2 Weeks in Australia: Sample Itinerary

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2 Weeks In Australia Itinerary

2 Weeks in Australia

In the newest edition of our popular itinerary series, we give you a rad sample itinerary for 2 Weeks in Australia. This itinerary begins in Sydney, Australia’s biggest city and the landing spot for most international travellers; a great jumping off point to explore the land down under.

As always, this sample itinerary is just a guide and depending on what type of traveller you are, you can modify the plan to suit your style.

Australia

Australia was never really in the original travel plans for us; it’s not that we didn’t want to go, I guess we just dismissed it as too expensive and a little lacking in the exotic flavour we were going for at the time. But when we learned about the couchsurfinghousesitting and working holiday visa opportunities we committed ourselves to life in Oz, and were really glad we did.

Australia is a huge country, in fact it’s the same size as the continental U.S. but with only about 25 million people. The landscape is as vast and wildly diverse as you can imagine, so much stunning nature and some of the most unique wildlife in the world.

And did we mention the people?

Australians are wicked people, super laid back and friendly. Their coffee is absolutely world-class, an exceptionally welcome offering for two properly caffeine starved backpackers. Apart from the driving on the other side of the road and super hot summers, this country felt lot like home for these two Canadians.

If you’re into nature, trekking, diving, surfing, animals, culture, music festivals, partying and wide open spaces, Australia is the place for you. Get ready for good times!

If you’re lucky enough to have more than 2 weeks in Australia then you can plan on spending a bit more time in each of the locations in the itinerary below. We also recommend heading to Western Australia to dive, snorkel and marvel at its untouched beauty; or check out the Gold Coast if you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere.

2 Week Itinerary

Sydney, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), Cairns, Great Barrier Reef

Days 1-3: Sydney

  • Spend your first day wandering around Darling Harbour and Circular Quay where you can visit beautiful historic buildings, awesome restaurants & bars and take in stellar harbour sights. Make a stop at the iconic Sydney Opera House before grabbing a flat white and wandering around the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge and marvel at the beautiful panoramic views of the Opera House, downtown skyline and harbour. 
  • Spend a few hours one evening channeling your inner child at Luna Amusement Park. To get there you can take the fun, cheap and scenic ferry across the harbour to the Milson’s Point Stop or take the train to Milson’s Point Station. 
  • If the weathers nice and hot while you’re in Sydney, take the train to Bondi Beach where you can get some sun, swim and chill with locals.
  • Rent a car or jump on a train or bus and head out to one of New South Wales most picturesque trekking destinations, the Blue Mountains where you can immerse yourself in nature and hopefully spot some of Australia’s famous wildlife.
  • Use this great trip planning tool to find the best way to get around Sydney and New South Wales by public transit.

Where we stayed: Glenferrie Lodge– $104 USD per night (private room, shared bath, breakfast included).

2 weeks in Australia Opera House

Days 4-5: Melbourne

  • We called Melbourne home for eight wicked months and as you can imagine, it’s our favourite city in the country. This place is oozing with culture and energy and there’s always something going on. If you’re looking for something interesting to do at midnight on a Tuesday in Melbourne, you’ll find it.
  • Spend your first day wandering around downtown Melbourne by foot and tram. Make sure to check out iconic Flinders Station, the modern architecture of Federation Square and the street art of Hosier Lane. Jump on the tram or walk north along Swanston Street to do a little shopping and grab a bite. Check out the massive Queen Victoria Market before heading to the Royal Exhibition Building. Wander around the stunning Carlton Gardens and then drop by the Melbourne Museum where you can see the latest exhibits and 3rd largest IMAX in the world. For dinner walk ten minutes west to Little Italy on Lygon Street for some truly authentic Italian food.
  • On your second day take the train down to St. Kilda where you can walk along the beach, swim and even see penguins at St. Kilda Pier during certain times of year. If you didn’t have time to enjoy Luna Park in Sydney, you have a second shot at it down on St. Kilda Beach. Time permitting, take the train or tram up to Chapel Street which is filled with heaps of cool bars, restaurants and shopping.
  • Alternatively, head to Fitzroy for awesome cafes, bars and funky shopping.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open to cool free festivals going on during your time in Melbourne like White Night or the St. Kilda Festival.
  • Use this great trip planning tool to find the best way to get around the city of Melbourne by public transit.

Where we stayed: 22 Travellers Accommodation – $52 USD per night (private room and shared bathroom) or $26 USD per night (dorm, shared bathroom).

2 weeks in Australia Melbourne

Days 6-8: Great Ocean Road

  • This is easily one of the most gorgeous road trips we’ve ever done. Starting from the surf town of Torquay, this beautiful highway winds along the stunning Victoria coastline and presents a near endless feast for the eyes as electric blue waters meet golden limestone cliffs in true brilliance. Many travellers would argue that the 12 Apostles (as seen below) is one of Australia’s most stunning natural landmarks. Check out our post on our tour of the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians to learn more about what to see and where to stop along the way.
  • If you have the time consider heading north into Grampians National Park where you can trek in the mountains, swim in refreshing waterfalls and spot wallabies, kangaroos and emus.
  • Like New Zealand, there are some parts of this country that are best enjoyed and accessed by vehicle (learn how we rented a camper van for $1 per day here).

Where we stayed: We decided to camped on our road trip however many people stay in Lorne (Anchorage Motel – $98 USD {Private room, private bath, kitchenette}) & Princetown (12 Apostles Cottages – $90 USD {2 bedroom cottage}).

2 weeks in Australia Great Ocean Road

Days 9-10: Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)

  • It doesn’t get much more iconic than Uluru, a massive rock that seemingly juts out of the middle of the vast desert landscape. Uluru along with the neighbouring Kata Tjuta, are steeped in ancient aboriginal legend; the energy here is palpable.
  • Rent car at the airport and head straight toward Uluru. If you’re there early enough, walk around the easy 10 km base of Uluru but please do not climb it out of respect to the aboriginal people who’ve been caretakers of this land for tens of thousands of years. On your walk look out for ancient aboriginal art, elders meeting areas and more historical points of interest.
  • Find yourself a nice vantage point for sunset and grab yourself a sweet Instagram shot of the big red rock.
  • Get up bright and early and take in the sunrise at either Uluru or Kata Tjuta. Continue on to Kata Tjuta early in the morning and pick one of the treks based on your skill level and time constraints.
  • Check out our photo tour of Uluru to help charge up your wanderlust for this spectacular part of the country
  • Keep an eye out for fare sales from Melbourne as they can be expensive. We were lucky enough to snag a half price flight by keeping our eye on Virgin’s website.
  • Stock up on grocery supplies in town and cook for yourself to save money.

Where we stayed: Outback Pioneer Lodge – $169 USD (private room with kitchenette and shared bathroom) or $35 USD (mixed dorm room and shared bathroom), camping options available. 

2 weeks in Australia Uluru

Days 11-14: Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

  • Fly on to tropical Cairns, a fun city with big party vibes and one of the launching points for trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • If you’re a seasoned diver you may find the condition of the dive sites near Cairns shockingly poor. In order to get out and see more of the world’s largest living organism (the same size as Italy!) jump on one of the local operator’s live-aboard boats for a real diving experience. We opted for a two night, three-day package and found the most competitive pricing and best environmental record with Deep Sea Divers Den, highly recommended.
  • Make your way from Cairns on to your international departing flight.

Where we stayed: Dreamtime Travellers Rest – $46 USD per night (private room, shared bath) or $21 USD per night (dorm room, shared bath)

After living and travelling throughout Australia for nearly a year, this country will always have a special place in our hearts. The beaches, the desert, the wildlife, and of course of the people will make you fall in love with the land down under.

We hope these sample itineraries for 2 weeks in Australia have helped you plan out your Aussie adventure!

Make sure to check out our guide on how you can rent a camper van in Australia for $1 per day.

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Cheers,

Ross & Alyse


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Ross

Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.
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