How To Spend 4 Weeks In Australia

How To Spend 4 Weeks In Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Four weeks in Australia is an amazing amount of time to see the highlights of the East CoastWe're here to help you decide how to spend your four weeks in Australia! From a suggested itinerary to some recommendations for spending money and how to get around, let our travel experts guide you on your quest to explore Australia in four weeks. 

Trees next to Lake McKenzie on K'gari (Fraser Island)

Top destinations to visit on Australia's East Coast

Here is a sample four-week Australia itinerary to get you started. Though you can modify this journey however you like, this route is extremely popular among backpackers in Australia. One month is the perfect time frame to see the best of the East Coast. Though there are other amazing places in Australia, such as the West Coast, the Outback, or Tasmania, it will be near impossible to see all those places plus the East Coast highlights in four weeks. This is an optimised four-week East Coast Australia itinerary that allows you to pack in lots of attractions along the coast without rushing. 

Our Four-Week Australian Bucket List

cairns to melbourne map

How to get around during four weeks in Australia

You may be wondering how to get to all these amazing destinations while you're in Australia for four weeks. Domestic flights, coach buses, and campervan rentals are the three main methods of transport for backpacking Australia. For long distances, such as Sydney to Melbourne, you can catch a cheap domestic flight that only takes 1 hour. Or you can take overnight buses, or rent a campervan so you can take your time admiring the views along the coast and camp amongst the wilderness.

However you choose to get around Australia is up to you! If you're booking a pre-planned itinerary, coach bus travel will be included so you don't have to worry about booking all your transport. You can also upgrade to a campervan, meaning you can drive yourself around and camp in your cozy vehicle while still participating in the activities. Feel free to ask us if you have any questions about how to get around Australia and we'll recommend the best options for you. 

girls leaning out of a van next to a mountain

Four-Week Australia Itinerary – Cairns to Melbourne

Day 1 – 4: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest

Begin your four-week Australia itinerary in Cairns, the unofficial hub of Tropical North Queensland. With four days in Cairns, you have plenty of time to explore the bustling city center and take a few days trips. You definitely have to spend a day snorkelling or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef! Explore this vast underwater wonderland and see why the Great Barrier Reef is so special. 

You can also spend a day or two venturing into the rainforest around Cairns. Head north to the world's oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest. Or head southwest to the lush region of the Atherton Tablelands where you can swim in waterfalls and embark on rainforest hikes. There is so much to do in Cairns, but if you only have four weeks in Australia you'll need to keep moving!

man snorkeling with a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef

    Day 5 & 6: Magnetic Island

    Just south of Cairns lies the pristine tropical paradise of Magnetic Island. With two days here, you have plenty of time to soak in the natural beauty of this small and gorgeous island. From, snorkelling, swimming, and hiking in the various bays and beaches, to spotting koalas snoozing and snacking in the trees, there are so many fun things to do on Magnetic Island

    girl holding snorkelling gear on a tropical beach

    Day 7 - 11: Airlie Beach & The Whitsunday Islands

    Continue your journey along the coast until you reach one of Queensland's gems, the Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is the laid-back tourist town on the mainland where you'll base yourself for a trip out to the islands. With four days in Airlie Beach, you can choose to take day trips or you can really immerse yourself in the nautical scenery with an overnight boat tour

    Spending a few days sailing through the Whitsunday Islands is a must on any four week Australia itinerary. Cruise over to Whitehaven Beach, admire the view of the swirling sands from Hill Inlet Lookout, and snorkel in the fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Add on other epic activities like a scenic flight over the Heart Reef or a skydive!

    scenic flight over the heart reef whitsundays

    Day 12 - 14: Rainbow Beach

    As you make your way into southern Queensland, you'll find yourself in the land of golden beaches, cool ocean breezes, and perfect waves. Rainbow Beach is a quaint little coastal town where you can hike up towering sand dunes, go surfing or paddleboarding in the calm waters, and embrace the beachside lifestyle. Spend a few days relaxing here before you jump on an overnight 4WD tour to the world's largest sand island!

    girl standing on a sand dune at sunrise

    Day 15 - 17: K'gari (Fraser Island)

    From Rainbow Beach, you can join a tour that brings you onto the ferry and over to K'gari, the magical island formerly known as Fraser Island. On K'gari (Fraser Island), a world of untouched natural wonders awaits. Walk through towering, dense rainforests, climb over massive sand dunes, swim in crystal clear lakes and creeks, and spot wild dingos roaming along the beach. 

    Join a camping safari for the chance to camp amongst the rich wilderness on K'gari! These camping tours are also tag-along tours, meaning you can sign up to be a driver and help navigate the 4WD across the sandy island tracks. Or you can book a resort tour if you're looking for a bit more luxury on the island. 

    two girls standing on a bridge in the dense rainforest

    Day 18 & 19: Noosa

    The next stop on your four-week Australia Itinerary is Noosa, an incredibly charming coastal city full of fun attractions. Visit the iconic Australia Zoo, kayak through the tranquil Everglades, go surfing on the idyllic beaches, or explore the walking tracks and rock pools of Noosa National Park. Or dive into the cultural scene and browse all the local shops and cafes that populate the town center. 

    girls holding surfboards on the Main Beach in Noosa

    Day 20: Brisbane & Gold Coast

    You're heading into the final week of your Australian backpacking adventure! Depart the Sunshine Coast and head south towards the capital city of Queensland. Brisbane is one of Australia's most iconic cities. With nightlife galore, bustling street markets, world-class museums, and impressive landmarks like Kangaroo Cliffs and the Story Bridge, there are so many fun things to do in Brisbane

    Spend the day exploring the highlights of the city, and then continue south towards Byron Bay. On the way, swing by the Gold Coast and go for a swim, grab a bite to eat, stroll around the city, and maybe catch a wave or two. 

    girl on a boat in Brisbane city

    Day 21 & 22: Byron Bay

    You've made it to Byron Bay, one of the most popular backpacker towns on Australia's East Coast. Famous for its bohemian atmosphere, fantastic surf breaks, and stunning coastal views, Byron Bay is sure to capture your heart. Grab a smoothie bowl from a local cafe, try a surf lesson, hike up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, or kayak with dolphins in the sapphire Pacific Ocean. After a few days in Byron Bay, continue south to the famous metropolis of Sydney!

    Byron Bay ocean with surfers and lighthouse in the background

    Day 23 - 26: Sydney

    As the capital city of New South Wales, Sydney is perhaps the most famous city in Australia. Home to world-famous landmarks like Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there is plenty to see and do in the city. Wander around the Rocks markets, grab some food in Chinatown, or head to the coast and try the epic Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. 

    Make sure you have time for a day trip to the Blue Mountains while visiting Sydney! This magnificent national park located just west of Sydney is the perfect place to escape the city and breathe in some crisp, fresh mountain air. In the Blue Mountains, you can go for amazing hikes, see majestic waterfalls, and admire the unique rock formations such as the Three Sisters. If hiking isn't your style, you could also book a day trip to the Hunter Valley and go wine-tasting!

    couple posing in front of bondi beach sign in sydney

    Day 27 & 28: Melbourne

    With only two days left in your four-week Australia itinerary, you'll have time for a quick stop in Melbourne! The capital city of Victoria is known for its trendy coffee scene, prestigious art galleries and museums, and colourful street art. Spend a couple of days wandering through the enticing alleyways and checking out the historic architecture. You could also do a day trip to the Great Ocean Road and see the Twelve Apostles! Then your four weeks in Australia are up, so hopefully you took lots of photos and made some lifelong friends along the way. 

    coffees sitting on a table at a cafe in Australia

    Best 4-week itineraries in Australia

    If you're looking to book a 4-week Australia itinerary, these are the best options!

    These itineraries are designed to give you the best possible experience on Australia's East Coast. You'll have at least a few days in each place so you don't feel rushed, yet you'll still get to see all of the highlights. These itineraries also organise your accommodation, transport, and tours, so you can really just relax and enjoy yourself without worrying about too much planning and preparation. 

    aerial view of travellers hiking in the whitsunday islands

    How much money do I need for 4 weeks in Australia?

    The amount of money you'll need for 4 weeks in Australia varies from person to person, but a standard cost is around $200 AUD per day. This equates to around $5600 for the whole month. But your spending will depend on how to choose to travel! You can explore Australia for as cheap as $100 per day if you prioritise money saving, but you can also spend a lot more if you treat yourself often. Around $200 per day means you'll be staying in hostels and taking public transport but also indulging in some fun tours and excursions. 

    4 Weeks in Australia Itinerary Cost

    A pre-booked itinerary is an amazing way to tackle 4 weeks in Australia. All your tours, accommodation, and transport are covered, meaning less planning and organisation for you! This can make it easier to plan a budget because you'll pay for the whole itinerary upfront and then just need to bring spending money for food, drinks, and souvenirs. 

    Here are the costs for some of the most popular 4 week Australia itineraries:

    people on floats in Eli Creek on K'gari (Fraser Island)

    Average daily costs for food, drinks, and souvenirs

    On top of the itinerary price, make sure you allocate some money for daily spending. Most itineraries include a few meals here and there but you're mostly on your own. You can eat cheaply in Australia if you cook your meals at home in the hostel and avoid buying too many pricey cocktails. A mid-range budget allows for some coffees, cocktails, and nice meals out here and there, but not every day. If you indulge in lots of dining out every day, you'll need a much bigger budget. The amount of shopping you do also just depends on your preferences. 

    Here are some cost estimates for daily spending in Australia:

    • Tight budget: $60 - $90 per day
    • Mid-range budget: $100 - $140 per day
    • Luxury budget: $150 - $250 per day

    So just make sure you add the costs of your itinerary with your daily spending to account for how much you'll spend. If you're not booking an itinerary, add up the costs of your accommodation, transport, and tours with your daily spending to plan a budget!

    girl posing in a jucy campervan at australia zoo

    Is four weeks enough for Australia?

    Four weeks is definitely enough time to see the highlights of Australia's East Coast. You can easily make it from Cairns down to Melbourne in 4 weeks, while seeing iconic sights like the Whitsundays, the Great Barrier Reef, K'gari (Fraser Island), Sydney, and more. If you wanted to spend less time travelling and more time enjoying one destination at a time on the East Coast, you could just skip a few destinations such as Melbourne since it's pretty far south. 

    Of course, having more than one month in Australia means you'd get to see and experience so much more. If one month sounds a bit short to you, consider coming for 6 weeks or even trying a Working Holiday Visa and staying for a year or more! With more time in Australia, you can add on a trip to the Outback or even a road trip around Western Australia. But no matter how much time you have here, Australia is an enchanting place and you're sure to have a memorable experience. 

    three backpackers posing in Sydney Harbour

    Spending four weeks in Australia is bound to be a life-changing adventure. 

    Don’t hesitate to use our handy DIY itinerary planner, chat with a local travel expert or browse our curated itineraries! 

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