The Detailed Itinerary You NEED for an Adventure in Australia (You'll Need to Save This)

Let me help you take the guesswork out of your planning. My wife and I recently explored Australia for our honeymoon. Here is the DETAILED itinerary from that epic trip!

General Itinerary

May 2-4: Fly to Sydney
4: Sydney (booked bike tour)….buy OPAL travel card
5: Sydney (booked bridge walk)
6: Sydney (find a zoo ferry that day/booked tickets for the Opera House)
7: Sydney (booked blue ribbon blue mountain tour)
8: Hamilton Island (Booked sunset sail)
9: Hamilton Island (open)
10: Cairns (open)
11: Cairns (booked Seastar Cruises)
12: Alice Springs (booked sunset camel ride)
13: Alice Springs (booked 1 day Uluru trip)
14: Melbourne (open)
15: Melbourne (booked bike tour)
16: Melbourne (booked GOR tour with GoWest Tours: 7:30 pickup)
17: Melbourne (booked with viator Yara Valley Wine Tour)
18: Sydney /Fly to Chicago


2-4th: Fly to Sydney (confirmed with seats)
United Flight UA639 from Chicago/Flight UA839 from LA
Depart: 7:17 pm (05/02) ORD
Arrival: 6:45 am (05/04) SYD

8th: Fly to Hamilton Island (confirmed with seats)
Virgin Australia 1281
Depart: 9:55 am SYD
Arrival: 12:30 pm HTI

10th: Fly to Cairns (checkin at the airport for seats together)
Qantas 2504
Depart: 11:55 am HTI
Arrival: 1:10 pm CNS

12th: Fly to Alice Springs (confirmed with seats)
Qantas 1949
Depart: 8:15 am CNS
Arrival: 10:10 am ASP

14th: Fly to Melbourne (confirmed with seats)
Qantas 797
Depart: 12:35 pm ASP
Arrival: 3:40 pm MEL

18th: Fly to Sydney (confirmed with seats)
Virgin Australia 809
Depart: 6:45 am MEL
Arrival: 8:10 am SYD

18th: Fly to Chicago (confirmed with seats)
United UA870 from Sydney/UA458 from San Fran
Depart: 10:30 am SYD
Arrival: 4:11 pm ORD


4-8th: Sydney
Sydney Harbour Bed and Breakfast
142 Cumberland St., Sydney
Checkin: 2:00 pm
Checkout: 10:00 am

8-10th: Hamilton Island
Whitsunday Apartments
14 Resort Drive, Hamilton Island, 4803, AU
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 10 am

10-12th: Cairns
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
121-123 The Esplanade and Florence St., Cairns, QLD, 4870
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: ?????

12-14th: Alice Springs
Chifley Alice Springs Resort
34 Stott Terrace, East Side, NT, 0870 Australia
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: ?????

14-18th: Melbourne
Heather’s Airbnb
377 Little Collins Street 31, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 10:00 am
Directions: Our preference from the airport is the Skybus which drops you at Southern Cross Station at a cost of $19 per person, you can buy tickets at the airport or online. One of us can meet you at the bus terminal and it's a short tram ride to the apartment. Taxi fare is $50-$60, the trip is around 25 minutes.


4-8th: Sydney
4th: Bike Buffs Sydney Bicycle Tours
Start: 10:30 am

5th: Sydney Bridge Climb
Meeting Point: 3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000
Start: 12:05 pm (arrive 15 minutes early)

5th: Open PM (Tasting Tour???/Bondi or Manly Beaches)

6th: Open Am (Ferry to the Zoo???)

6th: Sydney Opera House (Concert Hall)
Meeting Point: Bennelong Point, GPO Box 4274, Sydney, NSW 2001
Start: 8:00 pm (arrive 30 minutes early to pick up tickets)

7th: Blue Mountains Tour
Meeting Point: We’ll be picked up.
Start: 7:00 am?????
Notes: Email them between 7am and 2pm the day before and quote the conf. number with our address. We will receive the pickup time then.

8-10th: Hamilton Island
8th: Sunset Sail Whitsunday Islands
Meeting Point: Resort Centre Tour Desk next to Sails Restaurant (7am – 7pm)/Reef View Hotel Tour
Desk in the Hotel Lobby (8am – 5pm)
Start: 4:45 pm (until 6:15 pm)

10-12th: Cairns
11th: Cairns Seastar Cruises (Great Barrier Reef): Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef Day Cruise
75 Esplanade, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia
Meeting Point: Pier E1 of the Marlin Marina
Start: 8:00 am (boarding starts at 7:30 am)
Notes: $15 fee pp is payable on the day on the boarding, call 48 hours in advance to reconfirm.

12-14th: Alice Springs
12th: Sunset Camel Ride
Pyndan Camel Tracks, 21259 Jane Road White Gums
Meeting Point: We’ll be picked up 30 minutes before (4:30).
Start: 5:00 pm (until 6:00 pm)
Notes: Call or text 48 hours in advance to reconfirm pickup/tour.

13th: Uluru Adventure
Gray Line Office
Shop 7-9 Capricornia Centre (opposite Information Centre), Gregory Tce, Alice Springs
Meeting Point: We’ll be picked up at 5:50 am.
Start: 6:00 am (until 12:30 am)
Notes: Call or text 24 hours in advance to reconfirm pickup/tour.

14-18th: Melbourne
15th: Freddy’s Bike Tours
Meeting Point: See notes.
Start: 11:00 am
Notes: They will send details about the meeting point the day before or you can meet 15 minutes prior at their shop in Batman Park.

16th: Great Ocean Road Day Tour
Go West!
Meeting Point: Pickup at Adina Apartments, 189 Queen St.
Start: Pickup at 7:35 am
Notes: Call or text 24 hours in advance to reconfirm pickup/tour????

17th: Yarra Valley Food and Wine Day Trip from Melbourne including Lunch at Yering Station
Vinetrekker Wine Tours
Melbourne city hotels or St Paul's Cathedral/Cnr of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne. Located opposite Federation Sqaure and Flinders Street Train Station.
+61 3 96998148
Meeting Point: approx 8:45am-9:00am (confirmed the night before)
Start: 9:00 am
Notes: Call or text 24 hours in advance to reconfirm pickup/tour????

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
The Detailed Itinerary You NEED for an Adventure in Australia
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
The 12 Apostles

How to Create More Time Each Week (And It’s Easier Than You Think)

I most commonly hear "There isn't enough time in the day..." Despite my best efforts to create a 25 hour day, I think we're stuck with the standard clock. Don't be discouraged! Build these habits, and you'll find an extra 3-4 hours per week!!!

Schedule a grocery delivery service

My friend Matt S. jokingly (and not jokingly) recently advised hiring someone to do everything for you if you want to create more time. Hard to argue with this! While you should be strategic and hire a professional if you have the budget and/or need (ie, an accountant), let’s assume you’re willing to create more time without spending extra money first….with one exception: Scheduling a grocery delivery service. I mention this tip first for a good reason. It’s the easiest to begin today, and you’ll quickly benefit from the time it creates in your schedule. Typically, I spend 15 minutes driving to Trader Joes or Whole Foods, 20-60 minutes shopping, and 15 minutes driving home for a total range of 50-90 minutes each week. That’s nearly 4-6 hours per month spent on the shopping activity (which isn’t a big deal if you enjoy the experience)!

By signing up with Instacart, a grocery delivery service for Whole Foods, Costco, Jewel, and more, you can reduce this amount of time to 40 minutes per month. I save a list of staples that I renew weekly while adding new favorites and recipe ingredients for the week. Also, I can schedule same day delivery at times. Of course, it comes at a cost. An annual membership is $149, and you probably will tip $5 each week. Are you willing to pay $33 per month for at least 4 hours? If so, you may want to rethink your shopping approach (especially if it also saves you money from buying nonessential extras during your trip or eating out when you’re out of groceries).

Minimize repeat offenses

A great deal of our time is lost by the wasted efforts we make daily. Essentially, you’re a repeat offender by hitting snooze again, running to the dryer for 5 consecutive days, and looking for your car keys. What a waste of your valuable time! Here is the list of the most common repeat offenses and how to eliminate the habit:

- Snoozing: Eliminate this time wasting habit and create an average of 20 minutes of REM sleep instead. That’s right…I’m not telling you to get out of bed the first alarm. Stay in bed! You deserve and, probably, need it. On average most people snooze 2-3 times. Unconsciously you have a set time to wake up in your mind and will snooze until you get there. Quit disrupting your REM sleep!!! You plan to stay in bed anyways. Increasing the amount of quality REM sleep will make you more productive and efficient throughout your workday (leaving more time for enjoyment).

- Placing the contents of your pocket anywhere: Place your keys, wallet, phone, and/or purse/workbag in the same spot when returning home…no ifs, ands, or buts! How much time have you wasted in a frantic hurry because you mindlessly placed the contents of your pockets across your home? No further explanation needed.

- Running to your other drawer, the dryer: Only complete full loads of laundry and remove them from the dryer in one trip (quit running back and forth from the dryer for one pair of isn't a drawer). Bonus time saver: Wash all of your clothes in cold water to eliminate multiple small loads. Yes, your clothes will still be clean without warm water.

- Leaving the kitchen cabinet in the dishwasher: How much time do you waste looking for kitchenware every time you need something? Empty the dishwasher when it's complete and eliminate the number of locations you need to look to find your favorite coffee cup from Grandma. Bonus time saver: Place all of your dirty dishes inside after the initial rinse in the sink instead of rinsing the dishes, placing them in the sink, and then eventually placing them in the dishwasher. Cut out the middle man. You’re trying to grasp as much as time as possible!

Create a new storage system

I have wasted too much time in my life searching for things in the abyss of my storage. It should never take more than 5 minutes to find anything I need. With this being said, my storage is organized in the following way: Boxes are divided by 3 access categories-Relics, Annual, and Daily. The relics (keepsakes) are tucked in the back corner while the annual and daily boxes are placed in accessible locations with a clear list of items pasted on the front. Bonus time saver: Paste a map or list of boxes and its contents on the wall as a quick reference. Super bonus time saver: Donate, sell, or throw out anything that you DON’T use. Translation: Don’t save anything that you won’t use in the next month with certainty unless they’re holiday decorations or keepsakes.

Reduce mail

How much time have you spent moving piles of mail to different spots while also looking for specific pieces? Maybe 5 minutes a week? 20 minutes a month? 240 minutes (4 hours) a year? Wait...I forgot the 30 minutes per month you spend organizing a mail pile that really is 75% unnecessary....which is 6 hours per year. Wouldn't you like a 10 hour day this week to do nothing or to binge watch the show Breaking Bad...again. Sign up for ‘Do not mail’ lists and choose paperless statements for your utilities, credit card bills, bank paperwork, and other bills. As soon as you return home, discard the pieces of mail that you don't need and archive the rest. Do not leave any mail out. If you must, place it in a review file in your drawer.

Reduce email

I've been successfully keeping my email inbox around 105 emails since 2012 and you should do the same. If you're like the old me you probably have 3000 emails. Create a new account and make it the forwarding address for your new account. "But Michael, I can just search for what I need in my account with the right keywords...I don't need to delete anything or change accounts." Perhaps. It will still cost you valuable time, though. Whether you type in an email address or a specific topic, you'll still waste energy and time sifting through the new list of emails that pop up. Yes, it takes less time than rifling through your inbox but it is still very inefficient. Instead, decide when you open each and every email to delete, archive, or star it. If you must star it for future correspondence, don't let sit in your inbox for longer than 7 days. Once you respond, either delete or archive it.

Rethink your dirty and clean clothes approach

I'm well aware that most people don't like to organize their clothes. I think there's a great benefit to color coding your hanging clothes but I know you most likely won't do it (even though it reduces decision fatigue and time). Here are a few rules that can eliminate wasted time trying to figure out what's clean and dirty on your floor and also make finding an outfit easier.

- I've already discussed the advantages of placing things in the same spot. No need to rehash. I fully recognize how busy you are, and I know that you don’t have time to organize your drawers and closet. Why not find one designated spot where you can throw your clothes though (instead of scattering them across the room)? The corner of a closet is ideal. Too busy to open your closet door? Than place the hamper in the corner of the bedroom to catch your Michael Jordan shots. Just be sure to do laundry when it fills up.

- Organize your clothes on hangers or in drawers by categories. While most people already apply this to their drawers (ie sock and underwear drawer), their hanging clothes are usually a mess. Since you're taking the time to hang your clothes anyway, why not place them in one of the following distinct sections: pants, skirts, dresses, short sleeve, long sleeve, and suits. How nice would it be to quickly examine your supply of pants all in one section? Certainly, it will be less time than rifling through each and every item on the rack when you’re in a rush.

More random thoughts from busy professionals and parents

- "Routine routine routine. Making weekly meal plans and shopping lists on the weekends, picking and ironing my kids clothes for the week on Sunday. Having a regular breakfast routine: oatmeal on Mondays, pancakes on Saturday, etc." - Amanda M.

- "We use organizers in the boys’ closets and lay clothes out for the entire week, especially socks (ugh, trying to find matching socks before school is the worst) and underwear. We have a huge central calendar, and everyone is assigned a different color. I make double batches of our favorite meals and freeze one for the following week." - Kelly G.

- "It's really all about organization. I have calendar reminders for everything including changing air filters in the AC, oil changes, etc... These small maintenance items will save you a ton of time (and money) down the road." - Dan S.

- "Lunches made the night before, all clothes set out for the morning, everything is written on the home calendar and typed into phone calendars. School Bags gone through minute kids get home, things signed and sent back when you get them." - Gen S.

- "Dry erase calendar for the entire family. Keep in the foyer by the door. Easy to maintain schedules for everyone. Work around others with time." - Joey P.

Photo Credit:
Lifeadvancer .com–Is the key to stress management really controlling the clock?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
How to Create More Time Each Week (And It’s Easier Than You Think)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Why 'Follow Your Dreams' May Be the Worst Advice You Ever Heard

"'Follow your dreams.' It's impossible to do without self-knowledge, what takes years. You discover your 'dream' (or sense of purpose) in the very act of walking the path, which is guided by equal parts choice and chance." Maria Popova's response to Tim Ferriss's question regarding the worst advice she ever heard in the book Tools of Titans.

What Are Your Dreams Really Based On

'Follow your dreams.' You've heard this advice probably as often as I did growing up. Certainly, the most common words of inspiration given to a youngster and seen in coffee table books and wall art. What does it really mean and how serious should we consider this advice? Do you know?

As a student of psychology for the last 20 years, I've learned one very important thing: Most people aren't aware of themselves (or the influences on how they think). I fell into this category for a long time, and it's taken much effort to recognize and understand the trends and patterns of me....including my dreams. I'd love to believe that my dreams were an inspirational inner voice that always had my best interest in mind and guided me with a knowledge and understanding beyond my being.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, they most likely were a result of environmental influences, interactions, emotional interpretations, and unconscious cues from my history. At times, my dreams reflected insecurities and fears that plagued my unconscious or a disorientated interpretation of the day’s events. Often, they reflected a film I watched that day or an emotion I recently experienced. While I recognized the symbolism of those dreams, I also understand how easily misleading they can be.

The Interpretation of Your Dreams

You may not be any different. Have you observed your physical, mental, and emotional self? Have you ever observed the trends and patterns of you? Have you identified the underlying influences on your behavior (i.e., fears and insecurities)? Have you ever examined the underlying influences on your dreams? If you're like most people, you will say "No." Would you follow any other prompt or cue like a dream with so many unanswered questions?

Don't forget that at times your dreams are also completely ridiculous and nonsensical. You may disregard those dreams, but it doesn't mean that you should follow your dream just because it possesses a sensible, relatable narrative that seems like the truth about your path. As Maria points out, we learn about our true selves and what's best for us by walking the path...interacting with people and the world. If you don't know what you want to do next, be curious instead of following your dreams initially. Find invigoration and direction through the collision of your being and experiences in different environments with different people and see how itself manifests later. Maybe at some point, you can consider the prompt of your dreams or your gut instinct. Be sure to truly understand yourself first, though.

You're a Leader Not a Follower

Also consider that the simple act of following infers that you are not leading. It is a serious unconscious nudge to wait for a sign to help you make lifelong personal and professional decisions without sound evidence why. Do you really want to only follow something that can be interpreted a million different ways? Let's be honest. Most of our interpretations aren't 100% accurate and often are self-serving depending on the influences (which isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to survival but should be recognized). Why not follow the mantra ‘Create the life you want’?

While I always love words of inspiration, you may want to reconsider how sound the advice might be. No path is as easy as following your dreams.

Personal Trainer Wisdom

No matter if you believe that your dreams are a result of your personal history or a spiritual push, you can’t argue with the importance of self-awareness. Whatever cue you receive, you should still examine the path you walked and the ground you stand on. Your assessment may just provide the direction you need.

Photo Credit:
Thefinancialdiet .com–Should you really follow your dreams?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Why 'Follow Your Dreams' May Be the Worst Advice You Ever Heard
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Advice My Future (10 Years Older) Self Would Tell Me Today (And Why I Need to Listen)

What advice would your 10-year older self give you today? What do you think he or she would say about your approach to life, work, and relationships? What do you think he or she would advise you to adapt? I spent some time contemplating this scenario and know that the 49-year-old Michael would most likely encourage these 5 life-enhancing tips (and I’m sure you will relate).


The root all being is interaction. Be an active participant with your ears. Listen to your environment. Listen to the random sounds around you. Take your nose out of your phone, and genuinely listen to your wife and son (and the rest of your family and your friends and your colleagues and everyone else you interact with). Look a person in the eyes when you're engaged in a conversation. Show them your genuine interest and strengthen the bond you initially created.

Don't hold onto worry or anger for more than 5 minutes

Quit wasting away seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and decades of life worrying about not being perfect, doing perfect, or acting perfect. Embrace your emotion and passion but bundle it into a positive adaptive package and act instead of stewing in your destructive emotion. Don't let the resentment, anger, hate, and worry prison your mind and distract you from the precious little life moments (even if those moments don't feel important). Bark if you need to. Step away to be alone (and this isn’t avoidance, by the way). Shake your fist at the sky. But DO NOT obsess, swim, or dance in this negativity for longer than 5 minutes. Indulge in this instinctual (or reinforced reaction) for a short moment and then let it go. Find the silver lining. Accumulate wisdom from your error. Accept. Adapt. Be fair to yourself. Be kind to yourself. See the world as perfectly imperfect and don't let it overwhelm you.

Trust your genuine and real you and quit second-guessing yourself

Act in line with who you are but don't second-guess yourself because of fears, insecurities, or other underlying influences. Just be. Be assertive. Be confident. Don't act like yourself, just be yourself. Trust that you unconsciously have other people in mind. Don't worry about being judged. Don't judge yourself. Be yourself (unless you're selfish, inconsiderate, unsympathetic, unemphatic, demeaning, judgmental, egotistical, or unrighteous).

Seek to understand FIRST instead of judging when in a disagreement

In a world of negativity, it's easy to judge and interpret someone or an incident through a personal lens (a filter you developed from a collision of internal perspective and your daily life). How accurate is this judgment or interpretation though? What are you overlooking? Do you truly know the full story? How do you think your emotion has affected your initial interpretation? Your initial reaction? Seek to understand first, and you will foster sympathy and empathy instead of the anger, disappointment, and frustration you most commonly feel when judging.

Find 1 positive attribute in every person you meet

Quit looking for the negative in yourself, your environment, and people….especially other people. Retrain your initial thought process when meeting someone new by finding 1 positive attribute in every person you meet. Instead of assessing, try searching for the best in them. They may not be you, someone you know, or someone you may hang out with for a lifetime, but they still deserve your respect, genuine interest, and a chance to show their best selves.

Photo Credit: .pk–What would your future self say to you?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
"Advice My Future (10 Years Older) Self Would Tell Me Today (And Why I Need to Listen)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling

Many of my personal training clients fear that they will sacrifice their health and weight loss goals while traveling. Fear not! Here is my quick guide to maintaining what you worked so hard for!

Don’t touch your face without washing your hands

Whether traveling by planes, trains, or automobiles, you most likely are hanging out in well-populated public places….which increases your exposure to bacteria and viruses. While I don’t think you should hole yourself in a closet for the rest of your life, I do advocate some boundaries. The first rule of staying healthy on the road is resisting the urge to touch your face without washing your hands. You might be surprised to learn how often you touch your lips, nose, and eyes each day. Each swipe of your hand gives germs access to your system. Considering that you’re sharing doorknobs, railings, counters, and faucet handles, your hands are constantly in contact with the world. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to touch your face until you wash your hands.

Use disinfecting wipes while flying

Have you ever witnessed airline staff members wiping down tray tables and seat belts? Me neither. On average, each plane will see at least 2 flights each day (and we don’t know what special germs were left behind for us). Most likely, you will eat and/or drink off of the tray table….which makes cross-contamination easy. Before you sit, quickly wipe the seatbelt and the top and bottom of the tray table for 20 seconds. The little things that we overlook are the ones that affect us the most.

Always carry a water bottle

Too often, a cause of our exhaustion and hunger is dehydration. With the constant access of junk food on the road, it’s easy to convince yourself that you need an indulgence as a remedy (when all you need is a simple sip). Make yourself a rule: Any time you’re tired or hungry, drink 4-8 ounces of water and reassess. You might be surprised what you’ll find.


Usually your vacations are jam-packed with tourists activities….which rarely meet your minimum requirements of healthy physical movement. While I wouldn’t expect you (or my personal training clients) to exercise several hours per day during your break from reality, replacing your cab/uber rides with walks will still help you maintain your health and possibly weight loss. Believe it or not, walkers do lose weight while eating their way through Italy. Walking is the easiest way to move on the road and a great way to immerse yourself in new neighborhoods while keeping your engine revved up. Keep your senses alive and rise beyond the seat!

Split food

Enjoy the best of a dining experience while shrinking your portions: Split with a buddy! Instead of ordering 2 separate entrees (which are probably big enough for 3), share an entrée and an appetizer. This foodie approach is an easy way to enjoy more than one taste of the local culture while avoiding a belt-busting experience.

Finding a running group in the city that you’re visiting or signup for a 5k

Running is a global phenomenon that connects many cultures. Find another way to connect with the community that you’re visiting and find a local meetup for runners. What a neat way to participate in a social workout in a new environment! Google “running groups (insert location)” or “running clubs (insert location)” and extend yourself! You can also signup for a random 5k to enhance your workout too!

Make your food count with the ChefsFeed phone app

I always say that if you’re going to do it, do it well. Since my wife Sammy is an event sales manager in the restaurant industry, you probably know that I’m referring to restaurants. Exploring new dishes is a way of life-my life-and it tends to direct my travel choices. I can give you my normal personal trainer speel on following a true vegan lifestyle to achieve optimal health (even though all of us should). Instead, I’d rather try to persuade you to change your relationship with food. Stop eating just to fill up and eat with intent instead. Use the ChefsFeed phone app to strategically celebrate the favorite dishes and restaurants chosen by local chefs. Type in your location and sift through the many recommendations from the host culinary experts. It is possible to still meet your health goals while enjoying the best of life. You just need to be mindful and selective. Thanks for this suggestion, Carol!

Photo Credit:
Wanderlove. com –Can you wander and still keep your health in mind?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.