Days 1 - 4
Once known as the ‘City of Churches’, today Adelaide is better recognised for its sophistication, charm and cosmopolitan feel. South Australia’s capital is a hub of festivals and art galleries; it enjoys a vibrant nightlife and live-music scene; plus there’s plenty of shopping (including gorgeous opals) to be done, and gastronomic delights to be enjoyed. Pop into the Art Gallery of South Australia to view indigenous art, or the South Australian Museum devoted to natural history; take an amble in the Adelaide Botanic Garden; or if you’re up for a hike, find out about the trails on the Mount Lofty Ranges.
Days 5 - 7
This hardy and remote desert town, initially named Stuart, started out as a telegraph station in the 1870s. Renamed Alice Springs in 1993, it’s the capital of the Australian Outback and the best place to start your exploration of the Red Centre – the country’s interior desert region – as well as to experience the vibrant art and culture of the Aboriginal people. Venture out to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and explore Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges, Simpson Desert and the Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve – home to an iconic pair of round granite boulders. While in town, pop into the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve to get a feel of the town’s pioneering history.
Days 7 - 9
Located in the south of Australia’s Northern Territory, the remote town of Yulara lies only 18 short kilometres from the sacred world heritage site, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. This isolated town serves as a service hub for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and offers some welcome comfort in the harsh Outback landscape. Visitors use it as a base when exploring the park and viewing the main attraction in the area, Uluru. This epic sandstone formation stands almost 350 metres high and measures 10 kilometres in circumference featuring hidden caves, ancient rock art and otherworldly fiery hues at sunset. Other popular attractions and activities include: the Field of Light Uluru, the Desert Awakenings Tour and the Wintjiri Arts & Museum.
Days 9 - 12
Once a sleepy sugar-milling town, Cairns in North Queensland is now a vibrant cosmopolitan city and a premier destination for sailing, diving and snorkelling. Its tropical waters are home to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, while lush rain forests cover the surrounding areas. Ways to make the most of this coastal paradise include cycling along the 14 kilometres of sandy beachfront, or rafting through rapids to view the ruins of Mission Beach. Other popular activities include: visiting Cooktown for a taste of history or taking a scenic drive through the farmlands and popping in at the various village markets along the way. In the town centre, visit the Tiapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a musical and dance interpretation of Aboriginal history, or relax at Cairns Esplanade for a perfect seaside dining experience coupled with a romantic sunset.
Days 12 - 15
Set along Australia's southeastern coast, Sydney is one of Australia's largest cities and serves as the capital of New South Wales. No matter what you fancy – shopping, the arts, the outdoors – you’re likely to be bewildered by the scope of choice available here. First up, there are the must-sees – Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Tower for its 360-degree views of the city, the waterside hubs of Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, and the Rocks district for shopping. After dark, the glitzy city comes alive with a larger-than-life food and music scene that extends into the early hours. For more laid-back diversions, head down to the beach or hop on a ferry for an extensive tour of the Sydney Harbour, the Parramatta River and numerous locations lying waterside.