40 days in Australia Itinerary

40 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  19​h 45​min
1
Perth
— 2 nights
Fly + shuttle:  8​h
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
3
Cairns
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  10​h 15​min
4
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  7​h 45​min
5
Brisbane
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
6
Gold Coast
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
7
Sydney
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Newcastle
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
9
Katoomba
— 3 nights
train + Fly:  6​h
10
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
11
Perth
— 2 nights
Fly:  19​h 45​min
End: London

2
nights
Perth

Perth ©
A modern metropolis of glassy skyscrapers, waterside boulevards, and lush residential neighborhoods, Perth sits on the edge of the Swan Coastal Plain.
Get in touch with nature at Mullaloo Beach and Sorrento Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Waterskiing & Jetskiing and City Beach. Take a break from Perth with a short trip to Fremantle Prison in Fremantle, about 32 minutes away. It doesn't end there: pause for some photo ops at The watchers.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Perth driving holiday planning site .

London, UK to Perth is an approximately 20-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Australian Western Standard Time, which is usually an 8 hour difference. Expect warmer weather when traveling from London in December: highs in Perth hover around 35°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Perth

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Sorrento Beach, Fremantle Prison, Mullaloo Beach, The watchers, City Beach
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
City Beach ©
City Beach
Mullaloo Beach ©
Mullaloo Beach
Sorrento Beach ©
Sorrento Beach

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel and Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery. Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Safaris. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas journey builder .

Getting from Perth to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 8 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Perth to Port Douglas, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Perth in December since evenings lows in Port Douglas dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Palm Cove Beach and Crystal Cascades. Get in touch with nature at River Rafting & Tubing and Babinda Boulders. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Mamu Tropical Skywalk (in Innisfail) and Millaa Millaa Falls (in Millaa Millaa). The adventure continues: admire the striking features of Freshwater Station.

Plan trip to Cairns with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. December in Cairns sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. You'll set off for Fraser Island on the 20th (Fri).

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Crystal Cascades, Palm Cove Beach, Millaa Millaa Falls, Babinda Boulders, Mamu Tropical Skywalk
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Babinda Boulders ©
Babinda Boulders

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
On the 21st (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and then contemplate the waterfront views at Eli Creek. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun): take a peaceful walk through Central Station Rainforest and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island trip builder .

Getting from Cairns to Fraser Island by combination of flight, ferry, and car takes about 10.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and car; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Traveling from Cairns in December, expect slightly colder with lows of 23°C in Fraser Island. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

1
night
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.
On the 23rd (Mon), stroll through Moffat Beach, then wander the streets of West End, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nepalese Pagoda. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Tue): get a taste of the local shopping with Queen Street Mall and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Dicky Beach.

To see photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Brisbane trip planner .

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Fraser Island to Brisbane in 8 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can go by car to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Brisbane

Neighborhoods Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Caloundra
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
West End ©
West End
Queen Street Mall ©
Queen Street Mall
Dicky Beach ©
Dicky Beach

6
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Kirra Beach and Kurrawa Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Burleigh Head National Park and Natural Bridge. Get out of town with these interesting Gold Coast side-trips: Lennox Head Beach (in Lennox Head), Ilnam Winery (in Carool) and Byron Bay (Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Spas, & more). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Greenmount Beach, visit a coastal fixture at Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse, try for a hole-in-one at Putt Putt Mermaid Beach, and enjoy the sand and surf at Surfers Paradise Beach.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Gold Coast trip planner .

Traveling by car from Brisbane to Gold Coast takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Gold Coast sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Byron Bay, Lennox Head Beach, Ilnam Winery
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Kurrawa Beach ©
Kurrawa Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach

5
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.
Get outdoors at Manly Beach and Bondi Beach. You'll get in some beach time at Palm Beach and Balmoral Beach, Mosman. Get out of town with these interesting Sydney side-trips: Gosford Classic Car Museum (in Gosford), Terrigal (Terrigal Beach & Avoca Beach) and Shelly Beach (in Manly). There's still lots to do: wander the streets of The Rocks, catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and race across the water with a speed boat tour.

Before you visit Sydney, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Getting from Gold Coast to Sydney by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. In December in Sydney, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to drive to Newcastle.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Terrigal, Balmoral Beach, Mosman, Palm Beach, Shelly Beach
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Darling Harbour ©
Darling Harbour
Balmoral Beach, Mosman ©
Balmoral Beach, Mosman
Palm Beach ©
Palm Beach

4
nights
Newcastle

Newcastle ©
While Newcastle is known for its coal exports, it's also made a name for itself with a cultural boom.
Take a break from the city and head to Cellito Beach and Catherine Hill Bay Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Caves Beach and GunDog Estate. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Newcastle: Fingal Bay Beach (in Fingal Bay), Port Stephens Shell Museum (in Corlette) and Seal Rocks Lighthouse (in Seal Rocks). And it doesn't end there: admire all the interesting features of One Mile Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Newcastle Beach, and do a tasting at Hanging Tree Wines.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Newcastle day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Sydney to Newcastle takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January in Newcastle, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Katoomba.

Things to do in Newcastle

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pokolbin, Cellito Beach, Catherine Hill Bay Beach, Fingal Bay Beach, Port Stephens Shell Museum
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Cellito Beach ©
Cellito Beach
Caves Beach ©
Caves Beach
Fingal Bay Beach ©
Fingal Bay Beach

3
nights
Katoomba

Katoomba ©
Located off of the Great Western Highway, Katoomba is the main hub of the City of Blue Mountains.
Take a break from the city and head to Jenolan Caves and Blue Mountains. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The National Pass and Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Katoomba side-trips: Mayfield Gardens (in Oberon) and Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum (in Faulconbridge). There's still lots to do: admire the sheer force of Wentworth Falls, take some stellar pictures from The Three Sisters, and stroll through Prince Henry Cliff Walk.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Katoomba journey builder site .

Getting from Newcastle to Katoomba by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of flight and train. In January, daily temperatures in Katoomba can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Katoomba

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

The National Pass, Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum, Jenolan Caves, Mayfield Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Wentworth Falls ©
Wentworth Falls
Blue Mountains ©
Blue Mountains
Jenolan Caves ©
Jenolan Caves

4
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Visiting Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Zoo will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Bells Beach and St Paul's Cathedral. Explore Melbourne's surroundings by going to Aireys Inlet (Great Escape Books & Split Point Lighthouse). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Melbourne Museum, take a memorable tour with Tours, learn about all things military at Shrine of Remembrance, and admire the striking features of Royal Exhibition Building.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Melbourne travel route planner.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Katoomba to Melbourne takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect little chillier evenings in Melbourne when traveling from Katoomba in January, with lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel to Perth.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Parks Museums

Side Trips

Aireys Inlet, Bells Beach
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Bells Beach ©
Bells Beach
St Paul's Cathedral ©
St Paul's Cathedral
Split Point Lighthouse ©
Split Point Lighthouse

2
nights
Perth

Perth ©
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): kick back and relax at Warnbro Beach, then kick back and relax at Rockingham Beach, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of St. George's Cathedral. On the 16th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Mettam's Pool, appreciate the history behind Kings Park War Memorial, then stroll through South Beach Recreation Reserve, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Aspects of Kings Park.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Perth online route planner .

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Perth takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Melbourne to Perth. Traveling from Melbourne in January, expect nights in Perth to be about the same, around 20°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 38°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Perth

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Rockingham Beach, South Beach Recreation Reserve, Warnbro Beach, Mettam's Pool
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Rockingham Beach ©
Rockingham Beach
South Beach Recreation Reserve ©
South Beach Recreation Reserve
Warnbro Beach ©
Warnbro Beach

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