Explore the Highlights of Australia!

Travel is one of the most frequently listed New Year’s resolutions, so you might as well make it a good one! Travel Expert Jed Hauck has created an ultimate, 11-day itinerary for every traveler heading Down Under. From Sydney to Ayers Rock to the Great Barrier Reef, your tour of Australia will be nothing short of legendary!


Day 1: Sydney

Darling Harbour Australia Sydney

Darling Harbour is home to the Maritime Museum and other great water attractions. (Credit: MagSpace/Shutterstock.com)


You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your central Sydney hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or explore Sydney. Head down to Darling Harbour and Kings Wharf to check out Sydney’s entertainment hot spots.


Day 2: Sydney

In the morning, board the hop-on/hop-off bus tour of Sydney, a fantastic opportunity to get your bearings and visit some of the city’s most spectacular sights. In the evening, explore Sydney Harbour on a dinner cruise, seeing this iconic city from a completely different perspective and getting up-close and personal with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.


Day 3: Sydney

Blue Mountains Australia

With rays of light that shimmer blue, the Blue Mountains are a must-see destination.

Venture outside of the city and head west to Blue Mountains National Park to explore some of Australia’s natural beauty. Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park and see iconic koalas and kangaroos, not to mention an array of other animals that call Australia home. The evening is at your leisure.


Day 4: Sydney

In the morning, go behind the scenes on a tour of the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Then, view Sydney from a very unique perspective: the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Join the team from Bridgeclimb as they take you up to the top of the bridge through a series of ladders and walkways, a breathtaking experience.


Related Story: Top 5 Things to Do in Melbourne


Day 5: Sydney – Ayers Rock

Ayers Rock Australia Outback

Experience the Outback with Ayers Rock, an Australian natural wonder. (Credit: Stanislav Fosenbauer)

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ayers Rock in the heart of Australia’s Outback. A sacred place to the Aboriginal community and an icon to the world, Ayers Rock is truly an awe-inspiring natural wonder. After you’re met at the airport and transferred to Ayers Rock Resort, head out for a sunset tour and traditional Australian BBQ dinner.


Day 6: Ayers Rock

Immerse yourself even deeper into the Outback on a day trip that takes you to not only Ayers Rock but The Olgas, a series of fascinating natural rock formations. The evening is at your leisure.


Day 7: Ayers Rock – Cairns

In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, home to the Great Barrier Reef. Transfer to the resort town of Port Douglas, nestled between the rainforest, palm trees, and the golden sands of the Pacific Ocean, a perfect spot to explore the reef.


Day 8: Cairns – Port Douglas

Great Barrier Reef Australia

One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef cannot be missed.

Transfer to the marina for your trip to the Outer Barrier Reef, which you can explore by submarine, glass-bottom boat, scuba diving, snorkeling, or underwater viewing platform. In the evening, explore Port Douglas, perhaps sampling some of Australia’s local beers or the fresh seafood.


Related Story: Top 5 Things to Do in Sydney 


Day 9: Port Douglas

Head to Kuranda, a small bohemian village on top of the Great Dividing Range Mountains, southwest of Port Douglas. Explore the local markets, stores, and restaurants, then take a ride on the famous Kuranda Railway through the rainforest and past spectacular waterfalls and vistas. Skim the tops of trees on the Kuranda Skyrail, making your way down the mountain range. The evening is yours to explore Port Douglas.


Day 10: Port Douglas

Port Douglas Australia

Savor a day to relax or to explore at Port Douglas!

The day is at your leisure to relax or take another trip to the reef.


Day 11: Port Douglas

Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight home.


So when are you booking your trip to Australia? Tell us your must-see attractions and destinations in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!


jed hauck - promo photoAbout Jed Hauck

Jed is a writer for Flight Centre USA. A New Yorker to the core, he has written extensively inside the travel and entertainment fields (winning Emmy Award honors for the latter), and has traveled widely throughout Europe and North America. He would love to live in London but can’t quite master the accent. He does, however, speak French like Marcel Marceau.