12 days in Sydney, Cairns & Melbourne Itinerary

12 days in Sydney, Cairns & Melbourne Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia sightseeing planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

12 days in Sydney, Cairns & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  23​h
1
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
2
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
3
Melbourne
— 3 nights
Fly:  22​h 30​min
End: Chicago

4
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Visit Bondi Beach and North Wollongong Beach for some beach relaxation. Get some historical perspective at The Rocks and Nan Tien Temple. Go for a jaunt from Sydney to Manly to see Shelly Beach about 36 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: see a show at Sydney Opera House, take a stroll through Darling Harbour, and kick back and relax at Manly Beach.

For more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Sydney road trip planning app .

Chicago, USA to Sydney is an approximately 23-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Chicago to Sydney, you'll lose 16 hours due to the time zone difference. In February, Sydney is much hotter than Chicago - with highs of 80°F and lows of 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Wollongong, Shelly Beach
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Darling Harbour ©
Darling Harbour
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

2
nights
Cairns

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Step off the beaten path and head to Palm Cove Beach and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. When in Cairns, make a side trip to see Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Palm Cove, approximately 44 minutes away.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns trip itinerary planning website .

You can fly from Sydney to Cairns in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In February, Cairns is a bit warmer than Sydney - with highs of 88°F and lows of 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Palm Cove
Find places to stay Feb 27 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

3
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Eastern Beach Reserve and 13th Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Ballarat Wildlife Park and Art Gallery of Ballarat. Next up on the itinerary: brush up on your military savvy at Shrine of Remembrance, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Patrick's Cathedral, take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, and explore the world behind art at National Gallery of Victoria.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Melbourne day trip tool .

You can fly from Cairns to Melbourne in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Cairns in March; daily highs in Melbourne reach 78°F and lows reach 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Ballarat, 13th Beach, Eastern Beach Reserve
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Ballarat Wildlife Park ©
Ballarat Wildlife Park
Eastern Beach Reserve ©
Eastern Beach Reserve
St. Patrick's Cathedral ©
St. Patrick's Cathedral

Similar Plans

16 days in Sydney, Gold Coast & Melbourne BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Australia BY A USER FROM INDIA December, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Melbourne BY A USER FROM BANGLADESH December, romantic, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Melbourne & Sydney BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Gold Coast & Melbourne BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns BY A USER FROM INDIA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in Cairns, Sydney & Melbourne BY A USER FROM INDIA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Gold Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Australia BY A USER FROM INDONESIA December, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Australia BY A USER FROM INDIA December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans