No. of Days: 11nights/12days
Places Covered: Sydney (3nights) – Melbourne (2nights) – Cape Otway National Park (1night) – Port Fairy (1night) – Adelaide (2nights) – Barossa Valley (2nights)
Day 1: Sydney: Arrive in Sydney and transfer to your hotel. Spend some time in recovering from jet lag. Have some coffee and try to adjust your biological clock to Australian time. Go out for a tour of Sydney.
First stop should be Circular Quay, the main transport hub of Sydney Harbour and it’s home to two of Australia’s most famous landmarks – the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Have a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Take a stroll to the Sydney Opera House have a better understanding some history at The Rocks. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly beach. Walk down the palm tree-lined Corso, hit the promenade on the beach for an ice-cream, walk around to picturesque Shelly Beach, and grab a cold beer along with nicely cooked fish and chips.
Enjoy the sunset behind the harbour bridge on your return ferry to Quay. Have dinner after an all exhausted day and head to the comforts of your room for a nice sleep.
Day 2: Sydney: Get up a little early and head to Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. Grab breakfast at one of the restaurants on the beach itself. Take a walk along the coast from the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. This is a 6km stunning walk offering wonderful views of cliffs, bays and rock pools. On the walk you pass the beaches of Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay. You can enjoy coffee or some other snacks and drinks at one of these beaches. Have lunch at one of the many nice restaurants at Coogee Beach.
In the afternoon head off to take a ride to the top of the Sydney Tower, Sydney’s tallest structure. This is the place to experience Sydney’s highest open-air attraction, Skywalk, which is at a height of 260 m (853 ft.) above Sydney. Harnessed onto a moving, glass-floored viewing platform that extends out over the edge of the tower, you can view all of Sydney’s landmarks, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour, and even the Blue Mountains beyond.
Later visit one or two of the few museums you can actually visit. These include – Australian Museum, the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, the interactive Powerhouse Museum and Hyde Park Barracks Museum. You can ward off the day with a climb on Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Have dinner and retire to your hotel room. Overnight in Sydney.
Day 3: Sydney – The Blue Mountains – Sydney: Take a train ride of two hours or go for a drive of 90 minutes from Sydney to Katoomba, a major town in the area bordering Blue Mountains National Park. On reaching Katoomba hop on Blue Mountains Explorer bus to explore the beauty of the Blue Mountains. Known for dramatic scenery, Blue Mountains encompass steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries and gardens.
Have a look at the spectacular Three Sister rock formations, best viewed from Echo Point Road at Katoomba. Spend some time at Scenic World, where you can ride the world’s steepest railway to go into a valley full of ancient rainforest. You can come up by a cable car.
Head back to Sydney after spending full day at Blue Mountains. Have dinner at one of the restaurants with a view of the harbor. Overnight in Sydney.
Day 4: Sydney – Melbourne: Check out from the hotel and drive to the airport in Sydney to catch flight to Melburne, the capital and most populous city of Australian state Victoria. On arrival, transfer to a hotel. After settling in your room, go out for a city tour of Melbourne.
Start with a visit to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground. If a cricket match is going on, it is must to watch for some time, if not the whole day. It is worthwhile even if no sporting event is going on. Have a look at the National Sports Museum attached to the ground.
Next on the list is a visit to Shrine of Remembrance, a beautiful memorial of war for the soldiers who served for the Australian army during the two world wars. It is beautiful from both inside and outside. After paying respect to the soldiers, climb up the stairs to get to the top of the Shrine for a stunning view of the city.
Have lunch at one of the restaurants in the City Center area of Melbourne. From here you should have a ride on City Circle Tram. This is brilliant for getting around with an informative broadcast played all the time. Once tired of visiting all these places, you should visit Royal Botanic Garden, a large nicely maintained garden used by locals as well as foreigners to chill out and relax for some time.
Have a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city. Overnight in Melbourne.
Day 5: Melbourne: Start after breakfast for yet another full day city tour of Melbourne. First of all visit National Gallery of Victoria, which has a good collection of paintings and other art works. Next place which deserves a visit is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Located just behind the parliament house in the CBD area, the Cathedral is a nicely designed architectural work, making it popular among all tourists, irrespective of their religions.
A visit to Queen Victoria Market can be quite entertaining one. This is a beautiful market and a great place to walk and explore all local fruit and vegetables, meat and local products. There are vendors from countries as far as India, Sri Lanka, and Spain. There are lots of unique Australian handicrafts which can be bought as souvenirs. Amazing varieties of honey can also be sampled from here.
Melbourne is also famous for its wineries. Take a tour of Yarra Valley to explore some wineries with the help of a knowledgeable guide. There are family run vineyards as well as more famous brand owned wineries.
Have nice dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Melbourne.
Day 6: Melbourne – Cape Otway National Park: Check out from the hotel in Melbourne and take Great Ocean road to drive to Great Otway National Park, also called The Otways. This is located in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Australia.
There are countless beaches on the way. Feel free to stop at any of those and take swims or walks along the beach. What could have been a drive of around three hours can, with swims and walks incorporated, become a drive of over five to six hours.
Check into a nice accommodation at the Otways. Join one of the walking tours to explore the National Park, which is a temperate rainforest. The Park is home to some spectacular waterfalls with ancient, towering gum trees shadowing cool, forest floors with fern laden gullies. Almost all of the waterfalls are accessible with well made tracks which makes walking a pleasure.
You can walk up to Otway Fly, the longest and highest rainforest skywalk in the world. The Otways offer chances to try zip lining from tree to tree high above the forest floor. There are some of the world’s best mountain bike trails in Forrest, a small town in Oatways.
You can enjoy some wines from home made breweries and also enjoy some nicely made food by the locals. Return to your accommodation after a tiring but lovely day. Overnight in Cape Otway National Park.
Day 7: Cape Otway National Park – Port Fairy: Start in the morning after breakfast and resume the drive on the Great Ocean Road to Port Fairy, a coastal town in south-western Victoria. Keep stopping on the way to gaze at the mesmerizing sceneries. This includes the famous 12 Apostles, a group of magnificent rock stacks rising up from the Southern Ocean.
Take your time and look over the cliffs of Loch Ard Gorge. Have a good view of the beautiful Bay of Islands from just beyond Port Campbell. Continue along the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool. Explore the history of the place and then head to the viewing platforms at Logans Beach. These platforms are meant for watching blue whales and their calves just offshore.
Close to Warrnambool is Tower Hill State Game Reserve. Take a walk here keeping an eye out for koalas, emus, kangaroos and waterbirds. These roam freely among the hills and lake-filled craters of this extinct volcano. You can visit the Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre to find out more about the reserve’s Aboriginal and geological history.
Arrive into the small town of Port Fairy for the night. Port Fairy is a historic fishing town located on Victoria’s far south-west coast on the Moyne River. Check into a hotel or resort. Overnight in Port Fairy.
Day 8: Port Fairy – Adelaide: It a fairly long drive from Port Fair to Adelaide. So, it is better to leave early in the morning from Port Fairy. The highway goes along the coast and then head inland. On the way you will come across Coonawarra and Padthaway wine growing districts, producing some of Australia’s finest table wines. On the way you can spend some time exploring Mt Gambier with its famous Blue Lake in the crater of an extinct volcano. You can break the journey for some time in Robe, a delightful seaside town which was once an important port of South Australia.
Continue the drive along the South East Coast and drive past Kingston. You will also drive past the wetland areas of Coorong. Cross Murray River before driving into Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city. Check into a hotel on arrival. Get yourself acclimatized to the new place. Have a nice dinner. Overnight in Adelaide.
Day 9: Adelaide: Embark on a sightseeing tour of Adelaide. Start with the Central Market, the city’s fresh food centre. After witnessing the actions and colours of the Central Market, move on to explore the galleries, museums and colonial buildings of North Terrace, Adelaide’s cultural boulevard. Go and visit the Parliament and the Government House. Explore the retail outlets of Rundle Mall and explore the fashion secrets of Ebenezer Place.
Jump on a tram to Glenelg on Holdfast Bay. Browse the shops, dive beneath the waves or relax on the white, sandy beach. Take a walk along the beach or go for a swim with dolphins. You can also take an adrenalin-pumping ride along the coast on a jet boat.
Dine out in one of the multicultural eateries along Henley Road. If you are in Australia in summer, you can enjoy watching live bands playing in Henley Square. Overnight in Adelaide.
Day 10: Adelaide – Barossa Valley: Check out from Adelaide and drive to Barossa Valley, a little over an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing region situated northeast of Adelaide. The area encompasses towns such as Tanunda, Angaston and Nuriootpa. There are around 150 wineries and cellar doors in the Barossa Valley. Check into a resort or a vineyard on arrival in Barossa Valley.
Explore the countryside by bicycle. You can also tour the region by motorbike, vintage car, or hot air balloon. Unwind in a day spa. Have dinner in one of the award winning restaurants of Barossa Valley. Overnight in Barossa Valley.
Day 11: Barossa Valley: Spend the whole day visiting different wineries and tasting wines at them. You can also buy wine bottles as souvenir.
Go on a Heritage Trail in Barossa and see for yourself many historic sites and cellar doors housed in historic buildings. Visit charming heritage towns and discover the work of local artists at galleries, antique and craft shops.
Overnight in Barossa Valley.
Day 12: Barossa Valley – Onward destination: Drive back to Adelaide and head straight to the airport to catch your flight for onward destination.