This nine-day Australia itinerary combines iconic sights and breathtaking destinations. Start in Sydney, ticking off the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and more. Then swap the coast for a real outback adventure. Drive the rustic Mereenie Loop, hike around Kings Canyon, see Kata Tjuta, and marvel at the magnificent Uluru monolith. Expect nine days of unforgettable experiences, natural beauty, and cultural immersion.


  • Visit the Sydney Opera House and climb the Harbour Bridge
  • Witness the beauty of Uluru at sunrise and sunset
  • Take a hot-air balloon ride over the Red Center of Australia
  • Take a whale watching cruise in Sydney and see Bondi Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 2 Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, The Rocks Walking Tour & A Taste of Chinatown Sydney
Day 3 Whale Watching, Bondi Beach & Sunset Sydney BridgeClimb Sydney
Day 4 Fly to Alice Springs, Hire a Rental Car, Free Time Alice Springs
Day 5 Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Drive to Kings Canyon via the Mereenie Loop Kings Canyon
Day 6 Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Drive to Uluru, Uluru Sunset with Barbecue Dinner Uluru
Day 7 Kata Tjuta Sunrise & Valley of the Winds Walk, Uluru Sacred Sights & Sunset Uluru
Day 8 Uluru Sunrise & Field of Lights Experience, Fly to Sydney, Sunset Cruise Sydney
Day 9 Depart Sydney  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Opera House Tour

Opera House
Sydney Opera House is an Australian icon

G'day and welcome to sunny Sydney! On arrival, collect your luggage and meet with your driver, who will transfer you to your accommodation. Sydney is a bucket-list destination and a must-have on any Australian itinerary. Beyond the iconic Sydney Opera House and famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney's dazzling natural harbor, epic beaches, cutting-edge restaurant and bar scene, and excellent live music and theater make this city so much fun. Start with a quick walk through the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, and stop at Mrs Macquarie's Chair for the best views.

Make your way down to the Opera House and go behind the scenes for a fascinating look at this Sydney icon and World Heritage-listed building. A knowledgeable guide will share entertaining stories about the space and take you to off-limit areas. Afterward, pop into the Opera Bar for a drink beneath open skies and soak up unreal Sydney views. Then, visit the Pylon Museum at the Harbour Bridge for a history lesson and more brilliant vistas. Use your evening to explore the city's local bar and pub scene, or rest up ahead of your upcoming big adventure. 

Day 2:  Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, The Rocks Walking Tour & A Taste of Chinatown

Bush tucker
Australian bush tucker

Kick off your day by getting to know the traditional owners of this land. On an Aboriginal bush tucker tour, you'll join a First Nations guide on an hourlong tour through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Learn more about local bush foods and how these foods were used traditionally and adapted to the modern plate and palate, all while tasting some for yourself! Then, join a guided tour of The Rocks, one of the most unique neighborhoods in Sydney. Hear about its rich and dark history, and explore plenty of 19th-century pubs once frequented by cutthroats, street gangs, and prostitutes. 

This evening, explore Australia's more recent migrant history with a tasting tour of Chinatown. Over three hours, visit hidden landmarks and hear little-known stories from the history of Chinese Australians. Enjoy some of the best Asian Australian cuisines, with roots in Chinese, Korean, and Malaysian food. Taste modern fusion and Sydney Chinatown classics, from handmade dumplings and noodles to the best KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). You'll also experience a Chinese tea ceremony, an ancient, serene tradition. 

Day 3: Whale Watching, Bondi Beach & Sunset Sydney BridgeClimb

Sydney Bondi Beach
Beautiful Bondi Beach in Sydney

Set sail from Sydney this morning and enjoy breakfast with whales! Each year between May and November, around 40,000 humpback whales migrate from the icy Antarctic to the tropical waters in the north of Australia. Tuck into a buffet breakfast while cruising through Sydney Harbour and listening to local commentary. After passing through the magnificent Sydney Heads, your half-day cruise will reach the open ocean, where you'll see whales slapping, breaching, and playing in the deep. A whale expert will describe the various behaviors so you don't miss a thing!

Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Later, venture to Bondi Beach. Australia's most famous beach is home to one of the oldest surf lifesaving clubs. Relax on the golden sands, find a table at a trendy café, or lace up your sneakers and walk the famous cliff-top walk from Bondi to Bronte, a 1.9-mile (3 km) hike with breathtaking views. Return to the city center to see Sydney turn from day to night atop the famous coathanger—the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Strap on a harness and let a BridgeClimb leader take you 439 feet (134 m) above sea level. The adrenaline-pumping journey provides stunning 360-degree views of the city!

Day 4: Fly to Alice Springs, Pick Up Rental Car, Free Time

Alice Springs
The outback town of Alice Springs

This morning a driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Alice Springs. Collect a rental car upon arrival and prepare for your great outback adventure. Known to the locals as "Alice," this town embodies the quintessential Australian spirit, from the ancient desert location to the Aboriginal culture woven into the fabric of life here.

The rest of the day is yours to explore Alice Springs at your leisure. For a taste of local culture, head to the Araluen Cultural Precinct, which houses an art gallery and museum showcasing the region's history and Indigenous art. The Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum shows the essential work of the aerial medical service. Or visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary, a 188-acre (76 ha) wildlife sanctuary for rescued orphaned baby and adult kangaroos.

Day 5: Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Drive to Kings Canyon via the Mereenie Loop

Spectacular Merreenie Loop Road,
Spectacular Mereenie Loop Road

See the desert from above on a morning hot-air balloon ride. Take off at dawn and watch the world wake as wildlife like red kangaroos come out for their morning feed. Return to Earth and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before the rest of your day begins. Leave Alice Springs and head toward Glen Helen in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Stop for a swim at Redbank Gorge Pools, 12 miles (20 km) west of Glen Helen. If you have the time, buy an inner tire tube from Glen Helen Resort and splash your way through the gorge.

Continue and head to the Mereenie Loop. This unsealed dirt road is a "must-do" for adventure lovers traveling through the Red Centre. It takes you along the less traveled road through some beautiful landscapes in the Central Australian Outback. You might even see a handful of wild camels or dingoes along the way!

Day 6: Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Drive to Uluru, Uluru Sunset with Barbecue Dinner

Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Rise bright and early to tackle the Rim Walk, a 3.7-mile (6 km) circuit around Kings Canyon. It usually takes 3-4 hours to complete depending on your pace. The walk starts with about 500 steep steps, but it gets easier from there! From the top, marvel at the incredible views, and see the sandstone domes known as the Lost City. Next, stay up top or venture down into the picturesque Garden of Eden filled with lush greenery. After exploring Kings Canyon, continue your drive through the vast outback to Uluru

Uluru is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Feel a powerful presence when you see the 1,150-foot-high (348 m) monolith. World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park holds a special cultural significance for the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu. Enjoy nibbles and wine as the sun sinks over the western horizon and the evening sky brings out Uluru's many shades of color. After sunset, enjoy an outdoor barbecue dinner with new friends and witness the stars light up across clear outback skies.

Day 7: Kata Tjuta Sunrise & Valley of the Winds Walk, Uluru Sacred Sights & Sunset

Uluru at sunset

Wake up early again to witness the sunrise at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). This incredible formation of rock domes extends 3.7 miles (6 km) into the ground and is the remains of erosion that began more than 500 million years ago. Enjoy a light breakfast while hearing fascinating stories of Kata Tjuta's geology, history, and culture. Your guide will then lead a 2-3 hour walk to the Valley of the Winds lookout, taking time to marvel at the unique flora and views.

Later today, explore the beauty of Uluru a little deeper. A local guide will drive you around the base, a distance of 6 miles (10 km). Next, take a short walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole on the eastern side of Uluru to see a vital water source sacred to the Aboriginal people. Then explore caves and view ancient Aboriginal rock paintings, learning about their meaning. At dusk, relax with a wine and canapés as you marvel at the changing colors once more. You'll be awe-struck watching the monolith turn from bright red and gold to various shades of pink and purple as the sun sets.

Day 8: Uluru Sunrise & Field of Lights Experience, Fly to Sydney, Sunset Cruise

Fields of Lights Installation - Uluru
Fields of Lights Installation at Uluru

Arriving in complete darkness, in the calm quiet of predawn, you'll witness the 50,000 globes of light sparkle in the desert this morning. Internationally renowned artist Bruce Monroe created the Field of Light installation specially for this space. Make your way up the hill to the viewing platform, where you'll enjoy a hot beverage as the sun starts to creep up and light floods across Uluru and the Kata Tjuta in the distance.

It's time to return to the bright lights of Sydney. Drive to Ayers Rock Airport, drop off the rental car, and catch your flight. When you land in Sydney, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Drop your bags, freshen up, and prepare for a special final night in Australia. Enjoy a deluxe sunset cruise on Sydney Harbour accompanied by a delicious three-course dinner. From the water, admire iconic sights such as Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Luna Park, and more. Snap photos as the sky shimmers at sunset and the city skyline lights up.

Day 9: Depart Sydney

Wave goodbye to Sydney
Your nine days in Australia have come to an end! When the time is right, a driver will transfer you to Sydney Airport in time for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Sydney & Outback Highlights: Alice Springs, Kings Canyon & Uluru - 9 Days
Map of Sydney & Outback Highlights: Alice Springs, Kings Canyon & Uluru - 9 Days