How To Spend 6 Weeks In Australia

How To Spend 6 Weeks In Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

6 weeks in Australia is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime, especially because you have ample time to appreciate this fabulous country! For those who have always dreamed of travelling Australia, 6 weeks is an amazing time frame for taking in the highlights of the East Coast. You can take your time experiencing all the natural and cultural wonders from Cairns down to Melbourne without rushing. You can even plan your budget accordingly so you don't spend all your savings on this epic trip. 

Here is our ultimate guide to spending 6 weeks in Australia, including an ideal backpacker itinerary, price breakdown, and travel tips. 

two girls jumping in front of byron bay lighthouse

How To Spend 6 Weeks In Australia

There is no right or wrong way to spend 6 weeks in Australia, but we're going to provide an ideal 6-week itinerary so you can optimise your time on the East Coast. Australia is a huge country with lots of incredible things to see, but all the best destinations are spread out quite far along the massive coastline. Travel times can be long and popular experiences may sell out, so ensure you don't miss anything and plan your itinerary in advance!

Here is a sample 6-week Australia itinerary that you can use as a guideline. We will shortly outline the highlights of each place and recommend the best ways to get around so you can better visualise what 6 weeks in Australia might look like.

6 Week Australia Bucket List

ect 6 week australia map

How to get around during 6 weeks in Australia

The easiest ways to travel around during six weeks in Australia are any combination of flights, Greyhound buses, or campervan rentals. Most backpackers opt for the Greyhound Whimit Pass, as this is one of the cheapest and easiest methods for travelling around Australia. You can buy a bus pass that lasts for 30, 60, or 90 days and enjoy unlimited bus travel to all the top destinations. 

If you wanted to cover any long distances quickly, you could also take domestic flights. They are generally pretty cheap and are much quicker than a long bus ride. Alternatively, you could hire a campervan and enjoy slow travelling along the coastal roads. This is also cost-effective because you can cook meals and sleep in your van to save money!

travellers floating along eli creek on k'gari

Six-Week Australia Itinerary – Cairns to Melbourne

Day 1 - 5: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, Cairns offers the ultimate tropical adventure. Snorkel or scuba dive, hike through the oldest rainforest on Earth, and soak in the laid-back energy of the city. 

snorkellers near coral reefs in the great barrier reef

    Day 6 - 8: Mission Beach

    Mission Beach is a quaint coastal town in Australia's Tropical North. It's a hotspot for skydiving over the beach and embarking on adventure sports in the rainforest!

    two travellers admiring palm trees in port douglas australia

    Day 9 - 11: Magnetic Island

    A magical oasis located just off the coast of Townsville, Magnetic Island gives travellers the chance to mingle with the island's koala population, snorkel at some breathtaking beaches, and drive around the lush landscapes in a mini topless car. 

    girl in a colorful jeep on magnetic island australia

    Day 12 - 13: Airlie Beach

    Airlie Beach is the Gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, but you'll want to spend a few days enjoying this vibrant tourist town before you head to sea. From swimming in a local waterfall to partying with other backpackers in the exciting town centre, Airlie Beach has so many fun things to do!

    backpackers enjoying cedar creek falls in airlie beach

    Day 14 - 16: The Whitsunday Islands

    Embark on a breathtaking sailing tour through the Whitsunday Islands! Glide over turquoise waters, soak in the sun on the famous Whitehaven Beach, admire the swirling sands from Hill Inlet, and snorkel with colourful marine life in this slice of paradise. 

    travellers walking on the whitsunday islands beaches

    Day 17 - 19: Rainbow Beach

    Rainbow Beach has some of southern Queensland's most impressive natural landscapes. It's a small, peaceful town, but it's surrounded by rippling sand dunes, rugged coastal cliffs, and sapphire waters that are perfect for water sports!

    rainbow beach coloured cliffs and ocean in australia

    Day 20 - 22: K'gari (Fraser Island)

    From Rainbow Beach, depart on an epic 4WD adventure as you tour the world's largest sand island! K'gari (Fraser Island), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has iconic and rare wildlife, perched lakes, ancient dunes, and magnificent rainforests. 

    backpackers near maheno shipwreck at sunrise on k'gari

    Day 23 - 26: Noosa

    Next stop, Noosa, one of the most gorgeous coastal towns in Australia. With a charming town centre, pristine beaches, tranquil Everglades and enticing national parks, Noosa has something for everyone. 

    people canoeing along the noosa everglades rivers

    Day 27 - 28: Brisbane

    As the bustling capital city of Queensland, here you can find an endless array of activities, attractions, and entertainment. From street food markets, to world-class museums, to landscaped gardens, to compelling architecture, Brisbane offers a wealth of epic experiences for travellers.

    aerial view of brisbane city skyscrapers and river

    Day 29 - 30: Surfers Paradise & Gold Coast

    After a few days in the city, head back to the coast to soak in the sunshine on the Gold Coast! Home to famous beaches like Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads, the Gold Coast is like heaven for surfers and beach bums.

    two girls walking along the beach with skyscrapers in the background

    Day 31 - 35: Byron Bay

    Byron Bay is an inviting surf town in northern New South Wales that beckons travellers with its impressive coastal landscapes, diverse marine life, eclectic atmosphere, and hipster energy. 

    travellers checking out the views in byron bay

    Day 36 - 40: Sydney

    Arguably Australia's most famous and touristy city, Sydney is well worth the hype. Here you can admire famous landmarks in Sydney Harbour, surf at Bondi Beach, take a day trip to the stunning Blue Mountains, or just get lost and absorb all the cool architecture and culture. 

    two travellers posing in sydney harbour australia

    Day 41 & 42: Melbourne

    Finish off 6 weeks in Australia with a visit to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. Known for its cultural landmarks and expert coffee scene, Melbourne is one of the coolest and most cosmopolitan cities in Australia. 

    man walking past street art in melbourne city australia

    Best 6-week itineraries in Australia

    Here are the best 6 week itineraries for East Coast Australia!

    These itineraries will give you the full East Coast Australia experience without any hassle! All the activities, transport, and accommodation are booked for you to ensure you don't miss anything. Semi guided tours give you some free time and more flexibility with your travel days. Guided tours are great for first-time travellers as everything is led by an experienced tour guide. Either way, a pre-booked itinerary is a great way to get the most bang for your buck in Australia.

    travellers posing in the dense forest of k'gari

    How much money do I need to travel East Coast Australia for 6 weeks?

    It's hard to say exactly how much money you would need for 6 weeks in Australia, but most travellers probably average around $200 AUD per day. This includes transport, accommodation, tours, food, and other daily costs. Of course, if you use any classic budget travel tips your daily costs may be lower, and if you treat yourself you can spend more than $200 per day, but it's a good estimate to start with when measuring your savings. 

    6 Weeks in Australia Itinerary Cost

    If you book an itinerary, the upfront price includes most of the big costs such as accommodation, transport, and tours. You'll just need a bit of extra cash for meals and daily expenses. But when you're on a multiday tour, such as in the Whitsundays or K'gari, meals are included!

    Cost breakdown for 6 week Australia itineraries

    snorkeller walking on the beach on fitzroy island cairns

    Average daily costs for food, drinks, and souvenirs during 6 weeks in Australia

    Here is a quick breakdown of what things cost in Australia so you can estimate your daily spending. Remember to factor this into your budget on top of the itinerary price! If you're looking to save money in Australia, there are ways to cut costs while still having a fulfilling adventure. For example, cook your meals at home in the hostel to save money on dining out, or book tours at off-peak times for cheaper prices. 

    Either way, think realistically about your own spending habits when planning a budget for Australia. If you love to eat out and drink cocktails, you'll spend much more than if you're fine with cooking at home and skipping out on souvenirs. 

    These are standard 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

    traveller taking a photo of sydney harbour bridge

    Can you explore East Coast Australia in 6 Weeks?

    You can explore so much of East Coast Australia in 6 weeks! Though many travellers only spend a couple of weeks or even one month touring the East Coast, 6 weeks gives you more flexibility and more wiggle room for extending your stay in places you really love. You won't be rushing as much and you'll get to enjoy each destination for longer. Having 2 to 4 days in each location gives you time for day trips, city exploration, water sports, fun excursions, and plenty of downtime where you can just melt into the landscape and relax with no plans. 

    So whether you're hopping off on an adventure during your Working Holiday Visa in Australia, or you're just on a fantastic 6-week holiday, fill your days with natural beauty, sunshine, and culture on the East Coast!

    travellers smiling with drinks in the whitsunday islands

    Check out our handy DIY itinerary planner for planning 6 weeks in Australia!

    You can also chat with a local travel expert for personalised advice, or browse our curated itineraries! 

    East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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