40 days in Australia, North Island & South Island Itinerary

40 days in Australia, North Island & South Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in Australia, North Island & South Island Itinerary

Start: Durham, United States
Fly:  25​h
1
Sydney, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Brisbane, Australia
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Cairns, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Darwin, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Alice Springs, Australia
— 1 night
Taxi + Fly:  2​h
6
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
— Few hours
Fly:  18​h 30​min
7
Kangaroo Island, Australia
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
8
Melbourne, Australia
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
9
Auckland, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
10
Rotorua, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
11
Wellington, New Zealand
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
12
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
13
Hokitika, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
14
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
15
Oamaru, New Zealand
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  12​h 15​min
16
Stewart Island, New Zealand
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  33​h
End: Durham, United States

3
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Govetts Leap and Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay Walk. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sydney: Bald Hill Lookout (in Stanwell Tops) and Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (in Albion Park Rail). There's lots more to do: admire the striking features of Sydney Opera House, hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, wander the streets of The Rocks, and walk around Hyde Park.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Sydney online driving holiday planner .

Durham, USA to Sydney is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 15 hours traveling from Durham to Sydney. Traveling from Durham in May, you will find days in Sydney are little chillier (70°F), and nights are about the same (54°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Sydney

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Govetts Leap, Bald Hill Lookout, Historical Aircraft Restoration Society
Find places to stay May 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

2
nights
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): explore the wealth of natural beauty at D'Aguilar National Park. Keep things going the next day: stroll around Queens Park, contemplate the long history of Boggo Road Gaol (Jail), and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Old St Stephen's Catholic Church (Pugin Chapel).

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Brisbane trip itinerary planner .

Fly from Sydney to Brisbane in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in May, and nighttime lows around 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Queens Park
Find places to stay May 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
D'Aguilar National Park ©
D'Aguilar National Park
Queens Park
Queens Park
Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) ©
Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)

3
nights
Cairns, Australia

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Josephine Falls and Atherton Tablelands. Step out of Cairns with an excursion to Spy & Camera Museum in Herberton--about 1h 35 min away. There's much more to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, admire the striking features of Freshwater Station, brush up on your military savvy at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, and take in the dramatic scenery at Behana Gorge Waterfall.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip itinerary app .

Traveling by flight from Brisbane to Cairns takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Brisbane in May, with highs in Cairns at 82°F and lows at 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to travel to Darwin.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Spy & Camera Museum
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Josephine Falls ©
Josephine Falls
Atherton Tablelands ©
Atherton Tablelands

3
nights
Darwin, Australia

The smallest of Australia’s state capitals, Darwin has nevertheless become an attractive and important urban center, being simultaneously one of the country’s most modernized cities and a gateway to both the Top End region and South East Asia.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Parliament House. There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Defence of Darwin Experience, steep yourself in history at Star Village, identify plant and animal life at East Point Reserve, and bet on your favorite at Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Darwin online road trip planner .

You can fly from Cairns to Darwin in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cairns in May, you will find days in Darwin are a bit warmer (90°F), and nights are about the same (73°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Alice Springs.

Things to do in Darwin

Parks Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Defence of Darwin Experience ©
Defence of Darwin Experience
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Alice Springs, Australia

Alice Springs ©
Situated right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs serves as an urban oasis deep within the country’s parched, desert-like Red Center.
On the 3rd (Wed), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Gillen, then take some stellar pictures from Anzac Hill, and then get outside with Ellery Creek Big Hole.

Plan a trip to Alice Springs easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can fly from Darwin to Alice Springs in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Darwin in June, things will get much colder in Alice Springs: highs are around 68°F and lows about 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Alice Springs

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Ellery Creek Big Hole ©
Ellery Creek Big Hole
Anzac Hill ©
Anzac Hill
Mount Gillen ©
Mount Gillen

few
hours
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.
For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park online travel route planner .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Alice Springs to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in June, and nighttime lows around 44°F. You'll set off for Kangaroo Island on the 4th (Thu).

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jun 3 — 4:

2
nights
Kangaroo Island, Australia

Abandoned by Aborigines a few thousand years ago, Kangaroo Island attracts over 140,000 visitors each year.
On the 5th (Fri), identify plant and animal life at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and then look for all kinds of wild species at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Raptor Domain and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Kangaroo Island online trip maker .

Traveling by flight from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Kangaroo Island takes 18.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Kangaroo Island

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Raptor Domain ©
Raptor Domain
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

2
nights
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at ArtVo and Fitzroy Gardens. There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, get to know the resident critters at Melbourne Zoo, pause for some photo ops at Shrine of Remembrance, and get your game on at Viri VR.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Melbourne travel route builder website .

Fly from Kangaroo Island to Melbourne in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Expect a daytime high around 57°F in June, and nighttime lows around 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jun 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
ArtVo ©
ArtVo
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

3
nights
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland ©
The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
Explore hidden gems such as Waiheke Island and Helicopter Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Stockade Hill (in Howick), Warkworth (Parry Kauri Park & Tawharanui Regional Park) and Kennedy Point Vineyard (in Surfdale). There's much more to do: head off the coast to Hauraki Gulf, grab your bike and head to Nelson Street Cycleway, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and look for gifts at Pauanesia.

Find out how to plan Auckland trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can fly from Melbourne to Auckland in 7 hours. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Melbourne in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Auckland, with lows of 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Warkworth, Kennedy Point Vineyard, Stockade Hill
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tawharanui Regional Park ©
Tawharanui Regional Park
Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island
Hauraki Gulf ©
Hauraki Gulf

2
nights
Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua ©
Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sun): make a trip to Te Puia, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then take in the natural beauty of Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Government Gardens, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, then don't miss a visit to Fancy Meow Cat Cafe, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery.

For photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Rotorua online journey planner .

Traveling by car from Auckland to Rotorua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Auckland in June, plan for little chillier nights in Rotorua, with lows around 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Tours
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools ©
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
Government Gardens ©
Government Gardens

1
night
Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington ©
Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
On the 16th (Tue), admire the natural beauty at Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Wellington trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Rotorua to Wellington by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In June, plan for daily highs up to 56°F, and evening lows to 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Great War Exhibition ©
The Great War Exhibition

3
nights
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then appreciate the history behind Diminish and Ascend, and then take a memorable ride with TranzAlpine Train. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Riccarton House & Bush, examine the collection at International Antarctic Centre, enjoy some diversion at Velocity Karts, then admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and finally don't miss a visit to Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Christchurch trip site .

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Christchurch takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Wellington in June, expect slightly colder with lows of 36°F in Christchurch. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hokitika.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum
Riccarton House & Bush ©
Riccarton House & Bush

2
nights
Hokitika, New Zealand

Hokitika ©
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40km south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Avalanche Peak Route and Coal Creek Track. Get out of town with these interesting Hokitika side-trips: Arthur's Pass Walking Track (in Arthur's Pass National Park) and Greymouth (Woods Creek Track & Point Elizabeth Walkway). There's much more to do: stroll through Tunnel Terrace Walk, don't miss a visit to Taramakau Road-Rail Bridge, take in the dramatic scenery at Dorothy Falls, and steep yourself in history at Shantytown Heritage Park.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Hokitika trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Christchurch to Hokitika in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. On the 21st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Hokitika

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Greymouth, Arthur's Pass National Park, Coal Creek Track
Find places to stay Jun 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Avalanche Peak Route ©
Avalanche Peak Route
Point Elizabeth Walkway ©
Point Elizabeth Walkway
Woods Creek Track ©
Woods Creek Track

2
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown ©
Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): contemplate the long history of Fallen Soldiers Memorial, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then hike along Ben Lomond Track, and finally get your game on at Skyline Queenstown.

Start your trip to Queenstown by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Hokitika to Queenstown takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Oamaru.

Things to do in Queenstown

Fun & Games Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Ben Lomond Track ©
Ben Lomond Track
Spas

1
night
Oamaru, New Zealand

Oamaru ©
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Whitestone City, make a trip to Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, then see the interesting displays at Steampunk HQ, and finally take in the waterfront at Oamaru Harbour.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Oamaru driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Queenstown to Oamaru in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. You'll have a few hours on the 24th (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling to Stewart Island.

Things to do in Oamaru

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Steampunk HQ ©
Steampunk HQ
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct ©
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct
Whitestone City ©
Whitestone City

1
night
Stewart Island, New Zealand

Stewart Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): step off the mainland to explore Ulva Island and then hike along Rakiura Track. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Rakiura Museum and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To find more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Stewart Island online vacation planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Oamaru to Stewart Island. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Stewart Island

Outdoors Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jun 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Rakiura Track ©
Rakiura Track
Ulva Island ©
Ulva Island
Rakiura Museum ©
Rakiura Museum

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