21 days in Australia Itinerary

21 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  26​h
1
Cairns
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
2
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h 30​min
3
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h
4
Canberra
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Toronto

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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Trinity Beach and Palm Cove Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Historic Village Herberton and Spy & Camera Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (in Kuranda) and Tolga Woodworks Gallery & Cafe (in Tolga). The adventure continues: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, admire the natural beauty at Botanical Gardens, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Cairns trip planner.

Toronto, Canada to Cairns is an approximately 28-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of ferry and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 15 hours traveling from Toronto to Cairns. In December, Cairns is much hotter than Toronto - with highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Herberton, Tolga Woodworks Gallery & Cafe, Trinity Beach, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

4
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.
Appreciate the collections at Daintree Discovery Centre and Ngarru Gallery. Head to Sunday Market Port Douglas and Coffee Works Port Douglasfor plenty of shopping. The adventure continues: see the vivid underwater world at Agincourt Reef, identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge Centre, look for gifts at With Sugar, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Wonga Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas online attractions planner .

Take a bus from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In December in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Tue) before leaving for Melbourne.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Wonga Beach, Mossman Gorge Centre, Daintree Discovery Centre
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Daintree Discovery Centre ©
Daintree Discovery Centre
Wonga Beach ©
Wonga Beach

4
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Degraves Street and Melbourne Central. Museum-lovers will get to explore Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria. Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens, steep yourself in history at Old Melbourne Gaol, pause for some photo ops at Shrine of Remembrance, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Melbourne Zoo.

To see maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Melbourne trip planner.

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Melbourne in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Port Douglas in December, things will get slightly colder in Melbourne: highs are around 30°C and lows about 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Canberra.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
National Gallery of Victoria ©
National Gallery of Victoria

4
nights
Canberra

Canberra ©
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Australian War Memorial and Old Parliament House. Take a break from the city and head to Lake Burley Griffin and Floriade. When in Canberra, make a side trip to see Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines in Bredbo, approximately 1h 30 min away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the world behind art at National Portrait Gallery, don't miss a visit to Mount Ainslie Lookout, and get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Australia.

For ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Canberra tour site .

Getting from Melbourne to Canberra by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Canberra can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can go by car to Sydney.

Things to do in Canberra

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
National Portrait Gallery ©
National Portrait Gallery
Australian War Memorial ©
Australian War Memorial
Old Parliament House ©
Old Parliament House

3
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.
Let the collections at Australian National Maritime Museum and Brett Whiteley Studio capture your imagination. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Coogee Beach and Hyde Park Barracks Museum. The adventure continues: trek along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, take a stroll through Darling Harbour, appreciate the extensive heritage of The Rocks, and catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Sydney day trip site .

Traveling by car from Canberra to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Canberra in January, Sydney is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Parks Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©

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