3 Weeks in Australia Itinerary

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Australia is the world’s largest inhabited island. It is so huge that we decided to create 2 itinerary options, one for the east coast and the other across Australia. Since this country is massive, the best mode of transportation is by aeroplane when travelling between cities.

The country is made up of 18% desert, one of Australia’s charms is the diversity of species that you can find here. Aside from kangaroos are the Tasmanian devil, mistletoe bird, Australian southern cassowary, and short-beaked echidna, to name a few.

Australia also produces tasty wine, has great surfing spots and unique marine life, and provides free health care to its citizens. It’s easy to understand why many people decide to emigrate to Australia.

But if you can’t move here, you can instead plan an incredible vacation. You can also ride one of the world’s greatest railway journeys, sunbathe with the kangaroos, swim in the Great Barrier Reef, visit the Sydney Opera House and ride a hot air balloon – you can do all these if you’re staying for 3 weeks in Australia.

Of course, you don’t need to follow our itinerary, but maybe you can find inspiration or two when writing your own itinerary for a 3-week trip. Excited yet? Let’s start with the east coast itinerary.



While the Great Barrier Reef will not be on the way of our itinerary, if you have some extra time, you can fly to Cairns. From there, you can book tours and sailing trips to visit this popular destination.

ALSO READ: Where to go on your next 3 weeks holiday


If you are coming from the West, you want to ensure that you have everything prepared. It’s a long trip, and you don’t want to book anything or even arrive at your destination just to be either turned away or get things not in order too early in your trip. So, here’s a little list of important things you should know about Australia:

When is the best time to visit Australia

During spring (September to November) or fall season (March to May) is the best time to travel to Australia. Within these months, it’s neither too hot nor too cold in the country, making it more comfortable to travel around. It’s also outside the peak season, so the prices are relatively good.

The busiest season in Australia is in summer (December to February) when school is on break, it’s summer, and many Australians living abroad tend to visit home. During this time of the year, the cost of travelling around Australia is much higher due to demand.

The rainy season in Australia is from November to April, making December and March the wettest months. Regardless, it’s still warm and can be humid during this time, and still a popular time of the year to visit.

The winter time in Australia is from May to August. Although cloudy and can be freezing, it’s not uncommon to have sunshine and good days. The price of tourism-related service in these months are low, which is ideal if you prefer to avoid the high cost and big crowds anyway.

Getting around

Australia is a massive country. Flying is the best and fastest way to get from one city to another. While there are also buses and trains, it’s only suitable to use them within cities or if the place you are getting to is not far from the city itself.

The most efficient mode of transportation across the east coast of Australia is through renting a car. One-way car rental is commonly used by tourists in Australia. It is when you rent a car in one state and drop it off in another.

From Sydney to Adelaide, the price ranges anywhere from $273 to as high as $918, depending on the rental company, car brand, and model. This is for the first day. However, for the following days, you’ll just have to add smaller amounts to the total bill.

Car rental companies that offer this service

  • Budget Australia
  • Avis Australia
  • Rentalcars
  • Hertz
  • Ace
  • Thrifty

Are 3 weeks enough for Australia

The simply answer is no. Australia is a massive country. Do you know that you can pretty much fit Europe at least 1.5x in Australia? Travelling cross-country takes days and is not recommended.

To make the most of your time, it’s better to stick to one coast during your visit. If it’s your first-time, most people will spend their trip on the East Coast. If you prefer fewer touristy locations, go to the South or West Coast. You can fit 3-4 cities on your travel itinerary, maybe 5 if they’re close to one another.

Average cost of 20 days in Australia

Australia is not an affordable destination for a 3-week trip. On average cost, you should expect to spend around $2,500 for a 20-day vacation in Australia if you want to have a private room and maybe get a rental car.

For backpackers planning to go to Australia, you can stay in shared dorms and budget around $1,800. You’ll also be required to take buses and trains when getting from point A to B. For those planning a luxurious trip, $3,500 will be a good budget to stay in four or five-star hotels most of the time and dine at fancier restaurants.

These numbers are in USD and don’t calculate your flight to get to Australia and out. It also doesn’t include your travel insurance or other travel items you wish to bring with you. This is calculated for a single person, add 80% of the cost if you’re travelling with another person and plan to share a room.

Visa and COVID Policy

Travellers from Europe, North America, East Asia, and Malaysia don’t have to worry about travel visas. You either need an electronic travel authority (ETA) or an e-Visitor permit, which costs about $30 and can be obtained online.

Australia opened its borders to international tourists on February 21, 2022. A visitor must be fully vaccinated (prepare your vaccination certificate/card), complete a digital passenger declaration pass 72 hours before your flight, and have a negative result of the COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before your flight. Read more information.

Other basic travel tips

To travel more conveniently, I use travel sites and tools to help me plan and ensure I will encounter as little hassle as possible. Here are the travel sites and services I trust and use all the time:



sydney opera house, koala, melbourne houses - 3 WEEKS IN AUSTRALIA

The east coast of Australia has it all, vibrant cities, beaches, and rainforests. First, let’s discuss travelling across the east coast of Australia, starting from Sydney, then Canberra, to Adelaide. 

If you have the time and patience, this itinerary can be a fun road trip. You should also make sure you pack your luggage smartly. You will travel far from home, so bring all your necessities but do not overpack.

Sydney and Canberra for 9 days

I recommend you combine these two cities together in a week. The distance is about 300 kilometres (186 mi) or a 3-hour drive or 4-hour train. The fastest way to reach Canberra from Sydney is via plane, but it is very expensive. The cheapest is via train, which would cost anywhere from $27 to $40. If you’re going to ride a bus, it could cost you anywhere from $30 to $60 and will take 3 hours and 30 minutes.


Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. It is also frequently included in the top 10 most liveable cities all over the world. Going for a dip in Sydney is definitely a must-do. Even if you are travelling with a pet, there are dog-friendly beaches to choose from.

Aside from having more than 100 beaches, it also has numerous vibrant dining scenes and various cultural venues, which is enough reason for tourists to stay for at least a week.


Canberra is Australia’s capital city which not many people know. It is also one of the only places in Australia where you can fly a hot air balloon!

Accommodations in Sydney and Canberra


melbourne clock tower, tram - 3 WEEKS IN AUSTRALIA

3 weeks in Australia is not complete without visiting Melbourne. Did you know that Melbourne has been declared by UNESCO as a city of literature? It was the second city in the world to become one. The city is also the sports capital of the world. Melburnians are just massive sports fans. They hold various notable sporting events here including the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Australian Open, and the Melbourne Cup. 

The best way to travel across Melbourne is through public transportation, and tram. It operates throughout the day and offers multiple routes. There are even free trams that are designed for tourists. Aside from trams, buses, and trains are also available. Standard bus fares cost is about AU$2.70 to AU$3.90 (depending on the zone) for two-hour rides. The fare cost is also the same for train rides.

Things to do in Melbourne for a week

Accommodations in Melbourne

Adelaide for 4 days

Adelaide is also well-known as a 20-minute city because it only takes 20 minutes to reach one point to another. It is considered the opal capital of Australia as well, which is perfect for jewellery lovers. Even if it is a small city, there are tons of places to visit and things to do here, that’s why it is also worth a week-long stay.

The best way to get around Adelaide is by walking, trains, buses, or trams. If you prefer riding public transportation over walking, you can purchase a MetroCard or a MetroCard Visitor Pass, which provides tourists with three-day unlimited travel for a fixed rate. 

ALSO READ: 100 Adelaide experiences

Must-see places and activities to do in Adelaide

Accommodations in Adelaide


In this portion of the article, we’ll still discuss 3 weeks in Australia but stay for a shorter duration in each city so that you’ll get to go to more cities. Here, we’ll discuss Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth.


brisbane ferries wheel, koala - 3 WEEKS IN AUSTRALIA

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and is the third-most populous city in Australia. However, there are dozens of interesting things about this city, like how the Spring Hill water reservoir is now an underground opera performing space.

Their city hall is also the largest city hall in Australia, and the first-ever cultivated Macadamia tree in the world could also be found here. To make the most out of your stay in Brisbane, the ideal duration to stay here is four days.

The best way to get around Brisbane is through public transportation. You can ride a combination of trams, trains, ferries, and buses. Just like in the other cities, you can avail of an unlimited pass called seeQ card, which allows you to use these modes of transportation for three to five days.

Must-see places in Brisbane

Accommodations in Brisbane


This city was already mentioned in another section of this article. However, that one was focused on Sydney and Canberra and the transportation between the two cities, whereas this portion would focus solely on Sydney. Four days would also be enough to explore this city.

Top-rated Sydney attractions


Spending 3 weeks in Australia is not complete without visiting Melbourne. This is well-known for being the richest city during the gold rush era. You can also experience the 4 seasons in one day here. It is a pretty common occurrence in Melbourne, which is nothing short of amazing.

Melbourne is also perfect for coffee lovers because it is the city with the most cafes per capita and they are also considered the fox capital of the world. In just 4 days, you can see and do many things in Melbourne.

Top attractions in Mlebourne:


perth city bridge - 3 WEEKS IN AUSTRALIA

Perth is Western Australia’s capital. This city is usually overshadowed by its neighbouring cities, but it has its charms as well. It is the world’s largest producer of gold and the only place in the world where you can find the species called quokkas.

It has one of the world’s longest straight railway tracks. Unlike some of the cities in Australia, which have unpredictable weather, Perth has great weather that’s why walking and biking are possible throughout the year. 

You can get around Perth by trains, buses, or ferries. You can purchase a TransPerth SmartRider card, in which you’ll get fare discounts.

Famous landmarks and activities in Perth

There are so many places you could visit in Perth and around the area. If you have a car, you should also check out a few day trips from Perth.

Accommodations in Perth


It is advisable to plan ahead of your trip and book the various attractions where you’ll go and accommodations where you’ll stay as opposed to having a spontaneous trip, especially nowadays.

That’s why we compiled a list of places you could visit during your three weeks in Australia. We also included the best mode of transportation per city. We hope that this travel itinerar yfor 3 weeks in Australia has been helpful and that you’ll consider going to Australia on your trip.


Explore the wonders of Australia during a three-week adventure. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, hike through the Outback, witness the beauty of the Sydney Opera House, and encounter unique wildlife in this diverse and captivating country. via @threeweektraveller

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