15 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

15 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

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15 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

Cleveland
Fly + shuttle:  30​h
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
+2
shuttle + Fly + ferry:  5​h 45​min
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  6​h 15​min
Melbourne
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  23​h 45​min
Cleveland

3
days
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Palm Cove Beach and Sunday Market Port Douglas. Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. There's still lots to do: experience rural life at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, and look for gifts at Coffee Works.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Port Douglas road trip planner .

Cleveland, USA to Port Douglas is an approximately 30-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of flight, car, and ferry. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 15 hours traveling from Cleveland to Port Douglas. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Cleveland in December; daily highs in Port Douglas reach 88°F and lows reach 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Tue) to allow time for travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Parks

Side Trip

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

1
day
Airlie Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): stroll through Airlie Beach Lagoon, look for gifts at Beach Book Boutique, then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and finally stop by Whitsunday Opals.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip builder tool .

Traveling by bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in January, and nighttime lows around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours
Accommodations
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Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Kayaking & Canoeing
Whitsunday Opals ©
Whitsunday Opals

3
days
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Appreciate the collections at Shrine of Remembrance and Melbourne Museum. Do your shopping at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery and Lightning Ridge Opal Mines. There's much more to do: admire the masterpieces at National Gallery of Victoria, take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck 88, browse the eclectic array of goods at South Melbourne Market, and take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens.

To see maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Melbourne attractions planner .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Melbourne by combination of bus and flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and flight; or drive. Traveling from Airlie Beach in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Melbourne, with lows of 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

#Museums, #Parks, #Shopping

Side Trip

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
Accommodations
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Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance
National Gallery of Victoria ©
National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum

3
days
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.
Relax by the water at Bondi Beach and Clovelly. Step out of the city life by going to Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Spend the 9th (Wed) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of The Rocks, examine the collection at Hyde Park Barracks Museum, and stop by Sydney Fish Market.

To find out how to plan a trip to Sydney, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Melbourne in January, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Sydney, with lows around 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©

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