AUSTRALIAN ITINERARY IDEAS
I suggest the following areas and activities for your consideration, but this is just a short list of the hundreds of the incredible adventures that Australia has to offer. If there are any other areas that you would like to visit or things that you want to do, just tell me. Swim with wild dolphins or sea lions? Ride a camel? No problem, we can do.
NEW SOUTH WALES (Sydney)
Sydney is the main city here and international gateway. We recommend at least three nights in this exciting city to allow for two days sightseeing and fun.
City Tours: Bus, small group or private tours of the city and neighboring beach suburbs or even a walking tour of the historic Rocks district.
Harbor Cruises: Sydney is best seen from the water and we recommend either a harbor lunch or dinner cruise or a half day of sailing and relaxing with a local skipper.
Opera House: Either a fascinating hour-long tour of the famous Opera House or an evening including a tour, dinner and performance of opera, drama or theater.
Bridge Climb: Yes, you can climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge!
Wine Touring: The Hunter Valley wine region us just a couple of hours away and day tours (bus, small group or private) and overnight tours are available.
The Blue Mountains: “Australia’s Grand Canyon” is just a couple of hours from Sydney but a million miles away. Small group, 4 wheel drive tours get you off the road, away from the crowds and into the wilderness areas of this World Heritage-listed national park. Mountain biking and hiking are other exciting options.
Surf Lessons: We have city tours that include surf lessons on famous Bondi Beach
or behind the scenes visit to the North Bondi Surf Club, ground zero for surfing.
Wildlife Tour: Get out into the "bush" to spot koalas, kangaroos and other iconic Australian wildlife in their natural habitat.
Whale Watching Cruises: (May to mid-November only)
Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the tropical rainforests of North Queensland and the secluded beauty Cape Tribulation to the north. We recommend at least 4 nights here (or nearby Palm Cove or Port Douglas) to enjoy the following:
Rainforest: A small group or private 4 wheel drive "eco tour” visiting the exotic rainforest the pristine beaches of this unique World Heritage-listed area. For a special treat, spend a few nights at a lodge in the rainforest.
Reef: Mr. Australia will help you pick the Reef trip that is just right for you. Non-swimmers can enjoy glass-bottomed boat or semi-submersible options and swimmers can enjoy snorkeling or even an "introductory" scuba dive without being a certified diver!
Day tours: Enjoy an exciting full day tour including the historic train to Kuranda, the “Skyrail” back down and lunch at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Center or a wildlife park.
Flames of the Forest: A candle-lit group dinner in the rainforest. This is really unique.
Yes, you can stay on the Great Barrier Reef. These are great island resorts in beautiful settings and we’ll help you pick the one that’s right for you.
Use charming Adelaide as your base to visit the many attractions of the region.
We recommend at least 4 nights here for the following:
Kangaroo Island: A short flight from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island can best be described as a “zoo without fences.” It is home to a wide variety of native wildlife including the “little penguins,” kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, dolphins, sea lions, fur seals, eagles and ospreys (to name a few), living in their natural environment. Kangaroo Island has a “rough and ready” early history full of tales of sealers, whalers and escaped convicts.
We recommend spending two days here to tour this unique area with a small-group, 4-wheel drive tour. Two days and two nights are even better.
Wine Touring: The scenic Barossa Valley is Australia’s oldest and best-known wine region. A day or overnight tour is a treat for the eyes and the palate.
Dolphin Encounter: Sail along the coast and swim with these wild, beautiful creatures, or just watch from the boat.
Rated by Conde Nast Traveler as the #1 temperate (not tropical) island in the world, this uncrowded wonderland features beaches, mountains, rainforests, remnants of the convict era and Australia’s friendliest locals. This is also a great place to get “up close and personal” with native wildlife such as wombats, wallabies, possums and the Tasmanian Devil. To fully appreciate the natural wonders of Tasmania you have to get out of the main cities of Hobart and Launceston, which requires at least 3-4 days. Travel by rental car is recommended, but tours and coach travel are also possible.
- A day trip (or overnight) from Hobart to tour the site of the Port Arthur penal colony
- An overnight visit to either Cradle Mountain or Freycinet National Parks, or both!
- A visit to historic Strahan to ride the historic railway and take a fascinating river cruise
Cosmopolitan Melbourne is your gateway to enjoy this state. Popular activities in and around Melbourne include:
Fairy Penguins: Tour to Phillip Island to watch the little penguins return to their nests after a day of feeding at sea. Tours often include other attractions such as a Koala sanctuary, Phillip Island Nature Park, Seal Rocks or a farm visit.
The Great Ocean Road: This scenic coastal road offers stunning views of the surf, the rugged coastal cliffs and stone monoliths rising from the ocean.
Wine Touring: The nearby Yarra Valley region is easily visited in a day.
Wildlife tours: Small group tours through the countryside spotting koalas and massive herds of kangaroos in the wild.
Puffing Billy Train: Ride Australia’s most famous narrow gauge steam train through the scenic Blue Dandenongs mountains. Day tours include other area attractions as well.
Colonial Tram Car Restaurant: Cruise the streets of Melbourne while enjoying fine dining aboard a resorted tram car. Lunch or dinner, this is Melbourne at its best.
South Bank Complex: This dining and entertainment complex includes the Crowne Casino, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and other activities.
The “Red Center” (Ayers Rock and Alice Springs) is the most popular area of interest here, but the Darwin area offers amazing “off the beaten track” experiences. The two areas are connected by the Ghan train that runs twice a week.
Ayers Rock: A one or two-night stay here allows you to see the Olgas rock formation, tour the base of Ayers Rock, learn about Aboriginal culture and dine under the stars of the outback sky at the “Sounds of Silence” dinner.
Alice Springs: Visit “The Alice” to experience a real Outback city. Visit the headquarters of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the School of the Air and other city attractions or enjoy outback activities such as hot air ballooning, camel rides or 4x4 tours.
Kings Canyon National Park:
Why not stop at this park and overnight on the way between Alice And Ayers Rock? Enjoy great outback scenery, a comfy lodge and great canyon walks in or above the canyon.
Darwin Area (the “Top End” of the country):
Spend 3-4 nights here for a tour the “Crocodile Dundee country” of Kakadu National Park and, if time allows, Litchfield and Katherine National Parks. This area is a wonderland of scenery, history and wildlife and a truly unique experience.