker Tour, Bike Tour, Burrawa Climb, Sunset Dinner Cruise Sydney
Day 7 Fly to Perth, Free Time Perth
Day 8 Explore Rottnest Island by Bike Perth
Day 9 Drive to Cervantes, Guided Stargazing at the Pinnacles Cervantes
Day 10 Drive to Geraldton Geraldton
Day 11 Drive to Monkey Mia, Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour Monkey Mia
Day 12 Explore Shark Bay, Kayak Adventure Monkey Mia
Day 13 Drive to Coral Bay, Relax at Bill's Bay Coral Bay
Day 14 Explore Coral Bay, Glass-Bottom Boat Marine Eco Tour Coral Bay
Day 15 Drive to Exmouth Exmouth
Day 16 Free Time to Explore Exmouth Exmouth
Day 17 Drive to Carnarvon Carnarvon
Day 18 Drive to Kalbarri, Explore Kalbarri Kalbarri
Day 19 Kalbarri & Coastal Cliffs Scenic Flight, Drive to Perth Perth
Day 20 Depart Perth  

Upon landing in Melbourne, kick start your adventure with a free afternoon wandering the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, followed by a guided tour of the city's back streets and arcades. Then, spend a full day traveling along the Great Ocean Road before taking to the sky for a memorable hot-air balloon flight over the Yarra Valley. Your adventure continues to Sydney on Day 5 for two short but exciting days of exploring. Join an Indigenous guide for a tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, hop on a bike to cruise along Circular Quay, and conquer the Burrawa Indigenous Climb.

Western Australia is on the agenda next, so after a five-hour flight, you'll hop off a plane in Perth, explore Kings Park and Botanic Garden, and relax on Cottesloe Beach. Spend the following day on Rottnest Island searching for adorable quokkas, then hit the road again, this time to Cervantes. Enjoy an evening admiring the otherworldly Pinnacles at sunset before continuing to Monkey Mia, where you'll kayak among bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

Wake early the following morning on Day 13 for a six-hour drive to Coral Bay, known for its abundant marine life in the Ningaloo Reef. The next day's 1.5 hours to Exmouth will feel like a breeze, and after enjoying a free day to chill on Town Beach or Pebble Beach, you'll hop back in the car and drive to Kalbarri. With your trip winding down, you'll pack in a hike in Kalbarri National Park and a drive along the George Grey Drive before dropping off your rental car and catching your onward flight from Perth. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Australian East Coast & Indian Pacific Rail: Sydney to Perth

Embark on a 20-day journey across Australia, from the vibrant cities of Sydney and Melbourne to the remote landscapes of the Margaret River and Ningaloo Reef. Crafted for those who enjoy unique activities and off-the-beaten-path experiences, you'll begin your adventure with a trip to see the adorable penguin parade, a hot-air balloon flight over Melbourne, and an overnight Great Barrier Reef cruise before boarding the iconic Indian Pacific train for a cross-country rail journey. End your trip with a swim alongside whale sharks and a visit to Perth's stunning Swan Valley wine region.

Embark on an epic three-day train journey across the Australian outback
Embark on an epic three-day train journey across the Australian Outback
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Free Time Melbourne
Day 2 Lanes & Arcades Tour, Evening Tales & Cocktails Tour Melbourne
Day 3 Full-Day Phillip Island Tour Melbourne
Day 4 Melbourne Balloon Flight, Fly to Cairns Cairns
Day 5 Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure Cairns
Day 6 Great Barrier Reef Overnight Sail (Day 1) Cairns
Day 7 Great Barrier Reef Overnight Sail (Day 2) Cairns
Day 8 Fly to Sydney, Sunset BridgeClimb Sydney
Day 9 Panoramic Sydney Sights, Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk Sydney
Day 10 Full-Day Blue Mountains Hike Sydney
Day 11 Indian Pacific Rail Journey (Day 1) Broken Hill
Day 12 Indian Pacific Rail Journey: (Day 2) Adelaide
Day 13 Indian Pacific Rail Journey: (Day 3) Nullarbor Plain
Day 14 Arrive in Perth, Afternoon Swan Valley Wine Tour Perth
Day 15 Rottnest Island Day Trip Perth
Day 16 Drive to Margaret River, Twilight Didgeridoo Cave Tour Margaret River
Day 17 Drive to Perth via Busselton Perth
Day 18 Fly to Exmouth, Free Time Exmouth
Day 19 Swim With Whale Sharks Exmouth
Day 20 Fly to Perth & Depart   

Begin your activity-filled adventure in Melbourne, diving right into the city's vibrant culture with an afternoon lanes and arcades tour and an evening cocktail excursion. Then, it's off on a full-day trip to Phillip Island, home to the lovable penguin parade, followed by a unique hot-air balloon ride over Melbourne. Back at the airport, you'll catch a flight to Cairns and spend a day exploring Daintree Rainforest National Park before hopping onboard an overnight cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Next, you'll fly to Sydney and see the city from above by ticking off the BridgeClimb before spending the following day between a city sights tour and a 3.7-mile (6 km) coast walk from Bondi to Coogee. Then, enjoy a day touring the stunning Blue Mountains until it's time to embark on an epic three-day journey along the Indian Pacific Rail. While making your way by train to Perth, you'll have time to hop off and explore Broken Hill, Adelaide, and the ghost town of Cook.

Upon arriving in Perth, taste your way through the Swan Valley wine region and delight in a day on Rottnest Island, exploring the Wadjemup Lighthouse and enjoying the company of cute quokkas. Then, indulge in a day sampling wine in Margaret River and spend another evening in Perth, wandering the Art Gallery of Western Australia. With your trip winding down, you'll catch a flight to Exmouth for up-close encounters with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef before backtracking to Perth to catch your onward flight. Learn more

More Great Australia Itineraries

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


Map of 20 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 20 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas