10 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

10 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 45​min
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
Whitsunday Island
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h 15​min
Airlie Beach
— Few hours
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

3
nights
Port Douglas

A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
Attractions like Four Mile Beach and Mossman Gorge make great kid-friendly stops. Spend the 19th (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Spend the 20th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. It doesn't end there: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Port Douglas travel route builder .

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 7-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and shuttle. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Sydney in May, with highs in Port Douglas at 32°C and lows at 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Accommodations
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Safaris
Scuba & Snorkeling
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

4
nights
Cairns

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Bring the kids along to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Palm Cove Beach. Spend the 22nd (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 24th (Thu) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, and take a tour by water with Shaolin Junk Cruises.

For more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read Cairns itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Accommodations
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

2
nights
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 25th (Fri), contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island trip site .

Fly from Cairns to Whitsunday Island in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. Traveling from Cairns in May, expect little chillier with lows of 19°C in Whitsunday Island. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

few
hours
Airlie Beach

Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
On the 26th (Sat), get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure and then enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip planner .

Getting from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach by ferry takes about 1.5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Whitsunday Island in May since evenings lows in Airlie Beach dip to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours
Accommodations
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Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

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