20 days in Australia Itinerary

20 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + bus:  4​h 30​min
1
Byron Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Brisbane
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  7​h 45​min
3
Fraser Island
— 3 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  9​h
4
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
Travel:  2​h 30​min
5
Whitsunday Island
— 2 nights
train:  4​h 15​min
6
Townsville
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
7
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Sydney

2
nights
Byron Bay

Byron Bay ©
Named after Lord Byron's grandfather, Byron Bay is not only famous as the easternmost point of Australia, but even more so as one of the liveliest vacation spots in the country.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Belongil Beach, trek along Cape Byron Walking Track, then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Byron Lighthouse, and finally look for gifts at Byron Bay Cookies Retail Store. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed): take in the exciting artwork at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then take some stellar pictures from Broken Head Nature Reserve, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Byron Bay road trip planner .

Sydney to Byron Bay is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. May in Byron Bay sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Brisbane.

Things to do in Byron Bay

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Broken Head Nature Reserve, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Byron Lighthouse ©
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Cape Byron Walking Track
Cape Byron Walking Track

3
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.
Visit Chenrezig Institute and Nepalese Pagoda for their historical value. Step out of the city life by going to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Mooloolaba Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Brisbane side-trips: Art on Cairncross (in Maleny), Caloundra Lighthouses (in Kings Beach) and Caloundra Regional Art Gallery (in Caloundra). There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Artworks in Clay by Anne Gentry-Smith, examine the collection at Museum of Brisbane, admire the masterpieces at Queensland Art Gallery, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Old St Stephen's Catholic Church (Pugin Chapel).

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Brisbane tour planning tool .

Traveling by car from Byron Bay to Brisbane takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In May, daily temperatures in Brisbane can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Brisbane

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Caloundra, Artworks in Clay by Anne Gentry-Smith, Chenrezig Institute, Art on Cairncross, Mooloolaba Beach
Find places to stay May 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Queensland Museum & Sciencentre ©
Queensland Museum & Sciencentre
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mooloolaba Beach ©
Mooloolaba Beach

3
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
You'll get in some beach time at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek. Escape the urban bustle at Sandy Cape Lighthouse and K'gari.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Fraser Island day trip planning site .

Getting from Brisbane to Fraser Island by combination of car and ferry takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and car; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. On the 30th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Sandy Cape Lighthouse ©
Sandy Cape Lighthouse
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie

1
night
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): take in the exciting artwork at Hamilton Island Art Gallery, enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, and then get outside with Jetryder.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hamilton Island online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Fraser Island to Hamilton Island by combination of car, ferry, and flight takes about 9 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In May, daytime highs in Hamilton Island are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay May 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery

2
nights
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sat): head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands National Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island attractions planner .

Explore your travel options from Hamilton Island to Whitsunday Island with the Route module. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Hamilton Island in May since evenings lows in Whitsunday Island dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can catch the train to Townsville.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

1
night
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
On the 2nd (Sun), take in the exciting artwork at Pinnacles Gallery, then explore the galleries of The Drill Hall Studio, and then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon): go for a walk through Castle Hill, make a trip to Kissing Point Fort, then take in the exciting artwork at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, then step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Cathedral.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Townsville travel itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of ferry and bus from Hamilton Island to Townsville in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. When traveling from Hamilton Island in June, plan for somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Townsville: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Museums Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

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.
For shopping fun, head to Village Gallery or Underart Gallery. Take a break from the city and head to Safaris and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Spend the 4th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk and get interesting insight from Tours.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Townsville to Cairns takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Townsville in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Cairns, with lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Safaris
Find places to stay Jun 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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