If you've got a limited to time to tackle the vast Australian continent, this may be the itinerary for you. You'll start in cosmopolitan Sydney under the swooping eaves of the famous Opera House, then fly out to the Red Center to experience the dramatic rock formations of Uluru. Top it off with a visit up to Cairns to explore the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, with plenty of free days in between to add your own twist.

Highlights

  • Stroll the busy streets of Sydney
  • Catch some rays on Bondi Beach
  • Watch the sun rise and set over Uluru
  • Snorkel over the Great Barrier Reef

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Sydney City Sights Sydney
Day 3 Free Day in Sydney Sydney
Day 4 Sydney to Uluru Uluru
Day 5 Day at Uluru Uluru
Day 6 Uluru to Cairns Cairns
Day 7 The Great Barrier Reef Cairns
Day 8 Free Day in Cairns Cairns
Day 9 Depart Cairns  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney

Sydney Harbor and Opera House
Sydney Harbor and Opera House

Welcome to Australia! You'll meet your transfer at the Sydney airport for a ride to your accommodation. Settle in and spend the rest of your day wandering about the city to get your bearings. 

Day 2: Sydney City Sights

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Start off your day with a tour of the city sights. You'll begin in the historic neighborhood known as the Rocks, then to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair to take in the views of the harbor. Continue on past Kings Cross and Double Bay, through to Watson's Bay and on to Bondi Beach. The tour wraps up at Bondi, giving you the afternoon to spend on the beach or continuing to explore.

Day 3: Free Day in Sydney

Sydney Bridge Climb
Sydney Bridge Climb

Take a full day to explore Sydney at your leisure. Climb up to the top of the Harbor Bridge on a tethered bridge climb, spend the day sampling wine in the Hunter Valley, or ferry out to Manly Beach to bask in the sun.

Day 4: Sydney to Uluru

Uluru sunset
Uluru sunset

Catch a flight out to Alice Springs, the gateway to Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). Once you've arrived at your lodging and settled in, you'll take a tour of the Olgas and the towering formation of Uluru itself. Sip a glass of Champagne as you watch the colors change over the rock as the sun set.

Day 5: Day at Uluru

Fields of Lights installation at Uluru
Fields of Lights installation at Uluru

Wake up in the Red Center and travel to a sunrise viewing area near Uluru to watch the day's first rays of sunlight creep across the desert plains. Enjoy a warm morning beverage as the colors change once more. You'll be transferred back to your lodging to spend the rest of the day discovering the region at your own pace.

Day 6: Uluru to Cairns

Cairns Esplanade & Lagoon
Cairns Esplanade & Lagoon

After a leisurely morning, you'll head back to the airport to catch an onward flight to Cairns. Arrive in this northern city and catch a transfer to your lodgings, then spend the evening strolling the Esplanade.

Day 7: The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef

Board a high-speed catamaran for a full-day cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life, with over 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands. You'll snorkel or scuba dive over the reef, with multiple stops during the day and morning tea and a buffet lunch served on board.

Day 8: Free Day in Cairns

Daintree National Park
Daintree National Park

Spend the full day discovering tropical Cairns. Take a trip up to Kuranda and ride the Skyrail Gondola over the tops of the rainforest trees or take a 4WD tour through Daintree National Park.

Day 9: Depart Cairns

Wave farewell to the fish
Wave farewell to the fish

Take the morning to unwind before you catch your flight, either heading home or onward to your next adventure.

Map

Map of Highlights of Australia - 9 Days
Map of Highlights of Australia - 9 Days