When I was a teenager, I had a pen pal named Cheryl who lived in Australia. I enjoyed corresponding with her, but after I left for college, we lost touch. Fast forward about twenty years, and I decided to look her up on Facebook and found her. A few years after that, she visited me here in Ohio. I haven’t made it to Australia to visit her YET, but I will. I’ve wanted to visit her and see Australia ever since we were teenagers. Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef is definitely on my bucket list.
Visiting the Land Down Under and experiencing all that it has to offer is hardly possible in one trip, yet overdoing the itinerary for your visit to this island nation is not advisable. Before you stack your list of “things to do” up too high, we’d like to provide some further insight on the highlights of Australia. That way, you can fill it full of exploration without feeling pressed for time and causing more unnecessary stress.
Sydney is one of Australia’s largest and most beloved cities. It is a beautiful place to begin your first 4 to 5 days on the island, especially if you are traveling between June and August. With lots of natural beauty and invigorating city life, there’s so much to explore. Some places you should visit include the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Blue Mountains, Circular Quay and the Harbour, Royal Botanical Gardens, and, last but not least, the beaches.
It’s easy to feel captivated by the beauty of Melbourne, so we suggest spending at least 4 to 5 days here, too. You could honestly get lost forever in all of its wonders. Although it’s nowhere near as busy as Sydney, Melbourne has a bustling scene of its own. In the city, you can dine at one of many delightful restaurants or shop at any of the unique boutiques. However, the best way to get a feel for it all is by touring the entire city. Be sure to visit Federation Square, Flinders Street Train Station, the Yarra River, Chinatown, Bourke Street Pedestrian Mall, and the ever-so-popular Queen Victoria Market.
Great Ocean Road
Travel along Great Ocean Road for some of the most amazing sites in Australia. This coastal road stretches for 151 miles and makes the perfect 2-day trip. Take your time to soak in the views and be sure to stop at the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, all of the beaches and forests situated alongside the road.
Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Take 2 or 3 days to visit Ayers Rock if you can squeeze it into your itinerary. Unless you fly, it will take a few days to get to the famously massive sandstone, but it’s well worth it. Some of the most magical moments can be experienced at Ayers Rock, including sunrise, sunset, and stargazing.
Great Barrier Reef
One of Australia’s most quintessential tourist attractions is the Great Barrier Reef. Since the reef stretches from below the Tropic of Capricorn way up to the northern tip of Queensland, there is plenty of opportunity for scuba diving and snorkeling. Plan to spend 3 to 4 days here, visiting Cairns, The Whitsunday Islands, Lady Elliot Island, and Cape Tribulation.
If you’ve been doing the math while reading, you can see that this adds up to two to three weeks. Keep that in mind as you plan when you would like to travel to Australia.
When you’re ready to plan your trip to Australia, I would love to help you. The suggestions here are just that–suggestions. I can help you develop a personalized itinerary that matches your interests and budget so that you can explore this gorgeous Oceania island. Please read more about how my planning services work here.