It is a common misconception that Australia can be conquered in a week of travel. Take on Sydney Harbour, migrate north to the tropics, drop in at Uluru on the way to Perth before driving the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne, no worries. While that can be done it would take up to a month, at least, to truly start to take in what Australia has to offer.
To give you some idea, Australia is both the largest island and the smallest continent in the world, and with an area of 7.7 million square kilometers it is the sixth largest nation, following closely behind the US and Brazil. The UK fits into Australia 32 times, into the state of New South Wales alone it fits 11 times. The Queensland floods in January this year covered an area larger than France and Germany combined. So you can see, traveling Australia on a tight schedule is no small feat.
The time it takes to get around Australia depends on the experiences you want. There are many adrenaline-charged activities that can be covered in places like Sydney or the Gold Coast in a few days, but if you want to experience the wonders of Uluru and the desert landscape in the heart of the Northern Territory, or cruise the reefs and islands in the endless summer of northern Queensland, days may turn into weeks.
Once you know what you want to do and how long those experiences may take, the next step is figuring out just how to get around the country. A road trip in parts of Western Australia or the Great Ocean Road between Adelaide and Melbourne exposes you to some breathtaking scenery, while a hop-on-hop-off type bus tour of the East Coast can deliver you to many tourist hotspots or off-the-beaten-track hideaways by the beach. But a road trip through the middle of the country is not advised. About three quarters of Australia is arid or semi-arid, 40 percent of which is considered unlivable. With low rainfall and high temperatures, driving through the desert outback is not only uncomfortable, but dangerous, so the cross-country trains or domestic flights are better options.
In order to taste a bit of everything in Australia, a combination of the above is usually advised. A mixture of paces to enhance your experiences in the contrasting places in Australia makes the perfect holiday, just make sure you take enough time off work!