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Santa Barbara

Julie from Santa Barbara asked

10-Day Itinerary Australia w/cities, wildlife, and culture?

30-something married couple, not afraid to rent a car and drive long distances or book another flight to see more of the country.

Interests: Birding/Wildlife, fun cities, culture (music/food/people/etc.)

Places we're thinking about visiting: Melbourne, Sydney, Kakadu National Park,

We will have around 10-days (give or take). Does anyone have an amazing itinerary they did that helped them see Australia in all its glory? Feel free to add in a couple extra stops if you think they are a must we may extend the trip a few days.

Thank you so much!

- Travel style: Experience all the things!

- Budget: Flexible but not too crazy.

- Season: Sometime in December/January/February


2 Answers
answered by

Let me start by saying that December, January and February are school holidays (like our summer vacation), so prices will be higher and lots of Aussies will be traveling.  


If you are watching your budget, you might want to go off season when airfare and accommodations are priced better. You might also want to look at some travel company sites for Australia specials. 


Now, if you decide you want to do it on your own, I would suggest you spend 3 days in Sydney. I wouldn't rent a car since public transportation is easily available. Even if you want to go out to the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley Gardens you can do that on a tour or public transport. Sydney is the New York of Australia. 


I would do 4 days (at least) in Melbourne. I would not drive a car in the city because of the "fish hook" right turns (since they drive on the opposite side). There is a free circle tram that goes around Melbourne and most guests use that if they are not going out on a tour. Melbourne reminds me of San Francisco, artsy, lots of lanes and byways, eclectic. You could get a car and drive the Great Ocean Rd, but it's a long day unless you are breaking it up by staying overnight in one of the little town. Driving time from Sydney to Melbourne is 9 hours. 


Kakadu is a 41 hour drive from Melbourne or a 3 hour drive from Darwin. Most people do the Northern Territory on a 2nd or 3rd trip because of the distance. It's a beautiful area and is still pretty rugged. The rainy season is November thru March in the North so must people visit from April thru October. 


Most first time visitors who want to do 3 cities, pick Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns. Others choose Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania (which is beautiful and an easy region to drive.  


I hope this helps. Again, I'd suggest you look at some travel company sites for 10 day travel suggestions. That may be the best way to decide on where you want to go and what you want to do once there.

Comments (1)

Thank you so much for this, it's very helpful!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sydney (city)
  2. Blue Mountains (attraction)
  3. Hunter Valley Gardens (attraction)
  4. Melbourne (city)
  5. Great Ocean Rd (attraction)
  6. Northern Territory (attraction)
  7. Cairns (city)
  8. Tasmania (attraction)
comments (1)
likes (1) thanks
answered first by
David from Spanish Fork, Utah

I love Melbourne. Melbourne is very easy to get around, has great food, a lot of shopping, and a lot of things to see and do. In January the (Australian Open Tennis Courts)Australian Open is in Melbourne if you would like to go to a Grand Slam tennis tournament. Some highlights for me are the Shrine of Remembrance/Birdwood Ave(Melbourne City)(started as a memorial for WW1 and is now a memorial for all Australian wars), Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Southbank shops (Can also catch a boat from here to Prince Phillip island to see the pengiuns), Eureka Tower Melbourne (91 floors, observation deck on the 88th floor),  Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground (museum and tour - Opened in 1853, home to the Olympics in 1956, and still used today for many different sporting events), St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne is beautiful, The Bourke Street mall is great, there are also all kinds of side streets with shops and restaurants and cool areas to explore, the Carlton Gardens are one of my favorite places, Lygon St has some great Italian food, there is also a Chinatown Melbourne, The Queen Victoria Market is great to visit for souvenirs. These are all things near downtown. There are also a lot of things to see in the suburbs. There are beautiful birds throughout the city and in many of the parks and gardens throughout the city. The main part of the city is surrounded with large gardens. Melbourne has great food from all over the world that is delicious.

The other thing that I loved was the Great Ocean RdGreat Ocean Road. Driving from Melbourne to Warrnambool along the coast is a little over 5 hours if you don't stop, but you will want to stop a lot. You could spend days just seeing little towns and cities and all of the scenery as you drive through the area. There are some amazing rock formations along the coast including the Twelve Apostles - Visitor Facility, Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London BridgeLondon Bridge. There are also a lot of light houses, and the Great Otway Nat. Park - Carlisle AreaGreat Otway Nat. Park - Carlisle Area. This is a beautiful area. There are many birding opportunities throughout this area, and a lot of wildlife.

Warrnambool is a good little city to stay in. Warrnambool also has Flagstaff Hill Maritime Villagemaritime museum. There are also beaches where at certain times of the year the whales come in to have their babies and they stay for a few months just swimming around the area.

Port Fairy is also a nice little town to visit. They have a large music festival each March. The town itself has a charm that is fun to visit

Between Warrnambool and Port Fairy is a nature preserve called Tower Hill. We saw Kangaroos, Koalas, and Emu there.

The Grampians National ParkG is just a couple of hours north of Warrnambool and is also very beautiful.

Tasmaniais also an amazing place to see. Launceston is beautiful. Cataract Gorge ReserveThe gorge in Launceston is great and there are a lot of wallabies there. The Tasmanian coast with the white sands and turquoise water is gorgeous. Wineglass Bay is one of my favorites. There is also unique wildlife in Tasmania.

Sorry for the long answer I will stop now, but Australia is great. I can't wait to get back to see more of it.

I haven't been to Sydney or Kakadu but I would assume they are also great places to visit. I do love Victoria and Tasmania and all there is to see there.

Have a great trip you guys will love it.

Comments (1)

This is a fabulous itinerary, thank you so much for sharing!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Melbourne (city)
  2. Australian Open Tennis Courts (attraction)
  3. Shrine of Remembrance/Birdwood Ave(Melbourne City) (attraction)
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (attraction)
  5. Southbank (city)
  6. Eureka Tower Melbourne (attraction)
  7. Fitzroy Gardens (attraction)
  8. Melbourne Cricket Ground (attraction)
  9. St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne (attraction)
  10. Bourke Street (attraction)
  11. Carlton Gardens (attraction)
  12. Lygon St (attraction)
  13. Chinatown Melbourne (attraction)
  14. Queen Victoria Market (attraction)
  15. Great Ocean Rd (attraction)
  16. Warrnambool (city)
  17. Twelve Apostles - Visitor Facility (attraction)
  18. Loch Ard Gorge (attraction)
  19. The Grotto (attraction)
  20. London Bridge (attraction)
  21. London Bridge (attraction)
  22. Great Otway Nat. Park - Carlisle Area (attraction)
  23. Great Otway Nat. Park - Carlisle Area (attraction)
  24. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village (attraction)
  25. Port Fairy (city)
  26. Tower Hill (city)
  27. Grampians National Park (attraction)
  28. Tasmania (attraction)
  29. Launceston (city)
  30. Cataract Gorge Reserve (attraction)
  31. Wineglass Bay (attraction)
comments (1)
likes (1) thanks

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