23 days in Australia Itinerary

23 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Brisbane
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
4
Hamilton Island
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
5
Cairns
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
6
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Townsville
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 30​min
8
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
9
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Auckland

2
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 Roma Street Parkland and Suncorp Stadium. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, get a sense of history and politics at City Hall, get your game on at Zoccer Sports - Bubble Soccer, and explore the world behind art at Gallery of Modern Art.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Brisbane day trip planning tool .

Auckland, New Zealand to Brisbane is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Auckland to Brisbane, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Auckland in May, expect nights in Brisbane to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Fun & Games
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Roma Street Parkland ©
Roma Street Parkland
Gallery of Modern Art ©
Gallery of Modern Art
Suncorp Stadium
Suncorp Stadium

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whitehaven Beach.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island online trip itinerary maker .

You can fly from Brisbane to Whitsunday Island in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to catcht the bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

2
nights
Airlie Beach

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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon, and then go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway. On the 9th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach, contemplate the waterfront views at Heart Reef, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip planner .

Getting from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach by bus takes about an hour. Other options: ride a ferry. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in May, Airlie Beach is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Parks Adventure
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Bicentennial Walkway ©
Bicentennial Walkway
Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef

3
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Scuba & Snorkeling and Hamilton Island Golf Club. Next up on the itinerary: take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, kick back and relax at Catseye Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Hamilton Island Art Gallery, and make a trip to Passage Peak.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Hamilton Island visit site .

Ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. In May, daily temperatures in Hamilton Island can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Passage Peak ©
Passage Peak
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Botanical Gardens and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Spend the 13th (Mon) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. It doesn't end there: see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Cairns trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Hamilton Island to Cairns takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. When traveling from Hamilton Island in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Cairns: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay May 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Botanical Gardens ©
Botanical Gardens

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and Spas & Wellness. Spend the 17th (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: see the vivid underwater world at Agincourt Reef, browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas, enjoy some diversion at Port Douglas Tennis Club, and don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Port Douglas using our trip planner.

Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. May in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Scuba & Snorkeling
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel

1
night
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): browse the exhibits of The Drill Hall Studio, then make a trip to Jezzine Barracks, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Townsville holiday builder .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In May in Townsville, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Jezzine Barracks ©
Jezzine Barracks

2
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Explore hidden gems such as Wine Tours & Tastings and Eastern Beach Reserve. Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens, see the interesting displays at Melbourne Museum, meet the residents at Melbourne Zoo, and enjoy breathtaking views from Eureka Skydeck 88.

To see other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Melbourne trip planner .

You can fly from Townsville to Melbourne in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Townsville in May, things will get a bit cooler in Melbourne: highs are around 20°C and lows about 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Tours Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Eastern Beach Reserve
Find places to stay May 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Eastern Beach Reserve ©
Eastern Beach Reserve
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Echo Point Lookout and Hyde Park. Take a break from Sydney with a short trip to Lincoln's Rock in Blue Mountains National Park, about 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: admire the striking features of Sydney Opera House, don't miss a visit to Mrs Macquarie's Chair, explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, and take in the exciting artwork at Brett Whiteley Studio.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Sydney day trip planner .

You can fly from Melbourne to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. In May, Sydney is somewhat warmer than Melbourne - with highs of 24°C and lows of 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Lincoln's Rock, Echo Point Lookout
Find places to stay May 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

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