53 days in Australia, New Zealand & Japan Itinerary

53 days in Australia, New Zealand & Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

53 days in Australia, New Zealand & Japan Itinerary

Start: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Fly:  26​h
1
Sydney, Australia
— 5 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
2
Paihia, New Zealand
— 3 nights
3
Taupo, New Zealand
— 5 nights
Fly + Drive:  11​h 30​min
4
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Queenstown, New Zealand
— 5 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
6
Te Anau, New Zealand
— 5 nights
bus + Fly:  9​h 30​min
7
Melbourne, Australia
— 5 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
8
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly + shuttle:  5​h 45​min
9
Port Douglas, Australia
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
10
Cairns, Australia
— 4 nights
Fly + bus:  9​h 30​min
11
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
12
Tokyo, Japan
— 5 nights
Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: Glasgow, United Kingdom

5
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.
Sydney is known for nightlife, trails, beaches, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, wander the streets of Darling Harbour, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, and stroll through Bondi Beach.

For reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Sydney trip itinerary builder website .

Glasgow, UK to Sydney is an approximately 26-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 10 hours traveling from Glasgow to Sydney. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Glasgow in March; daily highs in Sydney reach 30°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

3
nights
Paihia, New Zealand

Paihia ©
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Paihia: Tapeka Point Track (in Russell) and Bream Head Coast Walks (in Whangarei). And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, make a trip to KeriKeri New Zealand, and step off the mainland to explore Urupukapuka Island.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip itinerary planning app .

You can fly from Sydney to Paihia in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Paihia is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Taupo.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

KeriKeri New Zealand, Tapeka Point Track, Bream Head Coast Walks
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Bream Head Coast Walks ©
Bream Head Coast Walks
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling

5
nights
Taupo, New Zealand

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Taupo: Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Rotorua (Amokura Glass, Zipline, & more). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tongariro Alpine Crossing, explore the galleries of Lava Glass, get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park, and make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Taupo road trip planning app .

Getting from Paihia to Taupo by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Rotorua, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

2
nights
Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Fox Glacier is known for nature, trails, beaches, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: hike along Hooker Valley Track, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moraine Walk, take in the dramatic natural features at Franz Josef Glacier, and kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Fox Glacier travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Taupo to Fox Glacier takes 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Queenstown.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Franz Josef Glacier, Hooker Valley Track
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Fox Glacier ©
Fox Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach

5
nights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Go for a jaunt from Queenstown to Wanaka to see Mount Aspiring National Park about 1h 25 min away. The adventure continues: get your game on at Skyline Queenstown, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Wakatipu, do a tasting at Chard Farm Winery, and look for all kinds of wild species at Kiwi Birdlife Park.

For ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Queenstown travel route site .

You can drive from Fox Glacier to Queenstown in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Mount Aspiring National Park
Find places to stay Mar 27 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Beer Tastings & Tours
Skyline Queenstown ©
Skyline Queenstown
Speed Boats Tours

5
nights
Te Anau, New Zealand

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
On the 4th (Sat), hike the day away at Hollyford Track. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Milford Sound, look for all kinds of wild species at Doubtful Sound, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lake Gunn, and take some stellar pictures from Te Anau Lion Lookout Point.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Te Anau vacation website .

You can take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Fiordland National Park
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Hollyford Track ©
Hollyford Track
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound

5
nights
Melbourne, Australia

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Take a break from Melbourne with a short trip to The Great Ocean Road in Torquay, about 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, see the interesting displays at Melbourne Museum, take a memorable tour with Tours, and learn about all things military at Shrine of Remembrance.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Melbourne trip itinerary maker website .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Te Anau to Melbourne in 9.5 hours. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria), which is usually a -2 hour difference. In April in Melbourne, expect temperatures between 23°C during the day and 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Melbourne

Tours Outdoors Museums

Side Trip

The Great Ocean Road
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

3
nights
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ©
For quintessential Outback scenery and culture, you can't beat a holiday in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Site.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is known for nature, museums, outdoors, trails, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire all the interesting features of Uluru, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga, take in the exciting artwork at Walkatjara Art, and head outdoors with Walpa Gorge.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park vacation planner.

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in April: high temperatures in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park hover around 34°C and lows are around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Uluru ©
Uluru
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga ©
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga
Valley of the Winds ©
Valley of the Winds

3
nights
Port Douglas, Australia

A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
Venture out of the city with trips to Diwan (Alexandra Bay Waterfall & Daintree Entomological museum). There's lots more to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

For more things to do, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Port Douglas in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Port Douglas, with lows of 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

4
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Palm Cove (Spas & Palm Cove Beach). The adventure continues: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and identify plant and animal life at The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by bus from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In April in Cairns, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk
Find places to stay Apr 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Step out of Kyoto to go to Osaka and see Universal Studios Japan, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and make a trip to Gion.

To see maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Kyoto driving holiday planner.

Getting from Cairns to Kyoto by combination of flight and bus takes about 9.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of flight and train. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cairns to Kyoto due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Cairns, expect little chillier days and colder nights in Kyoto, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Universal Studios Japan
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

5
nights
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo ©
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, and ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo holiday planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In April, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Apr 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Samurai Armor Photo Studio ©
Samurai Armor Photo Studio
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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