1 Month Australia Itinerary – See Australia’s Iconic Places

by | Last updated Nov 11, 2023 | Australia Live Work and Play, Itineraries

So you have one month holiday and you’ve decided to spend this one month in Australia. You have it in your mind what you what to see and do in Australia. You want to see all Australia’s iconic places – Sydney Harbour, the Red Centre, The Great Ocean Road and The Great Barrier Reef. Well, come say G’day to all these iconic places in Australia, plus loads more on my suggested 1 month Australia itinerary. It’s the perfect itinerary for first timers to Australia. You will get to tick off all the iconic Aussie spots on your Australia bucket list.

 

Is One Month Long Enough in Australia?

 

Australia is really too big to explore and discover everything it is has to offer in 1 month. Distances are just too great. However, you can see all its iconic places during a 4 week holiday in Australia. From Sydney Harbour to the Great Ocean Road to the Red Centre to the Great Barrier Reef. You can experience all these iconic places in my 1 month iconic Australia places to visit itinerary, but you will need to fly and not drive, as driving distances are just too long. Realistically, if you want to drive around Australia I would suggest an Australian itinerary of 2-3 months as a minimum. Many Australians actually take 12 months to travel around Australia doing what is called ‘the Big Lap‘. But if one month is all you have, you can see all the iconic spots as per this Australia itinerary.

 

Best Time to Visit Australia

 

As Australia is so large, the weather is different from one end of the country to the other. 

Summer (December, January, February) in Australia is hot. The southern states are hot and dry while the northern states have more tropical weather. Summer in the northern Australian states can see very humid hot days with possible storms and cyclones. If you struggle in very hot and humid weather, I’d avoid traveling the northern half of Australia in summer and stick to the southern states.

Winter (June, July, August) in Australia can be cold. The southern states can be very cold with snow on the high mountains. Yes, snow. The ski season runs from June to October and it is popular with visitors to work and ski Australia. The northern states are best to visit during winter as days are warm, but nights, like in the Red Centre can be cool.

Spring (September, October, November) and Autumn (March, April, May) are good times to travel Australia as the weather is more pleasant. Day time temperatures are warming up in Spring and cooling down in Autumn. There are also less tourists during this time however, you will find plenty of Australians travelling their own country as they do their ‘Big Lap of Australia.

But you cannot predict what weather you will encounter in Australia on a daily basis, so really anytime is a good time to visit Australia. 

 

How to Get to Australia

 

Australia is surrounded by ocean so the two main ways to get to Australia’s shores is to sail or to fly. There are a number of cruise lines that visit Australian ports. You could sail from your home country – if you have the time – for your 1 month Australia iconic places itinerary. There are repositioning cruises that you could take, such as Southampton to Sydney. See what cruise lines visit Australia at Cruisecritic.

Most people will fly to Australia. And the flight can be long but there are ways to survive a long flight. Some flights take 24 hours from the United Kingdom and 18 hours from Los Angeles in America. Getting over jet lag due to the time difference can be a task in itself. To get the best airfare to Australia check out Skyscanner.

 

Where to Start Your 1 Month Holiday in Australia

 

Most international flights arriving from overseas arrive in Sydney, Australia at Sydney International Airport. Other capital cities such as Melbourne also have international airports. For this 1 month Australia iconic spots itinerary, the itinerary starts in Sydney. And why not – afterall, Sydney is home to some of the most iconic spots – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. If lucky enough, you may get a birds-eye view over Sydney Harbour while coming in to land. 

 

How to Travel around Australia During Your 1 Month Australian Holiday

 

Australia is a large country and the best way to see all it’s iconic spots is by driving to them. However, as you only have one month in Australia the two best options to see everything suggested on this itinerary is to combine driving and flying options. It is best to fly between the major cities as you will be reducing the driving time. For instance to drive from Sydney to Melbourne you are looking at a 10-12 hour drive. If you fly, you are looking at a 1 hour and 20 minute flight. Similarly, the flight from Darwin to Alice Springs is 2 hours but driving can take 18 hours. Shortening the travel time will mean you can spend more time visiting the Australian iconic sites you have come to Australia to see. But you can see Australia from the air! Yes, most airline routes in Australia will travel across the country so when you look out of the window you will see what is below.

 

Australian Accommodation – Where Will You Stay in Australia

 

Australia offers some great accommodation for your holiday. It ranges from camping grounds, hostels to hotels from budget to 5 star. In this Australian itinerary I provide accommodation options to stay in at each nightly location mostly in hostels and hotels as camping grounds are usually too far out of town for the purposes of this itinerary. I find all my Australia Holiday Accommodation options through Booking.com.

 

How Much Will One Month in Australia Cost

 

To work out how much this one month Australia holiday will cost, create a spreadsheet as follows. 

Airfare to Australia $_____
Accommodation (per night) $_____ x 30 = $_______
Transport around Australia – flights $_______
Day tours $_______
Meals x 3 per day $_______
Entrance Fees $_____
Extras (souvenirs, etc) $______

 

What to Pack for 1 Month in Australia

 

Australian’s dress casual so pack mostly casual clothes for warm weather. Shorts and t-shirts but also have long pants and a jumper or coat for when it gets colder, particularly at night. Definitely pack a good pair of walking shoes, reef safe sunscreen and a hat.

 

1 Month Australia Iconic Places Itinerary at a Glance

 

Australia iconic sites map includes Sydney, Uluru, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef.

My map shows you where the most Australian iconic spots to visit are. They are wide spread and distances between them great, this is why you need to fly to these places. Here’s how to spend 4 weeks in Australia on your first visit to Australia. You won’t see everything, but you will see most of the best Australian iconic sites during a 4 week holiday in Australia. And I would try to book a window seat for your flights as the planes travel over the countryside where you will see things below. Sometimes the pilot will tell you you are flying over something of interest.

 

Days

1-4 – Sydney + Blue Mountains
5-6 – Canberra
7-8 – Melbourne
9-10 – drive Great Ocean Road
11-12 – Adelaide + Barossa Valley
13-15 – Perth + Rottnest Island
16-19 – Darwin + Kakadu
20-25 – Alice Springs – Kings Canyon, Uluru + Kata Tjuta
26 – 29 – Cairns + Great Barrier Reef + Atherton Tablelands by Kuranda Railway
30 – to Sydney for flight home

 

I’ve chosen this route to travel as at the time of writing, direct flights are available between the major cities and towns. Hopefully, the airlines won’t change this!

Don’t have 4 weeks to spend in Australia, I suggest:

1 week in Australia – spend your time in Sydney and Cairns

2 weeks in Australia – spend your time in Sydney, Uluru and Cairns

3 weeks in Australia – spend your time in Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru and Cairns

But if you have 4 weeks to spend in Australia, follow my one month Australia iconic places itinerary.

 

One Month Australia Iconic Places Itinerary

 

Days 1-4 – Sydney + Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

 

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge looking magnificent under a blue sky in Sydney Harbour, Australia.

Start your Australia iconic places holiday in Sydney at Sydney Harbour

 

Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales, Australia and this is where you start your 1 month Australian iconic spots holiday. Sydney is home to some 5.3 million people and is known for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House sitting proudly on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. It is also known as having fabulous beaches with the iconic Bondi Beach being one of them. And you are now about to discover everything Sydney has to offer a first time visitor to Australia.

 

Where to Stay in Sydney

 

You will be spending 4 nights in Sydney. Most first-timers to Sydney will want to stay as close to Sydney Harbour as possible. This means you will be in easy walking distance to the best things to see and do in Sydney in around the Harbour. Accommodation options for your stay in Sydney could be:

Hostel: If you are looking for a bed in a hostel you can’t go past the YHA Sydney Harbour. As well as offering all the usual things a hostel offers, this hostel has a fabulous rooftop area providing excellent views over Sydney Harbour. Get rates and availability to YHA Sydney Harbour here.
Budget Hotel: For a budget hotel try The Grand Hotel. It’s located in Sydney CBD. Get rates and availability to The Grand Hotel here.
Mid-range Hotel: For a mid-range hotel relatively close to Sydney Harbour consider the Mercure Sydney. About a 10 minute walk to the Harbour, this hotel has much to offer first-time travellers to Sydney. Get rates and availability to the Mercure Hotel here.
Splurge Hotel: If you ever wanted to splurge on a hotel, then splurging in Sydney to have fabulous views over Sydney Harbour is where you will want to splurge. Check out the Rydges Hotel in The Rocks area and you will be treated to endless views of Sydney Harbour. Get rates and availability for Rydges Sydney Harbour here.
For more accommodation options in Sydney, visit Booking.com.

 

What to See and Do in Sydney

 

Day 1 – Sydney

 

After arriving in Sydney, checking into your accommodation and after having a wake-up shower head straight to Sydney Harbour to walk around the foreshore. Start in the area known as ‘The Rocks‘. This is the area that was first developed by the convicts that were brought to Australia. Many of the buildings are built from sandstone. Leaving this area walk to Sydney Harbour. Visit the Overseas Terminal where the international cruise lines dock. You could climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge at this time. Not feeling like it? Then you can walk up one of the pylons for great views over the harbour. Or perhaps walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is a walkway and then catch a train back.

After exploring the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk around the harbour where all the ferries arrive and leave from. You could grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on the way to the Sydney Opera House. Walk around the Sydney Opera House or perhaps go on a tour to see the theatres inside. Keep walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens to end up at Mrs MacQuarie’s Chair. Mrs MacQuarie was the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie who governed New South Wales between 1810 and 1821. The large stone chair was built so Mrs Macquarie could sit and look at the beautiful sunsets over the new Sydney. And you could finish your first day in Sydney at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair doing exactly the same. Then head back to harbour as there are plenty of restaurants for dinner lining the harbour.

 

BOOK Your Tour of the Sydney Opera House online here

 

Day 2 – Sydney

 

I always like to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour when I have limited time in a new city. So this morning go on the Sydney hop-on hop-off tour bus. It will take you to all the main sites in Sydney to see. Then you can decide which ones you would like to re-visit. Perhaps go up Sydney Tower for great views over the city.

 

BOOK Your Ticket for Sydney’s Hop-on Hop-off Bus online here

 

Day 3 – Sydney

 

Today jump on a ferry to Manly. On hopping off the ferry walk along Manly’s Corso – the main walking mall to Manly Beach. Maybe spend the day at the beach or hop on a bus and travel along the Northern Beaches area to the end of the peninsula. Home and Away fans (an Australian TV show) could walk to the surf club where scenes of Home and Away is filmed. Or perhaps hike up the Barrenjoey Headland to the Lighthouse. Return to Manly by bus before returning to Sydney by ferry. Or perhaps go east and spend your day at Bondi Beach. Learn to surf or enjoy the water.

 

Day 4 – Blue Mountains Day Trip

 

Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains are a rock formation overlooking the Jamieson Valley.

See the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains on a Day Trip from Sydney

 

Today hire a car or catch the train to the Blue Mountains about an hour and a half west of Sydney. Here discover The Three Sisters, a rock formation overlooking the Jamieson Valley. Go on a easy hike or there is the Blue Mountains hop-on and off Explorer Bus you can take which will take you not only to the Three Sisters but to other sites in the Blue Mountains. I took the hop-on hop-off explorer bus and it was wonderful. It took me to all the best spots in the Blue Mountains and I could hop-off to spend extra time at the places that were of most interest to me. You can buy your ticket in advance online for the Blue Mountains hop-on and off Explorer Bus here, or at Katoomba Station! To save me waiting at the station, I purchased my ticket in advance online here Blue Mountains hop-on and off Explorer Bus. Have a meal in Katoomba before returning to Sydney.

 

Day 5-6 – Canberra, ACT

 

Sharyn at Mount Ainslie Lookout providing views over Canberra including Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin and Black Mountain.

Get fabulous views over Canberra from the Mount Ainslie Lookout

 

Day 5 of this 1 month Australia iconic places sees you leave Sydney to drive to Canberra. Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is worth a visit. To reach Canberra either rent a car and drive the 280 or so kilometres or you can catch a train from Sydney’s Central Train Station. You could fly from Sydney to Canberra but the flight is very short and if you drive, you will get a taste of Australian roads and the New South Wales countryside. As mentioned, Canberra is the capital of Australia and home to Australia’s Government.

 

Where to Stay in Canberra

 

This itinerary budgets for 2 nights accommodation in Canberra. Canberra has loads of styles of accommodation to suit different budgets. There are a number of hostels, hotels, apartments and camp sites to stay at. All are in easy reach by local public transport to the major attractions in Canberra.

Hostel: Hostels have long provided cheap and comfortable accommodation. Canberra has a few of them including the Canberra City YHA which is conveniently located on .3km from the city centre.
Budget Hotel: Hotels and motels are plentiful in Canberra. Some great deals can be found in the following which range from budget to expensive. They include but are not limited to: Mercure CanberraBest Western Garden CityMantra on NorthbourneCrowne PlazaHyatt Hotel and Rydges Capital Hill to name a few.
Mid-range Hotel: Ibis Styles Canberra Tall Trees in Ainslie – read my review of my stay here.
For other Canberra accommodation options check out Booking.com.
Once in a life-time great experience: Fancy sleeping with a tiger or feeding a giraffe from your balcony while staying in luxurious accommodation? Then the Jamala Wildlife Lodge might be an option for you. Check out their accommodation options here.
For more accommodation options in Canberra, get rates and availabilities at Booking.com.

 

What to See and Do in Canberra

 

You should arrive in Canberra around lunch time so after grabbing a bite to eat head to Parliament House. This is Australia’s seat of government and it might be ‘dry’ for some people, it is interesting to visit where all the decisions are made. Go on a free guided tour or walk around yourself. If you have time visit the Museum of Democracy, or what some of us call ‘Old Parliament House’. This is the big white building you can see in the distance from Parliament House. It was built as an interim parliament house until the one we have today was built! The Museum of Democracy is interactive with lots of things to read and experience. I personally loved seeing the Prime Minister’s office and visiting both The Senate and House of Representatives. Finish the day off with a nice dinner.

Spend your second day in Canberra with a visit to the Australian War Memorial. Followed by a visit to a museum or two and maybe walk around Lake Burley Griffin or take a drive to see the Consulates and High Commissions. Canberra has many things to see and do on day 2 in Canberra.

 

Days 7-8 – Melbourne

 

Melbourne City from across the Yarra River.

Melbourne City

AC/DC Laneway is a laneway in Melbourne known for its street art.

See the street art Melbourne is famous for

 

After a short flight (1 hr 10 mins) from Canberra to Melbourne check into your accommodation and get exploring Melbourne. Melbourne is the capital city of the Australian state of Victoria. Some 5 million people live in Melbourne and it rivals Sydney for being the biggest city in Australia. Melbourne, they say, was built from the profits of gold during the gold rush days. So you will see many grand old buildings.

 

Where to Stay in Melbourne

 

Melbourne has many accommodation options. Book for 2 nights stay in Melbourne.

Hostels: There are a number of great hostels very close to, or in Melbourne’s CBD. Check out: Melbourne City BackpackersAll Nationals BackpackersThe Village Melbourne
Budget Hotels: For a budget hotel in Melbourne get rates and check availability for Hotel Grand Chancellor Melbourne or Ibis Melbourne Central.
Luxury Hotels: Seeking a luxurious Melbourne pad, then consider the InterContinental Melbourne The RialtoThe Langham or the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.
Apartments: Prefer an apartment to make some meals and to save some money whilte travelling around Australia, then you may like to consider Melbourne SkyHigh Apartments.
For other Melbourne accommodation options check out Booking.com.

 

What to See and Do in Melbourne

 

After the morning of travel from Canberra to Melbourne and checking into your accommodation, get your walking shoes on and explore the city. Melbourne is built on a grid systems making it easy to walk around the streets and laneways. Some of the best things to see and do in Melbourne include:

  • Start your visit to Melbourne at Flinders Street Train Station. This is an iconic building in Melbourne built from sandstone, as are many of the buildings in Melbourne. People use the iconic clocks above the entrance as a meeting place so if you need to meet someone, meet them under the clocks at Flinders Street Station. Then cross the road to visit Federation Square and the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria). There is always an interesting exhibit on there.
  • Melbourne is known for its street art and cafe culture so start your visit to Melbourne by walking to see the main street art laneways. The two best laneways to visit with street art are Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane. After deciding whether the street art is art or graffiti head to another lane, Hardware Lane for your choice of restaurants for lunch. It is easy to walk around Melbourne as it was built around a grid, so many roads and laneways cross each other.
  • Hop on Melbourne’s free Circle Tram. This tram circles the city passing many Melbourne’s interesting buildings. There is a commentary telling you about the things you will see in Melbourne from the tram. You can hop on and off the tram at will to visit places of interest longer. Visit the State Library to see the massive reading room. Maybe a tour of Melbourne Gaol to see the armour and death mask of one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers – Ned Kelly.
  • Catch a tram down St Kilda Road and visit the War Memorial. And look back from the top of the stairs for great views over the city. Jump back on the tram and visit St Kilda Beach. Here you can spend you day at the beach, wander along Acland Street and enjoy a cake or too from one of the cake shops. Or perhaps walk out onto the pier. End your day here where a little penguin colony lives and watch them come ashore.
  • Visit the Queen Victoria Markets. This market is massive and is home to lots of fresh foods, clothes and other items including souvenirs. Or shop till you drop in one of the many shopping centres in Melbourne or along Bourke Street Mall. Get an iconic snap of Melbourne trams driving through the mall.
  • Walk along South Bank and enjoy a meal in one of the many cafes, restaurants and bars. Possibly spend a few hours inside the Crown Casino – even if it is to check out the shops or entertainment.

 

Days 9-10 – Drive the Great Ocean Road

 

After hiring a car (get availability and rates via DiscoverCars here) it will take a good 1.5 hours to drive from Melbourne to Torquay. Usually I would take 3-4 days to really explore the Great Ocean Road but this 1 month itinerary affords 2 days and you can see a great deal during this time. For the first day along the Great Ocean Road you can stop anywhere you want but these are my suggestions:

 

  • First stop on the Great Ocean Road is Torquay. Torquay is actually just before the Great Ocean Road but worth a visit. You could visit Australia’s Surfing Museum and get the history of surfing or perhaps enjoy a bite to eat in one of the cafes. Or dip your toes in the water.
  • Jump back in the car and head to Bells Beach, where the world-famous Bells Beach Surfing Competition is held every year around Easter time. Walk down the stairs to the beach. Did the stairs at Bells Beach make you a little thirsty or in need of a sugary pick-me-up? Then follow the signs to the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.
  • Leave ‘Bells’ as the locals call it and begin the journey along the Great Ocean Road. First stop is the Great Ocean Road Entrance for the iconic photo shot of the sign and the statues of men building the road.

 

Entrance Sign To The Great Ocean Road Is a Memorial To Those Who Built The Road

Entrance to the Great Ocean Road

 

  • Travel along the Great Ocean Road passing small towns of Anglesea then Aireys Inlet, both seaside towns with eateries, shops, beaches and beautiful scenery. Then on to Lorne. Lorne is another beachside town and is a very popular surfing spot. It has a well-known arts community. You might want to visit a gallery and the sculpture park. Head up to Teddy’s Lookout which provides sweeping views over the town and along the coast. Take a drive in to the state park to visit Erskine Falls. Set amidst a rainforest with ferns and Bell Birds take the easy walk to the beautiful waterfall.

 

Erskine Falls is a waterfall behind Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.

Erskine Falls

 

Leaving Lorne follow the coastal road through small towns of Separation CreekWye River and Kennett River before reaching Apollo Bay. In Apollo Bay head to Mariners Lookout for panoramic views over the ocean. Stay the night in Apollo Bay. There is plenty of accommodation Apollo Bay. You can book for one night by searching for options at Booking.com.

On the second day of driving the Great Ocean Road, leave Apollo Bay and drive into the Otway National Park to spend the morning. This national park is home to a 57-mile hiking trail, forest, waterfalls and native wildlife. You may see many koalas in the trees, learn about Aboriginal history and dinosaur fossils. You can walk around the area visiting the buildings to learn about the area, including dinosaur fossils that have been found. If feeling energetic climb to the top of the Cape Otway Lighthouse. 

From Apollo Bay take the long and windy drive to the Twelve Apostles National Park. This is a must see stop with spectacular coastline where you will see the Twelve Apostles, actually there is only 8 of them as 4 have collapsed into the ocean.,plus many more nature-made landmarks. You may want to take a helicopter ride to truly appreciate the area. My son and I did this, read taking a helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles here. The airfield to go on a helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles is opposite the car park and you can buy a ticket in the terminal.

 

The Twelve Apostles Along The Great Ocean Road in Victoria

Twelve Apostles on a sunny day

 

After admiring the Twelve Apostles, next stop is Loch Ard Gorge where you can walk along the platforms down to the beach to discover about the shipwrecks that happened along the coastline.  Yes, it’s not called the Shipwreck Coast for nothing! Leaving the Gorge drive through Port Campbell and on to London Bridge. London Bridge is a natural arch which unfortunately due to erosion has now been separated from the mainland. Spectacular all the same.

 

Arial view of 12 Apostles from helicopter.

Arial view of 12 Apostles from helicopter

12 Apostles from a helicopter. Arial view.

Loch Ard on the Shipwreck Coast

 

After seeing some spectacular scenery along the Great Ocean Road continue through Warrnambool and on to Adelaide. You will arrive early evening, dinner time in Adelaide.

 

Days 11-12 Adelaide + Barossa Valley

 

Adelaide is the capital of the Australian state of South Australia. Known as the ‘City of Churches’ for all the churches you will see. It is also the gateway to the Barossa Valley, a world-famous wine region. It is quite small compared to some of Australia’s other cities and you may be wondering why I have included it in this itinerary of icons of Australia. Well, it’s really the Barossa Valley wine region, that is the icon here! And if you are travelling with kids and wonder if the Barossa Valley is kid-friendly, well, it can be, if you take your kids to see how the wine is made.

 

Where to Stay in Adelaide

 

Book for 3 nights in Adelaide. Options for your stay:

Hostel: If seeking a bed in an Adelaide hostel, you can’t go past YHA Adelaide Central. Within easy walking distance to the sites of Adelaide including the iconic Adelaide Oval. Get rates and availability for YHA Adelaide Central here.
Budget Hotel: Not far from Chinatown, Adelaide Central Market and Rundle Street Mall, check out Hotel Metropolitan
Middle Range Hotel: Get rates and availability for the Ibis Adelaide within Adelaide city and close to everything.

 

What to See and Do in Adelaide & Surrounds

 

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia. It is an easy city to walk around as it is a well planned and laid-out city. In fact, most of the best things to see and do are within a square-mile grid. To start your time in. Adelaide I suggest you download one of the free walking maps available on the City of Adelaide website www.cityofadelaide.com.au. I downloaded my walking map and found it so useful – and never got lost once! So, things to see and do in Adelaide:

  • Start your Adelaide visit at Rundle Mall. This is Adelaide’s pedestrian-only main shopping street and is the longest and one of the busiest malls in Australia. The street was established in 1837 with many of the buildings dateing back to the 19th century. Apart from visiting some of the 700 or so retailers, Rundle Mall is home to a fountain and iconic sculptures including the Spheres, a group of life-size pigs (August, Horatio, Oliver and Truffles) and a giant cockroach. From Rundle Mall there are short walks to reach the Adelaide Central Market, the SA Museum, Art Gallery, State Library and Parliament House.
  • Sport lovers will want to visit Adelaide Oval, scene of many AFL and cricket matches. Possibly go on a tour of Adelaide Oval and be given access to areas only the players are privy to. Receive the lowdown on the history of the venue and gain insight into the 100-year old heritage-listed scoreboard. You can book your tour of the Adelaide Oval here. Or perhaps do a roof climb of the Oval for great views over Adelaide up to the Adelaide Hills and out to the ocean. You can book your tour to climb the Oval here. 
  • Visit The National Wine Centre. I found this to be a fascinating educational experience. After all, if you asked me what some of my favourite things in life are, wine would definitely be on the list. Gain knowledge about winemaking and wine appreciation here.
  • After spending a day discovering Adelaide, spend your second day in Adelaide discovering the Barossa Valley. This area is outside of Adelaide and is often referred to as ‘Australia’s best wine region’. I suggest go on a day tour that will take you to a number of wineries and include lunch. You can book a tour to the Barossa Valley here.

 

Barossa Valley vines growing.

Barossa Valley vines

 

Days 13 – 15 – Perth + Rottnest Island

 

Day 13 of this 1 month Australia itinerary sees you leave Adelaide and take a 4 hour flight to Perth. On landing in Perth, make your way to your accommodation. Then get your walking shoes on and start discovering Perth. Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is your gateway to many parts of Western Australia. On this itinerary of Australia we are staying in Perth, but venturing to see the iconic little Quokkas of Rottnest Island.

 

Where to Stay in Perth

 

Perth has a variety of accommodation available to suit all budgets for your 2 days in Perth visit. Great news is there is plenty of very central accommodation in easy walking distance of many of things you can see and do in Perth. If you are in a van, towing a caravan or like to stay in cabins there is the Perth Central Caravan Park. This park is only minutes away from central Perth and offers tent and powered sites and cabins. Check out pricing and availability for Perth Central Caravan Park here. If a hostel bed is what you seek check out Ocean Beach Backpackers, Cottlesloe and JJs Backpackers which includes breakfast. For a budget hotel room check out pricing and availability at Doubletree by Hilton Perth in Northbridge. Located in a great area for good nightlife. For a room in a mid-range hotel try the Duxton Hotel Perth, only .6km from the centre of Perth. If you like to self-cater then check out All Suites Perth. For all other options check out Booking.com.

 

What to See and Do in Perth

 

  • Hop aboard Perth Tram Explorer. This hop-off hop-on bus takes you to all the best sites to see in Perth.
  • Visit Kings Park for great sunset views over Perth.
  • Spend an evening in Northbridge, a vibrant part of Perth with many restaurants, bars and pubs. End your day ‘in the west’ with a nice meal and a drink.
  • Meet the Quokkas of Rottnest Island on a day trip from Perth.

 

Tall buildings of Perth City from Kings Park Lookout.

Perth city from Kings Park

 

A curious fury Quokka on Rottnest Island.

Get a selfie with a curious Quokka

 

You will want a full day to explore Rottnest Island. To get to Rottnest Island grab a short ferry from Perth or Fremantle. While on Rottnest Island you can hire a bike for the 22 km loop. While riding you can beach hop and maybe even catch a few dolphins swimming nearby. Of course, a trip to Rottnest Island wouldn’t be complete without getting a selfie with a quokka! If you aren’t familiar, a quokka is a cute and small furry animal that you won’t typically find anywhere else in the world. They’re friendly, maybe too friendly, and can be found throughout the island so your chances of running into one and getting the perfect picture is quite high.

You can organise your day at Rottnest Island yourself as there are a few public ferries that make daily trips to the island. Or, you can undertake a tour that picks you up at your hotel, sails you to Rottnest Island and shows you around the island.

BOOK your tour to Rottnest Island online.

 

Days 16-19 – Darwin + Kakadu

 

After your flight from Perth to Darwin taking 3 hours 35 minutes direct, head to your accommodation in Darwin. Put your walking shoes on and start discovering Darwin. Try to stay outdoors and find a place to watch the sunset over Darwin – possibly at Mindil Beach. Darwin has some of the best sunsets in Australia. Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and you will be staying here for 3 nights, two now and one after you get back from Kakadu National Park. It is relatively small city compared to Sydney so accommodation is very central.

 

Where to Stay in Darwin

 

Book 3 nights accommodation in Darwin – the first two and another night for when you get back from Kakadu.

Hostel: For a bed in a hostel check out MOM Darwin which is very central on Mitchell Street near the bus terminal. It has a pool and cooling which is needed when visiting Darwin. Get pricing and availability of MOM Darwin here.
Hotel: For a budget hotel in Darwin check out the Darwin City Hotel.
Mid-Range Hotel: Looking for a hotel a bit more up-market and near the waterfront, check out the Novotel Darwin CBD.

 

What to See and Do in Darwin

 

Spend a full day in Darwin. Some of the best things to see and do in Darwin include:

  • There is a hop-on hop-off bus taking you to all the sites.
  • Visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. In particular visit the Cyclone Tracy exhibit. Cyclone Tracy was a severe Tropical Cyclone that devastated the city of Darwin from 24 to 26 December 1974. It flattened 80 per cent of the city of Darwin and killed 71 people.
  • Go in the ‘Cage of Death’ at Crocosaurus Cove.
  • Take a stroll through the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens.
  • One of the mud-do things in Darwin is to shop at Mindil Beach’s Sunset Market. After shopping and buying dinner sit on the beach and enjoy a fabulous sunset – hopefully the weather will provide you with this!

 

Sunset over Mindil Beach Darwin.

enjoy a sunset over Darwin from Mindil Beach

 

2 Days in Kakadu National Park

 

After a couple of days in Darwin, rent a car and drive yourself or hop on a bus tour for 2 full days exploring the UNESCO Heritage listed World famous Kakadu National Park. You will be staying one night in kakadu. If you are driving yourself you will need accommodation but if going on a tour, it will be included in the price. I chose to go on a 2-day bus tour of Kakadu. And I’m glad I did because I was taken to all the best places during the 2 days in Kakadu.

 

  • Feed the jumping crocodiles on a sail down Alligator River
  • See the bird life of the wetlands
  • Have a local Aboriginal guide explain the rock art drawings on the rocks
  • Enjoy a sunset over Ubirr – hopefully the weather will allow this.

 

BOOK Your 2-Day Kakadu National Park tour online here

 

Crocodile Jumping for food on Alligator River in Kakadu National Park.

See croc’s jumping for food on Alligator River, Kakadu National Park

 

Aboriginal Paints in Kakadu NP.

Learn about Aboriginal Rock Art from local Aboriginals

 

Kakadu Ubirr Sunset over wetlands in Kakadu NP.

Enjoy the sunset over Ubirr and the wetlands in Kakadu NP

 

Days 20 – 25 – Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Uluru + Kata Tjuta

 

After a short 2 hour 5 minute flight from Darwin to Alice Springs, check into your Alice Springs accommodation and get walking around Alice Springs. Alice Springs is in the ‘Red Centre’ or ‘Central Australia’. It is 1,500km from Darwin and 1,500km from Adelaide – so in the middle of these two cities.

 

Where to Stay in Alice Springs

 

HostelsAlice Springs YHA, located only 300m from the centre of town. It is built within the grounds of an historic outdoor movie theatre. 
Caravan Park: If you’ve brought your accommodation with you try the Heritage Caravan Park

Budget to Mid-Range HotelsAurora Alice Springs offers good value only 300m from town. There is also the Desert Palms.
Luxury Hotels: Check out the Quest Alice Springs.

 

What to See and Do in Alice Springs

 

Alice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory. It is halfway between Darwin and Adelaide, both being 1,500km away. Visitors use Alice Springs as a gateway for exploring the Red Centre, but there is plenty to see and do in Alice Springs also.

  • Take the hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city
  • Head to Todd Mall and check out the Aboriginal art work – there are a number of outlets in town.
  • Get great views over Alice Springs and the surrounding MacDonnell Ranges at ANZAC Hill. You can walk to the top in about 10-15 minutes, depending on how fast you walk up hills. ANZAC Hill Memorial is located at the top and is a memorial to those members of the armed forces who served during WWI.
  • Learn about the Overland Telegraph Line, linking Darwin and Adelaide at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. Walk around the old buildings originally built in 1872.
  • Go to a camel farm and have a ride on a camel.
  • Visit the MacDonnel Ranges

 

View over Alice Springs from ANZAC Hill.

View over Alice Springs from ANZAC Hill

 

Alice Springs Telegraph Station.

Telegraph Station, Alice Springs

 

After yesterday’s full day of getting to know Alice Springs, hire a car and begin the 5 and half hour drive to Uluru stopping off at Kings Canyon (3 and a half hours away) for the afternoon. Walk around the rim (if time) and be treated to fabulous views. Climb the rocks and be ‘a cock in a frock on a rock’ as per the movie ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.

 

Kings Canyon in the NT Rim Walk.

Walk the rim of Kings Canyon

 

Continue the drive to Uluru for your first night. If there in time, watch the sunset over Uluru.

 

Where to Stay in Uluru

 

There are a number of accommodation options for your visit to Uluru. Note that the accommodation is based in Yulara some 25km away from Uluru. Options available range from camping to luxury hotels, with fabulous views of the surrounding area.

CampingAyers Rock Resort – The Ayers Rock camp ground has a choice of tent sites, air-conditioned cabins and powered and unpowered sites for caravans, motor homes and camper trailers.
HotelsLost Camel Hotel, Outback Pioneer Lodge and Outback Pioneer Hotel
LuxurySails in the Desert and Desert Gardens Hotel which boasts rooms with a view of Uluru.
ApartmentEmu Walk Apartments
Glamping: Longitude131

 

Things to See and Do in Uluru

 

  • Get up early to see a sunrise over Uluru.
  • Do the Base Walk around Uluru
  • Hire a bike and ride around
  • Discover the Discovery Centre and the local Aboriginal culture. May take a cooking class and eat local delicacies.
  • Visit the Field of Lights
  • Take a day trip to Kata Tjuta

 

Beautiful orange colour of Ayers Rock Uluru late afternoon.

Uluru late in the afternoon – see it change colour

 

Rock domes of Kata Tjuta - The Olgas in Central Australia.

Get up close and personal with the rock domes at Kata Tjuta – The Olgas

 

READ MORE: 8 Day Central Australia Itinerary – Central Australia has many iconic spots, extend your time here on this 1 month Australia itinerary.

 

Days 26-29 – Cairns + Great Barrier Reef

 

After a flight of 2 hours and 10 minutes you will arrive in Cairns, your stepping off point to the Great Barrier Reef. Check in to your accommodation and get to know Cairns with a walk around its streets. Cairns is where the rainforest meets the reef.

 

Where to Stay in Cairns: book for 4 nights

 

Hostel: There are a number of hostels in Cairns including the ‘Mad Monkey’ chain of hostels. So if looking for a bed in a hostel check out the Mad Monkey Waterfront or the Mad Monkey Central.
Budget Hotel: Prefer a room in a budget hotel, get rates and availability for Palm Royale Cairns. Close to everything and has a fabulous pool to cool off after a hot day sightseeing in Cairns.
Splurge Hotel: If you wanted to splurge for your last few nights in Australia, Cairns is a great place to do it. Check out rates and availability for Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns or Pullman Cairns International.

 

What to See and Do in Cairns

 

  • Enter the Cairns Aquarium which connects you with 16,000 species of animals across 10 different ecosystems and 71 different exhibits – while also owning the bragging rights as the only aquarium in the world to showcase wildlife from two World Heritage-listed sites.
  • Discover the history of Cairns at the Cairns Museum.
  • Walk along Cairns Esplanade enjoying the water and parks and take a dip in the Cairns Lagoon. A public pool with 4800 square meters of saltwater swimming space fronting the Coral Sea.
  • Visit the 38-hectare tropical Cairns Botanic Gardens, five minutes from the Cairns CBD.
  • Take a day trip out to Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. BOOK Your day trip to Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef online here.
  • Drive up the mountains to Kuranda taking in the Crater Lakes, the Barron Falls and the Curtain Fig Tree. Or take the scenic railway winding its way up the mountains offering some wonderful views. You could also take the Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda. BOOK Your day trip to Kuranda online here.
  • Maybe leave the tropical far north and head in to the Gulf Savannah for a trip to the Undarra Lave Caves, which are the longest in the world and stretch for some 16km.

 

Cairns Espanade - walk along the ocean.

Cairns Esplanade

 

Green Island is in the Great Barrier Reef. A small island with plenty of coral to see.

see coral while snorkelling at Green Island, Great Barrier Reef

 

Kuranda Railway high in the hinterland behind Cairns in the lush rainforest.

Kuranda Railway

 

Day 30 – to Sydney

 

All great things come to an end, and this is the same for your one month holiday in Australia. Today, fly to Sydney for your flight home.

 

Extend your stay in Australia by coming to Australia on a working holiday visa. Read my Australia Working Holiday Maker Visa Guide post here for details.

More Australia information and content at my Australia website: Discover Australia Now.

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Uluru are 2 iconic Australian places to see on a 1 month Australia itinerary.

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Sharyn McCullum Sailing Through The Panama Canal With Storm Chasing Boat.

Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to get the live work play travel lifestyle with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.

7 Comments

  1. Terri

    I visited Australia 3 times but I have always stayed in 1 or 2 cities. I’d love to take a month to experience all Australia’s unique regions. Great post!

    Reply
    • Melanie

      great post. makes me want to add it to my list!

      Reply
  2. Lina

    It’s great to see that even though Australia is that huge, you can really see most of its highlights in a month! I would absolutely love to spend that much time there. 🙂 Hopefully soon!

    Reply
  3. Erica

    I love this comprehensive post about visiting Australia! I haven’t been there yet and you covered so much about how to think about all of the places I would love to see. I’m pinning it to use for planning, thanks!

    Reply
  4. Kelly

    What an in-depth travel itinerary for Australia! I’ve lived in Australia my whole life and I’m always so interested in seeing other people’s recommendations for travelling in Australia! Thanks for all your recommendations!

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    This is a great itinerary. wish I had seen something like this before I went to Australia. I didn’t spend that long in Canberra, I think I should have at least spent a night there like you’ve suggested.

    Reply
  6. Samara

    I’ve been wanting to go to Australia forever but have been overwhelmed at the idea of plaaning out my stay so this is so helpful!!!

    Reply

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