11 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

11 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  25​h
1
Sydney
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h
2
Townsville
— 1 night
ferry:  30​min
3
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
+3
ferry + bus + Fly + shuttle:  5​h 30​min
4
Port Douglas
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Washington DC

1
night
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): browse the eclectic array of goods at Sydney Fish Market, look for gifts at Opal Minded, then take a stroll through The Rocks, and finally catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House. On the 12th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Bondi Beach, then trek along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, and then take a stroll through Darling Harbour.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sydney trip planner .

Washington DC, USA to Sydney is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington DC to Sydney is 15 hours. In August, Sydney is colder than Washington DC - with highs of 66°F and lows of 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Sydney

#Neighborhoods, #Parks, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

1
night
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, then look for gifts at CoffeeWorks, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Castle Hill.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Townsville travel route planner .

You can fly from Sydney to Townsville in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In August, Townsville is somewhat warmer than Sydney - with highs of 78°F and lows of 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to ride a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts ©
Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): choose your vessel at Big Mama Sailing, stroll through Geoffrey Bay, and then step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Magnetic Island online vacation maker .

Magnetic Island is very close to Townsville. In August in Magnetic Island, expect temperatures between 78°F during the day and 58°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 14:

1
night
Port Douglas

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): look for gifts at With Sugar, then explore the gorgeous colors at Agincourt Reef, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Thu): stop by Whileaway, take in the exciting artwork at Ngarru Gallery, stop by Coffee Works, then look for gifts at Funstuff by Lynda, then hunt for treasures at Sunday Market Port Douglas, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

To see other places to visit and tourist information, use the Port Douglas trip app .

Getting from Magnetic Island to Port Douglas by combination of ferry, flight, and shuttle takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, train, and taxi. August in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 62°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Shopping

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Palm Cove Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Step out of Cairns to go to Palm Cove and see Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, which is approximately 44 minutes away. There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Michaelmas Cay.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns tour planning app .

Getting from Port Douglas to Cairns by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in August, and nighttime lows around 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Parks

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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