15 days in Sydney, Great Barrier Reef & Melbourne Itinerary

15 days in Sydney, Great Barrier Reef & Melbourne Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia trip planner

You are viewing a shared plan.  Customize plan

Route & dates

15 days in Sydney, Great Barrier Reef & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: Macon
Fly:  28​h
Sydney
— 2 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 45​min
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 30​min
Townsville
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h 15​min
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 30​min
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  30​h
End: Macon

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. The Rocks and Darling Harbour are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's much more to do: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, trek along The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk, snap pictures at Sydney Harbour Bridge, and stroll through Clovelly.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Sydney road trip planner .

Macon, USA to Sydney is an approximately 28-hour flight. Traveling from Macon to Sydney, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Macon in January: high temperatures in Sydney hover around 82°F and lows are around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Sydney

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Sydney.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Palm Cove Beach, then do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, and then identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge. On the next day, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, then meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and then explore the gorgeous colors at Agincourt Reef.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from Sydney to Port Douglas takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and shuttle. Traveling from Sydney in January, expect Port Douglas to be somewhat warmer, temps between 89°F and 75°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, Mossman Gorge, Palm Cove Beach
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Port Douglas.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

2
days
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 12th (Sat): look for gifts at CoffeeWorks, explore the striking landscape of Museum of Tropical Queensland, then head off the coast to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Billabong Sanctuary, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and then take in the exciting artwork at The Drill Hall Studio.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Townsville online trip builder .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 89°F, and evening lows to 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Townsville.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary

2
days
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.
On the 14th (Mon), look for gifts at Grotty Yachty Clothing, kick back and relax at Boathaven Beach, and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour. On the 15th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the exciting artwork at Art Whitsunday Gallery & Shop, tour the water at your own pace with Charter Yachts Australia, and then stroll through Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find photos, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. In January, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 85°F, while nighttime lows are 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to catch the ferry to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Airlie Beach.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Kayaking & Canoeing
Charter Yachts Australia ©
Charter Yachts Australia

1
day
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 16th (Wed): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then stroll through Whitehaven Beach.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by ferry from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island takes 1.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Whitsunday Island.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

2
days
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): learn about all things military at Shrine of Remembrance, then take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, and then kick back and relax at St. Kilda Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Fri): take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck 88, explore the world behind art at National Gallery of Victoria, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Chelsea Beach.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Melbourne trip planner .

You can fly from Whitsunday Island to Melbourne in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a train. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Whitsunday Island in January; daily highs in Melbourne reach 81°F and lows reach 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

#Parks, #Museums, #Outdoors

Side Trips

St. Kilda Beach, Chelsea Beach
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Melbourne.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
St. Kilda Beach ©
St. Kilda Beach
Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance
National Gallery of Victoria ©
National Gallery of Victoria

Similar Plans

16 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES April, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 18 days in Sydney, Gold Coast & Melbourne BY A USER FROM HONG KONG July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Melbourne BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, teens, culture, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in Australia BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 18 days in Melbourne BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Melbourne BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Sydney BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Sydney BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Melbourne BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans
Find a travel specialist
TRAVEL AGENT