The Ultimate Australia 10-day Itinerary: Exactly how to spend 10 days in Australia

Are you planning on spending 10 days in Australia? Then you’ve come to the right place!

It’s no secret that Australia is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world.

With its pristine beaches, lush rain forests and rugged mountain ranges, there’s something for everyone Down Under.

But with so much to see and do, how can you make sure you get the most out of your trip? This is where our ultimate Australia 10-day itinerary will come in handy.

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Australia 10 day itinerary

Summary of this Australia 10-Day Itinerary

Before we dive into the details of this Australia 10-Day itinerary, here is a summary.

This itinerary will take you to some of the most iconic and beautiful spots in Australia, including Sydney, Bondi, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Noosa, Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore each destination and get a real taste of what Australia has to offer.

Please note that this is a fairly compact itinerary. You will get to see a lot but it’s also not much of a relaxing trip. We will give you alternatives further down below as well so you can change it up and make it your own.

  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney – Bondi
  • Day 3: Blue Mountains
  • Day 4: Brisbane
  • Day 5: Byron Bay (Option 1)
  • Day 5: Noosa (Option 2)
  • Day 6: Gold Coast
  • Day 7: Surfers Paradise
  • Day 8: Airlie Beach
  • Day 9: Whitehaven Beach
  • Day 10: Hamilton Island

How to get to Australia

Before we start, a quick word about getting to Australia.

Unless you’re coming from New Zealand or South East Asia, most people will arrive in Australia via Sydney.

There are plenty of flights to Sydney from all over the world, so it’s easy enough to find a flight that works for you.

Click here to see the best fares to Sydney.

While Melbourne is also a good option, it would be better to fly to Sydney since it will save you time on internal flights later on.

Also, who doesn’t want to see Sydney on a trip to Australia?

The Ultimate Australia 10-Day Itinerary

So, without further ado, let’s jump into our ultimate Australia 10-day itinerary!

Australia Itinerary Day 1: Sydney

Sydney in Australia

Sydney is one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the world.

No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to this amazing city.

There’s so much to see and you will need to be strategic and plan your itinerary carefully.

Start your day at Circular Quay and visit the Sydney Opera House. This world-famous landmark is a must-see for any visitor to Sydney.

You can simply walk towards it and admire the unique architecture from outside or you can book a tour of the Opera House. This is quite a cool thing to do since it’s very pretty. Also, it’s only an hour-long so you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy over activities after.

From there, walk to the Royal Botanical Gardens and take in the beauty of this iconic park.

Not only are the Gardens beautiful but they also boast some of the best views of the city. If you are looking for a cool photo spot to take beautiful pictures, Mrs Macquarie Point will be an excellent option.

You get to see both the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from there!

Next, head to The Rocks and wander through the narrow streets and see some of the oldest buildings in Sydney.

The Rocks is a neighbourhood that was built by the European settlers and there is a lot of history here. It’s also known for being home to unique pubs and many ghost stories.

If you want to learn more about the Rocks, you can also opt for a walking tour of the area. It’s very interesting.

Once you’re done in The Rocks, walk to Darling Harbour and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops here so you can spend a few hours wandering around.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry to Manly and enjoy the beach atmosphere there.

To take the ferry in Sydney, you will need to get an Opal card first.

The Opal Card is the transportation card used in Sydney for all public transport including ferries, trains and buses. You can buy them from any 7/11 shop.

In the evening, make sure to go for a drink in one of the numerous rooftop bars so you get to enjoy the views of the harbour.

Another cool option is to book a dinner cruise.

WHERE TO STAY: The most convenient places to stay in Sydney (in general but especially for this itinerary) are Circular Quay, The Rocks and the CBD.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Luxury: The Langham Sydney. This is one of the most luxurious hotels in Sydney. It’s ideally located near Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. Swimming pool, spa, fitness centre… it’s all here!
  • Mid-range: Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour. This is an excellent option for most travellers. The Novotel is well located and has everything you need.
  • Budget: Sydney Harbour YHA. Opting for a YHA in Australia is always a safe choice since they are always amazing. Here the YHA in Sydney offers comfy accommodation, in the CBD for a very affordable price. They have dorms but also private rooms.

Please make sure to book your accommodation for 3 nights since it will be your base for the next 3 days.

Australia Itinerary Day 2: Bondi

Bronte Baths in Bondi Beach

On the second day of your Australia itinerary, head out to Bondi.

Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It’s known for being one of the best surfing spots in the world but the suburb itself is also particularly popular amongst Sydneysiders.

As soon as you arrive in Bondi, you will feel these laid-back and holidays vibes.

You can head to the beach and stay on your towel for a bit, go surfing but also just walk around.

Bondi is a great place to take a surfing lesson so if that’s something you’d like to do, check this out.

Another way you can discover more about Bondi is to join the walking tour. You will be with a local guide who will tell you everything about the area and the Bondi lifestyle.

There are a lot of great restaurants and cafes nearby and you can grab brekkie or lunch while enjoying the views.

Make sure to also do the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. It’s only 6km long and it’s one of the best easy walks in Australia. You’ll go from one suburb to the other and will get to enjoy the breathtaking coastal views.

You will also walk past Bronte where you can stop and go to the Bronte Baths.

They are a pool built on the edge of the cliff and overlooking Bondi Beach. Not only is it beautiful (and one of the most Instagrammable spots in Sydney) but it’s also practical for people who want to swim.

Here you won’t have waves but the water is sea-water so you basically get the experience of a swim in the ocean without the waves!

HOW TO GET TO BONDI: You can easily take a train from Central Station or Town Hall to Bondi Junction, then take one of the buses to the beach.

Altogether, it takes about 30 minutes from the CDB and you can use your Opal card for everything.

WHERE TO STAY: Stay at the same hotel in Sydney tonight.

Australia Itinerary Day 3: Blue Mountains

Sydney blue mountains national park

On the third day of your Australia itinerary, you will head to the Blue Mountains.

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is by far one of the most unique places in Australia.

The Blue Mountains are known for their eucalyptus forests, which give them that blue hallow (hence the name), but also for their unique rock formations and amazing hiking opportunities.

While there are many places to visit in the National Park, focus on the Katoomba area for today.

There you will find the Leura Cascades, Scenic World and the famous Three Sisters Lookout.

The best way to explore the Blue Mountains is by doing a hike. There are plenty of great hikes for all levels of hikers so you will definitely find something that’s perfect for you.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk is particularly good since it goes from Scenic World to Gordon Falls Lookout.

HOW TO GET THERE: Coming from Sydney, there are two ways you can get to the Blue Mountains.

The first one is to take the train. The Blue Mountains line goes all the way to Katoomba and it’s a really beautiful ride.

Once you’re in Katoomba, there are plenty of buses that will take you around the National Park.

The second option, much easier and more practical, is to opt for a day tour from Sydney. You will be on a bus tour with a local guide and will get to see all the best sites.

WHERE TO STAY: Stay in the same hotel in Sydney tonight. It will be more practical since you will be flying to Brisbane tomorrow.

Australia Itinerary Day 4: Brisbane

Story Bridge in Brisbane Australia

On day 4 of your Australia itinerary, you will fly to Brisbane.

Internal flights from Sydney to Brisbane are very common and you will find loads of options. You can find the best fares here.

Aim for an early flight so you have more time to spend in Brisbane after. Obviously, this has to be within reason since you will need to get to the airport in advance.

That having been said, if you chose to stay near Circular Quay, you will be able to catch the direct train to the airport and will be there in 20 minutes.

Once you arrive in Brisbane, head to the CBD. No need to book

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and it’s a really fun and vibrant city.

There’s always something going on in the city and you will never get bored.

The best way to explore Brisbane is by walking. The CBD is really small which is ideal for a day of exploration.

Start at Queen Street Mall, which is the main shopping street in Brisbane.

Then head to the City Hall and Eagle Street Pier, which is a really cool spot with restaurants and bars overlooking the river.

If you have enough time, Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are also worth checking out. They are small but it’s very pleasant to walk around them.

From there you can walk to South Bank, where you will find some of best views of the city.

If you want to see all the essentials in an efficient way, you should consider joining the Brisbane walking tour. The guide will bring you to all the best spots and it’s a great way to make the best of your time.

Finally, make sure to check out the Story Bridge. This is an iconic sight in the city as one of the tallest in the country. It’s also worth mentioning that you can climb it!

WHERE TO STAY: Here are some recommendations for one night in Brisbane.

  • Luxury: W Brisbane. This is one of the best hotels in Brisbane, the amenities are incredible and it’s very well located.
  • Mid-range: Royal Albert Hotel. Ideally located in the CBD, it offers great accommodation for a good price.
  • Budget: Brisbane City YHA. Though a bit further out, the YHA is the perfect option for backpackers.

Australia Itinerary Day 5: Byron Bay (Option 1)

byron bay walking track to lighthouse

Today, you have two options.

The first one is to head to Byron Bay, which is a bit of a hippie town and a must-see in Australia.

It’s also the most obvious one since you will be heading south (so in the same direction that the other destinations).

No matter what, you will need to hire a car a in Brisbane. Technically speaking, you could do it with public transport but it’s a bit of a hassle and a car will give you more freedom.

From Brisbane, it will take you about 2 hours to get to Byron Bay.

Once you’re there, start by exploring the town. You will find many local shops and boutiques.

If you’d like to bring back some unique souvenirs, this will be a great place to get them from.

You will also find many cafes where you can grab a nice brunch.

After that, head to main beach.

Here you will find a lot of people surfing. This is one of the best surf spots in Australia and the activity fits very well with the local laid-back culture.

You can then take the walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse. It’s a nice and fairly easy walk that will allow you to soak up the views.

WHERE TO STAY: It’s worth spending the night in Byron Bay since this town is also known for its nightlife.

Here are some recommendations.

  • Luxury: Crystalbrook Byron is one of the best resorts in the area. They have different types of rainforest suites that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to paradise. You’ll also find an infinity pool and a cocktail bar.
  • Mid-range: Hibiscus Motel is perfect for people who want comfort without having to spend too much either. The rooms are very bright and you will be within walking distance from the beach and the main streets.
  • Budget: Byron Bay YHA is ideally located 5 minutes walk from the beach. It’s a boutique-style hostel with dorms and private rooms.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Byron Bay 2-day Itinerary: Exactly how to spend a weekend in Byron Bay

Australia Itinerary Day 5: Noosa (Option 2)

Rocks on the coastal track of Noosa NP

Another option for today is to head to the lovely town of Noosa. However, before we explain what to do there, it’s important to note that Noosa is located 1h50 drive north of Brisbane and you will then head south to Gold Coast.

This means that while possible, it means more driving and it can be a bit of an awkward itinerary.

Byron Bay is also worth the trip and it’s more convenient so that would be what I recommend.

However, Noosa is a bucket list destination so if that was something you wanted to see, I just want to make sure you know you can include it.

This is a really popular destination for Aussies and it’s not hard to see why.

Noosa is located on the Sunshine Coast and it has everything you could want: stunning beaches, great restaurants and cafes, and lots of nature.

There’s also a really cool vibe in the town, which makes it a great place to relax and unwind.

The best way to explore Noosa is by taking a walk. There’s no need to rush, take your time and enjoy the views.

Start at Hastings Street, which is the main street in town and where you will find all the best restaurants and cafes.

Make your way to Noosa National Park, where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the country as well as the beautiful Noosa fairy pools.

If you want to do some hiking, there are plenty of trails for all levels.

Finally, make sure to visit Sunshine Beach. This is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and surfing.

WHERE TO STAY: It would be easier if you make your way down to Brisbane and just book the same hotel for another night.

Since you are only going to Noosa for the day, you may also want to consider booking a day tour from Brisbane. It will save you both time and hassle.

Australia Itinerary Day 6: Gold Coast

Surfing in GAustralia

Today, you will be exploring more of Gold Coast. This is a major tourist destination in Australia.

Gold Coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country as well as theme parks, which makes it a great place for families.

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, this is definitely the place to be.

Start your day by heading to the beach. The Gold Coast is home to some of the best beaches in the country, so make sure to take advantage of them. Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay and Burleigh Beach are particularly popular.

There are many water activities you can do here including snorkelling, surfing, parasailing or kayaking.

That having been said, save some for tomorrow since you’ll be in Surfers Paradise.

Another thing you can do is to check the theme parks. You will find here:

  • Dreamworld. This theme park is home to many roller coasters and is perfect for thrill-seekers.
  • Movie World. This theme park is all about movies, shows and rides.
  • Sea World. This amusement park is home to a variety of rides and attractions, as well as marine life exhibits.
  • Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast. This water park has a variety of slides and pools, perfect for a hot day.

If you want to do something a bit different, you can also opt for a hot air balloon ride in the hinterland or visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

WHERE TO STAY: The Gold Coast offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. You can choose to stay in Gold Coast itself or Surfers Paradise. They are both very nice locations and it doesn’t change anything to the itinerary.

  • Luxury: The Star Grand is one of the most luxurious hotels in the area. It’s located in Broadbeach and has a pool, casino, restaurants and more.
  • Mid-range: Voco Gold Coast is located in Surfers Paradise, only 5 minutes from the beach. It’s excellent value for money and you will have access to a pool as well as a spa.
  • Budget: Tequila Sunrise Hostel in Surfers Paradise is one of the best-rated backpackers in the area. It’s very well located (250 yards from Surfers Paradise Beach) and they offer cosy capsule beds in dorms.

Make sure to book for two nights since you will be around tomorrow as well.

Australia Itinerary Day 7: Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise in Australia

Today you will be heading to Surfers Paradise and spend the day there, enjoying some sun and beach time.

There are plenty of things to do in Surfers Paradise and it’s definitely a fun place to be.

The beaches are beautiful and there’s always something going on. Obviously, the best thing to do is to go surfing.

You can hire a board from a local shop or even book some surfing lessons.

You can also opt for another water activity such as jet boat rides, the Aquaduck river tour, a jet ski tour or a sunset cruise.

If you’re looking for some excitement, you can also check out the casino or even go skydiving!

This is the only place in Australia where you can skydive from a helicopter! See prices here.

Finally, make sure to go to SkyPoint Observation Deck while in Surfers Paradise.

This deck is located in one of the most iconic buildings in Australia, Q1, and the views over the Gold Coast from the top are absolutely breathtaking!

The deck is at the 77th floor which is 230 metres high so you can imagine how much you get to see from there!

Also, if you wanted a good spot to take photos, this will be it!

WHERE TO STAY: Stay at the same hotel than last night.

Australia Itinerary Day 8: Airlie Beach

Today is the day you will be taking another internal flight and head to Airlie Beach.

Make sure to get up early since you will have a 45-minute drive to Brisbane airport.

The flight is quite short (1h40) which means you will be able to enjoy your day in Airlie afterwards.

Click here to see the fares.

Airlie Beach is a small town located on the Whitsunday Coast. This is one of the most beautiful places in Australia since it’s the getaway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

You will be exploring the islands in the next two days, so it’s best to focus on activities you can do in Airlie Beach for today.

Since you will already be at the airport, you should consider booking the scenic flight of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.

This is by far one of the best things to do during this trip. It may not be the cheapest but it’s so worth it!

It lasts 1 hour, during which you will be flying above the beautiful Whitehaven Beach, the Outer Reef and even the Heart Reef.

The planes are small and there are only 6 passenger seats which mean that you will have a window seat.

Discovering the Great Barrier Reef from the sky is the best thing you can do since you will truly get to see how big it is and it’s the only way to see the heart reef!

READ MORE: Airlie Beach Scenic Flight Review: Flying above the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef

Once you are done, head to Airlie Beach. You can roam around the town, relax at the lagoon or even go for a walk on the Bicentennial Walkway.

WHERE TO STAY: You will be staying in Airlie Beach for the next 2 or 3 nights (depending when your flight back home is) so make sure to book for that long.

Here are some cool places to check out:

  • Luxury: Mirage Whitsundays offers luxury self-contained accommodation with garden or sea views.
  • Mid-range: Airlie Beach Hotel is ideally located on the esplanade and is excellent value for money.
  • Budget: Airlie Beach Magnums is situated on the main street (Shute Harbour Road) and provides very affordable accommodation.

READ MORE: Where to stay in the Whitsundays: the ultimate Whitsundays Accommodation Guide

Australia Itinerary Day 9: Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven beach in the Whitsundays

Today, it’s time to start exploring the Whitsundays!

We will start with the most famous natural landmark in the area: Whitehaven Beach.

This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is the definition of ‘postcard perfect’

The white sand and the blue water make for an amazing view.

The beach is located on the island of Whitsunday, in the heart of the national park. There are no ferry going there which means that you will have to opt for a boat tour.

There are a few tour options you can choose from but the two best ones are Ocean Rafting and Thunder Cat.

They use a different type of boat but rather than that, the itinerary is pretty similar.

It includes the boat trip to Whitsunday island, snorkelling, lunch and a guided tour.

cruise whitsunday island

You will be heading to Hill Inlet first. While the name may not ring a bell, that’s actually the spot where most photos are taken.

This inlet is located at the north end of Whitehaven Beach. You will go on an easy bush walk up to the lookout. From there, you get to see the famous swirling sands of Whitehaven Beach and the beautiful blue colours of the water.

This will take your breath away. It’s so incredibly pretty that it doesn’t even look real. It looks like a painting!

After that, you will walk down to the beach. Walking on the sand is very pleasant because it’s so soft!

The sand on Whitehaven Beach is 98% pure silica which is why it’s so white and soft.

You will have the rest of the day to enjoy the beach.

You can either relax on the sand or go for a swim. The water is really clear and perfect for a refreshing swim.

If you are visiting in winter, you will need to wear wet suits to go in the water but don’t worry about that too much, that’s what the guides are for!

They will let you know everything!

At the end of the day, you will head back to Port of Airlie and can enjoy your evening there.

WHERE TO STAY: Stay at the same hotel in Airlie Beach.

Australia Itinerary Day 10: Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island in Australia

The last stop of your trip is the stunning Hamilton Island.

This is the largest island of the Whitsundays and it’s really popular for its beaches, resorts and restaurants.

This time you won’t need a tour and can take a ferry. Buy the island hopper pass which includes the ferry and a day pass to the resorts on Hamilton Island.

As you get to the marina, you will instantly see how unique the atmosphere is.

FUN FACT: There are no cars on Hamilton Island!

First thing to do is to head to Catseye Beach .

This is the most beautiful and popular beach on the island. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the incredible views.

The white sand and the clear water are definitely a sight to see! You will also have access to the swimming pool at the Beach Club and the Reef View hotel so make sure to check that out.

They both have great restaurants where you can get lunch.

After that, you can walk around and explore more of the island. There are two walks you should consider.

The first one will lead you to Passage Peak, from which you will discover beautiful views of the island.

The second one, on the other side, will take you to One Tree Hill which is known to be one of the best sunset spots in the Whitsundays.

READ MORE: 12 Best Things to do in Hamilton Island

Other Ideas of 10- Day Australia Itineraries

If you’re looking for a different kind of Australian experience, here are some other Australia 10-day itineraries for you to try.

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 1

Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island Queensland Australia
  • Day 1: Brisbane
  • Day 2: Noosa
  • Day 3: Fraser Island
  • Day 4: Fraser Island
  • Day 5: Airlie Beach
  • Day 6: Whitehaven Beach
  • Day 7: Mission Beach
  • Day 8: Cairns
  • Day 9: Port Douglas
  • Day 10: Cape Tribulation

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 2

Twelve apostles near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Blue Mountains
  • Day 4: Blue Mountains / Canberra
  • Day 5: Canberra
  • Day 6: Yarra Valley
  • Day 7: Melbourne
  • Day 8: Melbourne
  • Day 9: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 10: Great Ocean Road

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 3

hyams beach whitest beach australia
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Wollongong
  • Day 4: Jervis Bay
  • Day 5: Jervis Bay / Canberra
  • Day 6: Canberra
  • Day 7: Blue Mountains
  • Day 8: Blue Mountains
  • Day 9: Hunter Valley
  • Day 10: Hunter Valley

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 4

Get to Millaa Millaa Falls in Queensland
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Blue Mountains
  • Day 4: Blue Mountains
  • Day 5: Airlie Beach
  • Day 6: Whitsundays
  • Day 7: Hamilton Island
  • Day 8: Cairns
  • Day 9: Port Douglas
  • Day 10: Cape Tribulation

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 5

Views of Uluru
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Airlie Beach
  • Day 4: Whitsundays
  • Day 5: Whitsundays
  • Day 6: Alice Springs
  • Day 7: Uluru
  • Day 8: Kata Tjuta
  • Day 9: Kings’ Canyon
  • Day 10: Sydney

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 6

kangaroo island flinders chase
  • Day 1: Melbourne
  • Day 2: Melbourne
  • Day 3: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 4: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 5: Grampians
  • Day 6: Grampians
  • Day 7: Adelaide
  • Day 8: Adelaide
  • Day 9: Kangaroo Island
  • Day 10: Kangaroo Island

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 7

things to do in byron bay nsw
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Blue Mountains
  • Day 4: Hunter Valley
  • Day 5: Port Macquarie
  • Day 6: Byron Bay
  • Day 7: Gold Coast
  • Day 8: Surfers Paradise
  • Day 9: Brisbane
  • Day 10: Brisbane

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 8

valley of winds kata tjuta
  • Day 1: Sydney
  • Day 2: Sydney
  • Day 3: Melbourne
  • Day 4: Melbourne
  • Day 5: Alice Springs
  • Day 6: Kata Tjuta
  • Day 7: Uluru
  • Day 8: Brisbane
  • Day 9: Gold Coast
  • Day 10: Surfers Paradise

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 9

Hobart in Tasmania Australia
  • Day 1: Melbourne
  • Day 2: Melbourne
  • Day 3: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 4: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 5: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 6: Hobart
  • Day 7: Bruny Island
  • Day 8: Freycinet National Park
  • Day 9: Bay of Fire
  • Day 10: Launceston

10-day Australia Itinerary – Option 10

Eureka Tower in Melbourne Australia
  • Day 1: Melbourne
  • Day 2: Melbourne
  • Day 3: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 4: Great Ocean Road
  • Day 5: Adelaide
  • Day 6: Adelaide
  • Day 7: Perth
  • Day 8: The Pinnacles
  • Day 9: Rottnest Island
  • Day 10: Fremantle

Australia is an incredible country and while 10 days is nowhere near enough to see it all, you can still get to see some of the main sights.

We hope these itineraries were helpful and gave you a good idea of how you could be spending 10 days in Australia.

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