14 DAYS IN AUSTRALIA: TICK OFF THE MAGIC SITES
If you are short on time our itinerary for 14 days in Australia will give you the highlights of a whirlwind trip, it is possible, but you should know you will probably go home ready for another holiday!
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Many people will tell you two weeks is not enough time to see much in Australia and while it’s not ideal, if that is all the time you have, provided you plan carefully you can create a vacation that you will remember forever.
See the highlights of Australia in 2 weeks
Our plan takes in many of the country’s best-known highlights and includes UNESCO wonders across four states.
To make the most of your time here, fly into Sydney and out of Melbourne.
So pack your running shoes and let’s get going! This itinerary is an overview; detailed options are covered across the rest of the site so just follow the links for more details.
The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and the Blue Mountains
Day 1 – Explore the Harbour and the Rocks, Sydney’s oldest quarter.
Walk across or over the Sydney Harbour Bridge or perhaps do the Bridge climb. When you are done, take a walking tour of the Rocks or a tour of the Opera House. End the day with sunset on the water.
Day 2 – Head to the Blue Mountains on a day tour
There are many options from those with lots of short hikes to comfort tours if you don’t fancy much walking. You can take a tour or follow our self-guided tour using Sydney Trains.
Day 3 – Watson’s Bay and Bondi Beach Coastal Walk
Ride a ferry to Watson’s Bay, walk out to the lighthouse on South Head, and make your way to Bondi Beach to do the iconic Bondi to Coogee Walk.
The Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef
Day 4 – Early flight to Cairns and a road trip to Palm Cove or Port Douglas
The Captain Cook Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the country and a great way to begin your Great Barrier Reef experience. The hardest part of planning this trip is choosing whether to stay at Port Douglas, Palm Cove, or Cairns.
Day 5 – Day on the Reef, snorkelling, diving, or cruising
Today spend the day snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef. You won’t have a lot of time to spare here but you might fit in one or more two sights.
Day 6 – Daintree Rainforest and Wildlife Park
The Daintree Rainforest is a UNESCO-listed wonderland with a strong indigenous presence and much to discover.
Day 7 – Cairns – Kuranda or Atherton day trip
Choose between a day enjoying the attractions of Cairns and Kuranda or spending a day exploring the beautiful tablelands with their waterfalls, a great contrast to the ocean.
The Red Centre
Uluru and Kuta Tjuta
Day 8 – Fly to Uluru – Explore the Cultural Centre and make your way out for a Sunset dinner at Uluru.
An 8 or 9am direct flight will have you in the red centre by lunch time. It will be warm so check in and head to the Cultural Centre or do one of the free art or food talks offered at the resort.
Book your sunset dinner before you arrive. The white tablecloths, red dirt, and golden skies of this experience are something you will remember forever. The dinner is excellent; the drinks are bottomless, and they throw in a night sky talk and access to some telescopes.
Day 9 – Sunrise, an Uluru walk, an evening BBQ, and a Field of Light Experience
Our sunrise walk at Uluru was a very special experience and meant we could complete the full 10km walk around the base before the temperature got too high. I highly recommend it.
The afternoon was nap time for us, but if you have more energy, you can follow up and do a Kuta Tjuta walk after lunch. If you wanted something a bit more relaxing and that gives you a chance to learn more about local culture, consider a dot painting class. We ended the day at the Field of Light experience and Sunset and BBQ dinner. You might prefer a BBQ dinner at the Outback pub for something a little more low key.
The Field of Light is also offered as a sunrise option for early birds.
Day 10 – Sunrise at Kuta Tjuta – Midday flight to Melbourne
Another early morning, this time choose between a sunrise camel ride or watching the sunrise over Uluru. Don’t miss any chance you get to see a sunrise in the centre. You will need to take an afternoon flight to Melbourne
Settle in to your hotel and then, if you have any energy, head to Chinatown or the Yarra River for dinner. If not, order room service and catch up on some sleep!
City sights and the Great Ocean Road
Day 11 – Melbourne City Laneway Walk and Evening Bar Tour
Drop off your bags and head out to find the infamous Melbourne street art that adorns the city’s laneways. It’s easy enough to find the graffiti laneways, but if you want to see some of the larger-scale mural work, I suggest you head to Fitzroy. You can follow our self-guided street tour art tour and see some great work in a couple of hours.
Day 12 – Melbourne Food and Shopping
On a short visit, the best way to discover Melbourne’s fantastic food is to let the locals show you around. Taking a tour early in your stay means you can get some insider tips on where to eat for the next two nights. This night bites tour is a lot of fun and covers a range of venues.
Melbourne also has the best shopping in the country and is the best place to pick up some souvenirs to take home. This laneways and arcades tour will help you find some of the great options.
If shopping is not your thing, take a look at our guide to Melbourne for sports lovers. Or check out this extensive list of things to do in Melbourne that are completely free!
Day 13 – Great Ocean Road Day trip
It’s one of the best drives and the most beautiful sites in the country. We have usually spent two days here, but there are lots of great one-day tours, and while it’s a long day out, I highly recommend it.
Day 14 – Fly home
Skybus is the easiest way to get to Melbourne Airport. If you have a later flight you could head to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for one last classic breakfast. You might also like to head up the Melbourne Skydeck and take in the view.
It’s a good idea to have travel insurance to cover any cancellations or unexpected problems that may arise. We use and recommend Cover-More for all our travel. They also offer an Inbound plan for anyone visiting Australia from overseas.
Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local.