Port Phillip Bay, Australia 21 days 20 nights

Australia ultimate
3 week tour

Depart from:Sydney
Finish in:Alice Springs
Type of trip:Heritage, landscapes, wildlife, vineyards, Great Ocean Road, Barrier Reef
Trip Length:21 days, 20 nights (three weeks)
  • Sydney – 3 nights
  • Cairns – 2 nights
  • Port Douglas – 2 nights
  • Melbourne – 2 nights
  • Bendigo – 1 night
  • GT Ocean Rd – 2 days (overnight Warrnambool)
  • Adelaide – 3 nights
  • The Ghan – 1 overnight (train)
  • Alice Springs – 2 nights
Transport:3 flights:

  • Sydney to Cairns – 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Port Douglas to Melbourne – 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Alice Springs departure

2 road trip:

  • Cairns to Port Douglas – 1 hour, 68km
  • Melbourne to Adelaide
  • Great Ocean Road – 2 nights, 995km

1 train trip:

  • The Ghan overnight train – overnight
About Trip
Australia ultimate 3 week tour
Sydney - Alice Springs • Three weeks trip

A journey of a lifetime capturing the identity of Australia. Australia must do highlights are part of this three week journey. Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Alice Springs are city highlights with in depth curated tours of places which explain what it means to be Australian.

The best places will be explored, with opportunities to discover local gems. This trip includes a classic Aussie road trip, the Ghan, an iconic train journey and sest foot in a place where a rainforest meets a coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef.

Blue Mountains scenic railway

Day 1
Sydney, 3 nights
Where is Sydney?

One of the original European areas of settlement Sydney has a rich history of occupation dating back thousands of years. Originally a penal colony, now a bustling multicultural city Sydney is an internationally recognised visitor and conference destination. Your journey starts in the historic district, The Rocks.

Vibrant, colourful street markets jostle for attention against a backdrop of sandstone heritage buildings.

Sydney Opera House, the harbour and bridge

Day 2
Heritage Sydney in depth
What you will do and see
  • Browse vibrant, colourful street markets jostle for attention against a backdrop of sandstone heritage buildings.
  • Sydney harbour bridge exploration, perhaps a climb to the top
  • Lunch at The Rocks Market or surrounding cafes
  • Sydney Harbour cruise with a guided tour of Sydney Harbour Islands
  • Harbour dinner cruise, a romantic moment

Panoramic view of Sydney harbor skyline against sky

Day 3
Ttrip to Blue Mountains
Sydney to Blue Mountains

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 views, Australia

Day 4
Sydney to Cairns (fly)
Cairns exploration

Chill out on a tropical beach, explore the vibrant hub that is Cairns with its 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 mid day.

Cairns esplanade

Day 5
Great Barrier Reef
Green Island day trip

Great Barrier Reef is a Unesco world heritage marine site where tropical fish swim among coral reefs. Currently under threat from climate change the reef is a must do activity for Australians and visitors alike. Tropical Green Island is a unique part of the Great Barrier Reef, making it a perfect spot for a half-day or full day tour. There are plenty of options to snorkel, parasail, dive and swim in the clear ocean waters. Or why not explore the Green Island National Park? Or just simply relax on the white sandy beach.

Aerial view of Green island, Queensland

Day 6
Road trip to Port Douglas
Cairns to Port Douglas

Your coastal road trip, from Cairns to Port Douglas includes stopping for a swim at a secluded beach and time to wander around coastal heritage settlements. On arriving at Port Douglas you will relax and explore the village atmosphere. Port Douglas is a tropical getaway. Located on the Coral Sea in the tropical far north of Queensland, Australia it is known for its beach resorts and as a base for visits to both the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, and Daintree National Park.

Port Douglas marina sunset

Day 7
Mossman Gorge rainforest experience
Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge

You will explore the Daintree Forest and meet the traditional guardians of the area, the local aborginal people who for thousands of years have called this place home. Then an opportunity to meet Australia’s wildlife.

Mossman Gorge

Day 8
Port Douglas
Free day to explore Port Douglas

Check out weekend experience in Port Douglas for tips on what to see and do.

Your day could include  snorkeling in a rainforest pool, or perhaps a tour to Hartley’s wildlife sanctuary where you are going to meet Australia’s tropical inhabitants, the crocodile, the cassowary, a giant flightless bird and the numerous tropical butterflies. Family friendly Wildlife Habitat gives all age groups a chance to come face to face with a cassowary or surround yourself with tropical brilliant butterflies. If family members are demanding that you locate and find a crocodile for viewing then this is the place for you to spend the afternoon.

Early morning reflections on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas

Day 9
Sustainable tour activity

The vintage tram 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. There are seventeen stops where you can hop on and hop off.

Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia and is known to be Australia’s most cultured city – although some Sydney-siders would debate this. Melbourne, founded on the 19th century gold rush is a vibrant multicultural city with the Yarra River as its heart and soul.

Melbourne Heritage City Circle Tram

Day 10
Mornington Peninsula
Melbourne to 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.

Portsea beach from Mornington Peninsula

Day 11
Victorian goldfields, Bendigo
Melbourne to Bendigo

Ballarat Victorian goldfields are much closer, only an hour away. Ballarat, with its Sovereign Hill stagecoaches, 19th century main street and gold panning… is a popular day trip from Melbourne. Ballart has numerous heritage buildings…

However Bendigo has an authentic gold mine, with a tour that is definitely ‘real’, a vintage talking tram and a personality that is Bendigo. Bendigo is not a theme park, rather it is heritage Victorian goldfields and is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Part of the Bendigo-Maldon Road at sunset on a spring evening near Maldon

Day 12
Great Ocean Road
Melbourne to Otway National Park

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

Day 13
Otway National Park
Erskine Falls, Cape Otway lighthouse, FlyTreetop Platform

Otway National Park and the fern filled forests of the Otway Ranges. There are walks to suit most abilities with a popular destination being Erskine Falls. The falls are spectacular, especially in winter when there is increased water flow. The lower platform walk is 1km. Two lookout points offer scenic views of this well-known, 30-metre waterfall cascading into a gully. Green, shadowed peace of a timeless forest with spectacular falls and panoramic views for that picture perfect moment.

Lookout platform at Erskine Falls, Lorne, VIC, Australia. Side trip off the Great Ocean Road

Day 14
Great Ocean Road
Otway National Park to Adelaide

This is the day of coastal scenery, rock formations stacked against sea and sky and soaring cliffs where light is reflected from the limestone and rock faces. A classic bucket list moment for visitors. A journey highlight is the iconic twelve apostles and memorable photo moments.

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road

Day 15
Markets and shopping

A day to unwind after the Aussie road trip. Your leisurely exploration of Adelaide is about a chance to relax and refresh after your Great Ocean Road road trip.

Markets and shopping

  • Let’s start with breakfast at the iconic Adelaide markets. Adelaide Central Market is a must see food market. If you want to choose just one market then Adelaide Central Market will tick the boxes for food, produce, locally produced artisan products, quirky and funky objects for sale.


Day 16
Adelaide Hills
Adelaide in depth exploration

Adelaide in depth exploration for foodie lovers, an opportunity to explore Adelaide local corners for a personal gift. There are museums, art galleries and funky shops to mull over. Adelaide is a cultural binge destination, often overshadowed by its bigger neighbours, Sydney and Melbourne. Adelaide with its city sophistication yet small town vibe is a walkable city.

Adelaide Hills exploration

  • You really want to check out Australian wildlife? Wildlife and nature — combine with your Adelaide Hills weekend itinerary. Cleland Wildlife Park, where you can hold a koala and wander among kangaroos, wombats, and Tasmanian devils. You are wandering among the kangaroos and other wildlife, both of you are fenced in.  Cleland Wildlife Park is situated in the Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide green Hills view

Day 17
Barossa Valley
Adelaide to Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley is a world class wine region. The Barossa Valley signature wine is Shiraz. Barossa with its proximity to Adelaide is a popular tourist day trip destination.  Spring and autumn are peak seasons. Barossa is organised for visitors, consequently it breathes visitor hospitality. I am always discovering a new cafe, an event or walk to explore. A guided tour of cellar doors can be arranged or for cycling fans there is always cycle power to get to the next vineyard.

Barossa Vineyards

Day 18
Board The Ghan
For your must do train journey to Alice

The Ghan explorer train journey is a magical, luxury experience with the rural Australia gliding past your viewing windows. An outback Australia train overnight journey. The Ghan arrives the next day mid afternoon.

An opportunity to relax and revive for your outback adventures on a rail journey of a lifetime.

Overnight on The Ghan.

The Ghan – the train through the continent from North to South by his stop in the station of Alice Springs in Northern Territory

Day 19
Alice Springs
Outback Australia

The outback, you have arrived at the red centre. A timeless landscape where nature is in charge of the seasons.

Alice Springs came to life in the 1870s, as a telegraph station by a small spring, and it was one of a series of repeater stations on the telegraph line linking Adelaide to Darwin to the rest of the world. Despite its isolated location, it became an important part of the communication network for Australia and the northern terminus of the Ghan Railway line. Today, it is still a communications and service hub for central Australia, with all the establishments you would expect in a modern town, grouped in the blocks surrounding the Todd Mall. Also, Alice is one of the main embarkation points for seeing Uluru, the famed red monolith 500 km away.

Alice Springs Old Telegraph Station

Day 20
Day trip to Uluru
Alice Springs to Uluru and Olgas

A journey into the heart of the outback. Red rocks splashed with the light of the desert.  Ancient people whose rock art and stories transcend time and place. Marvel at the narratives embedded in rock art. A must do experience.

The Olgas, Alice Springs

Day 21
From Alice
Travel to your departure connections

Free day to explore the galleries and shops of Alice Springs before your departure.

Araluen Cultural Precinct is a fantastic complex displaying local cultural and natural history, including the Namatjira Gallery, Aviation Museum, Memorial Cemetery and Museum of Central Australia. While there are also sacred sites and trees of significance to Aboriginal people, you will definitely learn a lot about Australian culture and significance.

The Olgas, Alice Springs

Travel pack information

Darwin Mindil Beach Sunset Market


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