10 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

10 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

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10 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  21​h 15​min
1
Townsville
— 1 day
ferry:  30​min
2
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
ferry + Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
4
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
5
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  18​h
End: Los Angeles

1
day
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 29th (Sat), head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and then take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Townsville day trip planning app .

Los Angeles, USA to Townsville is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) is 18 hours. When traveling from Los Angeles in December, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Townsville: temperatures range from 89°F by day to 76°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to ride a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
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The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): take a memorable tour with Big Mama Sailing, tour the pleasant surroundings at Geoffrey Bay, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Magnetic Island Forts Walk.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Magnetic Island trip itinerary planning app .

Magnetic Island is very close to Townsville. In December, daytime highs in Magnetic Island are 89°F, while nighttime lows are 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
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Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

1
night
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 31st (Mon): browse the exhibits of Art Whitsunday Gallery & Shop, then get interesting insight from Tours, then view the masterpieces at Above & Below Photography, and finally kick back and relax at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Airlie Beach online itinerary planner .

Getting from Magnetic Island to Airlie Beach by combination of ferry and car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. In December, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 85°F, while nighttime lows are 75°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can catch the ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): admire all the interesting features of Go-Kart Racing Track, then take in the exciting artwork at Hamilton Island Art Gallery, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. On the 2nd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Whitsunday Islands National Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Hamilton Island road trip planning tool .

You can ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in December, and nighttime lows around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands National Park
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery
Go-Kart Racing Track ©
Go-Kart Racing Track

3
nights
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Australian National Maritime Museum and Art Gallery of New South Wales. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Rocks and Hyde Park Barracks Museum. There's still lots to do: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, enjoy the sand and surf at Clovelly, trek along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, and stroll through The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk.

For more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Sydney vacation planner.

You can fly from Hamilton Island to Sydney in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry, bus, and train; or do a combination of ferry, car, and bus. Traveling from Hamilton Island in January, Sydney is slightly colder at night with lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Australian National Maritime Museum ©
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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