On this 10-day trip to Australia, enjoy a mix of city tours and outdoor excursions. First, explore Cairns, along with a memorable day trip to the famed Great Barrier Reef. Next, visit the Outback of Uluru and iconic Ayers Rock. Then, land in Sydney for a city tour, a day of wine tasting in Hunter Valley, and a free day to experience the BridgeClimb at Sydney Harbour Bridge and the renowned Sydney Opera House.

Highlights

  • Go snorkeling among marine life in the famous Great Barrier Reef
  • Experience a stunning sunrise and sunset over Ayers Rock in Uluru
  • Embark on an all-day wine tasting tour of Hunter Valley
  • Visit the best landmarks in Sydney, from Bondi Beach to the Sydney Opera House

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cairns

Explore the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Explore the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Welcome to Australia! You'll arrive in tropical Queensland, where the rainforest meets the sea. 

Then, you will travel to Cairns, and the day will be at your leisure. You can rest after your international flight or do some exploration. Bookmark some of the following destinations: 

  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: Enjoy a meal at this sprawling eatery in an indigenous cultural center, which delivers homestyle meals and a buffet
  • Australian Butterfly Sanctuary: Located in Kuranda,  this locale is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as Australia’s largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit
  • Cairns Lagoon: Visit this iconic swimming pool, which is located in the business district, and then relax on the grassy knoll 

Following your self-guided tour of Cairns, the evening will be yours to enjoy.

Day 2: Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Explore the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
The Great Barrier Reef

Board a high-speed catamaran for a full-day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef.  One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and is home to more than 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays. Surrounding the reef are hundreds of picturesque tropical islands that contain some of the best golden beaches. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most sought-after tourist destinations.

Enjoy morning tea and a lunch buffet aboard the catamaran. Following the reef tour and some snorkeling, return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 3: Cairns - Free day

The view from a lookout in Kuranda
The view from a lookout in Kuranda 

Today, enjoy a free day in Cairns to do as you wish.

Explore some of the local wildlife exhibits, like the Koala Gardens. Hold a koala and visit with other native animals, including wombats and kangaroos.

Next, stroll through Cairns Aquarium, a landmark rich with Tropical North Queensland species. Then, have a meal at a restaurant with its own near-2,000-gallon Under the Pier Shark Habitat

In the afternoon, ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This 4.66-mile scenic ride goes up to Kuranda, which passes over Barron Gorge National Park for incredible views. 

The evening is yours to enjoy, as well.

Day 4: Travel to Uluru

Uluru sunset
Uluru sunset

This morning, transfer to the Cairns domestic airport to board your flight to Uluru. Upon arrival,  a transfer will drive you to your hotel. 

In the afternoon, discover the Ayers Rock region. Sacred to the indigenous people of Australia, this area is projected to have formed somewhere around 550 million years ago. Explore your surroundings within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which includes a tour of the Olgas (the domes of Kata Tjuta) and the Uluru monolith.

Then, relax and enjoy the sunset over the Red Centre, along with the evening on your own.

Day 5: Uluru - Free day

Wildflowers in Uluru
Wildflowers in Uluru

Awake in The Outback and enjoy the morning in the Red Centre. Travel to the nearby sunrise viewing area in Uluru to greet the first sunlight of the day as it travels across the desert plains. Enjoy a warming cup of tea or coffee as the morning sun slowly changes the color of Uluru.

Then, it will be time to transfer back to the resort to enjoy the rest of the day discovering the region at your own pace.

Day 6: Travel to Sydney

Welcome to Sydney!
Welcome to Sydney!

Today, catch a flight to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. Take advantage of free time to explore the city. Some destinations to bookmark that don't overlap with your later sightseeing tour include the following: 

  • Royal Botanic Garden: Visit the Australian Rainforest Garden, along with the Palace Rose Garden, which is home to 1,800 roses
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales: View indigenous, colonial, and contemporary collections of art, from Picasso paintings to aboriginal works
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral: Tour the Gothic Revival-style architecture, stained glass windows, and the crypt with its mosaic flooring

Then, the evening will be at your leisure to enjoy a nice dinner and the Sydney nightlife.

Day 7: Sydney - City tour

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

In the morning, embark on a local sightseeing tour. Visit many notable destinations around Sydney, such as the historic area known as The Rocks and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for scenic views of the harbor. Continue on past Kings Cross and Double Bay, through to Watson’s Bay and the famous Bondi Beach, where you will have free time to discover the area.

In the afternoon, return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day and evening at your leisure.

Day 8: Hunter Valley wine tasting day trip

Hunter Valley vineyards
Hunter Valley vineyards

Enjoy a full-day wine tasting in the Hunter Valley region. Indulge in a relaxing, two-course lunch, accompanied by a glass of wine, of course. 

After lunch, travel to Keith Tulloch Winery. This small, family-owned winery and vineyard produces varietals that express the unique terrain and climate from the ancient soils of the Brokenback Range. Here, enjoy a unique wine tasting experience, in collaboration with the artisan chocolatier, Cocoa Nib. Sample five, handmade praline chocolates matched with the winery’s current releases for a sweet ending to the day trip.

Day 9: Sydney - Free day

Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Enjoy a free day to explore Sydney. First, consider making your way down to the BridgeClimb to reach the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge—440 feet above sea level—for an uninterrupted panorama of the city and its surroundings. From the top, soak up the world around you while your climb leader captures your photo. After completing your BridgeClimb, stop by the visitor center, located at the base, to learn more about the history, preservation, and celebration of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Following the BridgeClimb excursion, enjoy lunch, and then plan to visit one of Sydney's most famous landmarks: the Sydney Opera House. Enter beneath the iconic sails to discover what makes the venue so awe-inspiring. Uncover the stories, history, and magic of the Sydney Opera House with an educating guided tour.

Following the tour, head back to your hotel, and enjoy the rest of the day and evening on your own. Toast to your final night in Sydney, before your departure tomorrow.

Day 10: Depart from Sydney

Farewell, Sydney!
Farewell, Sydney!

Today, it is time to bid farewell to Sydney. Depending on your flight departure time, a driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport to catch your international flight home. Safe Travels!

Map

Map of The Ultimate Aussie Excursion: Cairns, Uluru, & Sydney - 10 Days
Map of The Ultimate Aussie Excursion: Cairns, Uluru, & Sydney - 10 Days