42 days in Australia Itinerary

42 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

42 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  22​h 30​min
1
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Hobart
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Sydney
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Gold Coast
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Brisbane
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
6
Hamilton Island
— 4 nights
Fly + shuttle:  3​h 30​min
7
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 15​min
8
Darwin
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
9
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Chicago

4
nights
Melbourne

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Melbourne is known for museums, shopping, parks, nightlife, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, browse the collection at State Library of Victoria, enjoy breathtaking views from Eureka Skydeck 88, and tour the water at your own pace with Melbourne Boat Hire.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Melbourne tour planning site .

Chicago, USA to Melbourne is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria), which is usually a 16 hour difference. Traveling from Chicago in January, things will get warmer in Melbourne: highs are around 81°F and lows about 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Hobart.

Things to do in Melbourne

Museums Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

4
nights
Hobart

Hobart ©
Snaking up the side of a rounded, tree-dotted hill, Hobart sits between Tasmania’s sprawling mountains and the vast estuary of the River Derwent.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hobart: Three Capes Track (in Port Arthur) and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (in Brighton). The adventure continues: head off the coast to Macquarie Island, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Wellington, examine the collection at Museum of Old and New Art, and kick back and relax at Kingston Beach.

To find ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Hobart online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Hobart takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Melbourne in January, you will find days in Hobart are little chillier (73°F), and nights are about the same (54°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Hobart

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Bellerive Beach, Kingston Beach, Macquarie Island, Richmond Bridge, Museum of Old and New Art
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Three Capes Track ©
Three Capes Track
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Mount Wellington ©
Mount Wellington

6
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, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see a show at Sydney Opera House, meet the residents at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, and stroll through Coogee Beach.

To find traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read Sydney route tool .

Getting from Hobart to Sydney by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, ferry, and train; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Hobart in February, with highs in Sydney at 80°F and lows at 68°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

4
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.
Step out of Gold Coast to go to Kingscliff and see Watersports Guru, which is approximately 46 minutes away. Pack the 9th (Sat) with family-friendly diversions at Sea World Theme Park. And it doesn't end there: find something for the whole family at Warner Bros. Movie World, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, enjoy the sand and surf at Surfer's Paradise Beach, and have some family-friendly fun at Circus Arts Gold Coast.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Gold Coast vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Gold Coast takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In February, daytime highs in Gold Coast are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to drive to Brisbane.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Theme Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Watersports Guru
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Watersports Guru ©
Watersports Guru
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach

5
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.
Brisbane is known for parks, wildlife, museums, nightlife, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have some family-friendly fun at South Bank Parklands, take in nature's colorful creations at City Botanic Gardens, admire the masterpieces at GOMA, and stroll through Dicky Beach.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Brisbane trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from Gold Coast to Brisbane takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 83°F in February, and nighttime lows around 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Caloundra
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 17:
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

4
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Hamilton Island is known for adventure, beaches, zoos & aquariums, golf, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, explore and take pictures at Go-Kart Racing Track, and make a trip to Passage Peak.

For maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Hamilton Island sightseeing app .

Traveling by flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Brisbane in February, expect a bit warmer with lows of 76°F in Hamilton Island. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Walu Wugirriga Lookout (in Cow Bay), Cape Tribulation (Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness & Myall Beach) and Tranquility Falls (in Daintree). Spend the 22nd (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 23rd (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Next up on the itinerary: experience rural life at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, look for gifts at With Sugar, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and admire the sheer force of Alexandra Bay Waterfall.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Port Douglas trip itinerary builder website .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Hamilton Island to Port Douglas in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. In February, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 75°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to travel to Darwin.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Walu Wugirriga Lookout, Tranquility Falls, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Feb 21 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

2
nights
Darwin

Darwin ©
The smallest of Australia’s state capitals, Darwin has nevertheless become an attractive and important urban center, being simultaneously one of the country’s most modernized cities and a gateway to both the Top End region and South East Asia.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): choose your vessel at Offshore Boats and then get engrossed in the history at RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and then hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Darwin driving holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Darwin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February in Darwin, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 76°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Darwin

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan

5
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.
Spend the 1st (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 3rd (Sun) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, and pause for some photo ops at Cairns Cenotaph.

For ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns journey planning app .

You can fly from Darwin to Cairns in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Cairns are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 75°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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