- 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
|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|
Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Opera House Tour
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
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.
Day 3: Whale Watching, Bondi Beach & Sunset Sydney BridgeClimb
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!
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Fly to Alice Springs, Pick Up Rental Car, Free Time
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
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
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.
Day 7: Kata Tjuta Sunrise & Valley of the Winds Walk, Uluru Sacred Sights & 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
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 SydneyYour 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!
More Great Australia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Australia? Check out these other Australia itineraries, explore different ways to spend nine days in Australia, or discover the best time to visit Australia.
A note on diacritical and retroflex markings: In order to support the best technical experience and search functions, diacritical markings have been omitted from this article.