54 days in Australia Itinerary

54 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

54 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Copenhagen
Fly:  24​h
1
Cairns
— 7 nights
bus:  4​h 30​min
2
Townsville
— 6 nights
ferry:  30​min
3
Magnetic Island
— 2 nights
ferry + Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  5​h
5
Rockhampton
— 1 night
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h 15​min
6
Fraser Island
— 1 night
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  6​h 45​min
7
Mooloolaba
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 45​min
8
Brisbane
— 6 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
9
Gold Coast
— 6 nights
Drive:  9​h 45​min
10
Sydney
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
11
Katoomba
— 3 nights
train:  14​h 15​min
12
Melbourne
— 7 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Queenstown

7
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.
Daintree Discovery Centre and St Monica's Cathedral are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Cairns: Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures & Palm Cove Beach), Port Douglas (Safaris, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, & more) and Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness (in Cape Tribulation). There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge, take a leisurely stroll along The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, get your game on at Cairns Kart Hire Track, and kick back and relax at Trinity Beach.

To see traveler tips and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns online tour itinerary planner .

Copenhagen, Denmark to Cairns is an approximately 24-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 9 hours traveling from Copenhagen to Cairns due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Copenhagen in November, things will get warmer in Cairns: highs are around 36°C and lows about 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Cairns Kart Hire Track, The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, Daintree Discovery Centre
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 6:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

6
nights
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Gondwana Rainforest. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, don't miss a visit to Jezzine Barracks, take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill, and enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand.

To see other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Townsville trip builder .

You can fly from Cairns to Townsville in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in December, and nighttime lows around 28°C. On the 12th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can ride a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Queensland
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Strand ©
The Strand

2
nights
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
On the 12th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Geoffrey Bay and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Magnetic Island Forts Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the galleries of Magnetic Island Museum, get interesting insight from Pilgrim Sailing, and then tour the water at your own pace with Big Mama Sailing.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Magnetic Island sightseeing planner .

Magnetic Island is just a short distance from Townsville. December in Magnetic Island sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. On the 14th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay
Horseshoe Bay Markets ©
Horseshoe Bay Markets

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): take in the exciting artwork at Above & Below Photography. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Airlie Beach online road trip planner .

Traveling by combination of ferry and car from Magnetic Island to Airlie Beach takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Rockhampton.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

1
night
Rockhampton

Rockhampton ©
With over 300 sunny days every year, Rockhampton plays host to numerous outdoor activities.
On the 17th (Mon), take an in-depth tour of Rockhampton Heritage Village and then look for all kinds of wild species at Capricorn Caves.

To find ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Rockhampton route maker app .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Airlie Beach to Rockhampton takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Traveling from Airlie Beach in December, Rockhampton is little chillier at night with lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Rockhampton

Museums Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Rockhampton Heritage Village ©
Rockhampton Heritage Village
Capricorn Caves ©
Capricorn Caves

1
night
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Eli Creek.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Fraser Island trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of flight, ferry, and car from Rockhampton to Fraser Island in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, car, and ferry. Traveling from Rockhampton in December, you will find days in Fraser Island are little chillier (34°C), and nights are about the same (23°C). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

2
nights
Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba
Once just a small port at the mouth of Mooloolah River, Mooloolaba is now a hotbed of tourism and a place more than worth adding to your Sunshine Coast itinerary.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Noosa National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Fri): wander the streets of Hastings Street, explore the historical opulence of Sunshine Castle, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Mooloolaba itinerary site .

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Fraser Island to Mooloolaba in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, train, and bus. In December, daytime highs in Mooloolaba are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to go by car to Brisbane.

Things to do in Mooloolaba

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Noosa, Sunshine Castle
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park
Scuba & Snorkeling
Sunshine Castle ©
Sunshine Castle

6
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.
Visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and The Brisbane River will get you outdoors. Do some cultural sightseeing at Queensland Art Gallery and Fort Lytton National Park. Step out of Brisbane with an excursion to Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard in Bunjurgen--about 1h 40 min away. And it doesn't end there: let the kids burn off some steam at South Bank Parklands, see the interesting displays at Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, kick back and relax at Moffat Beach, and snap pictures at Victoria Bridge Abutment.

Plan a Brisbane trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Mooloolaba to Brisbane in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In December, daily temperatures in Brisbane can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can go by car to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Moffat Beach, Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The Brisbane River
The Brisbane River
Queensland Art Gallery ©
Queensland Art Gallery

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Burleigh Head National Park and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Get a sense of the local culture at Cape Byron Lighthouse and Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Surfer's Paradise Beach, kick back and relax at Coolangatta Beach, get in on the family fun at Warner Bros. Movie World, and take in panoramic vistas at SkyPoint Observation Deck.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Gold Coast trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Brisbane to Gold Coast in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Theme Parks

Side Trips

Cape Byron Lighthouse, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Surfer's Paradise Beach
Surfer's Paradise Beach

7
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 Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk and Bondi Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour. Step out of Sydney with an excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park in Blacktown--about 46 minutes away. Spend the 4th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of The Rocks, let little ones run wild at Cremorne Reserve, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Sydney holiday planner .

You can fly from Gold Coast to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. In January in Sydney, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 23°C at night. On the 9th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Katoomba.

Things to do in Sydney

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Featherdale Wildlife Park
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach

3
nights
Katoomba

Located off of the Great Western Highway, Katoomba is the main hub of the City of Blue Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): admire the sheer force of Wentworth Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: appreciate the extensive heritage of The National Pass, then take in nature's colorful creations at Everglades Historic House and Gardens, and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Katoomba travel website .

Getting from Sydney to Katoomba by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Katoomba

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Jenolan Caves, Everglades Historic House and Gardens, The National Pass
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Wentworth Falls ©
Wentworth Falls
Jenolan Caves ©
Jenolan Caves

7
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Get a sense of the local culture at Melbourne Museum and Museum of Chinese Australian History Inc.. Escape the urban bustle at The Great Ocean Road and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Melbourne side-trips: Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park (in Pearcedale) and Devilbend Natural Features Reserve (in Moorooduc). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at National Gallery of Victoria, immerse yourself in nature at Warrandyte State Park, take an in-depth tour of Immigration Museum, and meet the residents at Melbourne Zoo.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Melbourne day trip planning site .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Katoomba to Melbourne takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Melbourne when traveling from Katoomba in January, with lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

The Great Ocean Road, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Devilbend Natural Features Reserve
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Warrandyte State Park ©
Warrandyte State Park
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum

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