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: Brisbane
Fly:  3​h
Hamilton Island
— Few hours
ferry:  1​h
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  3​h 15​min
Cairns
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
Mission Beach
— 1 night
Drive + ferry:  3​h 15​min
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
+2
ferry + bus + Fly:  5​h 15​min
End: Brisbane

few
hours
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sun): tee off at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Hamilton Island road trip planning tool .

Brisbane to Hamilton Island is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Brisbane in November, plan for a bit warmer nights in Hamilton Island, with lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

#Outdoors, #Golf, #Spas
Accommodations
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Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Spas & Wellness

3
nights
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Horseshoe Bay and Grays Bay. Get outdoors at Heart Reef and Kayaking & Canoeing. When in Airlie Beach, make a side trip to see The Big Mango in Bowen, approximately 46 minutes away. There's still lots to do: tour the water at your own pace with Cumberland Charter Yachts, stop by Whitsunday Opals, go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach tour itinerary builder .

Traveling by ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. November in Airlie Beach sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks

Side Trip

Bowen
Accommodations
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Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef
Kayaking & Canoeing
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay

3
nights
Cairns

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Michaelmas Cay and Spas & Wellness. Escape the urban bustle at Atherton Tablelands and Kayaking & Canoeing. The adventure continues: relax in the rural setting at Gallo DairyLand, have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones, and brush up on your military savvy at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum.

Plan a Cairns trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In November, daytime highs in Cairns are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Cairns

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum
Accommodations
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Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay
Gallo DairyLand ©
Gallo DairyLand
Kayaking & Canoeing

1
night
Mission Beach

Mission Beach ©
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): take the plunge with a skydiving experience, take in the exciting artwork at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then stroll through Mission Beach.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Mission Beach trip planner .

You can drive from Cairns to Mission Beach in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Mission Beach

#Tours, #Adventure, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Skydiving
Helen Wiltshire Gallery ©
Helen Wiltshire Gallery

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
On the 3rd (Mon), kick back and relax at Geoffrey Bay, then choose your vessel at Pilgrim Sailing, and then choose your vessel at Big Mama Sailing.

Plan a Magnetic Island trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Mission Beach to Magnetic Island in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In December, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Magnetic Island.
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Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing

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