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10 days leisure trip to Australia and New Zealand

Flying into Sydney, Australia in late November for 10 Days. Want to fly first to South Island New Zealand for 4-5 days. then fly back to cairns Australia next & then work way back by car to Sydney. Suggestions on itinerary would be appreciated. Looking for snorkeling, light hikes, nature sightings including wildlife. Hotel recommendations

Posted by
111 posts

Hi- how long do you want to take to drive from Caitbs to Sydney? It’s around 28 hours driving time.

Posted by
116 posts

If you only have 10 days you are trying to do too much. As noted above, distances in Australia are really long. Plus you will lose a day flying to NZ and another flying back. (it's about a 4 hour plane trip but with the usual airport jerking around you will spend 7-8 hours enroute). Pick one and you will have a much more pleasant trip.

Posted by
311 posts

Is your flight in and out of Sydney booked? How many total days is your trip? If total time is 10 days, agree that you need to pick one or the other. We drove from Cairns to Brisbane in a campervan and between spending time in Cairns, the drive, and a couple of days in Brisbane, it took 10 days out of our trip. Cairns to Sydney is like driving from Vancouver, BC to Baja, or Portland, Maine to Miami.

Perhaps if you can give us a little more information as to your trip, we might be more helpful.

Posted by
5333 posts

We have been to Australia twice and NZ once. Recommend you stick to one country for such a short time.

Here are my reviews of our trip that included cruises.

Melbourne, New Zealand and Explorer of the Seas TransPacific cruise


From Sydney, be sure to do the Hunter Valley wine tour and Blue Mountains. Also, a harbor cruise and city tour that include Bondi Beach.

If you go to Cairns and the reef, during the Summer, you must dive or snorkel in a full protected suit, due to deadly stingers.

Posted by
11 posts

Totally agree that you stick with one country. Sydney and it's surrounding beaches are beautiful and make for good exploring/ relaxing while you recover from jetlag. There are frequent flights up to Cairns, keep in mind it's very much a transient town (great base to hire a campervan from), I'd recommend you stay in Port Douglas, from there you can hop on a boat to the GBR and travel up to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation both are simply stunning. To comfortably drive from Cairns to Sydney takes 2-3 days, personally I'd grab a flight back given your time.

Here are some handy links:

Posted by
941 posts

I really wanted to see the GBR when my husband wanted to visit NZ..... we had 18 nights boots on the ground to plan. GBR is WAY too far from NZ. For 10 days stick to one place and know you aren't even going to scratch the surface of either.