Australia is a vast and sweeping landscape; six days will give you time to explore a specific region, depending on what interests you most. You can take a deep dive into Sydney, including the Great Barrier Reef, or enjoy an outdoor adventure in Cairns. Foodies will appreciate eating and drinking their way through Melbourne, or adventurous sun-seekers can stay and play in the Whitsundays. Read on to learn more about your options with these itineraries in Australia.

Itinerary #1: Australia Adventure: Sydney & Cairns 

This action-packed six-day adventure takes you from the opera house to the reef to the rainforest. You'll discover the wonders of Sydney, the largest city in Australia, and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns.

Sunset over Cairns' Trinity Bay
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Taronga Zoo & Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 3 Fly From Sydney to Cairns Cairns
Day 4 Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling Tour Cairns
Day 5 Cable Car Over the Rainforest Cairns
Day 6 Depart Australia  

There's so much to see in Sydney, including famous sights like the Sydney Habour, Harbour Bridge, and over 70 beaches. Start your trip with a relaxing afternoon cruise and enjoy a swim at Shark Island National Park. The following day, you'll want to take advantage of the photo opportunities at the Taronga Zoo; you'll see kangaroos, wallabies, and other native animals before joining a walking tour of the Sydney Opera House to round out your stay in Sydney. A quick flight up the coast takes you to Cairns, where you'll take a full day snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef, catering to all activity levels, on Day 4.

After exploring the world's largest coral reef, you'll visit Kuranda, a village great for picking out arts and crafts souvenirs from Heritage Markets. Here you can visit Birdworld, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, or Kuranda Koala Gardens and then board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a ride over the jungle canopy, stopping to stroll the boardwalks and checking out the CSIRO Interpretive Center. Learn more

Itinerary #2: The Best of Brisbane & the Gold Coast

This off-the-beaten-path six-day tour of the Gold Coast and Brisbane invites you to Australia's east coast to traverse the outback, cruise to cuddle koalas, hike the Scenic Rim, and visit the iconic Gold Coast.

Byron Bay in New South Wales
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Brisbane, River Cruise to Koala Sanctuary, First Nations Dinner Show Brisbane
Day 2 Full-Day Aussie Outback Private Tour Brisbane
Day 3  Free Day on the Gold Coast Gold Coast
Day 4 Day Trip to Byron Bay Gold Coast
Day 5 Day Trip to National Parks Gold Coast
Day 6 Depart Brisbane  

Get ready for a busy first day in Queensland, known for surf, rainforest, and the attractive Gold Coast. Your holiday commences with a cruise along the Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, home to more than 130 koalas you get to cuddle, as well as platypuses, kangaroos, and other native animals. End your first day with the interactive Spirits of the Red Sand First Nations dinner theater experience. A guided driving tour on Day 2 explores the Scenic Rim, where you'll feast your eyes on lush rainforests, six national parks, and even do a little wine tasting at Lake Moogerah.

Heading to the Gold Coast allows time for you to discover scenic surfing beaches, like the most famed Surfers Paradise. Take a surfing lesson, then venture to Burleigh Heads National Park Headlands to hike into the rainforest and to Tumgun Lookout. Cross over into New South Wales on Day 4 to reach famed coastal Byron Bay, where you can check out the shops, explore the foodie scene, and watch the surfers at Wategos Beach. Finally, explore the natural wonders, waterfalls, and lagoons of Lamington and Springbrook National Parks on your last full day before departing Brisbane. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Highlights of Sydney

See the best of Sydney on this six-day highlights tour. Learn to surf at Bondi Beach, or if you prefer wandering, check out Paddington's markets, boutiques, cafés, and pubs. You'll enjoy the Sydney Opera House, a harbor cruise, and climb to the summit of the world's largest steel arch. 

Sydney Harbour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Full-Day Grand Blue Mountains Tour Sydney
Day 3 Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach & Taronga Zoo Sydney
Day 4 Sydney Harbour Discovery Lunch Cruise Sydney
Day 5 Twilight Harbour Bridge Climb Sydney
Day 6 Depart Australia  

Begin your Sydney fun by strolling the cobblestone streets of The Rocks and exploring the city. The next day you'll be in the UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains, viewing the wildlife of the Australian bush and soaring above on a cable car. On Day 3, you'll check out the Sydney Opera House, get your feet wet at Bondi Beach, and see native animals at the conservation zoo, Taronga Zoo. A lunch cruise around Sydney Harbour and to Shark Island National Park rounds out the next day, where you'll be able to picnic and have a swim.

Your last full day will take you to new heights as you partake in the Twilight Climb up the famous landmark, where you'll enjoy 360-degree views of Sydney as the sun bathes the city in a warm glow. Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Relax in the Whitsundays: Brisbane & Hamilton Island 

This six-day tour of the Whitsundays archipelago located off the Queensland coast has time for taking it easy on the beach, adventuring around the islands, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and taking in a First Nations theater show and dinner in Brisbane.

Whitsunday Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Brisbane & Fly to Hamilton Island Hamilton Island
Day 2 Whitehaven Beach Day Hamilton Island
Day 3 Explore Hamilton Island Hamilton Island
Day 4 Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Tour Hamilton Island
Day 5 Spirits of the Red Sand Evening Dinner Experience Hamilton Island
Day 6 Depart Brisbane Brisbane

From Brisbane, you'll fly to Hamilton Island, one of 74 in the Whitsunday archipelago, and kick off your shoes on the idyllic white sand beaches. Your options are endless: golf, sail, water sports, cultural exhibitions, or relax on the beach. Your next stop is a laid-back cruise at pristine Whitehaven Beach on Day 2 and a guided walk to learn about the native Ngaro people as you work your way to a beautiful view at Hill Inlet. Day 3 lets you explore paradise: ramble around Hamilton Island in a golf buggy to dig into the bustling community, snorkel and bathe in any of the pools, and take in an unforgettable sunset at One Tree Hill.

On Day 4, immerse yourself in a full-day, intimate snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef, revealing thousands of marine species at two dive locations within Bait Reef. Finally, you'll return to Brisbane to experience the Spirits of the Red Sand First Nations dinner theater—and feel as if you're in 1800s Australia—before you depart from Brisbane the following day. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Highlights of Cairns: Where the Rainforest Meets the Reef

This six-day highlights of Cairns tour takes you from scuba diving the azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef to soaring through the verdant canopy above the rainforest. You'll see native animals like koalas and kangaroos and waterfalls and mountains in Daintree National Park.

Fitzroy Island, Cairns
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairns Cairns
Day 2 Great Barrier Reef & Green Island Cairns
Day 3 Kuranda: Trains & Cable Cars Cairns
Day 4 Free Day in Cairns Cairns
Day 5 Daintree Dreaming Tour with First Nations Fishing Cairns
Day 6 Depart Australia   

Get your bearings in Cairns, where the jungle meets the ocean, with an excursion on the Esplanade. Take an all-day snorkeling tour of Pinnacle Reef and Green Island on Day 2 to spot the myriad marine life as you snorkel, dive, and swim the Great Barrier Reef. The following day, a train whisks you along a historic railway to the village of Kuranda, where you'll get up close with local animals at the Koala Gardens and Wildlife Park. A guide will also point out flora and fauna for further education as you meander the rainforest before you return to Cairns by a cable car, gliding through the rainforest canopy.

A free day lets you explore the crystalline waters of Cairn's Lagoon and Cairns Aquarium before you head to Cooya Beach the next day. Join one of the Kubirri Warra brothers to examine traditional fishing techniques as you traverse beaches, mudflats, and mangroves, sealing the experience with a traditional smoking ceremony for protection. Your final activity of the day will be memorable: cross the boardwalks, tracks, and bridges of Daintree National Park to view stunning waterfalls, mountains, vegetation, and animals in this lush and ancient rainforest. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Foodie Highlights of Melbourne 

A six-day culinary tour of Melbourne delights the senses with a wine tasting, nibbling your way through the open-air Queen Victoria Market, and a balloon ride over Yarra Valley followed by a Champagne breakfast. And a road trip takes you to the scenic Great Ocean Road to experience stunning vistas and charming seaside towns.

Melbourne at sunset 
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Explore the City Melbourne
Day 2 Melbourne City Tour & River Cruise Melbourne
Day 3 Morning Yarra Valley Balloon Flight with Breakfast & Wine Tasting Melbourne
Day 4 Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Tour, Explore Queen Victoria Market Melbourne
Day 5 Great Ocean Road Trip Adventure Melbourne
Day 6 Depart Melbourne  

On your first day in Melbourne, you can explore Australia's second-largest city: check out top-notch museums, the murals on Hosier Lane, the beachfront esplanade at St Kilda, and the bohemian shopping districts. A guided tour on Day 2 that goes beyond the classic routes will give you a closer look, and a river cruise along the Yarra River lets you view the beautiful skyline. An early morning start the next day takes you to Balgownie Estate for a sunrise balloon ride over the winery, a champagne breakfast afterward, and a winery tour and tasting.

On Day 4, a morning walking tour escorts you through shopping lanes and historic arcades to beautiful boutiques, one-of-a-kind cafés, and street art. Then the afternoon gives you a behind-the-scenes tour of the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere, savoring local treats along the way. Finally, you'll escape for a day trip to Great Ocean Road, where you'll marvel at wildlife wonders, enjoy breathtaking vistas of seaside cliffs, and view the rugged beauty of the rock formations like the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. 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 6 Days in Australia - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 6 Days in Australia - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas