15 days in Australia Itinerary

15 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  25​h
1
Sydney
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Katoomba
— 1 night
train + Fly:  6​h
3
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
4
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
— 2 nights
Fly + shuttle:  5​h 45​min
5
Port Douglas
— 1 day
bus:  1​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

3
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.
Sydney is known for nightlife, trails, beaches, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see a show at Sydney Opera House, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, appreciate the extensive heritage of The Rocks, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Sydney travel route tool .

Washington DC, USA to Sydney is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or do a combination of subway, bus, and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) is 15 hours. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Washington DC in December, with highs in Sydney at 81°F and lows at 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Katoomba.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

1
night
Katoomba

Katoomba ©
Located off of the Great Western Highway, Katoomba is the main hub of the City of Blue Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): take some stellar pictures from 3 Sisters Echo Point, take some stellar pictures from The Three Sisters, take some stellar pictures from Hargraves Lookout, take in nature's colorful creations at Everglades Historic House and Gardens, then make a trip to Day FIne Art, and finally make a trip to Gallery Blackheath.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Katoomba road trip planning website .

Getting from Sydney to Katoomba by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Katoomba

Parks Nature

Side Trips

Blackheath, Everglades Historic House and Gardens, Hargraves Lookout
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Wentworth Falls ©
Wentworth Falls
Gallery Blackheath ©
Gallery Blackheath
The Three Sisters ©
The Three Sisters

2
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Melbourne is known for museums, shopping, parks, nightlife, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens, take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck 88, examine the collection at Melbourne Museum, and tour the water at your own pace with Melbourne Boat Hire.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Melbourne holiday planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Katoomba to Melbourne in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Katoomba in December, expect Melbourne to be little chillier, temps between 78°F and 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Melbourne

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

2
nights
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ©
For quintessential Outback scenery and culture, you can't beat a holiday in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Site.
On the 13th (Fri), take an in-depth tour of Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, then contemplate the waterfront views at Mutitjulu Waterhole, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Uluru. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sat): head outdoors with Walpa Gorge and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kata Tjuta.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in December: high temperatures in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park hover around 97°F and lows are around 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Uluru ©
Uluru
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga ©
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga
Mutitjulu Waterhole ©
Mutitjulu Waterhole

1
day
Port Douglas

A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
On the 15th (Sun), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip itinerary maker site .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Port Douglas in 6 hours. Another option is to drive. When traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in December, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Port Douglas: temperatures range from 88°F by day to 73°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On your second day here, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral and then hike along Esplanade Boardwalk.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Cairns trip planner .

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Cairns are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
St Monica's Cathedral ©
St Monica's Cathedral

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