12 days in Australia Itinerary

12 days in Australia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia travel route builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sydney
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Gold Coast
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Canberra
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Sydney

— 2 nights

The Harbour City

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.
On the 11th (Wed), explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, then snap pictures at Sydney Harbour Bridge, and finally get to know the fascinating history of The Rocks. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, kick back and relax at Bondi Beach, and then trek along Bondi to Coogee Walk.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Sydney online attractions planner.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Sydney is an approximately 15-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Johannesburg to Sydney. While traveling from Johannesburg, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Sydney, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can fly to Cairns.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:

Cairns

— 5 nights

The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

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.
Visit Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach for some beach relaxation. Take a break from the city and head to Mossman Gorge Centre and Birdworld Kuranda. Explore Cairns' surroundings by going to Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (in Kuranda) and Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery (in Mossman). Spend the 16th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Next up on the itinerary: get up close to creatures of the deep with Seastar Cruises Reef Day Trips, hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take an exotic tour of Billy Tea Safaris.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Cairns travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Sydney to Cairns by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. In August, Cairns is a bit warmer than Sydney - with highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to fly to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 12 — 17:

Gold Coast

— 2 nights
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.
On the 18th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at Burleigh Heads Beach and then see majestic marine mammals with Whales In Paradise. On your second day here, get a taste of the local shopping with Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, then enjoy the sand and surf at Coolangatta Beach, and then stroll through Kirra Beach.

For maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Gold Coast road trip site.

Getting from Cairns to Gold Coast by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. In August, Gold Coast is slightly colder than Cairns - with highs of 25°C and lows of 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Canberra.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 17 — 19:

Canberra

— 2 nights

The Bush Capital

A planned city with streets laid out in elaborate, geometric patterns and founded specifically to serve as the capital of the emerging Australian state, Canberra has a self-sufficient atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): explore the world behind art at National Portrait Gallery and then get curious at Questacon. On the next day, take an in-depth tour of Australian War Memorial.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Canberra trip planning site.

You can fly from Gold Coast to Canberra in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In August, Canberra is a bit cooler than Gold Coast - with highs of 15°C and lows of 0°C. On the 21st (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Canberra

Museums · Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:

Australia travel guide

4.6
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Specialty Museums
Australia is a country of breathtaking beauty and unforgettable adventure. From coast to coast you’ll find ancient rainforests, towering cities, stunning outback landscapes and white sand beaches. It’s not only the scenery that varies here, but also the lifestyle. Lay back and relax within a coastal paradise, explore the bustling laneways of a lively metropolis, or feed your sense of adventure in the most remote and remarkable pockets of the country. Whether you’re connecting with Aboriginal culture, tasting seafood straight from the ocean, or diving with gentle whale sharks, you’ll discover why there’s nothing like Australia.