18 days in Australia Itinerary

18 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  22​h 45​min
1
Brisbane
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Gold Coast
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
3
Melbourne
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
4
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
5
Cairns
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
6
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h 45​min
7
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Philadelphia

2
nights
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Roma Street Parkland and then walk around South Bank Parklands. On the 20th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, then take some stellar pictures from Mount Coot-tha Lookout, and then try out the rides at Channel Seven Wheel of Brisbane.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Brisbane online sightseeing planner .

Philadelphia, USA to Brisbane is an approximately 23-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Philadelphia to Brisbane is 15 hours. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from Philadelphia in December; daily highs in Brisbane reach 82°F and lows reach 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to drive to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Wildlife Theme Parks
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
South Bank Parklands ©
South Bank Parklands
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mount Coot-tha Lookout ©
Mount Coot-tha Lookout

2
nights
Gold Coast

Gold Coast ©
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): enjoy breathtaking views from SkyPoint Climb, take in panoramic vistas at SkyPoint Observation Deck, and then try out the rides at Sea World Theme Park. Keep things going the next day: get in on the family fun at Warner Bros. Movie World.

For reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Gold Coast online visit planner .

You can drive from Brisbane to Gold Coast in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December in Gold Coast, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 67°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Theme Parks Zoos & Aquariums Parks
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Warner Bros. Movie World
Warner Bros. Movie World
SkyPoint Observation Deck ©
SkyPoint Observation Deck

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): get to know the resident critters at Melbourne Zoo, enjoy breathtaking views from Eureka Skydeck, and then admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Melbourne Museum, then admire the masterpieces at National Gallery of Victoria, and then make a trip to Block Arcade.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Melbourne route website .

Getting from Gold Coast to Melbourne by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Gold Coast in December, plan for a bit cooler nights in Melbourne, with lows around 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Ararat.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum

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.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is known for nature, museums, outdoors, trails, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Uluru, stroll through Uluru Hiking Path, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga, and admire the verdant scenery at Valley of the Winds.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park road trip app .

Fly from Melbourne to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Melbourne in December; daily highs in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park reach 97°F and lows reach 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Uluru ©
Uluru
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga ©
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga
Mutitjulu Waterhole ©
Mutitjulu Waterhole

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Cairns day trip planning app .

You can fly from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Cairns in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in December, expect nights in Cairns to be about the same, around 73°F, while days are little chillier, around 88°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Spas

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): explore and take pictures at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, then see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, then get to know the resident critters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and finally stop by With Sugar. On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip builder site .

Traveling by bus from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In December in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 88°F during the day and 73°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

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, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see a show at Sydney Opera House, tour the pleasant surroundings at Manly Beach, admire the masterpieces at Art Gallery of New South Wales, and take a stroll through The Rocks.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip maker site .

Getting from Port Douglas to Sydney by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Port Douglas in December, expect Sydney to be slightly colder, temps between 81°F and 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

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