With only 2 ½ weeks to spend in Australia, we had to meticulously plan our time! We knew we wanted to tick off Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which left us to fill in the blanks between, with a combination of internal flights and car hire (Jucy rentals – who we’d definitely recommend).
During our drive up the East Coast, we booked hotels the night before or the morning we were due to stay – which gave us so much more flexibility! Particularly useful after a regretful night in a noisy hotel in Woy Woy, bad weather ruining our plans to go to the Blue Mountains and a coastal cyclone. Not having any accommodation booked meant we could scoot inland slightly to avoid the cyclone and spend a night in the Hunter Valley Wine Region – where we immediately added an extra night (for which the wine is partially responsible!).
We were pretty pleased with how we spent our time in Aus, but I’ve added in where we would have liked a few more days, if you’re lucky to have more time than us!
Hunter Valley Wine Region (left), Port Macquarie Koala Sanctuary (middle) Anna Bay – Port Stephens (right)
20 days in Australia
- 5 nights – Sydney – enough to explore most of what we wanted to see, but 7 days would have been ideal for a more relaxed time
- 4 nights – to drive up the East Coast
- 1 night -Woy Woy (a slightly strange coastal town – suggest replacing with an extra night in Sydney, Hunter Valley or Port Stephens)
- 2 nights – Hunter Valley Wine Region – one of our favourite places!
- 1 night – Port Macquarie – a nice town, halfway between Hunter Valley and Byron, complete with a Koala Sanctuary
- 2 nights – Byron Bay – super chilled – if we’d had better weather, 4 nights would have been perfect
- 2 nights -Brisbane – we definitely could have stayed much longer, as it felt like we only scratched the surface!
- Flight from Brisbane to Airlie Beach, although you could drive this if you have 12+hrs to spare!
- 1 night – Airlie Beach – a necessary pit-stop as the flight times didn’t tie up with the boat times. Not a huge amount to see in the town.
- 2 nights- Whitsunday Islands (on a boat!) – this seems to be standard for the boat trips. Again, we struck unlucky with the weather so 2 nights on a rocky boat was more than enough!
- Flight from Airlie Beach to Melbourne
- 4 nights – Melbourne – we stayed with a friend in Brighton and would have loved another couple of nights there or in another suburb, to squeeze in a few more delicious brunches!