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Australia Itinerary 4 Weeks on East Coast Australia for Solo Travellers

Australia is one of the best countries for solo female travellers. The country is welcoming, people are friendly, and it is very safe to travel in the city and everywhere in between.

If you have only a week or two of holiday and want to check out Australia, take a look at my 10-day itinerary for East Coast Australia. It is a compact itinerary that highlights the best of East Coast Australia. I included a lot of budget tips too!

But if you can spend a month in Australia, then keep reading! Australia is a big country, and you can see the majority of the highlights on the East Coast at a comfortable pace.

Hold on tight as I show you my detailed 4 week Australia itinerary, where you can see all the best attractions on East Coast Australia as a first-time solo traveller.

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4 week Australia itinerary: what you need to know

Before you plan your Australia 4 week itinerary, check out my list of 17 things you need to know before travelling to Australia. I included useful information about Australia, including applying for ETA and other helpful information you might want to know.

Here are additional travel tips that you might find helpful for planning your 4 week Australia itinerary:

  • Australia is a safe country for solo female travellers.
  • Since you are travelling with a planned itinerary, book your flight, bus and rail tickets as soon as you know your travel dates.
  • You don’t need to bring many things, especially when you are only bringing summer clothes. Learn how to pack like a minimalist by following my minimalist packing list template so you can pack less than 7kg.

4 weeks in Australia: how to get around

There are several ways to travel around Australia. For this Australia 1 month itinerary, you can travel with low-cost carriers, long-distance buses and trains.

Air

Australia has a few low-cost carriers (Virgin Australia and Jetstar) flying between Australian cities. Flights are affordable especially when you book early.

Long distance bus

Greyhound Australia is Australia’s only long-distance bus operator. The bus system has many routes connecting different parts of the country.

Train

The railway connects most cities in Australia but it is the slowest way of travelling within Australia. However, the train ride is comfortable and there is a restaurant onboard. Check out the Australian Rail Maps website for more information about interstate train travel.

My Solo Australia 4 week itinerary Summary

Here is a quick summary and a map of all the places you will visit in 4 weeks in Australia:

  • Day 1-3: Melbourne (3 days)
  • Day 4-5: Great Ocean Road (2 days)
  • Day 6-8: Sydney (3 days)
  • Day 9-10: Byron Bay (2 days)
  • Day 11-13: Gold Coast (3 days)
  • Day 14-16: Brisbane (3 days)
  • Day 17-18: Noosa (2 days)
  • Day 19: Hervey Bay (1 day)
  • Day 20-21: Fraser Island (2 days)
  • Day 22: Airlie Beach (1 day)
  • Day 23-24: Whitsunday (2 days)
  • Day 25: Airlie Beach (1 day)
  • Day 26-28: Cairns (3 days)

Australia itinerary: 4 weeks around East Coast Australia

Day 1 – 3: Melbourne (3 days)

Start your 4-week itinerary in Australia by visiting one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne. As the capital city of the state of Victoria, Melbourne has a buzzing city centre, with many cultural influences and vibrant nightlife.

What to do in Melbourne for 3 days

Follow all the things to do in Melbourne from my post so you can see the best of Melbourne. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Meander through the laneways in Central Business District (CBD) including Hosier Lane, the most famous graffiti alley.
  • Wine and dine at one of the restaurants along Chapel Street in South Yarra.
  • See penguins and visit a city beach in St Kilda.
  • Take Instagram photos with the Brighton Beach Boxes at Brighton Beach.
  • Take advantage of the Free Tram Zone. The zone is east of Docklands, north of Flinders Street, west of Spring Spring and south of Victoria Street. If you are travelling only in the free zone, you don’t need to tap your Myki Card. Check the Free Tram Zone Map for the exact location.

Where to stay in Melbourne: Stay 3 nights in the centrally located Ibis Melbourne Central Hotel.

Day 4-5: Great Ocean Road (2 days)

Taking a road trip to the Great Ocean Road has to be one of Victoria’s best road trip adventures. The journey is about 3 hours from Melbourne to 12 Apostles.

The best way to see the Great Ocean Road is by renting a car and taking a self-guided tour. But if you are not keen on driving alone, join a 2-day Great Ocean Road tour because you do not want to miss this!

What to do on the Great Ocean Road for 2 days

Here are some things you will see during your Great Ocean Road tour:

  • See the famous 12 Apostles along the magnificent limestone coastline.
  • Walk down 86 steps to the beaches of Gibson Steps and see the limestone cliff up close.
  • Enjoy the panoramic view at Island Arch Lookout and find the secret beach at Loch Ard Gorge.
  • Eat and stay in either Apollo Bay or Lorne, the cutest seaside town.
  • Swim and surf at the world-famous Bells Beach and Winkipop.

Where to stay on the Great Ocean Road: Stay 1 night at Mantra Lorne at Lorne and return to Melbourne for another night.

Day 6 – 8: Sydney (3 days)

As Australia’s largest city, Sydney is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere. With two of the most recognizable landmarks, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as the backdrop, it is no wonder Sydney has one of the world’s most beautiful harbours.

What to do in Sydney for 3 days

Follow my post on all the things to do in Sydney. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Wander around Central Business District (CBD) and tour The Rocks, one of the oldest areas in Sydney.
  • Visit both iconic landmarks, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in Circular Quay.
  • Enjoy contemporary art galleries in Chippendale including the White Rabbit Gallery.
  • Sunbathe and surf at one of the northern beaches including Manly Beach, Shelly Beach and Freshwater Beach.
  • Hike the scenic Bondi to Coogee Walking Trail from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach.

Where to stay in Sydney: Stay 3 nights at Veriu Central, next to the Central Train Station.

Day 9 – 10: Byron Bay (2 days)

One of the most highly sought-after sun destinations for Australians and international travellers is Byron Bay. The coastal town is known for the best waves for surfing, gorgeous beaches and the most easterly point in Australia.

What to do in Byron Bay for 2 days

Here are some of the things to do in Byron Bay:

  • Find the perfect wave for surfing at The Pass, The Wreck or Tallow Beach.
  • Follow the Cape Byron Walking Track and hike up Cape Byron including a visit to the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland and Cape Byron Lighthouse.
  • Hire a vintage bicycle and bike to The Farm Byron Bay for a farm-to-table meal.
  • Enjoy a beautiful sunset at Byron Beach or Tallow Beach.
  • Visit a nearby hippie village, Nimbin.

Where to stay in Byron Bay: Stay 2 nights at Wake Up Byron Bay and borrow one of their Jordaan Lekker bikes for free.

Day 11 – 13: Gold Coast (3 days)

Known for its golden beaches, surfing, and rainforest, Gold Coast is one of the most visited cities in Queensland, Australia. While there are mountains, amusement parks and wildlife sanctuaries on the Gold Coast, the best activities centre around the beach.

What to do on the Gold Coast for 3 days

As a solo traveller, you can enjoy some of the best things to do on the Gold Coast:

  • Learn to surf at one of the beaches along the coast including Surfers Paradise Beach, Duranbah Beach and Currumbin Alley.
  • Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a standup paddleboard at Tallebudgera Creek.
  • Hike up to Tumgun Lookout in Burleigh Head National Park.
  • Take a dip in Snapper Rocks, a famous rock pool at Coolangatta.
  • Enjoy miles and miles of golden sand from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise Beach.

Where to stay on the Gold Coast: Stay 3 nights in Burleigh Heads. The Outrigger Resort is central to all the places you want to visit.

Day 14 – 16: Brisbane (3 days)

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is Australia’s third-largest city. The city is often overlooked because most travellers visit Melbourne and Sydney. But you do not want to miss Brisbane – it is one of the friendliest cities in Australia!

What to do in Brisbane for 3 days

There are many things to do in Brisbane as a solo traveller. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Walk along many scenic paths in Brisbane including CBD to Teneriffe via City Reach Boardwalk and Riverwalk.
  • Take a self-guided Brisbane River ferry tour with CityCat or CityHopper.
  • Shop on Queen Street Mall in CBD and James Street Precinct in Fortitude Valley.
  • Visit local markets around Brisbane including Jan Power Farmers Market at Powerhouse in New Farm.
  • Cuddle with koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
  • Jump on a short cruise in Brisbane and explore the surrounding area.

Where to stay in Brisbane: Stay 3 nights at the best contemporary hotel in the city, The Calile Hotel.

Day 17 – 18: Noosa (2 days)

Noosa is Queensland’s most popular beach town on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. The town has some of the best beaches on the East Coast which you can’t find anywhere else. And it has a national park with fantastic hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and rock pools.

What to do in Noosa for 2 days

There is plenty to do in Noosa. Here are some highlights:

  • Search for Fairy Pools in Noosa National Park.
  • Hike through various trekking paths in Noosa National Park and find Hell’s Gates, the highest viewpoint overlooking the steepest cliffs along the shore.
  • Find the best waves at Noosa Heads Main Beach and Alexandria Bay.
  • Hike up to Laguna Lookout and see Noosa Heads from above and Glasshouse Mountains.
  • Enjoy the sun and golden sand at Sunshine Beach.

Where to stay in Noosa: Stay 2 nights at 10 Hastings Street Boutique Motel just off the main street.

Day 19: Hervey Bay (1 day)

Hervey Bay is a small coastal town in Queensland that is known for observing humpback whales. The town is a bit small but it is the town where most Fraser Island tour begins.

What to do in Hervey Bay for 1 day

Besides checking out the small town, join one of these suggested tours below:

Where to stay in Hervey Bay: Stay 1 night at the modern Mantra Hervey Bay Hotel.

Day 20 – 21: Fraser Island (2 days)

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. The island is over 120km long with golden beaches, turquoise lakes, rainforests, mangrove forests and panoramic viewpoints.

What to do on Fraser Island for 2 days

Here are some highlights of a Fraser Island tour:

  • See the SS Maheno shipwreck along the Seventy-Five Mile Beach.
  • Visit the Hammerstone Sandblow dunes around the deepest freshwater lake, Lake Wabby.
  • Cool off in the clear turquoise freshwater of Lake McKenzie.
  • Hike up Indian Head for a panoramic view of the island and ocean.
  • Take a dip in Champagne Pools, a famous rock pool along the coast.
  • Do a self-drive tour of Fraser Island is an amazing experience. But if you don’t want to navigate on your own, join a 2-day 1 night tour which includes transportation to all the sites mentioned above.

Where to stay on Fraser Island: your tour will include accommodation.

Day 22: Airlie Beach (1 day)

Airlie Beach is a small resort town in Queensland. Most people visit Airlie Beach because it is the gateway for many tours around the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

What to do in Airlie Beach for 1 day

Get yourself acquainted with the small coastal town and see these attractions:

  • Swim in the man-made lagoon at Airlie Beach Lagoon.
  • Walk along the Coastal Fringe Circuit in a lush rainforest in Conway National Park.
  • Shop at the Airlie Beach Market on Saturday mornings along the promenade.
  • Enjoy the small-town vibes and nightlife of Airlie Beach.

Where to stay in Airlie Beach: Stay 1 night at Airlie Beach Hotel and let the hotel know you will return for another night after your Whitsunday tour.

Day 23 – 24: Whitsundays (2 days)

When you travel for 4 weeks in Australia, you must include a once-in-a-lifetime sailing trip to the Whitsunday Islands. It is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to.

There are numerous tours around the Whitsunday Islands. From a budget one-day tour to multiple days on a luxury yacht, there is something for everyone.

For this 4 week Australia itinerary, join a 2-day and 2-night tour so you can get a glimpse of the magic of Whitsundays.

What to do in Whitsundays for 2 days

During your time on a sailboat to Whitsunday Island, this is what you will see:

  • Visit the powdery white sand at Whitehaven Beach, one of the best beaches in Queensland.
  • Snorkel or dive in the clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef to see the world’s most extensive coral reef system.
  • See Hook Island, Hayman Island and Border Island as well.

Where to stay in Whitsundays: you will be staying 2 nights on a boat which is included in the tour price.

Day 25: Airlie Beach (1 day)

Return to Airlie Beach at the end of your Whitsunday Islands tour. Rest for the day and continue on your journey the next day.

Where to stay in Airlie Beach: Return to Airlie Beach Hotel and stay 1 more night.

Day 26 – 28: Cairns (3 days)

Located in northern Queensland, Cairns is the gateway to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns’ visitors will enjoy various beach, water and rainforest activities.

What to do in Cairns for 3 days

Take advantage of your last three days in Australia and see these Cairns attractions:

  • Ride the 7.5km Skyrail Rainforest Cableway into the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and explore Kuranda on a self-guided day trip.
  • See koalas, wallabies, dingoes and other wildlife at Rainforestation Nature Park.
  • Learn about the original Australian Indigenous culture at Tjapukai Cultural Centre.
  • See ancient ferns and lush greenery at Daintree Rainforest with a tour.
  • Relax at the coastal village of Palm Cove.

Where to stay in Cairns: Stay 3 nights at The Abbott Boutique Hotel.

Are you ready to plan your 4 week East Coast Australia itinerary?

If you can travel for a month in Australia, check out all the attractions mentioned in this Australia solo travel itinerary so you can check off your Australian travel bucket list.

But if you only have a few weeks, take a look at my 10-day itinerary where I condense the best of the East Coast Australia itinerary in 4 weeks into 10 days only.

Thank you for reading my Australia 4 week itinerary post

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Australia:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • Gail
    February 26, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Hello … great information. I would be interested to know your mode of travel between cities … did you drive, bus, train, fly ? Thank you !

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      February 26, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Thanks so much, Gail! I took a train from Melbourne to Sydney and greyhound buses for the rest of the journey. I like train travel and also want to take long-distance buses to take the hassle of navigating on my own. Australia has a really good network of long-distance buses. I also have more detailed info for some of the transportation modes between Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast and Brisbane in my 10-day Australia itinerary. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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