I am planning a trip to Australia for the first time. Any recommendations on how long I should be there? When is the best time to visit? Should I try to visit both Melbourne and Sydney?

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Melbourne is definitely worth a few days. In my opinion it’s a nicer town. Best time to visit is spring or fall (Southern Hemisphere so their seasons flip). The Coogee to Bondi walk in Sydney is fantastic to really see the coast line!

For sure! And Cairns (for the reef) too if you have time. I’m American that lived there and Melbourne was my favorite city by far. Sydney is must do to tick the box.

The best time is late spring, around October, nice and warm, but not too hot yet (it usually cracks 35 degrees and up in summer).

If you're REALLY into beaches and icons like the harbour bridge and opera house, put some more emphasis on Sydney, it's also a flashier town in terms of fashion and nightclubs. Melbourne is more understated, and has the best coffee, and restaurants, hidden down old Victorian lane ways, and more of an arty, gritty feel, with rock and roll venues and stand up comedy.

Absolutely do a a few days in Melbourne too - be sure to rent a car and drive the great ocean road. Cairns is hit or miss - the diving you get exposed to via a day trip is a huge waste of time - you’ll very likely be on a large cattle boat with hundreds of inexperienced divers and will be dropped on mediocre at best structure that’s been worn down by idiots not knowing what they are doing (lots of tourists standing on (killing) coral posing for pictures. Perth/Fremantle/rottnest island/Margaret river wine country should definitely be on your radar if you’re spending more than a week - really beautiful country and very few tourists. Broome is another great little town to visit if you have time - cable beach is awesome and a few day excursion into the Kimberly region from Broome will give you an outback experience.

We did almost 3 weeks in March. Several days in Sydney including Bondi Beach, Opera House. Then spent a few days in Hunter Valley (wine country). Flew out to Outback for Ayers Rock, Alice Springs. Back to Sydney to wind up for 2 days and fly home.

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