9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  4​h 15​min
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  3​h 15​min
Cairns
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Melbourne

1
night
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 12th (Sat), get outside with Jetryder and then enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Sun): play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then meet the residents at Wild life Hamilton Island.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Hamilton Island trip itinerary planner.

Melbourne to Hamilton Island is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. Traveling from Melbourne in January, Hamilton Island is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to catch the ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
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Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Wild life Hamilton Island ©
Wild life Hamilton Island

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 14th (Mon): take in the pleasant sights at Bicentennial Walkway, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon. On the next day, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then explore the activities along Heart Reef.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Airlie Beach online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach by ferry takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus. January in Airlie Beach sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Adventure
Accommodations
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Kayaking & Canoeing
Spas & Wellness
Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Wed): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, then stroll through Esplanade Boardwalk, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In January, daytime highs in Cairns are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours

Side Trip

Spas & Wellness
Accommodations
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Esplanade Lagoon Pool ©
Esplanade Lagoon Pool

2
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like St Mary’s by The Sea chapel and With Sugar. Spend the 18th (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 19th (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's more to do: stroll through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and stop by Coffee Works.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas online trip maker .

Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. January in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Port Douglas.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel

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