15 days 14 nights

Australia, two week
bucket list road trip

Best time to visit:March to May, September to November
Type of trip:Scenery, heritage, wildlife, indigenous culture, beaches
Trip length:15 days, 14 nights
Flights:Sydney to Cairns – 3hours, 10 minutes
Townsville to Melbourne – 3 hours
Road trips:Great Green Way (1 day) – 320km
Great Ocean Road (2 days) – 1000km

Australia is a vast country where distance is measured in hundreds of kilometres.

About Trip
Australia Road Trip
Australia • Two week bucket list road trip

Australia must do highlights are part of the two week journey.   Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns are part of the itinerary.  The best places will be explored, with opportunities to  participate and share aboriginal cultural practices.   You will experience the green lush glory of the Australian rainforest and a Unesco heritage marine environment, Great Barrier Coral Reef.  Contrasts will intrigue you;  chic cultural Melbourne, slick vibrant Sydney and the laid back charms of tropical Cairns & Townsville.  Tropical beaches, sugar towns and a castle will be discovered on the Great Green Way road trip between Cairns and Townsville.

You will wonder at the extraordinary wildlife, koalas, kangaroos, castaways and tropical parrots that call Australia home.

And to complete the bucket list you will embark on an iconic road trip, the Great Ocean Road.  As icing on the cake your journey will be topped by a visit to Kangaroo Island.  The name says it all, a nature reserve with a coast inhabited by sea lions.  The journey is worth it.

by Joey Csunyo @joey_csunyo

Day 1
Sydney overnight

Explore the origins of modern Australia with a half day guided tour exploring the historic district known as The Rocks. Browse vibrant, colourful street markets that jostle for attention against a backdrop of sandstone heritage buildings.Lunch at The Rocks Market or surrounding cafes.

Where is Sydney?

Sydney Opera House, the harbour and bridge

Day 2
Day trip to Blue Mountains
Sydney to Blue Mountains road trip • 1 ½ hours

A day trip to the Blue Mountains where your senses are stimulated by the scent of eucalyptus trees. Quirky villages nestled among the sights and sounds of the Australian bush will provide a change of scene from the urban bustle of Sydney. You could simply use your day in the Blue Mountains to wander the villages, window shopping, browsing and admiring the views that are all around the area.

Blue Mountains, Australia @Quantas

Day 3
Sydney fly to Cairns
Cairns exploration

Chill out on a tropical beach, explore the vibrant hub that is Cairns laid personality. The Esplanade, with over 2km of shoreline provides a public space for visitors to walk, cycle and relax by the lagoon. As a focal point for entertainment and cultural activities, cafes and bars have gravitated to the area.

Stepping back from the Esplanade is a contemporary public arena, known as City Place. Any events on the Esplanade spill from the waterfront into the City Place precinct. Scattered throughout, especially along historic Wharf Street are a number of Cairns heritage buildings. The characteristic sign of a tropical Cairns building is a wooden frame, elevated off the ground with wide verandas and porches as protection from the tropical midday heat.

Swimming lagoon on the Esplanade at Cairns

Day 4
Follow Great Green Way
A route less explored

Your day trip has rainforest, roaring waterfalls, fertile plantations of tropical fruit, sugar towns, a ruined castle and a classic, on all Aussie road trips, “one big object” a Big Golden Gumboot for an Instagram photo moment.

The Great Green Way road trip
Cairns, Babinda, Mission Beach, Tully, Ingham, Townsville

TYTO wetlands

Day 5
Great Barrier Reef highlight

Meet the personalities of the Great Barrier Reef, the Australians who look after our heritage and the sea life that is in their care. Townsville, with Castle Hill as a backdrop is nestled within the rainforest. Check out the weekend city break article for Townsville what to see and do.

A superb research centre dedicated to protecting the Great Barrier Reef. A must do activity is our half day experience at Townsville HQ.

Castle Hill from Queen Gardens Townsville

Day 6
Townsville to Melbourne
Early morning flight to Melbourne • Melbourne two nights

Vintage tram hop on, hop off circuit of the heart of Melbourne provides a snapshot of lanes, street art and heritage sandstone buildings, reflecting Melbourne’s origins as a gold mining town.

Townsville Ross River at sunset

Day 7
Day trip
Mornington Peninsula

A journey exploring the immigrant experience at Portsea with glimpses of beach culture and the town of Sorrento. Perhaps a photo moment against the quirky beach huts located along Port Phillip Bay coast. You will return to Melbourne via ferry, travelling through the historic town of Queenscliff. Portsea and Sorrento are local favourites.

Mornington Peninsula is a local favourite. Seaside communities and holiday villages dot the coast. Sorrento, with its limestone cliffs and buildings is a heritage town that is now a favourite destination for Melbourne weekend getaways. Delve into Port Nepean National Park (Portsea) history and explore Nepean Historical Museum precinct, Pioneer Cottage and Collins Settlement historic site.

Long wooden stairs leading up to The Coppins Lookout near Sorrento Ocean Beach, Mornington Peninsula

Day 8
Great Ocean Road
Forests, hinterlands of waterfalls

The iconic Great Ocean Road made personal. Local gems and local stories make this a special part of our road journey. The Great Ocean Road was born out of the idea of linking towns of the Victorian southwest coast. The terrain was rugged cliffs, with steep drops to the sea. Forests, hinterlands of waterfalls compounded the construction challenges that faced the World War I returned servicemen, who, with pick and shovel, created the road we all know today.

The road is a world class iconic road trip that is rightly a bucket list destination. Romantic sunsets, contrasts between towering limestone headlands and land carved out by the sea to create evotive sculptural rock structures, combined with a backdrop of temperate rainforest is one photo moment after another.

Bends of the famous Great Ocean Road


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