On this weeklong trip to Australia, experience three different cities and several landmarks along the way. Begin in Melbourne, where you can enjoy local sightseeing, then travel the Great Ocean Road, which hosts scenic lookouts like The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard. The next stop is Sydney, which includes a pub crawl and a day trip to the stunning Blue Mountains. The final leg takes you to Cairns, where the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park awaits, as well as a memorable finale at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.


  • Travel along Great Ocean Road and stop at seaside outlooks
  • Go on a social pub crawl through Sydney's The Rocks neighborhood
  • Visit Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for an Indigenous dinner and a show
  • Snorkel in the waters surrounding the famous Great Barrier Reef

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne Melbourne
Day 2 Day Trip Along the Great Ocean Road Melbourne
Day 3 Transfer to Sydney & Afternoon Pub Tour Sydney
Day 4 Blue Mountains Hiking Day Trip Sydney
Day 5 Fly to Cairns Cairns
Day 6 Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef Cairns
Day 7 Depart Cairns  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne!
Welcome to Melbourne!

Upon arrival in Melbourne, proceed through customs and to the designated transfer area for your shuttle to your accommodations. At the hotel, meet with a local representative to go through your Australia itinerary, and the representative will answer any lingering questions. 

The rest of the day is at your leisure. Relax after your international flight or explore the town. If you do a bit of sightseeing, bookmark Flinders Street StationFederation SquareQueen Victoria Markets, and the Royal Botanical Gardens to start. Since Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, expect funky street art and bohemian coffee shops tucked in many corners of the town. 

The evening is at your leisure to enjoy a nice welcome dinner, along with exploring the local bar and pub scene—maybe even catch some live music.

Day 2: Day Trip Along the Great Ocean Road

The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles

Spend the day driving the famed Great Ocean Road. Admire Victoria's dramatic southern coastline and stop in several seaside towns along the rugged Shipwreck Coast. During the journey, pass through surf beaches, whale lookouts, lush rainforests, and scenic mountain ranges.

There are plenty of photo stops along the way. Drive to Port Campbell National Park, the site of The Twelve Apostles, which features a grouping of limestone stacks formed over the centuries by the pounding surf. Just a few minutes west of here is Loch Ard, a gorge so scenic and primeval that it has served as the setting for numerous movies and TV shows, such aJourney to the Center of the Earth.

Then, head back to Melbourne to take in the views of the panoramic inland. The evening is yours to enjoy on your own.

Day 3: Transfer to Sydney & Afternoon Pub Tour

Pub tour, Sydney
Pub tour, Sydney

In the morning, a driver will transport you to the airport to catch a flight to Sydney. Upon arrival in Sydney, meet your transfer at the domestic terminal and take the ride to the hotel. After checking in, head to Harts Pub, which is located in The Rocks, and meet your tour guide for the afternoon. Join a group walking tour and learn about the history of the area while mingling with new people along the way. Following the tour, the evening will be at your leisure to continue exploring Sydney.

Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Blue Mountains Hiking Day Trip

Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains National Park is one of seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage area. This wonderland of sandstone outcrops, deep ravines, and blue eucalypt forests boasts luxury retreats and stunning views. Today, a guide will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora, and fauna of the region.

Visit a working farm—home to kangaroos, emus, wombats, and koalas. Traveling around the mountain, stop at multiple lookouts. The highlight of the day is a hike across a number of valleys and ridges while looking out across Australia's Grand Canyon, the Grose Valley. Following the day of exploration, the evening is yours to enjoy back in Sydney.

Day 5: Fly to Cairns

Tjapukai at night
Tjapukai at night

This morning, transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Cairns. Upon arrival, collect your luggage and travel to your hotel.

This evening, enjoy the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park with a night fire dinner. The night fire is Tjapukai's signature evening activity, where you will meet the Indigenous rainforest people, who paint your face to link you to their traditional land and culture. Follow the Tjapukai warriors to a corroboree celebrating Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and join the Rainbow Serpent circle to learn traditional-language songs before the ceremonial fire is lit with a fireball shooting toward the stars.

Day 6: Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef
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 7: Depart Cairns

Farewell from Cairns!
Farewell from Cairns!

Enjoy the morning to unwind and reflect on your trip to Australia before transferring to the airport for your departure flight home. Take with you all the new memories from your trip Down Under, and come back soon!

More Great Australia Itineraries


Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Australia? Check out these other Australia itineraries, explore different ways to spend one week in Australia, or discover the best time to visit Australia.


Map of Best of Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns - 7 Days
Map of Best of Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns - 7 Days