18 days in Great Barrier Reef & Greater Sydney Itinerary

18 days in Great Barrier Reef & Greater Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Great Barrier Reef & Greater Sydney Itinerary

Start: London
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  33​h
1
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
2
Bondi
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
4
Townsville
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h 30​min
5
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: London

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
You'll get in some beach time at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Indian Head. Get in touch with nature at Lake McKenzie and Wanggoolba Creek.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Fraser Island trip itinerary tool .

London, UK to Fraser Island is an approximately 33-hour combination of flight, ferry, and car. You'll lose 10 hours traveling from London to Fraser Island due to the time zone difference. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from London in December; daily highs in Fraser Island reach 34°C and lows reach 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to Bondi.

Things to do in Fraser Island

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Wanggoolba Creek ©
Wanggoolba Creek

1
night
Bondi

Bondi ©
On the 18th (Tue), enjoy the sand and surf at Balmoral Beach, Mosman, enjoy the sand and surf at Shelly Beach, then stroll through Taronga Zoo, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Bronte Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Vaucluse House, enjoy the sand and surf at Wanda Beach, and then kick back and relax at Shelly Beach RockPool.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Bondi trip maker website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Fraser Island to Bondi. Traveling from Fraser Island in December, expect nights in Bondi to be about the same, around 21°C, while days are slightly colder, around 31°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Bondi

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Cronulla, Taronga Zoo, Vaucluse House, Balmoral Beach, Mosman, Bronte Beach
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Taronga Zoo ©
Taronga Zoo
Shelly Beach ©
Shelly Beach
Balmoral Beach, Mosman ©
Balmoral Beach, Mosman

2
nights
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 20th (Thu): get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, then zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, then look for gifts at Beach Book Boutique, and finally go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach, then explore the activities along Heart Reef, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Airlie Beach journey planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Bondi to Airlie Beach. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Bondi in December since evenings lows in Airlie Beach dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Speed Boats Tours
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

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.
On the 22nd (Sat), head off the coast to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, explore the striking landscape of Museum of Tropical Queensland, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Castle Hill.

Plan trip to Townsville with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Take a bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In December, daily temperatures in Townsville can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

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.
Get in touch with nature at Safaris and Mossman Gorge. Spend the 23rd (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Four Mile Beach, meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and make a trip to Janbal Gallery.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas road trip planning app .

Getting from Townsville to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trips

Janbal Gallery, Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

5
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.
Get in touch with nature at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Esplanade Boardwalk. Appreciate the collections at Michael Seebeck Gallery and The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum. Take a break from Cairns with a short trip to Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove, about 32 minutes away. Spend the 26th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 29th (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, admire the striking features of Freshwater Station, and view the masterpieces at Underart Gallery.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns trip 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 December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. On the 30th (Sun), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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