37 days in Australia & New Zealand Itinerary

37 days in Australia & New Zealand Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

1
Cairns, Australia
— 2 nights
2
Port Douglas, Australia
— 2 nights
3
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
— 3 nights
4
Melbourne, Australia
— 4 nights
5
Sydney, Australia
— 4 nights
6
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 3 nights
7
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
— 3 nights
8
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 4 nights
9
Paihia, New Zealand
— 2 nights
10
Taupo, New Zealand
— 4 nights

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Behana Gorge Waterfall and Skydiving. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Jaques Coffee Plantation (in Mareeba) and Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park (in Lake Eacham). The adventure continues: learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, admire the striking features of Freshwater Station, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, and take in the dramatic scenery at Josephine Falls.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Cairns trip itinerary maker website.

Toronto, Canada to Cairns is an approximately 27-hour flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 15 hour difference. In December, Cairns is much hotter than Toronto - with highs of °F and lows of °F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Jaques Coffee Plantation, Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Josephine Falls ©
Josephine Falls
Behana Gorge Waterfall
Behana Gorge Waterfall
Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park ©
Lake Eacham Crater Lakes National Park

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): explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, get outside with Horses in Port, view the masterpieces at Ngarru Gallery, thenmake a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas. Keep things going the next day: do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, thenlook for gifts at With Sugar, and finally take some stellar pictures from Flagstaff Hill Lookout.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Port Douglas day trip planning site.

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Port Douglas are °F, while nighttime lows are °F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Shopping Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas
Opal Reef ©
Opal Reef
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Walpa Gorge and Red Desert Reptiles. There's still lots to do: hike along Kuniya Walk, learn more about the world around you at Wintjiri Arts + Museum, explore the activities along Mutitjulu Waterhole, and make a trip to Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal corporation.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park trip planner.

Getting from Port Douglas to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) is minus 0.5 hours. Traveling from Port Douglas in December, you will find days in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are a bit warmer (°F), and nights are about the same (°F). Cap off 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
Walpa Gorge ©
Walpa Gorge
Red Desert Reptiles ©
Red Desert Reptiles

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Prahran Market. There's lots more to do: browse the different shops at Emporium Melbourne, test your team's savvy at Escape Hunt Melbourne, take in nature's colorful creations at Flagstaff Gardens, and take in the views from Princes Bridge.

For photos and more tourist information, you can read our Melbourne online visit planner.

Traveling by flight from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Melbourne takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 0.5 hours traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Melbourne. Traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in December, expect Melbourne to be a bit cooler, temps between °F and °F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to 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
Emporium Melbourne ©
Emporium Melbourne
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to James Craig Tall Ship and Sydney Harbour Circle Walk. Next up on the itinerary: have some family-friendly fun at Flight Experience, admire the masterpieces at White Rabbit Gallery, catch some excitement at Virtual Room Sydney - Virtual Reality Sydney Adventure, and stop by The Strand Arcade.

For more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from Melbourne to Sydney by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Sydney when traveling from Melbourne in December, with lows around °F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time 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
James Craig Tall Ship ©
James Craig Tall Ship
Flight Experience ©
Flight Experience

3
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Climbing Tours and Wanaka Lavender Farm. Get out of town with these interesting Queenstown side-trips: The Remarkable Sweet Shop - Arrowtown Shop (in Arrowtown) and Wanaka (Speed Boats Tours & Parasailing & Paragliding). The adventure continues: explore the activities along Arrow River, cast your line with a fishing tour, have some family-friendly fun at Dark Ride, and learn about winemaking at Mt Rosa Wines.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Queenstown online trip maker.

Getting from Sydney to Queenstown by flight takes about 6 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Sydney to Queenstown. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time 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
Climbing Tours
Arrow River ©
Arrow River
Wanaka Lavender Farm ©
Wanaka Lavender Farm

3
nights
Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Gem Alpaca Stud and Governors Bush Walk. Change things up with these side-trips from Mt. Cook Village: SkyScape (in Twizel), Sealy Tarns Track (in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu)) and Mount John Summit Circuit Track (in Lake Tekapo). Next up on the itinerary: trek along Mueller Hut Route, experience rural life at New Zealand Alpine Lavender Farm, and stroll through Red Tarns Track.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village road trip tool.

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 Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

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

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Hollyford Track and Milford sound Hwy. Explore Te Anau's surroundings by going to Hump Ridge Track (in Tuatapere) and Milford Foreshore Walk (in Milford). The adventure continues: take a memorable tour with Tours, explore the activities along Lake Gunn, trek along Gertrude Saddle, and take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Te Anau itinerary maker tool.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mt. Cook Village to Te Anau. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Te Anau

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Fiordland National Park, Hump Ridge Track, Milford Foreshore Walk, Milford sound Hwy
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Urupukapuka Island and Ruapekapeka Pa Track. There's much more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Paul's Anglican Church, stop by Paihia Bookshop, get great views at Opua Forest Lookout Track, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Paihia day trip planning site.

Traveling by flight from Te Anau to Paihia takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of bus, train, ferry, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

St James Anglican Church, Ruapekapeka Pa Track
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Urupukapuka Island ©
Urupukapuka Island
St Paul's Anglican Church ©
St Paul's Anglican Church
Opua Forest Lookout Track ©
Opua Forest Lookout 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kayaking & Canoeing and Fishing Charters & Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Taupo side-trips: Redwoods Treewalk (in Rotorua) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Okere Falls). There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Lava Glass, hike along Huka Falls Walkway, and examine the collection at Taupo Museum.

To see maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Taupo tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Taupo takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up 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
Kayaking & Canoeing
Great Lake Taupo ©
Great Lake Taupo
Helicopter Tours

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