Australia Sydney opera house

Famed for its golden beaches and magnificent harbour, Australia’s biggest city is as glossy as it is iconic, and a must-see for many tourists heading down-under for their next trip. Visitors can easily spend a week in this bush-fringed metropolis; hiking the national parks and coastal walks which edge the city, spotting tanned surfers at Bondi Bay and coral-rimmed Manly Beach, or wandering the open-air markets of The Rocks, a hip, historic neighbourhood lying in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. For those who prefer grunge to glitz, head to the breweries of Marrickville or to bohemian-favourite Newtown. There’s something for everyone in the Harbour City.

11 days

Sydney to Melbourne inland

Mountain views, gold mining towns and a taste of outlaw life
Sydney (3 days) Canberra (2) Mount Kosciuszko (1) Beechworth (2) Melbourne (3)
View itinerary
  • Melbourne

    Melbourne

    Australia’s self-proclaimed culture capital may not have the golden charms of its northerly cousin, but what it lacks in glam it makes up for in urban cool...
  • Whitsunday Islands

    Whitsunday Islands

    A sailing trip around the jaw-dropping Whitsunday Islands might be one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever do...
  • Brisbane

    Brisbane

    Smaller than its West coast sister cities but no less interesting, Queensland’s riverside capital is as cool as its climate is not...
  • Cairns

    Cairns

    While once people flocked to marshy, tropical Cairns in search of treasure in the Hodgekinson goldfields to the west, they now arrive in droves to sample the natural delights of Far Northern Queensland and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef...
  • Fraser Island

    Fraser Island

    Known by the local Butchulla people as K’gari, meaning “paradise,” the world’s largest sand island more than lives up to its nickname...
  • Canberra

    Canberra

    Since becoming Australia’s capital in 1927, Canberra has evolved from a relatively quiet, rural city into a fully cosmopolitan metropolis, with a food and cultural scene to match...
  • Whyalla

    Whyalla

    Originally named Hummocks Hill, Whyalla is known as Australia’s “steel city” due to its steelwork and shipbuilding heritage...
  • Baird Bay

    Baird Bay

    This small fishing village on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula presents tourists with the unique opportunity to swim with the friendly Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins who call this bay home...
  • Head of Bight

    Head of Bight

    Search for whales from the clifftops at the Head of Bight, one of only two locations on Australia’s south coast where southern right whales visit for calving season during their winter migration...
  • Perth

    Perth

    Where the Swan River joins the southwest coast lies Western Australia's thriving capital city...
  • Hobart

    ...
  • Beechworth

    Beechworth

    The legendary Ned Kelly is Australia’s most famous outlaw, best known for wearing a bulletproof suit in his final shootout with the police...
  • Mount Kosciuszko

    Mount Kosciuszko

    Standing 2,228m tall, Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales is 21km round walk if you choose to hike the entire Merrits Nature Track...
  • Barossa Valley

    Barossa Valley

    Australia offers several excellent places to go wine-tasting, but none surpass South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley...
  • Nullarbor

    Nullarbor

    What’s so exciting about a golf course? The defining factor of the Nullarbor Links course is its 1,365km length, spanning the Eyre Highway from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia...
  • Mon Repos Conservation Park

    Mon Repos Conservation Park

    Head Bundaberg and the Mon Repos Conservation Park to see Loggerhead turtles laying eggs between November and January and hatching from January to March...
  • Kalgoorlie

    Kalgoorlie

    Explore Australia’s gold mining country in little Kalgoorlie, but don’t miss the giant super-pit where you can watch some of the planet’s heaviest diggers cut a deep hole into Australian earth in a never-ending search for gold...
  • Townsville

    Townsville

    Near Townsville is the SS Yongala, a 110m passenger ship that sank 1911 during a tropical cyclone...
  • Mission Beach

    Mission Beach

    Get your heart pumping by going white-water rafting on the world-class rapid of Tully River...
  • Ballarat

    ...
  • Adelaide

    Adelaide

    Spend a day exploring Adelaide's renowned natural history museum — the South Australian Museum — and the Art Gallery of South Australia, known for its expansive collection of indigenous artwork...
  • Noosa

    ...
  • Eungella National Park

    ...
  • Rockhampton

    ...
  • Agnes Water

    ...

Where to go in Australia

Our recommended places

Melbourne

Melbourne

Australia’s self-proclaimed culture capital may not have the golden charms of its northerly cousin, but what it lacks in glam it makes up for in urban cool. With over a quarter of its population born overseas, the city’s food scene is as diverse as its occupants, and fine dining restaurants sit alongside casual Vietnamese street stalls.

A hipster at heart, Melbourne’s art scene ranges from the world-class National Gallery of Victoria to the street-art murals which adorn the walls of its most fashionable neighbourhoods; up-and-coming Footscray and historic Fitzroy.

For a truly trippy experience, grab some “tinnies” and visit the city on its annual White Night — a celebration of modern art in the form of various light installations which span the CBD.

Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands

A sailing trip around the jaw-dropping Whitsunday Islands might be one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever do. Dive with rainbow-coloured fish and friendly sea turtles on the surrounding Great Barrier Reef, stroll along white sand beaches and swim in the warm aquamarine bays which encompass the 74-island archipelago. The ancestral home of the sea-faring Ngaro people, the Whitsundays also host some of the oldest archeological sites in Australia.

Brisbane

Brisbane

Smaller than its West coast sister cities but no less interesting, Queensland’s riverside capital is as cool as its climate is not. A student city at heart, Brisbane doesn’t lack for galleries, dining and nightlife options, with hip cafes, high-end restaurants and rooftop bars lining the tropical waterfront. A trip to South Bank, the city’s premier cultural, social and recreational neighbourhood — is a must, and families will rejoice at the free public swimming pools, man-made beaches and bike-friendly boardwalks. If these aren’t enough, the beautiful beaches of Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise are just an hour’s drive away, a short hop in Australian terms.

Cricket-lovers shouldn’t miss a trip to the Gabba (Brisbane’s Cricket Ground) which is notorious for its intense and raucous atmosphere. Extremely popular, but for good reason, is a trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where visitors can cuddle Australia’s most endearing marsupial.

Cairns

Cairns

While once people flocked to marshy, tropical Cairns in search of treasure in the Hodgekinson goldfields to the west, they now arrive in droves to sample the natural delights of Far Northern Queensland and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Unabashedly a tourist hub, the city is the jumping off point for the sailors, divers and snorkelers hoping to experience the incredibly rich reef ecosystem. To the north-west of the city, Daintree National Park is an outdoor enthusiasts dream — biodiverse virgin rainforest, mountains and beaches offer a multitude of activities.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Known by the local Butchulla people as K’gari, meaning “paradise,” the world’s largest sand island more than lives up to its nickname. Emerging from lush rainforests, ancient sand dunes dissolve into turquoise lakes and coral coastlines, making the island a haven for beach-bums, hikers and adventurous sand-surfers alike.

As a camping and eco-tourism destination, development has been purposefully restricted and 4WD car rental is advised for those who want to explore further.

Don’t miss crystal-clear Lake McKenzie and the natural cove of Champagne Pools.

Canberra

Canberra

Since becoming Australia’s capital in 1927, Canberra has evolved from a relatively quiet, rural city into a fully cosmopolitan metropolis, with a food and cultural scene to match.

Visitors can tour the many sights on offer — including the Parliament House, National Museum of Australia, Australian War Memorial and National Gallery of Australia — or grab a bike to cycle around the manmade Lake Burley Griffen and the city’s Yarramumla district, which is home to a striking selection of embassies. If city-life simply isn’t your thing, head out on a bushwalk through the lush Namadgi National Park, which is only a 30 minutes drive from Canberra’s city centre.

Whyalla

Whyalla

Originally named Hummocks Hill, Whyalla is known as Australia’s “steel city” due to its steelwork and shipbuilding heritage. Whyalla has much more to offer than just industry though — the town is surrounded by beautiful beaches and dramatic outback scenery. With picturesque coastal walks, fishing aplenty and multiple beaches to lounge on, this gateway town to the Eyre Peninsula is well worth a few days of your time.

Baird Bay

Baird Bay

This small fishing village on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula presents tourists with the unique opportunity to swim with the friendly Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins who call this bay home. Its remote waters are also excellent for recreational fishing, and the area is known for its large number of King George Whiting.

Head of Bight

Head of Bight

Search for whales from the clifftops at the Head of Bight, one of only two locations on Australia’s south coast where southern right whales visit for calving season during their winter migration. The steep Bunda Cliffs which line this coast are part of the longest stretch of cliffs in the world and make for some fantastic coastal walks.

Perth

Perth

Where the Swan River joins the southwest coast lies Western Australia's thriving capital city. With sandy beaches surrounding its laidback suburbs, the city is the perfect place to end — or begin — a roadtrip through Australia's desolate outback. Experience the city's food scene, boutique shopping and art galleries on a walking tour through the hip Northbridge neighbourhood.

Beechworth

Beechworth

The legendary Ned Kelly is Australia’s most famous outlaw, best known for wearing a bulletproof suit in his final shootout with the police. Visit the charming gold rush town of Beechworth, scene of his trial and subsequent imprisonment and an excellent place to learn more about this mysterious figure.

Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko

Standing 2,228m tall, Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales is 21km round walk if you choose to hike the entire Merrits Nature Track. Walking through forested valleys, crossing small streams and summitting the jagged peak are worth it for the views across the mountains.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley

Australia offers several excellent places to go wine-tasting, but none surpass South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley. Home to 150 wineries and more than 80 cellar doors, base yourself in one of its four towns and enjoy sampling some signature Shiraz wines.

Nullarbor

Nullarbor

What’s so exciting about a golf course? The defining factor of the Nullarbor Links course is its 1,365km length, spanning the Eyre Highway from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia. Its 18 holes are peppered along road stops in the outback, making this the world’s longest golf course.

Mon Repos Conservation Park

Mon Repos Conservation Park

Head Bundaberg and the Mon Repos Conservation Park to see Loggerhead turtles laying eggs between November and January and hatching from January to March. Only 1 in 1,000 will make it to adulthood.

Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie

Explore Australia’s gold mining country in little Kalgoorlie, but don’t miss the giant super-pit where you can watch some of the planet’s heaviest diggers cut a deep hole into Australian earth in a never-ending search for gold.

Townsville

Townsville

Near Townsville is the SS Yongala, a 110m passenger ship that sank 1911 during a tropical cyclone. The wreck was found in 1958 and is considered one of the best dive sites in the world, offering views of the ship itself and marine life like manta rays, sea turtles, barracudas, sharks and even humpback whales.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach

Get your heart pumping by going white-water rafting on the world-class rapid of Tully River. This exhilarating – if wet – experience will take you through the jungle-like rainforests of the Cassowary Coast.

Adelaide

Adelaide

Spend a day exploring Adelaide's renowned natural history museum — the South Australian Museum — and the Art Gallery of South Australia, known for its expansive collection of indigenous artwork.

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