Day 1-2: Fly into Cairns and drive to Port Douglas (an hour away) to stay at QT Port Douglas, whose rooms are decorated with colour-pop styling.
Day 3: Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway, which is nothing like your commute to work (we’re talking rugged mountains, crashing waterfalls and more Wet Tropics wildlife than you can jab a boomerang at). The train will take you from Cairns to Kuranda and back in a day
Day 4: Book a Great Barrier Reef day trip enjoying a dive, snorkel or glass bottom boat experience.
Day 5–6: Nature-lovers will also enjoy a daytrip to the Atherton Tablelands (a 90-minute drive from Cairns), whose rainforest, wetlands and savanna are home to tree kangaroos, wallabies and more. Bring your camera for Millaa Millaa Falls, an eye-bogglingly beautiful plunge waterfall set in lush forest.
Day 7: Once you’ve tackled the tropics, hop on your plane to Sydney (flight time: three hours, five minutes). Check into The Old Clare, a boutique base-camp with a boozy past, then admire the coastline on the Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay walk, through Sydney Harbour National Park.
Day 8: Catch a ferry (or kayak yourself across) to Cockatoo Island, a Unesco-listed island in the middle of Sydney Harbour.
Day 9-10: Explore the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), pausing in the Aboriginal exhibitions if you’re interested in indigenous art. Have a long lunch or decadent dinner at swish Quay, and spend a day cruising the harbour stopping off at quiet coves and swimming spots.
Day 11-13 – Hire a car and take a road trip down to Canberra. You can get there in three-four hours but where’s the fun in that? The Southern Highlands villages of Moss Vale, Mittagong, Bowral and Berrima are great places to stop off for a slice of local life. Cricket fans will be particularly keen on the Bradman Museum at Bowral. Spend your last couple of nights in Canberra enjoying its superb monuments, galleries and restaurants. Time your visit for the annual Floriade Festival in September/October which attracts garden experts from around the world.
Day 14: Catch your flight back to London