17 days in Australia Itinerary

17 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Canberra
— 1 night
Fly:  9​h
2
Albany
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Margaret River
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  10​h 45​min
4
Kangaroo Island
— 1 night
+2
Fly + shuttle + bus:  9​h 30​min
5
Coles Bay
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Hobart
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  8​h
7
Warrnambool
— 1 night
+2
train + bus + Fly:  8​h 30​min
8
Cairns
— 1 night
Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Chicago

1
night
Canberra

Canberra ©
A planned city with streets laid out in elaborate, geometric patterns and founded specifically to serve as the capital of the emerging Australian state, Canberra has a self-sufficient atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): engage your brain at Questacon, then admire the masterpieces at National Gallery of Australia, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Burley Griffin, and finally don't miss a visit to Mount Ainslie Lookout. On the next day, take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Australia, then admire the masterpieces at National Portrait Gallery, then ponder the world of politics at Royal Australian Mint, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Telstra Tower.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Canberra trip builder .

Chicago, USA to Canberra is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST), which is usually a 16 hour difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Chicago in December: high temperatures in Canberra hover around 82°F and lows are around 54°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can travel to Albany.

Things to do in Canberra

Museums Childrens Museums Nature
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
National Gallery of Australia ©
National Gallery of Australia
National Portrait Gallery ©
National Portrait Gallery
Royal Australian Mint ©
Royal Australian Mint

1
night
Albany

Albany ©
Founded as a military outpost in 1826, Albany is the oldest town in Western Australia, just barely gaining this title by being settled two years earlier than Fremantle and Perth.
On the 10th (Mon), kick back and relax at Greens Pool, look for all kinds of wild species at Anvil Beach, then examine the collection at National Anzac Centre, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at The Gap and Natural Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Albany's Historic Whaling Station, then make a trip to Albany Wind Farm, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Church of Saint John the Evangelist, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Little Beach.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Albany trip planning tool .

You can fly from Canberra to Albany in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, train, and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Canberra to Albany. While traveling from Canberra, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Albany, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can drive to Margaret River.

Things to do in Albany

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Denmark
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Greens Pool ©
Greens Pool
Little Beach ©
Little Beach
The Gap and Natural Bridge ©
The Gap and Natural Bridge

2
nights
Margaret River

A low-rise, laid-back town of approximately 4,500 inhabitants, Margaret River serves as an ideal local base to explore the surrounding wine region.
On the 12th (Wed), Head underground at Lake Cave, then view the masterpieces at Jahroc Galleries, and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Thu): savor the flavors at Food & Drink, then explore the striking landscape at Jewel Cave, and then kick back and relax at Hamelin Bay.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Margaret River day trip planning app .

You can drive from Albany to Margaret River in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Kangaroo Island.

Things to do in Margaret River

Tours Parks Nature

Side Trips

Lake Cave, Jewel Cave
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Food Tours
Lake Cave ©
Lake Cave
Jewel Cave ©
Jewel Cave

1
night
Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island ©
Abandoned by Aborigines a few thousand years ago, Kangaroo Island attracts over 140,000 visitors each year.
On the 14th (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Flinders Chase National Park. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Little Sahara, then look for all kinds of wild species at Raptor Domain, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Seal Bay Conservation Park.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kangaroo Island attractions app .

Do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Margaret River to Kangaroo Island in 11 hours. The time zone difference moving from Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) to Australian Central Standard Time (South Australia) (ACST) is 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can travel to Coles Bay.

Things to do in Kangaroo Island

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Flinders Chase National Park ©
Flinders Chase National Park
Raptor Domain ©
Raptor Domain
Little Sahara ©
Little Sahara

1
day
Coles Bay

Overlooking one of Tasmania's most scenic strips of coastline and serving as the gateway to Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay is home to just 500 permanent residents.
On the 16th (Sun), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then make a trip to Bicheno Blowhole, then walk along Wineglass Bay Lookout, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Coles Bay Jetty.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Coles Bay trip planner .

Do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Kangaroo Island to Coles Bay in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can drive to Hobart.

Things to do in Coles Bay

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Bicheno, Coles Bay Jetty
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Bicheno Blowhole ©
Bicheno Blowhole
Wineglass Bay Lookout ©
Wineglass Bay Lookout

2
nights
Hobart

Snaking up the side of a rounded, tree-dotted hill, Hobart sits between Tasmania’s sprawling mountains and the vast estuary of the River Derwent.
On the 17th (Mon), contemplate the long history of Hobart Convict Penitentiary, look for all kinds of wild species at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, snap pictures at Richmond Bridge, then admire the natural beauty at Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, and finally go for a walk through Battery Point Sculpture Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Tue): indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Hobart road trip planner .

Drive from Coles Bay to Hobart in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in December, and nighttime lows around 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel to Warrnambool.

Things to do in Hobart

Tours Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Richmond Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Food Tours
Battery Point Sculpture Trail ©
Battery Point Sculpture Trail
Richmond Bridge ©
Richmond Bridge

1
night
Warrnambool

Warrnambool ©
Warrnambool is a regional centre and former port city on the south-western coast of Victoria, Australia. On the 19th (Wed), head off the coast to Griffiths Island, then admire the striking features of Griffiths Island Lighthouse, then get impressive views of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: grab your bike and head to Foreshore Promenade, examine the collection at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, then contemplate the waterfront views at Bay of Islands, and finally snap pictures at Timboon Rail Trestle Bridge.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Warrnambool trip itinerary builder tool .

Getting from Hobart to Warrnambool by combination of flight and train takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Warrnambool

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Port Fairy, Timboon Rail Trestle Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Bay of Islands ©
Bay of Islands
Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground ©
Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground
Griffiths Island ©
Griffiths Island

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, enjoy the sand and surf at Palm Cove Beach, then see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat): let the kids burn off some steam at Muddy's Playground and then enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Cairns day trip site .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Warrnambool to Cairns in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Cairns are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Balloon Rides
Spas & Wellness

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