Australia in 8 Days: Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

With exactly one week to go until I depart for Australia, I figured I would fill you in on what I’m planning to do while there.

My tentative 8-day Australia itinerary is full of exciting activities and I am absolutely ecstatic to be visiting my number one dream destination for the first time! Here’s my (somewhat rough) 8 days in Australia – Sydney and Melbourne Itinerary.

I hope my 8 days in Australia help you plan your very own Australia travel itinerary. If you’re wondering how to plan a trip to Australia, keep reading because this one is for you. It’s one of the greatest places to visit and as I mentioned before, I’ve been very excited about visiting this wonderful country, and I hope this encourages you to start planning a trip to Australia.


Sydney Itinerary


Saturday, February 22nd  –

My mom and I will be departing Atlanta in the afternoon and will be Sydney bound, with a three-hour layover in Los Angeles. It’s going to be a looooong day, but hopefully worth it in the end.

I’ve dealt with many layovers in the past, so I thought I’d give you a couple of my favorite tips for getting you through a long layover (even though this particular layover isn’t that long.)

  • Make sure you’ve got your bearings on the airport – If you know where you need to be to catch your next flight, you’ll eliminate a lot of the stress further along the line.
  • Visit the lounge –  The airport lounge can be a great place to hang out before catching your next flight. Ordering a plate of food or a few drinks is also a great way to pass the time. Thinking ahead can be advantageous here, as airport food is often a lot better than airplane food!
  • Explore the airport – International airports are often really big, which can leave you with a lot of exploring to do. There are also plenty of great shops to visit, buying a book or some other form of entertainment might help the layover and the plane trip go a bit faster.
  • Taking a nap can be a great way to pass the time. – It’s best to do this if you’re with someone who can stay awake to keep an eye on the time. If it’s a long layover, napping in best. This will also help you catch up on the sleep you may have missed on the plane. Cause if you’re anything like me, sleeping on the plane is a very tall order.


Sunday, February 23rd –

We will actually never even see this day. It’s kind of bizarre to me that we will never experience February 23, 2014, because of crossing the International Date Line.

When planning my trip, I wondered how many days I should spend in Sydney and Melbourne. I settled on 11 but unfortunately, not all of those will be spent touring around Australia. Although this Itinerary contains 11-days, 2 are dedicated to traveling, and one (this one) I completely miss out on.

Luckily for you, I took this into account and made this post into an 8-day itinerary for Australia.


Monday, February 24th –

WE ARRIVE! Finally, after flying for over 20 hours, we will arrive in Sydney at 6:20 am. This is going to be a tough one, so I thought I’d give you (and remind myself) about my favorite tips for surviving long flights.

  • Make sure you’re fully charged – it’s not just your personal energy levels that take strain when stepping onto a flight, the battery life of all your devices will also run dry when they’re in constant use. Be sure to charge them all up before your flight and take a power bank with you for when they start running low.
  • Prep your playlist – This is something I often forget to do, but make sure you fill up your music playlist with an adequate amount of music to last you the whole flight. The last thing you want is to be stuck listening to the same 3-songs on repeat for 20-hours.
  • Wear comfy clothes – being uncomfortable will make your journey feel even longer! So be sure to dress comfortably.
  • Sleeping pills –  If you want any chance at all of being able to sleep on your flight, then sleeping pills are a must. Especially when you’re on a flight as long as the one I’m about to undertake.
  • Bring earplugs – Again, on a long flight, you want to have the best chance of sleeping. Some high-quality noise-canceling earplugs will go a long way to helping you get some much-needed sleep.
  • Bring a pillow – whether this is a neck pillow or a normal pillow (whatever you’re more comfortable with. A is also always a good idea. Getting cold and not being able to do anything about it is never fun.

We will check into our hotel first, the Swissotel Sydney. This hotel is located in a great area and is within walking (or rolling) distance to many attractions. Well, according to their website anyway.

After checking in I may need a nap because I can NEVER sleep on planes. Then we’ll probably check out some of the major sights and just relax for the remainder of the day.


Sydney Opera House, australia itinerary 8 days

Sydney Opera House


Tuesday, February 25th (My birthday!) –

This will be my birthday and I’m so excited to be spending it in Australia!

The world famous Taronga Zoo has offered us complimentary admission for this day, so we will spend quite a few hours meeting some animals. We’re going to take part in a koala encounter while we’re there also, which I am sooo excited about! There are guided tours that take you to Taronga Zoo and a few other attractions but this time we’ve decided to do it under our own steam.

Later that night we are catching a performance of La Soirée at the Sydney Opera House. La Soirée is a cabaret/burlesque/circus sideshow that looks very entertaining. Honestly, though, I’m really just excited to see a show inside one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Opera House. I wouldn’t even care what show it was.
(UPDATE: Read about my experience at Taronga Zoo by clicking here)


australia itinerary 8 days


Wednesday, February 26th –

We’ll be starting our day over 850 feet above the city at the Sydney Tower SKYWALK. The Tower team has been kind enough to offer us complimentary admissions for a 45 minute privately guided tour of Sydney’s highest outdoor adventure. It’s a good thing that I don’t have a fear of heights!

After our SKYWALK, we may head over to Manly Beach for the remainder of the day via one of the many wheelchair accessible ferries.

Although we are covering Australia in a week (or just over,) I feel lucky that I’m able to see so much in such a short amount of time! I would have been able to fill up my itinerary even if I was going to spend 2 weeks in Australia, but unfortunately, this wasn’t an option for me this time around.


(UPDATE: Read about my experience at the SKYWALK by clicking here)


Sydney Tower SKYWALK, australia itinerary 8 days

Sydney Tower SKYWALK


Thursday, February 27th –

Merlin Entertainment has offered us free admission to their many attractions in Sydney including the Wild Life Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and Sea Life Aquarium. We will experience as many of these awesome attractions as possible on this day, which happens to be our last full day in Sydney.

Although I wish I could spend all 8 days in Sydney, I know there’ll be many more amazing experiences waiting for me in Melbourne too! I’m so grateful to be able to fill up my Australian travel Itinerary with so many great experiences!


(UPDATE: Read about my experience at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum by clicking here)


Manly Beach, australia itinerary 8 days

Manly Beach


Melbourne Itinerary


Friday, February 28th –

On this morning, we’ll be flying to Melbourne! It’s only a little over an hour flight so we shouldn’t be too tired afterward, giving us the rest of the day to take in the sights of Melbourne.

Although driving from Sydney to Melbourne is a great way to catch a few more sight-seeing experiences along the way, because of the time crunch, I won’t be able to add this luxury to my Australia vacation itinerary.

While in Melbourne, we’ll be staying at the Art Series hotel, The Olsen. The paintings of Australian artist John Olsen adorn the walls in this contemporary boutique hotel.


Saturday, March 1st –

We’ll be up bright and early to begin our twelve-hour tour of the Great Ocean Road. I am really really really excited about this because the GOR looks absolutely stunning from the many pictures that I’ve seen on Google!

Although I haven’t experienced the Great Ocean Road, (yet,) there are a few stop-offs that I am particularly excited about seeing.

  • Kennett River – As you get closer to Apollo Bay, you’ll be able to make a stop off at Kennett Bay which is home to numerous Koala colonies (or so I’ve heard.) After meeting a Koala earlier in the trip, I’m sure it will be a more meaningful experience to see these creatures in the wild.
  • The Twelve Apostles – the Twelve Apostles attract over 1.2 million visitors annually, and this year, I’ll be one of them. These are massive pieces of limestone that stick up out of the ocean. Being one of Australia’s main attractions, I just have to see it during my trip.
  • London Arch – This stone arch that protrudes from out of the ocean is one of Victoria’s greatest natural wonders. So naturally, I have to see it while I’m in the area. This wonder was once known as London Bridge but when the section of rock that connected it to the mainland broke off in 1990, it was renamed the London Arch.

Apparently, when the bridge broke, there were two tourists stranded on the arch. Luckily for me, tourists now view the wonder from the mainland. So I’ll be staying out of harm’s way.

We’ll be taking a private tour with Ambleside Tours, the only wheelchair accessible tour company that I could find in the Melbourne area.

(UPDATE: Read about my experience on the Great Ocean Road tour by clicking here)


The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, australia itinerary 8 days

The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road


Sunday, March 2nd –

The Eureka Skydeck has the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere and lucky for us, we will be taking in the sights of Melbourne from 88 floors up!

After taking in the view and exploring Melbourne during the day, No35 at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has been gracious enough to offer us a complimentary fine dining experience. My taste buds are already getting excited!


(UPDATE: Read about my experience at the Eureka Skydeck by clicking here and learn about my dining experience at No35 by clicking here)


Eureka Skydeck 88, australia itinerary 8 days

Eureka Skydeck 88


Monday, March 3rd –

After sleeping in, we will make our way to the airport for a flight back to Sydney (again, driving from Melbourne to Sydney just wasn’t an option.)

We will be staying at the Rydges Hotel for this one night. It is actually located inside the airport so it will be extremely easy to get to. And we’ll get to do some awesome plane spotting from our hotel room. How cool!!?


Tuesday, March 4th –

I haven’t even been to Australia yet and I’m already dreading leaving, but for now, I’m going to look forward to experiencing everything that the ‘land down under’ has to offer.

If you have been to Australia (Sydney and Melbourne in particular) please recommend things for me to do if they aren’t already in my 1-week Australia itinerary. I can’t wait to share this amazing adventure with you guys!


*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.





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