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The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia

The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia

Seriously, this itinerary for Australia is the best. It heads through every capital city and will take you by all the things Australia is famous for.

You’ll see national parks, gigantic red rocks, and specky coastline. You jump into crocodile territory and swim with clown fish. You’ll have plenty of time to admire the ocean while relaxing with a beer and will explore some of the most remote areas of the outback.


The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia

Itinerary features:

  • Visits every capital city and all 8 states and territories.
  • 4 road trips including the Great Ocean road from Melbourne to Adelaide, Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, Broome to Darwin via the Kimberly, and Sydney to Canberra.
  • 5 of the best national parks / natural wonders Australia has to offer.
  • 8 internal flights.

Places to visit in Australia:

  • Queensland: Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Island
  • New South Wales: Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Port Stephens, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley
  • ACT: Canberra
  • Victoria: Melbourne, Geelong, Great Ocean Road
  • Tasmania: Hobart, Tasman Peninsula, Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain
  • South Australia: Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Barossa Valley
  • Western Australia: Broome, The Kimberly, Perth, Rottnest Island
  • Northern Territory: Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Katherine, Litchfield National Park, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Kings Canyon

Where to start?

You can start anywhere on the loop! Most international flights will head into Sydney or Melbourne, but you may also find flights into Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.

Sydney Opera House from Manly Ferry
Sydney, New South Wales

How long will it take?

Australia is actually the world’s 6th largest country by area. Wowee! So as you can imagine, a trip around Australia can not be completed quickly. The distances are great, so you’ll have a lot of travel time.

To do this ultimate itinerary quickly, you could probably squeeze it into 6 weeks at an absolute minimum.

If you’ve got more time (lucky you!) then I would definitely suggest taking at least 7-10 weeks, depending on the pace you’d like to travel and whether you’d prefer to drive or fly between destinations. Many people take a year off work to do a comprehensive trip around Australia.

How to get around?

The whole itinerary can be done via road – but it would be a very, very long road trip. You could spend multiple days (yes, days) driving through desert without actually coming across any other form of civilisation, so flying is the best option between most places.

There are some parts that are best done by car, such as Broome to Darwin, Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, and Sydney to the Blue Mountains, and the Great Ocean Road. Hiring a car is an easy option from most airports and cities.

How much will it cost?

Australia is not a particularly cheap country to travel around, especially because internal flights are the preferred method of getting between destinations. It is possible to do most of Australia on a budget – see my post on backpacking Australia costs to get an indication of prices.


Month-long seasonal itineraries:

If you’ve only got a month and you’re struggling to put together an itinerary for Australia, here are some seasonal suggestions.

One important thing to note for you folks that reside in the northern hemisphere; the seasons in Australia are opposite to what you’re used to. Winter in North America/Europe will be Summer in Australia!

The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia - Summer

Summer itinerary

Unless you want to swelter in humidity and travel through the wet seasons in the north, then stick to the south during Summer. The southern states of Tasmania and Victoria will be at their absolute best at this time of year.

Flights are required between all locations except Melbourne to Adelaide.

  • 6 nights Sydney
  • 6 nights Hobart / Tasmania
  • 5 nights Great Ocean Road
  • 5 nights Adelaide
  • 6 nights Perth
The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia - Autumn

Autumn/Fall itinerary

Australia’s red centre is perfect in the shoulder seasons with warm days that won’t leave you scorched. It’s also the perfect time to visit the southern states of Tasmania and Victoria while the weather is still ok, as Winter and Spring are often rainy.

Flights are required between all locations except Melbourne to Adelaide, and Alice Springs to Ayers Rock.

  • 6 nights Sydney
  • 6 nights Hobart / Tasmania
  • 5 nights Great Ocean Road
  • 5 nights Adelaide
  • 6 nights Alice Springs / Ayers Rock
The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia - Winter

Winter itinerary

Head North during winter to take full advantage of the year round pleasant weather. May-October is typically the dry season in Queensland, Northern Territory, and the north of Western Australia. You’ll be treated to many dry, sunny days.

Lonely Planet hails the drive between Broome and Darwin as ‘Australia’s Wildest Road Trip’. It will take you through huge expanses of untouched wilderness and mind-blowing landscapes.

Flights are required between all locations except Broome to Darwin.

  • 4 nights Sydney
  • 3 nights Broome
  • 7 nights Broome to Darwin
  • 4 nights Darwin
  • 6 nights Cairns / Great Barrier Reef
  • 4 nights Brisbane
The ultimate itinerary for a trip around Australia - Spring

Spring itinerary

Spring is the perfect time to visit Western Australia, as the wildflower season is in full swing! It’s also a great time to head to the Great Barrier reef, when it’s not overrun with tourists and the weather is balmy.

Flights are required between all locations except Alice Springs to Ayers Rock.

  • 6 nights Perth
  • 6 nights Alice Springs / Ayers Rock
  • 6 nights Darwin / Kakadu NP
  • 6 nights Cairns / Great Barrier Reef
  • 4 nights Brisbane

Guided tour options:

If you want to see Australia but just don’t have the time to do these longer itineraries, here are a few multi-day tours that will allow you to see the best of Australia in a short amount of time:

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