17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns Itinerary

17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Cairns Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Melbourne
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
3
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  21​h 45​min
End: Houston

5
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 day-by-day itinerary now includes Picture This Ballooning - Melbourne and Yarra Valley. Popular historic sites such as Old Melbourne Gaol and Shrine of Remembrance are in your itinerary. Visiting Royal Botanic Gardens and St. Kilda Beach will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: get a taste of the local shopping with Melbourne Central, admire the striking features of Ross House, take a stroll through Degraves Street, and get to know the resident critters at Melbourne Zoo.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Melbourne day trip site .

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Melbourne takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Sydney in December, plan for little chillier nights in Melbourne, with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
St. Kilda Beach ©
St. Kilda Beach
Old Melbourne Gaol ©
Old Melbourne Gaol

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Manly Beach and Bondi Beach. Do your shopping at Queen Victoria Building and Brett Whiteley Studio. And it doesn't end there: get to know the fascinating history of The Rocks, admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, admire the striking features of Sydney Opera House, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney trip planning website .

Houston, USA to Sydney is an approximately 21-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. You'll lose 16 hours traveling from Houston to Sydney due to the time zone difference. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Houston in December: high temperatures in Sydney hover around 81°F and lows are around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

4
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Safaris and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Rex Lookout (in Wangetti), Hartley's Crocodile Adventures (in Palm Cove) and Four Mile Beach (in Port Douglas). There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns visit planning website .

You can fly from Sydney to Cairns in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect Cairns to be a bit warmer, temps between 88°F and 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Rex Lookout, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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