33 days in Australia Itinerary

33 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

33 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Mudgee
+2
Fly + foot + ferry:  7​h
1
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  4​h 45​min
2
Cairns
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
3
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h
4
Gold Coast
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Brisbane
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
6
Port Macquarie
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Nelson Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
8
Newcastle
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
9
Lovedale
— 1 night
Drive:  15​min
10
Pokolbin
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
11
Sydney
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
Katoomba
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
End: Mudgee

2
nights
Airlie Beach

Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
On the 12th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon. Here are some ideas for day two: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then choose your vessel at Whitsunday Boat Hire.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip builder site .

Mudgee to Airlie Beach is an approximately 7-hour combination of flight and ferry. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Mudgee in December, expect a bit warmer with lows of 28°C in Airlie Beach. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Bowen
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Grays Bay ©
Grays Bay

3
nights
Cairns

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.
Get in touch with nature at Trinity Beach and Balloon Rides. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Historic Village Herberton and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (in Kuranda) and Spy & Camera Museum (in Herberton). There's more to do: look for gifts at Australian Leather Company.

To find ratings, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Cairns trip itinerary builder app .

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In December in Cairns, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Herberton, Trinity Beach, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton
Spy & Camera Museum ©
Spy & Camera Museum
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Port Douglas

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Palm Cove Beach, then do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge. Here are some ideas for day two: meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and then identify plant and animal life at Agincourt Reef.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Port Douglas travel route planner.

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Port Douglas are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Palm Cove Beach, Mossman Gorge Centre, Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery ©
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Coolangatta Beach and Burleigh Heads Beach. Get outdoors at Cape Byron Walking Track and Kirra Beach. Explore Gold Coast's surroundings by going to Broken Head Beach (in Broken Head) and Byron Bay (Wategos Beach & Stand-Up Paddleboarding). The adventure continues: stroll through Burleigh Head National Park, tee off at Surfers Paradise Golf Club, meet the residents at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and enjoy breathtaking views from SkyPoint Climb.

To find photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Gold Coast trip planner .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Gold Coast takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and train; or drive. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Port Douglas in December: high temperatures in Gold Coast hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Brisbane.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Byron Bay, Broken Head Beach
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at GOMA and Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha. Museum-lovers will appreciate Museum of Brisbane and Queensland Museum & Sciencentre. And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Roma Street Parkland, wander the streets of Queen Street Mall, enjoy the sand and surf at Dicky Beach, and explore and take pictures at Suncorp Stadium.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Brisbane travel route planner .

You can drive from Gold Coast to Brisbane in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December in Brisbane, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel to Port Macquarie.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Caloundra
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Dicky Beach ©
Dicky Beach
Queen Street Mall ©
Queen Street Mall
Moffat Beach ©
Moffat Beach

4
nights
Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie ©
Known for its numerous beaches and resident koala population, Port Macquarie offers visitors a welcoming environment in which to unwind.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scotts Head Beach and Koala Hospital. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Trial Bay Gaol and Tacking Point Lighthouse. Change things up with these side-trips from Port Macquarie: Wauchope (Bain Park & Rocks Ferry Reserve) and Smoky Cape Lighthouse (in South West Rocks). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Coastal walk, admire the striking features of Port Macquarie Historic Court House, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and explore the striking landscape of Sea Acres Rainforest Centre Port Macquarie.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Port Macquarie trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Brisbane to Port Macquarie in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: highs in Port Macquarie hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Nelson Bay.

Things to do in Port Macquarie

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Wauchope, South West Rocks, Scotts Head Beach
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Smoky Cape Lighthouse ©
Smoky Cape Lighthouse
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Trial Bay Gaol ©
Trial Bay Gaol

3
nights
Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay ©
Nelson Bay is a suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. Get some cultural insight at Nelson Head Heritage Lighthouse and Reserve and Port Stephens Shell Museum. Get outdoors at Cellito Beach and Jimmy's Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Nelson Bay: Elizabeth Beach (in Blueys Beach) and Bennetts Beach (in Hawks Nest). It doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Tomaree Head and enjoy the sand and surf at Zenith Beach.

To find ratings and tourist information, read our Nelson Bay road trip planning app .

You can drive from Port Macquarie to Nelson Bay in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. While traveling from Port Macquarie, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Nelson Bay, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Newcastle.

Things to do in Nelson Bay

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Hawks Nest, Shoal Bay, Port Stephens Shell Museum, Koala Reserve Mangrove Boardwalk, Elizabeth Beach
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Bennetts Beach ©
Bennetts Beach
Jimmy's Beach ©
Jimmy's Beach

3
nights
Newcastle

Newcastle ©
While Newcastle is known for its coal exports, it's also made a name for itself with a cultural boom.
Visiting Redhead Beach and Blackbutt Reserve will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Caves Beach and Nobbys Beach. When in Newcastle, make a side trip to see Catherine Hill Bay Beach in Catherine Hill Bay, approximately 46 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Blacksmiths Beach, contemplate the waterfront views at Glenrock Lagoon, and go for a walk through Newcastle Memorial Walk.

For maps, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Newcastle online attractions planner .

Traveling by car from Nelson Bay to Newcastle takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Lovedale.

Things to do in Newcastle

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Redhead Beach, Catherine Hill Bay Beach, Caves Beach, Blacksmiths Beach
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Caves Beach ©
Caves Beach
Nobbys Beach ©
Nobbys Beach
Redhead Beach ©
Redhead Beach

1
night
Lovedale

Lovedale ©
On the 6th (Sun), steep yourself in history at Maitland Gaol, learn about winemaking at Domaine de Binet, then do a tasting at Lucy's Run Wines, and finally admire the natural beauty at Emma's Cottage Vineyard.

To find photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Lovedale trip builder website .

Drive from Newcastle to Lovedale in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In January, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can go by car to Pokolbin.

Things to do in Lovedale

Wineries Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Maitland Gaol
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Maitland Gaol ©
Maitland Gaol
Emma's Cottage Vineyard ©
Emma's Cottage Vineyard
Domaine de Binet ©
Domaine de Binet

1
night
Pokolbin

Pokolbin ©
With its first vineyards established in the mid 19th century, wine tourism in Pokolbin remains a major draw.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): do a tasting at Peterson House, then do a tasting at Misty Glen Wines, then admire the natural beauty at Hunter Valley Gardens, and finally learn about winemaking at Glandore Estate Wines.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Pokolbin road trip website .

Pokolbin is very close to Lovedale. January in Pokolbin sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Sydney.

Things to do in Pokolbin

Wineries Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Misty Glen Wines ©
Misty Glen Wines
Peterson House ©
Peterson House
Glandore Estate Wines ©
Glandore Estate Wines

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.
Relax by the water at Palm Beach and Camp Cove. Step off the beaten path and head to Nan Tien Temple and North Wollongong Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sydney: Shelly Beach (in Manly) and Bilgola Beach (in Bilgola). The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Watson's Bay, enjoy the sand and surf at Clovelly, and trek along Manly Scenic Walkway.

Start your trip to Sydney by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Getting from Pokolbin to Sydney by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in January, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Katoomba.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Wollongong, Palm Beach, Shelly Beach, Bilgola Beach
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Palm Beach ©
Palm Beach
Clovelly Beach ©
Clovelly Beach
Bilgola Beach ©
Bilgola Beach

3
nights
Katoomba

Katoomba ©
Located off of the Great Western Highway, Katoomba is the main hub of the City of Blue Mountains.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Jenolan Caves and Blackfellows Hand Cave. Get in touch with nature at Blue Mountains and The National Pass. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Wentworth Falls, don't miss a visit to Echo Point Lookout, examine the collection at Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum, and hike along The Giant Stairway.

Discover how to plan a Katoomba trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Sydney to Katoomba takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In January, daytime highs in Katoomba are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Katoomba

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Lithgow, The National Pass, Jenolan Caves
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
The National Pass ©
The National Pass
The Giant Stairway ©
The Giant Stairway
Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum ©
Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum

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