Let’s Go Down Under: Australia & New Zealand Travel Itinerary

Every trip has its purpose. Some are for relaxing, some for business, some for visiting loved ones and some for those special moments we call honeymoons. Then there’s another kind of trip – the kind meant for exploring, for discovery, for adventure.

At the beginning of last year, I would have never thought that I’d be ringing in the New Year in the land down under. A long-time top destination on my travel list, when the opportunity arose, we just couldn’t turn it down.

With less than two months to plan, I quickly began to pen an itinerary, and an adventurous one at that. Being such a large and vast country, it wasn’t possible to visit it all in three weeks even if we tried (Brisbane, you’re next). We prioritized the places we wanted to see, all while seeking to create contraste in our experiences. Beginning in the city of Sydney for New Years Eve, to the Tropical North to the Outback, the entire trip was a dream. We saw (and ate) everything we wanted to and more.

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Daintree Rainforest, Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, Australia
View from the Daintree Rainforest, Tropical North Queensland, Australia

After spending time with our friends and family over the holidays, December 26 arrived and we were off. Twenty-four hours, one layover and a sixteen-hour time difference later, we landed in Sydney on the 28th and began on the journey of a lifetime.

They say that we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us — this couldn’t be more true. Whether through the museums, food, activities or simple walks, every place we visit tends to leave a mark in our hearts, changing us in one way or another forever. While we bring home souvenirs and other lovely finds, we only truly take away memories and moments to remember. Those are things that last.

Australia, New Zealand, you’ve been good to us.

Wild flowers on Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand

The Itinerary:

Departure: Montreal (YUL), December 26
Layover: Vancouver (YVR)
Arrival: Sydney (SYD), December 28
Total flight duration: 22h55min

Sydney: 4 nights | December 28 to January 1
Cairns: 3 nights | January 1 to January 5
Uluru: 1 night | January 5 to January 6
Melbourne: 2 nights | January 6 to January 8
Lake Taupo: 3 nights | January 9 to January 12
Wellington: 1 night | January 12 to January 13
Waiheke Island: 2 nights | January 13 to January 15
Auckland: 1 night | January 15 to January 16

Departure: Auckland (AKL), January 16
Layover: Vancouver (YVR)
Arrival: Montreal (AKL), January 16
Total flight duration: 24h10min

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