Day 1: Fly into Sydney and check into Pier One Sydney Harbour, a nautical bolthole with harbour-view rooms and sea-fresh cuisine.
Day 2-4: Get the best view of your new surroundings with BridgeClimb: once you’ve scaled Sydney Bridge, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable panoramas of the city, coast and harbour. Reward yourselves further by having lunch at Rockpool Bar & Grill, top chef Neil Perry’s shrine to surf and turf, housed in an art-deco skyscraper. Sydney offers some amazing coastal walks: try the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk, which takes around two hours (there and back), or the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which winds along 6km of coastal paths.
Day 5-6: Head into the nature of the Blue Mountains – a two-hour drive from Sydney. They are as incredible as they sound: spend sometime in the quaint mountain villages and enjoy restaurants, retreats and unique art.
Day 7: Back in Sydney, enjoy a guided tour of Sydney’s Royal National Park
Day 8-9: Fly to Melbourne (flight time: one hour, 35 minutes) and see the city’s artistic side by wandering around Fitzroy and Brunswick, admiring the street art and pausing for coffee breaks. If it’s a warm day, take your swimming togs and go for a dip in the much-loved Fitzroy Swimming Pool, where you can also admire local hipsters nonchalantly modelling their coolest swimwear. Stay at Coppersmith, a pub with poise (and boutique bedrooms) in South Melbourne.
Day 10: Spend some time shopping in the city’s laneways, stopping for lunch at one of the eternally busy cafés on Degraves. Swap the crammed laneways for the spacious peace of the Royal Botanic Gardens (we recommend cream tea at the lakeside café). Have dinner at Coppersmith.
Day 11–12: Head to beachy St Kilda, six kilometres from the centre, and stay just around the corner at The Cullen; a cool, contemporary hotel with two tasty restaurants. On your last day, make the 90-minute journey to Phillip Island, an area of great natural beauty, and watch the famous Penguin Parade at sunset.
Day 13: Fly back to London from Melbourne.