How to Tackle an Australia Vacation + Stay Sane

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Australia is big. Like really big. For some reason, it’s a common misconception that it’s not that big and can be done in a week. No, it can’t. Sorry, but it can’t. My husband and I spent 3 years there. We did a final 45 day trip around the country before we left and I have to say, it was well-planned.

If you want to plan a trip to Australia, this is a good way to tackle it. I’m sharing an overview of what we did today and follow up posts in the coming weeks.

Map of Australia
Follow our trip around Australia. Start in Melbourne and follow the direction of the planes.

Trip Breakdown:

Adelaide, Barossa Valley, & Kangaroo Island

Adelaide Part 1 of Trip
Gorgeous Fall Winery

We’ve spent very little time in Adelaide and Barossa Valley and no time on Kangaroo Island.  I am so excited to change that! We did a “Rock to Water” tour two years back that took us from Uluru to Adelaide.  We only got to hit one winery and I’m definitely changing that this time, as we’re doing a wine tour that’s a full day.  Whenever we visit a wine area, I always try to do this at least once so we don’t have to worry about driving.

Then it’s 2 nights on Kangaroo Island.  The island is known for wildlife and crazy rock formations.

Perth, Margaret River, Wave Rock

After Kangaroo Island, we fly straight to Perth.  We’ve been to Perth before and smiled with the quokkas, but this time we are heading out to Margaret River. We are doing wine and a 4×4 tour.

The next stop is to drive out to Wave Rock.  This is a bit of a drive and there’s not a whole lot to see at Wave Rock besides the rock, but I want to see it nonetheless.

Exmouth to Broome via Karijini

Next up is Exmouth to Broome via Karijini.  We’ve been to Exmouth before but we want to go back, just one more time. It’s not an easy place to get to, but holy moly is it lovely!

Exmouth to Broome, Part 2 of trip
Swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth, WA

We are going to swim with whale sharks one more time. I got sick last time, so this time I’m taking better seasick meds and hoping for the best.  Whale sharks are amazing “gentle giants”. You swim right along beside them, and it’s truly an amazing experience.

From there, we go Karijini National Park which has been rough to plan.  Karijini is about a 5 hour drive from Exmouth.  Exmouth is already one of those “middle of nowhere” places, well Karijini is the a secluded place within the “middle of nowhere”.  You can’t just rent a normal car to get out there because they put mile restrictions on their cars in this area.  We are renting from Wicked, and doing the camper and tent thing.

We keep hearing how special Broome is, and how the sunsets over the ocean are amazing, so we can’t wait to hit up that little town as well.

Broome to Darwin

The next section of the trip is completely new area for us. We have not set foot in Broome, Darwin, or anywhere in between.

We are driving a four-wheel car here but not going full off-road.  It’s going to be 13 days and we don’t want to set up a tent everyday for that long, so we’ll be in hotels.  There are several places in this area that I can’t wait to hit.  It’s called “The Kimberleys” and it’s got amazing water holes and more. There’s several national parks we will hit. We’ll visit Tunnel Creek, The Bungles, Emma Gorge, Lake Argyle, Nitmiluk, Kakadu, and Litchfield.

Finally, when we get to Darwin, we plan to dive with crocs! This will be terrifying, but I’m so ready for it. It’s called the “Cage of Death” so it has to be safe, right?! 🙂

Brisbane to Byron Bay, Noosa, & Airlie Beach

For the final part of the trip, we are hitting some of our favorite spots in Queensland. First up is Brisbane, which is not really one of our favorites, but we want to go Moreton Island.  Here, you can do some night kayaking.  My husband LOVES a good kayak trip and when he saw a photo on Instagram of night kayaking, he was sold.

Byron Bay is a hippy little town where you can kayak with dolphins. We’ve done this before but it was a bit early in the season, so we didn’t get to see any dolphins.  However, the company we went with lets you go again for free, so we’re excited to try again.

Noosa we found by accident.  We drove from Sydney to Hervey Bay and drove through Noosa. We were so impressed by this little beach town. It was so lovely that we can’t wait to go back and spend more

The crystal clear waters of the Whitsunday Islands

time.  We also plan to do a little 4×4 tour there as well.

Finally, we spend our last few days at Airlie Beach.  Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands.  Last time we were at the Whitsundays we stayed on Hamilton Island, so we haven’t actually been to Airlie Beach yet.  It’s more of a party town, which is not our thing, but it’s also a lot cheaper than Hamilton Island.  We are going sailing out to the Whitsundays and spending our last few days relaxing on gorgeous beaches.

Make sure you stay tuned, we’ll be sharing our first leg of the trip in the July 1.  Photos of Adelaide, Barossa Valley, and Kangaroo Island are on their way!

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