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Are you thinking about visiting Australia on a two-week vacation? This is an ambitious holiday, but don’t let anyone deter you from taking the trip because it’s not a lot of time.
Australia is a huge country with so much to see and do. But it’s totally possible to have an epic time in Australia, as long as you come prepared with an epic 2 week Australia itinerary!
That’s where we come in.
Australia is the 6th biggest country in the world and yes, two weeks is not a lot of time. So if you want to see the best of Australia and plan a trip that suits your travel style, then you’ll want to focus on one area in Australia.
Below we have put together not one, but several ideas for a two week trip to Australia. Each itinerary has been selected for adventurous travelers, wildlife lovers, city dwellers, nature lovers, beach bums, and more.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Australia, we’ve also listed some things to consider before you start your Australia travel planning.
Go take a look…
- Is 2 weeks enough for Australia?
- 2 Week Australia Itineraries
- Things To Consider Before Traveling Australia in 2 Weeks
- Australia is Massive
- It's A Once-In-A-Lifetime-Trip, Do It Right!
- List Your Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Australia
- What Major Cities in Australia Do You Want To See?
- Are You After A Food and Wine Vacation in Australia?
- What About Coastal Experiences in Australia?
- Do You Want To Visit The Australian Outback?
- Are You Looking For Aboriginal Experiences in Australia?
- Do You Want To See Wildlife and Nature in Australia?
- Are You Looking For Adventure Travel in Australia?
- How Are You Getting To Australia?
- Before You Go
- More Australia Travel Tips
Is 2 weeks enough for Australia?
First of all, let’s quickly answer the obvious question; is two weeks enough? The simple answer is, there is never enough time to see Australia. People can live there their whole life and not see it all.
But it’s entirely possible to have a great vacation in Australia in two weeks, you just won’t be able to see everything. If you can extend your trip to three weeks, you can pack all the highlights into one trip, if you don’t mind taking a few internal flights.
To start planning a trip to Australia with just two weeks at your disposal, you need to start by adjusting your mindset and be ok with not seeing it all.
Many travelers disregard the actual size of Australia until they arrive and end up regretting the choices they made in the planning stage.
I once had a British guy complain to me that he took a bus from Perth to Sydney and that it wasted three days of his trip, and all he saw was red desert. A little planning and common knowledge would tell you this!
As I said earlier, choose an area of Australia to explore and travel within it, so you don’t waste precious time traveling from A to B.
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2 Week Australia Itineraries
The following suggestions are for a two week Australia itinerary, and they take into consideration the types of vacations I’ve mentioned below.
They are merely ideas to be used as a guide and you should pick and choose the places and activities that suit you the most. Use this as a starting point to help you plan a trip to Australia.
Of course, your mode of transport and the distance you travel within Australia will affect how much time you have available in each place or region. The flight times are different each day, so make sure to look these up when putting your 2 week Australia itinerary together.
These aren’t the only combinations, these are some of our favourites, and to be perfectly honest I could easily spend the whole two weeks travelling Australia in Sydney and Melbourne and still run out of time to do things there!
2 Week Sydney Itinerary
In Sydney, you don’t have to travel far to see iconic landmarks in Australia. You could easily spend a whole two weeks in the city. To prove my point, here is a two week itinerary for Sydney:
- Sydney Opera House Tour (1 day)
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (1 day)
- The Royal Botanic Gardens (1 day)
- Shopping in the CBD (1 day)
- Taronga Zoo (1 day)
- Coogee Beach (1 day),
- Manly Island to see the penguins (2 days),
- Bondi Beach (1 day),
- Explore The Rocks district (1 day),
- trip to the Blue Mountains (2 days),
- Royal National Park (2 days).
2 Week East Coast Itinerary of Australia
If you only have two weeks to spend, I highly recommend staying on the East Coast. This area in Australia is most suitable for adventurous travelers, beach lovers, and wildlife and nature lovers.
If you have two weeks to spend in Australia, I recommend the following:
- Beach lovers vacation: Brisbane (3 days), Gold Coast (4 days), and Byron Bay (3 days)
- Adventurers vacation: Brisbane (2 days), Sunshine Coast (2 days), Fraser Island (2 days), The Whitsundays (2 days), Townsville & Magnetic Island (2 days), Cairns (3 days)
- Coastal lovers vacation: Sydney to Brisbane via the Pacific Highway, stopping at Newcastle, Byron Bay, and the Gold Coast.
2 Week Southern Australia Itinerary
Another region in Australia you might like to explore is Southern Australia. This region in Australia is suitable for any type of traveler, from city break lovers to wildlife and nature lovers.
It’s also easy to get to the Red Center from Southern Australia because of the famous Ghan train from Adelaide to Alice Springs which takes 1 day (though it’s a travel day, you get some incredible desert views along the way).
Exploring the southern region of Australia, particularly the state of Victoria, also means you get to experience one of the world’s best scenic drives, The Great Ocean Road. Don’t miss the twelve apostles and all the lookouts with panoramic views.
Here’s an example of a popular two week Australia itinerary for Southern Australia (or two).
- City and nature lovers vacation: Sydney (2 days), Melbourne (2 days), The Great Ocean Road (3 days), Adelaide (2 days), and Uluru (5 days)
- Aboriginal Experience and Adventurers Vacation: Sydney (3 days), Adelaide (2 days), Alice Springs and Uluru (5 days), Darwin & Kakadu National Park (4 days)
- Nature and city lovers vacation: Sydney (4 days), Blue Mountains (2 days), Royal National Park (2 days), Hunter Valley (3 days), Melbourne (3 days)
- Wine lovers vacation: Adelaide (2 days), Barossa Valley (4 days), Alice Springs (5 days), Darwin (3 days)
2 Week Red Center & East Coast Itinerary
The red centre and the east coast are the adventure capitals of Australia and are suitable for nature lovers, adventurous travelers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Here you can experience the wild and untamed outback desert, go hiking through rainforests, scuba dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, visit remote tropical islands, and spot native wildlife.
You could spend at least 5 days exploring Alice Springs Desert Park, Watarrka National Park, and Kata Tjuta National Park without even visiting Ayers Rock, that’s how much there is to do there!
Make sure you spend time admiring the unique rock formations in the parks such as the domes of The Olgas, Kings Canyon and the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.
Here are some examples of two week itineraries in Australia in these areas:
- Adventurer’s vacation: Brisbane (2 days), Fraser Island & Hervey Bay (2 days), Whitsunday Islands & Airlie Beach (2 days), Port Douglas (1 day), Cairns & Cape Tribulation (3 days), Alice Springs and Uluru (4 days).
- Nature lovers and aboriginal experiences vacation: Darwin (2 days), Litchfield National Park or Nitmiluk National Park (2 days), Kakadu National Park (2 days), Alice Springs and Uluru (5 days), Cairns (3 days)
2 Week Tasmania Itinerary
Ahh Tasmania. No one ever thinks to add Tasmania to their 2 week Australia itinerary and to be honest, I can see why. Tasmania is quite a large island and has so much to see, you could spend the entire two weeks there.
If you want to add Tasmania onto your two week trip to Aus, then you’ll have to be ok with seeing less of the mainland. You can’t take a trip to Tasmania without giving it some time.
Tasmania is definitely a trip for nature and wildlife lovers. Here is our suggested two week itinerary for Australia including Tasmania:
2 Week Western Australia Itinerary
If it’s sun, surfing, and beaches you’re after, then you’ll enjoy the Western region of Australia the most. If it’s your first time in Australia, then the west coast might not be the best option as many of Australia’s top landmarks are in the east or red centre.
However, if you’ve already been to Australia and fancy a surfing vacation, then you will have an incredible time exploring the Western region.
Here are some suggest two week itineraries for Western Australia:
- Nature lovers vacation: Perth (3 days), Margaret River & the Cape to Cape Track (5 days), Exmouth (3 days), Broome (2 days)
- Adventurers vacation: Perth (3 days), Broome (2 days), The Gibb River Road (10 days)
Things To Consider Before Traveling Australia in 2 Weeks
Now you have been introduced to our top two week itinerary of Australia, it’s time to share with you some important things to consider before embarking on a short trip to Aus.
These will help you decide which itinerary is right for you and how to organise getting from A to B.
Australia is Massive
Consider the fact that Australia is a huge country and it’s impossible to see it all in two weeks. In fact, it’s about the same size as the mainland USA minus Alaska.
Australia’s coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometers and is linked by over 10,000 beaches. We haven’t been to every one yet, but to see all of Australia’s beaches would take years.
If you were to drive through the centre from Sydney to Perth, a 4,000-kilometre trip, and you drove for 8 hours per day, that’s a five-day trip!
We have a cattle station in South Australia the size of Belgium, and the world’s longest continuous fence – the dingo fence – built to keep sheep safe that runs for 5,530 kilometres through central Queensland and South Australia.
So, considering Australia is so vast, the problem becomes how to travel Australia in a short amount of time, and where to visit in Australia?
It’s A Once-In-A-Lifetime-Trip, Do It Right!
Because Australia is fairly isolated from most of the world requiring a long flight, for many people it becomes a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
After spending four years living in the USA, I had so many people say to me,
“Australia would be my dream trip, but it’s so far away, and I only get two weeks vacation per year”.
So the scenario usually plays out like this: those types of people never come, OR, because it’s their “once-in-a-lifetime trip” they want to cram everything into that two weeks and “see it all”, but in reality, they see a lot of airports and the back of the seat in front of them.
Because this may be your one and only chance to visit Australia, don’t try to cram everything in. Choose one part of it and explore via road trip. Don’t spend your vacation on planes and buses, rent a car and enjoy the scenery.
Whether we are visiting a continent or a country, our travel motto has always been “spend more time in fewer places“. Especially now that we travel with kids.
We highly recommend instead of racing from one end of Australia to the another, focus on one region or type of vacation.
List Your Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Australia
With only two weeks up your sleeve, you want to make sure you prioritize the things you want to see in Australia and the type of travel most suited to you.
When considering any trip, but particularly one such as this, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself. Do you prefer:
- Cities or country areas?
- Coastal or the outback?
- Adventure travel or food and wine?
- Relaxation or the party scene?
- Historical sites or sporting events?
The answers to these questions will go a long way towards making sure you give yourself the best chance to have a richly rewarding Australian travel experience.
You can pretty much do and see it all in Australia.
We have vibrant cities, quaint country towns, world-class wine regions, ancient rainforests, mountains to hike, amazing reefs to dive, stunning beaches for swimming, deserts to explore, and unique wildlife.
There is something for everyone.
But, with only two weeks travel time, you need to focus on one, maybe two types of experiences. Below are examples of the types of experiences you could choose individually, or combine two of them together.
What Major Cities in Australia Do You Want To See?
If you are after a city-style vacation, Australia has modern, vibrant, and diverse cities unique from each other filled with culture and natural beauty.
- On the east coast, we have the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane as well as the smaller cities of the Gold Coast and Cairns.
- In Southern Australia there are Adelaide and Hobart.
- Over on the west coast are Perth and Broome.
- In the Northern Territory is Darwin
- And in the Red Centre is Alice Springs.
Australia’s major cities showcase its outdoor lifestyle, multicultural precincts, shops, theatres, bars, cafe scene, and sporting culture.
Are You After A Food and Wine Vacation in Australia?
For a food and wine vacation, you are well-catered to Down Under.
Or, you can drop into a country pub where you’ll be welcomed by the locals and can try one of their boutique beers.
You can also try our amazing seafood, kangaroo steak, or experience many of our farmer’s markets with their organic fruit and vegetables, cheeses, and chocolates.
What About Coastal Experiences in Australia?
Australia is an island nation, so a coastal vacation is a popular option. With a stunning coastline of white sand beaches and abundant water activities, Australia is an iconic beach destination.
You can swim, sail, surf, kayak, dive, snorkel, go boating, parasail, sandboard, and then end the day with a beach BBQ. Highlights could include:
- Taking in the sunset riding a camel along Cable Beach at Broome, Western Australia
- Learning to surf on the Gold Coast or Byron Bay
- Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
- Swim with dolphins
- Go whale watching
- Take a 4WD on Fraser Island
- Eat fish and chips at Bondi Beach
With the majority of Australia’s population living near the seaboard, the coastal lifestyle is where it’s at.
Do You Want To Visit The Australian Outback?
Experience life under the stars or on a cattle station, go horse riding, camping, and sing songs around the campfire. You can marvel at waterholes, rivers, gorges, and creeks that make their way through our massive outback deserts.
A visit to the outback is something unique and I, would encourage most travelers to put it on their list.
However, visiting the Outback requires some level of planning, so if you only have two weeks in Australia, you might only have time to see the Outback and one or two other places.
Are You Looking For Aboriginal Experiences in Australia?
To have an aboriginal experience would mean spending time with the world’s most ancient living culture. Aboriginal Australians are said to have been on the Island for at least 50,000 years.
Experience first hand their culture through myths and storytelling, dance and music, art and traditions. You could:
- View ancient rock engravings and paintings
- Witness ceremonies, dances and songs dating back thousands of years
- Visit important spiritual centres with local guides who will tell you stories about the Dreamtime
- Learn bush survival skills
- Taste the world’s oldest cuisine
- Support Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs and help create sustainable employment.
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Do You Want To See Wildlife and Nature in Australia?
Australia is a great destination for wildlife and nature experiences. From tropical rainforests to red-stone deserts, the wildlife that inhabits these areas is unique and diverse.
It’s not all about deadly animals in Australia, there are several native animals in Australia and it’s possible to see them in the wild with some patience and knowing where to look.
If you’re looking to see some wildlife on a two-week Australia trip, you might want to base yourself on the East coast in winter where there’s a high chance of seeing whales migrating, or head to Kakadu National Park, a world-heritage site in the Northern Territory to see saltwater crocs.
You can see wildlife on a trek through the mountains or on a canopy walk in the trees in the ancient Daintree Rainforest, or look out for dingos on a four-wheel-driving trip on the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island.
Are You Looking For Adventure Travel in Australia?
If you’d like a bit of an adventure on your vacation, then Australia is tough to beat.
There are white water rafting trips, camel and surfing safaris, crocodile spotting, many places to go scuba diving, bicycle tours, horseback adventures, kayaking expeditions, and week-long coastal walks.
There are also camping, and four-wheel-driving adventures such as the Gibb River Road in Western Australia, or for the ultimate Outback experience try 5 day outback safari through the amazing Flinders Ranges.
If you’re looking for adventure on your two week Australia vacation, then you’ll want to head to either the East Coast or the Red Center for more remote or adrenaline-fueled adventures.
How Are You Getting To Australia?
Once again, because your vacation time is short, you want to be smart with your flights by choosing the closest destinations to your origin to save time.
If you are coming to Australia from North America, it will make sense to concentrate on the east coast and the red centre. If you are coming in from the UK or Asia, you may be better off hitting the west coast.
Weigh up the pros and cons of how practical your destination choices are. There’s no point spending a good chunk of your vacation time in airports and on planes.
Give yourself time to absorb your experiences and create lifelong memories, not memories of planes and packing.
Before You Go
As you can see, putting together a two week itinerary for Australia is not a simple task. There is no “one shoe fits all” approach to putting an itinerary together, so I hope this guide helped you plan where to start.
Before you go, try to book internal flights in advance. The prices of flights go up dramatically when you book them too late, so try to book these as early as you can.
And above all, have the best time in Australia! No matter which of these two-week itineraries you pick, I know you’re going to have an incredible adventure.
More Australia Travel Tips
Are you looking for more inspiration about traveling in Australia? Then you might find these guides helpful:
- 25 Outstanding National Parks in Australia
- A Visit to Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia
- Things to do on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
- 12 awesome things to do on Fraser Island
- Why Rottnest Island should be on your bucket list
- 14 Best Road Trips in Australia
- 50 Stunning and Adventures Things to do in Queensland
- 50 Amazing Things to do in Western Australia
- 28 Things to do in Broome, WA – our favorite place in Australia
- 20 Places to Put on your Australian Bucket List
- 45 Things to know before visiting Australia
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Can you share any tips for visiting Australia on a two-week vacation? Let us know in the comments!