37 days in Australia & New Zealand Itinerary

37 days in Australia & New Zealand Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Australia & New Zealand Itinerary

Start: Toronto, Canada
Fly:  28​h
1
Cairns, Australia
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas, Australia
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 45​min
3
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
4
Melbourne, Australia
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
5
Sydney, Australia
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
6
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
8
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 4 nights
bus + Fly:  8​h
9
Paihia, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
10
Taupo, New Zealand
— 4 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Toronto, Canada


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
Cairns, Australia

Cairns ©
A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Explore hidden gems such as Josephine Falls and St Monica's Cathedral. Venture out of the city with trips to Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park (in Lake Eacham) and Jaques Coffee Plantation (in Mareeba). There's still lots to do: learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, admire the sheer force of Behana Gorge Waterfall, and admire the striking features of Freshwater Station.

To see other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Cairns trip itinerary maker app .

Toronto, Canada to Cairns is an approximately 28-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of ferry and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to Cairns is 15 hours. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Toronto in December; daily highs in Cairns reach 88°F and lows reach 73°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to catcht the bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Nature Adventure

Side Trips

Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park, Jaques Coffee Plantation
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Josephine Falls ©
Josephine Falls
St Monica's Cathedral ©
St Monica's Cathedral

2
nights
Port Douglas, Australia

Port Douglas ©
A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, head outdoors with Horses in Port, then take in the exciting artwork at Ngarru Gallery, then make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and finally hunt for treasures at Sunday Market Port Douglas. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime, do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, then trot along with a tour on horseback, then look for gifts at With Sugar, and finally get great views at Flagstaff Hill Lookout.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas road trip planning tool .

Take a bus from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. December in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 73°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trip

Mossman
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel
Horseback Riding Tours

3
nights
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ©
Please note that visitors are no longer allowed to trek up Uluru.

Located right in the center of Australia, the national park boasts perhaps the country's most iconic natural symbol and a sacred place for the region's indigenous people--as well as Kata Tjuta, a collection of 36 red rocks forming an equally distinctive sight.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Helicopter Tours and Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal corporation. There's much more to do: get outside with Walpa Gorge, stroll through Uluru Hiking Path, take in the exciting artwork at Walkatjara Art, and trek along Kuniya Walk.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park travel planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. While traveling from Port Douglas, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, ranging from highs of 97°F to lows of 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Yulara
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Mutitjulu Waterhole ©
Mutitjulu Waterhole
Helicopter Tours
Walpa Gorge ©
Walpa Gorge

4
nights
Melbourne, Australia

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Melbourne Town Hall and SkyHigh Mount Dandenong. There's lots more to do: pick up some local products at Prahran Market, don't miss a visit to Southern Cross Station, admire the striking features of Old Safety Deposit Building, and take in nature's colorful creations at Flagstaff Gardens.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Melbourne travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Melbourne takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in December; daily highs in Melbourne reach 78°F and lows reach 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Shopping Parks
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Melbourne Town Hall ©
Melbourne Town Hall
Prahran Market ©
Prahran Market

4
nights
Sydney, Australia

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at The Gap Park and Lady Bay. Next up on the itinerary: get a sense of history and politics at Sydney Town Hall, test your problem-solving skills at The Escape Hunt Experience Sydney, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Great Synagogue, and have some family-friendly fun at Flight Experience Sydney - Flight Simulator.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney online attractions planner .

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Melbourne in December, expect a bit warmer with lows of 65°F in Sydney. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Queenstown.

Things to do in Sydney

Historic Sites Fun & Games Parks
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Harbour Circle Walk ©
Sydney Harbour Circle Walk
Sydney Town Hall ©
Sydney Town Hall
The Gap Park ©
The Gap Park

3
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Step off the beaten path and head to Break One Clay Target Shooting and Speed Boats Tours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Queenstown: Wanaka (Wanaka Lavender Farm & Parasailing & Paragliding). There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Moke Lake, try your luck at SkyCity Queenstown Casino, get your game on at Dark Ride, and see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown trip planner.

Fly from Sydney to Queenstown in 6 hours. Traveling from Sydney to Queenstown, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Queenstown

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Wanaka, The Remarkable Sweet Shop - Arrowtown Shop
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Break One ©
Break One
Speed Boats Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Step off the beaten path and head to Mueller Hut Route and Sealy Tarns Track. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mt. Cook Village: Mount John Summit Circuit Track (in Lake Tekapo), SkyScape (in Twizel) and Gem Alpaca Stud (in Fairlie). There's still lots to do: trek along Red Tarns Track, relax in the rural setting at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Governors Bush Walk.

For photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Mt. Cook Village trip website .

Traveling by car from Queenstown to Mt. Cook Village takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Te Anau.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Sealy Tarns Track, Gem Alpaca Stud, Mount John Summit Circuit Track, New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, SkyScape
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Sealy Tarns Track ©
Sealy Tarns Track
Mueller Hut Route ©
Mueller Hut Route
SkyScape ©
SkyScape

4
nights
Te Anau, New Zealand

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
Step off the beaten path and head to Kayaking & Canoeing and Mirror Lakes Walk. Venture out of the city with trips to Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford), Milford sound Hwy (in Milford Sound) and Hump Ridge Track (in Tuatapere). There's lots more to do: trek along Hollyford Track, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Gunn, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gertrude Saddle, and get great views at Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Te Anau route planner .

Explore your travel options from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Milford sound Hwy, Milford Foreshore Walk, Hump Ridge Track
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Kayaking & Canoeing
Mirror Lakes Walk ©
Mirror Lakes Walk

2
nights
Paihia, New Zealand

Paihia ©
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to St James Anglican Church and Ruapekapeka Pa Track. There's much more to do: head off the coast to Urupukapuka Island, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, admire all the interesting features of Opua Forest Lookout Track, and admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Paihia online road trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Paihia in 8 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of ferry and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Ruapekapeka Pa Track, St James Anglican Church
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island
St James Anglican Church ©
St James Anglican Church
Ruapekapeka Pa Track ©
Ruapekapeka Pa Track

4
nights
Taupo, New Zealand

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Step off the beaten path and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Kayaking & Canoeing. Step out of Taupo to go to Rotorua and see Redwoods Treewalk, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, witness a stunning natural landmark at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, cast your line with a fishing tour, and browse the exhibits of L'Arte.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Taupo holiday planner.

You can fly from Paihia to Taupo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Taupo

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Redwoods Treewalk, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Kayaking & Canoeing
Aratiatia Rapids ©
Aratiatia Rapids

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