11 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

11 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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11 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  25​h
1
Brisbane
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
2
Gold Coast
— 2 nights
+2
train + foot + Fly:  5​h
3
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
4
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
Drive + ferry:  4​h 30​min
5
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
+3
ferry + bus + foot + Fly:  4​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: London

1
day
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Museum of Brisbane, enjoy the sand and surf at Moffat Beach, then get a sense of history and politics at City Hall, then explore and take pictures at Suncorp Stadium, and finally admire the natural beauty at City Botanic Gardens.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Brisbane trip planner.

London, UK to Brisbane is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. You'll lose 10 hours traveling from London to Brisbane due to the time zone difference. Traveling from London in February, expect Brisbane to be warmer, temps between 33°C and 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can go by car to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Moffat Beach
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
City Botanic Gardens ©
City Botanic Gardens
Suncorp Stadium
Suncorp Stadium
City Hall ©
City Hall

2
nights
Gold Coast

Gold Coast ©
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Wed): enjoy breathtaking views from SkyPoint Climb, kick back and relax at Kurrawa Beach, then stroll through Burleigh Heads Beach, and finally play a few rounds at Surfers Paradise Golf Club. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Burleigh Head National Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Coolangatta Beach, and then kick back and relax at Kirra Beach.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Gold Coast trip planner .

You can drive from Brisbane to Gold Coast in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in February, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Coolangatta Beach ©
Coolangatta Beach
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach

1
night
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 15th (Fri), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Hamilton Island road trip app .

Getting from Gold Coast to Hamilton Island by combination of train and flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry. Traveling from Gold Coast in February, expect a bit warmer with lows of 28°C in Hamilton Island. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

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 16th (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Heart Reef, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Airlie Beach road trip website .

You can ride a ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach in an hour. February in Airlie Beach sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Adventure Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef
Spas & Wellness

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
On the 17th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Geoffrey Bay, then admire all the interesting features of Magnetic Island Forts Walk, and then tour the water at your own pace with Big Mama Sailing.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Magnetic Island online trip itinerary maker .

Do a combination of car and ferry from Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In February, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Tours Transportation
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Mon): have fun at Muddy's Playground, then enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, and then stop by Australian Leather Company. On the next day, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip itinerary site .

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Magnetic Island to Cairns in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. You'll set off for home on the 20th (Wed).

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
River Rafting & Tubing
Muddy's Playground ©
Muddy's Playground

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