Australia is a huge country and a continent. For a traveller, any traveller there is so very much to do no matter what. This is a cruel decision too because you cannot cover it all in a two week period. So you have to pick and choose what to do in Australia and then the hard part is what to leave out.
Your best bet would be to decide two or three places to visit in Australia and then build your holiday activities around them. Don’t try to cram in too much on your two week trip to Australia. You will end up being very unsatisfied. Prioritise what you want to do and then make up your own itinerary. We have only provided the broad brush strokes of this incredible country. Our choices have barely scratched the surface, though we hope it helps you decide.
Factor in time spent getting to and from Australia and travel time between locations as distances are huge.
Let’s start at Australia’s oldest and largest city. You could spend several days in and around the place as there is plenty of the city and outdoors to explore here. Tours in Sydney will include the beautiful and iconic Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Harbour and Circular Quay. It’s also great experience to wander around the city with many things to see and do. Sydney has numerous fabulous beaches. The scenic Blue Mountains and its forested environs are not too far away either and can be toured in a day or so.
The Gold Coast
Up north from Sydney on Australia’s east coast basks the Gold Coast. Arguably Australia’s most hectic and happening city its amazing night life will engage you for a few days. Besides the modernistic high rise skyline, the city also possesses several white-sand beaches and is a surfers’ paradise. Just inland from the Gold Coast are hills covered by vast tracts of verdant forest. The Springbook National Park encompasses thundering waterfalls and gigantic trees and an amazingly diverse amount of plants and animals.
No trip to Australia is complete without a visit to this wonderfully eclectic city, Melbourne. It may not have Sydney’s historic and iconic type buildings. However, it is a sports mad city, which is manifested in the fantastic stadiums and sporting arenas including The Melbourne Cricket Ground and Tennis Park. It is a great shopping destination. The restaurants are a gourmet’s delight.
When you are done with those, take a trip out to Phillip Island. It has an impressive coastline populated by numerous sea bird gardens and nests. It also has a famous blowhole where incoming waves rush into a sea cave below erupting in spectacular spouts. Then there is the sunset Penguin Parade when thousands of Little Penguins make their way ashore and home every night to the world’s largest Little Penguin colony.
Drive The Great Ocean Road
This is one road trip every visitor to Melbourne should take. This 250 km or so stretch of road is one of the most scenically spectacular in Australia, indeed in the world. Starting around Torquay south west of the city, The Great Ocean Road provides spectacular views and scenery. The sunsets and the iconic Twelve Apostles and London Bridge rocks are the most stunning part of the drive. So terrific is the experience that it is often voted as being among Australia’s Top 10 Destinations. This could take at least two or three days.
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
If the Sydney Opera House is iconic of modern man-made Australia then Uluru is testament to nature’s grandeur. The spectacularly red, Uluru (better known as Ayers Rock) is located in Australia’s Northern Territories. The world’s largest massive single rock stands majestically in the National Park along with the Kata Tjuta rock domes and is in the remote centre of the country. It takes several days to get there and back but the scenic journey is well worth the time and effort. Don’t climb the rock as it is sacred to the aboriginals and climbing is taboo for them. It is also dangerous and rock gets very hot.
By day or night warm (climate and people), welcoming and trendy Brisbane is beautiful. It is a growing and modern city that has managed to retain that marvelous Aussie laid-back character. It has a fantastic café culture, superb dining options and classy culture best experienced in the South Bank area. Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is Australia’s best zoo (and that is saying something) where you can meet and see koalas, platypuses, kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils and a whole collection of other beasts and birds.
This indescribably beautiful piece of sand is one of nature’s masterpieces. An island that is made up powdery soft sand beaches surrounding inland freshwater streams, lakes, rainforests and incredible coloured cliffs that rise up straight and proud. They make a superb contrast to the green waters of the great Pacific Ocean. As if so much beauty was not enough, Mother Nature planted the unique and blue Lake McKenzie. So pure are its waters that many creatures cannot drink or live in it. This wonder of nature is just a few hours north of Brisbane and you could just wind up spending your entire vacation here.
Considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, sits on Australia’s northern coast. The city itself is small, beautiful, relaxed and surrounded by much beauty. Just north of the city is another one of Australia’s marvels – the Daintree Rainforest. It is a place of remarkable reptilian, animal, plant and diversity. Daintree accounts for 20% of Australia’s bird species. Exploring and trekking through the area could well occupy another bunch of your vacation days.
The Great Barrier Reef
Many tours in Australia will include a visit to The Great Barrier Reef. Someone once said that this fabulous creation of nature will change you. And it is not hard to guess why. Whether you view it from the air or close up snorkelling in its amazing blue waters and incredibly coloured coral world, The Great Barrier Reef grabs you by the throat and heart – never letting go.
Stretching for over 2,000 kms it is a wonder world of coral, visible even from space. It is home to an immense diversity of marine life – fish, molluscs, birds, sea snakes, turtles, whales, dolphins, sharks, rays – and an entire underwater landscape of sea grass, mangrove, canyons, plateaus and deep oceanic gulfs. It is what makes Australia unique and you may never leave. However, put aside 4 to 5 days to experience this place.
Exploring the outback is the great quintessential Aussie experience. You will discover just how vast and incredible this land and its awesome landscapes are. An outback vacation involves camping under the stars, horse riding, camel ridingand campfire sing-alongs. You will travel through vast stretches of desert land with scattered waterholes, rivers and gorges of the Flinders Ranges. Doing this could easily take up 4 or 5 days of your holiday or you just might go “walkabout.”
Now this a whole different world from we have been describing earlier. Australia’s vintners and vineyards go back 150 years and more. From Sydney to Perth you have wide choice of wine making regions and the heavenly juice of the grape. So get on an air-conditioned coach and explore some of Australia’s popular wine-making regions of Hunter Valley, Swan Valley, Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley, Margaret Valley.
Experience Aboriginal Culture
You just have to spend time exploring and experiencing the culture and rich and ancient heritage of Australia’s original inhabitants. Forget the stereotype images and go deeper to discover the Aboriginal culture, its close links with nature, the land and all the living creatures on it. When you have spent time imbibing the world’s oldest living culture through its myths, storytelling, dream time, dance, music and learned a few bush survival skills you can truly say that you have experienced wondrous Australia.