Make the Most of Your Time in Australia

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How Many Days to Spend in Australia

When planning a trip to Australia, 10 days is ideal for visiting four different areas. However, if you are strapped for time, you can explore two regions in five days or up to three if you have a whole week at your disposal. For those with more time and flexibility, two weeks allows you to make stops at anywhere from four to 10 destinations, depending on your preferred pace.

The Twelve Apostles at sunset off the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Map of 5 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Five days is a quick trip to Australia—you'll want to embark on a regional adventure to make the most of your time. A tour of Sydney offers stops at all the popular landmarks and a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Or, explore Far North Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. You can even journey deep into the outback of Uluru Alice Springs. Learn more in our itinerary picks below.

Springbrook National Park's photo-worth Natural Bridge on the Gold Coast
Map of 6 Days in Australia - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
6 Days in Australia - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Australia is a vast and sweeping landscape; six days will give you time to explore a specific region, depending on what interests you most. You can take a deep dive into Sydney, including the Great Barrier Reef, or enjoy an outdoor adventure in Cairns. Foodies will appreciate eating and drinking their way through Melbourne, or adventurous sun-seekers can stay and play in the Whitsundays. Read on to learn more about your options with these itineraries in Australia.

A young kangaroo kisses its mother
Map of 1 Week in Australia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Australia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Head to Australia with your family for a week of outdoor fun, animal encounters, and uniquely Australian adventures. Spend seven days hitting the highlights of Sydney and Melbourne, including Phillip Island and Sydney Harbour's skyline. Animal-loving families can journey to Brisbane and Gold Coast for swimming, and city adventures, with stops at Australia Zoo and a koala sanctuary. Adventurers can combine a trip to Sydney and Melbourne with a visit to spectacular Uluru, sacred to the Anangu people.

Honeymoon for three nights on secluded Lord Howe Island on a luxury escape (photo courtesy of Capella Lodge)
1 Week in Australia - 5 Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

During a one-week honeymoon adventure in Australia, you can embrace the unhurried pace of its iconic cities and tropical islands. Sydney and Melbourne are excellent destinations for newlyweds eager to enjoy gourmet meals, guided tours, and scenic day trips. Alternatively, Hamilton Island provides the perfect base to explore the Whitsundays, while Lord Howe Island suits those looking to escape amid unspoiled rainforest and coastlines. Or, jet to Uluru for truly unique outback experiences.

Explore the ancient landscapes of Uluru on a one-week luxury tour in Australia (photo courtesy of Longitude 131°)
Map of 1 Week in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

With one week to spend savoring Australia's luxuries, it's best to split your time between two standout destinations. First-time travelers seeking a well-rounded trip will find Sydney and Melbourne to be the perfect bases, while those curious about the outback can swap in time at Uluru. If you have your sights set on the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas and Hamilton Island are great options, or consider heading to southern Australia for a hidden-gems adventure filled with wildlife encounters.

Choose an itinerary that features the Australian Outback and Uluru
Map of 1 Week in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In seven days, you can see the highlights of three Australian cities, with day trips from each. Pair Melbourne, Sydney, and Cairns, for example, and you can easily visit the Blue Mountains and Great Barrier Reef. Or head to Western Australia, basing yourself in Exmouth and Perth, where you'll swim with whale sharks and snorkel off Rottnest Island. Other options featured below include a Whitsundays island retreat, Outback exploration in Uluru, and a family-friendly Gold Coast adventure.

Swim, snorkel, or dive in Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Map of 8 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With eight days in Australia, travelers can focus on one region or coastline or hone in on two or three contrasting areas for a diverse experience. Take a road trip along Victoria's Great Ocean Road starting from Melbourne, or self-drive a loop itinerary of the Top End's stunning national parks. Want to experience Australia's exciting cities, dramatic outback, tropical rainforests, and Great Barrier Reef all in one trip? With eight days, it's all possible.

Where the red dirt of Broome meets the Indian Ocean in Western Australia
Map of 9 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With nine days to travel within Australia, you can cover two to three states, provided you board a quick domestic flight from one region to the next. Whether you're looking to check out tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef, take in the panoramic desert views of Uluru in the Red Centre, or explore cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth, these four itineraries showcase the best of Australia.

Climb aboard your camel for a sunrise amble along Western Australia's Cable Beach
Map of 10 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Ten days in Australia is an excellent amount of time for an in-depth exploration of one region—Eastern, Northern, or Western Australia—or for a highlights trip that hops between top cities and points of interest, like Melbourne, Sydney, and Uluru. Ocean fanatics should include time in Cairns to visit the Great Barrier Reef, while Exmouth and Margaret River make great destinations for adventure seekers. Meanwhile, the towns of Broome and Darwin showcase Australia's remote northern coast.

Escape to the "Galápagos of Australia" on Kangaroo Island (photo courtesy of Southern Ocean Lodge)
Map of 10 Days in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in Australia, you can experience the country's cities, outback, rainforests, and reefs on a luxury highlights tour or swap in Melbourne for a sampling of the famed Great Ocean Road. Travelers seeking a refined adventure will find Perth, Margaret River, and Exmouth delightful destinations, while those eager for exclusivity spend time on the remote Lord Howe Island. Alternately, narrow your focus to Australia's famed culinary scene while hopping between farms and fine-dining restaurants.

Dad and kids skating at a Bondi Beach ice rink during the Winter Festival
Map of 10 Days in Australia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Australia - 3 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Ten days gives your family plenty of time to visit some of Australia's best-known destinations on a classic highlights tour that covers Sydney, Uluru, and the rainforests and Great Barrier Reef of Cairns. Alternatively, focus on a single region and enjoy a road trip with the family along the country's East Coast from Brisbane to Syndey, or base yourself solely in Perth for theme and wildlife parks, including a visit to Rottnest Island.

Discover Melbournes quirky bars on a cocktail tour before hitting the Great Ocean Road
Map of 10 Days in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days to explore Australia and New Zealand, you can jump between Queenstown, Sydney, Tasmania, and Perth to sample each country's highlights or get an introduction to Down Under culture while visiting Auckland, Rotorua, Melbourne, Uluru, and Sydney. Travelers eager to delve into outdoor pursuits will find Queenstown, Sydney, and Cairns ideal destinations, while those seeking a fast-paced trip can rent a car and take a road trip through New Zealand.

"The Neck" of Bruny Island, Tasmania
Map of 11 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

On an 11-day trip to Australia, travelers can explore the country's top cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, and Adelaide. Or opt for a more nature-based excursion through the Daintree Rainforest, the Great Ocean Road, or Bruny Island. Visit the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Sydney, explore the local produce at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and head to Cairns for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Read on to discover your best options for an 11-day stay in Australia.

Daintree National Park, the world's oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest
Map of 12 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Australia is vast in size and offerings, but with 12 days to spend, you have some great options to maximize your time Down Under. First-timers to Australia might focus on the classic sights of Sydney and the red rock landscape of Uluru. Nature-loving travelers can choose trips where you'll dive into the Great Barrier Reef and get up close and personal with kangaroos and koalas. Or, combine some of Australia's highlights with a few days in New Zealand's adventure hub, Queenstown.

Blue Mountains' Three Sisters, New South Wales
Map of 13 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Thirteen days is enough time to explore 3-4 regions of Australia. See the best of the country, which includes Melbourne, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney, or swap Melbourne for Adelaide and nearby Kangaroo Island. Or, opt for a three-region trip and stick to the east coast to see Sydney, Brisbane, and Port Douglas—jumping off point to Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Lastly, there's south Australia to consider, a combination of the above, plus beaches, rainforests, and wildlife of Tasmania.

Welcome to Australia!
Map of 2 Weeks in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In two weeks, you can explore an average of four regions in Australia. The most efficient trips fly you in and out of major cities—like Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide—ensuring you can piggyback with free days and city tours in each location. It’s possible to take several day trips to famous destinations like the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains, venture into the outback’s desert region, and even cross over into New Zealand.

Visit world-famous Bondi Beach and explore its rock pools on a two week trip to Australia and New Zealand
Map of 2 Weeks in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in Australia and New Zealand, you can opt for a classic tour that features cultural experiences or hike, dive, zipline, and cruise through each country's natural wonders on an adrenaline-pumping trip. Those traveling during the Southern Hemisphere's winter can delve into seasonal activities, while travelers who enjoy the freedom of self-driving can embark on a road trip itinerary featuring Auckland, Queenstown, Cairns, and Sydney.

Spot wildlife on Australia's beaches
Map of 2 Weeks in Australia - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Australia - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in Australia is ample time to take in a variety of the country's highlights at a family-friendly pace. As well as Australia's famous wildlife, kids will love the variety of outdoor activities available, from swimming and snorkeling to hot-air ballooning and hiking. Plus, with a generous two-week itinerary, you can even hop over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, a completely different landscape with its own unique attractions.

Taste fresh oysters on the shores of Tasmania's unspoiled coast (photo courtesy of Saffire Lodge)
Map of 2 Weeks in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Australia - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in Australia is an excellent amount of time to experience the country's pristine landscapes and superb cuisine. First-time visitors eager to hit the highlights will find Sydney, Melbourne, and Uluru ideal bases, while those with a soft spot for farm-to-table restaurants can focus on the Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, and Kangaroo Island. Other luxurious options include time in wild Tasmania, a West Coast adventure featuring Perth and Ningaloo, and a legendary train journey through the outback.

Visit Australia's "Red Centre" and discover the outback surrounding Uluru
Map of 15 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 15 days in Australia, you can comfortably visit three or four different regions, as long as you take advantage of domestic flights. Whether you want to focus on the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne and the cultural and culinary riches they offer, or you'd rather have a more natural, peaceful experience at beautiful beaches, ancient rainforests, and fascinating deserts, you can choose your adventure.

Winding boardwalk at the coastline of Nobbies, Phillip Island
Map of 17 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
17 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 17 days in Australia, you can cover three to five regions, ticking off city highlights and exploring the outback and the Great Barrier Reef on a fast-paced highlights trip or opt for a more relaxed trip that includes time in the Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island, and Palm Cove. Foodies should take advantage of the opportunity to indulge in Sydney and Melbourne's world-class culinary scene on a food and culture trip, while those looking to get their adrenaline pumping should include New Zealand in their activity-filled itinerary.

Admire the colorful landscapes at Bay of Fires, Tasmania
Map of 18 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
18 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 18 days, you can visit at least three regions in Australia. Those keen on culture will appreciate the Indigenous-led experiences of the east and west coasts, while those interested in road-tripping can opt for an east coast adventure. Enjoy a mix of urban and outdoor activities from Melbourne to Uluru and Port Douglas and Sydney. Outdoorsy folks can hike in New South Wales and Tasmania, while those seeking both adrenaline and rejuvenation can bungee jump and soak in hot springs on a two-country itinerary.

Take in the unusual pink lake of Hutt Lagoon at Port Gregory in Western Australia
Map of 20 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
20 Days in Australia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 20 days in Australia, you'll have plenty of time to tick off city tours, excursions in the outback, and time on Tasmania on a highlights tour. Or get behind the wheel and journey along the Great Ocean Road and the Pacific coast on a self-drive itinerary. Those with Western Australia's beaches and off-the-beaten-track landscapes in mind should include a road trip from Perth to Exmouth in their plans, while adventure seekers will love exploring by boat, train, and hot-air balloon on a Sydney to Perth adventure.

Autumnal foliage and pencil pines at Maroondah Reservoir in Australia's Yarra Valley wine country
Map of 3 Weeks in Australia - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
3 Weeks in Australia - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

You can experience many of Australia's classic highlights and lesser-frequented gems in three weeks, covering multiple states and three coasts. You can even have time left to factor New Zealand into the itinerary. You'll cover major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, see the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef and cuddlier animals on Kangaroo Island, and venture into the outback of South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Take a hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley
Map of 3 Weeks in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
3 Weeks in Australia & New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Within three weeks, you can visit at least six regions of Australia and New Zealand. Hit the highlights of Australia's eastern and southern coasts and experience New Zealand culture and adventure in Auckland, Rotorua, and Queenstown. Road trippers will enjoy various activities, including a tasting tour in Wellington, while those keen on culture will appreciate the Indigenous-led experiences—such as a bush walk and Dreamtime stories in Perth—on a cultural journey.

Sydney Opera House
How Many Days to Spend in Sydney

As Australia's largest city, you could spend several weeks in Sydney and still not run out of things to see and do. But, most travelers don't have this long. If you're short on time, the priorities should be seeing some of the central city's landmarks, whereas if you have a few days, you can make some day trips to natural attractions farther afield. So, how many days should you spend in Sydney? Read on to find out more about your options.