51 days in Australia Itinerary

51 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

51 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Montreal
Fly:  22​h
1
Brisbane
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h
2
Byron Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  8​h 45​min
3
Sydney
— 4 nights
Drive:  9​h
4
Melbourne
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Port Campbell
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
6
Adelaide
— 1 night
Drive:  15​h 45​min
7
Alice Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  26​h
8
Port Douglas
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Cairns
— 15 nights
Drive:  8​h
10
Airlie Beach
— 9 nights
Drive:  16​h
11
Gold Coast
— 4 nights
Fly:  20​h 45​min
End: Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

few
hours
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): make a trip to HMAS Brisbane.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Brisbane itinerary planner.

Montreal, Canada to Brisbane is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Montreal to Brisbane is 15 hours. Traveling from Montreal in December, expect Brisbane to be warmer, temps between 32°C and 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Byron Bay.
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
HMAS Brisbane ©
HMAS Brisbane

3
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.
You've now added Horseback Riding Tours to your itinerary. On the 8th (Sat), trot along with a tour on horseback, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Broken Head Beach, then take some stellar pictures from Broken Head Nature Reserve, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ainsworth. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about all things military at Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum, enjoy the sand and surf at Lighthouse Beach, and then take some stellar pictures from Pat Morton Lookout.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Byron Bay trip planner .

Getting from Brisbane to Byron Bay by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Byron Bay when traveling from Brisbane in December, with lows around 20°C. On the 10th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Byron Bay

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Lennox Head, Ballina, Broken Head
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Ainsworth ©
Lake Ainsworth
Broken Head Beach ©
Broken Head Beach
Wategos Beach ©
Wategos Beach

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Palm Beach and Bouddi National Park. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Shelly Beach and Balmoral Beach, Mosman. Venture out of the city with trips to Katoomba (Wentworth Falls & The Giant Stairway). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Coogee Beach and race across the water with a speed boat tour.

To see photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Sydney road trip planner.

Getting from Byron Bay to Sydney by combination of bus and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In December in Sydney, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Katoomba, Shelly Beach, Palm Beach, Balmoral Beach, Mosman, Bouddi National Park
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Palm Beach ©
Palm Beach
Shelly Beach ©
Shelly Beach
Balmoral Beach, Mosman ©
Balmoral Beach, Mosman

3
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 in touch with nature at Ocean Beach and Rye Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Safety Beach and Frankston Beach. Spend the 17th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Melbourne trip site .

Getting from Sydney to Melbourne by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Sydney in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Melbourne, with lows of 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Port Campbell.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Rye Beach, Frankston Beach, Ocean Beach, Safety Beach
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Ocean Beach ©
Ocean Beach
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Port Campbell

Port Campbell ©
Port Campbell is a coastal town in Victoria, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): explore the activities along Bay of Martyrs and then head outdoors with The Arch. On the 19th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Port Campbell precinct and foreshore.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Port Campbell online road trip planner .

You can drive from Melbourne to Port Campbell in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Adelaide.

Things to do in Port Campbell

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Bay of Martyrs
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Arch ©
The Arch
Bay of Martyrs ©
Bay of Martyrs

1
night
Adelaide

Adelaide ©
Adelaide exists contentedly as a cultured, diverse, and attractive city with a laid-back center, leafy residential districts, and an underlying cosmopolitan atmosphere.
For traveler tips and tourist information, use the Adelaide planner .

Getting from Port Campbell to Adelaide by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. You'll have a few hours on the 20th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Alice Springs.

Things to do in Adelaide

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Semaphore Beach
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Semaphore Beach ©
Semaphore Beach

3
nights
Alice Springs

Alice Springs ©
Situated right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs serves as an urban oasis deep within the country’s parched, desert-like Red Center.
Visiting Ormiston Gorge and Mount Gillen will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Ormiston Gorge and Simpsons Gap. The adventure continues: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Ochre Pits, explore the world behind art at Araluen Cultural Precinct, and relax in the rural setting at Camels Australia.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Alice Springs online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by flight from Adelaide to Alice Springs takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Adelaide in December, things will get a bit warmer in Alice Springs: highs are around 41°C and lows about 24°C. You'll set off for Port Douglas on the 24th (Mon).

Things to do in Alice Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Ormiston Gorge
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ormiston Gorge ©
Ormiston Gorge
Ormiston Gorge ©
Ormiston Gorge
Simpsons Gap ©
Simpsons Gap

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): look for gifts at With Sugar and then kick back and relax at Four Mile Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Wed): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For ratings, photos, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas online road trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Alice Springs to Port Douglas in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Alice Springs, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Port Douglas, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
With Sugar ©
With Sugar

15
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Trinity Beach and Palm Cove Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Atherton Tablelands and Tablelands, Waterfalls, and Spanish Castle. Get out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Yungaburra (Curtain Fig National Park, Cathedral Fig Tree, & more), Spy & Camera Museum (in Herberton) and Babinda Boulders (in Babinda). Spend the 4th (Fri) exploring nature at Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Etty Bay, meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yorkeys Knob Beach, and take in the dramatic scenery at Crystal Cascades.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Cairns trip itinerary builder app .

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Yungaburra, Palm Cove, Edge Hill, Mareeba, Kuranda
Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 10:
Highlights from your plan
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Etty Bay ©
Etty Bay

9
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Grays Bay and Horseshoe Bay. Relax by the water at Smalleys Beach and Boathaven Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Airlie Beach: Finch Hatton Gorge (in Finch Hatton) and Bowen (Mother Beddock Rock & Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout). Spend the 17th (Thu) exploring nature at Cape Hillsborough National Park. Next up on the itinerary: choose your vessel at Boab Boat Hire Airlie Beach, zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, look for gifts at Colour Me Crazy, and head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands.

To find reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach road trip app .

Do a combination of flight and ferry from Cairns to Airlie Beach in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In January, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Bowen, Queensland, Finch Hatton Gorge, Smalleys Beach, Colour Me Crazy
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Finch Hatton Gorge ©
Finch Hatton Gorge

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.
Get outdoors at Burleigh Heads Beach and Greenmount Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Burleigh Head National Park and Tugun Beach. Spend the 21st (Mon) exploring nature at Natural Bridge. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Kirra Beach, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, tee off at Surfers Paradise Golf Club, and browse the different shops at Robina Town Shopping Centre.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Gold Coast travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Airlie Beach to Gold Coast takes 16 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Airlie Beach in January, plan for little chillier nights in Gold Coast, with lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park

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