Australia is a bucket list travel destination for many people thanks to its unique wildlife, appealing climate, and the sheer variety of its amazing geography. Below are four Australia travel itineraries I suggest to friends planning their dream Australia trip.
This great southern land is made up of vast landscapes, trendy cities, paradise beaches and natural wonders that can be found only in Australia. It is certainly a place of dramatic contrasts, which is probably not surprising since it is simply a country but a whole continent covering eight million square kilometres.
Iconic Australia – 1-2 weeks
Start with the sails of the Sydney Opera House on this Australia highlights itinerary and enjoy the city’s many pleasures. If you have time spend a couple of days enjoying the natural environment of the Blue Mountains from Katoomba before returning to Sydney.
Then fly to Yulara to catch the sunrise and sunset at Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Katja Tjuta National Park. Take a day trip from here to walk the spectacular Kings Canyon. You might like to ride a camel or enjoy the Sounds of Silence desert experience at the Rock.
From the Red Centre fly to Cairns and spend a week enjoying the Great Barrier Reef (a precious Unesco World Heritage Site), the Daintree Rainforest and the Whitsunday Islands before returning to Sydney.
City, Desert and Tropics – 10 days – 2weeks
Adelaide is a quiet state capital with plenty of charm. Take the tram to the beach at Glen Elg for a relaxed afternoon. Head out to the beautiful Barossa Valley wine region, where many of the historic vineyards have cellar doors and restaurants. If you have time spend a day or two here enjoying a wine tasting break.
From Adelaide catch the famous Ghan train north through the heartland of Australia, experiencing the vast distances from the comfort of your carriage. This is an incredible journey of 2,979km (or 1,851 miles).
On the way there is an opportunity to see Coober Pedy, a fascinating opal mining town where residents live in underground houses to escape the desert’s heat.
Take a break at Alice Springs for a few days and travel to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park. Ride a camel and experience the beauty of Australia’s Red Centre.
Then continue northwards to Darwin, watching the landscape change from red desert to tropical green. The train stops at the Outback town of Katherine, where you can enjoy the Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise. See stunning waterfalls, ochre-red cliffs and Aboriginal rock art dating back 40,000 years.
The small city of Darwin has its own attractions, including colourful evening markets and an outdoor cinema. If you have time travel into the Litchfield or Kakadu National Parks for beautiful scenery, natural waterhole swimming and incredible wildlife.
This journey offers an authentic encounter with the unique Australian landscape.
East Coast Wanderer – 2-3 weeks
An awesome Australian road trip is to drive the 1,700 km from Brisbane to north of Cairns, stopping off along the way at some of tropical Australia’s most beautiful destinations.
Stop at beautiful Noosa and enjoy the beach and the National Park walks. Then spend a couple of days on Fraser Island (accessed from either Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach).
Next stop is Airlie Beach, a laid back place where you can arrange an experience in the paradise that is the Whitsunday Islands.
For a contrast head inland to the Atherton Tablelands southwest of Cairns. Here you will find lush green vistas and it is an up-and-coming foodie destination.
Access to the Great Barrier Reef is possible from several along the northern coast of Queensland. Either Cairns or Port Douglas are good bases to see both the reef and the Daintree Rainforest. You can also travel north of here to isolated Cape Tribulation.
As well as the stunning beaches you’ll most likely see plenty of unique Australian wildlife in many places on this eastern Australia road trip, from koalas and kangaroos to emus and crocodiles.
The ultimate Australia experience – 1 month
Start in Sydney where the combination of iconic sights and laid-back fun make it the perfect city break to start your Australian adventure.
Fly to Cairns and spend a week experiencing the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the Whitsunday Islands.
Once you’ve had your fill of beach life fly to Hobart in Tasmania for a complete contrast. There are some lovely beaches here especially on the east coast of Tasmania (don’t miss the stunning Wineglass Bay) but it is the ancient rainforest and wild natural interior that will take your breath away.
Next stop is the Red Centre, where sunset and sunrise photo opportunities at Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park are a must. Do the base walk around Uluru and discover the beauty of the desert Outback environment.
Fly to Broome in the far north-west of Australia and embark on the seven-day Gibb River Road journey (4X4 vehicles only) through the incredibly remote Kimberley region. This is one of the last truly wild places on Earth.
So there you have it, my four recommended Australia travel itineraries so that you can enjoy planning your dream Australia trip! Have a look at my Top 10 Things to do in Australia post as well.
By Natasha von Geldern
What would you include on dream Australia travel itineraries?